Happy New Year’s Eve!

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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.”

Tomorrow is the eve of the New Year. I read this excerpt from the 2007 Walks with a Saint book this morning, and again in my email this evening. It is a very nice prayer for the new year, by Srila Gurudeva:

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We have to celebrate the New Year in such a way that our devotion will increase day by day. We have to know that we are not this gross or subtle body – our mind, ego, and intelligence. We are beyond all these things; we are spirit souls, part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. We have to leave what happened last year, and start anew this year. Our devotion must increase.
The question may arise: “If my devotion must increase, how will I maintain my life?” For maintaining your life, you will continue what you are doing. Whether you want to or not, you must perform some karma.

Bhagavan Sri Krsna told Arjuna in the Gita (3.5):

na hi kascit ksanam api
jatu tisthaty akarma-krt
karyate hy avasah karma
sarvah prakrti-jair gunaih

[“Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.”]

No one can stay alive without performing some activity. Whether you want to or not, you have to breathe. Whether you are breathing, or holding your breath, this is also karma. If you are standing, sitting, walking, or talking, all these are in the category of karma. So, to maintain our lives, we are forced to engage in some karma.

But this will not give you eternal happiness, or peace and tranquility of mind. For happiness, you must engage in some devotional service, and to cultivate devotion successfully, you must first of all surrender at the lotus feet of a bona fide guru. In good association, under the guidance of Gurudeva, you can progress in devotional life. If you do this, your New Year’s celebration will be successful.

in service,

CS

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This is Real Yoga

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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.”

 

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Temples are constructed to give you the facility how to become attached to Bhagavan. So you should take advantage of it. This temple is very centrally situated. I am very glad that the inhabitants of Hyderabad, they are so nice devotees from the very beginning they are coming. It is very good. So continue this habit. Daily come, see Bhagavan. Offer little obeisances. Bhagavan does not want anything from you. He is self-sufficient. Bhagavan. Aisvaryasya samagrasya. But if you give something to Bhagavan, it is love. Dadati pratigrhnati. You are taking so many things from Bhagavan. And if you give something, what is the wrong? It is exchange of love. And Bhagavan does not want your whole estate. Bhagavan says patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati. Little leaf, patram; little flower, a little fruit, a little water. Patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya. Bhagavan wants your bhakti. If you bring little leaf, little flower, little fruit and little water… “Bhagavan, I am very poor man. I have nothing to give You. But I have secured from other’s gardens a little leaf, little flower and little fruit, and water is available. So kindly accept it.” Bhagavan says patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati. Toya, bhaktya, what is that verse? Asnami bhakty-upahrtam. Because one is giving out of devotion, love — asnami, “I eat.” If Bhagavan eats from your hand, then you become perfect. That is wanted, bhakti. Bhaktya. Tad aham asnami bhakty-upahrtam. If you bring… That attachment should be increased. Mayy asakta-manah partha yogam yunjan…

This is the yoga. This is real yoga, how to become attached to the service of the Lord. That is first-class yogi. You’ll find in the last paragraph of Sixth Chapter, yoginam api sarvesam. There are many yogis, different kinds of yogis. So yoginam api. Karma-yogi, jnana-yogi, dhyana-yogi, hatha-yogi, and so many yogis. Yoginam api sarvesam, “Of all the yogis,” yoginam api sarvesam mad-gatenantar-atmana [Bg. 6.47], “One who is always thinking of Krsna…” Naturally, if you practice to come here and see daily, at least once, you’ll be able to think of Krsna. Mad-gatenantar-atmana. If you continue that thinking, Krsna, how He’s standing, how He is playing on flute, how Radharani is there, here — man-manah — in this way, if you think, then you become the greatest yogi.”

-Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

 

aspiring for spiritual greed,

CS

Radha Going to Meet with Krsna

gurudeva-laughing-w-trivikrama-m

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.”

Jai Jai Sri Radheeeee! On this most auspicious day, I would like to share something more sweet and intimate:

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From Sri Padyavali

By Srila Rupa Goswami:

mandam nidhehi caranau paridehi nilam

vasah pidhehi valayavalim ancalena

me jalpa sahasini sarada candra kanti

dantamsavas tava tamamsi samapayanti

[A sakhi is giving instrctions to Radhika, who is ready to go for abhisara, to meet with Her lover:]

“He Radhe, watch Your step – don’t make a sound. Wear a dark blue dress. If You wear white, then You will be caught. Cover Your jeweled bracelets with Your veil to hide their dazzle. O impetuous girl, on the way don’t even speak with Your companion; if you do, the moonrays shining from the autumn moons of Your teeth will destroy the darkness of the night.”

