Sri Kishori Sakhi Dasi’s disappearance lila

30 08 2009

Jai Nitai!

As I mentioned in my previous post I had lost internet connectivity for nearly 24 hours so the date of this post is off by a day. Yesterday was the tirobhav of Sri Kishori Sakhi Dasi, a close disciple of Sri Radharaman Charan Das Dev. She was an upasaka of sakhi-bhava and an intimate companion of Lalita Sakhi Dasi (Sakhi Ma). She attained siddhi at a very early age There is a chapter about her in carita-sudhA titled, “sakhi kizorI dAsIra bibaraNa” in the SaSTha khaNDa which gives a brief account of her life and I will reproduce it here for the pleasure of the Vaisnavas and in hope of receiving the kripa of Sri Kishori Sakhi Dasi.

One day, when Sri Radharaman Charan Das Dev was staying in the Agaraparha Garden in Calcutta he suddenly spit up some blood while washing his mouth in the morning. This made his companions anxious about his health. They said, “What could this be due to? Does it indicate some disease?” Baba Mahasaya replied, “This is due to some sorrowful happening in Puri.” Then he went and lay in his room and covered himself with a cadara from head to feet. After half an hour he uttered, “Kishori!” Then again he was quiet.

At about 10:30 AM he got up and said to someone, “I will go to Puri today, inform Pulin.” He had hardly said this when Pulin came with a telegram in his hand. He said, “What news Pulin?” Seeing that Pulin was hesitant in replying he said, “I know that on the day following Radhastami, Radharani accepted Kishori Dasi. She is blest. Arrange for my journey to Puri, I shall go today.”

The news spread in Agaraparha that Baba Mahasaya had suddenly decided to go to Puri. Many people came to inquire the reason for his sudden departure.

Baba Mahasaya replied, “Sometime ago a twenty year old boy named Advaita Das took mantra from me and went to Braja. After seeing all the holy places connected with the lila of Sri Krishna, he went to Barsana. There he lived with vairagya and swept the Sriji Mandir. He did not talk with anyone. In the evening he covered his head with his cadara and danced before the Sri Vigraha of Radharani. While dancing he often lost himself in bhava. The people of Barsana loved him very much because of  his bhava-bhakti.

“One day Radharani asked him in a dream to dance before Her in gopi-vesh. He ignored this as a mere dream. After three days Radharani again appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘You did not dance as I had asked. Tomorrow I shall send you the dress of a gopi. You wear the the dress and dance before Me. Remember that is your siddha-vesa.’

“The next  evening an old lady came with a sari and a blouse and said to him, ‘Baba, you dance before Radharani everyday. I like your dancing very much. I am giving you this sari and blouse so that you may wear them while dancing.’  He put on the sari and began to dance. Slowly he became so much attached to it that he could not give up wearing it. People began to call him Kishori Dasi. After one year he went to Puri and engaged himself in the service of Radhakanta Deva in Jhanjapita Math. Everyone was charmed by his bhava and loving service of the Thakurs. During the period of his service the Thakurs put on a new appearance. They looked so beautiful that sometimes I would wonder if They were the same Sri Vigrahas or not.”

“Radharani accepted him yesterday and engaged him in Her loving service in nitya-lila for all times. I am happy  because of this, but I am sorry to have been deprived of his company because the very sight of him inspired Krishna-lila in my heart.

What follows is Lalita Sakhi Dasi describing the passing of Kishori Dasi:

Kishori: “Believe me, I feel that by Radharani’s grace and your blessings I shall leave this body tomorrow between 8:30 and 9:00 AM.”

Lalita: “I burst into tears and said, “Kishori! Will you really leave us all and go?”

Kishori: “Ma! By your blessings it appears that it will be so. You decorate me and send me to Braja happily. I am sorry I have to leave your sweet company and to go without having the darshan of Baba Mahasaya.”

Lalita: “As she said this she threw her arms around my neck and began to cry like a child. After some time she contained herself and asked for some mahaprasada. Kusuma Dasi brought Radhakanta’s and Jagannath Deva’s mahaprasada. With her own hand she put a little of the mahaprasada in the mouth of each of us and then she took our remnants.”

“The next day early in the morning we assembled around her and started kirtana. At 8:30 I saw the she was slowly sinking. According to her desire I uttered her siddha name in her ear. As soon as she heard her name she became radiant and a smile came to her face. I placed a garland of Mukundavilasa around her neck. Others decorated her by putting a vermillion mark on her forehead and alta on her feet. We were singing, ‘Bhaja Nitai Gaura Radhe Syama, Japa Hare Krishna Hare Rama.’ She started singing with us. Suddenly she shouted, ‘Radhe Pranesvari!’ and she became silent forever. Her face was still radiant with a smile and her eyes were wide open and fixed on some object. It appeared as if she was looking at something extremely astonishing and attractive when she took her last breath.”

As Lalita Sakhi Dasi concluded the story of Kishori Dasi’s entrance into the nitya-lila, she began to cry. Baba Mahasaya was moved to the core of his heart. He said with a voice choked with emotion and tears in his eyes, “Kishori Dasi has left an ideal for the upasakas of madhura-rasa.”





Jai Sri Radhey! ~ braja-rasa-anurAga-mArg

29 08 2009

Jai Sri Radhey!

Yesterday Radhastami was celebrated in Radha Kunda. I was unable to attend the festivities during the day, but at night I went for snana, parikrama of Sri Radha Kunda and also to take a few photos to post on this blog. The reason I didn’t post this timely is because my internet connection was down for 16 hours. The festivities were over by this time and the altars were all set back to normal. I took photos at many mandirs, but one of the problems I often face with taking pictures in the evening is the way the lighting is set up on the altars in Radha Kunda. Nearly always there seems to be a glaring light directly above and in front of the dieties, thus taking a clear and properly lit photo a near impossiblility. I had wanted to share several photos, but as things turned out hardly any photos came out clear enought to post. Tonight I will just post a photo of Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Ananga Manjari taken on the evening of Sri Radhastami, accompanied by a couple of  wonderful verses by Sri Prabodhananda Saraswati in his Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi. This grantha is astonishing beyond words and its seems to be the direct incarnation of Kripamayi Sri Radhey in book-form, just as the Srimad Bhagavat is considered to be non-different and also the book-form of  Braja Bihari Sri Krishna. Prabodhananda Saraswatipada seems to have been especially empowered by Mahaprabhu in his writing to show that the braja-rasa-anurAga-mArg is the highest form of worship. He glorified the sentiments of Braja-rasa as the purest and best method for attaining prema of Sri Sri Radhey Shyam.

~ Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Ananga Manjari ~

~ Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Ananga Manjari ~

kAlindI-taTa-kuJja-mandira-gato yogIndravad yat-pada-
jyotir-dhyAna-paraH sadA japati yAM premAzru-pUrNo hariH |
kenApy adbhutam ullasad-rati-rasAnandena sammohitaH
sA rAdheti sadA hRdi sphuratu me vidyA parA dvy-akSarA || RRSN 96||
Hari goes to the forest bower abode by the Yamuna’s banks,
and there, like a great yogi with eyes full of tears,
devotedly meditating on the light from her lotus feet,
enchanted by some amazing excited joy of erotic flavors,
he constantly chants that two-syllable mantra rA-dhA.
May those two syllables manifest always in my heart.

kAlindI-taTa-kuJja-mandira-gato yogIndravad yat-pada-
jyotir-dhyAna-paraH sadA japati yAM premAzru-pUrNo hariH |
kenApy adbhutam ullasad-rati-rasAnandena sammohitaH
sA rAdheti sadA hRdi sphuratu me vidyA parA dvy-akSarA || RRSN 96||

May the two supremely astonishing, blissful, rasik, erotic, and enchanting syllables “rA-dhA”, that fulfill all desires, that Sri Hari does japa of while sitting in a kunja on the bank of the Yamuna as the king of yogis, meditating on the effulgence of her lotus-feet with His eyes filled with tears of love, always be manifest in my heart.

devAnAm atha bhakta-mukta-suhRdAm atyanta-dUraM ca yat
premAnanda-rasaM mahA-sukha-karaM coccAritaM premataH |
premNAkarNayate japaty atha mudA gAyaty athAliSv ayaM
jalpaty azru-mukho haris tad amRtaM rAdheti me jIvanam || RRSN 97||

This name that is so far from the experience of the gods, from the  devotees of Vaikuntha, from the liberated souls and from Krishna’s friends. This name, which upon being chanted with love, confers the ultimate joy of tasting the bliss of prema. It is this name that Hari listens to lovingly, sometimes doing japa of and, sometimes joyfully singing aloud, and He also chatters her name incessantly among Radha’s sakhis, his face covered with tears. The nectar of Radha’s name is my life.





