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Discussions specifically related with the various aspects of practice of bhakti-sadhana in Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

Mahaprabhu's internal and external desires - Fulfilling them



Advaitadas - Thu, 24 Feb 2005 23:16:48 +0530
There is absolutely no reason why a raganuga bhakta shouldnt or wouldnt go out on the street to chant harinama, or preach in other ways. These two activities are absolutely not mutually exclusive.
TarunGovindadas - Fri, 25 Feb 2005 00:33:33 +0530
Radhe!

I saw many raganuga-devotees doing harinama on the streets at Sri Radhakund.
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Yes, why shouldnt a raganuga-devotee not be practicing this "external"- limbs?

Just the inner mood is different. But still the limbs of sadhana-bhakti are to be practiced.
Radhapada - Sat, 26 Feb 2005 04:11:18 +0530
Regarding street Harinam sankirtan:
I have some reservations on street sankirtan in the western countries, as in Europe and America. I accept the spiritual conclussions that the power of Krsna's name bestows spiritual auspiciousness on those that hear it. What I refer to is the impression of the appearance of people walking, dancing and singing with loud instruments along a busy commercial street. My reservation is, does this really attract people in general, or turn them off? Street sankirtan in Indian holy places is one thing--that's the norm and people appreciate it and relate to it. However, I know that people in general in the west feel very uncomfortable about it. They think it is a silly. I have been in processions all over the world, the same response I see in people. They do not take it seriously as people doing something real with their lives. People in the west appreciate a passive approach to religious spreading, not the streets blocked by a group of high-jumping, stranged robed men and women. I remember some years ago a huge Harinam procession in Croatia. There were hundreds in the procession. The normal people on the streets were running away in panic, frightened by the sight. I saw it in peoples faces and I began to question its value for attracting people to Krsna sankirtan.

On the hand, I had great success singing with a harmonium by myself on the streets in some European cities, singing ragas, maha-mantra and melodious Bengali and Sanskrit songs. In that approach, people see one as a street musician and have more respect for the nerve it takes to do that on ones own. I sold many tapes and CDs that way to people who would probably run away or laugh seeing a whole procession of people.

Of course, the one thing that comes to people's mind is that 'these people are on drugs'.

evakurvan - Sat, 26 Feb 2005 05:18:15 +0530
It is true it is less intimidating if you are alone people are less shy to approach you and it takes away from the first impression that a throng of bizarre people are clamouring down the street.

And it's true that you would think that if people saw harinam they would think who are these crazy people on drugs. That is true in theory. In actual reality, it is a different story. And I am not saying this because I am glazed over in some kind of fired-up naivety where I am led to believe that the general public appreciates and respects 'hare krishnas.' I am well aware of public opinion that it is a corrupt cult that brainwashes people. What is really weird is that -depsite- all that, reactions to harinam sankirtan are eerily receptive if not joyful. Not to say there will not be some people who stare in disgust or other negative or mocking reaction, but really I have to say they are in the minority. You will be shocked to see people that you would -never- expect to be receptive join in to chant, dance and even inquire into it, even though they probably already know what it is. And they are not doing this mockingly.

I am including here all sorts of people even very normal looking people you would never expect. Business people coming out of of work, housewives shopping with their children, hassidic jewish orthodox ladies, even gangster types out downtown on a saturday night, who you would expect to attack the brahmacaris to impress their friends, start chanting along and when the chanting stops they say, no continue! Oddly they are not even making fun. This might all sound very strange but it's true. And what to say of the indian and even muslim people who largely react respectful, so often having the encounter lead into krishna katha that you do not even initiate.

One time an Indian lady came rushing out of her appartment so enthused to hear kirtan, inviting me into her house to see her altar with baby krishna in a swing and then go on to speak about the glories of krishna. Another time this very modern looking indian girl starting to talk about how her name is Gopi, so even though her family worships Siva, she has special affection for Krishna. Another time a muslim woman dressed in full burka who could not even speak english kept pointing at the japa mala and then she pulled out of her purse her own japa smiling as though she is glad to see this.

