Sunday, July 01, 2007

Bhaktivedanta Srauti Maharaj


I had the opportunity to meet Bhaktivedanta Srauti Maharaja, a French disciple of Bhaktivedanta Swami who subsequently took sannyasa from Narayan Maharaj and currently lives in Toulouse. He was recently told by Narayan Maharaj to expand his preaching in the French-speaking world and heard of opportunities in Quebec and so decided to come and have a look. We spent a couple of hours together talking Hari Katha, mostly at the Val-Morin yoga ashram in the Krishna temple. (Where Krishna still forlornly hangs on to his drooping flute in endless separation from Radha. Radha-virahita Krishna nahi mani...) We shared Sanskrit verses, with him reciting the introduction to the Venu-gita...

बर्हापीडं नटवरवपुः कर्णयोः कर्णिकारं
विभ्रद्वासः कनककपिशं वैजयन्तीं च मालाम्।
रन्ध्रान् वेणोर् अधरसुधया पूरयन् गोपवृन्दै-
र्वृन्दारण्यं स्वपदरमणं प्राविशद् गीत-कीर्तिः॥

...to which he gave a very sweet French translation. So in general we had a very nice, non-political sharing of Hari-katha. As is often the case when I meet devotees, I left with the words of Narottam on my lips--vaishnava-sangete mon, anandita-anukshan, jate hoy krishna-parasanga. "My mind finds constant joy in Vaishnava sanga, because there we only discuss things related to Krishna."

Just one little thing that I thought I would mention. Kutichak told me that Srauti Maharaj gave a class the previous night at his place in which he said, "There is no love in this material world." One member of the audience, a self-professed Taoist from Italy, a nice man of my age, a vegetarian who does regular meditation and has a well-developed personal philosophy, objected vehemently and apparently things got somewhat heated (not loving?).

As a general comment on this point, I would like to say that it is not correct to say that there is NO love in this world. That goes against common experience. There are, we might say, distorted love, misplaced love, and imperfect love, etc. This distinction is at the very crux of my approach to bhakti. Our experience of love in this world, however imperfect, makes it possible for us to understand and ultimately experience Krishna. In turn, that experience informs our ability to love others in this world. The mutual relation of these two dimensions of experience has the effect of empowering us and of allowing us to enter more deeply into the experience of prema.

The relationship with Krishna, of course, precedes and follows the human experience, since we are born and die naked, with only the Soul of our soul as our eternal companion. Thus love for God, with its intimate connection to Self and Truth, is always the ultimate marker of the way.

5 comments:

Sri said...

There is true love in this world, it is just temporary, that is all.

Maybe there is no love in the life of that Maharaj though?

I can recall times of bitterness when I have also felt there was no love in my life, and hence no love in the world, because yeah, there does appear to be alot of selfishness here.

Yashoda didi said...

There is an interview with Srila BV Narayana Maharaja on http://www.purebhakti.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=821&Itemid=75
where he says:

"Here is the history of how I met my Guru Maharaja: I was seeing that no one can be happy in this world without transcendental life. I saw that although there is beauty in this world, it lasts only for a moment. There is love and affection, but with self-interest. No one here can love purely because everyone wants their own self-interests fulfilled."

So, if we are talking about REAL LOVE - Maharaja was telling the truth.

And real love is what we are all searching and talking about, to be honest to ourselves.

Your servant, Yashoda Dd (Croatian)

Anonymous said...

http://members.tripod.com/yashoda/

Unknown said...

When say love, it does not happen here. Here is just illusion like Srauti Maharaj said. But what exist here, it is only deep in our harts natural need for love relationships we are conscious because it is our nature. It is our eternal nature, but like spiritual souls. Because our spiritual consciousness is covered with material imperfections like lust, greed, envy, jealousy, anger, madness and so many but with selfishness, we are not able and can not really, but at all to experience it here so. Because, when we talk about love we can to take into real consideration only pure spiritual love. Applying properly devotional process with chanting:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,
Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama,
Rama Rama, Hare Hare,

our pure soul will be uncovered and we will be able to enjoy eternally in pure, ecstatic spiritual love exchanges with Sri Krishna and His pure devotes.

Your humble Paragati das

Srauti Maharaja said...

Reading this little rendering of Jagadananda prabhu relating our first meeting,I became very happy remembering him and our sweet discutions on different spiritual topics; but then as I was reading on his comment,I became very surprised about his critical
view on what I said earlier in a class about love in this world : I thought may be he was thinking I was speaking from my own negative experience of love which made me say that there is nothing as such in this world. But even more surprisingly I couldn't understand why he did not acknowledge it.
This matter as been explained many times by Srila Prabhupada in his books where he defines love in this world as lust instead.
I thought of Jagadananda prabhu as being a nice person to whom I would have liked to have a loving friendly relationship with, but although he made it, by his words, uncertain to be happening, I still hope it may be be possible. Nevertheless, there is no love in this world as Srila Prabhupada described by instance in his purport of S.B. 3.30.9.