Travels Calling (Again)
→ Servant's Report

I thought I was settled but up in the air again. Travels are calling, perhaps it’s in my blood, at least says so on my palm. But not aimless wandering as I am truly looking for a home. A place to do some service and also help change the world. Where that place will be remains to be seen, but this summer we will try to find out. Hope to meet you there.

Thunder !
→ Clouds.


The sweetest sounds to mortals given Are heard in Mother, Home, and Heaven. ~William Goldsmith Brown


Definitely in heaven!

Of all the descriptions given in the scriptures about Krishna, the one I have most trouble visualizing or conceptualizing in my mind are the sounds of the spiritual world. The one thing I yearn most to hear... Krishna's flute, the cakora birds, the koyal, the peacocks, and of course the 'deep resounding thunderlike' voice of Krishna.

"Krishna's deep voice resounds like a rumbling cloud and his tinkling ornaments allure the ears...." - Chapter 6, Gayatri Mahima Madhuri

This quote about his voice was a little hard to find. I used to wonder and wonder if there are any descriptions about Krishna's voice and then I chanced upon this when I was reading the Gayatri book. But there are countless about his ever enchanting, mesmerizing flute playing :)

"..Krishna's flute vibrates eight different tunes. Demigods like Lord Brahma and Lord Siva break their meditation and forget everything when the first tune pierces their ears. Lord Siva stops playing his din-din drum. Lord Brahma sits astonished on his lotus flower, and Lord Ananta Sesa begins swaying hypnotically.
The second tune makes the Yamuna flow backwards.
The moon stops moving upon hearing the third tune.
Cows run up to Krishna, and stand motionless with upraised ears to drink the nectar of the fourth tune.
The fifth note brings the gopis madly running-eager for Krishna's love.
The sixth tune creates autumn, replete with juicy fruits and rich foliage
Stones melt when caressed by this note
The seventh note instantly ushes in all six seasons manifesting their full splendor with gentle, sensous southern breezes carrying the perfumed aromas of fresh forest flowers.

The eighth note of Syama's seductive flute takes the name of Radha...."

Well I don't know whether it is going to take me lifetimes or just this lifetime to hear what I yearn to hear but one thing is for sure.... all my yearnings for sounds of the spiritual world is COMPLETELY satisfied by .....

Ching Ching Chinggg....
Ching Ching Chinggg....

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare...

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare...

Yess.....those soul stirring kirtans that just teases those senses of ours with visions of the spiritual world and incomparable bliss...

Thunder !
→ Clouds.


The sweetest sounds to mortals given Are heard in Mother, Home, and Heaven. ~William Goldsmith Brown


Definitely in heaven!

Of all the descriptions given in the scriptures about Krishna, the one I have most trouble visualizing or conceptualizing in my mind are the sounds of the spiritual world. The one thing I yearn most to hear... Krishna's flute, the cakora birds, the koyal, the peacocks, and of course the 'deep resounding thunderlike' voice of Krishna.

"Krishna's deep voice resounds like a rumbling cloud and his tinkling ornaments allure the ears...." - Chapter 6, Gayatri Mahima Madhuri

This quote about his voice was a little hard to find. I used to wonder and wonder if there are any descriptions about Krishna's voice and then I chanced upon this when I was reading the Gayatri book. But there are countless about his ever enchanting, mesmerizing flute playing :)

"..Krishna's flute vibrates eight different tunes. Demigods like Lord Brahma and Lord Siva break their meditation and forget everything when the first tune pierces their ears. Lord Siva stops playing his din-din drum. Lord Brahma sits astonished on his lotus flower, and Lord Ananta Sesa begins swaying hypnotically.
The second tune makes the Yamuna flow backwards.
The moon stops moving upon hearing the third tune.
Cows run up to Krishna, and stand motionless with upraised ears to drink the nectar of the fourth tune.
The fifth note brings the gopis madly running-eager for Krishna's love.
The sixth tune creates autumn, replete with juicy fruits and rich foliage
Stones melt when caressed by this note
The seventh note instantly ushes in all six seasons manifesting their full splendor with gentle, sensous southern breezes carrying the perfumed aromas of fresh forest flowers.

The eighth note of Syama's seductive flute takes the name of Radha...."

Well I don't know whether it is going to take me lifetimes or just this lifetime to hear what I yearn to hear but one thing is for sure.... all my yearnings for sounds of the spiritual world is COMPLETELY satisfied by .....

Ching Ching Chinggg....
Ching Ching Chinggg....

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare...

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare...

Yess.....those soul stirring kirtans that just teases those senses of ours with visions of the spiritual world and incomparable bliss...

