Archive for October, 2006

Karttika 2006: Japa Meditations – October 19, 2006

October 19th, 2006

Karttika 2006
Japa Meditations

October 19, 2006
Govardhana

A very deep sadhaka here, and a friend, prays daily to all the associates of Lord Nityananda residing at Radha Kunda, including Jahnava Ma, Srila Raghunatha dasa Goswami and Srila Krishna das Kaviraja. I ask about their bhajan. They describe to me the success of their prayers, “When emotion takes over their heart.” Today they prayed at Radha Kunda at the sitting place of Madhavendra Puri, the guru of Lord Nityananda. Thoughts of their first meeting of ecstatic embrace described in Caitanya Bhagavata came strongly to their mind. “That love is what we are aspiring for,” they humbly shared, “When thoughts of it overwhelms the heart, it is the success of chanting.”

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Karttika 2006: Japa Meditations – October 18, 2006

October 18th, 2006

Karttika 2006
Japa Meditations

October 18, 2006
Govardhana

I open my heart before the holy name: “This is who I am.” It is embarrassing, but unless I open my heart to the holy name, why will the holy name have the confidence to reveal itself to me?

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Karttika 2006: Japa Meditations – October 17, 2006

October 17th, 2006

Karttika 2006
Japa Meditations

October 17, 2006
Govardhana

Walk the Talk Japa

There is a phrase, “walk the talk”. It means carrying out (walk) what you actually say (talk). I am chanting for service. That’s my talk. But do I actually want to walk that path, to be an unalloyed servant, surrendering to and living for another? It is a difficult platform of consciousness to attain. I am struggling with it. Unless I mean what I say, what is the potency of the mantra? My chanting today is for sincerity. I pray to walk my talk, but I need mercy.

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Karttika 2006: Japa Meditations – October 16, 2006

October 16th, 2006

Karttika 2006
Japa Meditations

October 16, 2006
Govardhana

An old scholar friend of mine unexpectedly showed up at my door. Even in my hidden kutir acquaintances still find me. It’s the second day in a row that someone just showed up. I welcome my guest, but it leaves little time after my chanting for writing my japa realizations. My very learned friend, however, filled my late morning with quality katha. I especially remember a quote from a Bhagavatam commentator about how to view adversity:

“When providence seems to be digging a hole to throw us in, it is actually planning to quench our thirst by drawing water from the ground.”

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Karttika 2006: Japa Meditations – October 15, 2006

October 15th, 2006

Karttika 2006
Japa Meditations

October 15, 2006
Radha-Kunda

Attended Maha Nidhi Swami’s class on bhajan rahasya-two questions and a side point:

Question: How is japa also seva?
Maharaja: Seva means to please the object of love. Krishna is most pleased by prema (love). The more prema in the name the more seva in the japa.

Question: Which chanting is best, loud japa or silent japa?
Maharaja: That japa that gurudeva teaches us, for gurudeva knows best how to please Krishna.

As I am leaving a devotee, a good young sadhaka, asks how is my health.

“It’s good. Why do you ask?”

“I was sick this morning,” he replied. “ I couldn’t chant, but I had a realization. Better I develop faith in the holy name now. How will I develop it later when I am old and health becomes a problem?”

His realization struck me. “Thank you,” I replied. “It’s something I needed to hear.”

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Karttika 2006: Japa Meditations – October 14, 2006

October 14th, 2006

Karttika 2006
Japa Meditations

October 14, 2006
Govardhana

Ocean Chanting

Drowning—water everywhere, nothing else. Ocean chanting, the holy name everywhere, nothing else. I pray to drown in the ocean of nama kirtan. It takes concentration and mercy. My prayers finally reach Sri Caitanya. I think of Srivas Angan and the nocturnal kirtans. I imagine my japa as the name in that kirtan. I listen attentively and imagine I am drowning, the holy name everywhere, nothing else.