— Sri Sanmasika

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A manjari of Srimati Radhika…

aspiring to serve,

C.S.

 

Sri Lalita Ashtakam

SRI LALITA ASTAKAM BY SRILA RUPA GOSVAMI.
radha-mukunda-pada-sambhava-gharma-bindu
nirmanchanopakarani-krta-deha-laksam
uttunga-sauhrda-visesa-vasat pragalbham
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto the haughty Sri Lalita-devi who is charmingly endowed with many beautiful, sweet qualities (sulalita). She has natural expertise in all arts (lalita), thus her seva self-manifests. She wipes away the glittering drops of perspiration which appear upon the lotus feet of Sri Radha and Madhava when They meet; and she is perpetually immersed in the most elevated mellow of sauhrda-rasa, or undivided absorption in fulfilling the heart’s desire of her intimate friend Srimati Radhika.

raka-sudha-kirana-mandala-kanti-dandi
vaktra-sriyam cakita-caru-camuru-netram
radha-prasadhana-vidhana-kala-prasiddham
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi whose beautiful face mocks the brilliance of the full moon, whose eyes are ever-restless like those of a startled doe, who is famous for her extraordinary expertise in the art of dressing Srimati Radhika, and who is the treasure-house of unlimited feminine qualities.

lasyollasad-bhujaga-satru-patatra-citra
pattamsukabharana-kanculikancitangim
gorocana-ruci-vigarhana-gaurimanam
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi whose body is adorned with a splendid sari as brilliant as the multi-colored tail-feathers of an ecstatically dancing peacock, whose breast is covered with an exceedingly attractive blouse (kanculi), whose hair part is decorated with shimmering red vermilion, and who wears various necklaces and other jeweled ornaments. Her golden complexion defeats that of even gorocana (a bright golden pigment that comes when rain-water from the svati-naksatra constellation hits the hoof of a cow) and she possesses innumerable good qualities.

dhurte vrajendra-tanaye tanu susthu-vamyam
ma daksina bhava kalankini laghavaya
radhe giram srnu hitam iti siksayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi, the charming treasure-house of all good qualities, who instructs Srimati Radhika in this way: “O Kalankini (unchaste one)! Radhe! Listen to my good instructions which are favorable for you! Vrajendra-nandana is very crafty (dhurta). Don’t display Your mood of gentle submission (daksina bhava) to Him; instead, in all circumstances be contrary.”

radham abhi vraja-pateh krtam atmajena
kutam manag api vilokya vilohitaksim
vag-bhangibhis tam acirena vilajjayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam namami

I offer pranama unto the abode of all good qualities, the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, who, upon hearing Sri Krsna speak even a few sly words to Srimati Radhika, immediately becomes furious and shames Krsna with her biting, sarcastic remarks, “You are so truthful and simple-hearted, and such a chaste lover!”

vatsalya-vrnda-vasatim pasupala-rajnyah
sakhyanusiksana-kalasu gurum sakhinam
radha-balavaraja-jivita-nirvisesam
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, who possesses all divine qualities; who is also the recipient of Yasoda-devi’s parental affection; the guru of all the sakhis, instructing them in the art of friendship; and the very life of both Srimati Radhika and the younger brother of Baladeva.

yam kam api vraja-kule vrsabhanu-jayah
preksya sva-paksa-padavim anurudhyamanam
sadyas tad-ista-ghatanena krtarthayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, the treasure house of all good qualities. Upon seeing any young maiden anywhere in Vraja and discerning that she is inclined towards her priya-sakhi Srimati Radhika, Lalita immediately tells Radha that She must accept this person in Her own party (svapaksa). Radha obeys Lalita, who thus fulfills that maiden’s desires.

radha-vrajendra-suta-sangama-ranga-caryam
varyam viniscitavatim akhilotsavebhyah
tam gokula-priya-sakhi-nikuramba-mukhyam
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi, the embodiment of all divine virtues and the foremost of all the favorite sakhis of Gokula. Her primary task is providing pleasure for Sri Radha-Govinda by arranging Their meetings – this delightful seva surpasses the enjoyment of all the best festivals combined together.

nandann amuni lalita-guna-lalitani
padyani yah pathati nirmala-drstir astau
pritya vikarsati janam nija-vrnda-madhye
tam kirtida-pati-kulojjvala-kalpa-valli

If a devotee with a cheerful and pure heart recites this astakam in praise of Lalita-devi, then such a devotee will be affectionately brought into Srimati Radhika’s own group of sakhis. Lalita-devi is superbly ornamented with beauty, grace and charm, and, along with Srimati Radhika, is the effulgent wish-fulfilling creeper (kalpa-valli) of Vrsabhanu Maharaja’s family that winds around the kalpa-vrksa of Krsna.