Atma Nivedana
→ Clouds.

A devotee once told me,
" We offer so many services to Krishna......we offer him garlands, we make prasad and offer it, we offer our kirtans, our bhajans yet in the process of offering him all these services, we forget to offer him ourselves! "
Krishna accepts anything offered with love but all he is really looking for is YOU. And that is the hardest thing to offer. The false ego of me, mine never lets us actually do this. Every activity we do, each and every step and action we take in our lives, from bathing, eating, studying.....everything is geared towards one goal......satisfy the self.

We can classify every action as geared towards
1) Sense pleasure
2) Intelligence & Mind pleasure
3) False ego pleasure

Think about it....every small thing we do can be classified under these things. Even devotional service. When I make garlands, it satisfies my senses to see the beautiful flowers, satisfies my intelligence to arrange it in a pattern, and finally satisfies my ego when somebody says, 'oh what a beautiful garland you've made!'. Even though, I'm making it for Krishna, this tinge of ego pleasure never goes away. I would say that ego pleasure is the hardest to overcome. Whatever service we do, the sense of the self doing it hardly goes away....
(I am of course talking about common neophyte devotees like me and not elevated souls where can see actual 'selfless service')

Now you can argue that if even devotional service is performed to satisfy the material senses and ego then why do it? Well.....the only answer I have for this is to ask you to actually spend a day doing service. Yes, my ego is being satisfied, my intelligence is being satisfied when I listen to a good lecture or read sound philosophy, my senses are being satisfied when I listen to beautiful, heartmoving kirtans and bhajans.......yet, at the end of the day, when I go home....when I get a moment to ponder on my pleasure and enjoyment, I realize, this pleasure is something much much deeper.......it is the pleasure of the satisfaction of the soul....:)

Atma Nivedana
→ Clouds.

A devotee once told me,
" We offer so many services to Krishna......we offer him garlands, we make prasad and offer it, we offer our kirtans, our bhajans yet in the process of offering him all these services, we forget to offer him ourselves! "
Krishna accepts anything offered with love but all he is really looking for is YOU. And that is the hardest thing to offer. The false ego of me, mine never lets us actually do this. Every activity we do, each and every step and action we take in our lives, from bathing, eating, studying.....everything is geared towards one goal......satisfy the self.

We can classify every action as geared towards
1) Sense pleasure
2) Intelligence & Mind pleasure
3) False ego pleasure

Think about it....every small thing we do can be classified under these things. Even devotional service. When I make garlands, it satisfies my senses to see the beautiful flowers, satisfies my intelligence to arrange it in a pattern, and finally satisfies my ego when somebody says, 'oh what a beautiful garland you've made!'. Even though, I'm making it for Krishna, this tinge of ego pleasure never goes away. I would say that ego pleasure is the hardest to overcome. Whatever service we do, the sense of the self doing it hardly goes away....
(I am of course talking about common neophyte devotees like me and not elevated souls where can see actual 'selfless service')

Now you can argue that if even devotional service is performed to satisfy the material senses and ego then why do it? Well.....the only answer I have for this is to ask you to actually spend a day doing service. Yes, my ego is being satisfied, my intelligence is being satisfied when I listen to a good lecture or read sound philosophy, my senses are being satisfied when I listen to beautiful, heartmoving kirtans and bhajans.......yet, at the end of the day, when I go home....when I get a moment to ponder on my pleasure and enjoyment, I realize, this pleasure is something much much deeper.......it is the pleasure of the satisfaction of the soul....:)

Candana Yatra
→ Arcanam: Worship of the Deity...

Govindaji and his new friend Balarama on Akshaya Tritiya

Candana Yatra starts on Akshaya Tritiya, the third lunar day of the waxing moon of Vaisakha month and continues for twenty days. Lord Jagannatha gave direct instructions to King Indradyumna to perform this festival at this time. Smearing the body of the Lord with ointments is an act of devotion, and the best of ointments is sandalwood paste. Since the month of Vaisakha is very hot in India, the cooling effect of the sandalwood is very pleasing to the body of the Lord. Source:http://www.salagram.net/parishad67.htm

Krishna Balarama in Vrindavan with their foreheads covered in Candana; and Jagannatha, Baladeva & Subhadra in Mayapur covered in Candana more pics from Mayapur here

Candana Yatra
→ Arcanam: Worship of the Deity...