Happy Radhastami 2009

27 08 2009

Jai Jai Sri Radhey! Today is an ultra-auspicious day for all Caitanya Vaisnavas. It is the day celebrated as the birthday of Brindavaneshvari Sri Radhey and also Sri Bisakha Sakhi. I wasn’t sure what I should write. This day is overwhelmingly important and nothing will seem adequate as a proper glorification of our life and soul, our Svamini, Sri Radharani. A verse from Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi by Sri Prabodhananda Saraswatipada caught my attention and I will post that along with commentary from Madhusudan Das, Prabhupad Ananda Gopal Goswami, and Sri Ananta Das Pandit the Mahant of Sri Radhakund and attempt to glorify Her is this way. Surely by the grace of guru and Nitai we will one day attain the position of Her nitya-dasi serving Her and Shyam in the kunjas of Braja.

vaidagdhya sindhur anurAga rasaika sindhur
vAtsaly sindhur ati sAndra kRpaika sindhuH |
lAvaNya sindhur amRta cchabi rUpa sindhuH
zrI rAdhikA sphuratu me hRdi keli sindhuH ||RRSN 18 ||
The ocean of clever expertise
The ocean of singleminded extraordinary love
The ocean of motherly affection
The ocean of extremely condensed deep compassion
The ocean of graceful charms
The ocean of nectarean effulgence of sheer beauty
May the ocean of the the sportive amorous lilas of Sri Radhika manifest in my heart.
Sri Radha — The Seven Cosmic Oceans Personified
(1)Sri Radha is vaidagdhya sindhuH, an ocean of cleverness. This means rasa pANDitya, She is learned in the science of rasa. She even teaches rasika zekhara, the king of reliShers, Sri Krishna expertise in erotic rasa. Sri Krishna Himself admits in Caitanya Caritamrta: rAdhikAra prema – guru; Ami – ziSya naTa; sadA AmA nAna nRtye nAcAye udbhaTa “Radhika’s love is the teacher and I am the dancing pupil. She always causes Me to dance different wonderful dances!” She is the teacher of arts.
Sri Rupa Goswamipada writes in Ujjvala Nilamani (rAdhA prakaraNa 21):
AcArya dhAtu citre pacana viracanA cAturI cAru cittA
vAg yuddhe mugdhayanti gurum api ca girAM paNDitA malya gumphe
pAThe zArI-zukAnAM paTur ajutam api dyuti keliSu jiSNur
vidyA vidyoti buddhiH sphurati rati kalAzAlini rAdhikeyam
Kundalata told Gargi: “O Devi! What more can I say about the artful expertise of Sri Radhika? She is the teacher by example of making pictures of mineral pigments (Sri Visvanath Cakravartipada writes in his Ananda candrikA commentary on this verse: AcArya na tu kadAcid api kasyacic chiSya….evaM sarvatra jJeyam. “The word acarya here means that She did not learn this science from anyone, it was spontaneously manifest to Her.”) She is expert is cooking, She can even stifle Krishna in verbal battle. She is very learned in stringing flower garlands, She is expert in teaching the Suka and Sari parrots how to recite beautiful verses. She can defeat even the unconquerable Ajita in a game of dice, and She has a keen intelligence.” Because of Her cleverness She is compared here with the ocean of Sweet Water (the seventh of the cosmic oceans).
(2)Sri Radha is the only ocean of anurAga. anurAga means mahabhAva. anurAga is ever-fresh and ever-astonishing. Srimati thinks Krishna’s sweetness is ever fresh and She always has more taste for His sweetness, so She always reliShes it. With the statement that Radharani is the only ocean of anurAga rasa is meant that when anurAga increases, it becomes mahabhAva and that when, mahabhAva increases it is called mAdana mahabhAva. Sri Radharani is the only one who has this mAdana mahabhAva and She is the fountainhead of all mahabhAva, just as the ocean is the fountainhead of all the rivers and ponds. The other gopis are Her phalanx that help Her to complete Krsna’s relishing of prema rasa. Just as milk becomes thick kSIra when it is boiled down, anuraga turns into mahabhAva when it becomes ‘thick’ (intensified). Therefore the anurAga-ocean is compared to the ocean of milk (the sixth of the cosmic oceans).
(3)Sri Radha is the ocean of vAtsalya. vAtsalya means love for the poor and the fallen. Just as Sri Radha is an inexhaustible storehouse of erotic rasa, She is also a great ocean of vAtsalya-affection. The writers of the rasa zAstra say that the vAtsalya rasa is not compatible with the madhurya rasa, but Radharani makes them compatible in some situations. For instance, She gives the greatest bliss to rasika ziromaNi Sri Krishna and Her girlfriends and maidservants when She gives this ‘motherly’ affection to Krishna while He takes His meal. Sri Radha’s vAtsalya towards Her girlfriends is also most wonderful. She is always controlled by their affection. Sri Rupa Goswamipada gives the following example in his Ujjvala Nilamani (rAdhA prakAraNa 34):
upadiza sakhi vRnde vallabendrasya sUnuM kim ayam iha sakhInAM mAm adhInAM dunoti
apasaratu sazaGkaM mandirAn mAninInAM kalayati lalitAyAH kiM na zauTIrya dhATIm
Sri Radha had a quarrel with Sri Krishna, but now She regrets it (kalahAnrarita bhAva). She is once more eager to meet Him, but in order to show that She is under the fll control of her girlfriends, She tells Vrinda: “O sakhi Vrnde! Tell this prince of Braja that I am controlled by my girlfriends! Why does He waste His words on Me? We are proud girls it is not proper for Him to stay in our abodes! Tell Him that He better fearfull flee! Doesn’t He know the prowess of my friend Lalita?” With these words sakhI vatsalA Sri Radha pleases Her girlfriends and gives a hidden instruction to Shyamasundar to come and meet Her at the same time. Sri Radha’s vAtsalya towards Her maidservants is incomparable! The maidservants are always showered by the waves from the ocean of Her motherly affection. She always keeps them by Her side, calling them, “My Rupa Manjari, My Rati Manjari, with strong feelings of mineness. Because there is a lot of the essential part of affection in the vAtsalya-ocean, just as yoghurt is the essence of milk, this ocean can be compared the ocean of yoghurt (the fifth of the cosmic oceans).
(4)Sri Radha is the ocean of deep compassion, always showering Her devotees with the nectar stream of Her mercy. Those who have been touched by the nectar of that compassion, can testify. Sri Raghunath Das Gosvami says: karuNA vidravad dehA – “Her body melts with compassion”. Normally, a person’s heart melts with compassion, but only in Radharani’s case Her whole body melts with compassion. She always bathes in streams of ambrosial compassion, and because Krishna accepted Her mood when He became Gaura Mahaprabhu, Mahaprabhu is so merciful! Mahaprabhu does not consider who is qualified or unqualified, who is from which caste or from which asrama. He gives prema without making such distinctions! That is ‘a body melting with compassion’! It is Radha’s storehouse of compassion, not Krishna’s! In Braja-lila the storehouse of Radha’s mercy remained hidden and closed, but when Mahaprabhu accepted the mood and complexion of Sri Radha, it became manifest to the world! Mahaprabhu showed the people of the world how the body can melt with compassion, because He assumed Sn Radha’s merciful mood. Because Radhika’s body melts with compassion, it can be compared to the ocean of clarified butter (the fourth of the cosmic oceans).
(5)Sri Radha is the ocean of lavaNnya. Sri Rupa Gosvami defines lAvaNya as follows in his Ujjvala Nilamani:
muktAphaleSu chAyAyAs taralatvam ivAntarA |
pratibhAti yad aGgeSu lAvaNyam tad ihocyate ||
“The luster that gushes out of each bodily limb like the luster shining out from inside pearls, is called lAvaNya.” Srimati is the ocean of lAvaNya, or elegance. The fishlike eyes of Sri Krishna, who is called lAvaNya sAra (the essence of lAvaNya, or elegance) in Srimad Bhagavat (10.44.14), never get tired of swimming in the ocean of Sri Radha’s lAvaNya. Indeed, His desire to swim in that ocean simply increases! Sripada Bilvamangala Thakura said in Krishna Karnamrtam (3): lAvAnyAmRta vIci lolita dRSaM – “Krishna’s eyes billow on the waves of nectarean lAvaNya.” Sri Krishna Das Kaviraja writes in his sAraGga RaGgadA commentary on this verse: zrI rAdhAyA evA lAvanyAmRta vIcibhir lolite satRSNIkRte dRzau yasya tam “Sri Krishna’s eyes have become very thirsty after the nectar waves of Sri Radha’s lAvaNya.” Because Krishna is intoxicated by seeing Radha’s lAvaNya and Her maidservants and girlfriends are intoxicated by seeing Krishna looking at Radhika like this. The practicing devotees should also forget everything related to this world or the next world and become intoxicated by worshiping the lotus feet of that Sri Radha! The ocean of lAvaNya is compared to the ocean of wine (the third of the cosmic oceans).
(6)Sri Radha is the ocean of amRta cchabi rUpa. She is the very form of glowing nectar and Her form is like a vast ocean. She is mahAbhAva personified and mahabhAva is compared to nectar. It is the deepest possible love for Krishna, and Radha’s form reveals this beauty and tastefulness to the utmost, therefore She is the amRtacchabi rUpa sindhu. Although Sri Krishna inundates the world with a mere drop of His beauty, even He rowns in the nectar ocean of Radha’s form! Krishna says in the Caitanya Caritamrta 1.4.242-243:
koTi kAma jini rUpa yayapi AmAra, asamordhva mAdhurya sAmya nahi yAra
more rUpe apyAyita hoy tribhuvana, rAdhAra darzane AmAra juDAya nayana
<……………………………………………………………>
eimata jagatera sukhe Ami hetu, rAdhikAra rUpa guNa AmAra jivAtu
“Although My form defeats millions of Cupids, it is unrivalled in it’s sweetness and pleases all the three worlds, My eyes are still pleased by seeing Radha…In this way I am the cause of joy to the world, but Radhika’s form and attributes are My very life! Because the ocean of Sri Radha’s form is so sweet it is compared to the ocean of sugarcane juice (the second of the cosmic oceans).
(&)Sri Radha is the ocean of playfulness, which means She frolics with Her beloved Syamasundara. She keeps Syamasundara immersed in the waves of the ocean of Her pastimes when She meets Him. When the waves of mAdana rasa swell in the ocean of Sri Radha’s pastimes even Sri Krishna, the transcendental youthful Cupid of Brindavan does not dare to place His boat-like heart on its surface, just as a boatman fearfully keeps his boat on the bank of the Ganga when her huge waves meet the ocean. The very sight of this ocean destroys all sins, but a person who drinks it’s water will die. Similarly, when one faithfully chants and hears about the pastimes of Radha and Madhava one will become free from all sins and from the heart’s disease of lust, but when one tries to imitate these pastimes one will perish. This ocean of play is compared to the ocean of salt water (the first of the cosmic oceans).

vaidagdhya sindhur anurAga rasaika sindhur
vAtsalya sindhur ati sAndra kRpaika sindhuH |
lAvaNya sindhur amRta cchabi rUpa sindhuH
zrI rAdhikA sphuratu me hRdi keli sindhuH ||RRSN 18 ||

The ocean of clever expertise
The ocean of singleminded extraordinary love
The ocean of motherly affection
The ocean of extremely condensed deep compassion
The ocean of graceful charms
The ocean of nectarean effulgence of sheer beauty
May the ocean of the the sportive amorous lilas of Sri Radhika manifest in my heart.

