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Posts posted by raga

  1. bhasa.jpg


    Bhasa is a forum for studies of Indic languages — such as Bengali, Hindi, Oriya and Sanskrit — in a Vaisnava context. "In a Vaisnava context" does not call for all participants to be Vaisnava, although it does narrow down the cultural context the majority of our audience comes from and applies the said languages in.


    Bhasa is a free resource and a discussion arena for everyone with an interest in becoming familiar or refining their knowledge of Indic languages. Whether you are a beginner with next to no knowledge or a seasoned linguist, there should be something of interest Bhasa can offer you.


    Bhasa is not designed to be a full-fledged language course that will systematically educate you in the language of your choice. It is a shared chalkboard for students and teachers of various levels, with no formal curriculum. Think of it as a learning aid to supplement your current studies.



  2. May be of interest, was sent to Dandavats.Com editor after the entry was removed in a few days from posting over being not ISKCON related.




    The event is a 84-krosa Vraja-mandala event, which means that all movements and lineages are attending – members of ISKCON included. You may check this for example with Mahanidhi Swami if you wish.


    Siddha Madhusudana Das Babaji Maharaja is also the vesa-guru (sannyasa-guru) of Siddha Jagannatha Das Babaji Maharaja, who is in your guru-parampara.


    Hoping to clarify,


  3. Siddha Baba received diksa from an unknown mahatma coming in the disciplic line of Gangamata Gosvamini. Then, he took diksa in a parampara. Later on, whatever knowledge was absent on account of his brief acquaintance with his diksa-guru was filled in by Radharani herself. On account of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding his diksa and all things related, Siddha Baba never initiated anyone (on Radharani's personal request), although he instructed many.


    However please do not turn this into a political parampara debate. I would like to ask the administrators to delete any such posts to keep this thread on topic. The topic is the Surya-kunda Festival. If you wish to speak separately about Siddha Baba's life and related lessons, please start a separate thread for that.

  4. Dear Vaisnavas!


    With November well underway and the blessed month of Kartika behind us, the annual festival of Siddha Madhusudana Das Babaji Maharaja of Surya-kunda is approaching. The event is one of the largest happenings at Vraja, drawing audience from all across the 84-krosh Vraja-mandala – from all movements and parivaras alike.




    The ten-day festival begins on November 18th with the establishment of the festival altar, followed by seven days of Bhagavata-discourses from 2-7 PM. The auspicious Adhivasa-kirtana takes place on November 26th, followed by continuous harinama-kirtana until the morning of the 28th, which is Siddha Baba's disappearance day, the day when the main observance takes place. The disappearance festival starts around 10 AM in the morning, featuring padavali-kirtana and the singing of the saint's life-story, followed by parikrama around the village and the serving of festival prasada.


    With this message, we would like to cordially invite everyone to attend the event! The full festival program is available at:






    Radhanath Dasji of Radha-kunda, a familiar figure to many Western devotees visiting the dhama, has asked me to convey a message concerning the festival practicalities to the global assembly of devotees. There is a yearly fund-raising effort taking place to make possible the vast amounts of prasada prepared for the babajis, the bhaktas and the vraja-vasis all alike. Additionally, this year the festival organizers have arranged for eight buses to Govardhana, Radha-kunda, Varsana, Vrindavana and so forth to make possible a broader attendance especially among the elderly Vaisnavas, who may find a journey to Surya-kunda on foot too taxing an undertaking.


    If you would like to participate and contribute for Vaisnava-seva reaching mahatmas from all across Vraja-mandala, it will be much appreciated. You may send donations with PayPal, credit cards, Western Union or via a bank transfer.


    For further details, please view the entry for Surya-kunda Festival at:




    At the website, you will also find a selection of video and audio media from the earlier years' festivals along with Siddha Baba's life story.


    Thank you for your kind attention!



    Madhavananda Das

  5. Vraja Journal Returns




    Here, a notice to let everyone know that Vraja Journal is coming back – a bit revised, hopefully more interesting for you, and certainly easier to maintain for me. Upcoming days will feature more information on what's new and what's happening with this journal and life as we know it: Both internal and external changes unfolding...


    More at www.vrajajournal.com!

