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Everything posted by JRdd

  1. Thank you both for such genuine well wishes and prayers, which are so valuable to me, no matter what Krsna decides for me. Love is the essence and love is the cure, whether the physical body is included in that cure or not. I am so sorry to hear of your daughter, Braveheart, and am sayig a prayer on her behalf, that her recovery is swift and complete. Asd for neglecting friends, I also feel regret over the same. It just seems so hard to keep up with it all, more natural to have relationships with those physically around you. But I am trying to make my few and far between emails count for more now when I write someone. I remember in the temples how we were taught to feel the importance of not wasting a single moment, and I long to get that realization back. I remember one time there was a big to-do over a couple about to get married, and I knew nothing about it, and devotees affectionately said something like "She always is absorbed in Krsna pasttimes and doesn't talk any prajalpa". I remember feeling surprised at this assessment as it seemed so natural to be that way, I assumed everyone was the same. I wish for that focus to return. Even with death beckoning with its teasing finger I am complacent. your servant, Jayaradhe
  2. Thanks! I got an equal kick out of both of them. I will revisit for additional laughs. Too cute! I tend to go for fresh and simple, and simply admire the healthy constitutions of anyone who can eat all these things in these recipes. JR
  3. I got a real kick out of reading Pratyatosa's recipe. Oh so sweet! No thank you! And roasted salty nuts! No thank you! Kind of reminds me of Gauracandra's quest for what turned out to be a very sickening gooey special saffron pudding thing. One man I know uses ketchup as like a chutney and all purpose kind of spread for innumerable things, like uncooked tofu. Oh my God. I would love to see a thread of men's recipes, I mean from men who cook for themselves. Seriously. anyone? JR
  4. Thanks for asking, gHari prabhu! I am touched! Well, it was kind of like the doc gave me a death sentence, standing at the foot of the bed. Five-sixths of my liver is gone, and he wanted me to know how serious it is. The day before that, the guys in ER handed me some info on living wills, before transferring me to a bed, and it didn't click in at that time. But since that day, life has been stronger, more vivid, than before, not knowing if I have a few months left on this plane, or what. (It's been a longwait to see the specialist, who comes up these here parts only every two months, and I am not up to traveling.) Prioritizing has become a priority. Appreciation comes easier. Each day feels like a gift. Heck, any time I even get the energy to cook, or plant daisies, or wash dishes, or do something personal for Krsna, feels like a wonderful thing to me. Krsna seems very close in some ways, and there is a feeling of excitement. But also I know that I don't want to leave my body just yet, having a teenage daughter, and also feeling a deepening of my KC over the past year or so, to where I think I may be of some use if I stick around a bit longer. But it's like, it's all up to Krsna, and that is such a wonderful feeling, as He is always wishing well of us all. Besides bombarding myself with Prabhupada bhajans, and the japa tapes, and the few lectures I have, on another level there is stuff I want to finish. Having low energy, I am not painting, but I unearthed a novel I started writing, and have been busy on that. I do not mind the idea of dying. What I do mind is having to live lengths of time like how I lived this past winter, in months of extreme immobility and pain (and subsequent severe depression) due to the liver failure. But that is much lessened now, and unlike Queen Kunti, I kind of find it easier to be KC when I am feeling better. When I first started eating again, I told my Kanea "See? You get nice things to eat when I feel better", hoping He is bribe-able. But now, I am feeling hope for surviving longer, as there is a new form of treatment which actually cures, and removes the scar tissue, so the liver can regenerate, and this is what I hope they offer me, after I see the specialist in April. My doc thinks they will put me on a year of injections a few times a week, and also have me on a transplant list at the same time. I realise I have the spirit to try to keep living (a feeling I did not have when in the throes of the illness through winter; at that time, if it hadn't been for my daughter, death would have been very welcome). Well, thanks for asking, and if there is anything I can ask of you, or anyone else reading this, that is to pray to Krsna or Radharani that I remember Krsna more and more in my daily life, and at the time of death. And I will pray the same for you, for we are all dying. I need this prayer because I am constantly forgetting Krsna. your servant, Jayaradhe
