Showing posts from May, 2009

Back in Canada

I have been here for five days now. The weather has been dull and uninviting. Clouds, cold, rainy, windy.

I met with Satya Narayan Dasji in Faridabad on Saturday before leaving. We went over the last batch of text I sent him. Now there is only one more batch to do before finishing, although I will have to enter more corrections in the first few batches also.

I wanted to go to Gurgaon and meet with Baijnath Aryan and see his museum, but a big storm with hail and high winds struck and made driving almost impossible. Worried that this would cause difficulties getting to the airport I cancelled. But, finally, Gurgaon to the airport is a very short drive with the new highway. 15 minutes max. We could have done it, because the rain only lasted 30-40 minutes.

The flight was tight on Lufthansa. Air Canada from Frankfort was more comfortable. Watched movies in the plane. The Reader was pretty good. Pretty much everything else I saw was indifferent to pure drivel. I always learn something abou…


In my continuing research of the dana-keli I am going through Raghunath Das's Dana-keli-chintamani. I don’t have Haridas Das’s edition, so I have used Advaita Dasji’s translation. He as included the Sanskrit verses and occasionally elements from Haridas Dasji’s commentary. He has done a good job and I thank him for his work. The translations below are based on his, whether they are improved upon or not, I don't know.

The purpose of this exercise is just to see what fundamental similarities and differences can be drawn between the Chandi Das version and that of Rupa and Raghunath. I am assuming that much of what will be said about DKC will also apply to Dana-keli-kaumudi, but I am leaving that for last. Actually, I did an annotated translation of DKK some time ago, but I want to go through Surendranath Shastri’s commentary and also type it out for the Grantha Mandir for the benefit of future generations.

Actually the Bharati Research Institute (Indore) edition (1976), which was e…

Language and Spiritual Realization

I am currently working on an editing project for Isabelle Quentin here in Montreal, revising a translation of a work on "listening reeducation," Mieux écouter pour mieux se réaliser by Lise Christophe Laverdière.

One of the interesting things about being a translator is that you are often challenged by texts that are in domains with which you have little familiarity or expertise, and often deal with fields that one would have little cause to learn about if the job did not make it obligatory. This can be quite demanding and difficult, as one has to learn the terminology of a particular specialized field from scratch, even when the book is, as in this case, intended to be a popularization meant for a more general audience. People tend to develop idiosyncratic vocabulary based on their own specialization. Just look at me! I am always being told I am incomprehensible to the "layman."

Anyway, even at the risk of making an idiot of myself, I will post this.

This book has…

Madhurya Kadambini

Rasaraj Dasji has just reminded us all that hundreds of copies of the Mādhurya-kādambinī we all worked so hard on several years ago are just gathering dust in various people's basements.

It is really wonderful, when you think of it. In the Gaudiya Discussions days, an almost magical kind of synergy developed, and this publication was probably its most concrete and permanent fruit.

Advaita Dasji did the original translation, and that was then gone over with a fine tooth comb by yours truly. Many wonderful posts and discussions on the Gaudiya Discussions resulted from that work and my reflections on it. Advaita Dasji later renounced all credit for any work that he had done because he did not wish to be associated with anything that had my name on it (sigh!) but later he generously admitted that I had done a good job. Anandaji did a great job on the layout, Rasaraj and Braja provided funds... I think that everyone who participated in this work could and should feel proud of what the…

Program for my last days in Rishikesh

Dear friends,

First of all, please forgive the inactivity on this blog for the past little while. There are plenty of good unfinished articles that will be completed in the future, but for the time being I have decided to call a moratorium over the next 10 days or so as I prepare for my return to Canada.

Tomorrow I will deal with any unfinished business on the computer, but in the days that follow, I will check my email only once a day and otherwise not touch the computer, and certainly not go on the internet. I will be doing a week's complete silence, in particular on the next ekadasi.

Silence is a fairly important element of the yoga practice in this ashram. I have a bit of a reputation around here as a noisy person who is always singing and talking loudly. That is perhaps an exaggeration, but it is simply the contrast with the dominant ethos here.

Swami Veda has a concept called "five pillars of sadhana": stillness, silence, fasting, celibacy and conquest of sleep. Today …

The Dream by John Donne

What I really like about Sahajiyaism, I guess, is its romanticism.

Image of her whom I love, more than she,
whose fair impression in my faithful heart,
Makes me her medal, and makes her love me,
As kings do coins, to which their stamps impart
The value: go, and take my heart from hence,
Which now is grown too great and good for me:
Honours oppress weak spirits, and our sense
Strong objects dull; the more, the less we see.
When you are gone, and reason gone with you,
Then fantasy is queen and soul, and all;
She can present joys meaner than you do,
Convenient, and more proportional.
So, if I dream I have you, I have you,
For, all our joys are but fantastical.
And so I ’scape the pain, for pain is true;
And sleep which locks up sense, doth lock out all.
After a such fruition I shall wake,
And, but the waking, nothing shall repent;
And shall to love more thankful sonnets make,
Than if more honour, tears, and pains were spent.
But dearest heart, and dearer image, stay;
Alas, true joys at best are dream enough;