Kartika Month
→ Ramai Swami

Kartika, also known as the month of Damodara, is a month for deepening one’s love for Krishna. It is considered by devotees of Krishna to be the holiest month of the year. During this month, devotees make extra vows, perform extra spiritual activities, and generally worship Krishna in His form as a young boy, Damodara, who was once bound at the waist by His mother, Yashoda, as a punishment for His mischievous childhood pastimes.

Kartika is the best, the purest of purifiers, and most glorious of all months. Kartika month is particularly dear to Lord Sri Krsna. This month is full of bhakta vatsalya. Any vrata, even the smallest, will yield huge results. The effect of performing a Kartika Vrata lasts for one hundred lifetimes, whereas ordinary vratas only last for one lifetime!

As Krsna says in Bhagavad-Gita that He is the month of Nov-Dev, similarly, Srimati Radhika is the holy month of Kartika, which precedes His month. Rupa Gosvami and others refer to Radharani as the Kartika-devata or Kartika Devi, in other words, Radhika is the goddess or presiding Deity of the Kartika Vrata.

Monday, October 26, 2020
→ The Walking Monk

Toronto, Ontario

 

Balarama’s Back

 

Balarama’s brother was a back passenger in a car wherein a serious accident occurred, leaving the driver in a coma and his brother with 11 broken ribs. So Balarama is a bit shaken up, and it’s been the reason for some detainment in his showing up for our drama practices.

 

When I heard about the accident my thought was “Here we go again with the automobile being a culprit.”

 

Despite the circumstances, Balarama, who is rather a good performer when it comes to acting and dancing, showed up today to play his role. He plays the part of the virtuous Vidura. He is the character who set things straight. Where there is diversion and deviation Vidura, according to the accounts given about his personality, will be there to say something regarding such matters. The Mahabharataand Srimad Bhagavatam are two texts that deliver his quality of righteousness.

 

There is a passion in him and one of the actions he takes up is walking as a pilgrim. He treks extensively from temple to temple and does so on pilgrim’s trails and along sacred rivers, of which there are many in India.

 

Vidura is a character that I used to play. In the early 90s I traveled with a troup in India, as we were hosted to venues. One such place was in Ahmedabad, where the recently departed Jasomatinandana hosted us. We were a three-man troupe and we presented the entire story of the Mahabharata. There is a scene in the production where the actor portraying King Yudhisthira observes ill omens of the dark Kali Yuga. It is depicted a soliloquy. He is speaking and addressing the audience when a batch of real live bats came into the auditorium flying all around. All the spectators were astonished wondering how the production brought out such genius props right on cue.

 

May the Source be with you!

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Sunday, October 25, 2020
→ The Walking Monk

Toronto, Ontario

 

Urdhva Mulam

 

We worked at it until we got it right. Before I took to a nighttime walk, our film crew went on a marathon, from 11 AM to 9 PM, just to knock down scene 1. It was a filming session that included a 20 minute crash course by Francis on how to use the fancy equipment—lights and cameras.

 

Covid-19 is forcing change. In our case we are learning how to adjust from physical, in-person, performance to virtual. Goodbye stage! Hello screen! At least for now.

 

Our story is a slice from the epic, “Mahabharata.” A segment that is seething with greed and envy. Sound familiar? In fact, most people I know hold firm belief to the dynamic that someone’s making money out of the current lockdown. Many are questioning the particular response and approach to the current pandemic. Nevertheless, one has to carry on with caution and care in order to avoid tragedy.

 

In general this material world draws souls smitten by the greed factor. In the Bhagavad-Gitathis world that we live in is compared to a tree that confuses the living entity. It stands in some grandeur, but also complexity. The poor soul is encouraged to become disentangled from this complicated tree.

 

Incidentally I would like to take a moment to honour the departure of a dear godbrother, Jasomatinandana, of Gujarat, India. He was ill for some time and then the virus came to put a clear end to his life on earth. I believe he came detatched and released himself from the clutches of the energy tree known as urdhva-mulam. My deepest regrets to losing his company.

 

May the Source be with you!

4 km





 

Saturday, October 24, 2020
→ The Walking Monk

Brampton, Ontario

 

Ladhoo Exchange

 

I hadn’t met Juhi’s parents before and I was honoured to participate in her pre-engagement program. Nice folks she has, from Punjab originally.

 

Her fiancé is Rishab, whom I’ve known since he was a kid. His parents, Rajasuya and Surabhi, of South Indian descent, are sishyas, or students of mine. At their home two families came together, and I, for an impromptu engagement. There were no engagement rings, but two pieces of ladhoo, sweet-balls made of chickpea flour, were exchanged lovingly between the two love birds.

 

Juhi and Rishab were high school sweethearts. They accepted my blessings as a couple, as far as I could tell. They listened to my message about being loyal once the knot is tied in marriage. I suggested to them to stay on the trail of dharma, righteousness.

 

“Keep Krishna in the centre,” I recommended. “Don’t let differences create a gap. Rather, honour such complementary dynamics.”

 

I do wish them the best and that their relationship grows just like Rajasuya and Surabhi’s backyard garden has. Mature and ripe beans, tomatoes and kale are abound in the back.

 

Our meal was like a shepherd’s pie minus meat. “Veggie squares,” is what Seema called it. It was other-worldly and the squash soup was to die for. The food was enough to cause a nap on our return to the ashram, but before that pleasant doze, while Rishab was behind the wheel, Juhi was curious about my entrance into monkhood. I usually appreciate the question.

 

No walking today but stretching the legs became a reality.

 

May the source be with you!

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eParikrama 2020 here on KKSBlog!
→ KKSBlog

As you are aware, Damodar masa is here, and it is around this time of the year that His Holiness Kadamba Kanana Swami Maharaj leads his annual Kartik Parikrama in and around Braj. This year, however, due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Parikrama will not proceed in person. And as you are likely aware, Maharaj has recently tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently resting in Simhachalam, Germany. But this will not take away from the spirit of Kartik at all, as Maharaj has previously said, “one can travel on foot, by car, by train or plane, or one can travel with the speed of mind, so let us go to Vrndavana together and come closer to Krsna!”

So this year, KKSBlog invites you all to attend an eParikrama (1 Nov 2020 – 30 Nov 2020), where we will revisit significant places from Krsna’s pastimes as attended during previous Parikramas. Delve yourself into Maharaj’s blissful kirtans and lectures, reminisce from the photos and videos shared and meditate daily on the holy dhama during this incredibly auspicious month.

Continue to check this space on KKSBlog and the Media Kadamba Kanana Swami Facebook Page for your daily inspiration!

Hare Krsna!

The article " eParikrama 2020 here on KKSBlog! " was published on KKSBlog.

Strategic Leadership with Gopal Bhatta Das and Gauranga Das
→ ISKCON News: Latest Stories

It is unique that Gopal Bhatta das (initiated by Srila Prabhupada in 1971) currently in no position of formal leadership or management within ISKCON but he contributes with an independence that is considered by many to give a fresh perspective. He is the chairperson of the Strategic Planning Team (SPT) that was activated in 2006 and he has created vitality and drive among the team members that are supporting the GBC’s future. A video by the GBC SPT.

Kartik and Sarat-purnima: Special Mercy and the Dance of Divine Love
Giriraj Swami

We welcome you to this most auspicious place, the temple of Sri Sri Radha-Radhanath, on the most auspicious occasion of the beginning of Kartik, in the most auspicious association of Lord Krishna’s devotees. Kartik is also known as the month of Damodara (dama means “ropes,” and udara means “abdomen”), or Krishna who allowed Himself to be bound about the waist by the ropes of His devotee’s love.

Srila Rupa Gosvami compiled the law book of Krishna consciousness, the science of devotion, as the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, translated by Srila Prabhupada in a summary study as The Nectar of Devotion. There the observance of Kartik is mentioned as one of the sixty-four items of devotional service. Rupa Gosvami quotes from the Padma Purana that just as Lord Damodara is favorably inclined toward His devotees, so the month of Kartik, which is also dear to Him, bestows great favor upon His devotees, even for a little service or a little practice. It is even said that the benefit gained for service performed in the last five days of Kartik is equal to that gained from service performed for the entire month. In other words, for a very small performance of devotional service in the month of Damodara, one gets a very big result—especially in Vrindavan. Also, Srila Prabhupada has explained that wherever the Deities of Radha and Krishna are installed, that is also Vrindavan. So even here our devotional service will be magnified “one thousand times.”

Srila Prabhupada gave the example of a store holding a sale, when a customer can get a valuable item by paying a small amount. So, the month of Kartik is like a sale, a transcendental sale. By a little investment in terms of spiritual practice and service, you can get a great benefit. Of course, the management of the store hopes that you will come to appreciate its goods and patronize the store even after the sale is over. And we too hope that you will continue with your spiritual practices, or increased practices, even after the month of Kartik.

There is a special potency to the month itself. Just as certain times of the day, such as the brahma-muhurta, which begins one hour and thirty-two minutes before sunrise and continues until the sun rises, are more auspicious for spiritual progress and enhance the value of one’s practices, so too, within the year, the month of Kartik is most auspicious. Devotees try to take advantage of the facility offered by Kartik by on the one side increasing their spiritual practices and doing extra service—they chant more rounds, read more scripture, recite more prayers, distribute more books, and make special offerings—and on the other side decreasing their material involvement, their sense gratification. As it is, we are in the four-month period of Chaturmasya, so every month we forgo a certain type of food, but in Kartik devotees may do extra austerities. They may eat only once a day, or give up sweet or fried foods, or rise earlier than usual, or whatever—work on some area of their spiritual life that they want to improve—and they get special mercy in the month of Kartik to fulfill their vows and improve their spiritual practices.

