Showing posts from July, 2015

Swami Veda follows Grandfather Bhishma

I just received a call from Adhikari in Rishikesh that yoga master 108 Sri Mahamandaleshwar Swami Veda Bharati Maharaj has left his body. I hereby offer my condolences to all his disciples and followers, many of whom have become good friends over the years.

Swamiji was a good friend and guide to me. I first became associated with him in 2007 when I joined the SRSG Gurukula as a teacher of Sanskrit. It is unfortunate that I never knew him earlier in life. Those who did knew him as a tireless teacher of meditation and Indian yogic culture. He was, in fact, an extraordinarily learned person, not only in traditional branches of knowledge, but in Western scholarship as well. He was a magnet for scholars of Sanskrit and Hindu shastra, especially those who came from the West, and I got to meet many of them at SRSG -- David Frawley, Bettina Boehner, Chris Chapple, Mark Singleton, to just mention a few off the top of my head.

When he was still in fairly good form, Swamiji would have very li…

The culture of bhava

I started publicly professing to be a Sahajiya when I saw various individuals promoting an agenda that I was not in tune with. I do not believe that sexuality is meant to be "free," or to be indulged in wantonly.

The Prema we talk about is pure. That is the axiomatic basis. Just because sexuality is involved does not mean that it is necessarily kāma, any more than any other activity transformed by relation ("dovetailing") to Krishna is kāma. It is part of the process of converting the innate desire that is expressed towards matter (kāma) into prema, i.e., that same desire directed towards God. There is only one energy in the soul, that is desire for union. Everything else is subordinate to that, and everything else is a servant of that. sarve vidhi-niṣedhāḥ syur etayor eva kiṅkarāḥ.

I fully expect Sahajiyaism and the other paths related to Gaudiya Vaishnavism -- good, bad and ugly -- to manifest in the course of time, just as happened in Bengal. There is too much …

The Sandarbhas summarized in four verses

I was reflecting again on the idea of abbreviated works, like the four-verse Gita or Bhagavatam. We have also found a four-verse Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu and a five-verse essential Gīta-govinda. Now here we present the essential four verses of the Sandarbhas.

As we would expect, since the Sandarbhas deal with the subjects of sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana, Jiva Goswami summarizes each of the divisions of the Sandarbhas with a verse at the conclusion of each. So the Kṛṣṇa-sandarbha, which concludes the section on sambandha has one verse that tells us what Jiva's final word in sambandha-tattva. Similarly, Bhakti-sandarbha concludes with a verse that similarly summarizes the abhidheya and Prīti-sandarbha the prayojana. The first verse, however, comes at the very beginning of Tattva-sandarbha and though it mentions prema, and bhakti, its main emphasis is again on sambandha-tattva. So the summary looks like this:
Tattva-sandarbha (sambandha-tattva, general, preliminary)Kṛṣṇa-sandarbh…

Uploaded two videos to YouTube.

Singing the gopis verses from the first chapter of Rasa Lila, 10.29:

An introduction to Prema: The underlying ground of being from which all things arise, in which they subsist and in which they find their ultimate fulfilment: