Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Form or Substance?

"What the form provides is more important than the form itself. Therefore, we should not be overly attached to a particular form, if another form can provide what we need."

Confused? LOL! Well definitely this "sutra" needs an explanation. At least I can give an explanation based on my realizations. Having given that disclaimer, here goes: Often times when we desire something, even if it's spiritual, we are very attached to having it come in "one way." Whether spoken or unspoken, normally that subtle consciousness is there. But Krsna may not give us "that particular" form, he may give something else. So what does that mean? It means that the particular form we desire may not be suitable or right or whatever and so it may not come in that way. BUT, if it is beneficial for our spiritual life, then the substance will come. Krsna will make sure of that, especially if it brings us closer to him.

So what does that practically mean? It means that being conditioned in the material world we are very attached to "packaging." But this is just another signpost, one could say, that indicates we are very external. Krsna consciousness is about going deep, about becoming internal. The basic foundation is valuing substance over form.

It's a challenge, no doubt, but one to seriously consider taking up. Just remember, Krsna is listening and oftentimes he'll test. So if it's the substance we are truly after, we'll gratefully accept it when it comes.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Does Krsna Hear My Prayers?

This is a question that I often ask myself. Theoretically I understand that "Of course he does!" Not only is Krsna sitting in our heart as the supersoul but he manifests in so many forms such as the arca vigraha and as the spiritual master. But I'm still a very neophyte devotee and so I still have this doubt sometimes.

Again, it all boils down to a lack of trust. Experiences in the material world have shown that trusting someone eventually results in them letting you down. So consciously or unconsciously those impressions become transferred to Krsna. But it's so unfair! We just presume to know that Krsna will let us down. I know how much it bothers me when someone just assumes I'll act or react in a certain way. Can you imagine how tolerant and munificent Krsna is to deal with all our transference and trust issues! It's unfathomable.

But back to the question. Does Krsna hear my prayers? I'm implying, of course, by Krsna hearing my prayers that he fulfills them. :P I think it depends on a combination of two things: sincerity and if I'm praying for something worthwhile. See Krsna is a very special in that once you even "try" to surrender to him, he immediately gives you special mercy. What is that special mercy? Well, when you pray for something (or even just desire something), Krsna immediately looks to see if it is beneficial for your spiritual life. If it's not, most times Krsna won't "hear it." But if it is beneficial, even the impossible becomes reality in a matter of a second. Such is Krsna's power and his love for all of us.

So I guess the question really isn't "Does Krsna hear my prayers?" It's more a question of "Can I see everything that Krsna is arranging for me."

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ok Krsna, You Be God!

Ever just feel totally mental? Well I certainly do...It happens when I feel like I have no control over my life. It was funny....during the past week I heard something that I really liked and have a lot of trouble doing, "Go to Krsna and tell him ok, you be God!"

It's actually a very serious and valid statement if you think about it. Theoretically I know that I am not the controller but in reality I still think I am! Krsna (at least in my case) has to back me up into a corner for me to realize that, "Hey, I have no control WHATSOEVER!" It's pretty painful...but at the same time it can be sweetly liberating. It's much nicer for someone else to take care of everything for you, right? Then what's the problem with letting Krsna handle everything?

Normally it's due to the fact that we bring over our material experiences and wrongly apply them to Krsna. But Krsna is not just anyone, he's God! The other reason that we have trouble letting Krsna handle everything is that sometimes we have "tried" to let Krsna handle it, but he hasn't given us what we wanted. So that has also caused us to lose faith and trust.

The funny thing is that (and I can tell I'm preaching to myself as I write this) we always tend to look at everything from a microscopic perspective, that is from a very limited point of view. I know that if I ever stop to look at how things have gone in my life, I can see that everything has happened at the right time. Things that didn't work (that I really wanted) I can see later on really were for the best. But it's hard to have that kind of vision when things are happening NOW.

So what to do? The eternal question. One thing that has helped me is reading Srimad Bhagavatam. There we see how so many devotees have waited and prayed and trusted Krsna to guide them. We also see the incredible results of having such implicit faith in Krsna. Hearing stories from other devotees as to how Krsna has arranged everything, even the "seemingly impossible" is also a huge faith and trust booster.

So try it out...what have you got to lose anyways? I just had a realization yesterday actually. Normally when I go to Krsna I am very specific and I say "I want this," but as devotees we hear this is the wrong attitude. Technically we should approach Krsna and say "Please let this happen if you so desire." But I have huge control issues and for the past week or so I just haven't been able to bring myself to say that.

