Discussions specifically related with the various aspects of practice of bhakti-sadhana in Gaudiya Vaishnavism.
On glimpses of rasa and acceptance of guru -
gopidust - Thu, 26 Aug 2004 17:44:56 +0530
Just after asking this last question I remembered the story of Narada Muni from the Srimad Bhagavatam. He served the brahmanas and took their remnants and Krishna appeared to him briefly after that so that he would always remember Him and thus by meditating on Him he would become Narada Muni in his next life.
Krishna or Radharani threw me into another state of consciousness there is no doubt when I was in Vrndavana. I got the mercy of my guru (who being puffed up as I am it is hard for me to accept one) but he said he would accept me so he must have helped I am sure.
I am not saying this out of pride. I am only saying these things to show how mercy is available in the Krishna Consciousness movement. It is true.
Sadhana bhakti or Raganuga it makes no difference. The causeless mercy of a bonafide guru is necessary.
Should I tell what happened to me in Vrndavana exactly? Should I reveal exactly what happened so if anyone who was there hears the story they will recognise me because it was such a funny thing? Such a unique recognisable occurence?
No I can't because I don't want to be recognised.
But it seems if someone had a bonafide guru in here they could ask him about this type of thing and see if a kanistha can sometimes get a glimpse of causeless mercy into their rasa and if it has a technical name and see what he says? I guess nobody in here can ask this because I was told to go to India and find a guru myself or something.
It is a simple question I was hoping someone could answer it. If I had thought of the question first I might never have revealed so much about myself in the beginning.
Jagat - Thu, 26 Aug 2004 18:46:51 +0530
First of all, you are right about mercy. Devotional life is about mercy at every step. Ultimately, we engage in devotional practices and attempt to avoid sinful life as far as possible in order to make ourselves available for mercy. The mercies we receive are never our own doing--were they, they would not be mercy.
The reason we suggested you take a guru, and we made some recommendations, is because we think that your temperament would be better off in a more traditional bhakti line. Though you obviously still have a lot of faith in Srila Prabhupada and Iskcon, you also have a great deal of anger and bitterness towards that organization.
I personally feel that people whose inclination to bhakti is of the raganuga type should try to associate with others who have the same kind of inclination. This is one of the five bedrocks of sadhana--sajAtiyAzaye snigdhe sAdhau saGgaH svato vare
. Find the company of superior Vaishnavas who share common goals and who will give you the time of day.
I have stressed many times on these forums that NO ONE IS QUALIFIED for raganuga bhakti. This is, of course, incorrect. No one is MATERIALLY qualified for raganuga bhakti. You can be a great yogi--eat nothing but milk or grapes, a brahmachari, be so renounced you live in a cardboard box--but this is not a qualification for bhakti. On the other hand, grace can come to even the most unholy if it just gets an opening.
Vaishnavas become good people because they want to be worthy of their God, because they see their God in everyone and therefore try in all respects not to harm others, and because they fear for the reputation of their God. They don't think that their austerities have a cause and effect relationship with mercy. Mercy is fully independent and not under anyone's control.
The thing about "Guru" is that it is the same. Guru is not something that you should or can control. If you are sincere and open, Guru will reveal himself to you. Of course, if you are not looking, you will not find, any more than you will find quarters on the beach if you don't look down. But the self-effulgence of Guru is something that does not come with advertising.
On a site like this, you are not likely to find anyone advertising their wares. We are too familiar with the way others are engaged in self-promotion. Of course, there are many here who are initiated by spiritual masters with whom they are content and have found inspiration and direction in raganuga bhakti. They may recommend you visit their gurus and see whether you may not find inspiration to pursue your mood with them.
The Narada Muni story you remember is an excellent one. There is nothing here to be proud of; rather, mercy of this sort is humbling precisely because it is so obviously out of our control. This is something that I am sure most of the people on this site have experienced in one form or another. No one wants to become a servant girl of Radha without having had special mercy. It is not the result of mental gymnastics, I assure you. Nor can it be sustained if it comes from a desire for profit, adoration or prestige. It is too unusual and even unnatural for that...
