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    anādau saṁsāre kati naraka-bhogā na vihitāḥkiyanto brahmendrādy-atula-sukha-bhogāś ca nyakkṛtāḥ |tadāsminn ekasmin vapuṣi sukha-duḥkhe na gaṇayansadaiva śrī-vṛndāvanam akhila-sāraṁ bhaja sakhe ||

    In this beginning less world of repeated birth and death,
    how often have you not been condemned to suffer hell?
    And how many times have you not relished pleasures
    that eclipse even those of Brahma, Indra and the other gods? So, my friend, for just this one lifetime,
    give up all consideration of happiness or distress,
    and forever worship Sri Vrindavan,
    the essence of all things.


    In the previous verse, we traced the concept of Nature as manifest in Vrindavan, i.e., Vrindavan as archetypal Nature, seen as existing in the service of God, and thereby itself partaking of the sacred. The essence of the Vaishnava view is that of the non-difference of the Energy or Nature, and the Energetic, or God.

    As such, Nature is never looked at as separate from God, and the relation of humanity to nature is that of servant employing the things of world, the world itself, in the service of God.

    God’s pleasure is understood in terms of the realization of human fulfillment in all respects, but especially the realization of the human spiritual potential in love. After all, the foundation of the Hindu approach to life is to recognize its limited duration in this world and to seek transcendence, and in bhakti, love (prema) is said to be both the vehicle and the destination.

    The word sāra, or “essence” found at the end of this verse is particularly important for understanding the idea of archetypes. Whenever this word is used, it is an attempt at defining the ideal or archetypal characteristics of a thing. In the previous verse, Vrindavan was said to be the abode of all the sylvan virtues, which is to say that the essence of all the best or ideal things about a forest are to be found there. Thus it is the archetype of a forest. But here Prabodhananda Saraswati goes even further and says that it is the essence of all (akhila) things. It is the ultimate destination of the sāra-grāhī, the seeker of essences.


    Sāra is one of those words that Prabodhananda likes to repeat often in a single verse. In the following, there is a progressive hierarchy of ideas, each exceeding the previous, though all are true:
    sakala-vibhava-sāraṁ sarva-dharmaika-sāraṁsakala-bhajana-sāraṁ sarva-siddhy-eka-sāram |sakala-mahima-sāraṁ vastu vṛndāvanāntaḥsakala-madhurimāmbho-rāśi-sāraṁ vihāram ||

    Residing in Vrindavan is the substance
    that is the essence of all opulences;
    it is the single essence of all religious duties,
    it is the essence of all bhajan
    the single essence of all success,
    and the essence of all glories:
    It is the play of the Divine Couple
    that is the essence of all the oceans of divine sweetness. (VMA 17.85)

    Whenever a reference is made to essentiality, it should be understood as an appeal to the imagination to follow the path of experience to go to a place where any limitations of the phenomenal are eliminated and only the Perfect and Pure is left.

    This is a natural tendency in the human mind, and indeed, even when we speak negatively about any phenomenon whatsoever, recounting its imperfections, it is due to an implied, unstated, unspoken, unconscious or inchoate concept of some ideal. The via negativa, neti neti, is an essential part of the process of defining that ideal.

    The presence of ideal characteristics in an ordinary human being results in the ordinary human taking on archetypal qualities, which can have far-reaching consequences in human society.

    Transferring the archetypal qualities to a realm outside direct experience, i.e., the world of the imagination, is one way of protecting ourselves against falsely attributing transcendence to mundane phenomena. Thus, the play of the archetypes is the task of all literature.

    For Vaishnavas, the principal archetypes are all cataloged in different ways in books like Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi, and other works of poetics where, for example, different kinds of heroic personality types are listed. Because of the vast number of possibilities available to the imagination for ideal personality types, they are personified in particular forms.