Today also is sarat-purnima, the full-moon night of the sarat season, the night on which Krishna played upon His transcendental flute at Vamsivata by the Yamuna River in Vrindavan and called the gopis to dance with Him. Now, we may take it that He played on His flute and in a figurative way called the gopis to dance with Him, but actually Krishna’s flute is one of His messengers, and so the gopis not only heard the beautiful, melodious sound of the flute, but they actually received the message that Krishna wanted to meet them. And because their only desire was to please Krishna, to fulfill His desires and make Him happy, they all went to Him—not with the aim of fulfilling any selfish desire of their own, but with the sole aim of fulfilling Krishna’s transcendental desire to dance with them.

Because the rasa dance superficially resembles the dancing of men and women in the material world, it can easily be misunderstood, and there are critics of Lord Krishna and Srimad-Bhagavatam and Krishna consciousness itself that find fault with the rasa-lila. I know religious groups outside of the Vedic tradition that criticize and challenge: “Oh, Krishna is a womanizer. How can you worship a god that enjoys with women?” They do not understand the pure love exchanged by Krishna and the gopis. In Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami explains the difference between love, or prema, and lust, or kama. In lust, the person wants to gratify his or her own senses, whereas in pure love, the devotee wishes to satisfy Krishna’s transcendental senses. The two may resemble each other, but actually they are completely different.

kama, prema,—donhakara vibhinna laksana
lauha ara hema yaiche svarupe vilaksana

atmendriya-priti-vancha—tare bali ‘kama’
krsnendriya-priti-iccha dhare ‘prema’ nama

“Lust and love have different characteristics, just as iron and gold have different natures. The desire to gratify one’s own senses is kama, but the desire to please the senses of Lord Krsna is prema.” (Cc Adi 4. 164–165) Iron and gold are both metals, but there is a great difference between them, between their values. The pure love of the devotees for Krishna is like gold, and the lust of people in the material world who want to gratify their senses is like iron.

Another point of contention related to the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam is that the name of Radha is not mentioned. Some people challenge, “You are worshipping Radha and Krishna, Radha-Radhanath, but on what authority? We don’t find the name of Radha in the Bhagavad-gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam.” But in the five chapters that describe the rasa-lila, we find that after Krishna called the gopis and began to reciprocate with them, He disappeared. The gopis then plunged into feelings of separation from Krishna, and they began to search all over the Vrindavan forest for Him. In time they found two pairs of footprints: Krishna’s and a gopi’s. Then the other gopis, in their separation, exclaimed:

anayaradhito nunam
  bhagavan harir isvarah
yan no vihaya govindah
  prito yam anayad rahah

“Certainly this particular gopi has perfectly worshiped the all-powerful Personality of Godhead. Therefore Govinda was so pleased with Her that He abandoned the rest of us and brought Her to a secluded place.” (SB 10.30.28) “Because She worshiped Lord Hari better than all of us, She has gotten to be with Krishna now.” The word aradhito, which means “worshipped” or “perfectly worshipped,” refers to Radha, as confirmed by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and other acharyas. They explain that Her name does appear in the Vedas, Upanishads, and other Puranas, and that in this verse, although Her name is not mentioned explicitly, the superexcellent glories of Sri Radha are nonetheless proclaimed.

Ultimately Krishna also left Srimati Radharani, and when the other gopis came upon Her, they found Her in such a state of intense lamentation in separation that they felt, “Actually, She loves Krishna more.” There is a technical discussion of what actually took place in the rasa-lila, why Krishna left with Radharani and why eventually He left Her too. But His ultimate purpose was to reunite all the gopis, and when the other gopis saw Srimati Radharani in such a state of ecstasy in separation, they felt sympathetic toward Her. They did not feel any envy at all.

Thereafter, they all searched for Krishna together. But they could not find Him anywhere. Finally they decided, “We cannot find Krishna unless He wishes to be found. We cannot force Him to come before us.” So they considered, “How can we attract Krishna’s attention? How can we move Krishna to come back to us?” And they concluded that the best method was sankirtana, chanting the glories of Krishna together, along with crying.

So they returned to the banks of the Yamuna where they had originally met Krishna, and they began to sing His glories—very beautiful songs in separation, known as the Gopi-gita. And when Krishna heard the loving prayers of the gopis, sankirtana, His heart was moved and He could no longer stay away from them. He came to them, reappeared before them in His most attractive feature:

tasam avirabhuc chaurih
  smayamana-mukhambujah
pitambara-dharah sragvi
  saksan manmatha-manmathah

“Then Lord Krsna, a smile on His lotus face, appeared before the gopis. Wearing a garland and a yellow garment, He directly appeared as one who can bewilder the mind of Cupid, who himself bewilders the minds of ordinary people.” (SB 10.32.2)

Then followed an interesting dialogue between Krishna and the gopis. The gopis felt some transcendental anger, because Krishna had abandoned them. After all, He had called them to Him, they had risked everything to go to Him in the dead of night, and then He had left them. So they wanted Krishna to explain why.

In a most tactful and intelligent way, they began, “There are three kinds of lovers.” They presented three categories of lovers, three different ways that lovers deal with others, and asked Krishna to explain them. Indirectly, they were asking Krishna, “In which category do you fit?”

In one category are people who reciprocate exactly with the other party. In other words, “If you are kind to me, I will be kind to you; if you ignore me, I will ignore you.” Krishna said, “They are like merchants. They give only with the expectation of return, and they give only as much as they expect in return. Actually, they are selfish.”

In the next category are those who love the other even though the other does not love them. For example, at least in principle, parents love their children no matter what the children do. The children may not even appreciate the parents’ service, but the parents go on loving and serving them. And even better than parents are devotees, because although parents serve their own children, devotees love and serve everyone. Whether others appreciate them or not, they try to help everyone. Krishna said, “Those who love others even if others don’t love them in return are following the true path of dharma and are the true friends of humanity.”

In the third category are those who don’t reciprocate even when others love them. The first category is “I reciprocate only if you love me.” The second category is “Even if you don’t love me, I love you.” And the third category is “Even if you love me, I don’t reciprocate.” So, the gopis wanted Krishna to admit that He was in the third category. They did not want to say it themselves, but they wanted to hear it from Krishna’s own mouth. They wanted to trap Him with their subtle network of wise and clever words.

Now, within the third category there are four divisions. There is the atmarama: he is completely self-satisfied. Even if you love him, he won’t reciprocate, because he is self-satisfied; he is situated in transcendental bliss. Then there is the apta-kama: he has desires, but they are already satisfied, so he doesn’t need you. Even if you love him, he won’t reciprocate. Then there is the third division, akrta-jna: he is ungrateful. And then there is the last division, guru-druhah. In the first three, “You love me, but I don’t reciprocate; I remain indifferent,” but in this last category, guru-druhah, “You love me, and I am not just indifferent to you; I am inimical.” Actually, the gopis wanted Krishna to admit that He had been ungrateful.

Ultimately Krishna had to respond to the gopis’ question, and His answer was, “I did not neglect you, nor was I indifferent to you. I was always thinking of you. But in order to increase your love for Me, I hid Myself from you.” Krishna gave the example of a poor man who gains wealth and then loses it. He will be so anxious that he can think of nothing except his lost treasure: “What happened to my money? How can I get it back?” Krishna said, “So I was reciprocating with you, because your desire was to increase your love for Me, and by hiding Myself from you I created a situation by which your attachment for Me would increase. So I was reciprocating with you.” Although Krishna’s argument sounded good, it did, however, contain one defect: the gopis’ love was already unlimited, and even so, by its very nature it was always increasing. So that could not have been the real reason.

Again, there is an intricate and elaborate discussion by the acharyas about the dialogue between Krishna and the gopis, but at the very end Krishna admits defeat. He says,

na paraye ’ham niravadya-samyujam
  sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah
  samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna

“Actually, I am unable to repay My debt for your service to Me even with the prolonged life of Brahma, because you have given up everything for Me. You have given up family ties, which are so difficult to break. You have given up the dictates of the world, of the Vedas, and of your relatives. You have forsaken everything for My sake—which I could not do for you. You have given up all other relationships for Me, but I could not do that for you. I still have My father and mother and friends. You came running out of your houses in the middle of the night, but I sneak out and return in the morning so that no one catches Me. But you, with complete abandon, have come to meet Me without any consideration of the consequences. And I have so many devotees with whom I reciprocate: devotees in madhurya-rasa, in vatsalya-rasa, in sakhya-rasa, in dasya-rasa, and in santa-rasa. I also reciprocate with the sadhakas in the material world who are struggling and trying to become devotees. I reciprocate with everyone who approaches Me. But you love only Me. So I cannot equal your love. I admit it: I can never repay My debt to you.” He concluded, “I am defeated by your love.”

The gopis were so touched by Krishna’s words that they thought, “Now He has defeated us! We could not admit to Him that He defeated us, but He has admitted to us that we defeated Him. So He has defeated us.” Of course, this is all on the platform of transcendental love. And it is said that later, when Krishna left Vrindavan to go to Mathura and Dvaraka and the gopis were left in separation from Him, they would think of His words to them—na paraye ’ham—and that would give them solace to bear the separation. Here we come to another subtle and intricate discussion, because even in separation from Krishna they experienced His presence.