Sri Radha — The Seven Cosmic Oceans Personified

(1) Sri Radha is vaidagdhya sindhuH, an ocean of cleverness. This means rasa pANDitya, She is learned in the science of rasa. She even teaches rasika zekhara, the king of relishers, Sri Krishna expertise in erotic rasa. Sri Krishna Himself admits in Caitanya Caritamrta: rAdhikAra prema – guru; Ami – ziSya naTa; sadA AmA nAna nRtye nAcAye udbhaTa “Radhika’s love is the teacher and I am the dancing pupil. She always causes Me to dance different wonderful dances!” She is the teacher of arts. Sri Rupa Goswamipada writes in Ujjvala Nilamani (rAdhA prakaraNa 21):

AcArya dhAtu citre pacana viracanA cAturI cAru cittA
vAg yuddhe mugdhayanti gurum api ca girAM paNDitA malya gumphe |
pAThe zArI-zukAnAM paTur ajutam api dyuti keliSu jiSNur
vidyA vidyoti buddhiH sphurati rati kalAzAlini rAdhikeyam ||

Kundalata told Gargi: “O Devi! What more can I say about the artful expertise of Sri Radhika? She is the teacher by example of making pictures of mineral pigments (Sri Visvanath Cakravartipada writes in his Ananda candrikA commentary on this verse: AcArya na tu kadAcid api kasyacic chiSya….evaM sarvatra jJeyam. “The word acarya here means that She did not learn this science from anyone, it was spontaneously manifest to Her.”) She is expert is cooking, She can even stifle Krishna in verbal battle. She is very learned in stringing flower garlands, She is expert in teaching the Suka and Sari parrots how to recite beautiful verses. She can defeat even the unconquerable Ajita in a game of dice, and She has a keen intelligence.” Because of Her cleverness She is compared here with the ocean of Sweet Water (the seventh of the cosmic oceans).

(2) Sri Radha is the only ocean of anurAga. anurAga means mahabhAva. anurAga is ever-fresh and ever-astonishing. Srimati thinks Krishna’s sweetness is ever fresh and She always has more taste for His sweetness, so She always relishes it. With the statement that Radharani is the only ocean of anurAga rasa is meant that when anurAga increases, it becomes mahabhAva and that when, mahabhAva increases it is called mAdana mahAbhAva. Sri Radharani is the only one who has this mAdana mahAbhAva and She is the fountainhead of all mahAbhAva, just as the ocean is the fountainhead of all the rivers and ponds. The other gopis are Her phalanx that help Her to complete Krsna’s relishing of prema rasa. Just as milk becomes thick kSIra when it is boiled down, anuraga turns into mahAbhAva when it becomes ‘thick’ (intensified). Therefore the anurAga-ocean is compared to the ocean of milk (the sixth of the cosmic oceans).

(3) Sri Radha is the ocean of vAtsalya. vAtsalya means love for the poor and the fallen. Just as Sri Radha is an inexhaustible storehouse of erotic rasa, She is also a great ocean of vAtsalya-affection. The writers of the rasa zAstra say that the vAtsalya rasa is not compatible with the madhurya rasa, but Radharani makes them compatible in some situations. For instance, She gives the greatest bliss to rasika ziromaNi Sri Krishna and Her girlfriends and maidservants when She gives this ‘motherly’ affection to Krishna while He takes His meal. Sri Radha’s vAtsalya towards Her girlfriends is also most wonderful. She is always controlled by their affection. Sri Rupa Goswamipada gives the following example in his Ujjvala Nilamani (rAdhA prakAraNa 34):

upadiza sakhi vRnde vallabendrasya sUnuM kim ayam iha sakhInAM mAm adhInAM dunoti
apasaratu sazaGkaM mandirAn mAninInAM kalayati lalitAyAH kiM na zauTIrya dhATIm

Sri Radha had a quarrel with Sri Krishna, but now She regrets it (kalahAntarita bhAva). She is once more eager to meet Him, but in order to show that She is under the full control of her girlfriends, She tells Vrinda: “O sakhi Vrnde! Tell this prince of Braja that I am controlled by my girlfriends! Why does He waste His words on Me? We are proud girls it is not proper for Him to stay in our abodes! Tell Him that He better fearfully flee! Doesn’t He know the prowess of my friend Lalita?” With these words sakhI vatsalA Sri Radha pleases Her girlfriends and gives a hidden instruction to Shyamasundar to come and meet Her at the same time. Sri Radha’s vAtsalya towards Her maidservants is incomparable! The maidservants are always showered by the waves from the ocean of Her motherly affection. She always keeps them by Her side, calling them, “My Rupa Manjari, My Rati Manjari, with strong feelings of mineness. Because there is a lot of the essential part of affection in the vAtsalya-ocean, just as yoghurt is the essence of milk, this ocean can be compared the ocean of yoghurt (the fifth of the cosmic oceans).

(4) Sri Radha is the ocean of deep compassion, always showering Her devotees with the nectar stream of Her mercy. Those who have been touched by the nectar of that compassion, can testify. Sri Raghunath Das Gosvami says: karuNA vidravad dehA – “Her body melts with compassion”. Normally, a person’s heart melts with compassion, but only in Radharani’s case Her whole body melts with compassion. She always bathes in streams of ambrosial compassion, and because Krishna accepted Her mood when He became Gaura Mahaprabhu, Mahaprabhu is so merciful! Mahaprabhu does not consider who is qualified or unqualified, who is from which caste or from which asrama. He gives prema without making such distinctions! That is ‘a body melting with compassion! It is Radha’s storehouse of compassion, not Krishna’s! In Braja-lila the storehouse of Radha’s mercy remained hidden and closed, but when Mahaprabhu accepted the mood and complexion of Sri Radha, it became manifest to the world! Mahaprabhu showed the people of the world how the body can melt with compassion, because He assumed Sn Radha’s merciful mood. Because Radhika’s body melts with compassion, it can be compared to the ocean of clarified butter (the fourth of the cosmic oceans).

(5) Sri Radha is the ocean of lAvaNya. Sri Rupa Gosvami defines lAvaNya as follows in his Ujjvala Nilamani:

muktAphaleSu chAyAyAs taralatvam ivAntarA |
pratibhAti yad aGgeSu lAvaNyam tad ihocyate ||

“The luster that gushes out of each bodily limb like the luster shining out from inside pearls, is called lAvaNya.” Srimati is the ocean of lAvaNya, or elegance. The fishlike eyes of Sri Krishna, who is called lAvaNya sAra (the essence of lAvaNya, or elegance) in Srimad Bhagavat (10.44.14), never gets tired of swimming in the ocean of Sri Radha’s lAvaNya. Indeed, His desire to swim in that ocean simply increases! Sripada Bilvamangala Thakura said in Krishna Karnamrtam (3):  lAvAnyAmRta vIci lolita dRSaM – “Krishna’s eyes billow on the waves of nectarean lAvaNya.” Sri Krishna Das Kaviraja writes in his sAraGga RaGgadA commentary on this verse: zrI rAdhAyA evA lAvanyAmRta vIcibhir lolite satRSNIkRte dRzau yasya tam “Sri Krishna’s eyes have become very thirsty after the nectar waves of Sri Radha’s lAvaNya.” Because Krishna is intoxicated by seeing Radha’s lAvaNya and Her maidservants and girlfriends are intoxicated by seeing Krishna looking at Radhika like this. The practicing devotees should also forget everything related to this world or the next world and become intoxicated by worshiping the lotus feet of that Sri Radha! The ocean of lAvaNya is compared to the ocean of wine (the third of the cosmic oceans).

(6) Sri Radha is the ocean of amRta cchabi rUpa. She is the very form of glowing nectar and Her form is like a vast ocean. She is mahAbhAva personified and mahAbhAva is compared to nectar. It is the deepest possible love for Krishna, and Radha’s form reveals this beauty and tastefulness to the utmost, therefore She is the amRtacchabi rUpa sindhu. Although Sri Krishna inundates the world with a mere drop of His beauty, even He drowns in the nectar ocean of Radha’s form! Krishna says in the Caitanya Caritamrta 1.4.242-243:

koTi kAma jini rUpa yayapi AmAra, asamordhva mAdhurya sAmya nahi yAra more rUpe apyAyita hoy tribhuvana, rAdhAra darzane AmAra juDAya nayana
<……………………………………………………………>
eimata jagatera sukhe Ami hetu, rAdhikAra rUpa guNa AmAra jivAtu

“Although My form defeats millions of Cupids, it is unrivalled in it’s sweetness and pleases all the three worlds, My eyes are still pleased by seeing Radha…In this way I am the cause of joy to the world, but Radhika’s form and attributes are My very life! Because the ocean of Sri Radha’s form is so sweet it is compared to the ocean of sugarcane juice (the second of the cosmic oceans).

(7) Sri Radha is the ocean of playfulness, which means She frolics with Her beloved Syamasundara. She keeps Syamasundara immersed in the waves of the ocean of Her pastimes when She meets Him. When the waves of mAdana rasa swell in the ocean of Sri Radha’s pastimes even Sri Krishna, the transcendental youthful Cupid of Brindavan does not dare to place His boat-like heart on its surface, just as a boatman fearfully keeps his boat on the bank of the Ganga when her huge waves meet the ocean. The very sight of this ocean destroys all sins, but a person who drinks it’s water will die. Similarly, when one faithfully chants and hears about the pastimes of Radha and Madhava one will become free from all sins and from the heart’s disease of lust, but when one tries to imitate these pastimes one will perish. This ocean of play is compared to the ocean of salt water (the first of the cosmic oceans).





Disappearance lila of Siddha Sri Ramhari Das Babaji

23 08 2009

Jai Nitai!

Today is the day of the disappearance lila of Siddha Sri Ramhari Das Babaji. He is one of the 12 great Mahatmas that are connected with our param-gurudeva Sripad Ramdas Babaji Maharaj. In any festival connected to Ramdas Babaji these 12 Mahatmas are served along with him.

