Showing posts from March, 2011

Madhusudan Saraswati and Bhakti

I am occasionally asked to speak on bhakti here at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama. Interestingly, Swami Veda has been giving daily classes on the Gita's sthita-prajña-lakṣaṇam (i.e. 2.54-72), using Shankara and Madhusudan Saraswati's commentaries. One open secret here in this tradition is that Swami Rama himself was (or claimed to be) a reincarnation of this Madhusudan.

Madhusudan Saraswati was an interesting personality whose scholarship was so multifaceted that there were few areas of traditional knowledge that he had not mastered. According to the information at hand, his forefathers escaped north India in the 12th century after the Muslim conquest and began by settling in Nabadwip. Later they moved to Faridpur in present-day Bangladesh. Madhusudan became renounced early in life and went to Benares to study Mimamsa.

Some traditions have it that he first went to Nabadwip to study Navya-nyaya and there imbibed bhakti in the Chaitanyaite tradition. He was born after Chaitanya Mahap…