After hearing Krishna’s reply, the gopis were appeased, and so He began the pastime of the rasa dance. All of the gopis were dancing in a circle, and Krishna expanded Himself to be next to each one. Each gopi felt, “Krishna is with me alone,” and each was completely satisfied by Him.

One of our devotees has envisioned the image of the rasa dance as a symbol for interfaith harmony. It is a symbol that is most appropriate, especially for a diverse country such as South Africa.

The idea is that there were so many gopis, and each was individual, but that Krishna was by the side of each one, reciprocating with each perfectly. He accepted all of them, and all of them accepted each other, and there was complete harmony—not only between Krishna and the gopis, but also among the gopis themselves—in this dance of divine love. So, different worshippers serve God in different ways. They have different practices and rituals, and different scriptures and languages. But God reciprocates with all of them. And if they can come into harmony, not only with God but also with each other, in the dance of divine love, there can be complete harmony in the world.

So, today is a most sacred occasion: the beginning of kartik-vrata, and sarat-purnima, the night Krishna enjoyed His rasa-lila with the gopis—after removing Himself from their presence in order to demonstrate to the world, in their separation from Him, their supreme love.

Thank you very much.

Hare Krishna.

[A talk by Giriraj Swami, October 17, 2005, Sri Sri Radha-Radhanath Temple, Durban, South Africa]

ISKCON Scarborough – Srimad Bhagavatam Katha (39th month) – Virtual multimedia presentation – Diti Vows to Kill King Indra – Saturday 31st Oct 2020
→ ISKCON Scarborough

Hare Krishna!
Please accept our humble obeisances!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga!

The free interactive multimedia presentation encourages devotees to actively participate in the discussion as well as we will conclude the session with lessons to be learnt from the pastime and a quiz that we will collectively answer.


Topic: Diti Vows to Kill King Indra
Summary of this pastime: SB 6.18: Diti, the wife of Kasyapa, followed a vow to have a son who would kill Indra. Indra attempted to foil her plan by cutting to pieces the son within her womb. However the one son within the womb was not only saved but eventually multiplied into 49 Maruts because of the devotional activities performed by Diti.
Date: 31st Oct 2020 (Saturday)
Time: 4 pm to 6 pm
Link to join the class from your desktop or laptop:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9150790510?pwd=Wk5GYXVRMkJmdk84MzZJRXBKYUgwUT09

SB 6.18.78
: Sukadev Goswami instructs Maharaj Parikshit that this narration about the Maruts is pure and auspicious



ISKCON Scarborough
3500 McNicoll Avenue, Unit #3,
Scarborough, Ontario,
Canada, M1V4C7
Website: www.iskconscarborough.org
Email:
iskconscarborough@hotmail.com
scarboroughiskcon@gmail.com


How to work with detachment & divine attachment – Bhagavad-Gita chapter 18 overview
→ The Spiritual Scientist

Podcast


 

Podcast Summary


 

Video:

The post How to work with detachment & divine attachment – Bhagavad-Gita chapter 18 overview appeared first on The Spiritual Scientist.

Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami Disappearance
→ Ramai Swami

With great affection, Tapana Misra brought the Lord to his home. There he washed the Lord’s lotus feet and then drank that holy water along with his family.  His ecstasy knew no bounds. He placed his little son Raghunatha at the lotus feet of the Lord and made him offer obeisances.  The Lord took the boy upon his lap and cradled him there with great affection. 

When the Lord spent ten days in Kasi, the joy of his devotees and followers knew no bounds. Tapana Misra, Candrasekhara, and the Maharasthrian brahmana, as well as the other devotees there felt as if their life had returned, as again they had the opportunity to render personal service to Sriman Mahaprabhu. Tapana Misra’s son, Raghunatha felt himself supremely fortunate to be able to serve his Lord and master, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu for ten days. 

 At last, the time came for the Lord to bid farewell to the devotees so that he might once again set out for Jagannatha Puri.  All the devotees were heartbroken in agony at the prospect of separation from the Lord.  Raghunatha Bhatta, the son of Tapana Misra, fell before the Lord, begging him not to go and held his lotus feet, weeping again and again.

The Lord took the boy upon his lap and gave him many reassurances, trying to console him. He said, “You must serve your father and mother here, and by and by, you may come to Puri-dhama and see me again.” Then, after first embracing Tapana Misra and Candrasekhara and instructing the devotees there in certain truths of Krsna consciousness, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu bade farewell to Kasi forever, and began his long journey by foot to Jagannatha Puri. 

Within a short time, Sri Raghunaha became expert in Sanskrit grammar, rhetoric, and poetry. Gradually, he became highly learned in the revealed scriptures. He continued to serve his mother and father into their old age, as the years passed. When he came of age, Raghunatha was ordered by his father to go to Puri-dhama to see Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Sri Raghunatha Bhatta arrived in Jagannatha Puri and offered his obeisances at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.  At that time the Lord, greeted him saying, “Raghunatha!” He picked him up from the ground and embraced him. The Lord inquired about the welfare of Tapana Misra and his wife, and asked about Candrasekhara as well as all the other devotees in Benares.

After some time, Mahaprabhu ordered him to return to Kasi.  He told Raghunatha to see to the service of his aging father and mother, and explained to him that, as they were Vaisnavas, they were not to be neglected.  Raghunatha Bhatta took this order of the Lord very seriously, and the Lord began to instruct him on many other points.  He ordered Raghunatha not to marry, and told him to study the sastra.

Upon his return to Kasi, Raghunatha Bhatta served his parents carefully, and began studying the Srimad-Bhagavatam in earnest.  After some time his mother and father passed away. Raghunatha, adhering strictly to the orders of Sri Caitanya, had never married.  Without any family responsibilities to burden him any longer, he went to Jagannatha Puri to the lotus feet of the Lord. When the Lord again saw Raghunatha after such a long time, he was very happy.

Hearing of the passing away of Tapana Misra and his devoted wife, Caitanya Mahaprabhu spoke of their great devotion at length, and glorified them. Raghunatha Bhatta was very happy to once again have the association of the Lord.  He remained in Puri and served Mahaprabhu faithfully for another eight months. 

One day the Lord told him, “You must go to Vrndavana. You have much work to do there in Vrndavana. I must stay here in Puri, for I have been ordered by my mother to do so.  As a result I cannot finish the work I have to do in Vrndavana. It is up to you to help me finish my work there.”

The Lord explained to him that in Vrndavana he would meet Rupa and Sanatana Goswami. He was to study the Srimad-Bhagavatam and related revealed scriptures under their guidance.  On the Lord’s order, Raghunatha Bhatta prepared to leave for Vrndavana. He bid adieu to the Vaisnavas and fell before the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu for the last time.  As Mahaprabhu was saying goodbye to Raghunatha Bhatta, he gave him a long prasada garland and some tambula mahaprasada and embraced him.

When he finally arrived in Vrndavana, Rupa and Sanatana Goswami were very happy to see him and affectionately embraced him. All the Goswamis who stayed in Vrndavana with them were overjoyed to see him.  They all accepted him as their affectionate godbrother. 

Raghunatha Bhatta was exceptionally blessed with humility and meekness. It is recorded in Caitanya-Caritamrta that Raghunatha Bhatta would recite Srimad-Bhagavatam before Rupa and Sanatana Goswami, and when doing so, he would be overwhelmed with ecstatic love for Krsna.

By the Lord’s mercy he would be overcome by all the symptoms of ecstatic love of Godhead: tears, choking of the voice, and trembling. Overwhelmed in this way, he would not be able to continue the reading.  It is said that his voice was as sweet as a cuckoo’s, and when reading the Bhagavata, he would sing the verses in many different tunes, or ragas. In this way, his readings were especially sweet to hear. 

Raghunatha Bhatta was fully surrendered to the lotus feet of Gaura-govinda.  Those lotus feet were his life and soul. After some time in Vrndavana, Raghunatha Bhatta arranged for his disciples to construct a temple for Govinda. He prepared various ornaments for Govinda, including a flute and shark-shaped earrings.

Raghunatha Bhatta would neither hear nor speak about anything material. He would simply discuss Krsna and worship the Lord day and night. He would not listen to blasphemy of a Vaisnava, nor would he listen to talk of a Vaisnava’s misbehavior. He knew only that everyone was engaged in Krsna’s service; he did not understand anything else. When Raghunatha was absorbed in remembering the Lord, he would take the tulasi garland and the prasada of Jagannatha given him by Mahaprabhu, bind them together and wear them on his neck. 

Regarding the spiritual position of Raghunatha Bhatta, the Gaura-ganodesa-dipika states, “In the Vrndavana lila of Krsna Raghunatha Bhatta was Sri Raga Manjari.” Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami was born in 1505 A.D. He passed away from this earth and entered into the transcendental world in 1579 A.D.

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I Beg Your Pardon – The Only Way to Atone for Vaishnava Aparadha
→ Seeking The Essence

Durvasa Muni Ambarisa Maharaja Dhanurdhara vaishnava aparadha vrindavan gurukula ISKCON Hare Krishna

Too often, in ISKCON, Bhagavad Gita verse 9.30 is misquoted, or at least quoted out of context, and misapplied.

In Sanskrit, this is the “api cet su-duracaro” verse.