And it isn't just with people from india, all kinds of people react receptively. It's very peculiar even the most regular of white north americans. I'm not sure how to make sense of it other than they must like the sounds, so ignore their preconception that it is a cult of foolish people for a while. Sure it doesn't mean they are going to go join a temple but is that the purpose of sankirtan anyway? I think it's great and should continue and it doesn't matter where. I live in a very urban place known for debaucherie, you would never expect such a thing to be even do-able here in theory, but if you do it, it is.
VrajaGopi - Sat, 26 Feb 2005 22:14:29 +0530
QUOTE(TarunGovindadas @ Feb 24 2005, 04:50 PM)
Raganuga-bhakti actually aims at fulfilling the inner desire of Sriman Mahaprabhu. His inner desire for the jiva-souls was to attain the highest bhakti-rasa, the love of the gopis, namely the love of the manjaris (manjari-bhava). To spread the sankirtan-movement was His outer desire (secondary to His inner desire).

But how could the jiva-souls get the opportunity to develop their bhakti-rasa if there is no preaching?

This is such an interesting topic! smile.gif
Rasaraja dasa - Sat, 26 Feb 2005 22:26:50 +0530
QUOTE(TarunGovindadas @ Feb 24 2005, 04:50 PM)
Raganuga-bhakti actually aims at fulfilling the inner desire of Sriman Mahaprabhu. His inner desire for the jiva-souls was to attain the highest bhakti-rasa, the love of the gopis, namely the love of the manjaris (manjari-bhava). To spread the sankirtan-movement was His outer desire (secondary to His inner desire).

Dandavats. All glories to the Vaisnavas.

I find it a bit risky to define one as the inner desire and the other as the outer desire if it is meant to imply that one weakens the access to the other or that one is, in a sense, superficial. What you define as the outer desire is very much a means in cultivating this inner desire. Regardless of what ones service looks like (i.e. book distribution, kirtana, cooking, etc.) if the goal is to develop that inner desire then they arenít separate paths rather different ingrediants to reach the same goal.

Rasaraja dasa
TarunGovindadas - Thu, 24 Feb 2005 16:50:00 +0530
QUOTE(Srijiva @ Feb 24 2005, 04:28 PM)
It† seems that raganuga bhakti is geared more for a personal endevour of meditations rather than spreading the Sankirtan movement.

Raganuga-bhakti actually aims at fulfilling the inner desire of Sriman Mahaprabhu. His inner desire for the jiva-souls was to attain the highest bhakti-rasa, the love of the gopis, namely the love of the manjaris (manjari-bhava). To spread the sankirtan-movement was His outer desire (secondary to His inner desire). And it is interesting to note what "sankirtan" actually means. It means the congregational chanting of the Holy Names. And many babajis certainly do this.
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It doesnt mean "book distribution"-ki-jay! And by the way, some babajis also spread the "sankirtan-movement", meaning that books are distributed. Look how many books my Gurudeva is selling in the west.
Gaurasundara - Thu, 24 Feb 2005 16:52:00 +0530
QUOTE
It† seems that raganuga bhakti is geared more for a personal endevour of meditations rather than spreading the Sankirtan movement. Oops.... back to that again† blush.giftongue.gif

That is certainly true from the viewpoint of the sAdhaka. However, "spreading sankirtana" does not necessarily have to be neglected:
saGkIrtana-pravartaka zrI-kRSNA-caitanya
saGkIrtana-yajJe tAGre bhaje sei dhanya


Sri Krsna Caitanya is the initiator of sankirtana; He who worships through sankirtana-yajna is blessed.
- CC 1.3

However, from Prabhu's perspective it is different. Caitanya-caritAmRta relates how the main reason for Prabhu's advent was to taste rAsa and that the yuga-dharma of nAma-saGkIrtana was just a secondary and incidental purpose.

Sorry if these points seem a little irrelevant to your original query, I am just absorbing myself in Caitanya-katha in prep for upcoming Gaura Purnima and couldn't resist. blush.gif