I give the example of a free sample. Like a computer program you download from the internet with a 30-day trial period. You get to experience it, use it, find out if it's worth anything to you. But if you want to keep it, you have to pay or subscribe. So the Holy Names (or visits to the Holy Dham, or Vaishnava association) are Mahaprabhu's way of giving free samples of prema. But it is in the very nature of prema that you have to give something back
, otherwise it is only a facsimile. Prema is ecstatic, but ecstasy is not prema. This is confusing because sometimes in the scriptures the words are used loosely (such as in Mahaprabhu not giving Sachi "prema"). Sometimes prema can be ecstatic in the sense that it takes us out (ex) of our situation (status) in a painful way, as with separation.
Anyway, I want you to know that those of us here who have the goal of manjari bhava are all looking at you with warm and sympathetic regards, with love and blessings in our hearts, and with hope for you to realize your fullness as a spiritual being in both your sadhaka and siddha dehas.
Rasaraja dasa - Thu, 26 Aug 2004 19:55:09 +0530
|QUOTE (gopidust @ Aug 26 2004, 04:14 AM)|
| But it seems if someone had a bonafide guru in here they could ask him about this type of thing and see if a kanistha can sometimes get a glimpse of causeless mercy into their rasa and if it has a technical name and see what he says? I guess nobody in here can ask this because I was told to go to India and find a guru myself or something. |
Dandavats. All glories to the Vaisnavas.
I seriously wonder if you read any of the posts that respond to your questions? If you ask a question, especially in regards to such a deep subject, than you should reflect deeply on the answers given to you as opposed to simply give knee jerk reactions to what you perceive to be the right answer. No need asking a question if you are 99.9% sure that your answer is better.
Jagat put it wonderfully in his last post. NO ONE is materially qualified for Raganuga bhakti. This is universal regardless of who you ask or where you go (ISKCON, GM or "traditional"). It is solely the mercy of the Vaisnavas and Sri Guru. This is how we are recognized by Srimati Rhadarani.
Could someone who is a kanistha get such a glimpse? Absolutely! Does that mean that any such glimpse or something which may resemble such a glimpse is one in the same? No. This is where it is up to the individual to give their heart, mind and soul to the Guru who can better understand, based on the relationship, not a crystal ball, what you experienced and how to help you further develop such aspirations.
No one hear said "Go to India and find a Guru". We simply said if you want to better understand your experience and further cultivate your aspirations that you will need to do so under the shelter of a Guru. Remember it is the mercy of the Vaisnavas and Sri Guru which bring about such developments.
"I got the mercy of my guru (who being puffed up as I am it is hard for me to accept one) but he said he would accept me so he must have helped I am sure." "Houston, we have a problem". What does this mean? On face value this individual is either not your Guru or you are anything but a disciple. If this individual is indeed puffed up... well, keep looking. If that is just your perception then you really need to work on the whole humiliy thing because the mercy of the Guru is hard to come by when you think of the individual as puffed up... especially as "puffed up as I am".
Aspiring to serve the Vaisnavas,
gopidust - Sat, 11 Sep 2004 06:07:35 +0530
Is it ok to be in seperation from Srimati Radharani? I didn't see her when I went to Vrndavana. Yes I saw her murti in the temples but my question is can we be seeking Her out instead of Krishna? She is the one I wish to serve.
Is there any scriptural evidence that a conditioned soul can seek out Srimati Radharani's association to serve Her instead of Krishna? I saw the thread on going to braja and thought of this question.
I am not going to Vraja this year. Is Vraja Vrndavana? I think so. But if I could go in my mind I would roll in the dust of a place I have visited once. I would seek out the devotees of Radharani there and ask how I could serve. But since I am unqualified I would simply chant and pray for Her mercy on me.
Oh Radharani, please bestow a drop of your mercy on this fallen soul. I wish to serve you so much! I know I have been bad but I have been following the no illicit sex rule since Krishna's birthday.
I can't wait for Radhastami.
Radharani ki jaya, Maharani ki jaya. Radharani ki jaya, Maharani ki jaya.
