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Everything posted by raga

  1. Gopala-prakata-lila - Discovery of Gopala (Audio: 2005) Several times a year, on blessed days such as Maghi-purnima, the full-moon day of the month of Magh, devotees from Radha-kunda gather and circumambulate the Govardhan-mountain with a procession to the accompaniment of kirtan. A part of the yearly tradition is a stop at Govinda-kunda, where the kirtaniyas sing the touching story of Madhavendra Puri's discovering the deity of Gopala from Chaitanya Caritamrita. Total running time: 47:43 http://www.lakeofflowers.com/entry/gopala-prakata-lila
  2. In Finland? I live in Finland, and I'm about to move to Vrindavan in mid-September, and will be selling the bulk of what we have here, including a ton of books, one big mridanga, one small one, a dholak, and whatever else we have.
  3. Have you met sahajiya devotees lately?
  4. Niyama-seva Parikrama - Circumambulating Radha-kunda (Video: 2005) Niyama-seva, occuring annually in October-November, is a one-month period during which followers of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition embark on pilgrimage, often to the sacred land of Vraja, leading a simple life full of austerity and increased spiritual practices. In the village of Radha-kunda, parikrama-processions around the village to the accompaniment of kirtan, with visits to different temples, are a daily event. Total running time: 58:02 http://www.lakeofflowers.com/entry/niyama-seva-parikrama
  5. http://www.banglapedia.net/HT/S_0025.HTM
  6. Adhivasa-kirtana - The opening songs of a festival (Audio: 2005-2006) This week, the second half of the Adhivasa-entry has been released with some three and half hours of kirtan, completing the series. Adhivasa-kirtanas mark the opening of a festival, occuring anywhere from a few days up to a month before the actual event. As festivals come in two flavors, the ananda-utsavas or festivals of joy, and the viraha-utsavas or festivals of separation, so there are distinct songs. Total running time: 501:24 min http://www.lakeofflowers.com/entry/adhivasa
  7. Why do you have a zillion different sites that look quite similar? Wouldn't it be more constructive to focus on developing one?
  8. Kartta Sri Krishna Das Babaji's Tirobhava-festival (Audio: 2005) Kartta Sri Krishna Das Babaji was a great leader among the Gaudiya Vaishnavas of Vraja in his era. With his great austerity, the ascetics of Radha-kunda were given the right to bathe in the sacred pond again. Towards the end of his life, Kartta Baba, then a renowned siddha-mahatma, settled at Nuton Ghera, Radha-kunda, where his memorial festival is annually celebrated. Total running time: 48:00 http://www.lakeofflowers.com/entry/kartta-krishnadas-baba-tirobhava
  9. You may also want to browse http://www.gaudiya.com/ for an overview of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition.
  10. If you don't get to click on that page once you've gone to upload more, you can manually check in the item by typing archive.org/checkin/whatever-name. You can also check out with archive.org/checkout/whatever-name. Heppened to me a couple of times that my FTP server crashed and I lost the details, had to do this. If it's the first time and you've just created the item, you can also get the details again at archive.org/create/whatever-name.
  11. My pleasure, Myrla. -- Holi at Shyamasundar Mandir (Video: 2005) Holi, the wonderful festival of colors, is celebrated in the village of Radha-kunda for several weeks, with the devotees going from one temple to the next, singing songs of Radha and Krishna enrapt in the joys of the festival. As the songs reach their pinnacles, color-powder flies in all directions, covering the atmosphere in multi-colored clouds! This entry also contains the suchaka-song of Rasikananda Prabhu and a parikrama-procession visiting different temples of the village. Total running time: 37:36 http://www.lakeofflowers.com/entry/holi-shyamasundar-mandir
  12. If the beads break, you'll of course have to do this. However, there is no need to take off your tulasi-mala during bath and other such activities. I can't really think of any other good reason than its breaking for taking it off. Wearing tulasi-mala is known as the devotional practice of vaiSNava-cihna-dharaNa, "carrying the symbols of a Vaishnava", one of the 64 aspects of bhakti noted in Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu. Then, even if you aren't engaging in any other devotional activity, you are doing this 24/7. That's a beginning - to always carry something that reminds you, "I am a Krishna-Das."
