Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pro forma

Picking up a bit of rhythm with the Bhagavat-sandarbha, but I think I will kick off early tonight. I am pretty wiped out after going into town on some errands.

I picked up a copy of Gita Rahasya in Hindi, probably not the original translation [*turns out it is, I thought the 1973 was A.D., but it was Samvat, so = 1917], but it looks like a good edition. I ordered a copy of the English version, which I know Munshiram Manoharlal has reprinted recently. Walking through the Main Bazaar after dusk was nice. It reminded me of Nabadwip in the old days. I bought some muri. It made me think of Madhusudan and how we would have muri with milk every night before going to bed. Good old days...

My main shrota for RRSN class is really quite enthusiastic. He is regular and comments enthusiastically. Unpretentious. He wears Ramanuja tilak, so he is a Vaishnava in this Mayavada desert. Today we did only verse 8, the one where Prabodhananda prays to become Radha’s broom. Harilal Vyasa gives the alternate, “sweeper,” which I actually prefer. OK, so we are to become nimitta-matram but I think that active service is in some cases more desirable than passive, especially to this degree. The other part of the verse stresses Krishna’s praying to the manjaris for intercession with Radha, so I don’t think that reading really works very well.

I ended up telling the story of Prataparudra twice. The verse niṣkiñcanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya came back to me completely, and I know it has been years since I recited it. Maybe my brain is actually getting purer—or maybe my sannyāsī saṁskāra is still deeper than I thought. It is such a great piece of Sanskrit, though. That hā hanta hanta viṣa-bhakṣaṇato’py asādhu! line is great, even though I have my 'druthers where the philosophical implications are found. Often poetry and rhetoric have great power to influence in subtle ways... just think Moha-mudgara.

I ended up reciting it at a couple of completely innocent strangers who stopped quite politely to listen. I did not translate it though, as it is completely NOT me!! I was thinking about Prabodhananda’s kapaṭa-sannyāsī line. Actually, it is true: Protect the nectar of madhura-rasa with a fence of nivṛtti-mārga thorns.

But I always like to tell the Prataparudra story because I get to recite tava kathāmṛtam. I did it again at dinner with Gangesh. I had taken out my Gita-rahasya and was just leafing through it while drinking milk and he comes in and tells me not to read so much. So I told him about Ramachandra Puri and from there we went through the abovementioned two verses, somehow or other. Mrs. Nijhawan said to me, bhūrida, bhūrida! A great compliment, indeed.

Nice spring weather. In the day I walked to my office after Sanskrit class through beautiful flower gardens--ahh the puṇya. RRSN class by the Ganga. Rhythm is nice--ahh the puṇya.


visnudas said...

"tava kathamrita... such a great verse!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Nice that you have some like-minded and affectionate folks around you who appreciate your efforts.

Radhe! Radhe!