  6. It goes without saying that around brahma-muhurta is the best time. Unfortunately brahma-muhurta only lasts so long... If you do the 64 rounds for eight hours, you'll have to start at 8 PM to have it done before brahma-muhurta. :P


    In any case, "scattering" the japa amidst other activities is not good. Chant at one sitting, whether you start at 1 AM or 5:30 AM.


    Mahanidhi Swami's "GV Samadhis in Vrindavana" has Bhaktivinoda's schedule that allocates 4:30 to 7:00 AM for japa, with court duties starting at 10 AM, lasting until 5 PM with a one-hour break.


    Eating at 10:00 pm is a very unhealthy practice.

    You need a good 4 hours to at least partially digest your meal before taking sleep.

    I think stopping japa to take a proper meal at a healthy time would be better than putting off eating till 10:00 pm.

    That would certainly be the healthier option, but would compromise the vrata of not eating until the lakh is done. Why is that bad? More on that in a moment. In such a situation, one would probably be best off drinking a few glasses of water and eating on the next day.




    But, if you can chant 64 rounds in 3 or 4 hours then there is no need for that I guess.

    People can get themselves entangled in the craziest things, you know, voluntarily or otherwise. Leaving japa "for later" is a risky business, and the vrata of not eating before japa is done is quite effective in ensuring that the daily quota is fulfilled.


    It is also a statement to the lord of one's determination. Remember Gaurakisora Das Babaji, who would start heading towards the Ganga if nama-bhajana wasn't working out? In that spirit.




    I relish japa and I certainly don't like to do it hastily just for the sake of getting it done and out of the way.


    I don't see what is so hard about finding 8 hours out of the day to chant for one who is seriously dedicated to sadhana bhakti.


    Speeding through my rounds so I have extra time to surf the web and catch-up on all the forums and chats doesn't strike me as proper.

    Yes, I heartily agree on that. I am not saying you should stop at one lakh. It isn't that one can think "now I am chanting enough" when the counter hits 64. When that becomes established, start chanting one and half lakhs. Then two, and so on and so forth. Kirtaniya sada harih is the objective.

  8. Janardan: Not audible. It would be very hard to chant 64 rounds in three hours that pace while vocally pronouncing each name. If I chant aloud at a rapid pace and do upamsu while inhaling, I chant one mala in a bit over 4 minutes, and one lakh comes to a bit under four and a half hours.


    The capacity of the mind is greater than the capacity of the mouth. Then, speed is naturally gained by practice with focus; it comes automatically. I don't think anyone should try to artificially speed up japa, the quality would most likely suffer from that.


    Regardless of how you chant, here's the magic formula for attaining better focus and deeper experiences:


    Sit down. Don't move anywhere before 64 rounds are finished. Don't eat or drink before a lakh is full, ever. If need be, fast until ten in the evening if that's as long as it takes before the lakh is full.

  9. Concerning my notes above, there is a very befitting verse cited in Dhyanacandra's Paddhati (64):


    mano-madhye sthito mantro mantra-madhye sthitaM manaH |

    mano-mantraM samAyuktam etad dhi japa-lakSaNam || hbv 17.129?


    "When the mantra is situated amidst the mind, and the mind is situated amidst the mantra, and when the mind and the mantra fuse together – then the effects of japa unfold."


    When the mind and the mantra become one, one is withdrawn from outer reality altogether, seated in a beautiful, tranquile state of absorption.

  10. In Padyavali:


    22: Ceto-darpana...

    31: Namnam akari bahudha...

    32: Trinad api sunicena...

    71: Ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram...

    94: Nayanam galad-asru-dharaya...

    95: Na dhanam na janam na sundarim...

    328: Yugayitam nimesena...

    341: Aslisya va pada-ratam...


    The only difference in sequence is in the position of the na dhanam na janam verse, which generally precedes the ayi nanda-tanuja verse.


    it's never been the situation I guess, but just a matter of determination.

    my determination has been lacking greatly for while now.

    Maybe that is because I think that perfection is so rarely acheived even by great sadhakas striving for many lifetimes.


    the direction?

    is that as in the goal we are seeking or as in getting the right directions on how to get there?

    You need a dose of biographies of Gaudiya Vaisnava saints. :cool: I find the invaluable in maintaining a faith in the possibilities of the path within the lifetime. Of course, there's nothing better than meeting and watching the real thing, but in the absence of that... For example Kapoor's "Saints of Vraja" is a good read.