Govindaji and his new friend Balarama on Akshaya Tritiya

Candana Yatra starts on Akshaya Tritiya, the third lunar day of the waxing moon of Vaisakha month and continues for twenty days. Lord Jagannatha gave direct instructions to King Indradyumna to perform this festival at this time. Smearing the body of the Lord with ointments is an act of devotion, and the best of ointments is sandalwood paste. Since the month of Vaisakha is very hot in India, the cooling effect of the sandalwood is very pleasing to the body of the Lord. Source:http://www.salagram.net/parishad67.htm

Krishna Balarama in Vrindavan with their foreheads covered in Candana; and Jagannatha, Baladeva & Subhadra in Mayapur covered in Candana more pics from Mayapur here

Jaggu Dada…
→ Clouds.

So, since I've been caught up dealing with a million different emotions and new situations and new life etc., I just realized today how I miss writing. Yet, I'm still caught up with other things to write anything decent....but I still want to post something so here is something short I had written during my initial days when I first got my brahmana initiation and went on the altar...

Dear Jagannath...
The throbbing feet I can ignore,
sacrifice my precious world of snore,
the burns, the cuts, the bruises
all I can dismiss away as excuses
to see your beautiful smile on the altar...my merciful Jagannath


P.S: The burns were from cooking, the cuts from making garlands (I always found a way to bruise my skin with the needle and cut my self with scissors and the bruises from banging myself on random things like doors, tables and chairs as I ran from the altar to the pujari to finish dressing by darshan. I attribute all this to the burning away my karma of deity worship offenses on the altar :)

Jaggu Dada…
→ Clouds.

So, since I've been caught up dealing with a million different emotions and new situations and new life etc., I just realized today how I miss writing. Yet, I'm still caught up with other things to write anything decent....but I still want to post something so here is something short I had written during my initial days when I first got my brahmana initiation and went on the altar...

Dear Jagannath...
The throbbing feet I can ignore,
sacrifice my precious world of snore,
the burns, the cuts, the bruises
all I can dismiss away as excuses
to see your beautiful smile on the altar...my merciful Jagannath


P.S: The burns were from cooking, the cuts from making garlands (I always found a way to bruise my skin with the needle and cut my self with scissors and the bruises from banging myself on random things like doors, tables and chairs as I ran from the altar to the pujari to finish dressing by darshan. I attribute all this to the burning away my karma of deity worship offenses on the altar :)

Bhaktivedanta College\’s Newsletter Spring 2009

Here you can download Bhaktivedanta College\’s Newsletter Spring 2009. In this edition you can read:

– Our Eighth Academic Year Is Coming: 2009–10
– Students Visit Three Faith Communities
– The New Library Club Needs You!
– A Cold Weekend for Distributing Books
– Burke Rochford: “The highlight of my career!”
– Student Teams Cook Community Breakfasts

FIVE! & TWIILIGHT!
→ Living in the Material World

We had a nice day yesterday. Narada woke up and immediately said, "Today is my birthday!". We went to pick daddy up from work early and headed to a nice vegetarian Chinese restaurant in Cary for lunch. After lunch we went to the cheapo theater (only $1.50 per person!) to watch Bolt. Then we came home and did the whole presents, ice cream, and donuts-in-place-of-cake thing.

The kids played with Narada's presents and watched Wall-E while me, hubby, and my dear friend Radhanuga watched Twilight (squeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!). My poor husband thinks that Radhanuga and I are completely nutso after watching that movie with us. He never imagined 30 year old women oohing, aahing, gasping, hyperventilating, and sighing over a movie for 2 straight hours. Radhanuga preordered a copy for me and one for her. The dvd was released yesterday, but due to overwhelming demand Amazon didn't ship our dvds until yesterday despite the fact that they were preordered a while ago. To compensate they gave Radhanuga one free day of Twilight as a digital rental which is what we watched yesterday. Tomorrow we will watch again on dvd....and again and again and again and again and again and again...lather, rinse, repeat...


FIVE!

Watching Kapila play Club Penguin


Handsome Rasaraj~


The pretty lobby of the restaurant




Handsome Kapila~


Narada was very excited!


These cool sand bottles came on the day of Narada's birthday :) My sister sent them for the boys. She is currently deployed to South Asia (the middle east). The boys think these are so very cool! Thank you!


Legos from grandma & grandpa


Wall-E!!! Thank you auntie, uncle, Jacob, and Timmy :)




A set of books about Krishna from mom and dada


Rasaraj brought this hen puppet home from the school treasure box so he could give it to Narada for his birthday







Hot Wheels set from grandma and grandpa


Donut cake :)



Contemplating his wish~



We hung with the Cullens for a couple hours ;0) Lovely vampires~

FIVE! & TWIILIGHT!
→ Living in the Material World

We had a nice day yesterday. Narada woke up and immediately said, "Today is my birthday!". We went to pick daddy up from work early and headed to a nice vegetarian Chinese restaurant in Cary for lunch. After lunch we went to the cheapo theater (only $1.50 per person!) to watch Bolt. Then we came home and did the whole presents, ice cream, and donuts-in-place-of-cake thing.