Ramhari Das Babaji took birth in 1847 in Sripat Shantipur. Even as a child he exhibited strong spiritual tendencies and renunciation. As so often happens in these situations his parents thought to marry him to take his mind from his spiritual practices. But he just took complete shelter of Sri Nam and left home and went to Nabadwip hoping to get the kripa of the Vaisnavas there.

By good fortune he met Siddha Jagannath Das Babaji and took his shelter and guidance. Jagannath Das Babaji could understand that he was very serious and determined in his sadhana and arranged for him to receive diksha from Sri Radhikavilasa Thakura of Sri Khanda who was then staying in the kutir with Jagannath Baba.. Then Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj himself gave him veshashraya and named him Ramhari Das. Since his home and family were not far away his family members continued to give Ramhari trouble so he decided to go to Braja to do his bhajan. He stayed at Kesi Ghat, Radhakund, and Lala Babu’s kunja in Vamsivat for 12 years

He was a very loving and affection soul and treated all equally. He was especially fond of Gaura kirtan and instructed his sisyas to read Locana Das’s Dhamali as part of their daily sadhana. He was so attracted to Gaura Nam that if anyone said the name of Gaura he would embrace them with love. His favorite Vaisnavas to associate with were the sisyas of Jagannath Das Babaji and he also loved to do kirtan with our param-gurudev Sripad Ramdas Babaji which they did regularly.

It is so sweet to mention that when anyone would come to visit him from Nabadvip he would immediately welcome him with a garland of  fresh flowers and some cooling sandalwood paste.  He would then take that person on his lap and ask some philosophical questions about Gaurahari. If he didn’t get answers that pleased him he would ask the person to quickly go back to Nabadwip and have darshan of Nitai and Gaura and to get the association of the Gaura bhaktas there.

Rajarshi Banamali Bahadur, a close associate of Madhava Das Babaji came to stay at Lala Babu’s kutir. One day after honoring the prasad of Sri Radhavinod he became so overwhelmed in rapture that he began to dance and yell out, “Gaura, Gaura!” Sri Bijoy Krsna Gosvami’s disciple, Sri Brajabala Mahasaya, Sri Giridhari Das Babaji, Sri Madhava Das Babaji and many others came to join in the kirtana and they all danced in complete ecstacy!

On one day in 1907 at around noontime. he told his disciples, “Sri Gaurhari and His companions are performing kirtana and are dancing in ecstasy in Srivas Angan. I have to go there immediately.  Please bathe me and decorate me with tilak.”  After his sisyas carried out his orders, he sat in meditation with his eyes closed and entered nitya-lila.






The Initiation of Sri Rajani Das

18 08 2009
Sripad Radhacharan Das Babaji Maharaj (Rajani Das)

Sripad Radhacharan Das Babaji Maharaj (Rajani Das)

A desire grew within the heart of Rajani Das to find a Mahapurush and get diksha from him. He felt that he was simply wasting time and his sadhana will not bear fruit unless he can receive the shelter of a sadguru. Rajani Das met Sripad Ramdas Babaji Maharaj in Nabadwip and believed that he was the Mahapurush that he was looking for. Rajani Das stayed for two days in Samaj Bari with Babaji Maharaj and fell under his spell, so to speak as he felt completely enchanted by him. He felt like a doll that would dance to whatever tune Babaji Maharaj played.

He wanted the association of Babaji Maharaj birth after birth, and so he pulled him aside and asked if he could speak to him privately. He humbly asked Babaji Maharaj, “Please don’t keep me at a distance—don’t keep so far from you, bring me close to you.”

Kripamoy Babaji Maharaj mildly smiled understanding the mind of Rajani Das, and what he was trying to say in this simple way. Babaji Maharaj replied, “In that place where you will be spending  your entire life there is a birthday coming soon. I will give you diksha on that day.”  Rajani Das said, “Prabhu, you are still keeping some distance between us. I don’t understand what you are telling me, please don’t speak so ambiguously.”

Babaji Maharaj then said, “You are the Nitya-Dasi of Sri Brindavanesvari Vrishabhanu Raja-nandini  Srimati Radharani.  I was speaking of Her birthday. I will give you diksha on Radhashtami which is tomorrow. In the morning take your bath in the Suradhuni Ganga, put on fresh cloth and meet me in Sri Sri Radharaman’s Samadhi Griha.”

Rajani Das was overjoyed! He spent the entire night tossing and turning, unable to sleep thinking about his good fortune and the special day just ahead of him. In the morning he went to the Suradhuni at Sribas Angan ghat for his bath. He was thinking how Mahaprabhu placed His lotus-feet in these very same waters and how fortunate he was to be taking bath there now. After bathing he quickly returned to Samaj Bari where he changed his cloth and went to the Samadhi of Sri Radharaman Charan Dev.

When he arrived at the Samadhi Griha he saw that others were there waiting to be initiated.  Babaji Maharaj saw him and motioned that he come inside. Babaji Maharaj had him sit face to face with him and asked him to hold out his hands. Babaji Maharaj then held the hands of Rajani Das  for some moments and then breathed the diksha mantras in his ears including “Nitai Gaura Radhey Shyam Hare Krishna Hare Rama.”

Rajani Das describes his experience: “When he held my hands I could feel a tremendous spiritual energy flowing from him to me. So much shakti! My hairs were standing on end. I felt like my body was a ship previously being tossed about by violent waves, but that now has been taken to safe waters and anchored securely. I thought of these verses.

brahmANDa bhramite kona bhAgyavAn jIva |
guru-kRSNa-prasAde pAya bhakti-latA-bIja ||

Wandering througout the universe a greatly fortunate jiva, by the mercy of guru and Krishna receives the seed of the creeper of divine love.

saMsAra bhramite kona bhAgye keha tare |
nadIra pravAhe yena kASTha lAge tIre ||

The jivas are wandering throughout the universe. By good fortune a soul may get deliverance from samsara, just like a big log floating down a river may get stuck on one of its banks.

During the process of receiving the mantras I felt a super-consciousness. I could barely function and even needed help leaving the room. In my heart there was such incredible spiritual enjoyment…like the sound of a hundred vinas playing the most beautiful melodies and the enjoyment in my heart came to my eyes as a steady stream of tears. I was in such disbelief! Gurudeva! What did you give to me? I knew I was coming to receive diksha and you know what it it like when you go to get something—it is never quite what you had hoped for. In this case I couldn’t believe what I got! Gurudeva! What did you give to me? I can’t believe what I just received! I am in an ocean of nectar, nectar, nectar and nothing else! I could realize at that time what a mad man I previously was. Mad with my dry knowledge and proud too! But today by your kripa Gurudeva you have fully captured me heart and soul. And where did you take me? You took me to huge lake filled with love. You took me to the sarovar of prema for Sri Sri Radhey Shyam.





Ma Chandi of Cuttack

17 08 2009

Jai Ma!

In 2007 I was in Cuttack to visit Sripad Baya Baba’s ashram and Ras Bihari Math and we also took darshan of the famous Ma Chandi of Cuttack. Photos are not allowed, but the pujaris have a friendly relationship with the sadhus of our lineage so they permitted me to quickly take a photo.

Ma Chandi of Cuttack

Ma Chandi of Cuttack

There is a story about Ma Chandi and her appearance there.  The land where the Mandir is now located used to be a field in which Sri Hansa Panda, the priest of the King of Kanika, would let his cows graze. One day Hansa Panda was feeling sleepy so he layed down on a small hill to take a little rest and he experienced a stange sensation while lying there. That night Ma Chandi appeared to him in a dream and she asked to be dug out of the ground.  Hansa Panda told the King the whole story and with the King’s help the digging began the next day. It is said that 40 bullock carts of sindoor were removed from the hole before the deity of Ma Chandi was finally revealed. A temple was built on the same location and Sri Hansa Panda began her worship with great care and love.

She has four arms and she carries a pAza (noose), and an aGkuza (iron goad with a hook) in two hands and the other two hands are in the posture of the mudras, bara (awarding a boon), and abhaya (protecting from harm). Etymologically the word “Chandi” means fierce or violent and forcefully so. She is a loving Mother, but a wild killer. Her loving motherly side makes her intolerant of those who are hostile to her human and divine children. With all her strength she destroys the demon of darkness that impedes the evolution of her creation and the revelation of Divine Light.  Jai Ma!





Disappearance day of Pandit Srimad Vaisnavacharan Das Babaji Maharaj

16 08 2009
Sri Sri 108 Pandit Vaisnavacharan Das Babaji Maharaj

Sri Sri 108 Pandit Vaisnavacharan Das Babaji Maharaj

Today is the tirobhav of  Sri Sri 108 Vaisnavacharan Das Babaji Maharaj Pancha Tirtha.

He took birth in Orissa and in his early life he received diksha from Sripad Ramdas Babaji Maharaj and was instructed by him to serve at Sri Path Bari Ashram in Baranagar.  After some time he went to Brindavan to study the Bhagavata and other Vaisnava sastras under the guidance of Sri Radhacharan Das Babaji (Rajani Baba). When his studies were complete he moved back to Path Bari Ashram. Sripad Ramdas Babaji Maharaj started the publication of a monthly Vaisnava magazine titled, Sri Sri Nitaisundar and  Vaisnavacharan Jetha was a major contributor to the magazine. He was a highly learned Sanskrit scholar and received the title Pancha Tirtha for his erudition.  He was famous for his Bhagavat katha and was deeply loved by thousands of friends, admirers, and disciples. He entered nitya-lila in 1987 at Sri Path Bari Ashram.

Pandit Vaisnavacharan Das Babaji

Pandit Vaisnavacharan Das Babaji

Pandit Vaisnavacharan Das Babaji

Pandit Vaisnavacharan Das Babaji





Radhey Shyam

16 08 2009
~ Radhey Shyam ~

~ Radhey Shyam ~

kRSNaM vinA jagad idaM na hi vetti rAdhA
rAdhAM vinA jagad idaM na hi vetti kRSNaH
etena sarvam anugacchati sarva eva
kRSNa-prakAza-vasatiH khalu rAdhikaiva

kRSNaM vinA jagad idaM na hi vetti rAdhA
rAdhAM vinA jagad idaM na hi vetti kRSNaH |
etena sarvam anugacchati sarva eva
kRSNa-prakAza-vasatiH khalu rAdhikaiva ||8||

Radha knows nothing other than Krishna in this world, and Krishna knows nothing other than Radha. Everything follows from this. Everything indeed. Radha alone is the abode of Krishna’s light and revelation.