  13. Dear Mark, Though one cannot say that absolutely no offence has taken place with ignorance as the defence, offences made in ignorance are easily overcome - through acquiring proper knowledge, and then acting in the appropriate manner. I don't think the tulsis you got were offered before being sold. Many are, unfortunately, in ignorance over this principle of offering tulasi-beads to Krishna before using them himself - which is rather surprising, given that everyone is aware that tulasi-leaves must always be offered first! Here is something I once wrote on mala-samskara, it adds more details to Shraman Maharaja's description. Most of what's in his essay is actually directly quoted from Hari-bhakti-vilasa, although the reference isn't given. -- tulasI-mAlA-saMskAra vidhi - sanctifying the tulasI-mAlA Japa-mala and kanthi-mala must be purified and offered before they are taken into use. The rite of sanctifying the mala should performed by gurudeva or another senior Vaishnava. In their absence, one may also do it himself. To purify the mala, you should first bathe it in sacred water. Then, place it on a tray and bathe it with pancha-gavya, or the five substances of cow (milk, yoghurt, ghee, cow dung and cow urine), followed by the pancha-amrita, or the five nectarine substances (milk, yoghurt, ghee, honey and sugar-water). Having completed the bathing, chant the eighteen-syllable Krishna-mantra and the kama-gayatri eight times each over the mala. Then, worship the mala with the touch of the fumes of incense, chanting the sadyojAta-mantra: sadyojAtaM prapadyAmi sadyojAtAya vai namo namaH | bhave bhave nAtibhave bhavasva mAm bhavodbhavAya namaH || mnu 17.1 “I seek shelter in the giver of new life, I salute him again and again. Do not leave me amidst the mundane world, lead me beyond; Obeisances to the one at the source of the worlds!” With this rite, new life is invoked into the mala for the deliverance of the sadhaka. Before employing the mala, one should pray to the sacred mala, offering it to Krishna. One should never employ a mala without offering it first: haraye nArpayed yas tu tulasI-kASTha-sambhavAm | mAlAM dhatte svayaM mUDhaH sa yAti narakaM dhruvam || hbv 4.310 “That fool, who accepts the mala made of tulasi-wood without offering it to Hari, will attain a permanent hell.” Having duly offered the mala to Thakur by wearing it around his neck or touching it to his hand, and then touching it to the heads of his companions and the guru-varga, one may employ it himself. If a kanthi-mala has been sanctified, it should be bound around the neck with the following mantra: tulasI-kASTha-sambhUte mAle kRSNa-jana priYe | bibharmi tvAm ahaM kaNThe kuru mAM kRSNa-vallabhaM || hbv 4.312 “Born of the branches of Tulasi, mala, dear to Krishna’s people; I carry you in my neck, make me dear to Krishna.” If a japa-mala is been sanctified, it should be taken with folded hands and placed into the bead bag with the following prayers: avighnaM kuru mAle tvaM hari.nAma-japeSu ca | zrI-rAdhA-kRSNayor dAsyaM dehi-mAle tu prArthaye || mbd 4.223 “O mala, I implore you: Make my harinama-japa free of obstacles, bestow me the servitude of Radha and Krishna!” tvaM mAle sarva-devAnAM sarva-siddhi.pradA matA | tena satyena me siddhiM dehi mAtar namo’stu te || mbd 4.225 “You, O mala, we know as the abode of all gods and the bestower of all perfections. Thus, verily, bestow perfection unto me; Obeisances unto you!”
