Shyama Priya and Guru Tattva

Facebook reminded me that last year was the 50th anniversary of my joining the temple in Toronto. A year on down the road and headed back to Canada. It seems another momentous change is occurring in my life.  I told the story of " Oct. 1, 1970 " on this blog. In myth, travel is always associated with some dramatic change. In 1970, I traveled hitch hiked with another seeker, who for some reason struck me as something of a fool, and intentionally headed, on his whim, to the Toronto temple on Beverley Street. Just the other day, I visited a friend of mine, Shyama Priya, originally from Holland, who is the same age as me, also white haired, pony-tailed and bearded. He has a little jewel of an ashram out on the Ramtaal road. It is right near the protected "forest" land that stretches from Chattikara Road all the way to his neighborhood. It is a cul-de-sac and thus very quiet. The road is barely tended to and it has that old Braj feel. When I arrived in the late afternoon

Go Fund Me page started

 Raman Iyer has started a GoFundMe page to collect funds for my travel to Canada. I thank him for his support and approve of it. ( ) Thanks to all those who are so generously helping me with this painful but necessary pilgrimage. 

About my Sanskrit Courses at Jiva this year

जीव तीर्थ संस्कृतम् I don't want to leave Vrindavan or my cave in the Jiva Institute, but I have been obliged to change my plans somewhat and resume a responsibility towards my family because of these very painful circumstances. These are the crazy years of Covid. I will continue giving classes in Sanskrit and even if I cannot be back in Vrindavan by Karttik (because of visa and flight restrictions) I will continue to give them on Zoom, as currently. It is best when we have live students present physically on the premises, but in the current circumstances, easy movement between countries has been disrupted, and India is considered to be a particularly tough place for Covid, even though in terms of cases per population [342 per million, compared to USA nearly 2000 or Brazil 2700.], it is quite far down the list. But there are still a huge number of cases. So the new normal appears to be Zoom. Let me state unequivocally, however, that I am committed to my students and I am looking f

Love, Loss and the Self

My dear friends. Radhe Radhe! Anne and I both appreciate the positive vibrations and sentiments coming from you all [in response to posts on Facebook about Pavel]. In circumstances like this, it takes solidarity from the living to give one the will to continue. ⁠ That is the practical social reality for the living. But Krishna says one should lament neither for the living nor the dead. Of course Pavel is still alive, in this form or another, because once having existence, the soul never loses it. He is simply visible to us physically or not. ⁠ In actual fact, I have long thought about love in this world and the next. The Upanishads and the Bhagavatam tell us that we love others because of ourselves. We are self-centered and so others' value is measured in how much pleasure they give us. And we call that pleasure love. ⁠ But what we don't know is that it is actually the presence of the Self in every individual that attracts us, is revealed to us, and that is the true thing that

My son disappears while mountain biking

The entire Brzezinski and Campeano families have been shocked and devastated by the news that my son Pavel (30 years old) disappeared in a popular wilderness and mountain biking area near Quebec City, Vallée du Bras-nord . He went up last Sunday, the 15th, and went missing on the same day. We have no idea what happened to him.  He was a beautiful child, smart, talented, full of potential. He had growing pains, but was just coming through them all -- he finally got his computer science degree, got a good paying job he liked doing, had friends and a girlfriend. Life was looking up for him like never before. He had seemingly come through a dark zone and was opening up to a life of achievement. It is terrible not to know what happened to him. It is terrible to see it all come to such a sudden and meaningless end. He was blessed in so many ways. From childhood he had been hearing the Holy Name. He had taken prasada and loved it. He was a lifelong vegetarian, and a great advertisement for

Rūpa Gosvāmī’s Dūta-kāvyas: (4) Separation in Rūpa Gosvāmī's writings

As we have seen, the dūta-kāvya genre is everywhere concerned with the theme of love in separation. Love in separation has a long tradition not only in secular Sanskrit poetry, but also in the Vaiṣṇava religious literature. [1] For the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, of course, Caitanya Mahāprabhu as described by Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja is a living symbol of the intensity of divine love in separation.   For the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava practitioner, separation or viraha is the devotional mood by which one attains Kṛṣṇa. Such worship of Kṛṣṇa in separation is said to be the contribution of Mādhavendra Purī, the guru of Caitanya Mahāprabhu's guru . Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura writes, “the seed of all the religious doctrines of Caitanya Mahāprabhu can be found in the following verse attributed to Mādhavendra Purī, spoken in the mood of a gopī separated from Kṛṣṇa].” [2] ayi dīnadayārdra nātha he, mathurānātha kadāvalokyase / hṛdayaṁ tvad-aloka-kātaraṁ dayita bhrāmyati kiṁ karomy aham //   O lord w