  5. Dear Ahilya, I often think people who aren't mentally disturbed in this material world must be...well, mentally disturbed. There's no getting around it; it's a disturbing place to be. Unnatural to the soul, who is composed of sac-cid-ananda, the true substance, eternity, knowledge and bliss. So I agree with you, that ultimately, depression comes from forgetfulness of our constitutional position, as loving servants of the Lord. Lacking spirituality, we absorb ourselves in the world of birth, death, disease and old age, as if it is all we have. On the level of an embodied being, depression can appear to have many bases, including chemical imbalance. Short-term depression can arise from events like losing a job or spouse. Srila Prabhupada said we should never try to imitate a pure devotee, like Queen Kunti, who actually prayed for calamities so that she could remember Krsna. It is better to admit our present condition--if we are fortunate enough to have some awareness of it--and work from there. So I see that doing what one has to on a physical level, combined with chanting, hearing, associating with devotees, engaging our wayward minds in understanding the sublime philosophy of Krsna consciousness, and performing devotional service however possible, is a dynamic process for progressing spiritually. We must strive to keep body and soul together while we are here. It is our duty, as the body is a temple of the Lord, and given to us as an opportunity to use in Krsna's service. And just as we try to eat healthy food, and sleep the right amount, why should we not also attend to the more subtle body: the mind? I hope the St John's Wort helps you. The B vitamins, in combination, also help many people. I think of it as the happy vitamin. Ultimately, I am finding that absorption in the reassuring words of the scriptures, and bombarding the senses as much as possible with hearing, and seeing the beautiful forms of the Lord, whether in pictures, Deity form, or in the mind, and generally engaging oneself however possible in somehow immersing oneself in the ocean of nectar so mercifully at our disposal, is a guarantee for happiness. I recently went through a very long bout of severe illness, all through this winter, during which I was immobile, in pain, and unable to eat for several weeks. I had little or no company, and was severely, frighteningly, depressed. One night I pleaded with the all-compassionate Srimate Radharani to help me see some light, and get some relief from this burden of bodily consciousness. The next day I received an email that was so full of nectar, and sent with such loving intent, that I felt an immediate raising of my spirits, and that heavy depression hasn't been back since. I just needed that little kickstart in regaining my taste and inclination and faith to engage myself in Krsna consciousness, and it changed my perspective. For example, I was finding it hard to breathe, what to speak of talk, what to speak of chanting japa for any length of time. But I found that listening to Srila Prabhupada chanting japa, while lying in my bed, absorbed my mind in the Holy Names, heard through the lips of the pure devotee. I remembered that just wishing I could do service for my Deities was a meditation, was actually service itself, and this eradicated the guilt that enhanced my depression. I got some real glimpses of how there are no limits for the soul to engage in Krsna consciousness, somehow or other. Realizations like that began to unfold, and angelic people also began to flow into my life more, as if I had opened my heart to receving the goodness that our dearmost friend Sri Krsna, in our hearts, is always offering us, which could be ours if only we would listen and accept. I think it is important to face the fact of depression, and convey it to someone else, as you have done here. And no one is better for confiding in than a devotee, for we boost each other up with reminders about our position in this material world, and contrasting reminders about the sublime world we really belong in. It helps to have a friend you can confide in without fear of being judged harshly. If that is not available, there are intimate groups in most towns, which one can participate in. Sharing one's feelings can be a first step in the road to recovery, finding, in the course of that sharing, that it is a more common malady than one might expect. When depressed, you can even think the whole world is happy except you. The real truth is that everyone is depressed, to the degree that they are disconnected from Krsna. Ackowledging that, one may let go of the depression more easily, understanding with confidence that there are real things we can do, to solve this problem of inhabitating a material body and mind. As for losing your job. I once heard Srila Prabhupada say that when Krsna is there, Laxmi is there. He elaborated on this by saying that in Krsna consciousness, "all our needs, material and spiritual", are automatically taken care of. And remember also, that verse in the Bhagavad-gita which speaks of the impermanence of happiness and distress, and how they arise from sense perception only. This too, shall pass. I hope some of this might be of help to you. You have my sympathies. Remember you are not alone. Ever. sincerely, Jayaradhe
  6. Yes, that fast means the real maple syrup, of course, because its strong nutrients are part of the deal. It's also a good morning drink. I have fresh lemon and hot water every morning--this has been recommended by my ayuvedic doctor in England, and I have also seen this recommended in many other places ans schools of medicinal thought. Sometimes I add maple syrup for extra benefits, if I'm not eating enough. If someone can not observe fast days due to health issues, this maple lemon drink will keep them going. Well it's funny that I have made pancakes twice since this thread started. We get organic maple syrup cheap here for some reason, the Springhill brand. Yesterday I was reading Yamuna's cookbook (one of these years I will do more than read from it) and noticed that several of her recipes call for maple syrup or maple sugar. Over the course of eight years she had the great fortune of cooking for Srila prabhupada personally. I trust her discretion.