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Karttika 2006: Japa Meditations – October 13, 2006

October 13th, 2006

Karttika 2006
Japa Meditations

October 13, 2006
Govardhana

I want entrance – absorption – into the holy name. What is that door that leads to such immersion? It is attraction to Sri Krishna. I thus search for my taste – the particular manifestation of the Lord that today will somehow evoke my natural love and open my heart to Sri Nama. I begin my japa. I pray to Sri Guru and the Vaisnavas and, gradually, in my chanting progressively reach the lotus feet of Sri Rupa Gosvami. I think of his samadhi at Radha Damodara, his bhajan kutir at Ter Kadamba, I sing his song (sri rupa manjari pada) and meditate on the special mercy he received from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The heart opens. A slight taste comes. I gain entrance – absorption – into the holy name knowing it is only mercy.

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Karttika 2006: Japa Meditations – October 10-12, 2006

October 13th, 2006

Karttika 2006
Japa Meditations

October 10, 2006
Govardhana

Caterpillar Logic and Taste for the Holy Name

Bhaktivinoda Thakur explains that the fourth verse of the Siksastakam represents the stage of ruci, taste:

“O Almighty Lord! I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor have I any desire to enjoy beautiful women, nor do I want any number of followers. I only want Your causeless devotional service in my life, birth after birth.”

Just as the caterpillar cannot go to the next leaf unless it is firmly planted on the leaf before, we cannot attain the platform of ruci (taste) until we become detached from material life symptomized by na dhanam, na janam…

October 11, 2006
Govardhana

As a river requires two embankments to surge forcefully, spiritual taste, prema, flows within the banks of union and separation. Similarly chanting with relish requires these two opposing moods.

I chant. Yes, Krishna is there in His holy name. It is the internal potency – Vrindavana, sweetness personified – but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for the holy name. I chant with union and separation.

October 12, 2006
Govardhana

What is the holy name without the heart, without some feeling? Chanting means searching for the heart, how we feel about Sri Krishna in the form of His name. Chant the name, but search for the heart of the name, for feelings towards it, even the feeling of sadness and repentance of one with no devotion for it.

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Karttika 2006: Japa Meditations – October 8-9, 2006

October 12th, 2006

Karttika 2006
Japa Meditations

October 8, 2006
Govardhana

Chanting is calling for the soul. What is the soul? The soul is consciousness. What is the nature of that consciousness? It is the mood of humble service. Where to find that consciousness within? It is our fixedness in guru, gratitude for the gifts of spiritual life, repentance for false ego, and the mood of humility in service. I call for the soul. Hare Krishna. Am I a sincere servant? I call for the soul. Hare Krishna. Where is my gratefulness? Am I thankful or spoiled? I call for the soul. Krishna Krishna. Am I sorry for forgetting God for a life of false ego? Krishna Krishna. I chant searching for the soul – the sincere, grateful, repentant and humble servant of guru.

October 9, 2006
Govardhana

Who is my friend, who is my enemy? A multitude of considerations, desires, and distinctions attack this sadhaka in his meditation. Such thoughts born of false ego cover the soul and make the name a stranger on my tongue. I chant for strength to avoid the mundane and to reveal the soul, the servant of Krishna.

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Karttika 2006: Japa Meditations – October 7, 2006

October 7th, 2006

Karttika 2006
Japa Meditations

October 7, 2006
Govardhana

Is Krishna there in His holy name even when chanted without devotion? Yes, but as a stranger. A stranger can stand before us, but not reveal themselves if we have no love or relationship with them. Similarly, if we chant without bhakti, without relationship or love, Sri Krishna’s essence, the beauty of His person, His very heart will not be revealed even when standing directly before us in His name. Chanting, therefore, begins by giving our heart to the Supreme in His most accessible manifestation, Sri Guru. I chant searching for Srila Prabhupada, to gauge my surrender and pray for it to deepen so that the heart of the holy name is revealed.

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