I had a really nice epiphany yesterday. I was thinking about why I can't say "Please let this happen if you so desire." It's because I feel that if I do I REALLY will have no control over the situation. See, my ridiculous thinking is that if I tell Krsna "It's this I want" then somehow I trick myself into thinking that now Krsna has to give me this and only this. WRONG! Krsna is still fully in control, this is just my vain and useless attempt in trying to keep some illusion of control. So I tried it this morning..."Ok Krsna, if you so desire." It was really hard and probably not so genuine...but this is my attempt to show Krsna that I am truly trying to let him take charge and take control.

So try it out...what have you got to lose? :D

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Krsna-mas!

Here in Sridham Mayapur it certainly doesn't feel so much like the X-mas I'm normally used to. No panicked last minute shoppers and certainly no snow! But it's definitely really crowded as pilgrims on vacation are inundating Mayapur. Wishing everyone a happy, KC filled and safe holiday! Hare Krishna!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Winding up our 2nd Module

:( I'm so depressed...our Brahminical Culture and Education Module is coming to an end. The next two days will be filled with assessments and then that's it. Considering I was highly skeptical about this class (a thought which was echoed by many in the class), now all I can say is, "It's done already? It's already been 3 weeks? Why? Can we not continue this forever?"

This is what happens when you have such a qualified teacher (HG Adi Purusha Prabhu), a topic that DESPERATELY needs to be taught to devotees and an eager group of students. I can't begin to tell you what a loss it will be to not have at least 3 hours of class on this topic everyday.

The funniest part is that most devotees were like, "What? I can't listen to philosophy for that long. I'm not sastrically oriented." But Prabhuji just presented the material in such a relevant, humorous and practical manner that well...I'm speechless. We also had guest speakers such as HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami, HG Pankajanghri prabhu and HG Jananivas prabhu. Needless to say we'll all be coming down from such an incredible high.

Starting next week we have a break and then begins cooking and dressing! This promises to be lots of fun....but...I can't help feeling, "If only we could continue with these classes as well." But I guess it's a good thing to always be left wanting more and I'm super impressed that so far at Mayapur Academy both modules have now left me wanting more.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Flatbed Rikshaws

Ever ridden on a flatbed rik? LOL! Well it's certainly an experience. Imagine sitting on pieces of wood that have been nailed together to form a solid board. This board has wheels underneath and is attached to a tricycle-like contraption. Note, there is nothing to prevent you from falling out because there are no railings or anything to keep you on this piece of wood. Also, it's India, so along with other rikshaws there are cows, goats, cars and high speeding buses that are rushing or going past you. You would NEVER see anything like this in Canada....totally against the law. It's pretty scary the first time around, but today 5 of us got onto one of these flatbed rikshaws and made our way to the Rajaput Jagannath temple. It made me realize how much I appreciate the simplicity of being here in the holy dham. By car, the Jagannath temple is about 10 minutes away but on a flatbed rik (especially when the poor person is pedaling 5 ppl!) it takes a good 1/2 hour. But during that time you get a chance to look at the surroundings, wave to the school children, and just soak in the atmosphere of Nadia. It's just so beautiful. So although perhaps a tad bit scary the first time around, it's still one of my favorite ways to travel short distances.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Try Not to Label

The illusion of Western society- If you label something you think you can understand it.

Think about it. Have you ever found this to be the case? Perhaps you didn't understand someone properly and instead of trying you just labelled them as being "insert any adjective." Often times this happens. It especially happens in relationships. Once you know someone, that's it. That means you "know" them. Often times its the one's nearest and dearest to us that we label. But what does labelling one inherently do? It causes us to feel that they can't change. But life is dynamic and things are always changing and developing. What happens when we label someone or something is that although that thing/person may change, our perception of them doesn't. That's very dangerous because we are not actually seeing the reality in front of us. Instead we are the ones who live in the past.

So the lesson for me today was "try not to label." Of course we should see things as they are, but we should always believe in change.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Celebrating Vyasa Puja Everday

Yesterday all the disciples of HH Niranjana Swami (in Mayapur) got together to celebrate in our beloved Guru Maharaja's glorious appearance day. The program was very sweet as so many of Guru Maharaja's godbrothers and sisters came to speak some words. My godsister Krtamala and myself had just been discussing the night before how happy we were that so many senior devotees were coming because (at least speaking for myself) I really don't have any real gratitude or appreciation for all that HH Niranjana Swami has done and continues to do for me. But somehow through the words of Guru Maharaja's godbrothers and sisters, I somehow get a glimpse of the great fortune I have to even be remotely associated with such an incredible vaisnava. Over and over the same words were repeated, of how HH Niranjana Swami will go out of his way to help others and how it is not limited to just his disciples but to any person who he comes in contact with.