  7. I wish we could find out if it is harn\mful to the tree though, or violent in some way. Although, the trees seem to keep producing, like a cow gives milk. Could Krsna ahve arranged for it to produce enough for itself and then some? I am still wondering about the sap and curse thing. Because we use asafoetida, which is a tree sap, and also we use those resinous incenses, which are tree sap.
  8. Well yes, but I don't see what a big sacrifice it is anyway, especially for a sannyasi. Not like it's a survival thing, that every American just has to have. Most Americans haven't had anything other than the Aunt Jemima kind anyway. But yes, I was concluding myself, that there are so many many things in the Vedas, that we don't even know about, like this, and that the rules aren't as important as the bhakti, or we would have been instructed about this, as we were about onions and mushrooms. Since my health is in a dire state I decided I will continue with this healthy food, which has a good effect on me. And chant more. Besides, the corn syrup fake stuff is passionate and unhealthy. What to speak of tasteless.
  9. I'm crushed. Maple syrup has been my main sweetener for years. Maybe that's what's wrong with me.
  10. Oh I was just referring to the fattiness of food prepared this way (I think they use a lot of oil--or whatever--in oder to saute this mixture correctly). I have recently been informed I am in the stage of liver failure. The complications are awesome. I am hoping they will give me a chance at sticking around a bit longer by offering me a liver transplant, but I don't know how long I would be on a waiting list. So I am preparing for both life and death; that way I can be sure I get one of them right. I don't want to leave my teenage daughter at this stage in her life, but I also know that even that ultimate surrender (for a mother) must be given to the hands of Krsna. But any prayers would be appreciated.
  11. That film was my favorite as a child. I could not see it too many times, when it came on TV. I'm not flaking out on the heart picture, I spent a lot of time yesterday keyword searching for it so I wouldn't have to do another web page in order to show it here. I suppose it would have been easier to just do the web page, but I didn't know the search would be so involving, searching for an image.But I came up with some wonderful sites about different saints.
  12. That film was my favorite as a child. I could not see it too many times, when it came on TV. I'm not flaking out on the heart picture, I spent a lot of time yesterday keyword searching for it so I wouldn't have to do another web page in order to show it here. I suppose it would have been easier to just do the web page, but I didn't know the search would be so involving, searching for an image.But I came up with some wonderful sites about different saints.
  13. Thanks, Kartik. I was really wondering about that. I keep finding out more and more ways you can engage in service even if you are homebound and sick. Like you can give as little as $11 to the Food Relief program in Orissa, and feed more than fifty people prasadam. This is lovingly cooked and excellent, from what I read. Everyone involved is a volunteer so every single penny goes to the purchase of bhoga. You can find the link on the homepage of this site, and use Pay Pal or any number of ways to donate. This is a great way to engage in prasadam distribution if one is unable to participate directly. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
  14. That's Quinoa, pronounced Kin-wa. Supposedly it keeps forever (for those thinking of long term storage), bugs never get into it either. I have a big jar of it but keep putting off tyring to do something with it. If anyone knows about its preparation or some good recipes, I would appreciate it. This is supposed to be really good for you, especially for those who cant have wheat. I did not know it was a nongrain, great. Is millet a grain? Gujeratis like to use Taro root. We used to get it frozen, and deep fry it and it was incredible, or make vegetables out of it. Is that samo you mentioned, Citahari, the same as sago (tapioca)? There is a delicious savory you can make with soaked sago and chopped peanuts, all kind of sauted with spices. If anyone knows a recipe please add it here. I can't remember how to make it. My diet forbids it but I bet others would appreciate it. In some temples we used banana flour to make halavah and puris, and also chestnut flour to make halavah.
  15. This also amazes me, and I would find it hard to believe if I didn't see something similar for myself. The heart of St Theresa (not the little Terese I mentioned elsewhere), who lived a couple hundred years ago or so, still beats and rests in a glass reliquary to be seen. This receptacle is almost as beautiful as the heart itself, no kidding; it really is beautiful. The heart used to get the reliquary so hot it would burst the glass, so they had to design one with a vent to let heat out. The beating can visibly be seen too. I never saw it in person, but I used to have a picture of it on my website. I think I'll put it back on so it can be seen. I think the heart of St Theresa is in France.
  16. This also amazes me, and I would find it hard to believe if I didn't see something similar for myself. The heart of St Theresa (not the little Terese I mentioned elsewhere), who lived a couple hundred years ago or so, still beats and rests in a glass reliquary to be seen. This receptacle is almost as beautiful as the heart itself, no kidding; it really is beautiful. The heart used to get the reliquary so hot it would burst the glass, so they had to design one with a vent to let heat out. The beating can visibly be seen too. I never saw it in person, but I used to have a picture of it on my website. I think I'll put it back on so it can be seen. I think the heart of St Theresa is in France.
  17. Taht was a good description. I knew what cows you were talking about before I saw the picture. It is the same cow from that early picture of Gopal, sitting on the rock, flute in hand, deer-looking cow beside Him. It was a dark toned sort of sepia painting, a classic, that Muralidhar prabhu also painted. [This message has been edited by JRdd (edited 03-07-2002).]
  18. Atma prabhu, how are things with your mother? I really emphathise with your position. I have long known that my family will not let me near my mother with all my hocus-pocus, so I take consolation in the deliverance of ancestors, as Gauraprema pointed out. That, and just saying whatever I can to shed light her way while she is alive. I myself am facing a situation in which it seems my life is hanging in a balance. So I have been thinking about writing living wills, and a friend and I plan to start an egroup discussion about this (as soon as we both feel a bit better! ). I was given some information recently at the hospital about living wills, and I think if is very important for devotees to think about what they want both while dying and at death. This must be made clear in writing, then notarized (there is often an office that offers free notarizations one day a week, phone around) and then you send copies to friends, family, doctors, whoever you want to inform of your wishes. Things you may state can include not being put on life support indefinitely, when there is no hope for survival, practical things like that, and for devotees I think it is essential that we write who we would like at our bedside, and what rites,etc, administered. my friend suggests a kit, with the auspicious articles in it, to be ready. You could include contacts names of those you want with you at the time of death. I have been wondering how to break it to my family without hurting their feelings that I want only devotees with me at that time. But now I see it as a simple matter, as I only have to say it is a matter of my own particular faith, that I have to have people of the same faith, and are able and willing to administer to me the things our faith requires (like chanting Hare Krsna!!!). This is an area with no room for compromise. You don't live your life trying to focus on Krsna, only to give way to sentimentality and let relatives speak to you of memories of this world at the crucial moment of death. In movies they say things like "imagine your favorite place, walking on a beach", things like that. There's no understanding about how important the consciousness is at the moment of death. Anyway, I think this living will idea is important no matter waht your age of state of health, because any one of us could die at any moment. ys, Jayaradhe
  19. I wonder if they will be importing any of it? I am very interested. Once I and a Godsister gathered some cow dung while visiting New Vrindaban, and hung this black bag of the stuff in the shower baack at our own temple. We used it like soap and shampoo for days, and is was very cleansing and left everything feeling smooth and silky too. We shunned increasing complaints that it was starting to get rank in there. Cow dung couldn't get rank, as far as we were concerned. But finally we too had to admit it, and threw the rest out.