The kids played with Narada's presents and watched Wall-E while me, hubby, and my dear friend Radhanuga watched Twilight (squeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!). My poor husband thinks that Radhanuga and I are completely nutso after watching that movie with us. He never imagined 30 year old women oohing, aahing, gasping, hyperventilating, and sighing over a movie for 2 straight hours. Radhanuga preordered a copy for me and one for her. The dvd was released yesterday, but due to overwhelming demand Amazon didn't ship our dvds until yesterday despite the fact that they were preordered a while ago. To compensate they gave Radhanuga one free day of Twilight as a digital rental which is what we watched yesterday. Tomorrow we will watch again on dvd....and again and again and again and again and again and again...lather, rinse, repeat...


FIVE!

Watching Kapila play Club Penguin


Handsome Rasaraj~


The pretty lobby of the restaurant




Handsome Kapila~


Narada was very excited!


These cool sand bottles came on the day of Narada's birthday :) My sister sent them for the boys. She is currently deployed to South Asia (the middle east). The boys think these are so very cool! Thank you!


Legos from grandma & grandpa


Wall-E!!! Thank you auntie, uncle, Jacob, and Timmy :)




A set of books about Krishna from mom and dada


Rasaraj brought this hen puppet home from the school treasure box so he could give it to Narada for his birthday







Hot Wheels set from grandma and grandpa


Donut cake :)



Contemplating his wish~



We hung with the Cullens for a couple hours ;0) Lovely vampires~

It’s Time To Make The Donuts
→ Living in the Material World

Tomorrow my baby Narada Muni will turn 5 years old! I asked him what kind of cake he would like and he said he didn't want cake, he wants donuts. Your wish is my command sweet baby boy. I'm already getting weepy just thinking about my youngest being 5...

I made the dough for the donuts about an hour before the boys headed to bed. I couldn't tolerate the idea of all three of them hovering in the kitchen while I made donuts. As soon as they were all in bed I pulled out the risen dough and started rolling and cutting. While the the donuts were rising I cleaned up the kitchen and when i finished it was time to fry. In the end I made 42 donuts. Half are dipped in vanilla glaze and the other half are dipped in carob frosting.


Here's a photo of my sweet little boy sleeping his last night as a 4 year old~















It’s Time To Make The Donuts
→ Living in the Material World

Tomorrow my baby Narada Muni will turn 5 years old! I asked him what kind of cake he would like and he said he didn't want cake, he wants donuts. Your wish is my command sweet baby boy. I'm already getting weepy just thinking about my youngest being 5...

I made the dough for the donuts about an hour before the boys headed to bed. I couldn't tolerate the idea of all three of them hovering in the kitchen while I made donuts. As soon as they were all in bed I pulled out the risen dough and started rolling and cutting. While the the donuts were rising I cleaned up the kitchen and when i finished it was time to fry. In the end I made 42 donuts. Half are dipped in vanilla glaze and the other half are dipped in carob frosting.


Here's a photo of my sweet little boy sleeping his last night as a 4 year old~















DIY Deity Jewellery: Necklaces- Part 4
→ Arcanam: Worship of the Deity...

Modifying Ready-Made Jewellery
This year for Gaura Purnima I wanted to try something different than the typical beaded jewellery I always make. I like buying ready-made jewellery and it them apart for the beads and other pieces. This is really versatile for small deities as most of the ready-made jewellery available will not fit properly.
In this case, I used two necklaces purchased from a local Indian clothing store. The necklaces are basically made of jeweled pieces that have a hole on each end separated by beads on two strands of wire. I simply snipped the wires and removed the beads and jeweled pieces. I like to use these pieces individually as earrings for Radha Govindaji or nose rings Jagannatha and Baladeva.

The basic technique for Radharani's and Gaura Nitia's necklaces are the same as the Multi-Stranded Necklaces with two needles being used. The two holes in the jeweled pieces were used to weave the seed beads being around the jeweled pieces. Govindaji's necklace was simply made with a single needle and just beading around the single jeweled piece creating a pendant. Radharani's crown was also made using a similar jeweled piece along with wire and seed beads, detailed instructions for these crowns will be posted shortly.
More pictures of my deities from Gaura Purnima can be found here.

DIY Deity Jewellery: Necklaces- Part 4
→ Arcanam: Worship of the Deity...