  14. Usually our audio releases come out on Mondays, videos on every Thursday. This week in video: Festival of Siddha Baba of Govardhana (2005) Siddha Krishna Das Baba of Govardhana was one of the four famous siddha-babas of Vraja. The festival is celebrated annually at Manasi-ganga, a lake said to have appeared directly from Krishna's thoughts, at Govardhan. This video features footage of the tirobhava-kirtan songs at a place near Siddha Baba's ashram, including a beautiful rendition of Thakur Mahashaya's Sri Rupa Paschate Ami. Total running time: 42:34 min http://www.lakeofflowers.com/entry/govardhana-siddha-baba-2005
  15. This week in audio: Festival of Siddha Baba of Surya-kunda (2005) The festival of Siddha Madhusudana Das Babaji of Surya-kunda is one of the best attended and most beautiful festivals among the annual celebrations in Vraja. Devotees from all across Vraja-mandal gather to attend the occasion in Siddha Baba's sacred memory, many journeying on foot – on a pilgrimage within a place of pilgrimage. This is the audio-recording of 2005's festival. Total running time: 115:55 min http://www.lakeofflowers.com/entry/suryaku...ababa-tirobhava
  16. Here is last week's video release: Gauranga Jayanti - The Appearance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (2005) Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, also known as Gauranga on account of his golden effulgence, appeared in the land of Nadia, Bengal, to bless the people of this wretched age with the chanting of the divine Names laden with unprecedented amorous love for God, Krishna. His appearance is celebrated annually on the full moon day of the month of Phalgun. Total running time: 34:46 min http://www.lakeofflowers.com/entry/gaura-purnima
  17. Starting with a short introduction. Lake of Flowers Productions was founded to facilitate the availability of educational and inspirational media connected with Sri Chaitanya's tradition, Gaudiya Vaishnavism – a branch of Hinduism prominent in Bengal and Vrindavan, India. Kirtan, festivals, views from holy places... We film it all and bring it to you – without a cost! All video footage is published as: 1. DVD-quality MPEG2-files, 2. VCD-quality MPEG1-files, 3. x264-compressed AVI-files (recommended!), 4. Small MPEG4-files. All audio is available as: 1. Lossless FLAC, 2. MP3 VBR and 64kbps, 3. Ogg Vorbis. Currently hosting almost 100 GB and over 70 hours of free devotional media! http://www.lakeofflowers.com/
  18. Mahabharata, Shanti-parva, ch. 300. * * * Mahabharata, Shanti-parva - Chapter 300 Bhishma narrates the story of the Swan and the Sadhyas in demonstrating the virtues of self-restraint and control of anger, imparting some important lessons to be embraced by one and all. =o)O(o= "Yudhishthira said, 'O grandsire, learned men praise truth, self-restraint, forgiveness, and wisdom. What is thy opinion of these virtues?' "Bhishma said, 'In this connection I shall recite to thee an old narrative, O Yudhishthira, of the discourse between the Sadhyas and a Swan. Once on a time the Unborn and eternal Lord of all creatures (viz., Brahman), assuming the form of a golden Swan, wandered through the three worlds till in course of his wanderings he came upon the Sadhyas.' "The Sadhyas said, 'O ford, we are the deities called Sadhyas. We like to question thee. Indeed, we would ask thee about the religion of Emancipation. Thou art well-acquainted with it. We have heard, O bird, that thou art possessed of great learning, and eloquent and wise of speech. O bird, what dost thou think is the highest of all objects? O high-souled one, in what does thy mind find pleasure? Do thou, therefore, O foremost of birds, instruct us as to what that one act is which thou regardest as the foremost of all acts, and by doing which, O chief of the feathery creation, one may soon be freed from all bonds.' "The Swan said, 'Ye who have drunk Amrita, I have heard that one should have recourse to these, viz., penances, self-restraint, truth, and subjugation of the mind. Untying all the knots of the heart, one should also bring under one's control both what is agreeable and what is disagreeable. One should not wound the vitals of others. One should not be an utterer of cruel speeches. One should never take scriptural lectures from a person that is mean. One should never utter such words as inflict pain on others, as cause others to burn (with misery), and as lead to hell. Wordy shafts fall from the lips. Pierced therewith one (to whom they are directed) burns incessantly. Those shafts do not strike any part other than the very vitals of the person aimed. Hence he that is possessed of learning should never aim them at others. If a person deeply pierces a man of wisdom with wordy shafts, the wise mart should then adopt peace (without giving way to wrath). The man who, though sought to be angered, rejoices without yielding to anger, taketh away from the provoker all his merits. That man of righteous soul, who, full