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Everything posted by raga

  1. Giridhari, which means Krishna, the lifter of the hill. Then there's also the very cool-sounding Gariman, meaning a venerable person. And Garuda, the eagle-carrier of Vishnu. And Garga, the family priest of Krishna's clan in Vraja. And so on and so forth, but such a name is customarily received from a guru.
  2. When you eat, more often than not some food remnants end up touching your cloth, making them what's called ucchista (also called <i>jhuta</i>), something seen as contaminated due to contact with saliva. Such clothes are unfit for use during deity service, cooking and other services requiring full external purity. Were such clothes to touch unoffered or offered but untasted items, they would taint the entirety of the food with the quality of your remnants, and of course it wouldn't be good to serve your remnants to the Vaisnavas. Now, one may think that "certainly nothing touched my cloth this time", but there is always a lingering uncertainty there. Perhaps it did? You will never know which droplets landed where. For complete certainty, a subsequent sense of pristine purity and thereby peace of mind, separate sets of clothes should be used for these purposes. The Lord and the Vaisnavas deserve only the purest, and one of our duties in their service is to ensure the purity is not compromised. In general, prasada that is served to initiated Vaisnavas, and especially to renunciates, should not be handled by the non-initiated, but this is something people do not seem to care about in ISKCON. Food is very vulnerable to influences, even when offered, and purity in eating is essential for the progressive attainment of more and more advanced states of devotional meditation and ecstasy.
  3. It's not a blanket red foods issue. The effects of many of these foods are only perceived against the canvas of a subtle consciousness intent on meditation.
  4. Suggest you look at the following discussion: http://www.bhasa.net/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=64
  5. Reading this discussion gives me headache. Everyone should go home and read Madhurya-kadambini.
  6. "Not to anyone" means "to anyone, who is not on a level fit for receiving", which means most everyone. Then, as I said, accomplished Vaisnavas will have a keen sense in perceiving the adhikara of recipients, and a fine discrimination in what visions are to be revealed and what is to be hidden. I obviously did not write my post for those highest of the high. I directed it to the general audience here.
  7. Yes, I read him correctly and agree with him. I responded to the concept he summarized.
  8. I can't stand bad logic. To say that something is inaccurate because it's incomplete is essentially to state that everything verbally expressed is inaccurate, because no verbal expression can ever penetrate each detail of an object of analysis. "The sun is shining." This is an incomplete description of the sun. "The sun is hot." This is an incomplete statement. "The sun is shining on the sky and creating warmth." This is also incomplete. Are any of these statements inaccurate? No, they are all accurate, albeit partial descriptions of the sun. As such, incompleteness does not in itself indicate inaccuracy. An incomplete statement attains by default the quality of inaccuracy only when a claim of completeness is superimposed.
  9. Nothing in this thread has had much to do with any teaching particularly specific to Ananta Das Babaji Maharaja. Then, this diatribe is a meaningless attempt at maligning the character of a poster through aligning him with a perceived heretic party. I don't care how much people want to fight in forums about whatever it is they fight about, but please don't malign sincere Vaisnavas such as Ananta Das Babaji Maharaja just because they have some differences in view with your own teachers. He is not out on a campaign to write bad commentaries of the views of your teachers, and as such doesn't deserve comments like this.
  10. I understand the experience may be overwhelming, and certainly there is no blame anyone ought to be putting you on not being able to keep the lid on. Please don't take me as saying there is anything wrong with the dreams and the experiences as such. Experience is the life of devotion. As a sadhaka becomes more and more immersed in his practices, his being becomes imbued with svarupa-sakti, the highest culmination of the base spiritual energy, cit-sakti, the awakening of which some know as the arising of the kula-kundalini. With the infusion of svarupa-sakti, the sadhaka attains a glow unseen in the world, and his very persona radiates a captivating halo of magic and mystery. With sahasrara, ajna and anahata wide open and vibrant over the realization of the truths of bheda-abheda, the lucid perception of the lila and the attainment of a deep foundational devotional emotion respectively, the sadhaka is transformed into an other-worldly, divine entity. Then, do not seek to make the effect and the impact by too many words of yourself in awakening others' faith in the fruits you have gained and are willing to share. Let them witness the same through direct perception. Over and above granting perception – which