Modifying Ready-Made Jewellery
This year for Gaura Purnima I wanted to try something different than the typical beaded jewellery I always make. I like buying ready-made jewellery and it them apart for the beads and other pieces. This is really versatile for small deities as most of the ready-made jewellery available will not fit properly.
In this case, I used two necklaces purchased from a local Indian clothing store. The necklaces are basically made of jeweled pieces that have a hole on each end separated by beads on two strands of wire. I simply snipped the wires and removed the beads and jeweled pieces. I like to use these pieces individually as earrings for Radha Govindaji or nose rings Jagannatha and Baladeva.

The basic technique for Radharani's and Gaura Nitia's necklaces are the same as the Multi-Stranded Necklaces with two needles being used. The two holes in the jeweled pieces were used to weave the seed beads being around the jeweled pieces. Govindaji's necklace was simply made with a single needle and just beading around the single jeweled piece creating a pendant. Radharani's crown was also made using a similar jeweled piece along with wire and seed beads, detailed instructions for these crowns will be posted shortly.
More pictures of my deities from Gaura Purnima can be found here.

Of Resolve and branches
→ Clouds.

Resolve a fickle entity you are
choose you I do duped by your exterior strength
of brick and stone you appear to be made
Rashly do I place you in my heart and mind

Little did my intelligence know
of the enmity between you and my heart
Senses chip away at those bricks
siding with my heart

O mind! I plead my case to you
heed my words that paint the future
our best interests is to reinforce these bricks
for all I want to do is to serve my guru...

Become my friend O mind
let us dwell not on these temporary branches
but on eternal topics that would
soothe the heart and senses.....Krishna.

Of Resolve and branches
→ Clouds.

Resolve a fickle entity you are
choose you I do duped by your exterior strength
of brick and stone you appear to be made
Rashly do I place you in my heart and mind

Little did my intelligence know
of the enmity between you and my heart
Senses chip away at those bricks
siding with my heart

O mind! I plead my case to you
heed my words that paint the future
our best interests is to reinforce these bricks
for all I want to do is to serve my guru...

Become my friend O mind
let us dwell not on these temporary branches
but on eternal topics that would
soothe the heart and senses.....Krishna.

Good night…
→ Clouds.

It is funny how we devotees always can find something to occupy ourselves with. If I was a karmi, staying here at the ayurvedic center I would have left screaming for being bored out of my mind. Benefits of being a devotee, Radha rati mataji and me are occupying ourselves with singing kirtans, reading the Bhagavatam (we have an aim to finish the first canto before we leave) and generally exchanging our realizations.

Last night I was particularly lamenting on my separation from Panihati Dham and the deities there. Deity worship is something that I miss truly from the core of my heart. You have to be a pujari to know what I'm talking about....a pujari who has no deities at the moment to serve. A small temple like Panihati dham where during the weekdays, it is just you and the deities....prabhupad singing softly in the main temple room, there is so much bliss that it really hurts knowing that it is highly impossible for me to go back to that kind of service.

Prabhupad's bhajans are the most soothing sounds in this world. Getting absorbed in Prabhupad's deep voice, removing Panihati candra's mukut pieces, scrubbing gopi dots off of Madan mohan, giving jagannath some fresh water for the night, sweeping and mopping the altar with some eucalyptus oil.....

Bringing in their beds....tucking Krishna's flute under his pillow...

"agaccha sayana-sthanam priyabhih saha kesava divya-puspatya-sayyayam sukham vihara madhava"
"Now come, O Kesava, along with Your beloved Srimati Radharani and Her friends, to the bed covered with transcendental, aromatic flowers. Now happily enjoy Your pastimes, O Madhava."

and then chanting the respectful mantras for everyone else , switch off the lights on the altar,
and then whisper a,
"Good night...".....and slowly tiptoe out the back locking the doors...

...until I see them the next morning glowing softly for Mangala arati....



So, Caitanya Mahāprabhu is very kind. Parama karuna, pahū dui jana. Two Lords, Nitāi-Gauracandra, Nityānanda Prabhu and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, They are very kind, you see? They have appeared just to reclaim the fallen souls of this age. So They are more kind than Krishna. Krishna, He is also very kind. He comes to deliver. But Kṛṣṇa demands that first of all surrender. Caitanya Mahāprabhu even does not demand surrender. He is so kind. (voice choking) So take shelter of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and be happy. Thank you very much. (weeping) (end)

-Srila Prabhupada, Arrival Address, February 28, 1975, Atlanta, Georgia.


You made Prabhupada weep...will I ever gaze at your merciful eyes again? scrub the chandan off your feet?....

Good night…
→ Clouds.