    So, simply stated, in order to understand Radha and Krishna we are asked to find the essence of certain characteristics and qualities. Look at this verse from Govinda-līlāmṛta where Kaviraj Goswami uses the ornament known as viśeṣa to show how it works. When the essential qualities are so uniquely present in one object, it becomes more than just a general example of that thing, but takes on its own individual, archetypal character.

    nayana-yuga-vidhāne rādhikāyā vidhātrājagati madhura-sārāḥ sañcitāḥ sad-guṇā ye |bhuvi patita-tad-aṁśas tena sṛṣṭāny asārairbhramara-mṛga-cakorāmbhoja-mīnotpalāni ||

    “The Creator collected the essence of every beautiful object in the universe to make Radha’s eyes, and when the leftover portions fell to the ground they became the bumblebees, the chakoras, the fish, the lotuses and their finest species, the blue lotus.” (GLA 11.100)

    Bumblebees, chakoras, etc., are all used as similes for the beauty of eyes. Here is another GLA verse in the same vein:

    dṛṣṭvā rādhāṁ nipuṇa-vidhinā suṣṭhu kenāpi sṛṣṭāṁdhātā hrīlaḥ sadṛśam anayā yauvataṁ nirmimatsuḥ |sāraṁ cinvann asṛjad iha tat svasya sṛṣṭeḥ samāsyānaikāpy āsīd api tu samabhūt pūrva-sṛṣṭir nirarthā ||143||


    Lalita Sundari exclaims: Seeing Radha’s exquisite form, the Creator desired to make more beautiful women like her. But after collecting his best ingredients and employing his finest artistic ability—he became depressed; not one of them could match Radha! Thus ashamed, he thought: “The lotus and the moon are in no way comparable either!” Hence, just as one crosses out a misspelled word, the creator splotched the lotus with swarms of bees, and scribbled a deer-spot over the moon! (GLA 11.143-144)
    The word sāra appears over 80 times in the Vṛndāvana-mahimāmṛta. It also appears 30 times in Sudhā-nidhi (RRSN), a much shorter work. In the following verse, which might be considered the sāra of them all, Saraswatipada summarizes the description of Radha as the essence of all essences (akhila-sāra-sāra):

    lāvaṇya-sāra-rasa-sāra-sukhaika-sārekāruṇya-sāra-madhura-cchavi-rūpa-sāre |vaidagdhya-sāra-rati-keli-vilāsa-sārerādhābhidhe mama mano’khila-sāra-sāre ||

    May my thoughts always rest in the one named Radha,
    who is the essence of loveliness,
    the essence of rasa,
    the single essence of all happiness; who is the essence of compassion,
    the essence of all charming depictions of beauty,
    the essence of cleverness in the arts of love,
    the essence of amorous love-play,
    indeed, she is the essence of the best of everything. (RRSN 26).

    Meditation on Radha and Krishna, or on Vrindavan, is the work of the active imagination provoked by the words of the poet-acharyas. By searching out the ideal, we in fact search out God. The tendency towards the Ideal is the tendency towards God, even though for an ignorant person, it is sought out in material phenomena to inevitable failure and dissatisfaction, as Prabodhananda chastises his mind in the first two lines of this verse.


    We have focused here on the word sāra, but of course there are many other statements of the same sort using different language.

    In fact, if we examine the use of alaṅkāra, then we will see that practically all alaṅkāras — not only in the literature related to Radha and Krishna, but in all Sanskrit poetry and literature — are meant to push the imagination to an ideal beyond the best of everything, to admire a certain quality or attribute and to stretch it to infinity.

    Here are a couple more examples, this time in relation to bhakti itself, which is the process of extracting the essence. Let us start with what Narottam Das calls the essence of the practice of rāgānugā bhakti:

    manera smaraṇa prāṇa, madhura madhura dhāmayugala bilāsa smṛti sārasādhya sādhana ei, ihāra para āra nāhiei tattba sarba vidhi sāra
    “Meditation or remembrance (smaraṇa) is the life of the mind, an abode of ever-increasing sweetness; and the Divine Yugala’s loving dalliances are the very essence of such remembrance. This is the practice, this is the goal of the practice: this truth is the cream of all instruction.” (Prema-bhakti-candrikā, 62)

    Briefly: Since the essence of all meditative practices is to reduce the directedness of the mind to a single object, remembering Radha and Krishna’s pastimes is the essence of devotional practice. It is at the same time the end of the practice. Practices are either direct or indirect. When the practice is not different from the goal, that is called a direct practice. Therefore there is nothing beyond this. So reducing both the practice and the goal of the practice to their essence, one comes to prema bhakti. There is nothing beyond this.