Radhastakam~Narahari Sarkar





Happy Sri Krishna Janmashtami 2009

14 08 2009
Yashoda Maiyya breastfeeding her Krishna
ardhonmIlita-locanasya pibataH  paryAptam ekaM stanaM
sadyaH  prasnuta-dugdham-digdham aparaM hastena sammArjataH |
mAtrA cAGguli-lAlitasya vadane smerAyamAne muhur
viSNoH  kSIra-kaNora-dhMa-dhavalA danta-dyutiH  pAtu vaH || Padyavali 131
With his eyes half-opened, baby Krishna drinks milk from Yashoda’s breast. When he is finished with one breast, he rubs the other breast and milk immediately begins to flow. His mother fondles him with her fingers and he smiles. May the splendorous teeth of Sri Krishna, which are annointed with droplets of milk, protect you all.
~Sri Mangala

ardhonmIlita-locanasya pibataH  paryAptam ekaM stanaM
sadyaH  prasnuta-dugdham-digdham aparaM hastena sammArjataH |
mAtrA cAGguli-lAlitasya vadane smerAyamAne muhur
viSNoH  kSIra-kaNora-dhMa-dhavalA danta-dyutiH  pAtu vaH ||

With his eyes half-opened, baby Krishna drinks milk from Yashoda maiyya’s breast. When he is finished with one breast, he rubs the other breast and milk immediately begins to flow. His mother fondles him with her fingers and he smiles. May the splendorous teeth of Sri Krishna, which are annointed with droplets of milk, protect you all.

Padyavali ~Sri Mangala





Sri Sri 108 Siddha Radha Charan Das Babaji

11 08 2009
Sri Sri 108 Siddha Radha Charan Das Babaji Maharaj

Sri Sri 108 Siddha Radha Charan Das Babaji Maharaj

Amar Rajani Jyetha
Jai Nitai!
Our param-gurudev Sripad Ramdas Babaji Maharaj had many siddha disciples and of those who did their
bhajan in Brindavan two were particularly dear to him. Siddha Gauranga Das Babaji and Siddha Radha
Charan Das Babaji, the latter was commonly known as Rajani Baba. Siddha Gauranga Das Babaji is much
more well known, mostly due to the fact that his hagiography was included in Dr. O.B.L. Kapoor’s book,
Braja ke bhakta, or the Saints of Braja. Both of the above-mentioned Babaji’s are my gurudeva’s gurubhais,
so from now on I will refer to them as “jyetha” which means uncle in Bengali. Both of them were very close
and loved each other like brothers.
Rajani Jyetha’s father was great Vaisnava and a scholar. Bijoy Krishna Goswami would come to his house to
hear his Hari-katha. In fact, Bijoy Krishna Goswami was in their house and was present for the birth of
Rajani Jyetha, and he predicted that he would become a great Vaisnava. At a very early age, Rajani Jyetha
took to the yoga-marg and quickly attained Brahma-jnana, realizing Sri Krishna in His form as the all-
pervading Brahman. During this time he was with the Indian Freedom Fighing movement and the English
police arrested him and placed him in jail. While he was in his cell he performed his yoga practice. Some of
the Government officials noticed his shakti and saintly qualities and started to cooperate with him by
providing better facility for his yoga sadhana. Shortly after his release from prison he met Sripad Ramdas
Babaji and received his blessings. He surrendered to Babaji Maharaj and began doing bhajan of Nitai Gaura
Radhey Shyam.
He made very rapid advancement in bhakti and soon became siddha. Sripad Ramdas Babaji loved him very
much and was very proud of him and enjoyed talking about his early attainments. Ramdas Babaji even
used to enjoy glorifying him in front of his elder gurubhai, Gauranga Baba.
At Govinda Kund in Brindavan Rajani Jyetha has an ashram and his samadhi is located there. At one time
he resided in Sri Path Bari Ashram. My gurudeva then lived in that room after Rajani Jyetha left there to go
to Brindavan.

Jai Nitai!

Our param-gurudev Sripad Ramdas Babaji Maharaj had many siddha disciples and of those who did their bhajan in Brindavan two were particularly dear to him. Siddha Gauranga Das Babaji and Siddha Radha Charan Das Babaji, the latter was commonly known as Rajani Baba. Both of them were very close and loved each other just like brothers. Siddha Gauranga Das Babaji is much more well known, mostly due to the fact that his hagiography was included in Dr. O.B.L. Kapoor’s book, Braja ke bhakta, or The Saints of Braja. Both of the above-mentioned Babaji’s are my gurudeva’s gurubhais, so from now on I will simply refer to them as “jetha” which means uncle in Bengali.

Rajani Jyetha’s father was a great Vaisnava and a scholar. Bijoy Krishna Goswami would come to his house to hear his Hari-katha. In fact, Bijoy Krishna Goswami was in their home and was present for the birth of Rajani Jetha, and he predicted that he would become a great Vaisnava. At a very early age, Rajani Jetha took to the yoga-marg and quickly attained Brahma-jnana, realizing Sri Krishna in His form as the all-pervading Brahman. During this time he was with the Indian freedom fighing movement and the English police arrested him and placed him in jail. While he was in his cell he performed his yoga practice. Some of the Government officials noticed his shakti and saintly qualities and started to cooperate with him by providing better facility for his yoga sadhana. Shortly after his release from prison he met Sripad Ramdas Babaji and received his blessings. He surrendered to Babaji Maharaj and began doing bhajan of Nitai Gaura Radhey Shyam.

He made very rapid advancement in bhakti and soon became siddha. Sripad Ramdas Babaji loved him very much and was very proud of him and enjoyed talking about his early attainments. Ramdas Babaji even used to enjoy glorifying him in front of his elder gurubhai, Gauranga Baba. At Govinda Kund in Brindavan Rajani Jetha has an ashram and his samadhi is located there. At one time he resided in Sri Path Bari Ashram. My gurudeva  lived in that room after Rajani Jetha left there to go to Brindavan.  More about his life and lila to come…

The picture of Rajani Jyetha that hangs in my gurudeva's room in Path Bari

The picture of Rajani Jetha that hangs in my gurudeva's room at Path Bari Ashram





Ramakrishna Paramahamsa & Bijoy Krishna Goswami experience ananda at Ariadaha

10 08 2009
Jai Nitai!
I was told the following story from a gurubhai about Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Sri Bijoy Krishna
Goswami. My gurubhai heard it directly from the lips of the pujari at Das Gadadhar’s Sripat.
Goswamiji was visiting with Ramakrishna Parmahamsa in his parlor at Dakshineshwar, and during the
course of their conversation he expressed some  disappointment and heaviness of heart. Bijoy Krishna
Goswami was highly advanced on the yoga-marg, but he was not satisfied. Sri Ramakrishna knew about
the background of Goswamiji–that he was a direct decsendent of Sri Advaita Acharya and grew up in a
Vaisnava family. He knew that his natural disposition is that of a bhakta of Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar. He
also knew what Goswamiji needed to feel whole and happy again.
Ramakrishna suggested they go for a walk. Goswamiji had no idea where they were going, but that was of
no consequence to him. He was simply enjoying his company. Ramakrishna brought him to an area not so
far away known as Ariadaha. It is the Sripat of Das Gadadhar and there is a Mandir of Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar. When they arrived at the mandir the doors of the deities rooms were shut and locked.
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa yelled out for the pujari, but no one was responding. After some time
Ramakrishna closed his eyes and entered samadhi and with his mystic siddhis he made all the doors open
up, thus providing darshan for Goswamiji and himself. When Vijaya Krishna Goswami saw the beauty of
Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar he became lost in rapture and his heart became filled with divine love. His
dormant bhakti was awakened by the mercy of Paramahamsa Ramakrishna. Soon after this event, Sri Bijoy
Krishna Goswami abandoned the yoga-marg and began practicing suddha-bhakti in Brindavan.
The lila of Bijoy Krishna Goswami’s life illustrated the supremecy of bhakti. He was not just an ordinary
practioner stumbling from one path to the next, but he mercifully demonstrated the topmost goal of human
endeavour, prema for Sri Sri Radhey Shyam. He attained siddhi in karma, jnana, and yoga, but he did not
become fully satisfied until he acheived siddhi in prema-bhakti.
Now that we find ourselves at the Sripat of Das Gadadhar I will share a little information and katha related
to this place. I have been here several times in the past. It is a beatiful, quiet location on the bank of the
Ganga in an otherwise boisterous part of Kolkata. Several times I have stayed at my gurubhai, Subrata Ji’s
inlaw’s home which is approximately midway between Dakshineshwar Kali Mandir and Ariadaha Path Bari,
as it is otherwise known, thus providing me with ample time to visit both places to my full satisfaction.
When Mahaprabhu sent Nityananda to Bengal to preach, Das Gadadhar was among those who
accompanied him. Their first stop was Ariadaha where they stayed for about two months. Das Gadadhar was a very close
associate of Nitai-Gaura, and was one of the few of Nityananda’s associates that were not in sakhya-rasa. He
was in Sakhi-bhav and in Gaura Ganoddesa Dipika he is described as the effulgence of Canrakanti Sakhi’s body and a partial expansion of Purnananda Sakhi.
At the mandir Das Gadadhar there is a gorgeous murti of Sri Bala Gopla which belonged to him. Nitaichand picked up Bala Gopal from the altar and held him to his chest and danced in rapture! Nitai began to roar while blissfully dancing with Gopal.
One time Madhavananda Ghosa began to perform kirtan describing Krsna’s dana-lila.
The sweet singing of Madhavananda and the poetic descriptions
of the dana-lila made Nitaichand exhibit all of the sattvika-bhavas within
His body simultanously as He danced like one intoxicated. The gestures He
made while dancing were like flashes of lightning; His arms and legs moved with
unparalleled grace. His highly expressive eye movements, His sweet smiling,
wild laughter, and the shivering and quaking of His head, provided a feast
for ears and eyes of the Vaisnavas. Bringing His two beautiful lotus feet
together, He would then jump in such a way that completely captivated ones
mind. Whomever He would glance at would find themselves floating in an ocean of
Krishna-prema, and by His merciful glance they forgot about the
existence of their physical body. The level of spiritual rapture that is sought by
great yogis and rishis was attained that day by the ordinary men and women of
Ariadaha, just by witnessing Nitai’s prema-bhakti for Sri Krishna.
Nityananda Prabhu organized the event of Dana lila in the house of
Das Gadadhar. The temple was established by Das Gadadhar, and the site of the Dana lila,
Das Gadadhar’s bhajan ashram, and his memorial samadhi can all be seen there today.
There is also a small kund named Nityananda Sarovar behind the mandir. The mandir features the deities of Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar, Sri Bala Gopal, Sri Sri Nitai Gaura, and Nityananda Shakti Sri Jahnava
Thakurani.
The deities are all exceedingly stunning and gorgeous. Nitai is Gaura’s older brother and at this mandir so Nitai is much larger, therefore more capable of taking care of His younger brother, Sri Gaurhari. What can I say about Sri Jahnava Ma (Ananga Manjari) ? Her beauty is simply breathtaking!