It is funny how we devotees always can find something to occupy ourselves with. If I was a karmi, staying here at the ayurvedic center I would have left screaming for being bored out of my mind. Benefits of being a devotee, Radha rati mataji and me are occupying ourselves with singing kirtans, reading the Bhagavatam (we have an aim to finish the first canto before we leave) and generally exchanging our realizations.

Last night I was particularly lamenting on my separation from Panihati Dham and the deities there. Deity worship is something that I miss truly from the core of my heart. You have to be a pujari to know what I'm talking about....a pujari who has no deities at the moment to serve. A small temple like Panihati dham where during the weekdays, it is just you and the deities....prabhupad singing softly in the main temple room, there is so much bliss that it really hurts knowing that it is highly impossible for me to go back to that kind of service.

Prabhupad's bhajans are the most soothing sounds in this world. Getting absorbed in Prabhupad's deep voice, removing Panihati candra's mukut pieces, scrubbing gopi dots off of Madan mohan, giving jagannath some fresh water for the night, sweeping and mopping the altar with some eucalyptus oil.....

Bringing in their beds....tucking Krishna's flute under his pillow...

"agaccha sayana-sthanam priyabhih saha kesava divya-puspatya-sayyayam sukham vihara madhava"
"Now come, O Kesava, along with Your beloved Srimati Radharani and Her friends, to the bed covered with transcendental, aromatic flowers. Now happily enjoy Your pastimes, O Madhava."

and then chanting the respectful mantras for everyone else , switch off the lights on the altar,
and then whisper a,
"Good night...".....and slowly tiptoe out the back locking the doors...

...until I see them the next morning glowing softly for Mangala arati....



So, Caitanya Mahāprabhu is very kind. Parama karuna, pahū dui jana. Two Lords, Nitāi-Gauracandra, Nityānanda Prabhu and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, They are very kind, you see? They have appeared just to reclaim the fallen souls of this age. So They are more kind than Krishna. Krishna, He is also very kind. He comes to deliver. But Kṛṣṇa demands that first of all surrender. Caitanya Mahāprabhu even does not demand surrender. He is so kind. (voice choking) So take shelter of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and be happy. Thank you very much. (weeping) (end)

-Srila Prabhupada, Arrival Address, February 28, 1975, Atlanta, Georgia.


You made Prabhupada weep...will I ever gaze at your merciful eyes again? scrub the chandan off your feet?....

A conversation overheard…
→ Clouds.







I am writing this sitting steps away from that Krishna
That Kanha whose lotus eyes are said to have been carved by Vishvakarma himself
Lotus eyes indeed! They look mesmerizing through Kanakadasa's window!
Feeling the breeze, hearing the melodious birds, leaves rustling

A conversation I overhear....





Radha: "Who taps on My door with one finger?"

Krsna: " O crooked girl, it is Madhava."
Radha: "Madhava is a name of spring. Has springtime come knocking on my door?"
Krsna: "Certainly not! It is the holder of the Sudarsana wheel"

Radha: "Potters hold wheels. Are you a potter?"
Krsna: "I am not. I am the person who holds up the entire world."
Radha: "The forked-tongue serpent king
, Ananta holds up the world. Are you he?"
Krsna: "No. I am the person who crushes serpents."

Radha: "The bird-king Garuda crushes serpents. Are you he?"
Krsna: "No! I am Lord Hari!!"


- Appreciating Sri Vrndavana Dhama, Mahanidhi Swami

How delightful right? :D

For those of you who haven't caught the clue, I am in Udupi right now... enjoying the peace, catching up on my reading!

P.S: Maha-abhishek was so intense an experience that I cannot put words to it. Mercy? The word just doesnt cover it for Gauranga....

A conversation overheard…
→ Clouds.







I am writing this sitting steps away from that Krishna
That Kanha whose lotus eyes are said to have been carved by Vishvakarma himself
Lotus eyes indeed! They look mesmerizing through Kanakadasa's window!
Feeling the breeze, hearing the melodious birds, leaves rustling

A conversation I overhear....





Radha: "Who taps on My door with one finger?"

Krsna: " O crooked girl, it is Madhava."
Radha: "Madhava is a name of spring. Has springtime come knocking on my door?"
Krsna: "Certainly not! It is the holder of the Sudarsana wheel"

Radha: "Potters hold wheels. Are you a potter?"
Krsna: "I am not. I am the person who holds up the entire world."
Radha: "The forked-tongue serpent king
, Ananta holds up the world. Are you he?"
Krsna: "No. I am the person who crushes serpents."

Radha: "The bird-king Garuda crushes serpents. Are you he?"
Krsna: "No! I am Lord Hari!!"