It's such an important characteristic to have as aspiring servants of Lord Caitanya's sankirtan mission. I long for the day that I can be so loving and compassionate that I don't even think twice to help another person. Instead I'm normally of the mentality of "what's in it for me." It's so horrible actually. How can I hope to actually become a vaisnava if I have this useless mentality? But Krishna is so merciful because I have such wonderful role models. Role models in my beloved spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada and in all the other vaisnavas who emobdy these qualities.

These were just some of the gems I received from yesterday's Vyasa Puja celebrations. Seeing how much I gained I've decided that I'm going to celebrate Vyasa Puja everyday! I may not be able to celebrate it on a grand scale but I can celebrate by offering gratitude to my spiritual master and share in some guru katha with my godsisters. In this way I hope that I can also imbibe the wonderful mood of my spiritual master.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Reclaiming my Liberation!

Today I had another opportunity to realize how little I actually know about practically applying Krsna Consciousness in my life. The topic was karma. I was asking the question of how I can practically reconcile the fact that my karma can't change on one hand but on the other hand I still have the ability to take charge of my life. This is the answer I got: Karma simply means the parameters that we have to deal with. In other words, due to our past reactions we are given a certain set of parameters that we need to work with. For example one might be extremely good with languages and mathematics but they might have an innate fear of water. So these gifts and handicaps will colour the vision of such an individual. However, that doesn't mean that their life is determined because of this. Depending on the mode of nature they work in, even a handicap can turn into a greatest blessing. For example, one girl who was deathly afraid of water turned into a championship swimmer. When asked if she was still afraid of water she said yes, but the point is that she didn't allow her fear to overtake her life.

Similarly we all have various handicaps and gifts that we have been given. But how many of us actually take use of these handicaps and turn it into an offering we can present to the Lord? Moreover, how many of us fall into that "comfortable understanding" of karma as something that "Krsna has given so just accept." I'm guilty of subscribing to this definition. But now I have seen the light! NO MORE WILL I SUBSCRIBE! This is only half true! Yes, we have to accept our karma. That part is true. We have to accept because we made certain choices in the past that have now given us these fruits. But just accepting this is so fatalistic and so dis-empowering. How can anyone feel motivated to do anything then? But the part that "Krsna has given" is totally untrue. NO! We have given it to ourselves due to the choices we have made. This understanding forces the individual to take responsibility for their past and future deeds instead of simply thinking "Ahh...well I can't do anything now."

The correct understanding is that we had the free will to make those choices that resulted in the karma we are experiencing now AND still do have that same free will to make choices each and every second. That is the real understanding that will help us. To act. That at every moment Krsna is giving us a choice. We can choose to be pulled by the modes of nature and act the way we have been habituated to act (which normally doesn't help us and tends to land us in trouble) or else we can choose to act in the most Krsna conscious and correct path which will take more effort.

That is true liberation. To rise above the modes of natures that trying to pull us down. Instead if we choose to act in a way that Krsna will be pleased then we don't have to worry about past or future karma. So let's reclaim our liberation. That choice we have every moment is either liberating or binding. So choose liberation and become happy!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Kirtaniyah sada hari

First of all I would like to offer a lot of gratitude to a dear friend of mine: Rashi. It was her brilliant idea that I start a blog chronicalling all my adventures, experiences and thoughts while I am here in Mayapur. She was telling me that this would be a great medium for me to jot down all my thoughts and at the same time it would save me time because I wouldn't have to e-mail a million people this way. Truth be told, at that time what appealed to me the most was the reduced e-mailing time it would take! But now, I see that writing everyday is really the best thing I can do. As Srila Prabhupada once said, "Everyday, just write."

So at that time when I was trying to figure out what title I should give my blog, this verse came to mind "kirtaniyah sada hari." Why did I chose it? Probably because I love to sing and participate in kirtan so much. It's the best way to constantly chant the holy names. But what does "kirtaniyah sada hari" actually mean? Due to the mercy of all of our teachers at Mayapur Academy I'm starting to get a glimpse of the true purport of this popular verse.