Jai Nitai!

I was told the following story from a gurubhai about Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Sri Bijoy Krishna Goswami. My gurubhai heard it directly from the lips of the pujari at Das Gadadhar’s Sripat.

Goswamiji was visiting with Ramakrishna Parmahamsa in his parlor at Dakshineshwar, and during the course of their conversation he expressed some  disappointment and heaviness of heart. Bijoy Krishna Goswami was highly advanced on the yoga-marg, but he was not satisfied. Sri Ramakrishna knew about the background of Goswamiji–that he was a direct descendant of Sri Advaita Acharya and grew up in a Vaisnava family. He knew that his natural disposition is that of a bhakta of Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar. He also knew what Goswamiji needed to feel whole and happy again.

Ramakrishna suggested they go for a walk. Goswamiji had no idea where they were going, but that was of  no consequence to him. He was simply enjoying his company. Ramakrishna brought him to an area not so far away known as Ariadaha. It is the Sripat of Das Gadadhar and there is a Mandir there of Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar. When they arrived at the mandir the doors of the deities rooms were shut and locked. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa yelled out for the pujari, but no one was responding. After some time Ramakrishna closed his eyes and entered samadhi and with his mystic siddhis he made all the doors open up, thus providing darshan for Goswamiji and himself. When Vijaya Krishna Goswami saw the beauty of  Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar he became lost in rapture and his heart became filled with divine love. The bhakti lying dormant in his heart was awakened by the mercy of Paramahamsa Ramakrishna. Soon after this event, Sri Bijoy Krishna Goswami abandoned the yoga-marg and began practicing suddha-bhakti in Brindavan.

The lila of Bijoy Krishna Goswami’s life illustrated the supremacy of bhakti. He was not just an ordinary practioner stumbling from one path to the next, but he mercifully demonstrated the topmost goal of human endeavour, prema for Sri Sri Radhey Shyam. He attained siddhi in karma, jnana, and yoga, but he did not become fully satisfied until he acheived siddhi in prema-bhakti.

Now that we find ourselves at the Sripat of Das Gadadhar I will share a little information and katha related to this place. I have been here several times in the past. It is a beautiful, quiet location on the bank of the Ganga in an otherwise boisterous part of Kolkata. Several times I have stayed at my gurubhai, Subrata Ji’s inlaw’s home which is approximately midway between Dakshineshwar Kali Mandir and Ariadaha Path Bari, as it is otherwise known, thus providing me with ample opportunity to visit both places with ease to my full satisfaction.

When Mahaprabhu sent Nityananda to Bengal to preach, Das Gadadhar was among those who accompanied him. Their first stop was Ariadaha where they stayed for about two months. Das Gadadhar was a very close associate of Nitai-Gaura, and was one of the few of Nityananda’s associates that were not in sakhya-rasa. He was in Sakhi-bhav and in Gaura Ganoddesa Dipika he is described as the combination of the effulgence of Candrakanti Sakhi’s body and a partial expansion of Purnananda Sakhi.

At the mandir of Das Gadadhar there is a gorgeous murti of Sri Bala Gopal which belonged to him. Nitaichand picked up Bala Gopal from the altar and held him to his chest and danced in rapture! Nitai began to roar while blissfully dancing with Gopal.

One time Madhavananda Ghosa began to perform kirtan describing Krsna’s dana-lila. The sweet singing of Madhavananda and the poetic descriptions of the dana-lila made Nitaichand exhibit all of the sattvika-bhavas within His body simultanously as He danced like one intoxicated. The gestures He made while dancing were like flashes of lightning,  His arms and legs moved with unparalleled grace. His highly expressive eye movements, His sweet smiling, wild laughter, and the shivering and quaking of His head, provided a feast for ears and eyes of the Vaisnavas. Bringing His two beautiful lotus feet together He would then jump in such a way that completely captivated ones mind. Whomever He would glance at would find themselves floating in an ocean of Krishna-prema, and by His merciful glance they forgot about the existence of their physical body. The level of spiritual attainment that is sought by great yogis and rishis was acheived that day by the ordinary men and women of Ariadaha, just by witnessing Nitai’s prema-bhakti for Sri Krishna.

Nityananda Prabhu organized the event of Dana lila in the house of Das Gadadhar. The temple was established by Das Gadadhar, and the site of the Dana lila, Das Gadadhar’s bhajan ashram, and his memorial samadhi can all be seen there today. There is also a small kund named Nityananda Sarovar behind the mandir. The mandir features the deities of Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar, Sri Bala Gopal, Sri Sri Nitai Gaura, and Nityananda Shakti Sri Jahnava Thakurani.

The deities are all exceedingly stunning and gorgeous. Nitai is Gaura’s older brother  so Nitai is much larger and therefore more capable of taking care of His younger brother, Sri Gaurhari.  And what can I say about Sri Jahnava Ma (Ananga Manjari).  Her beauty is simply breathtaking!





Informal talks between Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Sri Bijoy Krishna Goswami

8 08 2009
VIJAY: “Don’t the teachings of the Brahmo Samaj bring men salvation?”
Vijay, the Brahmo preacher
Vijay was a paid preacher in the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, but there were many things about which he could not agree with the Samaj authorities.  He came from a very noble family of Bengal noted for its piety and other spiritual qualities.  Advaita Goswami, one of his remote ancestors, had been an intimate companion of Sri Chaitanya.  Thus the blood of a great lover of God flowed in Vijay’s veins.  As an adherent of the Brahmo Samaj, Vijay no doubt meditated on the formless Brahman; but his innate love of God, inherited from his distinguished ancestors, had merely been waiting for the proper time to manifest itself in all its sweetness.  Thus Vijay was irresistibly attracted by the God-intoxicated state of Sri Ramakrishna and often sought his company.  He would listen to the Master’s words with great respect, and they would dance together in an ecstasy of divine love.
It was a week-day.  Generally devotees came to the Master in large numbers on Sundays; hence those who wanted to have intimate talks with him visited him on week-days.
Bondage removed by strong renunciation
VIJAY: “What must the bound soul’s condition of mind be in order to achieve liberation?”
MASTER: “He can free himself from attachment to ‘woman and gold’ if, by the grace of God, he cultivates a spirit of strong renunciation.  What is this strong renunciation? One who has only a mild spirit of renunciation says, ‘Well, all will happen in the course of time; let me now simply repeat the name of God.’ But a man possessed of a strong spirit of renunciation feels restless for God, as the mother feels for her own child.  A man of strong renunciation seeks nothing but God.  He regards the world as a deep well and feels as if he were going to be drowned in it.  He looks on his relatives as venomous snakes; he wants to fly away from them.  And he does go away.  He never thinks, ‘Let me first make some arrangement for my family and then I shall think of God.’ He has great inward resolution.
(To Vijay) “Come here now and then.  I like to see you very much.”
VIJAY: “I have to do my various duties in the Brahmo Samaj; that is why I can’t always come here.  But I shall visit you whenever I find it possible.”
Difficulties of preaching
MASTER (to Vijay): “The task of a religious teacher is indeed difficult.  One cannot teach men without a direct command from God.  People won’t listen to you if you teach without such authority.  Such teaching has no force behind it.  One must first of all attain God through spiritual discipline or some other means.  Thus armed with authority from God, one can deliver lectures.
“After receiving the command from God, one can be a teacher and give lectures anywhere.  He who receives authority from God also receives power from Him.  Only then can he perform the difficult task of a teacher.
“An insignificant tenant was once engaged in a lawsuit with a big landlord.  People realized that there was a powerful man behind the tenant.  Perhaps another big landlord was directing the case from behind.  Man is an insignificant creature.  He cannot fulfil the difficult task of a teacher without receiving power direct from God.”
MASTER: “How is it ever possible for one man to liberate another from the bondage of the world? God alone, the Creator of this world-bewitching maya, can save men from maya.  There is no other refuge but that great Teacher, Satchidananda.  How is it ever possible for men who have not realized God or received His command, and who are not strengthened with divine strength, to save others from the prison-house of the world?
“One day as I was passing the Panchavati on my way to the pine-grove, I heard a bullfrog croaking.  I thought it must have been seized by a snake.  After some time, as I was coming back, I could still hear its terrified croaking.  I looked to see what was the matter, and found that a water-snake had seized it.  The snake could neither swallow it nor give it up.  So there was no end to the frog’s suffering.  I thought that had it been seized by a cobra it would have been silenced after three croaks at the most.  As it was only a water-snake, both of them had to go through this agony.  A man’s ego is destroyed after three croaks, as it were, if he gets into the clutches of a real teacher.  But if the teacher is an ‘unripe’ one, then both the teacher and the disciple undergo endless suffering.  The disciple cannot get rid either of his ego or of the shackles of the world.  If a disciple falls into the clutches of an incompetent teacher, he doesn’t attain liberation.”