is subjective to the samskaras of the recipients – an accomplished sadhaka will have the power to infuse substantial divinity into a qualified candidate through his will-power alone. Conversely, where this power lacks, a presentation hundred thousand words laced with the best of reason and delicate consideration fail in empowering the candidate. Yet again, the principle of selectiveness applies. Be observant, study the samskaras of others before making calls on how much and of what to place before whom in the way of spiritual gifts. Do not expose the powers of devotion to the faithless and the envious, let them remain unknown. There is a reason for Krishna's calling this knowledge of devotion the emperor of mysteries, the most confidential wisdom of all. And does he not warn at the end of the dialog: <i>idaM te nAtapaskAya nAbhaktAya kadAcana | na cAzuzrUSave vAcyaM na ca mAM yo ’bhyasUyati || 18.67 ||</i> <b>"This you are not to speak to the non-austere or the non-devotee at any time, Nor to one discinclined to hear, nor the one envious of me."</b> Sridhara Svami makes a number of interesting notes in elaborating on the theme in his commentary: <i>evaM gItArtha-tattvam upadizya tat-sampradAya-pravartane niyamam Aha idam iti | idaM gItArtha-tattvaM te tvayA atapaskAya dharmAnuSThAna-hInAya na vAcyam | na ca abhaktAya gurAv Izvare ca bhakti-zUnyAya kadAcid api na vAcyaM na cAzuzrUSave paricaryAm akurvate vAcyam |</i> <b>"The restriction for instructing these precious truths of the Gita to those belonging to one's sampradaya is hereby spoken. These precious truths of the Gita spoken unto you should not be spoken to the non-austere, nor to those uncommitted to observances of dharma. And they should not be spoken to non-devotees who are devoid of bhakti for guru and God at any time, nor to those unwilling to hear, and those not engaged in worship."</b> Coming to the bottom line, the question we are certainly all asking – "Why?" – Svamipada notes: <i>mAM paramezvaraM yo'bhyasUyati manuSya-dRSTyA doSAropeNa nindati tasmai na ca vAcyam ||</i> <b>"Those who are envious of me, the Paramesvara, will blaspheme with the attribution of perceiving me as an ordinary man – therefore it is not to be spoken."</b> With this, we understand that caution must be exercised so as to avoid situations where the ignorant will disrespect the precious truths and revelations of devotion, for such disrespect is worse than ignorance as it forms a mighty obstacle in the way of their acceptance of this subtlest of spiritual paths. One who is indiscriminate in terms of his audience commits an act of violence towards the people he hopes to save. There is quantity and there is quality, and the two rarely go hand in hand. You cannot give gold and diamonds to all. You need to make a call. Reflect on whether you wish to seek to give a bit of something to everyone, or a great deal to those few who are fit recipients. As people who are still largely unaccomplished in sadhana, we are finite in our energy and need to be conservative so as to not sacrifice ourselves in the name of attempting the world's salvation. If we are to over-extend ourselves, in the end neither the world nor indeed we ourselves will come to find the goal so cherished in so many words. .. My writing this at midnight in the darkness of Radha-kunda with a thunderstorm raging above my head no doubt contributes to the eerie atmosphere of the contribution.
  11. We sometimes come across Vaisnavas who are fond of liberally sharing of their experiences, gained in dreams and in wakefulness all the same. However, visions and dreams with special spiritual significance are private matters one should cherish within the chamber of the heart. By airing them out in the public, their impact on the self fades and vanishes over time. As recommended in Hari-bhakti-vilasa: <i>svapne vAkSi-samakSaM vA Azcaryam atiharSadam / akasmAd yadi jAyeta na khyAtavyaM guror vinA //2.143//</i> <b>"In dreams, or before one's eyes, if an astonishing, thrilling event suddenly occurs, it is not to be told of to others aside the guru."</b> If there are senior Vaisnavas in whom we have deep faith, and whom we regard essentially in the capacity of a guru, dreams and other special events may be disclosed to them as well. However, only one who has digested and well internalized the experience may share it with others. Even then, they are to be shared with the faithful alone – with those who will respect and find deep inspiration in the same. Revealing heart's matters before the faithless is wholly improper. If this warning is not paid heed to, we gradually lose the impact of the experience, and additionally risk becoming subject to pride and a host of other vice arising from an inflated sense of self-importance and the possible admiration of others. Again, in the words of Narottama Das Thakur Mahasaya from his Prema-bhakti-candrika: <i>Apana bhajana kathA, na kahiba yathA tathA, ihAte haiba sAvadhAna /</i> <b>"The topics of your own bhajana, speak not of them here and there. In this, I shall exercise caution."</b> Then, he notes: <i>rAkha prema hRdaya bhariyA</i> – <b>"Protect your love, burying it within your heart!"</b> He says, <i>gupate sAdhibe siddhi</i> – <b>"Perfection is attained in secrecy."