One thing that struck me during one of the first discussions we had on the verse trnda api sunicena was the fact that HG Adi Purusa Prabhu said, "Note, that Mahaprabhu did not just say kirtaniyah sada hari but instead he qualified it with four characteristics." Interesting no? Lord Caitanya could have easily JUST instructed that one continuously chant the holy names of the Lord. But he didn't.

So what does that mean? It means that trnad api sunicena taror iva sahishnuna amanina manadena is the starting point. These four qualities of humility, tolerance, pridelessness and offering all respects to others are the foundation that needs to be built. Or else how can one even THINK of beginning to chant the holy names of the Lord continuously. Of course we can "think" of wanting to chant the holy names continuously, but as it so happens there are so many other material desires and issues that tend to creep in and that wonderful desire can get buried under a huge pile of other desires.

So it all begins with humility. Ahhh...that illusive quality that I just can't seem to get a grasp of! LOL! What does one think of when we hear the word humility? The funny thing is that every devotee will have a different definition depending on their nature, their level of advancement and also by how much they have read. Over numerous years now I've heard so many definitions (all of them correct) but nothing I could tangibly understand. Why do I say that? Well if I understood it, then there should be some observable change. But nope. I'm still just as proud and not humble as I've ever been.

However, there is hope! Recently I just heard a definition of humility that HG Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami gives: trnda api sunicena actually means aham brahmasmi. Or translated, humility means to know that I am spirt. The key word being know, which indicates realized knowledge NOT just theoretical knowledge.

But what does knowing I am spirit do to one so that they become humble? Well, if I realize that I am a spirit soul then I actually have nothing to be proud of. Why? Well if I am spirit, why would I be proud of anything material since it is inferior to spirit. That is in actuality what I am proud of when I am in my current stage of identifying with the body. Some material prestige, name, fame, the list can go on and on. So true humility can be summed by not identifying and seeking praise for something that I am not (i.e. matter).

Naturally with humility comes pridelessness, tolerance and giving all respects to others (because they are also spirit souls). So this is the platform on which I can hope to chant the holy names of the Lord constantly. But if I keep letting my ego get in the way which is trying to convince me that "I am this body and that this body deserves respect" then where is there room for Krishna?

Kirtaniyah sada hari is the ultimate goal. One needs to have intense greed and desire to work on this foundation of humility so that when the holy name constantly dances on our tongue, we'll have a foundation that's strong enough to support it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


For the past couple of weeks we've been starting to learn how to make turbans. I've consistently forgotten to bring my camera but finally remembered today! Check out the turban I was able to make with the guidance of our "turban guru" HG Kurma Caitanya Prabhu.

No Right to Complain

Today I heard something really wonderful in class that I sincerely hope I can remember and apply in my daily dealings. HG Jananivas Prabhu was talking about how a brahmana becomes empowered by developing good qualities. When he spoke about the quality of austerity he said that, "We in the Krsna conscious movement have voluntarily accepted austerities. Since that is the case, what right do we have to complain?"

That REALLY struck me! It's so true. Everything in Krsna consciousness is voluntarily. In fact that's why Krsna has given us this minute independence: to either choose him or not. I know that I often complain about services, getting up early, this that and everything under the sun. It's such a bad habit. But if I really look at it IT'S MY CHOICE. So if it's my choice then I have no reason to complain.

Furthermore Prabhuji was saying that if we become fixed in our devotional service then we'll stop looking at it as an austerity. Krsna has been so merciful that the few times I have actually done this I can now look back and see that it really was such a pleasure. I forgot all about the things I could complain about and was just able to focus on the service. Hand in hand with this is of course the right attitude.

HG Adi Purusa Prabhu was saying the other day that we can do service for millions and millions of lifetimes without ever developing prema for Krsna. Why? Because we just dovetail our propensity for fruitive work in Krsna consciousness. We become result oriented. This may be ok initially, but true Krsna consciousness is about the inner mood. What do you actually think about when you are doing the service? The ultimate goal should always be "this is for the satisfaction of Guru and Krsna" and never for self-aggrandizement and recognition.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Alankara

Since I've been here in Mayapur I've been reading a lot more. I'm also happy to say that along with reading Srimad Bhagavatam and attending various classes by senior devotees, I've gotten into the habit of writing something almost everyday. In order to write, I am constantly referring back to the notes I keep taking. So in this way this also forces me to review the various things I have heard.