- Appreciating Sri Vrndavana Dhama, Mahanidhi Swami

How delightful right? :D

For those of you who haven't caught the clue, I am in Udupi right now... enjoying the peace, catching up on my reading!

P.S: Maha-abhishek was so intense an experience that I cannot put words to it. Mercy? The word just doesnt cover it for Gauranga....

Walking
→ Servant's Report

Now that I am living only four miles from the temple I sometimes walk home. It is a pleasant walk, mostly avoiding the main highways and taking a particularly nice country road surrounded by forest, farms and cows. You can hear the birds singing and see hawks flying overhead. You have time to think and appreciate the Lord’s amazing creation. When I am walking I imagine going back to a much simpler time where walking was the primary means of transport. How I wish I were back in that time again. Everything you need you can get to by foot. If you want to visit a friend or the doctor you just walk a few minutes. Or if you have to go to another town you walk for a couple of days, maybe a week, sleeping along the roadside or in a friendly person’s barn. I love being able to just get somewhere not depending on anything except my own two feet. No car and all of its hassles. No rides from others.

But these days it is practically impossible not to own a car. Maybe if you live in a big city like New York, but you are still dependent on public transport. I always wanted to travel around the country by foot. I felt that this would allow me to more fully understand my dependence on the Lord alone; how He is actually maintaining and supplying everything we need. Driving in a car I felt too much safety. Safety from the elements and from strangers. Ironically in so many ways driving is by far more dangerous. So it is simply a false sense of security, allowing us to hide away from our external fears and in doing so hide away from the basic activities of nature and living interaction.

Maybe one day we will run out of oil and be forced to go back to walking. Of course our towns will have to become localized again and then so will our community. In fact, this could allow for real community to form again, not the artificial or virtual one we experience today. I do long for that day.

Walking
→ Servant's Report

Now that I am living only four miles from the temple I sometimes walk home. It is a pleasant walk, mostly avoiding the main highways and taking a particularly nice country road surrounded by forest, farms and cows. You can hear the birds singing and see hawks flying overhead. You have time to think and appreciate the Lord’s amazing creation. When I am walking I imagine going back to a much simpler time where walking was the primary means of transport. How I wish I were back in that time again. Everything you need you can get to by foot. If you want to visit a friend or the doctor you just walk a few minutes. Or if you have to go to another town you walk for a couple of days, maybe a week, sleeping along the roadside or in a friendly person’s barn. I love being able to just get somewhere not depending on anything except my own two feet. No car and all of its hassles. No rides from others.

But these days it is practically impossible not to own a car. Maybe if you live in a big city like New York, but you are still dependent on public transport. I always wanted to travel around the country by foot. I felt that this would allow me to more fully understand my dependence on the Lord alone; how He is actually maintaining and supplying everything we need. Driving in a car I felt too much safety. Safety from the elements and from strangers. Ironically in so many ways driving is by far more dangerous. So it is simply a false sense of security, allowing us to hide away from our external fears and in doing so hide away from the basic activities of nature and living interaction.

Maybe one day we will run out of oil and be forced to go back to walking. Of course our towns will have to become localized again and then so will our community. In fact, this could allow for real community to form again, not the artificial or virtual one we experience today. I do long for that day.

100 Life Experiences
→ Living in the Material World

Stole this from my sister's blog.

RULES: There are 100 statements and you bold or distinctify the ones you have done. Grab it and play for yourself!! We have no idea what happened to #11...


*1. Started your own blog

*2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

*4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

*6. Given more than you can afford to charity.

*7. Been to Disneyland (tokyo disneyland counts, right?)

*8. Climbed a mountain.

*9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo

12. Visited Paris

*13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

*18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

*20. Slept in an overnight train

*21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitchhiked

23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

*29. Seen a total eclipse (solar)

*30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

*37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo's David

*41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

*45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48.Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

*51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

*53. Played in the mud

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

*60. Served at a soup kitchen

*61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching

*63. Got flowers for no reason

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

*69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

*70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten caviar.

72. Pieced a quilt

*73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

*84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible

*86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

*88. Had chicken pox

89. Saved someone's life

90. Sat on a jury

*91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

*93. Lost a loved one

*94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a lawsuit

*98. Owned a cell phone

*99. Been stung by a bee

*100. Read an entire book in one day

100 Life Experiences
→ Living in the Material World

Stole this from my sister's blog.

RULES: There are 100 statements and you bold or distinctify the ones you have done. Grab it and play for yourself!! We have no idea what happened to #11...


*1. Started your own blog

*2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

*4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

*6. Given more than you can afford to charity.

