Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My stay at Gadadhar Pran's

I spent the last few weeks travelling and on my return to Rishikesh became involved with other preoccupations, so I have neglected this blog. It is hard to gauge changing times, but certainly Madhavananda's departure from our little virtual world of scattered devotees, some barely "limping along," as Advaita Dasji put it, makes me think that perhaps there is some significant tectonic shift taking place.

I had accumulated things to say, but most of them have withered into silence, where in all likelihood they belonged. Wheat and chaff are separated by the steady sighs of time.

I spent a little more than two weeks at Gadadhar Pran's. On the whole it was a good stay, but the encroaching Ganga has Gadadhar feeling as though he is under siege. Nothing new there: if you are a raganuga bhakta in the domain of Iskcon and the Gaudiya Math, their animosity is like a steady tide that wears at the banks of your self-assurance anyway. But it is a cruel blow to have Nature attack on the West when the silent opposition of one's neighbors has been gnawing away steadily from the East. And so Gadadhar said to me many times, "I have no friends. My only friend is my sadhana."

It is true that without Ma Ganga's special mercy, Gadai Gauranga Kunj may not be spared. The flow of the current is taking direct aim at the attractive new guest house that was only built two years ago. So if there are any rich benefactors out there who would like to contribute to the propping up of the banks with pilons and sandbags, this is an invitation to do so. The time may already be gone as the lowest level of the river may have passed.

At any rate, Gadadhar's phone number is +91-933-266-0732. I leave you to talk to him, but I honestly hope that some people will come forward and assist in preserving this oasis of originality in the midst of a desert of Vaishnava conformity.

***

In the time I was there, I completed the editing of the two Why Did Chaitanya Come and What Did He Come to Give books, and on my way back, dropped them off along with the Govinda Lilamrita at Ras Bihari Lal's. These are now thankfully out of my hands. The GL was left at the "whatever state it is in, it is finished" stage. Frankly, I did not have the time to give it my full attention and I was under the distinct impression that my ingerence into the peculiarities of Gadadhar's language were not fully appreciated. So it will come to the world in a rather uneven state. Perhaps it is for the best: some parts of it will sound jarringly like the rasanabhijna kramelaka Jagat, but aho! most will resonate the authentic voice of rasika-shiromani Gadadhar Pran Dasji.

***

I will not report on everything that transpired at Gadai Gauranga Kunj. There were many memorable positive moments and only a few that, almost inevitably, were not. I had the pleasure of meeting Anadi Krishna Dasji from Romania/Germany, who stayed with Gadadhar for a month, hearing and discussing about Vishnupriya's Gaura-bhakti and other elements of Gaura-nagara-vada.

I would like, however, to record briefly some elements of a conversation that Gadadhar and I had about Sahajiyaism. This conversation was staggered over the time spent there, and I have embellished my responses to make myself sound a little more agile of wit.

Gadadhar: Why did you use the term Sahajiyaism? It is so loaded and attracts so much negativity. You could have used another word, rather than inviting condemnation for using that term.

Jagat: The term is already being used to designate us. You are called a Sahajiya by everyone in the Gaudiya Math and Iskcon. No amount of pure behavior on your part will change that. But I am prepared to call a spade a spade. I accept that the physical and emotional relationship between devotee couples is an essential part of prema sadhana. It is my intention to articulate an intelligent and coherent vision of that philosophy, to present it in a way that makes the IGM caricatures of Sahajiyaism apparent for what they are: straw man arguments that are not worth the straw they are made of. Indeed, I wish to show that for all the service they have done and continue to do for Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's mission, it is they who are misunderstanding and misrepresenting the essence of prema dharma.

Gadadhar: Why not just go on having sex or practice tantric sex or whatever on the quiet, privately? Why do you have to advertise publicly that you are a Sahajiya?

Jagat: Well, I happen to believe in it. You are asking me to be a hypocrite. The thing is that like many others, you misunderstand completely what this is about. You think it is about sex, whereas it is really about bhava and prema. You preach Nagara bhava even though you are condemned for it. You even aggressively state your beliefs to people you know oppose them. I don't even do that. I simply present them in a way that those who come looking may find them if Krishna gives them that grace.

Gadadhar: That argument is invalid. Nagara bhava is a genuine tradition that was followed by many of Mahaprabhu's associates, chiefly Narahari Sorkar. But show me any evidence that anyone of authority in the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya has promoted or even condoned Sahajiyaism.

