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.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
"We are in a prison - we must make all efforts to free ourselves."
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."
Again, apologies for being so terrible at updating this blog. This blog is one of my favorite things to do; one of my favorite ways to engage my mind in Krsna consciousness and in beautiful harikatha. Yet as of late I am not being strict on making time to do it. As of now, I will be stricter.
The following is an excerpt from a class given by Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Maharaja [pictured below, within excerpt], on 12 December 1998 Sri Madhav Jiu Gaudiya Math; you can find it in Volume 4, Gaur Purnima issue, of the 2000 edition of Vishva-Vaisnava-Raj-Sabha magazine.
This article/class was SO beautiful, I wish I could put the entire thing in here!
"Right from our birth till our death all the education that we receive, all the experience that we gain, all of them are of a perishable nature. The knowledge we receive helps us somehow to live our lives in this world. In brief, it helps us to find food, to find some clothing, to get a roof.
"That there is a world beyond all this, apart from this, that we are not trained to think about. Why? Just as this world exists, there must also exist the other world. Why don't we learn to think about this other world? Are we destined to remain satisfied with our eating, our wearing clothes and our finding a roof over our heads in this world? Is there nothing else for us to do?
"Our scriptures ask these questions. And our scriptures give the answers.
"We all are saying, 'Oh, we are fine. Why do we want to hear about Krsna or any other such names?' I am amazed at such talk. We do not need to be in this error all the time. If we can understand from our gurus, from Vaisnavas, from sadhus or from the scriptures that we are in a foreign land - we are in a prison - hen we must make all effort to free ourselves.
"Yet the influence of jada-maya is so great that instead of trying to free ourselves, we want to continue in this prison! A very old jailbird has been released from the prison, but he does not want to go. He turns to all the other thieves, dacoits and ruffians who are there in the prison, and cries out, 'I don't want to go, leaving you here.'
"He does not understand that his real life is outside. He is crying to come back to the prison. Then, even when he is forced to go outside, he will vow to return. 'I'll come back here, if necessary I will again commit the crime of theft...so that I will come back to the prison.'
"This is our situation also. We do not understand what is good and what is bad. Our imprisoned status we consider to be a very good status. The status of peace and happiness. When the Lord has created us as human beings then we must establish our humanity. We must live as human beings. How do we live as human beings? By doing proper deeds as befits human beings.
"...If I want to come away from devotion, then I may live in this world but I do not show that I am a human being. It can not be proven that I am a human being. This is what the Lord Himself has said.
"...We don't have to toil too much. Why? Because those who know more than us, they have already gone through the ocean of the scriptures and from there they have taken out the cream for us...Do not keep yourselves tied down to the search for food, clothing, and a roof."