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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, August 10, 2011

The Prospect of Divine Love; Srila Rupa Goswami

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 k
nowledge, you open my eyes which have been blinded by the darkness of ignorance.

Today is the disappearance day of Srila Rupa Goswami. Srila Rupa Goswami is a very important person. It is he who knows the heart and mood of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. In Krsnaloka, Rupa Goswami is Rupa Manjari. She is the head of all the manjaris, or personal maidservants, of Srimati Radhika.

Srila Gurudeva makes the distinction in his Essence of All Advice that Rupa Manjari is not like Lalita and Visakha, and other dear friends of Srimati Radhika. Those friends of Srimati Radhika try to dissuade Her from Her sulking mood or Her separation. But Rupa Manjari feels the very same things that Srimati Radhika feels. So when Radhika is in separation, so is Rupa Manjari, and when Radhika is happy with Krsna, then Rupa feels that she is with Krsna, too.

Right now I am reading 'Sri Guru and his Grace' by Srila Bhakti-rakshak Sridhara Maharaja. In this book, he has one part where he speaks about the prospect of divine love, and quotes Srila Rupa Goswami's Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu:

"At present, we are disconnected from the prospect of divine love which we cherish in the innermost quarter of our hearts. If we want to have that privilege very easily and very quickly, we must approach the Lord with plain speaking and with a naked body and mind, with everything exposed.

Srila Rupa Goswami in Bhakti rasamrta sindhu (1.2.152) has written:

mat-tulyo nasti papatma
naparadhi ca kascana
parihare pi lajja me
kim bruve purusottama
"My Lord, I feel ashamed. How shall I offer You so many pure things like flowers? Generally, pure things are offered to You, but what about me? I have come with the most filthy thing to offer You. I feel ashamed. I have come to You, with only my shame, to beg for Your mercy. There is no parallel to my sinful life, criminal life. Everything that can be conceived of as bad is found in me. It is very difficult even to speak about the characteristics of my heinous sins and crimes.

"Still, Your nature, existence, fame, and benevolence cannot but attract me. You can save me. You can purify me. Hoping against hope, I have come to You. And I have only one solace, that I am the real object of Your mercy. Your tendency is to purify the meanest. Those who are the most needy have some claim to Your mercy. I am the worst of the needy and the meanest of the mean. This is my only qualification, my only hope to attract Your attention and appeal to Your magnanimity."

I think this quote is extra amazing, because here it seems to me that Srila Rupa Goswami is teaching us how to pray to the Lord, and how to pray to our most magnanimous gurus. And our gurus tell us to pray to Srila Rupa Goswami.

Here is a nice class on the swing festival, jhulan yatra, which this year lasts from yesterday and ends Sunday (the day after Lord Balarama's appearance day!). This class also includes some katha on Srila Rupa Goswami, by Srila Gurudeva:

link to class

jhulan yatra ki jai!

I will post more on Srila Rupa Goswami today. For now, this is it. All glories to Srila Rupa Goswami!

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