Jagat: That is true. I cannot find any overt evidence that makes that connection. Prabodhananda uses the words kapata-sannyasi to describe Mahaprabhu in Chaitanya-chandramrita, which is often taken as evidence that he was a closet Nagara. It most likely shows only that he recognized the existence of this stream of devotion. I say, however, that Mahaprabhu took this path of Mayavada sannyasa to ultimately subvert it, because madhura rasa bhakti is subversive to the path of celibacy, in the same way that personalism is to Mayavada.

Once you start looking at texts like Ujjvala-nilamani from the optic of Sahajiyaism, it becomes impossible to see them in any other way. It seems clear and obvious that the intention is to make love in this world the doorway to consciousness of Radha and Krishna, as well as making consciousness of Radha and Krishna the doorway to finding love in this world. The two vantage points dance hand in hand, leading one to the bhuma sukham that is the ultimate goal of the Upanishads. Vaishnavism is not about a tireless struggle against the onslaught of sex desire. It is about harnessing and channeling that power for the attainment of love, the most powerful energy of the Lord, the stuff from which the spiritual world is made.

That means that it is not about simply disposing of one's sexual urges and then using one's freed energies for bhajan. Swami Veda, in whose ashram I am staying, likes to say, "Speak only when in silence. Eat only when fasting." To this I add, "Make love only when celibate." This is the purport of the first part of the Gopala Uttara Tapani. The making of love is the essence of the bhajan itself. So how can I, who believes this, ever not state it?

Gadadhar: But you are always making the wrong choices in women. You had that affair with the horrendous X back in 1985, and now you seem to be making a similar disastrous relationship with a Western woman. Stay here and I will help you find a Bengali Vaishnava girl who will be a real bhajan partner.

Jagat: Yes, sannyasis often tend to make bad choices when they fall down, I will admit it. But I am afraid you do not understand the difference between svakiya and parakiya love. The svakiya mentality means one thinks he can control love through reason. He writes an advertisement to put in the newspaper: "American Vaishnava looking for like-minded bhajan partner." Then he sifts through the responses and hopes for the best, ticking off all the points that he figures are necessary in a "bhajan partner." The word samanjasa indicates a kind of calculating mentality.

Parakiya love is about fortuitous discovery, about the invasion of self by the presence of another. It is about kripa. In someone who is purely sexual in his mentality, such choices be vitiated by rajas and tamo-gunas. That is called sadharani rati. In someone who truly understands the meaning of bhajan, who is patient and who believes in the mercy of the Lord, the communion will be one of souls and not just of bodies. And it will not be vitiated by formality.

The mail-order bride system may work in some cases to attain a degree of svakiya love, a comfortable state no doubt. And I suppose it is not impossible for it to lead to parakiya state, in fortunate cases. But unless one is prepared to see the sadhana partner as a guru, at least in some areas, that will not happen. When you try to control the agenda, then it is inevitably svakiya, and I think that you will pay the price in the long run.

Gadadhar: I think you are making too much of sex.

Jagat: You are one to talk, with all your descriptions of Gauranga Nagara love! You don’t see how that looks to the uninitiated eye? Besides, I have come to believe that the love/sex dynamic is at the basis of spirituality itself. So meditating on sambhoga with Krishna or Gauranga in the mind cannot be seen as essentially different from any other kind of sex. And you cannot really resolve this problem by pretending that Manjari bhava is some kind of superior state of renunciation.

Gadadhar: That is preposterous! I don’t want to hear anything about it. This is obviously going to divide us, Jagat. Couldn't you just share a rewarding love life with your partner and stick with the Goswami teachings? If you preach Sahajiyaism, however, I fear that you will only end up isolating yourself from our Gaudiya Vaishnava world.

Jagat: It may be too late for that! Anyway, Gadadharji, I pray that Mahaprabhu and our guru varga give us their unreserved blessings. Our paths have evolved differently, but let us keep following the Truth as It reveals Itself to us.

***

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you ever read a book called "Seeking Bauls of Bengal" by Jeanne Openshaw c 2002? If you google search that title and author, you can read lengthy excerpts from it on google books.

According to that book, both you and Gadadhar Pran would be considered Bauls, as would Madhavananda das: even in his present incarnation as Ananda. And, most interestingly, so would Lord Chaitanya!