Here’s the English translation:

“Even if one commits the most abominable actions, if he is engaged in devotional service, he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated.”

In his purport, Srila Prabhupada offers an important caution: “this verse only refers to an accident due to the strong power of material connections.”

There are clear instructions on the difference between what one can do in the event of an accidental fall down and what one must do in the case of Vaishnava-aparadha.

For instance, consider the stories of Hiranyakasipu and Prahlad Maharaj; Saubhari Muni and Garuda; Sacimata and Advaita Acarya; Jagai, Madhai, and Lord Nityananda; as well as Durvasa Muni and Ambarisa Maharaja.

In all of these situations, the Supreme Lord says amnesty is not His to give. That has to come from the offended devotee.

It’s important to keep in mind, while the offenders may still be considered Vaishnavas, they will not have properly atoned, or be able to fully revitalize their Krishna consciousness, until they have pleased – and are forgiven by – the offended Vaishnava.

Who says so? Our Scriptures say so.

For example, in the purport of Srimad Bhagavatam 4.26.24, Srila Prabhupada writes:

“The conclusion is that if Krsna consciousness is covered by material sins, one can eliminate the sins simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, but if one pollutes his Krsna consciousness by offending a brahmana or Vaishnava, one cannot revive it until one properly atones for the sin by pleasing the offended Vaishnava or brahmana.”

The final sentence of this purport is crystal clear:

“A Vaishnava-aparadha cannot be atoned by any means other than by begging the pardon of the offended Vaishnava.”

Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami’s Disappearance Day
Giriraj Swami

Today is the auspicious disappearance day of three great acharyas in the Gaudiya-Vaishnava sampradaya: Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, and Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami. We shall read about Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami from Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja’s Sri Caitanya-caritamrta.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, Chapter Thirteen: “Pastimes with Jagadananda Pandita and Raghunatha Bhatta.”

TEXT 89

etha tapana-misra-putra raghunatha-bhattacarya
prabhure dekhite calila chadi’ sarva karya

TRANSLATION

During this time, Raghunatha Bhattacarya, the son of Tapana Misra, gave up all his duties and left home, intending to meet Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

TEXT 90

kasi haite calila tenho gauda-patha diya
sange sevaka cale tanra jhali vahiya

TRANSLATION

Accompanied by a servant carrying his baggage, Raghunatha Bhatta started from Varanasi and traveled along the path leading through Bengal.

TEXT 91

pathe tare milila visvasa-ramadasa
visvasa-khanara kayastha tenho rajara visvasa

TRANSLATION

In Bengal he met Ramadasa Visvasa, who belonged to the kayastha caste. He was one of the king’s secretaries.

PURPORT by Srila Prabhupada

The words visvasa-khanara kayastha indicate a secretary or clerk belonging to the kayastha caste. Kayasthas were usually secretaries to kings, governors, or other important persons. It is said that anyone working in the government secretariat at this time was a kayastha.

TEXT 92

sarva-sastre pravina, kavya-prakasa-adhyapaka
parama-vaisnava, raghunatha-upasaka

TRANSLATION

Ramadasa Visvasa was very learned in all the revealed scriptures. He was a teacher of the famous book Kavya-prakasa and was known as an advanced devotee and worshiper of Raghunatha [Lord Ramacandra].

PURPORT

Commenting on the word parama-vaisnava, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that anyone who desires to merge into the existence of the Lord cannot be a pure Vaisnava, but because Ramadasa Visvasa was a great devotee of Lord Ramacandra, he was almost a Vaisnava. In those days, no one could distinguish between a pure Vaisnava and a pseudo Vaisnava. Therefore Ramadasa Visvasa was known as a Vaisnava because he worshiped Lord Ramacandra.

TEXT 93

asta-prahara rama-namajapena ratri-dine
sarva tyaji’ calila jagannatha-darasane

TRANSLATION

Ramadasa had renounced everything and was going to see Lord Jagannatha. While traveling, he chanted the holy name of Lord Rama twenty-four hours a day.

TEXTS 94–102

When he met Raghunatha Bhatta on the way, he took Raghunatha’s baggage on his head and carried it.

Ramadasa served Raghunatha Bhatta in various ways, even massaging his legs. Raghunatha Bhatta felt some hesitation in accepting all this service.

“You are a respectable gentleman, a learned scholar, and a great devotee,” Raghunatha Bhatta said. “Please do not try to serve me. Just come with me in a happy mood.”

Ramadasa replied, “I am a sudra, a fallen soul. To serve a brahmana is my duty and religious principle.

“Therefore please do not be hesitant. I am your servant, and when I serve you my heart becomes jubilant.”

Thus Ramadasa carried the baggage of Raghunatha Bhatta and served him sincerely. He constantly chanted the holy name of Lord Ramacandra day and night.

Traveling in this way, Raghunatha Bhatta soon arrived at Jagannatha Puri. There he met Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu with great delight and fell at His lotus feet.

Raghunatha Bhatta fell straight as a rod at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Then the Lord embraced him, knowing well who he was.

Raghunatha offered respectful obeisances to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu on behalf of Tapana Misra and Candrasekhara, and the Lord also inquired about them.

TEXT 103

“bhala ha-ila aila, dekha ‘kamala-locana’
aji amara etha kariba prasada bhojana”

TRANSLATION

“It is very good that you have come here,” the Lord said. “Now go see the lotus-eyed Lord Jagannatha. Today you will accept prasada here at My place.”

TEXTS 104–111

The Lord asked Govinda to arrange for Raghunatha Bhatta’s accommodations and then introduced him to all the devotees, headed by Svarupa Damodara Gosvami.

Thus Raghunatha Bhatta lived with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu continuously for eight months, and by the Lord’s mercy he felt increased transcendental happiness every day.

He would periodically cook rice with various vegetables and invite Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to his home.

Raghunatha Bhatta was an expert cook. Whatever he prepared tasted just like nectar.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would accept with great satisfaction all the food he prepared. After the Lord was satisfied, Raghunatha Bhatta would eat His remnants.

When Ramadasa Visvasa met Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord did not show him any special mercy, although this was their first meeting.

Within his heart, Ramadasa Visvasa was an impersonalist who desired to merge into the existence of the Lord, and he was very proud of his learning. Since Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the omniscient Supreme Personality of Godhead, He can understand the heart of everyone, and thus He knew all these things.

Ramadasa Visvasa then took up residence in Jagannatha Puri and taught the Kavya-prakasa to the Pattanayaka family [the descendants of Bhavananda Raya].

TEXT 112

 asta-masa rahi’ prabhu bhatte vidaya dila
“vivaha na kariha” bali’ nisedha karila

TRANSLATION

After eight months, when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu bade farewell to Raghunatha Bhatta, the Lord flatly forbade him to marry. “Do not marry,” the Lord said.

PURPORT

Raghunatha Bhattacarya had become a greatly advanced devotee while still unmarried. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu could see this, and therefore He advised him not to begin the process of material sense gratification. Marriage is a concession for people who are unable to control their senses. Raghunatha, however, being an advanced devotee of Krsna, naturally had no desire for sense gratification. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu advised him not to enter the bondage of marriage. Generally a person cannot make much advancement in spiritual consciousness if he is married. He becomes attached to his family and is prone to sense gratification. Thus his spiritual advancement is very slow or almost nil.

COMMENT by Giriraj Swami

I once had the good fortune to receive a similar instruction from Srila Prabhupada. We were in Gorakhpur, and Prabhupada had received the latest issue of Back to Godhead, with an article I had written in Boston before I went to India—“The Genuine Spiritual Master.” He was pleased with the article and asked to see me. I was still quite young in Krishna consciousness, and Srila Prabhupada didn’t generally call for me. He said, “I have read your article, and it was very nice. You should write.” And he invited me to travel with him so he could train me how to write. Then he asked, “Do you ever think of getting married?” I said no. “Better to remain brahmachari,” he said, “and after some time I will give you sannyasa.” He said that the demands of the senses are like itches and that if you scratch the itches, the itching will get worse. It is better to tolerate the itches, and if you tolerate, gradually the itching will subside. The demands for eating and sleeping too—all of them—if we indulge them they become aggravated. But if we tolerate them, they gradually subside.

TEXT 113

“vrddha mata-pitara yai’ karaha sevana
vaisnava-pasa bhagavata kara adhyayana”

TRANSLATION

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said to Raghunatha Bhatta, “When you return home, serve your aged father and mother, who are devotees, and try to study Srimad-Bhagavatam from a pure Vaisnava who has realized God.”

PURPORT

One should note how Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, advised Raghunatha Bhattacarya to learn Srimad-Bhagavatam. He advised him to understand Srimad-Bhagavatam not from professional men but from a real bhagavata, a devotee. He also advised Raghunatha Bhatta to serve his mother and father because they were both Lord Caitanya’s devotees. Anyone who wishes to advance in Krsna consciousness must try to serve the devotees of Krsna. As Narottama dasa Thakura says, chadiya vaisnava-seva nistara peyeche keba: “Without serving a self-realized Vaisnava, no one has ever been released from the materialistic way of life.” Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would have never advised Raghunatha Bhatta to serve ordinary parents, but since his parents were Vaisnavas, the Lord advised him to serve them.

