Showing posts from October, 2016

Chanting Sanskrit mantras recording on Sound Cloud

I came across my original recording of "Chanting Sanskrit mantras." So I posted them to my Soundcloud page ( Chanting Sanskrit verses (recording).

The written document can be found on this blog: Chanting Sanskrit verses (text).

It is old now and it could no doubt have been done better, more professionally. But this is what is out there. This recording was made in about 2000 if I remember correctly, in Ste-Adele at Mahavirya Das's studio.

Gadadhar Pran Das :: Sri Gaurasundar’s Main Activity (II)

Part Two: Sri Advaita Prabhu’s Madhura Upāsanā

Part I.

Vaishnavas wishing to learn about Gauranga’s original worship in Nabadwip are likely to be astonished at everything that Advaita Acharya’s Śrī Śrī Gaurāṅga-pratyaṅga-varṇanākhya-stava-rāja reveals about it. It is still quite surprising, however, that when Mahaprabhu’s preaching headquarters shifted from Nabadwip to Nilachala and then to Vrindavan after His departure, Advaita’s original mood of Gauranga worship was gradually forgotten. Another perspective on Gaura līlā, which came from Vrindavan, began to dominate. It was during this period that Krishnadāsa Kavirāja wrote Caitanya-caritāmrta on the basis of the siksha he received from Sanatan, Rupa, Raghunath Das, and his diksha guru, Raghunath Bhatta Goswami – all of whom had witnessed Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s astonishing Radha bhāva līlās at Nilachala.

We should also mention that it was a full 100 years after Nabadwip’s most spectacular events secretly unfolded that the Caitanya-c…

Gadadhar Pran Das :: Sri Gaurasundar’s Main Activity (I)

I spent a week in September with my godbrother Gadadhar Pran Das at Gadai Gauranga Kunj, doing a small vrata with him and observing his bhajan pranali, I am sharing this article written by him. It has two parts.

At the present time, Gadadhar Pran spends the entire day in the service of Gadadhar and Gauranga, and is working on restoring a painting of his Nadia Yugal. For three days up to Purnima, however, we spent almost the entire day in japa and meditation, chanting three lakhs together in the beautiful environment of the Kunj, overlooking the Ganges, bathing three times in the holy river, doing kirtan and honoring Gadai Gauranga’s delicious prasadam prepared by Rai Kishori Devi.

The centerpiece of Gadadhar’s nitya bhajan paddhati these days is the recital of Śrī Śrī Gaurāṅga-pratyaṅga-varṇanākhya-stava-rāja, attributed to Advaita Acharya Prabhu and found in a book from the Srikhanda tradition called Bhakti-candrikā. Gadadhar Pran has gone to a lot of trouble researching this work …

First week of Bhakti Tirtha courses completed Classes at Jiva Institute

I have not talked much about current events in my life on this blog of late.

Mahamuni Dasji and Advaitadasji have been giving excellent introductory lectures to Nyaya-sutras and Yoga-sutras respectively. And of course Babaji gave his introduction to Sanskrit. We have a good group of students. Unfortunately Advaita and Mahamuni will only be here teaching for three weeks.

Any English speaker in the area who is tempted by a crash course in these two subjects is well advised to attend. Jai Radhe.

So we have completed one week of classes at Jiva and are part way through the second week. I am pretty happy with my own classes. We completed the four essential verses of the Sandarbhas, which gave me the opportunity to give an overview of Jiva Goswami's philosophy seen from the end-point rather than working through from the beginning.

For me, giving daily classes is challenging. And with people of great learning and enthusiasm in the audience increases the challenge. But it also seems to …

"তুমি আমার প্রাণের বন্ধু !"

আজকে রাধাকুণ্ডে গিয়েছিলাম। রাধাকুণ্ড মহান্ত শ্রী শ্রী অনন্তদাস পণ্ডিত বাবাজী মহারাজের কাছে গিয়েছিলাম দর্শনের জন্য । উনি আমার সঙ্গে কিছু ক্ষণ কথা বললেন । পুরানো স্মৃতির আবৃত্তি হলো কিছু । বাবাজী অসুস্থ হলেও, ৯২ বৎসর বয়সেও এ বৎসরে নিত্য নিয়মিত পাঠ করবেন নিয়ম সেবার সময়. আমাকে রাধাকুণ্ডে থাকতে বলেছেন. আমি যে গোপালচম্পূ পাঠ করব বললাম. উনি খুশী হলেন. বার বার বলছিলেন, "এসো, থাকো রাধাকুণ্ডে." আমি বললাম গোপালচম্পূ পাঠের কথা. বাবাজী মহাশয, "ভালো ভালো" বললেন. আমি বলেছিলাম, "এত দিন পরে আপনার দর্শনে এলাম্. আপনার সঙ্গ লাভ করতে হলে আমার পুনর্জন্মের অপেক্ষা." শেষে আমার মাথায় হাথ বুলিয়ে আমাকে বললেন, "তুমি আমার প্রাণের বন্ধু !" কি সুন্দর কথা, আমি চোখের জল সংবরণ করতে পারলাম না । ভেসেই গেলাম । রাধাকুণ্ডের পরিক্রমা করার সময, তিনকুডির প্রভুর আশ্রমের সামনে দিয়ে আমার সেই পুরানো স্মৃতি এলো -- সে নিয়ম সেবা যখন সেখানে তাঁর কাছে থাকলাম এক মাস । ঐ ছোট সরু শিরির দিয়ে আমি নেমে ঠাণ্ডা জলে, শীতের হাওয়ায় শ্রীকুণ্ডে স্নান করতাম ভোর বেলায়।

এই বার যখন নবদ্বীপে গিয়েছিলাম,গদাধরপ্রাণ…

Visual Media and Radha and Krishna

It also has something to do with brevity. In our day, wisdom has to be Twitter length.

Madanmohan Dasji wrote: Well, as for that, I noticed that when I post some verse or other, people only 'like' it if it is posted with an illustration; then I wonder if it was the picture or the writing that was 'liked". Maybe since the introduction of film and TV and ubiquitous screens in every home, we have lost, to some degree, the capacity to visualize in the mind, which is necessary in reading and hearing, and its real pleasure.

Mathura Dasji wrote: The visual arts or written/spoken word coupled with sound or music is the most powerful of art forms, and that is why TV, cinema, drama and theatre are so popular. More senses are involved and hence for the majority of people (the masses) these art forms thrive.

That also holds for spiritual music such as kirtan, bhajans and other forms of classical Indian music, and is why it is so important to understand aesthetics and the power …

My trip to Bengal and the delimitations of the lila

Is bhakti a transcendent religion, or is it anchored in time and place? In other words, is it delimited by historical and cultural factors, which by definition would make it material?

Recently I said that the purpose of Gaudiya Vaishnava sadhana appears to be "entering" the eternal pastimes of Radha and Krishna, and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. And that this required our identifying with the historical, linguistic and cultural circumstances into which their lilas transpired. One of my friends objected that this jeopardized Gaudiya Vaishnavism’s claims to universality and demonstrated a cultural chauvinism -- i.e., ahankara -- that diminished the transcendent glory of this religion. Indeed, for those in the West who on the whole find many defects in the Indian culture, past, present or future, it seems a travesty to be chained to a culture that, in the end, they do not admire all that much.

I apologized to my friend that I had been unable to resolve the conundrum. And he kindly…