That is one possible area of reconciliation and harmony. In English language one possible translation of Baul would be "outsider" and "other": people who do things that the folks in the dominant culture do not do vis-a-vis meditation, lifestyle, etc.

There were alot of interesting observations the author made in her fieldwork of what Indian nationals who actually live in Nadia think about the tradition of Lord Chaitanya. It was interesting to read just through the lens filter of Indian culture.

In the past I have just learned about LC through the lens filter of being a Westerner and hagiography. Then as Western culture became more sophisticated
[as exemplified by the Feb 2008 Psychology Today cover story "An Atheist in the Pulpit" - e.g. more and more preachers can no longer believe in the fanciful stories of their religion] I looked with a more critical eye at Gaudiya Vaishnavism and found it to be too strange and eccentric.

But, if you look at GV through the eye of that book, Seeking Bauls of Bengal, it makes perfect sense everything about LC's life, and even all the sub branches of the Chaitanya tree that followed!

Even things that seemed super strange to me before, like LC trashing his house as a child, finally made sense. In post-modern Western culture, such actions by a child might indicate that she or he has a personality disorder or some type of learning disability.

But as a person who breaks with social conventions, or a Baul, then this would be the perfect childhood indicator of future Baul life, i.e. being an itinerant madman who takes to the streets begging madhukari and singing bhajans. Thus I could see the need for that story to be part of the avatar LC mythos/ hagiography.

Well in the spirit of harmony, something to think about. The book was also saying that conservative Indians think that the Baul lifestyle is a menace to society.
And with books like Monkey on a Stick and Betrayal of the Spirit, I would tend to agree that there were definitely some very wrong things with the Baul institution called ISKCON.

When you think about it, after reading Seeking Bauls of Bengal, is interesting what ACBSP did was set up an institutionalized Baul society!

Everyone has a different personality, and thus approaches life differently, and can only handle a certain amount of structure or conversely freedom and independence from the status quo. Thus we have the wide proliferation of different strokes for different folks in the Baul traditions.

As far as the Baul idea of tantra called Sahajiya sexuality, this is also a very typical form of Baul behavior. What you are into, according to Seeking Bauls of Bengal, is just one very normal facet and lifestyle pattern of the wide Baul behavioral continuum.

I agree with you that it can happen that a person may meet someone and the relationship will be very archetypal Radha and Krsna behavior between the two people.

I always wondered before why you did not just set up a dating site called "Sahajiya Sex". If you set it up under tribes dot net or My Space, I think you would get alot of members. Because there are websites for every possible sexual preference under the sun these days. And what you are after is not THAT strange in light of the huge sexual pantheon of choices.

But now that I have read that you don't want to advertise for such a partner, I agree that it can happen and just fall into your lap also. The same way a needle can fall out of a haystack, I guess.

But now I am just going to look at it all under the umbrella of Baul i.e. "people who do not follow the dominant culture's way of doing things". Because according to that book, it would fit into that umbrella of behavior of "other"
aka "not the way we do things".

Best wishes on the path.

Jagat said...

Of course, "needle falling out of a haystack" is not exactly what I mean. One does not go looking for fruit in a fish market.

That being said, your idea of a "dating" site sounds like a good one. I have the domain name premaprayojana.org and I would like to develop it. This would be a good feature to put on it. I unfortunately don't have the wherewithall, internetically speaking, to do so. Any volunteers?

Jagat said...

BTW, I am coincidentally reading a few books by Rabindranath Tagore, who identified himself more or less as a Baul, perhaps in the spirit of non-conformism you have described here.

Certainly much of what he says resonates with my way of thinking and I will try to fit a resume of what I have read in the coming days. What is missing, however, as is often the case, is the presence of a symbolic vocabulary that is not simply based in nature, i.e., that of Radha and Krishna.

The definition you give here of Baul seems to be a little too wide. Perhaps there is a lower-case baul and an upper-case Baul distinction to be made, which may erase such difficulties.

Non-conformity is good up until a certain point. The fact is that human beings seek out like-minded association and they, no matter how advanced, need certain rituals, no matter how simple, to cement and enrich such associations.

You have in some of your other posts, pinpointed a curious phenomenon, that of religions that allow non-conformity and those that don't. For many non-conformists, many of the kanistha rituals still resonate as meaningful or joy-bringing, even though they may experience them somewhat differently from the kanishtas. I am thinking specifically of kirtan, but also deity worship. I personally still find it aesthetically pleasing to see nice deities in the way that they are worshiped in Iskcon or at some of the better temples in Vrindavan.

It sometimes seems almost futile to hope that we can help Vaishnavism to evolve when it often looks like it refuses to do so, but the very fact that it has become so stagnant in the Western countries is a sign that new ideas and interpretations need to be injected, just in the way that Bhaktivinode Thakur did in the 19th century.

I can only hope that persons like yourself will find ways of creating community as the fruit of your spirited search for the "real" Mahaprabhu and the "real" Radha and Krishna. It is not enough to leave things on the intellectual level. I.e., the rational critique can only take us so far. We have to synthesize those objections and perceptions of inadequacy with the essence of spiritual experience and meaning that were the best part of the kanishtha stage. One without the other is the sound of one hand clapping.

Your servant,

Jagadananda Das.

Anonymous said...

Re: Rabindranatha Tagore

What do you know/ think about Eliade Mircea? I know he wrote a few books, but most recently thought of him because he wrote an autobiographical fiction [!]book "Bengali Nights" about a girl he had a crush on. In the book he made it seem like they did the deed.

Then forty years later, the actual girl, S devi, got a hold of the book and was shocked! Because they never did anything. So she wrote her version "It Does Not Die".

But what I remember from it, in real life, her dad knew Tagore and Tagore helped her with her poetry.
She became an academic later in life if I am not mistaken.

Also ~ how are your students? Especially the one called Ganesh?

Regards

Anonymous said...

As far as the rituals go, they can be seen as pleasing on one level because they conform to the "principles of art" and the "elements of design".
Things like balance, proportion, repetition, unity. And one of the elements or principles is "transcendence": that is, the sum is greater than that of the individual parts.

An art professor would not critique art on the basis of politically surcharged ideas of kanistha, madhyama, and uttama. In art history class, you just critique art by how many of the elements of art and principles of design does it follow.

The kinetic rituals can also be seen as performance art. I find them very life-affirming. That's what I find timeless in the tradition.

If you think back to cavemen and caveladies, putting their palm prints on the wall of a cave, I think the rich traditions extant in the visual arts of GV stand up according to the elements and principles of art and design. Same for the performing arts and music, which stands up to Music Theory elements of what makes music great.


As far as community, that is a nice thought: the hope that one can "create community". I do have my practices that I do, which are part of a different tradition of Hinduism, which people can do on their own and are encouraged to do on their own.

I have really been wanting to talk to someone about these practices, then I did finally find a blog that one Indian girl and her grandfather have going, they are bhaktars of the tradition I am into now, and the ways in which they see the Divine are similar.

So that has been a huge relief for me, and they said it was nice for them also, because before I came onto the blog the old grandfather didn't have anyone to share his lifetime of knowledge with. So they are both really happy I am on their blog now, and I am also.

And is funny, in the tradition I am in now, it says that you have to be accepted by Indians as part of their community/ family/ tribe/ heart culture/ fellow bhaktar. So it is supposed to be a stage I pass through: to get to the point that Indians "adopt" you and are glad you are associating with them.

So I guess that is the "community" aspect. But I like to read your blog and a few others because it is like the equivalent of the old morning Srimad Bhagavatam class.

But I like that I can zip around now and get all the different classes. Because I am a multi-cultural person and global citizen. In one tradition they call it an "ardha Hindu": you are not Hindu enough to make the full conversion, but is a stage that you appreciate some, even several, aspects of it.

And the third way that I see community happen is the Divine creates community. Like for example, most of the people I have to associate with--no choice in the matter--are NOT religious.

But just recently having read something written by an Indian, and critiqued by an Indian, that India in fact has a skeptic side, now I can see that skepticism also has an Indian side, and is even in the Rig Veda, so it's not just the mindset of "Western devils".

So to see the hand of the Divine everywhere is another type of community. To me it feels safer than the "rah rah cheerleader" brand of religion. To feel unity with all kinds of people, nature, even atheists, even other branches of Hinduism, Buddhists, but still see popping up manifestations of the Divine here and there is a type of community also.

Well thanks for your sharing and have a great day.

"Gaurasundara das" said...

Now that all this stuff about Bauls is coming out, suggesting that everything makes sense from the Baul point of view, Chaitanya may have been a Baul, ISKCON is an institutionalised Baul society etc., leads me to think that this is all descending into a maelstrom of madness in which we may lose our minds.