  20. Some weeks ago I did order and receive The Imitation of Christ, on your recommendation, Gauracandra prabhu. A few days ago I recommended it to my recently ex-atheist sister to read, as she is now keen on reading all kinds of Godly books. I haven't read a whole lot of it yet though. Right now I keep returning to the Jayananda book. I also have The Embankment of Separation, a book I had to have after seeing it at a friend's. What story are you saying he narrated the night before leaving his body? It's be great if you could put more of Srila Goura Govinda Maharaja's nectar here! Some of us are planning to write a collage of simple stories into play form, different Jayananda pasttimes, and send them around the world to be performed on Jayanada's Appearance Day, on May 24. (He left his body on my birthday, May 1). I keep meaning to find the pastime I would like to script, but I always get caught up in the sheer pleasure of reading the pastimes and loving embellishments and insights of the author, Vishoka prabhu. If anyone knows a good Jayananada story they would recommend, I would welcome the suggestions. There are two other books I have been inspired by in the past couple of years. One is The Wisdom of No Escape and The Path of Loving-Kindness by Pema Chodan, an American Buddhist who writes with a wonderful sense of humor and reassurances about things like our egos and lack of surrender, letting go, etc. As devotees it is no hard job to see her insights in light of our Krsna-centredness. (I also ahve another great book by her called When Everything Falls Apart. Like the other book it provides much consolation and encouragement.) The other book is The Little Way of Saint Therese, who left her body at the age of 24 but was prematurely "sainted" due to the affect she had on others, just because of her simple surrendered attitude. Coincidentally, she too used the term loving-kindness (which I found on the internet is also known as maitri), and her "little way" was to be simple, small and surrendered to the will of God. She saw herself as weak-spirited and fully dependent on the mercy of God, if she was to go back to Godhead. Her honest and often self-effacing but frank writing makes an enjoyable compelling read, and I am convinced of her purity as a devotee. She also painted amazing pictures, and wrote plays, which she also acted in, like Joan of Arc. All this while in a convent, which she entered unusually young, after personally begging of the pope as a young teenager, following her three older sisters before her. Jayaradhe
  21. Have you heard or read the biography of Sri Gour Govinda Maharaj? And also how he wonderfully left his body? Some time, when I feel up to it, I would love to type this out in excerpts for the devotees enjoyment. I have been reading The Beautiful Life of Jayananda Thakur, Remembering an American Saint, and the title of this thread grabbed me, as I was hoping to share some Jayananda nectar, and hope that is appropriate here, for Jayananda surely is very dear to Krsna, as he always was to Srila Prabhupada, who even personally coooked for him many times, back in the early days, 1967, when Jayananda was still driving a cab. When I read this book I never fail to cry. With joy. The story I want to tell here, I was reading aloud last night to a friend, and got too choked up to practically finish it. Hope it makes everyone else cry too . Here is the story, as told in the folksy, loving style of the author Vishoka prabhu: "Jayananda's great devotion to Srila Prabhupada Now, gentle and loving bhaktas, this next story will break your heart, it makes me cry when I think about it. I had never heard this before, listen to the nectar of Jayananda's devotion. For some reason Jayananda was put in a clinic near San Diego, California, for his cancer condition. A nice devotee, Muktakesha, told how he came to Jayananda's room to bring something to him. Muktakesha was there in the room and casually began to sit on the bec, but Jayananda stopped him before he did. Muktakesha was wondering, why not? and then he turned and noticed a picture of Srila Prabhupada at the head of the bed, propped up by the pillow. Jayananda then explained how he had never had such a nice bed like this (as a devotee), and how he thought it was more appropriate that his spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, should enjoy the bed. I tremble as I write this, Jayananda gave his nice bed to his beloved Gurueva, in great love and devotion, and laid his cancer-ridden body on the floor in the small space in front of the bed.