One might ask, “Why shouldn’t ordinary parents be served?” As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.5.18):

gurur na sa syat sva-jano na sa syat
  pita na sa syaj janani na sa syat
daivam na tat syat na patis ca sa syan
  na mocayed yah samupeta-mrtyum

“One who cannot deliver his dependents from the path of birth and death should never become a spiritual master, a relative, a father or mother, or a worshipable demigod, nor should such a person become a husband.” Everyone naturally gets a father and mother at the time of birth, but the real father and mother are those who can release their offspring from the clutches of imminent death. This is possible only for parents advanced in Krsna consciousness. Therefore any parents who cannot enlighten their offspring in Krsna consciousness cannot be accepted as a real father and mother. The following verse from the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.200) confirms the uselessness of serving ordinary parents:

laukiki vaidiki vapi ya kriya kriyate mune
hari-sevanukulaiva sakarya bhaktim icchata

“One should perform only those activities—either worldly or prescribed by Vedic rules and regulations—which are favorable for the cultivation of Krsna consciousness.”

Concerning the study of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu clearly advises that one avoid hearing from a non-Vaisnava professional reciter. In this connection Sanatana Gosvami quotes a verse from the Padma Purana:

avaisnava-mukhodgirnam
  putam hari-kathamrtam
sravanam naiva kartavyam
  sarpocchistam yatha payah

“No one should hear or take lessons from a person who is not a Vaisnava. Even if he speaks about Krsna, such a lesson should not be accepted, for it is like milk touched by the lips of a serpent.” Nowadays it is fashionable to observe Bhagavata-saptaha and hear Srimad-Bhagavatam from persons who are anything but advanced devotees or self-realized souls. There are even many Mayavadis who read Srimad-Bhagavatam to throngs of people. Many Mayavadis have recently begun reciting Srimad-Bhagavatam in Vrndavana, and because they can present the Bhagavatam with word jugglery, twisting the meaning by grammatical tricks, materialistic persons who go to Vrndavana as a matter of spiritual fashion like to hear them. All this is clearly forbidden by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We should note carefully that since these Mayavadis cannot personally know the meaning of Srimad-Bhagavatam, they can never deliver others by reciting it. On the other hand, an advanced devotee of the Lord is free from material bondage. He personifies Srimad-Bhagavatam in life and action. Therefore we advise that anyone who wants to learn Srimad-Bhagavatam must approach such a realized soul.

COMMENT

Here Lord Chaitanya gave two instructions to Raghunatha Bhattacarya. First He instructed him to go back and serve his parents, because they were Vaishnavas. Serving Vaishnavas is most important for spiritual advancement. Srila Prabhupada remarks that Lord Chaitanya would have never advised Raghunatha Bhatta to return home to serve ordinary parents, and thus Srila Prabhupada quoted the verse gurur na sa syat sva-jano na sa syat.

One time, in Bombay, after he had finally acquired Hare Krishna Land in Juhu, Srila Prabhupada, sitting in his room in a thatched hut nearby with Mahamsa Prabhu and me, quoted the same Bhagavatam verse: “No one should become a spiritual master, no one should become a relative, no one should become a father, no one should become a mother, and no one should become a husband unless he can deliver his or her dependents from repeated birth and death.” And he gave some examples. He said that if the father is attacked, the duty of the son is to defend him, but that when Lord Nrsimhadeva attacked Hiranyakasipu, Prahlada made no effort to defend him. Rather, he glorified the attacker. But Prahlada was not at fault, because his father was not a real father—he was not helping him become liberated from the repetition of birth and death. Similarly, it is the duty of the son to obey the mother, but when Kaikeyi told Bharata to sit on the throne, he disobeyed. And he was not at fault, because Kaikeyi was not a real mother, because she was not helping him to become liberated from the repetition of birth and death and to engage in devotional service. Similarly, it is the duty of the wife to obey the husband, but when the Vedic brahmans told their wives not to go to Krishna and Balarama in the forest, their wives disobeyed. And they were not at fault, because their husbands were not real husbands, because they were not helping them become Krishna conscious. Similarly, it is the duty of the disciple to obey the spiritual master, but when Sukracarya ordered Bali Maharaja not to surrender everything to Lord Vishnu and not to keep his promise to Vishnu, Bali Maharaja disobeyed him. And Bali Maharaja was not at fault, because his spiritual master was not a real spiritual master. Then Srila Prabhupada told us, “You have left your mothers and fathers, but they are not real mothers and fathers. So you have done the right thing.”

Still, we offer respect to relatives. And, of course, for the service of guru and Krishna, a devotee may also serve relatives. In any case, the presence of a pure devotee in a family liberates the entire family.

Regarding the second instruction, Lord Chaitanya told Raghunatha Bhatta to hear and learn Srimad-Bhagavatam from a devotee. Svarupa Damodara Gosvami gave a similar instruction, that one should learn the book Bhagavata from the person Bhagavata.

In 1970, when the first groups of Western devotees went to India, Srila Prabhupada instructed Gurudas Prabhu to go to his quarters at Radha-Damodara, go through all his old papers and keep only the ones that were appropriate. The ones that were not appropriate—those that pertained to his householder life—should be destroyed. Gurudas invited me to accompany him, and when we went through Srila Prabhupada’s old papers, we found so many letters that he had written. One was to a man who had organized Bhagavata Week in Bombay and had invited Srila Prabhupada to attend. Prabhupada had written back that the Bhagavata should be heard from liberated souls who are free from pretentious religiosity, and not from Mayavadis, who have no access to the “great scripture” and who mislead the innocent public. He had informed the organizer, “Therefore I have not only refrained from attending the function myself but have advised many others not to attend as well.” Srila Prabhupada was so bold and forthright and fearless: abhaya.

TEXT 114

“punarapi eka-bara asiha nilacale”
eta bali’ kantha-mala dila tanra gale

TRANSLATION

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu concluded, “Come again to Nilacala [Jagannatha Puri].” After saying this, the Lord put His own neck beads on Raghunatha Bhatta’s neck.

TEXTS 115–119

Then the Lord embraced him and bade him farewell. Overwhelmed with ecstatic love, Raghunatha Bhatta began to cry due to imminent separation from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

After taking permission from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all the devotees, headed by Svarupa Damodara, Raghunatha Bhatta returned to Varanasi.

In accordance with the instructions of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he continuously rendered service to his mother and father for four years. He also regularly studied Srimad-Bhagavatam from a self-realized Vaisnava.

Then his parents died at Kasi [Varanasi], and he became detached. He therefore returned to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, giving up all relationships with his home.

As previously, Raghunatha remained continuously with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu for eight months. Then the Lord gave him the following order.

TEXT 120

“amara ajnaya, raghunatha, yaha vrndavane
tahan yanaraha rupa-sanatana-sthane

TRANSLATION

“My dear Raghunatha, on My order go to Vrndavana and live there under the care of Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis.

TEXT 121

“bhagavata pada, sada laha krsna-nama
acire karibena krpa Krsna bhagavan”

TRANSLATION

“In Vrndavana you should chant the Hare Krsna mantra twenty-four hours a day and read Srimad-Bhagavatam continuously. Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will very soon bestow His mercy upon you.”

TEXT 122

eta bali’ prabhu tanre alingana kaila
prabhura krpate krsna-preme matta haila

TRANSLATION

After saying this, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu embraced Raghunatha Bhatta, and by the Lord’s mercy Raghunatha was enlivened with ecstatic love for Krsna.

TEXTS 123–125

At a festival Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had been given some unspiced betel and a garland of tulasi leaves fourteen cubits long. The garland had been worn by Lord Jagannatha.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave the garland and betel to Raghunatha Bhatta, who accepted them as a worshipable Deity and preserved them very carefully.

Taking permission from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Raghunatha Bhatta then departed for Vrndavana. When he arrived there, he put himself under the care of Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis.

TEXT 126

rupa-gosanira sabha ya karena bhagavata-pathana
bhagavata padite preme aulaya tanra mana

TRANSLATION

When reciting Srimad-Bhagavatam in the company of Rupa and Sanatana, Raghunatha Bhatta would be overwhelmed with ecstatic love for Krsna.

TEXT 127

asru, kampa, gadgada prabhura krpate
netra kantha rodhe baspa, na pare padite

TRANSLATION

By the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he experienced symptoms of ecstatic love—tears, trembling, and faltering of the voice. His eyes filled with tears, his throat became choked, and thus he could not recite Srimad-Bhagavatam.

TEXTS 128–130

His voice was as sweet as a cuckoo’s, and he would recite each verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam in three or four tunes. Thus his recitations were very sweet to hear.

When he recited or heard about the beauty and sweetness of Krsna, he would be overwhelmed with ecstatic love and become oblivious to everything.

Thus Raghunatha Bhatta surrendered fully at the lotus feet of Lord Govinda, and those lotus feet became his life and soul.

COMMENT

Actually, Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami arranged for the construction of the Radha-Govinda temple in Vrindavan, which was the most beautiful and famous of all the temples in Vrindavan. So he may also give us some mercy to build a temple here.

TEXT 131

nija sisye kahi’ govindera mandira karaila
vamsi, makara kundaladi ‘bhusana’ kari’ dila

TRANSLATION

Subsequently Raghunatha Bhatta ordered his disciples to construct a temple for Govinda. He prepared various ornaments for Govinda, including a flute and shark-shaped earrings.

TEXT 132

gramya-varta na sune, na kahe jihvaya
krsna-katha-pujadite asta-prahara yaya

TRANSLATION

Raghunatha Bhatta would neither hear nor speak about anything of the material world. He would simply discuss Krsna and worship the Lord day and night.

