Cause and effect in spiritual life

28 09 2008

The following is a nice excerpt from a letter written by Sri Krishnaprem to Dilip Kumar Roy, dated Dec. 31, 1932.

Sri Krishnaprem Ji

Sri Krishnaprem Ji

“You say you wonder why doubts persist even in the face of experience.  Well, I think one reason is because we do not see the full causal system of spiritual experiences.  Our ordinary life is a linked series of causes and effects and the persistence of the visible effects assures us of the reality of their causes.  Thus the reality of the interview I had with a carpenter yesterday or last month is testified to by the reality of the piece of work he brought me today.  But in spiritual experience the ordinary sadhaka is not aware of the whole cause-and-effect series and therefore these experiences seem to come without any ‘before and after.’  In fact they come in from another dimension and as such we tend to doubt them afterwards.  But this also happens with sense-experience when the causal series is not perceived.  A friend of mine once saw a ship sink suddenly in mid-ocean as a result of a torpedo from an unseen submarine and assured me that when it had sunk and left no trace whatever, he found it almost impossible to believe that there had ever been a ship there at all.”

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Sripad Mahendraji

27 09 2008

Details about the gurudev of Mahanambrata Brahmacari remained a mystery to me for some time.  Today I came across a couple pages about him written in Fundamental Thoughts.

Sripad Mahendraji

Sripad Mahendraji

 

I shall speak little about myself. The fact is that, I had the privilege of having close attachment with such a gracious man and taken a holy-dip in his compassionate-flow. He was my adorable gurudev (Preceptor) Sripad Mahendraji.  He was an ideal in offering respect to guru, a knowledgeable person and a gentleman. Nobody could salute him. He would salute others very tactfully beforehand. The relation between the universal nature and the father of the universe and Krishna being established all the time in each and every living being was as though clearly visualized by him. That was why his love for trees and shrubs and affectionate relationship with all human beings was unadulterated.

 He had exquisite beauty of the body and purity of soul. He had a mind attracting well-built body, long arms, as if, extended to the knees and very wide chest. Nobody, except the experienced persons, could know the pleasant feelings when his long arms drew someone to his chest while embracing. He who got it could never forget it in his lifetime. The word `super-cooled-chest’ would have been felt in reality. Sometimes, the touch of his sacred hands would have been felt like a shock of electricity. His self restraint was very firm and undisturbed. He used to maintain deep respect for the women folks. He could never address them other than mother or Goddess.  I never saw him touching money by his hand. He used to always move in the land of Brahma and fulfilled his ‘self-restraint-practices’. I could never see the manifestation of an iota of violence or animosity against anybody. He had simple love for everybody. It was his nature to pray for the well being of all.

 Whoever could meet him even for a few moments of a day, he would have been overwhelmed by his broad­mindedness, charm of love and affection. He would never forget any body in his life. Even on seeing any one after thirty years, he would have told his name, address and occupation. He could not withstand witnessing or hearing of atrocities and oppression perpetrated on any human being. He used to cry in seclusion. He left drinking of milk on seeing the milking of a cow while causing misery to the calf. During the famine-on seeing people wearing torn clothes, he used to put on jute gunnys. The non-frivolous, pleasant state of mind was always maintained undisturbed. When he was in trance of silence then he would have written paper-full of many beautiful lyrics. It used to contain many beautiful poems and songs. There are about three-hundred honey-oozing songs. He was very strict in his food habits and movements. He used to sleep only for a couple of hours in the whole day and night and consume food of a child.

 His best asset was love for Krishna. Overflowing everything the gangetic stream of love for Krishna used to always flow through his heart. At the age of twelve or fourteen he ran to Vrindavan in search of Krishna. He cried relentlessly in the meadows, streams, forests and gardens saying “Hey Krishna! Please let me have your sight”. One devotee told him to first serve the devouts and then serve God. Listening to this he went inside a hospital and started nursing the ailing patients. The name of that hospital was ‘Gouranga-sevashram’. The patients were old, ailing Vaishnav gentry. He used to nurse them by acknowledging them as Krishna in real person. By his nursing and treatment, the ailing people used to get cured.

 Prabhu Jagadbandhu Sundar showed up in his dream and communicated that he was the Krishna of Braja. For the emancipation of the living beings, he was living at Sri Angan of Faridpur. In his dream, he visualized the location of Sri Angan and its huts. With great passion, he came running from Vrindavan Dham to Faridpur. As Lord Nitai Chand came from Braja to Nabadwip, so did he run with the speed of an arrow to reach Faridpur. The place and the houses, as seen in the dream, matched. Jagadbandhu Prabhu was locked inside a room while observing the austere practices of verbal silence. On getting deprived of the divine glimpse of Prabhu, he started wailing. Even the leaves from the trees used to drop down. He spent one year without food and sleep. He had no conversation with any body. Like Prabhu he was also observing verbal silence. Only he cried and wailed – “Hey, Krishna, please show up to me.” When he could not find him, then he decided to sacrifice his life by drowning in water. Then with the blowing wind, a piece of paper from a book dropped near to his lap. There it was written :

 দেহত্যাগে কৃষ্ণ না পঈ, পাইযে ভজনে |

কৃষ্ণপ্রাপ্ত্যের উপায কোন নাহিভক্তি’ ৱিনে ||

dehatyāge kṛṣṇa nā paī, pāiye bhajane

kṛṣṇaprāptyera upāya kona nāhi ‘bhakti’ vine 

CC 3.4.56

 “Hey Sanatan, you can’t attain Krishna by sacrificing your life, He can only be attained through bhajan.”