Therefore, I am inclined to think that all these systems are inherently confused, disorganised and hapahazard and are thus not worth bothering with.

Anonymous said...

At any rate, Gadadhar's phone number is +91-933-266-0732. I leave you to talk to him, but I honestly hope that some people will come forward and assist in preserving this oasis of originality in the midst of a desert of Vaishnava conformity.

Are you serious!? Oasis or not, if Ganga wants to wipe it off the map, who is going to stop her? Who would want to? I for one am not going to throw my money down the river like that. Caitanya Mahaprabhu's own birth place was wiped off by Ganga mata, twice, so if Gadadhar Pran's place is to go, maybe its for the better. His originality not withstanding, have you noticed how Ganga sometimes acts like those budhist monks who, after hours of elaborate and concentrated building of amazing mandalas on sand, wipe them clean with one sweep of the hand, the purpose of the building being in the dismantling of it. Nothing is permanent, and certainly nothing is so original that it doesn't eventually become stale.

Anonymous said...

"And is funny, in the tradition I am in now, it says that you have to be accepted by Indians as part of their community/ family/ tribe/ heart culture/ fellow bhaktar. So it is supposed to be a stage I pass through: to get to the point that Indians "adopt" you and are glad you are associating with them."

Been there, done that. A word of advice:

Be careful that they do not try to make you give up aspects of your own culture that have progressed beyond their's such as human and women's rights, etc. Also, be careful that you do not develop some of the unhealthy OCDs(obsessive-compulsive disorders) that are common in religious Hindus in the name of "culture".

Not all that glitters is gold.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the warning!

Jagat said...

Boy, Anon, that's some animus you've got there.

Jagat said...

Radhe Radhe, Jijaji. Yes, that was an entirely different conversation. You just have to read the books, especially his most recent ones, to see where he is at on this issue.

He asked me at least twice whether I really thought that being a manjari and just watching Radha and Krishna lila was more fun than actually engaging directly in sambhoga with Krishna or Mahaprabhu.

Most people would guess that the two of us would hold positions on this issue that are more or less parallel to our positions on this-worldly sexuality, but in fact we do not. I said that I did indeed think manjari bhava was more rasika, and I have tried to explain this rather subtle point before on this blog.

My feeling and experience tells me that one increases one's own rasa by distancing oneself ever so slightly from one's own experience, in simultaneous identity and non-identity. This is the essence of rasa theory and is also the basis of manjari bhava. Wanting to enjoy directly has the unfortunate consequence of almost inevitably being disappointing, even if ever so slightly. Manjari bhava concentrates on the rasa in its supreme manifestation in the very heart of the Infinite Divinity's kunja-lila. Rupa Goswami's theory is sound and it has nothing to do with renunciation or making a show of renunciation or any psychological deformity.

Strange as it seems, this is almost diametrically opposed to most "be there now" theories of self-realization, such as the Zen idea of satori, etc., in which the goal is to become totally one with the present, in this world. In rasa-samadhi, one is in a world of parallel being, where one's experience is enhanced by parallel identification and observation. It is being there now and simultaneously standing apart and watching.

Actually, in a way, there is a similarity to the yogis' asamprajnata samadhi. The absorption in this-worldly sadhana being the springboard for the asamprajnata samadhi of "being totally there now" taking place in the other world, and really only fully possible after death.

jijaji said...

"Radhe Radhe, Jijaji. Yes, that was an entirely different conversation. You just have to read the books, especially his most recent ones, to see where he is at on this issue."

I don't have his books, not sure I want to read them either LOL

I guess I would if I had easy access, but don't feel like putting out cash for them, you have any pdf files..?

you can send to:

jijaji@gmail.com

If you do Jagat,

namaskar,

jeej

premji said...

"Strange as it seems, this is almost diametrically opposed to most "be there now" theories of self-realization, such as the Zen idea of satori, etc., in which the goal is to become totally one with the present, in this world. In rasa-samadhi, one is in a world of parallel being, where one's experience is enhanced by parallel identification and observation. It is being there now and simultaneously standing apart and watching"

I see the path of karma-yoga as described in Gita as being of the same kind as 'satori' or 'Power of the Now' paths. It comes down to being attentive instead of being distracted by our bodies of pain and pleasure taken from the past and projected on the future.

But bhakti-yoga also makes little sense without some kind of satori.
'Honouring prasad' can be translated as 'enjoying it with full attention' and not like eating dahl while telling yourself mantralike 'Krishna is blue, this is the body of Krishna, and he is blue....'.