TEXT 133

vaisnavera nindya-karma nahi pade kane
sabe krsna bhajana kare,—ei-matra jane

TRANSLATION

He would not listen to blasphemy of a Vaisnava, nor would he listen to talk of a Vaisnava’s misbehavior. He knew only that everyone was engaged in Krsna’s service; he did not understand anything else.

PURPORT

Raghunatha Bhatta never did anything harmful to a Vaisnava. In other words, he was never inattentive in the service of the Lord, nor did he ever violate the rules and regulations of a pure Vaisnava. It is the duty of a Vaisnava acarya to prevent his disciples and followers from violating the principles of Vaisnava behavior. He should always advise them to strictly follow the regulative principles, which will protect them from falling down. Although a Vaisnava preacher may sometimes criticize others, Raghunatha Bhatta avoided this. Even if another Vaisnava was actually at fault, Raghunatha Bhatta would not criticize him; he saw only that everyone was engaged in Krsna’s service. That is the position of a maha-bhagavata. Actually, even if one is serving maya, in a higher sense he is also a servant of Krsna. Because maya is the servant of Krsna, anyone serving maya serves Krsna indirectly. Therefore it is said:

keha mane, kehana mane, sabatanra dasa
ye na mane, tarahaya sei papenasa

“Some accept Him, whereas others do not, yet everyone is His servant. One who does not accept Him, however, will be ruined by his sinful activities.” (Cc Adi 6.85)

COMMENT

Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami “would not listen to blasphemy of a Vaisnava, nor would he listen to talk of a Vaisnava’s misbehavior. He knew only that everyone was engaged in Krsna’s service.” Yet in the purport, Srila Prabhupada comments that the Vaishnava acharya has to train his disciples according to the regulative principles and that if he sees that they are violating principles of Vaishnava behavior, he has to correct them. Even if the spiritual master is a maha-bhagavata, when he acts as spiritual master and takes the responsibility to train disciples, he must discriminate between proper and improper behavior. And if the disciples are behaving improperly, he must point out the defects and correct them.

When Srila Prabhupada first met his guru maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, he thought that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta was simply criticizing—criticizing the fruitive workers, criticizing the mental speculators, criticizing the impersonalists. But Prabhupada remarked that later he realized that what his guru maharaja had been saying was actually correct. Sadhu also means “to cut.” The sadhu must cut people’s false attachments, and therefore he may have to criticize—not out of envy or malice, as we may criticize, but only for the sake of cutting people’s false attachments and bringing them to the proper standards of devotional service.

Once, in Indore, Srila Prabhupada was strongly criticizing some popular religious figures. One of the gentlemen in the room became very upset and said, “You should not criticize. You should see everyone equally, as atma, and you should not criticize.” Srila Prabhupada replied, “That is a very high stage, sama-darsinah.” A maha-bhagavata doesn’t criticize anyone, because he sees everyone is already serving Krishna. Then Prabhupada discussed the verse (Gita 5.18) panditah sama-darsinah:

vidya-vinaya-sampanne
  brahmane gavi hastini
suni caiva sva-pake ca
  panditah sama-darsinah

“The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and a dog-eater.”

Prabhupada said that a learned brahman is supposed to be virtuous and that a dog is supposed to be sinful. So to see a brahman and a dog equally means that one doesn’t distinguish between pious and sinful activities; one sees that everyone is serving Krishna. “But,” Srila Prabhupada said, “I am not on that stage. I say that because you don’t surrender to Krishna, you are sinful.”

So even the uttama Vaishnava, when he preaches, has to act as a madhyama Vaishnava and point out faults and correct them. But if one is not in a position to actually instruct others for their benefit, he should act like Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami. He should avoid material talks in general and blasphemy of Vaishnavas in particular, and he should remain absorbed in his service to Krishna.

The Bhagavad-gita (17.15) confirms,

anudvega-karam vakyam
  satyam priya-hitam ca yat
svadhyayabhyasanam caiva
  van-mayam tapa ucyate

“Austerity of speech consists in speaking words that are truthful, pleasing, beneficial, and not agitating to others, and also in regularly reciting Vedic literature.”

And Srila Prabhupada explains in the purport, “One should not speak in such a way as to agitate the minds of others. Of course, when a teacher speaks, he can speak the truth for the instruction of his students, but such a teacher should not speak to those who are not his students if he will agitate their minds. This is penance as far as talking is concerned. Besides that, one should not talk nonsense. The process of speaking in spiritual circles is to say something upheld by the scriptures. One should at once quote from scriptural authority to back up what he is saying. At the same time, such talk should be very pleasurable to the ear. By such discussions, one may derive the highest benefit and elevate human society. There is a limitless stock of Vedic literature, and one should study this. This is called penance of speech.”

One of the divine qualities mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita (16.1–3) is apaisunam, “aversion to faultfinding.” There Srila Prabhupada comments, “Apaisunam means that one should not find fault with others or correct them unnecessarily. Of course to call a thief a thief is not faultfinding, but to call an honest person a thief is very much offensive for one who is making advancement in spiritual life.”

TEXT 134

mahaprabhura datta mala mananera kale
prasada-kadara saha bandhi lena gale

TRANSLATION

When Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami was absorbed in remembrance of Lord Krsna, he would take the tulasi garland and the prasada of Lord Jagannatha given to him by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, bind them together, and wear them on his neck.

TEXT 135

mahaprabhura krpaya krsna-prema anargala
eita’ kahilun tate caitanya-krpa-phala

TRANSLATION

Thus I have described the powerful mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, by which Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami remained constantly overwhelmed with ecstatic love for Krsna.

TEXTS 136–137

TRANSLATION

In this chapter I have spoken about . . . how Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami achieved ecstatic love of Krsna by the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

TEXT 138

ye ei-sakala katha sune sraddha kari’
tanre krsna-prema-dhana dena gaurahari

TRANSLATION

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu [Gaurahari] bestows ecstatic love for Krsna upon anyone who hears these topics with faith and love.

TEXT 139

sri-rupa-raghunatha-pade yara asa
caitanya-caritamrta kahe krsnadasa

TRANSLATION

Praying at the lotus feet of Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunatha, always desiring their mercy, I, Krsnadasa, narrate Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, following in their footsteps.

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports to Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, Thirteenth Chapter, describing . . . Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami’s achieving love of Krsna.

 

Giriraj Swami: Are there any questions or comments?

Devotee: In this country there are Bhagavata kathas, and sometimes people invite us to do a katha also. Should we accept the invitation to go and chant or speak?

Giriraj Swami: We should be careful, because we are quite well established in Mauritius now. We should rather hold our own programs and invite people to our programs. When Srila Prabhupada first returned to India, he accepted invitations to the Vedanta Sammelan in Amritsar and the Gita Jayanti Mahotsava in Indore because people did not know us. And by his attending such programs, people came to know us. But as soon as we became established, Prabhupada stopped accepting such invitations. In fact, when I went to Madras, one man, Mr. Ratnam Iyer, had his own organization, called Astika Samaj, and he offered to take full responsibility to arrange Srila Prabhupada’s program in Madras, but in the end, he didn’t really help, because ultimately he was a Mayavadi. He didn’t actually like us. When I informed Srila Prabhupada in a letter, Prabhupada wrote back that it is never good to have to depend on others for our preaching: “I am not surprised that Mr. Ratnam Iyer has decided to cancel the program you were planning. I was not eager to accept his proposal in the beginning, because it has been our experience that it is never good to have to depend upon others for our preaching.” We should make our own arrangements.

People sometimes invite us just to decorate their program, to attract people, and to get our stamp of approval—they try to use us for their own purposes. But we may not actually approve of their program, so we must be careful. Once, Guru-Gauranga Prabhu, Srila Prabhupada’s disciple who was based in Switzerland, arranged for His Divine Grace to meet the head of the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) in Geneva. Srila Prabhupada was so intelligent and perceptive that when he agreed to meet the person he said that no photos should be allowed. And he explained to us that the W.H.O. was trying to introduce birth control in Third World countries and considered India to be difficult because people in India understood contraceptive methods and abortion to be sinful. “So they will want to take my photo and use it to make propaganda that I approve of the World Health Organization’s program.” And that is actually what happened: at the end of the meeting, they wanted to have their photos taken with Srila Prabhupada. Because we are authorized, people want to use us to gain credibility for their programs. But we may not actually approve of their programs. So we should be careful how we associate with them and how we are perceived to be associated with them.

Krsnacandra dasa: Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave different instructions to Raghunatha Bhatta at different times. First He instructed him to serve his devotee parents and to study Srimad-Bhagavatam from a realized devotee, and then He told him to go to Vrindavan and chant Hare Krishna and take shelter of Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami. The spiritual master gives instructions to his disciples according to time, place, and circumstances, and so the spiritual master may change his instruction.

Giriraj Swami: Yes, that is true. Once, on a morning walk on Juhu Beach, Srila Prabhupada was discussing surrender, and he was pointing out various defects in supposed surrender. One defect is that the disciple will receive an instruction from the spiritual master, and later, when the spiritual master gives a different instruction, the disciple will object: “But previously you told me such-and-such.” Srila Prabhupada said that surrender means you accept the latest instruction, the immediate instruction. Once, when he gave an instruction to a disciple and then later gave him a different instruction, the disciple said, “Srila Prabhupada, previously you told me that, and now you are telling me this.” And Srila Prabhupada replied, “If you accepted my authority then, why don’t you accept it now?” So we have to be careful not to pick and choose what instruction we like and what instruction we don’t like.