The Glories of Sri Lalita Sakhi

Spiritual master
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.”

 

As the days lead up to the wonderful, sweet, sacred appearance day of Srimati Radhika, the embodiment of pure love for Krsna and the controller of Him, I am going to post about the sakhis and friends of Srimati Radhika.

Here is an excerpt from a wonderful class by Sripad Premananda Prabhu Bramacari:

Gurudeva and Premananda P.

Sripad Premananda prabhu speaking with Srila Gurudeva

 

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Sri Lalita Sakhi

Lalita Devi is 27 days older than Srimati Radharani. She is also called Anuradha. She is like the elder sister of Srimati Radharani. Her attire resembles a cluster of peacock feathers. Her mother’s name is Saradi; her father’s name is Visuka. And, her husband’s name is Bhairava. He is a near, and dear friend of Govardhana Malla. Lalita is always arranging for the meeting of Sri Radha Madhava. She soothes the separation felt by the Divine Couple after They engage in a prema-kalaha (a loving quarrel). Lalita also makes beds, umbrellas, groves, and other paraphernalia made entirely of flowers.

She arranges many stories for the pleasure of Sri Radha Madhava. Some of her services are tambula-seva, and the decoration of the kunjas. The name of her kunja is Lalitananda-kunja. Her group consists of sakhis called Ratnaprabha, Ratikala, Subhadra, Bhadralekha, Sumukhi, Dhanistha, Kalahamsi, and Kalakini. These gopis are her eight prominent sakhis. None of these gopis will do anything without Lalita Devi’s permission. They will never go near Krsna even if He addresses them a thousand times. They will never look at Him. They will also not go to Radharani without Lalita Devi’s permission. They will not do anything independently. These nearest sakhis of Lalita Devi stay in Lalitananda kunja. They are never distanced from Lalita Devi.

– from a class by Sripad Premananda prabhu, A Classification of Srimati Radhika’s Sakhis, available online

 

aspiring for spiritual greed,

C.S.

All glories to Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja! How to Follow Guru

gurudeva in india

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.”

Today is the holy appearance day of Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja, a disciple of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja Prabhupada, and a very transcendental soul. I would like to share some images and words from this amazing spiritual teacher:

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Our teachings which are coming through our parampara are true, coming form Mahaprabhu. They are our sadacara, our regulative principle. They are law for all humanity. And this law, this sadacara, has come down to us through parampara. If we disrespect it, if we don’t execute it in our life, if we add any deliberation, if we twist it, then we will become offenders. We will commit offence by not obeying the orders of guru. Yes, namaparadha. Then we will be far away from the lotus feet of our guru. Guru will never keep us at his lotus feet. If, in order to execute, to obey the order of my guru, it is needed to become very proud, I will never hesitate to become very proud. If it is needed to become an animal, I will never hesitate to become an animal. If it is needed to go to hell for guru, I will never hesitate to do it. Do you follow me? That is how to execute the order of the guru. That is how to become a true follower of guru.

Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja, April 7, 1992, Bhubaneshvara

Source

For more on the person, harikatha, and pictures of Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja, please visit here.

aspiring for service mood and greed,

C.S.

The Best Type of Bhajan

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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.”

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Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Goswami Maharaja says:
radha-paksa chadi ye jana se jana, ye bhave se bhave thake ami to radhika paksa pati sada’ –
“I am exclusively in the group of Sri Radhaji. I become happy when She is happy, and when She is sad, I become sad.”
This is the vicara, or conception, of the rupanuga (followers of Sri Rupa Goswami).
“Performing bhajan with the inclination to serve Srimati Radhika is the best type of bhajan. It cannot be said that no one is qualified to perform this kind of bhajan. In this world there is always a rupanuga Vaishnava who is capable of doing such bhajan. Past, present and future – there will always be someone with this qualification. To say otherwise is incorrect because the world would face destruction if it lacked the presence of such a qualified person.”
aspiring for sincerity,
C.S.