Here-and-now liberation burns karma because one excersices oneself not to judge or label the present as good or bad, but just to surrender to it as it IS (now). The verses of the Gita confirm this as a mentatlity of the sages over and over again.

Popular languange talks about the NOW and books are pilling up, but in essence it is about being attentive and silent.

For us it means making space and room for some positive attainment... bhakti. But again.. without some kind of satori it will be hard to distinguish real lila from mere imagination. Smurfs are also blue and very real if you believe in them.

Satori-like-liberation is also the awakening of the inner guru or to use vaisnava slang.... the fire of knowledge (awareness) burning karma.

The end goal is premaprayojana and a satori state of being makes it a lot easier getting there......

You agree ?

anadi said...

Dear jijaji

you said
"I don't have his books, not sure I want to read them either LOL

I guess I would if I had easy access, but don't feel like putting out cash for them, you have any pdf files..?"

You may read Gadhadar's
Gauranga-Vishnuprya Trilogy under
http://spirituality.forumup.de/
viewtopic.php?t=257&mforum=spirituality

moni_1624 said...

You guys are positively sick. You do nothing but have illicit sex, and claim that it is in the name of your bloody religion. Having sex in the name of any religion is maybe the worst sin of all...
Do NOT tell us that you're this great Vaishnava; you are nowhere near true vaishnavism. All you've done is DEBASE the concept. You're in the same ranks as those polygamists in the states.
As the old saying goes " One does not need to be a chicken to know the eggs are bad".
I may not be a Vaishnava, but I don't need to be to know what you're doing is DISGUSTING and IMMORAL.
I hope you're proud of what you've done.

Anonymous said...

Nice one Mini,just about sums what these gaura nagaris are about. They seem to forget Srila Prabhupada told us we're supposed to be reducing the 4 animal propensities not increasing them and that Harinama is the only true path.I very much doubt they've even once actually tasted the bliss of the Holy Names.If they had,even for a brief moment,what to speak of for a prolonged period, then they would have understood why Yamunacarya's mouth would twist in disgust and make him want to spit even at the thought of mundane sex life.

Pit Ambara said...

Jagadananda... respects to you
I am enjoying reading some posts... it is entertaining when you know two characters and then read about their coming together... almost like boxing lovers enjoying a boxing match between two big guys.... or knowers of two independent souls coming together in a love tryst.
I agree with you. Call a spade a spade. I have a book called Sahaja Nagari https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=sahaja+nagari

Trying to do what you do and share the inspiration. This book is for everyone.. newcomers to Vaishnava misfits.. anyone...
Call a spade a spade. Actually that is why niggas call each other niggas and queers queers. They take the name back... stand proud beside it. The word nigga is heard millions of times as a term of endearment. I am surprised anyone is offended anymore. These words you hear in bhakti community. Babaji... after meeting Babajis you are surprised how wonderful they are. Nagari. Wow... I am a nagari too. Next word please... OK.. sahaja.. let me run there. Ha ha.
One time a young devotee.. a scholarly type.. said that Prabhupada sais that sahajas would become huge in the future... *as if to say that was a negative thing. For me it was a hidden message into the future. Yes, it will become big. The boy said 'I will vow to stop it'. Me... I had already vowed to enable it. And really, I see this as utmost service to Prabhupada. Despite the crying sounds of infants who do not think for themselves and repeat, repeat religious notions, it is becoming clear that it is the time of bhakti tantra, the time of the Baul. I was going by the name Baul too after realizing that I was like them. They were surprised to see me in Jayadeva Goswami's village celebration. I was surprised to hear we had almost same philosophy. Then I met some Bauls in Slovenia. OH God please, fakery where truth should reside I cannot stand.
Which leads me to Gadadhara Pran. Haha. Well, opinions are free, and like you I think we should be mature enough to have our own and still relate, humbly, lovingly. I cannot find any one person who has the same religious idea as me although there are a number of people close, maybe you are one of those actually. Ultimately we are all unique and that is a good place to start our respect.
It is easy to worship statues. Easy to praise the departed, serve the parampara who are not around to slap your ego. That is why we have gurus, sadhus, to stand next to, evaluate ourselves and let ourselves be killed by love. My gurus did it to me. I died for them. Then looked around thinking people would see my greatness and all i saw were fools thinking I was a fool. OH well. It takes one to know one.
p