Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dhamvasi or spiritual warrior?

Question: I feel that sometimes staying in the dham is like spiritual sense gratification. You can hear the holy name 24/7, see devotees everywhere, get to do so much service, get wonderful association all the time. So I sometimes feel a little selfish if I have this desire to stay in the dham. Preaching in the material world is such an austerity. It is so hard to live outside the dham, deal with karmis all the time and preach. So how do we follow the mission of prabhupad while dealing with this desire to stay in the dham?

Answer by H.G Pankajhangri Prabhu: (paraphrased)

Well, staying in the dham is definitely spiritual sense gratification. It is wonderful to stay in the dham. But this sense gratification is the true sense gratification. The gratification we get in the material world is not real. But if we sacrifice this pleasure and go out and preach taking up this austerity, we become very very dear to Lord Chaitanya.

At the same time, it is very important to visit the dham to recharge. Which is why Prahbupad organized the Gaura Purnima festival and other festivals. We have to come to the dham once a year and recharge our batteries and go back out in the battlefield to preach.

Those who are really weak, then Krishna says, "Ok you can stay back here" I'm exposing my own weakness here :) I'm not personally so strong to go out and preach in the material world. So we get to stay back here :)

So I have been in the spiritual world for the last 12 days. Every moment was memorable but not every moment can be described by words unfortunately. I have written down a few beautiful moments such as the one above which I'll post as soon as I get a chance to.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The endless cycle.

Futility engraves itself in every move
Get hit by a tsunami, become a loner among friends,
diseases knocking on your door,
Sadly nothing makes you realize,
the futility of this endless cycle.

Monday, January 12, 2009

My cowherd boy

Tears trickle across my cheek
a divine voice singing across my ears
emotions welling up my heart
If just a mortal voice is so heart-rendering
How will your transcendental voice be
O bluish tinged cowherd boy?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Condensed Milk

It was the occasion of BB Govinda maharaj's vyasa puja and going by the Indian tradition of serving others on your b'day, Maharaj served us (here in Damodardesh) all by leading the most soothing, divine, ecstatic, mindblowing, [insert synonym of amazing here] kirtan I've heard.

As I looked out beyond the stage, there was a row of tall skyscrapers that stood dazzling against the starry night sky. And as the mridanga beats reached a crescendo, we danced our hearts out in the chilly night air. So I'm thinking, how strange it is to be dancing to the holy names in front of skyscrapers instead of beautiful forms of the deities that I'm generally used to dancing in front of.....

That train of thought followed to thinking actually how fortunate I am to be part of a sankirtan yatra where the holy name is our deity and the devotees carry it everwhere with them. No really....we went to a park on a picnic for New Years. We decided to play Antakshari (a game usually with two teams, with each team singing a song starting with the letter that the other team's song ended with). Our antakshari was of course very ingeniously played with bhajans and shlokas! Yes shlokas....and the way all these devotees just spit out(or rather sang out) shlokas was amazing.....

Speaking of the holy name, I just remembered Dravida prabhu during the Mayapur festival used to give these amazing poetic translations of verses. This one was my favorite about the holy name...

radheti-nama nava-sundara-sidhu-mugdham
krsneti-nama madhuradbhuta-gadha-dugdham
sarva-ksanam surabhi-raga-himena-ramyam
krtva tadaiva piba me rasane ksud-arte

"An excellent fresh nectar drink with endless subtle tastes,
such is the name of Radha by whom all three worlds are graced.
Condensed milk that is wonderfully delicious, thick and sweet
Such is the name of Krishna in whom all attractions meet.
Now mix these drinks, o thirsty tongue, and add the fragrant ice of love.
A prize the wise will try to buy at any price
And then, at every moment, drink these beverages most fine
and make my heart supremely blissful, peaceful, and divine "

- Stavavalli, Raghunath Das Goswami

Yupp.....I can definitely get heady on this condensed milk, especially if souls like H.H BB Govinda Maharaj give it!