Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Mothers & Love

"Mamma look!" Damodar squealed excitedly as he walked into the kitchen holding one month old Deva in his arms with my mother close behind him ensuring he is holding Deva well.

It was such a proud big brother moment for him as he walked in with the brightest smile ever, his eyes just sparkling with joy at holding a small baby. It then hit little boys are not so little anymore! Damodar suddenly looked like such a mature older boy - when did that happen??

I have always joked to everyone that I must be the only mother counting down days till Damodar and Sridhar start college. Suddenly I'm not so sure I'm looking forward for that day. I suddenly feel a loss and a twinge of sadness that in a few years they will not be dependent on me anymore. When just a year ago I was complaining with such exasperation, "Oh when will they be able to take a bath and eat on their own??!! "
Now they do and I feel a little lost.

Being born as a woman definitely has us as the disadvantaged sex. We see that even more these days with the #metoo movement, unfair wages etc. In spite of being disadvantaged, women always manage to be strong, focused and be successful. While I do feel the this disadvantages sometimes, when I look at my kids, I truly truly feel so blessed! Who else in this material world can experience the closest thing to spiritual love other than a mother?? And I feel so special that I can actually get a glimpse of what true unconditional spiritual love can be like. It feels so empowering!

Friday, August 3, 2018

Logic vs Faith

Born in this body to follow logic
Logic, rationale and science
Oh how can you grasp the wonder?
The wonder, dear mind- dear intelligence 
The sheer magnanimity of pure faith 
Pure faith that blossoms and reveals 
The very existence
The dazzling sun of the self and the supreme 
.... and ultimately the eternal connection 

Of pure love ❤️ 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


I have just hit a new level of realization of the phrase 'I lost my heart in Vrindavan'.

My eyes don't see it. All I see is a small Indian village with narrow gulleys, temples, crowded lanes, trash and honking rikshaws. I unfortunately don't have the knowledge or the spiritual vision.

BUT , I do sense it - Radharani's in the air.Vrindavan is truly not seen , just experienced.  The sweetness floats in while I'm chanting my morning japa. My mind revists those beautiful and sweet darshans. Giriraj in his full glory, the gently splashing waters of radhakund as devotees dive in, splendour of Krishna Balaram, the gentle Yamuna, handsome Radharaman....

I feel like I have been given a drop of nectar and my heart longs to dive into it. 
If I could just walk along the gulleys, 
If I could just sit on some steps chanting 
If I could just listen to old souls singing the names
If I could just see what true devotees see

I got a drop...I long to dive into the dust of Raman Reti.

Whenever she allows me next....

"Whose heart would not be enchanted by Vrndavana where Sri Radhika-Madanamohana enjoy many pastimes, where there are many trees and flowering vines, where the ground is paved with jewels, and where the birds, deer and other animals are all maddened with transcendental bliss? "
- Verse 19, Sri Vrindavan Mahimamrta

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Waves of questions flood in
Why so young? Why so sudden? Why?
Intelligence says Karma, Goloka, Eternal service
but the heart cannot hear
the heart only dwells on the absence

O madhava! When your name floats on music
Panacea it is for the brooding heart
A short interval of bliss and contentment
Yet the heart returns to the absence

Time? Suddha nama? Vaishnava seva?
Everything feels muddled
Trudge on through with hope and prayers that
Someday the mind, heart and intelligence transcend
Transcend this muddle to
eternally unite with the fortunate souls in your seva.....

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Rug pulled out!

"Anuradha, can you please come home to bathe and dress Giri?"
Who will speak these words to me?

"dehino smin yatha dehe...." Yes a sober person is not bewildered. Nobody is bewildered about Vishaka mataji. We all know she has gone back to Goloka but the heart weeps and grieves for the huge irreplaceable void that has been created.

For those who have not met her or have had the opportunity to associate with her, you all have lost the chance to witness pure love for Krishna. A living, walking example of how our consciousness has to be while serving our deities.

Her birth began gloriously with Srila Prabhupad himself giving her the name Vishaka. After witnessing countless sannyasis and devotees (godbrothers of Prabhupad and senior Prabhupad disciples) visiting their home and staying there, her love of service to devotees was naturally developed by seeing her parents (Mr.& Mrs Singhania) serve them.