of joy and freed from malice, subdues his blazing wrath which, if indulged, would lead him to speak ill of others and verily become his foe, takes away the merits of others. As regards myself, I never answer I when another speaks ill of me. If assailed, I always forgive the assault. The righteous are of opinion that forgiveness and truth and sincerity and compassion are the foremost (of all virtues). Truth is the arcanum of the Vedas. The arcanum of Truth is self-restraint. The arcanum of self-restraint is Emancipation. This is the teaching of all the scriptures. I regard that person to be Brahmana and Muni who subjugates the rising impulse of speech, the impulse of wrath appearing in the mind, the impulse of thirst (after unworthy things), and the impulses of the stomach and the organ of pleasure. One who does not yield to wrath is superior to one who does. One who practises renunciation is superior to one who does not. One who possesses the virtues of manhood is superior to one who has them not. One who is endued with knowledge is superior to one who is destitute of it. Assailed with harsh speeches, one should not assail in return. Indeed, one who, under such circumstances, renounces wrath, succeeds in burning the assailant and taking away all his merits. That person, who when assailed with harsh speeches, does not utter a harsh word in reply, who when praised does not utter what is agreeable to him that praises, who is endued with such fortitude as not to strike in return when struck and not to even wish evil to the striker, finds his companionship always coveted by the gods. He that is sinful should be forgiven as if he were righteous, by one that is insulted, struck, and calumniated. By acting in this way, one attains to success. Though all my objects have been fulfilled, yet I always wait reverentially on those that are righteous. I have no thirst. My wrath hath been suppressed. Seduced by covetousness, I do not fall away from the path of righteousness. I do not also approach any one (with solicitations) for wealth. If cursed, I do not curse in return. I know that self-restraint is the door of immortality. I disclose unto you a great mystery. There is no status that is superior to that of humanity. Freed from sin like the Moon from murky clouds, the man of wisdom, shining in resplendence, attains to success by patiently waiting for his time. A person of restrained soul, who becomes the object of adoration with all by becoming the foremost of the supporting pillars of the universe, and towards whom only agreeable words are spoken by all, attains to the companionship of the deities. Revilers never come forward to speak of the merits of a person as they speak of his demerits. That person, whose speech and mind are properly restrained and always devoted to the Supreme, succeeds in attaining to the fruits of the Vedas, Penances, and Renunciation. The man of wisdom should never revile (in return) those that are destitute of merit, by uttering their dispraise and by insults. He should not extol others (being extolled by them) and should never injure themselves. The man endued with wisdom and learning regards revilement as nectar. Reviled, he sleeps without anxiety. The reviler, on the other hand, meets with destruction. The sacrifices that one performs in anger, the gifts one makes in anger, the penances one undergoes in anger, and the offerings and libations one makes to the sacred fire in anger, are such that their merits are robbed by Yama. The toil of an angry man becomes entirely fruitless. Ye foremost of immortals, that person is said to be conversant with righteousness whose four doors, viz., the organ of pleasure, the stomach, the two arms, and speech, are well-restrained. That person who, always practising truth and self-restraint and sincerity and compassion and patience and renunciation, becomes devoted to the study of the Vedas, does not covet what belongs to others, and pursues what is good with a singleness of purpose, succeeds in attaining to heaven. Like a calf sucking all the four teats of its dam's udders, one should devote oneself to the practice of all these virtues. I do not know whether anything exists that is more sacred than Truth. Having roved among both human beings and the deities, I declare it that Truth is the only means for reaching heaven even as a ship is the only means for crossing the ocean. A person becomes like those with whom he dwells, and like those whom he reverences, and like to what he wishes to be. If a person waits with reverence on him who is good or him who is otherwise, if he waits with reverence on a sage possessed of ascetic merit or on a thief, passes under his way and catches his hue like a piece of cloth catching the dye in which it is steeped. The deities always converse with those that are possessed of wisdom and goodness. They, therefore, never entertain the wish for even seeing the enjoyments in which men take pleasure. The person who knows that all