Then started the high-pitched devotional prayer songs, which was actually nothing but a tremendous, wailful, painful cry. One day he could get the divine sight of him. Prabhu opened the door and ushered him inside. Thereafter, he had an ever-satisfied state of mind. After acquiring a highly cherished object, so deep in the heart, he stayed calm and super satisfied. He always used to remain intoxicated with the love of God, as if submerged in the ocean of ecstasy. By looking at him, it was felt, as if we were visualizing God. 





Disappearance of Siddha Ramakrishna Das Babaji

19 09 2008

Today is the tirobhav tithi of Siddha Ramakrishna Das Babaji (Pandit Baba). If you want to read about his life you can download the .doc file below which contains the chapter about him in The Saints of Vraja by O.B.L. Kapoor.

Siddha Ramakrishna Das Babaji





Sant Das Baba

17 09 2008

While we were at the utsav at Baya Ashram we took some time to walk over to Sri Giriraj Ji Maharaj Mandir, the ashram of Sant Das Baba. He is the siksha guru of our gurubhai, Karunakar Das Babaji. Sant Das Baba gives him bhajan siksha in lila-smaran according to the Gutika of Siddha Krishnadas Baba of Govardhan fame. Sant Das Baba is a wonderful Vaisnava whose darshan I have had on many occasions. Last year we got to spend time with him in Krishna Bagh, Barsana during Radhastami and also in Pucchari at the Sri Nath Ji Mandir. His association always leaves me feeling calm and peaceful and with a desire to go deeper in my bhajan.

Sant Das Baba talking with some sisyas.

Sant Das Baba talking with some sisyas.

Sant Das Baba seated in his courtyard.

Sant Das Baba seated in his courtyard.


The altar at Sri Giriraj Ji Maharaj Mandir featuring Kanai and Balai.

The altar at Sri Giriraj Ji Maharaj Mandir featuring Kanai and Balai.

The samadhi of his gurudev, Bihari Das Babaji (Girraj Baba) is also located at the ashram.

The samadhi of his gurudev, Bihari Das Babaji (Girraj Baba) is also located at the ashram.





Utsav continued…

16 09 2008

I had promised some more information about Baya Baba. He is was known for producing miracles on occasion and I hoped to get an accurate tale or two, but that will again have to wait for a bit longer. For those totally unfamiliar with Baya Baba he is the disciple of Sri Sri 108 Ramdas Babaji Maharaj, so that makes him our jyetha (uncle) guru. He is known as “Namacharya” because wherever he was he would demand that Nam Kirtan was performed and he always instructed people to take shelter of Nam Bhajan. He is responsible for starting Akhanda Nam Kirtan in many ashrams which is continued to this day. Baya Baba is also known for observing mauna vrata for more than twenty-four years. What he was most famous for amongst those who knew him well though, was the overwhelming Love Divine that flowed from him. Sri Guru Premanande Nitai Gour Hari Bol!

An old photo of Baya Baba found in his ashram in Cuttack

An old photo of Baya Baba found in his ashram in Cuttack


The altar at Baya Ashram in Raman Reti

The altar at Baya Ashram in Raman Reti


Kirtan led by Banamali Das Babaji (right of center)

Kirtan led by Banamali Das Babaji (right of center / shirtless)





Utsav at Baya Ashram

15 09 2008

Yesterday was the disappearance utsav of Namacharya Sri Sri 108 Sacinandan Das Babaji (Baya Baba). To observe the celebration we went to Baya Ashram in Raman Reti with Karunakar Baba who is his diksha disciple. There was nagar-sankirtan followed by a beautiful kirtan led by Banamali Das Babaji describing the glories and character of Baya Baba. Next came the sucak kirtan and abhisek of the samadhi-murti of Baya Baba. A feast was prepared and nearly two-thousand sadhus came and enjoyed the puris, kachoris, sabzi, laddus, etc.

A few photos tonight with more photos and information about Baya Baba to come soon. (Still stuggling with electricity outages.)

An old photo of Baya Baba with some of his followers

An old photo of Baya Baba with some of his followers


Karunakar Baba performing abhisek of Baya Baba's samadhi-murti.

Karunakar Baba performing abhisek of Baya Baba's samadhi-murti.


Dressed and decorated after the abhisek.

Dressed and decorated after the abhisek.


Kirtan!

Kirtan!





Sri Sri Radhastami

10 09 2008

Jai Radhey!

This year we stayed at Radhkund and observed Radhastami at Radharaman Bhajan Ashram.  There was a beautiful Radhastami kirtan. Aju ki Ananda braja bhariyA re!  braja bhariyA re! braja bhariyA re! On Navami, there was nagar-sankirtan and the vrata was broken with a wonderful feast that was attended by numerous sadhus.