When they were living in Vrindavan, at the age of 8, a vrajavasi brahmachari used to visit them. He had a small Giriraj whom he used to worship. Seems to me that the minute Giri saw Vishaka, he decided to be with her for the rest of her life to accept her irreplaceable pure love. She started getting dreams of Giriraj, where giriraj would tell her little things that 'Tell the brahmachari to get me new clothes, my clothes are torn" And when she would go and tell him and they would see that actually his dress was torn. "Tell the brahmachari to feed me nice sweets, I'm not getting enough". So the brahmachari gave Giri to Vishaka at the age of 8 and he has been inseparable from her ever since. She told me that she took Giri even on her honeymoon and engaged the hotel staff where they were staying to give bhoga for him. Boiling milk and cutting up fruits!

"Anuradha, this Giri is so troublesome sometimes! When a piece of jewellery just does not stick on and he doesnt want it, I give one tapki(small slap) to him that stop being naughty "

"Anuradha, just taste this and see if it is good.", "Mataji, have you offered it already?", "No
Anuradha, I cannot offer anything to my Giri without checking if it is perfect"

"Giri wants to have your dahi wada today. Is it possible to make and bring for offering?"

"We will try to move to a bigger house. I want it to be perfect for Radhanath Maharaj if he comes again next time"

" Giri is looking so tired today after all his travelling. I want to give him a spa treatment - massage him with nice oils and dip in nice hot water"

"Giri is looking like a bhoot (ghost) today after all the chandan. It looks like a mess. Anuradha, next year please help me apply chandan smoothly how they apply in the temples"

Who calls the Lord a ghost? Who gives a spanking to the Lord like he is a little child? Who thinks of moving to a bigger house so she can have bigger programs and accomodate more devotees instead of thinking of her own comforts? We cannot imitate this kind of a bhav. I'm only really grateful to Krishna that I have got the opportunity to serve and associate with such a glorious and pure devotee like her.

Giri, you have some BIG explanation to do to all of us for taking her away.

After all my resentment and anger at you for being so selfish to take her back to exclusively serve you, you are our only shelter. I can only come back to you with tears in my eyes and pray to give us all the strength to somehow get through this difficult difficult time.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Mangala Arati

It is 4 a.m and -7C outside. "Should I wear a jacket? Welllllll its muci, I have to go on the altar, it is just a short distance..... I can brave the cold". Knock on Madhavi's door, make sure she is awake and run out the back door all the way to the temple. Barely entering, I hear the conchshell blow. I run inside....out of breath offer obeisances and ......Swish! The curtains open......

With the darkness outside, the only source of light being Krishna's effulgence from the altar I stand before them mesmerized....the slow karatals start.....
And slowly "samsara dava....nalalidha loka......" Radharani with her simple veil..her simple nosering...simply divine.....
Jagannath ever smiling.....nothing alters his are so merciful, you let me hug you everyday on the altar when I dressed you! Where are you?
And oh my nitaicandra and merciful your gaze......

Will I ever experience this mangala arati again? When will I get to hug you Jagannath?

Saturday, May 16, 2015


Nourishment is what the soul seeks
A moment of attention to grasp the music
A moment of concentration to sink into the holy name
A moment that unknowingly becomes minutes
Minutes if not hours of being engulfed
Love? Peace? Contentment?
Pale in comparison to - bliss
Bliss of Hari-nama

So dear mind! Why?
Why the mindless clapping with a vacant expression?
Why the trek through mountains of thought?
Allow that music to float across your ears
Once the boat of music enters the shores of your ears
The passenger - the holy name enters the mind
Enters the intelligence
Enters my whole being

All it takes is a moment of attention
Dear dear Gaura, bless my mind
Steady attention is all I ask....

"So this concentration of mind is very difficult in this age because mind is so agitated. Therefore force them to hear Hare Kṛṣṇa. Even they have no mind to hear, you chant loudly Hare Kṛṣṇa. They will hear. Their mind will be dragged. It is so nice thing. He hasn't got to (chuckling) concentrate. I'll force him. You see? So as soon as he hears "Kṛṣṇa," oh, he advances immediately one step." - Lecture on BG 3.18-30 -- Los Angeles, December 30, 1968