Looking back at my notes, I came across something that caught my attention today. Mahandhi Swami was saying that we as Vaisnavas "wear our religion." What does that mean, you ask? Well, Maharaja wasn't referring to the fact that devotees wear tilak, dhotis, saris etc etc...This is a fact yes, but Maharaja was referring to the fact that OUR BEHAVIOUR IS OUR ALANKARA.

Alankara is the sanskrit word for decoration. So this means that we are decorated and are identified by our behaviour as vaisnavas. Srila Prabhupada also oftentimes said that a devotee would be recognized as being the perfect gentlemen/gentlewoman.

So what is this ideal behaviour?

titiksavah karunikah
suhrdah sarva-dehinam
ajata-satravah santah
sadhavah sadhu-bhusanah

The symptoms of a sādhu are that he is tolerant, merciful and friendly to all living entities. He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides by the scriptures, and all his characteristics are sublime. (SB. 3.25.21)

These are the decorations that a devotee wears with with honour. Maharaja continued by saying that religion thus means ideal behaviour infused with prema, or love, for Krishna. I pray that I may oneday soon be decorated by these beautiful ornaments and offer them in the service of my beloved spiritual master.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Can I Actually be an Instrument of Change?

Have you ever asked this question to yourself before? I constantly do....as devotees it is ingrained into our psyche that "we have to spread the mission of sankirtan yajna" but many often times doubt that they can be a part of helping to achieve that.

Today we had a really illuminating class by HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami on the importance and necessity of varnasrama. Maharaja was saying that to actually implement varnasrama the process begins with self-realization.

But what does self realization actually mean? The most important definition for devotees is that we are not the body, we are the spirit soul and are the eternal servants of Krsna. However, Maharaja brought up an interesting point. For most of us just knowing this is not enough because we understand this on the theoretical platform. Self-realization also means we have a proper understanding about our mind, body and intelligence as they are also included in the definition of atma (or soul). Therefore true self-realization means have a proper understanding of all these four levels.

So what does this have to do with being an instrument of change? Well normally the biggest stumbling block (at least I have) when I am faced with being an instrument of change is the excuse "but in order for me to be effective then I need to have an environment that is conducive to do that." But this is actually a huge cope-out. Just like Maharaja was saying that the first stage in implementing varnasrama is self-realization one can actually extend concept. The first step to being an instrument of change is also self-realization. This puts the responsibility on the individual because self-realization is a process or journey that is dependent only on one person: you. No one else... Of course others may help along the way, but other than Krsna, no one knows you better than you. :D

And what does self-realization do? It allows you to figure out your nature, how you work, what makes you tick and all these practical tools that allow you to interact properly and harmoniously. This is the second step that is most essential in being an instrument of change. To effect change one needs to interact with others. But when one has clear understanding of one's self then it becomes much easier to interact with others. Often times we can see that people have such nice intentions but it is because there is difficulty in interacting with others that that the positive intention cannot come to fruition.

Therefore YES! Of course anyone can be an instrument of change, but at least for myself, I am convinced that self-realization is a neccessary step in order to achieve success in being a proper instrument.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pridelessness and Humility

Yesterday during Mahanidhi Swami's Caitanya Bhagavat class a devotee asked an interesting question. Krsna in Bhagavad Gita lists pridelessness and humility as two separate processes of knowledge and so the question was, "what is the difference between the two?"

Interesting question no? They are very interrelated.

Maharaja gave a really nice response. He said that humility means knowing our real position which is that of being an eternal servant of the Lord. The natural position of a true servant is that he doesn't demand any recognition because anything he does is simply his duty. Pridelessness is slightly different because it indicates that one possesses qualities of which one actually has a right to be proud of YET he is not proud of them.

So this is what I got out of it: humility is not demanding any recognition whereas pridelessness is realizing that even if others see something good in me, it is not actually mine to be proud of because it is simply coming from Krsna.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Who is in control of my satisfaction?

We have now begun a new module in the 4 month deity worship course here in Mayapur. This module is called Brahminical Culture and Education and we are exploring all the internal qualities that a pujari needs to develop in order to properly serve Krsna.