Mukta-purusa dasa: Lord Chaitanya advised that one hear Srimad-Bhagavatam from a realized soul. But how can ordinary people know who is a realized soul? Sometimes professional reciters speak very ornamentally, and they are attractive to ordinary people.

Giriraj Swami: First we must know the constitutional position of the living entity. Jivera ‘svarupa’ haya—krsnera ‘nitya-dasa’: the living entity’s constitutional position is to be an eternal servant of Krishna. One who is acting as an eternal servant of Krishna—in other words, one who is a devotee—is self-realized. He has realized that he is the eternal servant of Krishna.

How can ordinary people know who is self-realized? They have to be educated. Either in person or from books, they have to hear from devotees to be educated in the science of self-realization. Someone who is choosing where to study, in which university, will make inquiries, and only after careful consideration will he or she decide which university to attend. He or she will inquire: What is the reputation of the school? Who are the professors? What are the results of the graduates? And that’s just for a few years of academic education. So, if we take so much care to decide where to go for a few years of academic education, how much more care we should take to decide where we go for spiritual education, which will guide us in our eternal spiritual life. We have to inquire and learn.

But many people are not actually serious or sincere; they just want to make a show that they are very pious, very religious. And they may want to be entertained. But if someone is sincere and serious, he or she will try to understand the science of spiritual life from devotees. And ultimately one will come to the conclusion that one must learn from devotees.

We take knowledge from Krishna and Krishna’s representatives, and because we take knowledge from Krishna, we know that the knowledge is perfect and we don’t need to go to anyone else for knowledge. In one talk, Srila Prabhupada related how his disciple Achyutananda Prabhu had gone to distribute books at the ashram of a well-known Mayavadi sannyasi who gave Bhagavata-saptahas, and when one of the sannyasi’s disciples had canvassed him, “Why don’t you ask some question to Swamiji?” Achyutananda had replied, “No. I have nothing to question from your Swamiji.” Prabhupada continued, “So, actually bring any so-called yogi, swami, or incarnation and our student will challenge him: he does not know anything. We have got such a nice book of knowledge, Bhagavad-gita.” Srila Prabhupada was very happy, very proud. Because we are getting knowledge from Krishna and Krishna’s representatives in disciplic succession, we don’t have anything to learn from anyone else.

Devotee: What happens to the relationship between spiritual master and disciple after death?

Giriraj Swami: In principle, the relationship between the spiritual master and the disciple is eternal. If the disciple is not completely successful in his or her attempt to go back to Godhead at the end of this life, he or she gets the chance to continue the process of devotional service in the next life and to follow the same instructions that he or she received from the spiritual master in this life. So service to the spiritual master is eternal. And the spiritual master will arrange to guide the sincere disciple until he or she is completely successful and goes back home, back to Godhead.

Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami ki jaya!
Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami ki jaya!
Sri Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami ki jaya!

[A talk by Giriraj Swami on , October 23, 1996, Hare Krishna Land, Phoenix, Mauritius]

Friday, October 23, 2020
→ The Walking Monk

Don Valley Brickworks, Toronto

 

Let’s Get Rolling

 

The Brickworks is a big draw, especially with today’s temperatures at 22°C, or within the region of 71°F. Being a Friday afternoon, you could feel the joy for all the browsers in their haven of ponds, multiple goldfish, trees of fall colours and even an amicable beaver working at constructing its lodge.

 

The plan for me and other members of our drama troupe was to have our first take with filming our drama for virtual presentation. Like in all projects, hurdles do exist. One of our key actors has had to decline for very good reasons. The responsibility rests on me for a replacement and that replacement seems to point at me.

 

By circumstance I met Miles who accidentally happened to show up. He’s a cyclist and you’ll see him all over town. He is also one of the actors, although he wasn’t required to show up today.

 

It’s going to be an adventure working with new crew members. It was our intention to shoot at least one scene of “Rolling the Dice” outdoors. We were fighting for time, with the sun disappearing soon, and the forecast cold front coming in. The weather report calls for a lightning storm and even a mild tornado. Under pressure, however, many good things can evolve.

 

It is Krishna who shall be perceived as the one who pushes us toward service and excellence. It is not a bad thing, necessarily. We look to the cause of all causes to shape us.

 

May the source be with you!

3 km


 

 

Thursday, October 22, 2020
→ The Walking Monk

Brampton, Ontario

 

To Where the Land is Flat

 

Stephen drove me to Brampton, to an expansive recreation park called Sesquicentennial. There is not a more flat expense of parkland that I’ve seen, except for Saskatchewan. The place is green, clean and all who visit are in jeans, which is a slight exaggeration when it comes to attire. Brampton, in general could easily be mistaken for a suburb of New Delhi, just cleaner. The reason I say this about the place is that the whole area is rather dominated by people mostly from North India.

 

Stephen and I met up with Savyasacin to plan out and practice for our drama “Rolling the Dice.” In the process people in pants and sometimes turbans, would stop to see what we were up to. It’s my clothes, which are a shade dull to the bright orange pumpkins lined up at nearby “Longo’s” grocery store, which drew attention.

 

One gentleman, a senior, most likely from Punjab, took an interest. With little English in his realm and little Punjabi in our experience Stephen, a Jamaican Canadian, myself, Dutch Canadian and Savy, Guyanese Canadian, all looked like a sample of a Canadian landscape.

 

The man asked, “Hindi?”

 

“Nahin!” I said, “Sorry.”

 

“India?” He asked, to which we tried to explain that we were working on a drama from the epic The Mahabharat.

 

Our practice was good. It is a contemporary approach to the gambling story. We are glad to come upon this nice flat surfaced park.

 

Incidentally my limp is lessening, thanks to the physiotherapy I’m doing. The stretches are doing wonders.

 

May the Source be with you!

0 km


 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020
→ The Walking Monk

Christie Pitts, Toronto

 

October Day

 

It was a typical October day, I mean to say, perfect for walking. The wind, a cloud and the sun were above and around, not only me but everyone. I was walking west on Dupont and at one crossroad, at Davenport, also known as the Ancient Trail used by the Huron for centuries, I met one road worker. His name is Jordan, he left his tools and came down.

 

“Hare Krishna!” said Jordan. “We’ve met. I know Phil, who is in Hungary now at the farm community… I do chant and follow some of your classes on Zoom.” We carried on the conversation and he then resumed working and I walking.

 

That was a pleasurable encounter. Further on I met a God-sibling, Lila Kirtan. I knew his walk. I was behind him as he was walking to Christie Pitts. I wasn’t 100% sure it was him until he sat at a park bench situated at the edge of the parks elevation. I glanced at his front, his face, and I knew it was him. He was surprised.

 

To see him was the reason that I came to the area of his basement apartment in the first place. I managed to see him walking after he left his place. My purpose for the visit? To interview him for a book, “Krishna in the Maple Leaf” which will explore the fun and challenges of the pioneers of our movement in Canada.

 

Our interview was done in just over an hour. We looked over the area of the Pitts. A red-tailed hawk was perched on the fence bordering the baseball field. Two squirrels were stilled by his presence, one being very small in size. Would there be a drama? Perhaps, a predator’s drama? The hawk’s mate was soaring above. This drama may get even more intense. We couldn’t stay for the show, should it even get off the ground. I believe, at one time, I was a squirrel and I had to be cautious for my life.

 

May the source be with you!

4 km


 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020
→ The Walking Monk

University of Toronto, Toronto

 

Roll Out the Dice

 

I walked to “Theatrics Plus” and the friendly clerk found for me what I came for, a prop for the virtual drama that a group of us are putting together. “Rolling the Dice” is the name of the play. The highlight of the story focuses on some shady gambling from the “Mahabharat.” The props I purchased were dice, four of them at $2.50 a crack. They look good, roll nice, sound good when you shake them and are made in China. According to the epic, the iconic dice are supposed to be made of the bones of ancestors.

 

The place on Young—Theatrics Plus—is all geared up for the Halloween crowd. A large stock. “How’s business?” I asked the fellow who dug to find the dice.

 

“It’s picking up, but slower than usual because of…”

 

“Don’t say it. I know. Covid, right?”

 

“Exactly!”

 

With the dice in my pocket I continued the stroll and sat for a moment at a linear park, parallel to Yonge Street. Visitors to the city would never know of this secret passageway. Then, walking by me, appeared Suresh, who I’ve known for centuries (seems like).

 

“Hey! Haribol!” I said. He was surprised. We talked about the piano he donated to the Bayview Square Park.

 

“It’s survived two winters,” he said of this much-used instrument during the high season, summer, and which gets locked down and covered during ominous weather conditions.

 

“It’s a great service you are doing. People need more music in their life.” I said, as a way of encouragement. I continued on the stroll to and through the campus at the University of Toronto. I received a call from someone who wanted directions after seeing visions of Krishna. I offered encouragement. “Please bring the music of Krishna into your life and stop eating pork.”

 

Maybe Source be with you!

4 km


 

Monday, October 19, 2020
→ The Walking Monk

Yorkville, Toronto

 

Let the Rain Come Down

 

Drizzle! Drizzle! That is the sum and substance of weather conditions today and tonight. My encounter with it was in the evening. I didn’t mind. My full day was indoors, where it was rather dry. The important thing is one’s state of mind, regardless of the situation. Krishna is within and without. So let the rain come down.

