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This blog is for sharing one of the six loving exchanges between vaishnavas - bhajana katha sravanam alapa - sharing and discussing bhajan topics with devotees.

It is also my humble attempt to follow the instruction my gurudeva would give at the end of every class: take these pastimes and instructions into your heart. Therefore in the hopes that it will make some impression in my heart, I am sharing lecture notes, quotes, book excerpts, and other words from the brahma-madhva-gaudiya sampradaya and vaisnava/is around the world.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The white lotus of good fortune

om ajnana timirandhasya jnananjana salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri gurave namah

O Gurudeva, you are so merciful. I offer my humble pranama unto you and am praying from the core of my heart that, with the torchlight of divine knowledge, you open my eyes which have been blinded by the darkness of ignorance.

Today, I started reading Srila Gurudeva's commentary on Sri Siksastakam. This book contains two books, both of which are commentaries on Sri Krsna Caitanya's siksastakam. One is Sri Sanmodana Bhasyam by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, and the other is simply called Vivrti, meaning "commentary" by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura. Some of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura's commentary is based on commentary by Srila Jiva Goswami (for verses 7 and 8 of siksastakam).

Srila Jiva Goswami, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura

In his introduction, Srila Gurudeva emphasizes the deep pain he felt that these two gems were not in the Hindi language; so he translated it into Hindi, and the mercy of the vaishnavas so sincerely serving him we have an English translation as well.

It is very extensive and detailed; I am only on sloka 1 of the siksastakam (chapter one of this book) and already there is detailed commentary by Srila Bhaktivinode, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, Srila Jiva Goswami, and Gurudeva on this one sloka! It is kind of a lot to take in. There are many lists branching off of other lists; my poor feeble mind has trouble keeping track of it all!

Here is some nectar by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura:

"Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is the Supreme Lord of all and whose lotus feet are constantly served by suddha Vaisnavas, says, 'param vijayate sri krsna sankirtanam.' In other words, let there be supreme victory only for the chanting of the holy name of Sri Krsna. A question may be raised here. Can sri-krsna-sankirtana, which is aprakrta, non-material, and beyond the range of maya, become victorious in this material world created by the external energy? Yes."

Later, detailing the effects of Sri Krsna sankirtana, there is one section titled "Sreyah kairava candrika vitaranam: Diffuses the moonrays of bhava bhakti for the highest good of the jiva":

"For the living entities ensnared by maya, material enjoyment alone is desirable, and it is on this account that they have to rotate in the cycle of repeated birth and death in this material world, suffering the three-fold miseries. In complete opposition to this, aversion toward maya and constant engagement in the service of Sri Krsna is the highest achievement (sreyah).

This highest achievement is compared to the white water lotus or kumudini. Just as the soothing rays of the moon cause the white lotus to blossom, sri-krsna-sankirtana, diffusing the moon rays of bhava-bhakti, causes the white lotus of good fortune to bloom for the jivas."

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