Jai Nitai!

There are a number of  exchanges that took place between Bijoy Krishna Goswami and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. I will soon tell a story that took place at Ariadaha near Dakshineswar where Sri Ramakrishna greatly inspired Sri Bijoy Krishna Goswami on the bhakti-marg. I just acquired a copy of The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna and thought I would share a discussion or two.

Bijoy Krishna Goswami as a preacher for the Brahma Samaj

Bijoy Krishna Goswami as a preacher for the Brahma Samaj

Bijoy was a paid preacher in the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, but there were many things about which he could not agree with the Samaj authorities.  He came from a very noble family of Bengal noted for its piety and other spiritual qualities.  Sri Advaita Acharya was one of his direct ancestors, thus the blood of a great lover of God flowed in Bijoy’s veins.  As an adherent of the Brahmo Samaj, Bijoy no doubt meditated on the formless Brahman; but his innate love of God, inherited from his distinguished ancestors, had merely been waiting for the proper time to manifest itself in all its sweetness.  Thus Bijoy was irresistibly attracted by the God-intoxicated state of Sri Ramakrishna and often sought his company.  He would listen to the Master’s words with great respect, and they would dance together in an ecstasy of divine love.

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

It was a week-day.  Generally devotees came to the Master in large numbers on Sundays; hence those who wanted to have intimate talks with him visited him on week-days.

Bondage removed by strong renunciation

Bijoy: “What must the bound soul’s condition of mind be in order to achieve liberation?”

Ramakrishna: “He can free himself from attachment to ‘woman and gold’ if, by the grace of God, he cultivates a spirit of strong renunciation.  What is this strong renunciation? One who has only a mild spirit of renunciation says, ‘Well, all will happen in the course of time; let me now simply repeat the name of God.’ But a man possessed of a strong spirit of renunciation feels restless for God, as the mother feels for her own child.  A man of strong renunciation seeks nothing but God.  He regards the world as a deep well and feels as if he were going to be drowned in it.  He looks on his relatives as venomous snakes; he wants to fly away from them.  And he does go away.  He never thinks, ‘Let me first make some arrangement for my family and then I shall think of God.’ He has great inward resolution.

(To Bijoy) “Come here now and then.  I like to see you very much.”

Bijoy: “I have to do my various duties in the Brahmo Samaj; that is why I can’t always come here.  But I shall visit you whenever I find it possible.”

“Don’t the teachings of the Brahmo Samaj bring men salvation?”

Difficulties of preaching

Ramakrishna: “The task of a religious teacher is indeed difficult.  One cannot teach men without a direct command from God.  People won’t listen to you if you teach without such authority.  Such teaching has no force behind it.  One must first of all attain God through spiritual discipline or some other means.  Thus armed with authority from God, one can deliver lectures. “After receiving the command from God, one can be a teacher and give lectures anywhere.  He who receives authority from God also receives power from Him.  Only then can he perform the difficult task of a teacher. “How is it ever possible for one man to liberate another from the bondage of the world? God alone, the Creator of this world-bewitching maya, can save men from maya.  There is no other refuge but that great Teacher, Satchidananda.  How is it ever possible for men who have not realized God or received His command, and who are not strengthened with divine strength, to save others from the prison-house of the world?

“One day as I was passing the Panchavati on my way to the pine-grove, I heard a bullfrog croaking.  I thought it must have been seized by a snake.  After some time, as I was coming back, I could still hear its terrified croaking.  I looked to see what was the matter, and found that a water-snake had seized it.  The snake could neither swallow it nor give it up.  So there was no end to the frog’s suffering.  I thought that if it had  been seized by a cobra it would have been silenced after three croaks at the most.  As it was only a water-snake, both of them had to go through this agony.  A man’s ego is destroyed after three croaks, as it were, if he gets into the clutches of a real teacher. But if the teacher is an ‘unripe’ one, then both the teacher and the disciple undergo endless suffering.  The disciple cannot get rid either of his ego or of the shackles of the world.  If a disciple falls into the clutches of an incompetent teacher, he doesn’t attain liberation.”





Prabhupad Sri Vijaya Krishna Goswami ~ Jhulan Purnima Avirbhav

5 08 2009

Jai Nitai!

Today, zrAvaNi pUrNimA, is quite an auspicious and special day.  It is zrI zrI baladevera AvirbhAva and also zrI zrI vijayakRSNa goswAmIra AvirbhAva.

~ Prabhupad Sri Vijaya Krishna Goswami ~

Prabhupad Sri Vijaya Krishna Goswami

Prabhupad Sri Vijay Krishna Goswami took his birth today on Jhulan Purnima. Our lineage has a very special and close relationship with Acharyadev Sri Vijay Krishna Goswami, in fact his photograph can found on the altars of all our ashrams. In his youth, our param-gurudeva, Sripad Ramdas Babaji spent several months doing bhajan with Vijay Krishna Goswami in Brindavan.  Sripad Ramdas Babaji Maharaj was very much loved by him and received special blessings and divine empowerment directly from him, helping enable him to carry on the tradition and teachings of Sri Radharaman Charan Das Dev after his departure. So we cherish the lotus-feet of Prabhupad Vijay Krishna Goswami within our heart and regard him as our guru.

Vijay Krishna Goswami took birth in the womb of Srimati Svarnamayi Devi in Sikarpura, Nadia in 1841. His father was named Sri Ananda Chandra Goswami and was the seventh generation descendent of Sri Advaita Acharya Prabhu. His father was a famous Bhagavat pathak, and regarded the Srimad Bhagavatam as non-different from Sri Krishna. Just the touch of the Bhagavat alone was enough to make sattvika-vicara appear on his body. While giving Bhagavat path on Aksaya Tritiya he entered nitya-lila. The people of Santipur still remember him as , “Rsi Goswami.” Once Ramakrishna Paramahansa said to Vijay Krishna, “I have heard about a Goswami that while giving Bhagavat path displays such bodily symptoms as blood oozing from the pores of his body, and having a roar so loud that it could be heard from far off.” Vijay Krishna told Ramakrishna that was his father. Upon hearing this Ramakrishna replied, “It is only a father like him that could give birth to a son like you.”

~ Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara

Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara

Vijay Krishna Goswami’s family deity was Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar who was installed by the grandson of Advaita Acharya, Sri Devakinandana Goswami with Advaita Acharya Himself acting as head priest.  One can imagine that such a deity will be quite extraordinary and this was definitely the case with Shyamasundara. Vijay Krishna had an intimate relationship with Shyamasundar since his birth. Whenever he cried as a baby his parents would bring him before Shyamasundar and he would stop crying immediately. When he became old enough to crawl they had to keep a close eye on him because he would always crawl to Shyamasundar and want to play with Him.

As a young child he would sit and listen attentively to his father giving Bhagavat path. He was extraordinary in many ways. It is said that whatever he told about someone’s future would come true. He could not tolerate injustice or stand seeing people suffering. As he grew older and began his studies under Acharya Sri Bhagavan Pandit he could quickly memorize whatever he heard or read. Everyday he served Shyamsundar and duly observed all his religious duties.

Srimati Yogamaya Devi

Srimati Yogamaya Devi

At the age of eighteen he was married to Srimati Yogamaya Devi and also completed his education at Santipur. He then joined the Sanskrit College in Kolkata for higher education. During that time Western civilization was greatly influencing the people of Bengal. A reform movement called the Brahma Samaj was formed and he became involved in it and in fact was one of their best and most powerful preachers. During this time a great change came over Vijay Krishna. He was maintaining his family as a Goswami, meaning that he was receiving money as being a guru since he was a direct decendent of Advaita Acharya. One day an old lady begged him to deliver her from the bondage of maya. She said she can’t take any more suffering. This made Vijay Krishna shiver for a moment and think deeply. He thought that the lady had full faith in him, but does he deserve it? He thought that he was also in the clutches of maya so how could he possibly help someone else get free. From that day on he gave up being guru. This created a huge stir in his family and also created the problem of making him penniless. He no longer had an income. He left Sanskrit College and went to medical school hoping to be a doctor. All the while he tried to continue preaching for the Brahma Samaj, but it was too much for him. All the studying and all the preaching made him totally exhausted. He gave up going to school and thought it more important to preach. He spent many days poor and sometimes could not even get a meal for himself or his family. His wife was very saintly and stuck by his side through all the difficulties.

Vijaya Krishna Goswami as a Brahma Samaj preacher

Vijaya Krishna Goswami as a Brahma Samaj preacher

He became very absorbed in his preaching, but the Brahma Samaj was not preaching about bhakti, but rather about Advaita-vada. Vijay Krishna gradually forgot all about his beloved Shyamasundar. Do you think Shyamasundar would forget about Vijay Krishna? Haha, nope!

Once  someone has been captured by Shyamasundar he never gets away. Eventually, Vijay Krishna had differences of opinion with the Brahma Samaj and went to Santipur. During this whole time he never remembered his Shyamasundar. Some years later he told a story to one of his disciples about Shyamasundar in a happy mood. He said, “Once Shyamasundar came to me and said he wanted to wear a golden crown and told me to get Him one.” He told Shyamasundar, “I don’t believe in you, why not ask someone who believes in you to buy you a crown, besides I don’t have any money.” Shyamasundar said, “Your aunty has some money hidden in a little box, take that money and buy me a crown.” Vijay Krishna mentioned this to his aunt who told him that Shyamasundar came to her in a dream and asked for a crown and that she lied and told Him she had no money. Shyamasundar told her you can easily spare forty or fifty rupees, which made her cry knowing that Shyamsundar knew about the money hidden in her box. She gave the money to Vijay Krishna and he purchased a crown for Him. That evening Shyamasundar peeped through a door and said, “Hey Vijay, look at me! See how good I look with a gold crown!” Vijay said, “I don’t believe in you so why should I look?” Shyamasundar said, “So what? Come look anyway!” Vijay went and looked and was charmed by His beauty.