    Direction: Well, both really. But I meant, "It's not a question of what situation you're in now -- it's a question of heading to the right direction."


    I have always therefore avoided trying to understand my attraction to Krishna in a particular way beause I know that my "conditioned mindset" would have too much influence.


    Despite that, even though I am a rowdy and a male ego in the material sense, I am finding some preference for madhurya-rasa deep in my heart. At least I think I am developing that way, but it is probably a little too soon to know for sure.


    Therefore, it's a good idea to start working on getting rid of the conditioned mindset right now. Reflecting on one's relationship with Krishna on the basis of one's conditioned frame of mind is only of limited benefit, but of even less benefit is the wading through of (something-like-a-devotional) life without having any clear sense of direction, or of only superficial focus.


    The meaning of bhakti means the establishment of a favorable relationship with Krishna -- relationship in the capacity he wants to have people around him as; not as Bhakta Bonk the Book Distributor or Swami Salami the Big Guru Figure. No: Following the service-moods of Krishna's eternal companions.


    Apply yourself to intense sadhana. Chant more. Hear more. Remember more. Make your heart have a crystalline quality, let the rays of divine emotion be justly reflected on its surface. Don't be a man of a million interests, be focused and determined to see the story through, see what the path of sadhana has to offer.

  13. There are basically two varieties of attraction.


    The first, subject to change with the evolution of the individual's psyche, arises when a particular relationship is in tune with the conditioned mindset of the jiva. Young girls may be attracted to gopis, and middle-aged men who long for their frolicsome childhood days long gone may be attracted to cowherd boys. A rowdy character may be attracted to Narasimha.


    The second attraction, arising causelessly and forcefully in the heart, commonly contracted in contact with devotees who are well-established in their identities and of whom this mood emanates, even if unspoken, is altogether transcendent in nature, born of the pure self. The first kind of attraction will, however, also purify the self when contemplated upon.

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  15. Merriam-Webster:


    1 : a person who voluntarily suffers death as the penalty of witnessing to and

    refusing to renounce a religion

    2 : a person who sacrifices something of great value and especially life itself for the sake of principle

    While someone could argue over legitimacy of using the second sense of the word here, I am under the impression that the word is not used for deaths that one could have avoided without compromising the principle -- such as here by basic lifestyle adjustments. I have never seen the word used for someone who has contracted a disease (such as Bhakti-tirtha Swami) and died of it. Dying doesn't make you a martyr, dying because of uncompromising fortitude in upholding a principle makes you one.


    A Gaudiya Vaisnava example is Haridas Thakur, who was beaten in twenty marketplaces by the Muslims for not forsaking the chanting of Hari's names in favor of Allah. Had he died, he would have been a martyr beyond doubt; even without, many would think of him as such, for no ordinary mortal could have withstood such treatment.

  16. You could even just ask, "when is the right time to do more Nama-bhajan and develop one's eternal spiritual identity". Right now is the right time, and yesterday was already perfect -- but people ripen at different paces.


    Babajis or non-babajis is immaterial. Whoever can deliver the goods is the one to take shelter of. In assessing that, certainty is only acquired through experience of having received -- not by vox populi.


    The adhikara for increased nama-bhajana dawns in the heart of a fortunate soul either by coming in contact with those in whose hearts the divine Name frolics and on whose tongues it always dances, or (more rarely) when powerful samskaras of nama-bhajana from one's past lives re-awaken. With the growing of fondness for the worship of the Name, the eternal identity becomes an ever-crisper reality in the heart's private domain.


    But if we actually take the mindset that we are too fallen to enter the temple and they are right for refusing us, then we must not go to any temple at all.


    ...is artificial unless you actually believe you are unfit to enter any temple of the Lord's

    A devotee will naturally have a desire to see his Lord, regardless of feelings of fitness. Then, when he is forbidden, he feels that justice has taken place and does not hold a grudge over it. When he is allowed, he feels that mercy has been bestowed, taking darshan with great eagerness.


    But I agree that on a social scale, these issues need to be worked on, and I do not agree on the legitimacy of racist policies such as those in effect here.


    My main point in the individual scope was that there is little need to provoke. I do not know if that was the case in this particular case, but such mentality is out there, and I feel it is not conducive in any respect -- not for the indivudals' devotion, not for furthering the cause.

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