objects of enjoyment (which human beings cherish) are characterised by vicissitudes, has few rivals, and is superior to the very Moon and the Wind. When the Purusha that dwells in one's heart is unstained, and walks in the path of the righteous, the gods take a pleasure in him. The gods from a distance cast off those that are always devoted to the gratification of their organs of pleasure and the stomach, that are addicted to thieving, and that always indulge in harsh speeches, even if they expiate their offences by performing the proper rites. The gods are never pleased with one of mean soul, with one who observes no restrictions in the matter of food, and with one who is of sinful deeds. On the other hand, the gods associate with those men that are observant of the vow of truth, that are grateful, and that are engaged in the practice of righteousness. Silence is better than speech. To speak the truth is better than silence. Again to speak truth that is connected with righteousness is better than to speak the truth. To speak that which, besides being true and righteous, is agreeable, is better than to speak truth connected with righteousness.' "The Sadhyas said, 'By what is this world covered? For what reason does one fail to shine? For what cause do people cast off their friends? For what reason do people fail to attain to heaven?' "The Swan said, 'The world is enveloped by (the darkness of) Ignorance. Men fail to shine in consequence of malice. People cast off friends, induced by covetousness. Men fail to attain to heaven in consequence of attachment.' "The Sadhyas said, 'Who alone among the Brahmanas is always happy? Who alone amongst them can observe the vow of silence though dwelling in the midst of many? Who alone amongst them, though weak, is still regarded as strong? And who alone amongst them does not quarrel?' "The Swan said, 'He alone amongst the Brahmanas that is possessed of wisdom is always happy. He alone amongst the Brahmanas that is possessed of wisdom succeeds in observing the vow of silence, though dwelling in the midst of many. He alone amongst the Brahmanas who is possessed of wisdom, though actually weak, is regarded as strong. He alone amongst them that has wisdom succeeds in avoiding quarrel.' "The Sadhyas said, 'In what consists the divinity of the Brahmanas? In what their purity? In what their impurity? And in what their status of humanity?' "The Swan said, 'In the study of the Vedas is the divinity of the Brahmanas. In their vows and observances is their purity. In obloquy is their impurity. In death is their humanity.' "Bhishma continued, 'Thus have I recited to thee excellent narrative of the discourse between the Sadhyas (and the Swan). The body (both gross and subtle) is the origin of acts, and existence or Jiva is truth.' =o)O(o= [Translated from Sanskrit by Kisari Mohan Ganguli, scanned at sacred-texts.com.]
  19. Can I know who is speaking with each post, please?
  20. Muralidhar Dasji, I believe I have tried to make it quite clear in the last year or so that we would rather not get into quarrels with representatives of IGM, and we have repeatedly stated the same at Gaudiya Discussions. Reading the "Our Principles and Guidelines" document atop the now closed forum makes this abundantly clear. Education on the themes you mention has taken place, as far as I am concerned, on account of a demand for the same. If people feel a need to move from IGM towards other Gaudiya denominations, inquiring about their views on the said matters, am I supposed to not say a word? I do not come to your temples to preach those conclusions, I do not come to your forums to preach those conclusions unless invited. We have now even closed down the public arena called Gaudiya Discussions and moved to a format where most of the forum view is closed from public view, where we can discuss topics of choice among ourselves in peace without disturbing the minds of others. What more am I supposed to do? As far as the "& Co" referred to. I do not have control over the minds and mouths of others. Please do not lump everyone together, I have no official representatives roaming about in the cyberspace, reflecting my views. If you wish to know of my current views concerning any given matter, then please ask me. Please do not make the words of a thousand others look like they represent me, because they don't. // Madhavananda Das //
  21. I am sad to see that so much ill feeling has risen even from an attempt to apologize. For some, it seems, repudiating my lineage of gurus is the only thing I could do to amend my misdeeds. That is something I am willing to do. I do not currently have the time or the interest to debate back and forth philosophical issues on which pandits have debated for the better part of a century without an end in sight, particularly not so in an atmosphere of heated feelings. I wish to focus on the positive siddhanta I have encountered, embrace that, and share that with those so inclined.