Jagat - Mon, 13 Sep 2004 03:18:24 +0530
Don't worry, Gopidust. Your desire will purify you. Just become worthy of your desire. You're young. Sex desire is naturally strong. Just think of Radha's desire for Krishna and his desire for her.
yuvatInAM yathA yUni
yUnAM ca yuvatau yathA
Just as adolescent boys and girls desire one another, may my mind desire thee, O Lord.
gopidust - Mon, 13 Sep 2004 18:33:43 +0530
Is there anyone here who is not simply projecting their current conditioning upon their concept of Krishna Consciousness? For example, is there a heterosexual male here who loves Krishna? Is there a female here, hetero, who wants to be a gopi in Radharani's camp? Or is the rasa everybody is expecting to be there for themselves simply an extension of their present sex desire?
I like women and I want to serve Radharani instead of Krishna. Who says this is ok? Is there some scriptural evidence of this? Did my guru say I can do this? Only the sadhus say I can worship Radharani. And we know some of them are off.
Sure I have had my "accidental" or otherwise types of falldowns. But in the traditional raganuga as it is presented here don't you start out as a kanistha also? What if the kanistha falls down? Does she still get to think of herself as a manjari? Isn't that an offense to the purity of the concept of Radharani and the gopis? Even mundane portions of the Vedas say that sudras may not read the higher parts or even hear them because of the offenses they will commit due to their lower consciousness.
To me Uma Thurman is old and ugly and scrawny. How old is the movie she was in? Was she younger and more beautiful? Did she get naked in it? The reason I ask is maybe there are parts of the Vedas that describe in detail sexual relations betwixt Radha and Krishna, it seems so from the reaction I got in here to a statement I made. IF that is actually true, then I can really see now why nobody is allowed to read them.
I personally would not WANT to read them. Not in my present conditioned state. Maybe someday as a liberated soul I would, but I don't see the need. If I want sex stories I won't appy my lusty thoughts to Radharani, just someone like Uma Thurman.
Satyabhama - Mon, 13 Sep 2004 18:42:36 +0530
Woah, "the Vedas" are Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, Atharva Veda
R and K's amorous situations depicted in Gita Govindam and other works.
There are plenty of people who are heterosexual men in this world, that love Krishna as a girl loves a boy. There are also women who want to be gopa kumaras. If you want to pursue manjari bhava, then what's the problem? Sometimes we make mistakes in life- that doesn't mean you give up your sadhana. On the contrary, try to dive in more deeply. Just stay calm, Gopidust, you're okay!
I don't understand why they're talking about this movie. I don't think it will help you. In fact, it's exactly the wrong message. As I told Jagat, if "Bonanza Jellybean" had explained the situation correctly, the seduction of Uma Thurman would've been a bust.
If you're uncomfortable with the loving affairs of Radhika and Krishna, don't read about them. It doesn't really matter. You just want to be a dasi of Radha, without getting into the madhurya aspect? That's just fine. That doesn't prevent you from comforting Her when She's crying, and making food for Her, serving Her, etc etc etc.
gopidust - Mon, 13 Sep 2004 19:05:26 +0530
Jagat - Mon, 13 Sep 2004 19:40:10 +0530
Narottam Das prays to be born in Javat.
I brought up the Uma Thurman thing to test Gopidust.
Personally, I find the "sex-thing" fascinating and one that has to be treated with intelligence and honesty.
First of all, with regards to Gopidust's extremely important question about projecting our own conditioned status on the lila. Let's think outside the box a little here: Everyone is following Krishna's path. He says so himself in the Gita; he reveals himself in different ways, one of which is this one. This is all a product of conditioning. Why does one person become a Hindu or a Christian--it is nearly always the result of the "accident" of birth.
The point is this: If you have a "conversion experience" of the type Gopidust alludes to, or as so many other people allude to with regards to their gurus or other forms of God, then these are important revelations. God is saying to us, in effect, this is my form for you. This is my revelation to you, now be true to yourself and follow this revelation to the very end. If it looks crazy, ask yourself why. Try to understand it, examine this revelation from every angle. In fact, this is only the beginning, and there is no end to this revelation. "Go to the end" is almost entirely meaningless because there is no end, it is a limitless ocean, an endless sky. But this revelation encompasses all meaning.
And this revelation encompasses sexuality also. It does not really say sexuality per se is wicked; in fact, it seems to say the very opposite. But it does say that sex is subordinate to love, and that love of the human is a facsmile of the love for God. Augustine said, "Love and then do as you will." This is very much the same as the core idea of Vaishnavism also.