  22. We have an incredibly beautiful Godsister (inside and out) who Srila Prabhupada named Rukmini devi dasi. As for those Indian movies, I love the stories but could do without all those musical interludes, some woman doging around bushes and singing (I think it's usually Lata Mangaeshkar?) and the music sounds so corny to me I jsut kind of have to laugh inside. But one of my best friends just loves the music and plays tapes of it a lot, at least when she lived up here. I think they must remind her of the pastimes from the movies. Because I can not think why else someone with normally spot-on musical taste (i.e. aligning with my own) would choose to listen to that. All I can do is respect from a distance ( again) those who like it, and continue to wonder why. I don't feel qualified to say much on the beautiful woman issue, as I don't remember what it is like to be a man. Men seem way way more superficial, in general, about taking a person for their looks. Men seem to let themselves go, with beer bellies and things, and still expect to have a woman who is impeccably gorgeous. I remember once a Godsister once said to me that the men who are so attracted to the women on Sankirtan would be so surprised if they saw US in makeup. And it's true. People talk about natural beauty, but a lot of people are media-conditioned to go for stiff pulled up faces with lots of makeup on them. It's just kind of amusing to me that men, a truly foreign species, put so much importance on this. I even checked out a devotee personals site and the women would be seeking quality type relationships centered around Krishna, and if the men weren't advetising for slaves, they were looking for slimness, prettiness, etc. No matter how beautiful or ugly I was, I wouldn't go within 64 megabytes of such people, if seeking a mate. I would want someone as a companion who was deeper than that, and didn't see women as objects but as devotees to share Krsna consciousness with in a reciprocally encouraging way. Who, knowing better, would want to prolong their stay by having the intentions of becoming attracted like this? I enjoy looking at cute faces, myself. But Krsna is the very cutest! JR
  23. I feel bad at posting here when I haven't even posted on Atma's Preparing for Death thread, but I only follow about two or three threads at a time and that one is so deep and I am just so tired. But I wanted to reassure you, Gauracandra. My mouth is so small that they've removed many teeth to make room. Dentists complain when I can't open wide enough. I don't know if you have a small inside of your mouth, but it does sound like your molars are impacting and it really could create problems later. I am more into alternative treatments, but teeth...I understand that generally our mouths are getting smaller due to some modern habits, being passed down to us. So the artificial sometimes requires the artificial to intervene. Or something like that. Anyway, I want to share my experience of having all four molars removed at once. When I was a new devotee, I had to go to the teaching section of a hospital for poor people to have mine removed. Students did it! I understood that it was easier to get this done when you are young, like up to early twenties if possible, as it becomes more major when you are older. Still, it was pretty major, to me. I too was frightened of the anesthetic, the IV that puts you under. I prayed to Krsna to make me conscious of Him should I die under the anasthetic. (I must off a bit more reassurance in that I have had to have anathesia since and I think I didn't die.) But I agree that it is one of those things where you are putting your trust in something pretty invasive and even kind of diabolical in a way, and letting strangers work with tools inside your head. The anasthesia often leaves you with some sense intact. I was conscious and heard their jokes as they worked on me. To tell you the truth I was glad I couldn't open my eyes to look. It did not hurt. The worst part was occassionally hearing the breaking of a tooth for extraction (if you have your hearing intact at the time). They sent me back to Home with pain pills, and I don't think I needed them that much, or for long. So the worst after-effect was feeling these soft spaces in my mouth as it healed. The soft tissue of the mouth heals amazingly fast. Oh also I was able to return home on foot and bus with another devotee who had come with me. I would advise having someone there for when it's over. Actually I got really dizzy right after, when I got up, and they had to lay me down for a little while. But it was no biggie. If you decide to bring this violence upon yourself, you might want to prepare for it by making your immune system strong, and things like that. Also, there is a homoeopathic remedy for nervousness of the dentist. I can look it up. I just take a while to accomplish things. Hope this helps you in your decision. ys, Jayaradhe
  24. Actually, I meant the outer edge of the charcoal, that is there even if you don't break it. The suggestion to break was an economical one. I don't know what resin myrhh is but it is different from Frankincense. But kind of similar in a compatible way. I prefer it. Your cusrious nature is so infectious that now I have to knw what myrhh is too. ys, Jayaradhe
  25. I love resin incense. We can get it in bulk at our herbal store here: copal, frankincense, and myrhh. I mix them or use them separately. They do get real smoky so I economize on charcoal by breaking one in half and using only half at a time. You can rest the charcoal in a dish of salt or sand after lighting it, which is easier to do if you light one of the "sharp" edges. It should catch quite easily, and will start by sizzling around its edges so be prepared to put it down quickly if you're holding it in your fingers. You can get tiny charcoals too, but I think they work out way more expensive. That was a great description of that resin burning in India. Makes me want to be there right now. ys, JR
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