*7. Been to Disneyland (tokyo disneyland counts, right?)

*8. Climbed a mountain.

*9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo

12. Visited Paris

*13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

*18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

*20. Slept in an overnight train

*21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitchhiked

23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

*29. Seen a total eclipse (solar)

*30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

*37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo's David

*41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

*45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48.Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

*51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

*53. Played in the mud

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

*60. Served at a soup kitchen

*61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching

*63. Got flowers for no reason

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

*69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

*70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten caviar.

72. Pieced a quilt

*73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

*84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible

*86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

*88. Had chicken pox

89. Saved someone's life

90. Sat on a jury

*91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

*93. Lost a loved one

*94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a lawsuit

*98. Owned a cell phone

*99. Been stung by a bee

*100. Read an entire book in one day

Our dear sages…
→ Clouds.


I came across a picture this morning and immediately the first thing I thought about was this verse..
"Once, in a holy place in the forest of Naimiṣāraṇya, great sages headed by the sage Saunaka assembled to perform a great thousand-year sacrifice for the satisfaction of the Lord and His devotees."
Srila Prabhupada - "....The great sages are always anxious to do good to the people in general, and as such the sages headed by Śaunaka and others assembled at this holy place of Naimiṣāraṇya with a program of performing a great and continuous chain of sacrificial ceremonies. Forgetful men do not know the right path for peace and prosperity. However, the sages know it well, and therefore for the good of all men they are always anxious to perform acts which may bring about peace in the world. They are sincere friends to all living entities, and at the risk of great personal inconvenience they are always engaged in the service of the Lord for the good of all people...."
- Srimad Bhagavatam: 1.1.4


And today, we have our dear sages who are assembled at Sridham Mayapur with the same intentions....

Photo from H.H BB Govinda Swami Maharaj's facebook album

Iskcon guru-vrinda ki jai!

Our dear sages…
→ Clouds.


I came across a picture this morning and immediately the first thing I thought about was this verse..
"Once, in a holy place in the forest of Naimiṣāraṇya, great sages headed by the sage Saunaka assembled to perform a great thousand-year sacrifice for the satisfaction of the Lord and His devotees."
Srila Prabhupada - "....The great sages are always anxious to do good to the people in general, and as such the sages headed by Śaunaka and others assembled at this holy place of Naimiṣāraṇya with a program of performing a great and continuous chain of sacrificial ceremonies. Forgetful men do not know the right path for peace and prosperity. However, the sages know it well, and therefore for the good of all men they are always anxious to perform acts which may bring about peace in the world. They are sincere friends to all living entities, and at the risk of great personal inconvenience they are always engaged in the service of the Lord for the good of all people...."
- Srimad Bhagavatam: 1.1.4


And today, we have our dear sages who are assembled at Sridham Mayapur with the same intentions....

Photo from H.H BB Govinda Swami Maharaj's facebook album

Iskcon guru-vrinda ki jai!

Sri Sri Radha Manohara
→ Arcanam: Worship of the Deity...

I was fortunate to be able to visit ISKCON Montreal and have darshan of Sri Sri Radha Manohara. These life sized deities are stunning, I believe they are the largest Radha Krishna deities in North America. View the gallery below of lordships Sri Sri Radha Monahara, Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, Sri Sri Jagannatha, Balabhadra and Subhadra, as well as Sri Sri Gaura Nitai from ISKCON Ottawa.

Sri Sri Radha Manohara
→ Arcanam: Worship of the Deity...

I was fortunate to be able to visit ISKCON Montreal and have darshan of Sri Sri Radha Manohara. These life sized deities are stunning, I believe they are the largest Radha Krishna deities in North America. View the gallery below of lordships Sri Sri Radha Monahara, Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, Sri Sri Jagannatha, Balabhadra and Subhadra, as well as Sri Sri Gaura Nitai from ISKCON Ottawa.

Even More Pictures
→ Living in the Material World

When my husband came home from Japan we celebrated by making gyoza (dumplings). Rasaraj, always eager to help in the kitchen, cut up veggies and helped cook the filling. My husband brought us donuts from Japan as an extra special treat. The glazed donut in the picture below has sesame seeds on it and was the best one out of the whole selection he brought home. www.doughnutplant.jp
























Even More Pictures
→ Living in the Material World

When my husband came home from Japan we celebrated by making gyoza (dumplings). Rasaraj, always eager to help in the kitchen, cut up veggies and helped cook the filling. My husband brought us donuts from Japan as an extra special treat. The glazed donut in the picture below has sesame seeds on it and was the best one out of the whole selection he brought home. www.doughnutplant.jp