Blog Description

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.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Dear Srimati Radhika...

Here is another devotional poem by me:

Dear Srimati Radhika, whose eyes are blue
Whom do you search for, after morning dew?

Is it the thief who has stolen Your heart?
Carrying it with Him from morning till dark

Perhaps He holds it in His yellow cloth
Attracting You to Him, as flame with a moth

His five arrows are always slaying You,
His cheek, eyes, smile, form, and moving 'brows, too

But without a heart, how can You be slain?
Instead You defeat Him in Your love games

Your cunning words strike Him down like a lance
You teach Him the art of a sidelong glance

By it, He is felled like a forest tree
You celebrate, with friends, Your victory

He has stolen Your heart, You steal His flute.
He falls at Your feet, knowing You as root

Of His every happiness, day by day
With the noose of Your love, You make Him stay

Trapped by Your expert hunting, like a deer.
Losing Your favor is His only fear.

Sri Radhe, allow me to serve You, please
So that I may witness Your victories.

I want to serve You as a manjari
When oh when will You give this boon to me?

May this poem help me to melt Your soft heart
So in Your pastimes I may soon take part.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!!Would anyone like to share or write a devotional poem of their own?

Dear Srila Gurudeva...

The other day, I was reading with some very sweet vaishnavis the 10th chapter of the 10th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam. In this chapter, in one particular verse, it is described how Mother Yashoda would sing Krsna's pastimes while churning yogurt. In the purport to this verse, Srila Prabhupada says how one used to create poems in order to remember something. He glorifies Mother Yashoda for singing about Krsna while She works.

In a video at this year's New Braj festival, Srila Gurudeva spoke similarly. He instructed that whatever we are doing during the day, during this activity we should sing, "Govinda Damodara Madhaveti, Govinda Damodara Madhaveti..." Also, one vaishnavi said that Gurudeva told that he wanted his disciples to write something each day.

In light of all this, I have decided to write some devotional poetry. This idea occurred to before, during Kartik last year, but I did not follow up on it. Now, I have more desire to.

So here is one small, simple, not very good humble poem to Srila Gurudeva:

Dear Srila Gurudeva,
I want to love you more than I love anyone or anything else.

But I am out of breath
For Maya never rests

She chases me from behind
I hold onto her, so unkind

To myself, moment after moment
When will I relent, and repent?

I have made so much offense
To your lotus feet, which are rinsed

With drops of prem that emanate from you.
Give me strength to serve, and my life will renew.

Only by service can I gain affection, so sweet
For you, and be transported to Radha's lotus feet.

Jai Srila Gurudeva!

I will try to find the video I mentioned. I had the link before, but now I am not sure where it is. I will try to post it later. It is VERY sweet! It is in a class where Srila Gurudeva speaks on Srila Prabhupada's Upadesamrta purports - specifically tan nama rupa caritadi sukirtananu, that verse.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The 10 characteristics of religious life

In the 8th chapter of Jaiva Dharma, entitled "Nitya-Dharma and Vaishnava Behavior", Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura writes:

There are ten characteristics of religious life - dhrtih (determination with patience); ksama (forgiveness), which means not retaliating when wronged by others; damo (control of the mind), which means equanimity even in the face of unsettling circumstances; asteyam (abstinence from theft); saucam (cleanliness); indriya -nigrahah (restraining the senses from their sense objects); dhir (inteligence), which means knowledge of the sastra; vidya (wisdom, or realization of the soul); satyam (truthfulness); and akrodha (absence of anger), as demonstrated by even-temperedness amidst irritating circumstances.

- (Sri Manu Samhita 6.92)

[Babaji speaking] "Six of these characteristics - determination, control of the mind, cleanliness, restraint of the senses, knowledge of the sastra, and wisdom - are duties to one's own self. the remaining four - forgiveness, abstinence from stealing, truthfulness, and absence of anger - are duties to others. These ten religious duties have been prescribed for people in general, but none of them clearly indicate hari-bhajan."

[Later, Babaji goes on to say that the neophyte devotee vaishnava, or kanistha-adhikari, cannot relate to devotees or behave properly, therefore he can only relate to others according to these ten characteristics, and it is implied he or she should try to follow].