  2. Site Admin
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    By Site Admin,

    В санскрите именуется аханкарой. Ложное эго есть ошибочное отождествление души с материей двумя способами: «Я» (как например, «Я есть это тело») и «Мое» («эта земля моя»).

    Первичное состояние ложного эго есть тамаса-буддхи, «разум, находящийся в неведении». Это происходит, когда духовная душа вступает в контакт с махад-брахманом, пограничной энергией. Тамаса-буддхи порождает три гуны материальной природы, они воплощаются в ум (гуна благости), чувства (гуна страсти) и объекты чувственного восприятия (гуна невежества). Аханкара отождествляет личность с одной из этих форм в соответствии с тем, какая из гун имеет наибольшее влияние (три гуны постоянно конкурируют в борьбе за руководство живым существом). Так личность, находящаяся под воздействием гуны благости, отождествляется с умом, гуны страсти — с чувствами, невежества — с объектами чувственного восприятия. Но все это результат тамаса-буддхи, первичного неведения — неведения Кришны.

    В Одиннадцатой песни «Шримад-Бхагаватам» Кришна говорит Уддхаве, что ложное эго является чид-ачин-маях, тем, что относится и к духу и к материи, потому что оно связывает между собой чид (имеющую сознание душу) с ачид (не имеющей сознания материей). Сущность ведического метода йоги состоит в культивировании исходной чистоты ума. Это кратко выражено в высказывании Кришны: «Умом можно управлять, если он сосредоточен на Личности Верховного Господа. Достигнув устойчивого состояния, разум освобождается от нечистых желаний. Когда гуна благости наберет силу, человек может полностью отвергнуть гуны страсти и невежества, а постепенно он сможет стать трансцендентным даже к гуне благости. Когда ум освобождается от топлива природы, огонь материального существования затухает. Тогда человек достигает трансцендентного уровня непосредственной связи с объектом медитации, Верховным Господом» («Шримад-Бхагаватам». 11.9.12). См. Буддхи, Сознание, Ум, Гуны материальной природы, Душа, Тонкое тело, Сверхдуша.

  3. Shrila Bhakti Gaurava Narasingha Swami

    On Thursday, January 2nd, 2020 at 1:31pm, corresponding with saptamī during the month of Pauṣa, Caitanyābda 534, our beloved Guru Mahārāja, Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Paramahamsa Parivrājakācārya Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Gaurava Narasiṅgha Mahārāja entered the eternal midday pastimes (madhyāhna-līlā) of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava. He was surrounded by his disciples, friends and well-wishers who were loudly singing the holy names. According to astrological calculations, Śrīla Guru Mahārāja departed at an auspicious moment, indicating that he is no longer a participant of this material realm.

