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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, December 17, 2011

Jai Srila Gurudeva!

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.

nama om vishnu padaya radhikayai priyatmane sri srimad bhaktivedanta narayana iti namine

I offer pranama to om vishnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, who is very dear to Srimati Radhika.

sri krishna lila kathane sudaksam
audarya madhurya gunais ca yuktam
varam varenyam purusam mahantam
narayanam tvam sirasa namami

Srila Narayana Maharaja is expert in describing krsna-lila. He is endowed with the qualities of magnanimity and sweetness, and he is the best of the great souls. Because he is always relishing Krsna's sweetness, he is able to freely distribute that sweetness to others. I bow down and place my head at his lotus feet.

tridandinam bhakta siromanim ca sri krsna padabja dhrtaika hrdi
caitanya lilamrta sara saram narayanam tvam satatam prapadye

Srila Narayana Maharaja, the crown jewel of devotees, always keeps in his heart the lotus feet of Radha and Krsna, especially when Krsna serves Srimati Radhika. He deeply meditates on Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the internal reasons for His descent. I bow down to the lotus feet of Srila Narayana Maharaja, who possesses innumerable transcendental qualities.

= = =

Tomorrow is the holy disappearance day of my beloved spiritual master, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami Maharaja. I do not know where to begin in glorifying him or sharing his pastimes and sweetness. I do not feel at all qualified to speak on him in any way, and yet tomorrow I will be asked to speak, and I do want to say something.

Earlier in the year I wrote a poem for him...perhaps I will write another poem. This morning at the temple I live at we spoke on verse 11.11.32 of the Srimad Bhagavatam, in which 28 qualities of a saintly person are described. We picked the first two - merciful, and not taking offense even when people say offensive things about him - and spoke on how Srila Gurudeva is a perfect example of these two qualities.

Many times people would slander my Gurudeva horribly, but he said he considered them as children, and did not take offense. To each who came to him, he would treat them very affectionately. And to those who, very late, realized his potency and purity, he accepted their offerings.

I have one close person to me who, during my Gurudeva's last tour of the West, made a garland for him - after years of feeling unfavorable and disinclined to his lotus feet - and at first he simply let the garland stay on his table in front of him. She thought, "Maybe I am too offensive, so he won't accept it." Then my Gurudeva accepted that garland, and wore it for the whole class (which he doesn't usually do). How merciful! And just see how he does not take offense.

There is so much to say on Gurudeva...I did not get a lot of association, but even just a glance from him was association and filled with nectar. I have never met anyone else who could affect me so. He could make me cry with a laugh, or make me feel about to burst with happiness. His gaze was very sweet, and he could convey so much just by it - chastisement, or joy, approval, so many things.

Once, I was sitting in class and he looked at me. His gaze was so powerful. Just by having him look into my eyes with his beautiful blue eyes, I felt blessed. I wanted to share that glance with him forever. But his gaze was so powerful! I was the first to look away. Perhaps he was slicing anarthas away from me with his glance, and that was why I could not keep my gaze locked with his - I am so material and offensive.

I also feel so blessed to have offered him a little service, just a little. Each year I would greet him every morning with flowers. It felt like I was offering my heart, and it felt like each flower bound me tighter and tighter to Srila Gurudeva. One year, I worked at a booth selling posters of Syamarani didi's art inspired by Srila Gurudeva's transcendental harikatha and rose-like heart. When my Gurudeva heard that I had helped in this service, he gave me a very brilliant, sweet smile. I felt like it was a shot of love injected in my heart to stay there forever. That was one of the times I had made extra effort to serve him; it was one of the first times I felt, "Oh, I belong to this person - not to myself, not to family, but to him, this beautiful personality smiling at me."

He has so much can flood the universe. I feel so indebted to have received that love...I am a small, nothing person, who does not learn - even after years of hearing his harikatha, I did not follow, I do not follow, I remain so confused and lost sometimes - and yet he accepted me, and he will never, ever let go. It is said that just ONE MOMENT with a pure devotee makes one's life how fortunate am I, to have gotten momentS, days, with His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami Maharaja? It is truly making the impossible possible, that I can have hope of serving Srimati Radhika and Krsna - and Gurudeva has given me this hope.

I want to share a song he wrote:




rādhe syām syāmā syām


mor mukuṭa makarākṛta-kuṇḍala, gala vaijayantī-māla,

caraṇana nūpura rasāla

rādhe syām syāmā syām


sundara vadana kamala-dala locana, bākī cita-vana-hārī,


rādhe syām syāmā syām


vṛndāvana dhenu carāve, gopī-jana manahārī

śrī govardhana-dhārī

rādhe syām syāmā syām


rādhā-kṛṣṇa mili aba dou, gaura-rūpa avatārī

kīrtana dharma pracārī

rādhe syām syāmā syām


tum vinā mere aur na koi, nāma-rūpa avatārī

caraṇana meń balihārī,

nārāyaṇa balihārī,

rādhe syām syāmā syām


(Refrain) Krsna gives happiness in the hearts of all the Vrajavasis - Radhe! Syama! Syama! Syama!

1) He wears a peacock feather mukut, swinging makara-shaped earrings and a vaijayanti garland around His neck, and the sound of His anklebells is full of rasa! Radhe! Syama! Syama! Syama!

2) His lotus face is very beautiful and His eyes are like lotus-petals. Wandering here and there, He charms everyone with His flute and threefold curved form! Radhe! Syama! Syama! Syama!

3) In Vrndavana He tends the cows in the pastures, steals the gopis' minds, and holds up Sri Govardhana Hill! Radhe! Syama! Syama! Syama!

4) Sri Radha-Krsna have united and now the two have come as the beautiful golden avatara, preaching kirtana-dharma. Radhe! Syama! Syama! Syama!

5) I have no one but You in this world. You descend as the avatara of the beautiful name and beautiful form. Your lotus feet fill me with wonder - so this Narayana is filled with delight! Radhe! Syama! Syama! Syama!

Jai Srila Gurudeva! May his glories spread everywhere, and may I some day get the dust of his lotus feet not only externally, but internally, so that I can understand his heart and please him to the utmost...

- in service of sri guru and vaisnavas

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