Vijay Krishna’s heart was somewhat changed by the loving behavior of Shyamasundar. But not entirely. By allowing Vijay Krishna some margin of freedom to seek his own path and to burn up his samskaras in karma and jnana in the Brahma Samaj, he let him realize the inferiority of those paths. He actually attained siddhi in those paths. He went into samadhi lasting hours while speaking one day on Brahma-jnana. Now Vijay Krishna’s interest turned to the yoga marg. He went to the Himalaya in search of a guru and at last met the siddha saint Brahmananda Swami. He took initiation from him and practiced in a cave in the Akasa-ganga mountain. In due course of time, Vijay Krishna attained all the yoga siddhis. He also realized asamprajnata samadhi. None of this satisfied his heart and he began to think about his Shyamasundara again. At this time his guru, Brahmananda Swami came to him and told him to go to Braja and do bhajan, very soon you will fully realize Krishna and His lila.

Vijaya Krishna went to Braja and practiced suddha-bhakti without any mixture of karma, jnana, or yoga. He had received Vaisnava diksha from his mother in his youth so there was no need for him to seek initiation from anyone. As predicted by Brahmananda Swami, very quickly Krishna revealed Himself and His lila to him and he was lost in the lila day and night. After some time Brahmananda Swami told Vijay Krishna that his sadhana is over. Go home and give diksha to others, lead them on the path of suddha-bhakti and be blessed.

The lila of Vijay Krishna Goswami’s life showed the superiority of the path of bhakti over all other paths. He attained siddhi in all other paths and was only truly satisfied when he achieved prema for Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar.

This is just the briefest glimpse into the life of Prabhupad Sri Vijay Krishna Goswami. There is so much more to tell. I intend to write many more blog posts about his life and teachings in the very near future.  May he bless us on this day of his appearance that we also achieve siddhi in suddha-bhakti.

Memorial Mandir of Vijay Krishna Goswami at Santipur

Memorial Mandir of Vijay Krishna Goswami at Santipur

Inside the Memorial Mandir

Inside the Memorial Mandir





Siddha Manohar Das Babaji Maharaj ~ a brief bio on his tirobhav tithi

3 08 2009

Jai Nitai!

Today is the tirobhav of Sri Sri 108 Siddha Manohar Das Babaji Maharaj of Govinda Kunda. His life was a remarkable celebration of intense vairagya coupled with japa and lila-smaran. The famous Siddha Mahatma Sri Sri 108 Kishorikishorananda Das Babaji (Tin Kudi Baba) took shelter of him and was taught the process of bhajan by him. Both of them were great jewels in the Vaisnava Samaj of Brindavan illuminating the path of pure raganugiya bhajan by demonstrating it themselves in their thoughts, words, and deeds. I have put together a brief history of the life of Siddha Manohar Baba for the pleasure of the Vaisnavas while praying for his kripa so I can meet with success in my bhajan.

~Sri Sri 108 Siddha Manohar Das Babaji Maharaj~

~Sri Sri 108 Siddha Manohar Das Babaji Maharaj~

Siddha Manohara Das Babaji was born in Madhavapura in the district of Nadia in 1847 and was named Mahendra. His father was Sri Bholanatha Adhikari and mother was Pyarisundari. His mother died when he was six years old and his father died when he was thirteen. When he was six years old he had a dream that a saint came and took him to a forest, then set the forest on fire on all sides.  This dream awakened in him a distaste for material life. After the death of his father he took diksha from Sri Nandakishor Goswami, a decendent of Advaitacharya and went to Nabadwip to study Sanskrit grammar, alankara, and nyaya.

He took bhek from Sri Svarupa Das Babaji of Nabadwip and was given the name Manohar Das. While in Nabadwip he had the good fortune of enjoying the association of Siddha Caitanya Das Babaji of Nabadwip and Siddha Bhagavan Das Babaji of Kalna.

In 1881, Manohara Das Babaji went to Brindavan and for five years he studied bhakti sastras under Prabhupad Sri Gopilala Goswami the sevait of Sri Radharaman Mandir. At that time he enjoyed the association of great siddha mahatmas like Balaram Das Babaji of Jhanumandala, Jagadish Das Babaji of Kalidaha, and Nityananda Das Babaji of Madanmohan Thaur.

Afterwards he went to practice bhajan at Kusuma Sarovara, Kamyavan, and Nandagaon. Once he went to do Braj Mandal parikrama with Siddha Ramakrsna Pandita and some other mahatmas. Though he eventually selected a secluded spot for his place of bhajan, he was forced to leave the place out of fear of Muslim troublemakers. In 1893, after receiving instruction in a dream, he went to Govindakund to settle for good and live at the base of Giriraj. Siddha Ramakrishna Pandit lived in nearby Pucchari at the time, so often they would get together for Hari-katha. During this time many Vaisnavas came to sit at his feet to learn Srimad Bhagavatam.

In 1915 Manohar Baba built a cave in Govindakund in which he lived and performed his bhajan. He came out only in the evening for madhukari. He slept for only one or two hours per day. The rest of the time he spent doing japa and lila-smaran. It is said that he did no less than seven lakhs of japa daily. He avoided the company of people and spoke very little. He was very humble and bowed to all and never allowed anyone to touch his feet. He was so absorbed in his bhajan that he was mostly unaware of his body at all. Sadhus would sometimes suggest that he use a mosquito net at night, but he said, “mosquitoes don’t do any harm to us. They help us in bhajan by keeping away sleep.”

Once it became extremely cold at night in Braja with the temperatures dropping below the freezing point. Baba used to wear only rags to cover his body. His body began to shiver and shake which created an obstacle to his bhajan. Getting angry with his body he removed his clothing and jumped in the icy-cold waters of Govindakund. A sadhu living nearby checked on Baba to find out what all the commotion was about. Baba replied, “The body was asking for more clothes, it’s always demanding something, it needed to be disciplined.” The sadhu told Baba that the cold is very severe and that he needed to use a blanket, but Baba said, “Bairagis, who have renounced the world have no business using blankets.”

Manohar Das Babaji’s wholehearted and determined application to bhajan and his complete indifference to worldly affairs was profound and proverbial. Demonstrating intense bairagya and deep absorption in japa and lila-smaran he set an example for sadhakas of how bhajan is to be performed. Siddha Sri Kishorikishorananda Babaji (Tin Kudi Goswami) took shelter of him and learned bhajan from him. The same kind of bairagya and absorption in japa and smaran were seen in his behavior as well.

“Manohara Dasa Baba used to say that bhajan is not possible without the complete surrender at the feet of the Lord and total dependence upon Him. It is only in the state of utter dependence on Him that one enjoys the calmness of mind which is necessary for bhajan: A mind that is disturbed by various kinds of worldly anxiety is not fit for bhajan.”

He defined bhajan as: A state in which the mind is constantly absorbed in meditation of the Lord and revolts at the thought of everything else as poison”.

He also said: “One must be firm in bhajan. To a man who practises bhajan steadfastly and with all his heart and soul, staking for it his life and everything else, obstacles begin to appear as illusory as the ‘horns of a hare.’ The Lord Himself makes the path of bhajan smooth for him. But this does not happen in a day; both perseverence and patience are necessary.”

He wrote two books. One pertaining to Krishna-lila titled, vaidagdhI-vilAsa and a book about Harinam titled, nAmratna-mAlA.

In 1947  on the 13th day of the bright fortnight in the month of Sravana (July-August) he entered nitya-lila.





Sri Rupa Goswami ~ three intensely delightful verses

3 08 2009

Jai Nitai!

Yesterday was the day of Sri Rupa Goswami’s disappearance lila. Unfortunately I was unable to post anything about this immensely important event.  At Sri Path Bari ashram in Baranagar, Kolkata they actually perform his sucak kirtan today. I would love to be able to post the sucak kirtan that our lineage performs as found in Sri Guru Kripar Dana, but I don’t have a translation available to me. To honor Prabhupad Sri Rupa Goswami I will post these three exquisite verses written by Sri Govardhan Bhatta Goswami, the grandson of a disciple of Sri Raghunath Bhatta Goswami.

hitvA rUpa-padAmbujaM bhavati yo rAdhAGghri-dAsyotsukas
tuGgaM geham asau tanoti na kathaM ramye sthale saikate
bAhubhyAM tridivaM spRzen nahi kathaM no vA kathaM cchAdayet
tUrNaM bhUri-rajobhir ambara-maNiM paGguM na kiM cAlayet

Anyone who abandons Sri Rupa Gosvami’s lotus feet and still hopes to attain Radhika’s service may as well try building a skyscraper on a beautiful sandy beach. He may as well try to touch the heavens with his upraised hands, or try to cover the sun by throwing up fistfuls of dust, or try to make a lame man walk. Why not? He has just as much chance of success.

kaH zrI-bhAgavatasya tattvam amalaM boddhuM kSamo bhUtale
ko vRndAvana-mAdhurIM kalayituM vaktuM ca dhatte matim
goSThendrAmala-rUpam adbhutatamaM ko vA nayen mAnasaM
zrImantaM karuNAkaraM guNanidhiM rUpaM sa-bandhuM vinA

Who on this earth could ever understand the pure essence of the Srimad Bhagavatam, perceive the sweetness of Vrindavan, or inspire anyone else to speak of it? And who could bring the mind to meditate on the son of Nanda’s most wondrous beauty? Without the blessings of the most merciful and virtuous Rupa Goswami and his companions, no one.

vairAgyaM vidhi-rAga-bhaktim amalAn nAnA-rasAn dvAdaza
premAnaM vraja-vAsinAM zuka-mukhair viprarSibhiH saMstutam
gopInAM paramAM lasat-para-mahA-bhAvAM samarthAM ratiM
rAdhAyAm iha mAdanaM vada sakhe ko vetti rUpaM vinA

And, my friend, pray tell, who would know anything about renunciation, devotion on either the vidhi or raga marg, the twelve holy rasas, the prema of the Vrajavasis glorified by Suka and other seers, the supreme spirit of Mahabhava found in the gopis, or their competent affection, or Radhika’s madanakhya-mahabhava? If it weren’t for Sri Rupa?









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