</b> The intimacy of experiences with God is likened to the lovers' relationship in an apt metaphor found in Hatha-yoga-pradipika (3.9): <i>gopanIyaM prayatnena yathA ratna-karaNDakam / kasyacin naiva vaktavyaM kula-strI-surataM yathA //</i> <b>"Hide them with persevering effort, as you would a basket of jewels – Truly don't speak of them to anyone, As a noble lady wouldn't speak of making love."</b> Therefore, accomplished Vaisnavas never share of their experiences in bhajana in public. The absence of replies does not make a commentary on the presence or absence of experiences as such. Often, it only tells of the wisdom of silence. Those who have something factually precious to share will carefully guard it as a hidden treasure. Access to such treasures is gained through gaining the Vaisnava's confidence, for such things are not to be squandered in broadcasting to a mixed audience, as one would not hurl bucketfuls of pearls before the swine. Again, in the words of Sri Jiva from his Bhakti-sandarbha (339): <i>atra ca zrI guroH zrI bhagavato vA prasAda labdhaM sAdhana sAdhyagataM svIya sarvasva bhUtaM yat kim api rahasyaM tat tu na kasmaicit prakAzanIyam yathAha:</i> <b>"Then, the secrets of one's own that are obtained with practice and in attaining perfection – with the grace of Sri Guru and Sri Bhagavan – are never to be disclosed to anyone. As in the Bhagavata:</b> <i>naitat parasmA AkhyeyaM pRSThayApi kathaJcana / sarvaM sampadyate devi deva guhyaM susaMvRtam // BhP 8.17.20</i> <b>"This is not to be disclosed to outsiders, even if inquired on by someone; All the secrets of the gods, O Devi, will yield their fruit when well concealed."</b> The warnings aside now, observe the merits of containing the experience – at the opening of Rupa's Utkalika-vallari, one of his final works: <i>prapadya vRndAvana-madhyam ekaH krozann asAv utkalikAkulAtmA / udghATayAmi jvalataH kaThorAM bASpasya mudrAM hRdi mudritasya //1//</i> <b>"Cast down amidst Vrindavana is one In tears with the longings of an agitated heart I shall reveal the fierce burning The marks of tears imprinted in the heart."</b> The word <i>bASpa</i> means tears, and it means steam as well. Countless tears have left their deep wounds in Rupa's heart. The outburst of seventy verses intense emotion are the result of decades of withholding an immeasurable depth of feelings. Read the description of Bhakti-ratnakara: <i>eka dina rAdhA-kRSNa viccheda kathate / kANDaye vaiSNava mUrccha-gata pRthivite // agni-zikhA prAya jvale rUpera hRdaYa / tathApi bAhire kichu prakAza nA haYA // karu dehe zrI-rUpera niHzvAsa sparzila / agni-zikhA prAYa sei dehe braNa haila // dekhiYA sabAra mane haila camatkAra / aiche zrI-rUpera kriyA kahite ki Ara //</i> <b>"One day, the separation of Radha and Krishna was discussed; The Vaisnavas cried, falling senseless on the ground. Rupa's heart was ablaze like the tip of a flame, And yet outside nothing was manifest at all. Whose body Sri Rupa's exhalation would touch, That body would be burnt, as if touched by a flame. Seeing this, astonishment filled all – Such are Sri Rupa's deeds, what more can one say?"</b> This is the power of conserving emotion and experience within. This is the power of devotion contained. Do not build up your bhajana only to waste it away, let it not be blown with the wind to a thousand directions.
  12. Anything made of wheat isn't exactly your ideal fasting item, especially if it features white flour. Try havisya. An equal mix of rice and mung-dal boiled without spices. If that's too austere, add a bit of rock salt and black pepper at the end. I hear it's also excellent for purifying the body. A friend of mine followed a fast with this and this alone (with castor oil) for a month with tremendous results. That isn't however obviously for ekadasi fasting. As for ekadasis, with practice most people will be able to do a nirjala (waterless) fast on ekadasis. Nirjala-vrata is a very powerful practice. Those unable to do that should drink something. Very few people in reality can't get over a day without eating solid food. We are only conditioned by the mind with our past habits. Hari-bhakti-vilasa excludes the children, the sickly and those over 80 years of age from the full Ekadasi fast. Then, all you guys in your 30's, get a grip and start fasting!
  13. Depends very much on whether you want to pronounce it the Hindi way, the Bengali way, or the [any-other-indic-language] way.
  14. You would use that as a mixture in this case. Yes -- both are in practice. Some also do first all the ingredients individually, and then last with a mixture of all five. You are right however, here one would use them as a mixture. The individual use would only be there in worshiping a deity. Warm up the ghee a bit right before use. Use liquid honey, there are many different varieties of honey. In India, we actually rarely get anything but the more liquid kind. You can dilute it with water. Since in mala-samskara they are primarily used as a means of purification, they do not attain the same status as the caranamrita of the deity.
  15. Keep them on and let them be a reminder for you of the need to observe the rest of the principles. As long as you do not treat the neck beads with disrespect, there is no problem in wearing them.
