Showing posts from July, 2011

Chanting Sanskrit Verses

Chanting Sanskrit Metres in Gaudiya Vaishnavism

After a long hiatus, and having to make a completely new recording at the Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama recording studio, there is finally a copy of Chanting Sanskrit Metres in Gaudiya Vaishnavism to be had on line, freely downloadable at Dropbox.

The text which accompanies the recording is being given here for convenience's sake. There may be some differences between this document and the recording, but for the most part it will be the same. Jai Radhe, Jagat.



ajñāna-timirāndhasya jñānāñjanā-śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena tasmai śrī-gurave namaH

nāma-śreṣṭhaṁ manum api śacī-putram atra svarūpaṁ
rūpaṁ tasyāgrajam uru-purim māthurīṁ goṣṭha-vāṭīm
rādhā-kuṇḍaṁ giri-varam aho rādhikā-mādhavāśāṁ
prāpto yasya prathita-kṛpayā śrī-guruṁ taṁ nato’smi

I bow my head again and again to the holy preceptor, through whose most celebrated mercy I have received the best of all names, the initiation mantra, Sri Sachin…

Chitra Sakhi's Dream

Radha is being bathed in the morning. All the sakhis and manjaris are around her, doing their different sevas. Someone is oiling her hair. Others are massaging different creams into her skin, some are putting perfumes in the water or preparing the clothes and ornaments that she will wear afterward.

Lalita comes to where Radha is sitting on a velvet covered bench and tells her that Chitra has had a very strange dream. "Wait till you hear it, it will really make you laugh!" And she starts to recount it to Radharani.

In the dream Chitra has suddenly found herself in a beautiful garden somewhere by the Yamuna, but she does not know where or how she got there. She is completely alone and is looking for Shyamasundar. But who can she ask? There is no one there.

She starts to go a little mad and starts asking the elements to help her find him. One by one, she asks the air, the ether, water, earth and fire to help, since they are all-pervading and will know where Krishna is. She asks…

Chandravali, the compliant

In the viṣkambhaka (or introductory interlude) of Dāna-keli-kaumudī, Vrinda Devi speaks a couple of verses in glorification of Radha. She starts out with an expression of humility,

anālocya vrīḍāṁ yam iha bahu mene bahu-tṛṇaṁ
tyajann īrṣāpannāṁ madhuripur abhīṣṭām api ramām |
janaḥ so’yaṁ yasyāḥ śrayati na hi dāsye’py avasaraṁ
samarthas tāṁ rādhāṁ bhavati bhuvi kaḥ ślāghitum api ||

Even though to give me honor,
the enemy of Madhu shamelessly
abandoned the Lakshmi Devi he cherishes,
like nothing more than so much grass,
despite her jealousy,
I have never had the opportunity to serve Radha.
Who then on this earth can possibly praise her adequately?
(DKK 11)Vrinda Devi appears to be refering to her marriage to Shalagram in the form of Tulasi Devi, with whom she is identified. Here, though, she shows that like Radha's other sakhis, despite their own personal glorious attainments, she has put aside any such claims in order to give recognition to Radha’s vast superiority. What is being sp…

The taste of Radha Krishna katha

I think that once a devotee gets a taste of Radha-Krishna katha, there is no going back. They will never get a taste for "prema" or "bhakti" or "Truth" or "transcendence" without Radha Krishna. All the words will be just so much fluff in the air. I am just trying to understand why and how to transmit that taste.

tad eva ramyaṁ ruciraṁ navaṁ navaṁ
tad eva śaśvan manaso mahotsavam
tad eva śokārṇava-śoṣaṇaṁ nṛṇāṁ
yad uttamaśloka-guṇānuvarṇanam
Those words describing the glories of the all-famous Personality of Godhead are attractive, relishable and ever fresh. Indeed, such words are a perpetual festival for the mind, and they dry up the ocean of misery. (SB 12.12.50) I think that even if you just chant this verse from the Bhagavatam, feel its rhythm, you will get a glimpse. But how many lifetimes of preparation will it take someone to come to the point of just letting those sounds roll on the tongue and dance in the heart?

Who can give you those li…

Literalism and the Shadow: Religion and the potential for evil

Ultimately all Krishna devotees will have to give up the literal interpretation of myth and turn to a symbolic understanding, or their faith will collapse on its own contradictions.

The reason a Gaudiya Vaishnava cannot be a literalist is because a literalist is always an unconscious dualist. As with all seekers of Truth, we hold that "when one's ultimate concerns are relative truths, that is called idolatry." (Paul Tillich) In other words, it is misplaced and misguided faith.

The literalist may appear to be unitarian who has resolved the problem of duality, but in fact he has a big unacknowledged Jungian "Shadow". Therefore his views are unsynthesized. This is why I say his position will ultimately collapse on its own contradictions.

We are acintya-bhedābheda-vādis. Acintya means paradox or mystery. Acintya-bhedābheda is not about artificially throwing up one's hands and saying, "It is all one anyway!" it is about the experiential and conscious s…

Love and the symbols of love

Radha and Krishna are simultaneously Love and the symbol of love.

Some people seem to think that I am saying that Radha and Krishna are some kind of "role model" for human lovers. That is not what I think. The question is complex and one has to have a real close understanding of the psychology of myth, symbol and archetype and their relation to spiritual experience.

We start from the premise, based on our faith, experience, and reason, of the reality of God. God is represented psychologically in many ways as an archetypal reality. People think that you can reduce psychological realities, like myths and stories, to the realm of falsehood or fiction, but in fact they are  functioning realities and remain so even when repressed. For Jung, archetypes are equivalent to the instincts.

The archetype of God, according to Jung, is simply the "Self", a realization that no doubt came to him from Indian thought. But Jung also recognized the Syzygy, or Divine Couple, as an arc…