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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.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Nectar about vyasa puja and Bilvamangala Thakura

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.

Here is one quote from Srila Gurudeva, related to vyasa puja, on bonafide guru:

"The guru never thinks that he is making so many disciples. These are all Krsna's wealth. They are all very fragrant, very smooth, and very sweet flowers. Guru takes them and offers them at the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika. Guru only does this. He never thinks, 'Oh, all the disciples are my property.' Never!

"A real guru thinks that all the disciples are very sweet, fragrant, small flowers of Radha and Krsna Conjugal. The guru offers the disciple like a flower at Radhika's lotus feet. She then places that flower in a garland and puts that garland around Krsna's neck."

[Cessnock, Australia, February 1, 2000]

Here is more nectar from Sripad Madhav Maharaja's book "Srila Gurudeva: The Supreme Treasure":

[After blinding himself and arriving in Vrndavana with Krsna's help], Bilvamangala found himself alone. He called out to the boy for a long time, but there was no answer. Finally he thought, "How is it that we have arrived in Vrndavana so quickly? It must be by the influence of that black cheater. That black fellow came to me and said, 'I am also going to Vrndavana', and brought me here very quickly. If He does not give me darsana again, I will not eat or drink; I will fast to death."

If an advanced devotee such as Bilvamangala Thakura has a wish, Krsna is bound to fulfill it, so Krsna felt obliged to give him darsana. He came before him again, but this time He was not alone. He was with his internal potency, His svarupa-sakti, Srimati Radhika.

The sweet young couple came very close to Bilvamanagala, and at a certain point, Krsna said to Radhika, "Don't go any closer."

"Why not? What is the harm? What will he do?" She asked.

"He will catch You."

"How will he be able to catch me? He's a blind fellow."

"Yes," replied Krsna, "he is blind, and blind people have very sharp hearing. They can understand how close a person is by the sound they make, so don't go too close."

"It's all right. I'm still far enough away. He can't catch hold of me."

Through this exchange with Srimati Radhika, Sri Krsna was conveying a message to Bilvamangala. He was moving closer to him, and at the same time telling Radhika, 'No, no! Don't go too close. You're almost within his reach. He'll catch you!' Sri Krsna was actually telling Bilvamangala, "We are very close to you, and you can catch hold of Srimatiji."

Bilvamangala immediately caught hold of Srimati Radhika's lotus feet.

"Thief! Thief! Let me go! Let me go!" She cried.

Krsna said, "What did I tell You? I warned You not to go so close. Blind people are expert at hearing. Now, what can be done?"

"I will not give up Your lotus feet," said Bilvamangala.

"What do you want?" asked Srimati Radhika.

"I want to have darsana of both of You."

Radhika then put Her hand on Bilvamangala's head, and his sight was restored. Seeing the beauty of Sri Radha and Sri Krsna, Bilvamangala wept and continued to hold on to Srimatiji's lotus feet.

She said, "You can let go of My feet now."

"No, I will not."

"Oh! Why not? What more do you want?"

"Please make me blind again."

"Make you blind again? Why do you want that?"

"Now I have seen the beauty of You two. Especially, Srimatiji, I have seen Your lotus feet, and Your beauty. Now I do not wish to see anything else in this world. I want to keep Your lotus feet always in my memory and the beauty of Your beloved in my heart. I do not want anything else."

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