  16. Mark - sorry for not replying earlier, I didn't receive any notification of new posts to this thread. You have done well in offering the beads. Don't worry about the absence of panca-gavya -- yes they may be a bit hard to come by in the West! Yes, this information should be conveyed when giving / selling a tulasi-mala, but this is unfortunately not very widely know. Many gurus, even, are totally unaware of the need to offer the beads first. You don't need to separately offer the counting beads -- though you can dip them in sacred water before attaching to your mala. If you have the counter beads at hand when you're doing the mala-samsara, you can of course drop them into the pancamrita, that is good -- but the rest of the rite needn't be done to them.
  17. People offer pancamrita and panca-gavya in a number of ways. The gist of it is in having the right ingredients there. There are also specific vidhis on the proportions in Hari-bhakti-vilasa for different sizes of abhisekas. Sadhus I am familiar with seem to prefer using an equal proportion of each, but with less of ghee than of the rest. The sequence of pancamrita-bathing is: 1. pāyaḥ-snāna (milk bath) 2. dadhi-snāna (yoghurt bath) 3. ghṛta-snāna (ghee bath) 4. madhu-snāna (honey bath) 5. śarkarā-snāna (sugar-water bath) This is followed by varuṇa-snAna, the bath of the god of waters, which means bathing with abundant water. Yes, you can pour them in from a container. The essence here is not worship of the mala as in the pancamrita-abhiseka of the deity, the essence is in contacting and thereby purifying the mala via contact with these ingredients. You can use different mudras on them before the ceremony -- chakra-mudra, samhara-mudra, matsya-mudra and dhenu-mudra for example. There are also different practices with this, the gist being -- 1. Mudras for purification from faults, 2. Mudra(s) for transforming into nectar. On preparing sacred water: Pour clean water into the pañca-pātra from a jug full of fresh water. Showing the aṅkuśa-mudrā above the vessel, invoke the presence of the tirthas with the following mantra: gaṅge ca yamune caiva godāvari sarasvati / narmade sindho-kāveri jale’smin sannidhiṁ kuru // hbv 4.102 “Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Sarasvati, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri; I invoke your waters.” If sacred water is already available directly from a tīrtha, the sacred rivers need not be invoked. The water should be free from odor, foam and bubbles. Rain water should not be used. I've never seen jaggery used in place of sugar, though I am myself fond of using natural brown sugars.
  18. Get a bi-monthly digest of Vraja Journal entries directly to your e-mail! Don't get a chance to visit Vraja Journal that often? No longer need you worry about missing anything — just to our bi-monthly e-mail digest and get summaries of all new blog entries and photography directly to your inbox! http://www.vrajajournal.com/index.php?area=digest
  19. Alas, they have my old converter there! You can also find that at Gaudiya Grantha Mandira: http://www.granthamandira.org/convert/
  20. All for your good, those rules. The sages of the yore experienced the effects of different foodstuffs and wrote accordingly. We may not be subtle enough to notice their effects amidst our gross indulgent state, but each ingredient has particular qualities that can be either conducive, neutral or contrary to creating an optimal situation for sadhana-practice.
  21. http://wiki.gaudiyakutir.com/Forbidden_foods Vegs that came to India after the Gosvamis are obviously not covered in HBV...
  22. The practice is about making yourself fit for expressing a divine loving capacity. At present we are in a covered state, our faculties of love perverted, unable to feel and experience the rasa-imbued, astonishing love of Vraja. nitya-siddha kRSNa-prema sAdhya kabhu naYa / zravaNAdi zuddha-citte karaYe udaYa // -- As you are more and more purified, your natural ability for love is unearthed. This is the practice.
  23. No, they haven't been removed as such. However, people are a bit short on qualification for accessing them.
  24. AN OFFERING <img src="http://www.madhavananda.com/img/offering-s.jpg" alt="" style="float:right; border: 5px solid #fff; margin: 5px;" /> Many of you know that I have been working towards offering diverse resources and services for the Vaisnava community and the large public since early 2002. There is so much more that could be done to further the interests of the tradition – I feel as if we'd barely scratched the surface. This portal is a list of all of my open project files with notes on future prospects for growth and continuity. CALL FOR FEEDBACK AND PARTICIPATION The vast majority of the projects featured have been initiated with an aim for long-term sustenance via community participation; I have had the vision and the know-how for getting them started, yet I lack the means to maintain and develop them all forever on my own. As such, this site is a call for priority evaluation and community participation. Please take the time to review the the contents of the site and give your feedback on which among the projects you feel are worthwhile. Please also share practical suggestions on how sustaining all the projects transform from theory into practical reality. Even, volunteer according to your means and share a piece of the precious burden yourself. Online at: http://www.madhavananda.com/
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