One interesting point that came up in today's class was about satisfaction. The western conception of satisfaction is that it is something that happens TO me, but actually in the Gita Krsna states that satisfaction is a conscious act that arises due to the effort of the individual. In Bg. 17.15 Krishna states that "And satisfaction, simplicity, gravity, self-control and purification of one's existence are the austerities of the mind." This indicates that satisfaction is the austerity of the mind and that we are in control of it. This verse is also in a series of verses that describe austerities that are performed in the mode of goodness and thus it goes without saying it is only possible to become satisfied when one cultivates the mode of goodness.

Pretty cool huh? It totally changes one's perspective when one thinks of being satisfied as an austerity.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tapasya is a Burden of Love

This morning we heard a wonderful class given here by HH Mahanidhi Swami. Towards the end of the class the topic turned towards the fact that today is Mokshada Ekadasi. Most people who read this may have already celebrated this very incredible Ekadasi but I'd like to share something that HH Mahanidhi Swami asked us to do.

Maharaja was saying that in the Padma Purana it states that on an Ekadasi that if one makes a sankalpa (which is an intention) that "If I may derive any benefits/punya from following this ekadasi let it go towards this individual" then that particular individual will get the full benefit of your vrata. AND it is stated that YOU will get 100x the benefit! Maharaja was saying this is to encourage compassion and mercy towards others as the living entity can be very selfish and miserly at times.

So Maharaja was encouraging all of us to give all the benefits of this ekadasi that we follow to HH Jayapataka Swami. As most may already know, HH JPS requested a few days ago that devotees all over the world pray that he may walk in 10 days time. So HH Mahanidhi Swami requested all the devotees in Mayapur to not only give all the benefit of following Mokshada Ekadasi to HH JPS but also to follow Nirjala Ekadasi if possible. Why? Because by willingly undergoing some austerity/tapasya we can show our love for HH JPS. Tapasya is a burden of love that we all willingly undergo because HH JPS is near and dear to our hearts.

So for the next Ekadasi that comes up, please do this if it is possible. Make a sankalpa and pray to the Lord that for the next ekadasi that all the benefits you may get go to HH JPS so that he may become free from any discomfort he is facing and that he may return to us quickly. HH Jayapataka Swami ki JAI! Ekadasi vrata ki JAI!

Thank you Srila Prabhupada

As I sit here in Sri Mayapur dham, I am astounded by everything I see and hear. Here, in this remote area of West Bengal there is fusion pot of various culture all coming together to partake in Lord Caitanya's sankirtan movement. How fortunate are we to be here, just a mere few hundred years after the Lord was here on this earth. We are so lucky! We can come and take the dust of this holy tirtha and help spread this knowledge of how to become truly blissful to everyone we see and meet.

Similarly I am overcome with admiration and happiness when I get e-mails from the devotees back home in Toronto hearing what new and innovative things they are doing to share their love of Krsna with others.

That link, that bond, that is so strong that connects these two places that seemingly have no connection is Srila Prabhupada. By his magnanimity, compassion and mercy we are seeing the yuga-dharma of harinam sankirtan being spread all over the universe. How fortunate are we that Srila Prabhupada came to save us all.

So today I would like to give thanks to His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami for showing us what true compassion and love is. Thank you for building a home that we can all live in and thank you for connecting all of us with others around the world to create a sanga of devotees that can relish and come together to chant the holy names of Sri Hari.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Manipuri Outfit!

On the most auspicious appearance day of HH Bhakti Svarupa Damodara Swami the most beautiful Radha Madhava were offered a manipuri outfit!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Simple living...

Have you ever washed your clothes by hand using a bucket? And I'm not taking about that expensive "hand wash only" cashmere sweater or linen blazer. I'm talking about saris and shirts and all that other day to day stuff one wears. Well, before coming to Mayapur I could probably count on one hand the number of times I've ever hand washed my clothes. Outside of India, I never hand wash (if I can help it!) and even when I'm India most of my relatives have washing machines and so I just take it for granted.

But now almost 3 times a week I'm forced to hand wash my clothes. And you know what? Why don't I just "get it washed" you may ask? Well the facility is available but it's actually said that a pujari should not wear clothes that are washed by a washerperson. So although I'm not necessarily going on the altar to worship, this course is preparation to be a pujari in all respects and I just feel that I would that it would be defeating the purpose of attending if I'm not trying to follow as much as I can.

So despite grumbling about how it takes up my time and how its a pain to fold up a sopping wet sari and hang it on a line, it's actually very peaceful and sattvic. It also makes me feel very productive. So not only does Mayapur dham allow me to become closer to Krishna but it also allows me to get back in touch with a simpler way of life. Mayapur dham ki JAI!