The reason for my absence and the inactivity of my blog.

26 11 2010

 

Guru and Nitai

I have basically left this blog inactive for a quite a while and I would like to explain why. First off we had to leave the shelter of Radhakund because India changed their visa laws which creates a great deal of trouble for many spiritualists who come there to practice their sadhanas and lead a spiritual lifestyle. Every six months I am forced to leave the country for two months before I am allowed to return. This makes me incur a great deal of extra, unplanned for expenses as well as an insecure feeling–never really feeling like you have any place to call home.

I had came down with a high fever just a short while before we were to return to Radhakund. Upon diagnoses it was discovered that I had Acute AML Leukemia. I was told that I needed to be admitted to the hospital immediately or I faced near certain death in a short period of time. I was so sick that I agreed as it seemed to be my only option. The same day they had started me on a course of chemotherapy. I was hospitalized for over a month before the doctor thought I could be released. In another week I will be admitted again for another course of chemotherapy. This whole time I have been in Bangkok, Thailand.

I really don’t like leaving my blog inactive for so long and though Radhakund is my main source of inspiration, and all my resource materials are far from my reach, I will try to do my best to add some new posts.

I have posted a few things on another website and I believe I will begin by cross-posting  those things here first before seeking new material to post.

I thank whatever readers I have for their patience and to please forgive me for my lack of maintaining my blog.

Nabadwip Panch tattva making this information available to the suffering souls who have had no contact with Hari Nam nor with the contact of the Vaisnavas.

 

Jai Nitai! Jai Guru!

Sakhi





Sri Sri Sakhi Ma ~ some photos taken at Samaj Bari

16 11 2009

Jai Sri Sakhi Ma!

I stayed at Samaj Bari Ashram in Nabadwip last March for a couple of weeks leading up to Gaura Purnima. While I was there I took whatever photos I could get in relation to Sri Sakhi Ma. Yesterday was her tirobhav mahotsava, so today seems like a good day to share the rest of the pictures of her that I have. The last two photos are of a book of kirtan she wrote which she requested never be photocopied or published. This book is highly treasured and never leaves Samaj Bari.

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A painting above the door of her samadhi mandir. The Vaisnava Mahatmas seated there are (L-R) Sri Madhusudan Das Babaji, Sri Govinda Das Babaji, Sri Ramdas Babaji, Sri Govardhan Das Babaji, and Sri Nanda Das Babaji

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The entrance to her samadhi mandir

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Her purna samadhi

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Her bhajan kutir on the rooftop of Radharaman Bagh

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Another view of her bhajan kutir

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The room she used to occupy. This photograph is often brought into the Nat Mandir when her kirtans are being sung.

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The original book which contains various kirtans she wrote such a Holi and Jhulan kirtan in her own handwriting.

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Another page of kirtan in her handwriting





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.






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.





Living in Bangkok, Loving in Nabadwip

16 03 2009

Jai Nitai! Jai Gourhari! Bishnupriya Prananath Nadiya Bihari!

Sorry for the lack of updates.  I spent about 10 days at Samaj Bari in Sri Dham Nabadwip and have some good photos and stories to tell. I am now in Bangkok to fulfill visa requirements and after a bit more acclimatization I will start posting again.  The first post(s) will be about the yearly utsav at Dig Nagar and the dancing Banyan tree.