The value of a crisis

From the Yoga of Dejection: pp. xxiv-xxv [sub-headings added by this author]: Misery wakes us from slumber Although no one welcomes misery, it should not be despised, nor should we allow ourselves to become bitter because of it. Misery comes of its own accord and actually has an […]

Rupa Goswami defines japa and kīrtana

Rupa Goswami defines japa in the Bhakti rasāmṛta sindhu (1.2.149-151) as follows: mantrasya sulaghūccāro japa ity abhidhīyate || Here, sulaghūccāraḥ = su + laghu + uccāraḥ. uccāraḥ means pronunciation. Laghu means light. Su-laghu is very very light, i.e. inaudible. The translation then is Inaudible chanting of the mantra […]

How not to chant the mahā-mantra

Maharajji answers questions in the Śrī Guru Darśanam, pp. 97-106 Question: What should I concentrate on during chanting? Should it be the sound, a certain deity or a description? Answer: When you chant, you are chanting the name. And you have to keep your mind on the name only and […]

Who is the ādi-guru?

[ādi-guru means the teacher of all teachers, or original teacher]. From Śrī Guru Darśanam, pp. 177 – 178 Question: Previously we have heard that Balarāma and Nityānanda are the ādiguru, and also that the guru is a manifestation of Śrimatī Rādhārāni. Is that true? Answer (by Maharajji): These […]

How the guru is and is not Kṛṣṇa

The concept of the guru is unique to Indian theology. Rupa Goswami quotes a famous verse spoken by Kṛṣṇa (Bhāgavatam 11.17.27) in the Bhakti rasamrta sindhu – “ācāryam mām vijānīyān nāvamanyeta karhicit | na martya-buddhyāsūyeta sarva-deva-mayo guruḥ || Know the ācārya to be my manifestation, and never disrespect […]