Showing posts from May, 2019

Last day in Vrindavan: Bhagavata speakers

I started writing this while sitting in the Moscow airport. Now in Montreal, Canada.

I just want to talk about my last day in Vrindavan. I already confessed to a wide and long detour into English language entertainments. Now that I knew I was finally leaving, I regretted all that I am missing even though present in the Dham. Even after a serious attempt in my three days in Barsana, I still hadn't finished my introduction to the Jivani, though I did make progress. I had hoped to finish it before departure, but I could not manage, though it seems tantalizingly close.

One thing that has always been difficult for me with Guru-tattva is this disagreeing with the Guru or finding flaws in the Guru. Naturally, any intelligent observer is bound by nature to apply his powers of rationality to assess the validity of information received from an authoritative source or of one's own sensory perceptions. Information from authoritative sources still has to be confirmed by experience or it re…

Introduction to Gopala Tapani Upanishad

[This was lying around and should have been on-line somewhere. Footnote references were stripped and will have to be added. Also the numbering of references appears to not match with the numbers of the critical edition, which was completed after the writing of the introduction. Babaji has agreed to publish this full translation from Jiva Institute in the near future. Then we will revise this intro a bit.]

Traditionally, there are said to be 108 upaniṣads. This is the number found in the Muktikopaniṣad, but there are numerous other lists and compilations of Upaniṣads, all of which have different contents. In his massive verse index, Upaniṣad-vākya-mahā-kośa, Sadhale has drawn on 223 different extant texts that call themselves by this name. The most important of these works, which have been commented on by Śaṅkara and other Vedāntists and are considered to be the basis of the Vedānta-sūtra of Bādarāyaṇa, are the eleven earliest texts that are connected to Vedic śākhās and carry their n…

Three days in Barsana

Well I am back, folks. Radhe Radhe. Barsana is really my best place right now. I feel so natural there. I love the narrow lanes and streets. I love the sandstone stairways that go up to the temple. The upward climb is invigorating and I try to do it without stopping or slowing my gait. As I write I can feel the effects in my upper calves.

I also love going on the Parikrama around the hill with Vinode Baba and his entourage.

Brahmachala is amazing. The view from Ladili Lal's wide deck is like a glow of orange brown effulgence in the orange setting sun sky. When you walk along the ridge from Maan Mandir towards the Jaipur temple, with all these shriveled trees and the skinny monkeys it seems to shimmer with a divine luster.

The monkeys run like mad when Vinode Baba comes disttributing his goodies -- sweets and chapatis. I don't think there is that much food on the mountain. The monkeys in Barsana are much smaller than their cousins in Vrindavan. Amazingly, however, they don…

Accidentally deleted comments.

Sorry folks, I deleted half a dozen comments by mistake. Please resend if it so pleases you.

More of my unexpected tour of British identity

Following on from my previous confessions about my YouTube binge watching, I jotted down a few notes that will not be of great interest to those who would prefer to find some glimpses into the spiritual world of Vrindavan and Radha-Krishna. As intimated in the previous post, issues of identity are at the crux of this disquieting distraction.

It really has been a long year. I haven't been writing a at all on my blog in months. I don't know if Radharani has some perverse intent in having me bury myself in YouTube for the past several months. Perhaps the most evident result is that I get to see how deep my samskaras are. After all, I spent the first seven years of my life in Old Blighty and returned there for a significant boost of Britishness in my late 30's. I never assimilated or really wanted to, but evidently, that aspect of my identity was fortified in the halls of SOAS. The thing that made me "not-British" really was my indifference to the pub culture.

It wa…

An unexpected six month tour in the British Empire and other moments in history

[For the record. This is a stub that never saw completion, which will explain its incoherent character. As people following this blog will have observed, there has been a rather long silence over the past few months. There are numerous reasons for it, and some are explained herein. On the whole, I have come to the conclusion that this was all a kind of preparation for my visit to Canada from May 29 to Sept. 9. More about that later.]

Recently I saw an article on a left-leaning blog criticizing the "apologists" for Western culture and civilization, in particular Steven Pinker and his "Enlightenment Now." Jordan Peterson, to whom I have also written about favorably once or twice is also a part of this group that is now being called the "New Optimists." Even in the face of the current crises that threaten the human world, I consider myself an optimist, an "old optimist" of the spiritual sort.

I have been watching a lot of YouTube lately, engaged in…