The Final Hour
29th of November, 2004 - 22:21
Crossing over the Samsara
24th of November, 2004 - 22:19
Preparations underway
3rd of November, 2004 - 18:06

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The Final Hour
Posted: 29th of November, 2004 - 22:21

Running out of time - can one bend it?
Ah, the final hours before departure. Six more hours until we leave for the airport, eight and half until we're in the air. Still amidst packing our stuff, although supposedly Malati started packing about a month ago. Though we've been anticipating this trip since over a year, when we were originally scheduled to visit Vraja, right now I wouldn't mind having an hour or two of extra time at my hands... I suppose you can always sleep in the plane, then.

Have you ever seen god in a hat?
Interestingly, the little folks on our altar seem to need almost as much luggage as we do. And they don't even carry their own bags. With god on the road, it ain't as easy as it might sound. Godspeed. Fortunately Giridhari is a bit more accommodating, he seems to be warm and comfortable inside his own wooly hat.

It's freezing outside. It's been ten below zero lately, ten to twenty centimeters of snow. I can't imagine I'd be missing that much.

We will be arriving in Delhi on Wednesday 1.00 AM local time, leaving with a cab towards Vraja sometime closer to sunrise. I suppose I'll post in a note sometime during the day, though anything more elaborate will have to wait until Thursday.

In other news, the Gaudiya Grantha Mandira site engine will be updated sometime during the first quarter of 2004. Please read this topic for more information.
Crossing over the Samsara
Posted: 24th of November, 2004 - 22:19

Malati has crossed over a good deal of items from her breakdown of our samsara
Five more days until we hit the road! Time has been really flying. A couple of days back it was three months until takeoff. Still it seems as if we have three months worth of things to get out of the way before we are free to go.

Sri Chaitanya described Vraja-vasa, or residing in Vraja, as one among the five most important aspects in bhakti-sAdhana. Sri Vraja-dhama is filled with uddIpana, or stimuli, for the remembrance of Radha-Krishna and their pastimes. During our stay in Vraja, we'll be posting in nectarine descriptions of the various pastime-places throughout the area of Vraja-mandala.

In one of his core verses discussing the practice of rAgAnuga-sAdhana, Sri Rupa Goswami says: kUryAt vAsaM vraje sadA -- one ought to always dwell in Vraja, the abode of our eternal identity and services. As in his Nectarine Instructions (8):

smRtyoH krameNa rasanA-manasI niyojya |
tiSThan vraje tad-anurAgi janAnugAmI
kAlaM nayed akhilam ity upadeza-sAram ||

"Sweetly glorifying his name, form, deeds and so forth,
remembering in sequence and engaging one's tongue and mind,
one should reside in Vraja, following the anurAgi-jana,
thus spending all of one's time — this is the essence of all instructions."

Giridhari, too, is eager to move to a warmer climate...
Now, one bound in the chains of samsara, yet inclined towards bhakti-sAdhana, may wonder as to how he might possibly fulfill this instruction. To comfort those of us who are unable to physically live in Vraja, Sri Jivapada comments: sAmarthye sati vraje zrIman-nanda-vrajAvAsa-sthAne zrI-vRndAvanAdau zarIreNa vAsaM kuryAt | tad-abhAve manasApIty arthaH || -- Ideally one ought to physically live in the abode of Sriman Nanda Maharaja and others, but if for one reason or another we are unable to do that, we may at least mentally dwell there, hearing and reading narrations of Vraja-lila and descriptions of the various pastime-places, gathering pictures to remind us of them, and so forth.

Additionally, we may seek to perceive the elements of Vraja in the world around us, to have each tree remind us of the bowers of Vraja, and that crooked tree of Srimati's mAna, and the tree by the riverside of the turmoil of the gopis at the time of Kaliya-damana, and the ponds and rivers and all that we meet. Even when physically living in Vraja, we ought to also mentally live there!

If we cannot reside in Vraja and wander around the various lIlA-sthAnas, we should at least strive to visit Vraja now and then! Hear it from Thakur Mahasaya:

hari hari! kabe hobo vRndAvana-vAsI |
nirakhibo nayane yugala-rUpa-rAzi ||

Hari, Hari! When will I become a resident of Vrindavan? When will my eyes behold the beautiful forms of Sri Yugala?

tyAjiyA zayana-sukha vicitra pAlaGka |
kabe vrajera dhUlAya dhUsara habe aGga ||

Rejecting the joy of a comfortable bedding, when will I roll in the dust of Vraja, covering my limbs with it?

SaD-rasa bhojana dUre parihari |
kabe vraje mAgiyA khAibo mAdhukarI ||

Giving up the longing to procure the six flavours of foods, when will I roam about in Vraja, collecting mAdhukarI?

parikramA koriyA beDAbo vane-vane |
vizrAma koribo jAi yamunA-pUline ||

I will roam from forest to forest on parikramA, resting on the banks of Yamuna.

tApa dUra koribo zItala vaMzI-vaTe |
kuJje vaiThaba hAma vaiSNava-nikaTe ||

Then I will find relief from the burning separation at the cooling Vamsi-vat, sitting in a forest bower among the Vaishnavas.

narottama dAsa kohe kori’ parihAra |
kabe vA emona dazA hoibe AmAra ||

Narottama Das says -- when will rid myself of all this, when will such a situation be mine?
Preparations underway
Posted: 3rd of November, 2004 - 18:06
The tickets -- finally! We've been at it for a good while already, with our good old partner, Aeroflot, offering budget flights from Helsinki to Delhi since years. The lady in the office was kind enough to arrange for fruit only meals for the trip.

Though the journal will officially open on the 1st of December, we'll be posting in something now and then in anticipation of the trip prior to that as well. Check in now and then.

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all the kind devotees who have participated in covering some of the costs related with the media project we will be working on. We hope our endeavors will prove useful for the community out there. Please click on the "Comment" button below to read more of the project.

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