  22. I take the dust from the feet of Srila Saraswati Thakur and Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj on my head. They were both maha-purushas who contributed in a grand style to the cause of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Yet, when their teachings do not sit in harmony with those of my respected guru-varga, I must opt in favor of the path I follow, and present my conclusions accordingly. I cannot possibly agree with everyone from every lineage. Are Bhatisiddhanta and Bhaktivedanta Gaudiya Vaishnavas? Yes, undoubtedly so. Are they "traditional" Gaudiyas? "Traditional" in the sense I define and use the word -- no, they aren't. Is that a shortcoming on their behalf? That isn't for me to decide, they have chosen their desired path and I have chosen mine. Our paths differ, somewhat. Is "traditional" necessarily synonynmous with "orthodox"? No, not necessarily. That is subject to evaluation. In which sense did I use the word "orthodox" in my letter? I referred to people who feel they are orthodox and defend that with anger and blasphemy. Have I spoken unfairly of the two? Yes, I undoubtedly have, in the more remote past. Have I attempted to make up for it by trying to guide related discussions to maintaining a civil and respectful tone in the recent past, year or two? Yes, I have, my level best. Have there been shortcomings? Certainly, yes there have. Do I regret that? Yes, I do, while I feel I have done my level best. I am a small person, unworthy of the greatness of heart and might of action of the great souls who are perfect in their ways. Why were they not mentioned Bhaktisiddhanta and Bhaktivedanta in my e-mail? I do not have their e-mail addresses on record, and I believe they aren't surfing around the internet forums either. I have therefore chosen to leave amending whatever wrongdoings have taken place a matter between the three of us, leaving a specific mention of this out of an open letter along with a host of other specific cases I could have narrated. * * * * * * * * * * Muralidhar, regarding your letter: I did not feel the mode of dialogue you had initiated with your letter and your follow-up before I even had the time to reply was conducive to a discussion that would have been devotionally uplifting for anyone involved. There was -- and evidently, reading your posts here, currently is -- far too much tension in the air to allow for an atmosphere in which a fruitful discussion could take place.
  23. = A HEARTFELT APOLOGY = Dear Vaishnavas and Everyone Else, My respects are out to you all. I feel a heart's need to write the following to clear accounts of the past, to make amends for everyone, to place myself in a situation for smooth progress in a life of bhajan. For the past four years, I have participated in a number of online discussion groups. I have at times contributed material, god willing, that some have found useful. At other times, I have made comments that may have disturbed or hurt someone. I have associated with people who have warped and watered down some aspects of our Gaudiya Vaishnava siddhanta. I have been influenced, and may have spoken incorrectly at times. If I have written something that has been unbefitting, I heartily apologize. (If someone has concerns over something I have written in the past and on my current views on the said matters, please feel free to contact me and ask.) I have associated with people who have employed anger and slander as mediums of defending the orthodoxy. I have been influenced, I have at times expressed myself accordingly without due respect to Vaishnavas and all living entities. For everyone involved, I heartily apologize. I have associated with people who have concealed their true nature and heart's inclinations. Deceived myself, I may have caused others to be deceived. I offer my heartfelt apology to everyone afflicted. I have not been as exemplary in my practice as I should have been. On account of this, clearing of heart has not taken place as much as it should have, and many unworthy character traits have remained, leading me to act in ways that have brought sorrow and anxiety to others. For all of this, I bear the responsibility in the end, and call for forgiveness. Fortune has not been kind upon me. I have not been the good Vaishnava I would have wanted to be, that some have perhaps thought of me as. It is a time for change, it is a time of repentance. It is a time I dissociate myself from the past and re-commit myself to the beautiful pursuit called bhakti-sadhana like never before. The months following my arrival to India have been a time of tremendous change, a time of heart's growth. I am at a juncture, at a point where I feel I must come to terms with the past, clear my accounts and embrace a new life of sincere devotion. Today is the day I must come forward and fall at the feet of everyone, the lid no longer stays on. I must call an end to an era bygone, once and for all. I am then calling out to everyone, asking them to kindly forgive whatever ill feeling may have arisen on account of my past activities. Please bless me to be able to progress towards my cherished goal, free from obstacles caused by unbefitting exchanges with others, gravest among which is offending a Vaishnava. February 4th, 2005, On the eve of Advaita Saptami at Radha-kunda, I remain in your service. // Madhavananda Das //
  24. And you'll actually copy and paste that from another topic in this very same forum, where I already requested that credit be given to the translator. I wonder if you are reading at all? Do you care at all what Vaishnavas think of you?
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