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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 […]

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 […]

The don’ts of bhakti, Part 2

Limbs sixteen to twenty are as follows: śokādy-avaśa-vartitā – not being controlled by lamentation. One may think that Vaiṣṇavas are hard-hearted because they may not easily be moved to displays of grief. But grief is not a sign of intelligence or advancement, it is a sign of foolishness […]

The don’ts of bhakti, Part 1

Limbs eleven to twenty are prohibitions or the dont’s of bhakti. They are as important 1 as the previous ten prescriptions. Here are the first five with comments. saṅga-tyāgo vidūreṇa bhagavad-vimukhair janaiḥ – giving up from far the company of those who are turned away from Bhagavān. This […]