Adventures in Humility

News, Views, and Chews on spiritual issues.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Parallel Gaura and Krishna lilas

I'm working on Caitanya Mahaprabhu at the moment so I'm looking through Caitanya Bhagavata for some brief notes to be included in that article.

I couldn't help noticing the strange parallel in Gaura-lila and other types of Avatara-lila; as irreligion increases on the earth and troubles afflict the devoted populace, they or the demigods register their complaints to the Lord (Vishnu) who then descends to relieve said afflictions. In the same way the devotees of Navadvipa were being oppressed by the nondevotee populace and regularly harassed for their worship, so they register their complaints to Advaita Acharya (combined avatar of MahaVishnu and Sadashiva). Interesting isn't it? smile.gif

That's where the parallel ends. We all know that Advaita Acharya (as a Mahavishnu aspect) could probably have carried out a mission on his own will, but he prayed intensely for the appearance of Mahaprabhu, svayam-bhagavan, to come and do it.

This is one of the deep mysteries that must be contemplated upon in the hope of finding a pleasing answer.


I'm also working on Tilaka. By the way, GKW has opened to the public. Read this, this and feel free to join! Because GKW (gkWiki) is still so small and many people may be unfamiliar with the specialised Wiki markup language, I would personally advise/recommend joining Wikipedia first and getting some practice by editing some pages there. At least that's what I did and I learnt some of the basic tricks so that my beginnings on gkWiki have been very smooth more or less. Madhava has tweaked a couple of things around to suit a localised Wiki and I would personally favour the use of Shortcuts for some of the important pages, but never mind all this technical stuff, just jump in if you want to!

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Krishna knows everything

So after reading Guha's Nectar of the Holy Name briefly, I've become pretty convinced about the merits of sankirtan, and this has been added to by some passages I've read where Sri Haridas Thakur glorifies loud chanting. In my heart I felt pretty bad because I rarely get the chance to indulge in much sankirtan these days. How times have changed! I used to serve in the temple room's crowd control system but now some younger guy has taken over (haha) and I have started helping out to serve the prasad. I like the prasad jobs but obviously they usually entail that I miss the arati/sankirtan. Sri Ananta das Babaji defines sankirtan as "many people coming together to sing and chant the holy names", or something like that as I was flicking through his Siksastakam book earlier today.

So I've felt briefly bad about the circumstances where I don't get much chances to sing anymore. I never actively thought about it nor did I vocalise them, but I guess it just briefly passed over my heart. I also haven't attended the temple for the last 4 weeks or so due to studies, work, extremely bad weather and relatives coming over to stay, so I've been feeling really frustrated about not even being able to go there, never mind do seva!

So today I went and had darshan of the Deities as is my usual practice, gazing upon Their lovely forms and Their beautiful faces, admiring Their being dressed in red and wishing that I had brought my camera along. And then as I turned to leave I glanced over the room to see who was singing and then, whaddya know, my mate Anup is trying to catch my attention and calling me over to play karatals! Of course I agreed (why not?) and so I sat down and played along to the kirtan.

And then I could have laughed my head off when I considered this strange turn of events; there I was engaging in sankirtan and playing karatals to boot! It made me realise that Krishna really is the Inner Overlord (even though He spends most of His time hiding from view) who can hear everything, our innermost desires, our longings, our grief, our troubles, our pleasures, our pains. Sometimes I feel strange and alone in that He does not hear my/our prayers leave alone answering them, but yet funny events like these really help to be solid. And what a nice welcome gift from Krishna after such a long absence from the temple!

Very strange of Anup to call me, we never exchange more than courteous greetings and he really doesn't know me from Adam, and yet he calls me over to play karatals? And what more, I thought I would have to leave the kirtan to do my usual duties of serving prasad, but my mate who's in charge of it passed by the temple room and indicated that I was not needed, so I got to stay playing along to the kirtan and even attended the full arati! In so long! And then I also got to handle the holy water-spray thing, gee what is that called? I really should learn.

But yes, how very nice of Krishna to arrange things in this way. Thanks Krishna!

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

New Editor of Gaudiya Kutir Wiki!

You're looking at the newest editor on Gaudiya Kutir Wiki! For some time I've wondered why the work has not progressed enough to contain articles on the main divinities and acharyas of our tradition, and only when I verbalised these thoughts was I offered the chance to contribute. So I took it up!

You can guess what my first contributions will be! Yes, of course, Caitanya Mahaprabhu! :-)