Dhanurdhara Swami November 7th, 2005
November 4, 2005
Japa Thought XI:
Mercy is the distance between the value of what we are getting and our sense of qualification to receive it. Therefore, the more humble we are (the less deserving we deem ourselves) the more we feel mercy. This feeling of mercy is the taste for chanting. Thus in a humble state of mind, bathed in mercy and feeling consequent affection for the gracious giver of mercy, we can chant the holy name constantly. Thus tranad api…
Japa Thought XII:
How to feel humble? Simple—introspect and be honest with ourselves.
November 5, 2005
Srila Prabhupada’s Disappearance Festival
The main festival is in Sri Sri Krishna Balalram Mandir where Srila Prabhupada left this world. A small group of us, however—Hari Sauri Prabhu, Jayadvaita Swami, Kesava Bharati Maharaja, Gopi-paranadhana Prabhu, and myself—stay in Govardhana to commemorate the day at the ashram here. The festival is intimate and has its own unique attraction.
Hari Sauri Prabhu spoke for nearly three hours on Srila Prabhupada and book publishing. It wasn’t planned that way, but as he spoke we all unanimously deferred our speaking time to him. The senior devotees in attendance, except for myself (though I also write and publish on my own), primarily serve in the BBT by translating and editing books, so this subject was particularly intriguing to us. Although by Hari Sauri’s own admission, it wasn’t a comprehensive presentation on the subject. It was only based on what he noted down while serving Srila Prabhupada and it was clear that he could have spoken much longer.
I jotted down a few notes about his talk. Two of my favorites:
“Srila Prabhupada told me how he used to walk the streets of Delhi selling Back to Godhead and for other publishing related work. He described to me how during this time he was seriously gored by a bull and that the knock was so forceful that he was convinced it was fatal. As he was flying through the air his initial thought was ‘I am being punished for leaving my family.’ He then quickly checked his thought. He meditated on Rupa Raghunatha and felt complete relief.”
“Harikesa Swami told me that Srila Prabhupada had darshan of Srila Rupa Gosvami at Radha Damodar. I therefore asked Srila Prabhupada if that was true. He quickly dismissed me saying, ‘Oh everyone knows that.’ What could I say? I basically forgot about it for almost twenty-eight years until last year. A new book on Srila Prabhupada was published by Mulaprkrti comprised of interviews with people who knew him in India before he created ISKCON. In one interview, Gopal Chandra Bose, a respected scholar from Vrindavana, describes his visits to see Srila Prabhupada at Radha Damodar in his youth. On one such visit Srila Prabhupada shared with him a special secret. The previous night while chanting by Sri Rupa’s Samadhi he had darshan of Srila Rupa Gosvami. It not only confirmed something Srila Prabhupada had only cryptically affirmed twenty-eight years before, but finally I was able to hear the details. There is no doubt that Srila Prabhupada was receiving special encouragement from the Six Gosvami’s to write his books and to envision the spreading of Sri Caitanya’s teachings all over the world.”
I was also quite happy to hear this. Did Srila Rupa Gosvami actually appear before Srila Prabhupada? It’s certainly possible. What we do know for sure is that by the grace of the transcendental system Srila Prabhupada was given shelter at the foot of Srila Rupa Gosvami’s Samadhi and developed a deep and an intimate relationship with him that inspired his mission.
November 6, 2005
Japa Thought XIII:
The sixth treasure of the holy name, according to the Siksastakam, is that one relishes nectar at every step. It’s a description of prema-bhakti, an advanced stage of Krishna consciousness. Bhaktivinoda Thakur, however, gives an analysis of this verse that makes it immediately applicable in our chanting. He says that this sixth treasure of the holy name means, among other things, that one can relish each and every one of the sixteen syllables of the maha-mantra. I am not relishing prema-bhakti at every step, but by chanting each syllable with the intention of trying to relish nectar at every step, it definitely brings one towards that goal.
November 7, 2005
Japa Thought XIV:
When we think we are the controllers, we can’t recognize who is. If one is thus proud (attached to the false ego) one can neither hear nor realize Krishna in the form of the holy name. Chanting thus means to bow our heads to each syllable of the holy name begging for service, otherwise how will it be possible to realize its sweet presence?