 

I received a call from someone in Edmonton. He, like many, are quite affected by the fear culture installed by Covid-19. My response to him was to not get over-exposed to the news. It is highly important to be informed but is also of paramount importance to be enlightened. “Make sure to insert the Blue Boy in your day.”

 

This will be my message, from here on to the end of the month and beyond—insert the Blue Boy. Also, with the month of Kartik sneaking up on us as of October 31, we should naturally give attention to Him, God as a Child. Every year at this time we become charmed by Krishna as the one in slight trouble, danger and then resolve.

 

While some veggies are still on harvest, people, at least in this part of the world, are shopping for the colours orange and black. Pumpkins are forever. And this season there is better food, better sleep and better brain. Cool weather is more conducive for intelligence. Personally I will commit to more memorization of yogic mantrasbeginning with Bhagavad-Gita verse 4.42. Let the rain come down!

 

May the source be with you!

4 km


 

Dedicating every moment
→ KKSBlog

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 1 August 2020, Radhadesh, Belgium, Initiation Ceremony Lecture)

Uttama-adhikari is living in a close relationship with Krsna. The uttama-adhikari is always thinking about Krsna in every moment. And every moment is dedicated to Krsna. This devotee is not wasting a single moment on anything else.

kṣāntir avyartha-kālatvaṁ
viraktir māna-śūnyatā
āśā-bandhaḥ samutkaṇṭhā
nāma-gāne sadā ruciḥ

(Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya Lila 23.18-19)

When the seed of ecstatic emotion for Krsna fructifies, many symptoms manifest in one’s behaviour. One of them is a taste for chanting the holy name of the Lord constantly! In this way, our spiritual life is meant to be a life of growth, a life where we are meant to change, and where we are meant to become very soft-hearted. This happens by dedicating every moment to Krsna.

The article " Dedicating every moment " was published on KKSBlog.

ISKCON Scarborough – "Don’t generalize, analyze – Wisdom on relationships from Ramayana" – Class by HG Chitanya Charan das coming Sunday
→ ISKCON Scarborough


Hare Krishna!

Please accept our humble obeisances!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga!


Date:1st Nov 2020

Day: Sunday

Time: 11 am to 12 noon

Topic: "Don't generalize, analyze - Wisdom on relationships from Ramayana"

Speaker: HG Chitanya Charan das


Link to join the class from your desktop or laptop:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9150790510?pwd=Wk5GYXVRMkJmdk84MzZJRXBKYUgwUT09


HG Chitanya Charan das

Chaitanya Charan is a monk, mentor and spiritual author. He has done his Electronics & Telecommunications Engineering from the Government College of Engineering, Pune. He subsequently served as a software engineer in a prominent multinational software corporation. He also secured 2350 out of 2400 in GRE, gaining the top rank in Maharashtra.


Seeing the prevalent problems of stress, depression, addiction and overall misdirection – all caused by a lack of spirituality – he felt inspired to dedicate his life to the cause of sharing the spiritual wisdom of the Bhagavad-gita under the aegis of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness).


He travels all over the world from Australia to America, giving talks on spiritual subjects in universities such as Princeton, Harvard, Stanford and Cambridge and companies such as Intel, Google, Amazon and Microsoft. See Chaitanya Charan’s talks across the world


He is the author of the world’s only Gita-daily feature, wherein he writes daily a 300-word inspirational reflection on a verse from the Bhagavad- Gita. Till now he has written over seventeen hundred Gita meditations that are posted on www.gitadaily.com and are read through daily feeds by thousands from all over the world. He also answers questions by seekers on his site www.thespiritualscientist.com, where his over three thousand five hundred audio answers and several hundred articles are available.


His articles have been published in many national newspapers including Indian Express, Economic Times and Times of India in the Speaking Tree column. His writings in English have been translated into several foreign languages including German, Chinese and Romanian and several Indian languages including Kannada, Telgu, Bengali, Hindi and Marathi.


He is a member of ISKCON’s leading intellectual body, the Shastric Advisory Council, and is the associate-editor of ISKCON’s global magazine, Back to Godhead.

He has authored several wonderful books


ISKCON Scarborough

3500 McNicoll Avenue, Unit #3,

Scarborough, Ontario,

Canada, M1V4C7

Website: www.iskconscarborough.org

Email:

iskconscarborough@hotmail.com

scarboroughiskcon@gmail.com

Dhanurdhara Bhakti Center Restrictions
→ Seeking The Essence

Dhanurdhara Swami ISKCON Bhakti Center Child Abuse Child Protection Hare Krishna Vrindavan Gurukula

ISKCON Child Protection Guidelines state:

“No person, who has been determined to have engaged in severe maltreatment of children, will be allowed to remain active in a position of authority or trust within ISKCON, this includes activities such as leading kirtan, giving class, speaking publicly at any ISKCON event or representing ISKCON in official capacities.”

In February 2019 the Bhakti Center Directors confirmed the center will comply with ISKCON GBC resolutions and CPO policies and decisions regarding Dhanurdhara.

Dhanurdhara’s ISKCON Resignation Letter
→ Seeking The Essence

Dhanurdhara Swami Resignation Letter ISKCON Vrindavan Gurukula Child Abuse ISKCON Child Protection Leave Left

Below is Dhanurdhara’s official resignation letter:

June 21st, 2006

Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

The recent suicide of Ananda, and Shakuntala’s letter, has brought renewed attention and scrutiny to my past mistakes. I deeply regret these mistakes and the harm they have caused. Though I can’t say I realize all the pain I have inflicted, I have witnessed the strong emotions of those I have harmed and know their wounds are deep. I’d like to reiterate my pledge to continue to meet gurukula alumni, beg for their forgiveness, and to offer whatever help I can.

But despite my efforts to accept responsibility for my mistakes and the periodic reciprocation I receive from the victims, this controversy continues to brew and I now believe that only a radical solution will resolve the issue. Therefore I will step away from ISKCON and perform devotional service outside the institution. I do this as a service to Srila Prabhupada’s Society and to ISKCON’s youth. I plan to live a simple, repentant life, where I hope my presence will not disturb others, taking shelter of the holy name and my godbrothers. I hope this will be a step toward mending the great rift that seems so destructive to our Society.

I plan to continue to encourage my disciples to live and serve in ISKCON wherever their faith will be respected. I request the GBC and all devotees to consider their welfare when dealing with this issue.

If the wounds of those so deeply affected can be healed and a new strength for Srila Prabhupada’s movement achieved, that would be a great blessing. I will continue to seek and help those I have offended, which is my most crucial work for this movement.

With deepest regret for the trouble I have caused,

Dhanurdhara Swami

Here’s a link to his letter on Dandavats.

Srila Madhavacarya Appearance
→ Ramai Swami

Shri Madhvacharya appeared in 1238 A.D. near Udupi, Karnataka in South India. He was considered an incarnation of Vayu (wind god). He had an unusually strong physique and extraordinary intellectual power.

Once a fierce Bengali tiger attacked Madhvacharya’s sannyasa disciple, Satya Tirtha. Madhvacharya wrestled the tiger and sent him away with his tail between his legs. Madhvacharya took diksha at age five, sannyasa at twelve and left home. He appeared with a mission to fight and defeat Sankara’s Mayavada (impersonal) philosophy. 

By giving a pure interpretation of Vedanta-sutra he promoted pure theism. He named his innovative shastric explanation dvaita-dvaita-vada (pure dualism).

With a hope of meeting Shrila Vyasadeva himself Madhvacharya walked up the Himalayas. Vyasadeva gave him a Shalagrama sila called Ashtamurti, approved his Bhagavad-gita commentary, and blessed Madhvacharya with deeper realizations of the sastras. 

In Udupi, Madhvacharya installed a beautiful Deity of Gopala standing alone holding a cowherding stick. This Deity manifested from within a chunk of gopi-candana (sacred clay). He established eight mathas (Temples) to lovingly serve “Udupi Krishna.” The sannyasi leaders of each matha worship the Krishna Deity with a rigorous regimen of ceremonial ritual, punctuality, and impeccable personal conduct. Every Ekadashi they observe nirjala (total fast all food and water).

For the Sat Sandarbhas Shri Jiva Goswami drew heavily from Madhva’s writings. Jiva Goswami found ‘the Gaudiya philosophy of acintya-bheda-abheda tattva in Madhva’s Bhagavat-parya. Shri Chaitanya Himself visited Udupi, the seat of Madhva’s sect. The Lord introduced Hari Nama sankirtana into their sect. 

 Shri Madhvacharya’s Nine Teachings

   (1) Bhagavan Shri Krishna alone is the Supreme Absolute Truth, one without a second.
 
   (2) He is the object of knowledge in all the Vedas.

   (3) The universe is real, satya.
 
   (4) The differences between Ishvara (God), Jiva (soul) and Matter are real.
 
   (5) Jiva souls are by nature the servants of the Supreme Lord Hari.
 
   (6) There are two categories of jivas; liberated and illusioned.

   (7) Liberation (moksha) means attainmg the lotus feet of Bhagavan Krishna, in other words, entering an eternal relationship of service to the Supreme Lord.

   (8) Pure devotional service to Krishna is the only way to attain this liberation.
 
   (9) The truth may be known by pratyaksha (direct perception), anuman (inference or logic), sabda (spiritual sound or Vedic authority.

   Shri Madhvacharya serves as Madhavi-gopi in Radha-Govinda’s eternal Vrindavana pleasure pastimes.