It is not, "Follow all these rules and then maybe one day you will love." It is "Seek love, and everything else will follow." Radha and Krishna are like the Sun, generating love in the center of our hearts and minds and pouring it into every pore of our being. That is why we meditate on Them.
And that is why we insist on meditating on them, in all their glory, their separation and their union. Actually the "cowgirl" was saying basically that "sexual union is God." This is not a very uncommon viewpoint. Actually, it is, because God is present in everything, why should he not be present in something as powerful and all-absorbing as sex? And not just the sanitized sex of procreation, but in the all-consuming passion that we are all attacked by time and again?
yad yad vibhUtimat sattvaM zrImad Urijitam eva vA
tat tad evAvagaccha tvaM mama tejo'Mza-sambhavam
Wherever you see powerful states, or ones that are glorious or vigorous--in other words, wherever you see anything extraordinary--you should know that this arises out of a spark of my splendor. (Gita 10.42)
So what is Maya? Krishna's splendor.
balaM me pazya mAyAyAH strI-mayyA jayino dizAm |
yA karoti padAkrAntAn bhrU-vijRmbheNa kevalam ||
"Just look at the power of my Maya in the form of woman, which conquers every direction, crushing everyone under her feet by the mere movement of an eyebrow." (3.31.38)
But sex by itself is not God, at least it is easier to have sex without God than it is to have God without sex. (That was an understatement.)
gopidust - Mon, 13 Sep 2004 20:23:28 +0530
It's a good thing I'm not getting a test on what Jagat just said.
Jaya! I found out what I was looking for! Radharani had heard that Krishna was with another woman and somehow She wanted to dance this mad dance with Him in the form of peacocks. It is called Mayur lila and it was painted at Mayur kutir. The old saint who painted it was given a vision of the dance and Radharani told him to paint it. He didn't know how to paint but She told him to do it anyway. I am dying to see this painting I didn't even know it was Radha and Krishna as the peacocks. If you type in Avadhuta Radha Charana Dasa Babaji you will find the story. Now at least I have found a nice story of a devotee in Vrndavana I would like to hear from and could have faith in if he is still on the planet.
Satyabhama - Mon, 13 Sep 2004 20:29:20 +0530
Er... there's a picture of Radha and Krishna dancing like peacocks on the stephen knapp Krishna Darshan site. I think it was painted by... oh what's her name... on the tip of my brain... anyway, pretty sure it's not the one you're talking about, but anyway...
gopidust - Tue, 14 Sep 2004 05:20:50 +0530
Radharani had this saint paint the painting to show that She is still there in Varshana! I can't find it on line. I have to go to Varshana and see that painting. I think it is only a painting of a peacock but maybe it is two peacocks but they look like peacocks, not Radha and Krishna. But now that I know it is Radha and Krishna I want to look at it to my full satisfaction.
I just read about Varshana on line. If only I could go there. There is a temple on top of a hill that Krishna and Radharani met in that used to be Radharani's father's house.
There is a kunda where Radharani washed Her hands off after tumeric was applied to them when She was engaged by Her parents to Krishna. Krishna kunda is there. Her friend's neighboring village is there(Visakha?). There is a rock where Radha and Krishna sat in a temple and one side is blue and one side is yellow. Oh Radharani...
Madhava - Tue, 14 Sep 2004 05:23:07 +0530
|QUOTE (gopidust @ Sep 14 2004, 02:50 AM)|
| Her friend's neighboring village is there(Visakha?). |
Citra Sakhi's village is very near. You can have a good aerial view of the place if you climb up on the mountain. Unchagaon, the village of Lalita, is just behind the corner.
gopidust - Thu, 09 Oct 2003 04:30:00 +0530
Do you have to reach perfection and then all of a sudden you will realise your rasa? Or are there GLIMPSES into our rasa that somehow or other we may experience?
Sometimes devotees who are about to leave their bodies have "transcendental" experiences like talking to Krishna and so on. I have no doubt that these are real but does anybody have a scientific explanation or the correct terms for these type of phenomena?
I know something happened to me in Vrindavana, I wish I could say what it was. But somehow I was thrust into I can only say my rasa! I was in a totally different state of consciousness. Yet I am fallen. Does anyone have any explanation for this?