    Śrīla Guru Mahārāja had been performing pastimes of illness for about five months while establishing an āśrama in Vermont, USA. During that time, he extended his mercy to many disciples and well-wishers, giving them final instructions and blessings. Although he experienced many physical disturbances, Śrīla Guru Mahārāja remained mentally alert and at the end of December 2019, he decided to return to Govindajī Gardens in India. How all this unfolded was nothing short of miraculous. Indeed, everyone that personally witnessed this could see the divine hand of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa at play. All the devotees of our mission are deeply indebted to Guru Mahārāja’s very dear friend, Śrīpāda Bhakti Abhaya Gosvāmī Mahārāja and Kuñjavihārī Prabhu, the object of Guru Mahārāja’s affection. Both these devotees performed outstanding guru-sevā during Śrīla Guru Mahārāja’s illness pastimes in Vermont. Gosvāmī Mahārāja and Kuñjavihārī Prabhu were able to bring Guru Mahārāja back to India against all odds. All the devotees in Vermont – Kalki, Mañjarī, Dāruka, Yogamāyā, Vāsudeva, Anaṅga, Bhakta-priya, Kṛṣṇa Kīrtana, Daniella, Līlā-smaraṇa, Vraja-kiśora, Vṛnda, as well as Hari Prasāda and family, all helped in so many ways to make this seemingly impossible journey a reality. Other devotees such as Prahlāda Prabhu and Anurādhā also contributed in many ways to serve Guru Mahārāja. Our humble daṇḍavats to all these Vaiṣṇavas and all the other innumerable devotees who helped.

    On returning to India, a group of devotees helped Kuñjavihāri serve Guru Mahārāja around the clock – Advaita Ācārya Prabhu, Gaura-Gopāla Prabhu, Rūpānuga Prabhu, Caitya-Guru Prabhu, Caitanya Dāsa Prabhu and Śyāma-kuṇḍa Prabhu. Our tireless Syāmasundara ‘Sevā-vigraha’ Prabhu also did tremendous service in organising so many important legal and managerial necessities. Guru Mahārāja's very dear godbrother Śrī Prema Kiśora Prabhu had also come with his wife Paṇḍita Mātājī, and he led kīrtana every night for the transcendental pleasure of Guru Mahārāja. We should also mention here the very important services rendered by Mukunda Prabhu, Thaldīpa Kṛṣṇa Prabhu, Muralī-Kṛṣṇa Prabhu, Yaśodā Mātājī, Dr. Phanimādhava and Dr. Rājendra.

    On the day of his disappearance from this mortal world, for about six hours, Śrīla Guru Mahārāja’s eyes remained open, without blinking. Then, five minutes before his departure, all his vital signs returned to normal again and at 1:31pm, his eyes closed for the last time.

    His transcendental form was bathed, he was dressed in new cloth and tilaka was applied in twelve places. Then the sannyasa-mantra was written on his chest and he was decorated with candana and flower garlands. At 6:30pm hundreds of people flocked to take his darśana, offering garlands and flowers at his lotus feet. For many hours, the devotees and many members of the public sat outside on the verandah of his bhajana-kuṭīra chanting the mahā-mantra. On hearing of his departure, many beautiful words of appreciation came from godbrothers, godsisters and admirers from all corners of the globe.

    The following morning at around 8:00am, Śrīla Guru Mahārāja was carried in procession from his room for darśana of Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrī Śrī Gaura-Rādhā-Mādhava, Jagannātha, Gaura-Gadādhara and Yoga-Narasiṁha. As his transcendental form came to Govardhana Hill, the bamboo under the basket he was being carried in, began to slip and the devotees carrying him were forced to put him down between Govardhana and Govinda Kuṇḍa while they fixed the bamboo. Those who are of keen spiritual intelligence will understand that this was no accident – it was indicative of the desire of our pūrvācāryas to find residence at the foot of Govardhana Hill where they engage in the nitya-sevā of the Divine Couple.

    His divine form was then lowered into the samādhi-pītha, where he was offered worship and naivedyam by Kuñjavihārī Prabhu. All the devotees then took antya-darśana (last darśana) of Śrīla Guru Mahārāja. After the samādhi-pītha was filled, a photo of Śrīla Guru Mahārāja was established and the first arati was offered by Syāmasundara Prabhu, during which time Gaura Gopāla Prabhu sang the newly composed samādhi ārati song for the pleasure of Guru Mahārāja and the devotees.

    For all his disciples and followers, Śrīla Guru Mahārāja was like a blazing sun, dissipating the darkness of ignorance. His articles, books and lectures are the invaluable legacy that have inspired devotees around the world, and will continue to do so for years to come. But now the sun of Śrīla Guru Mahārāja has set, and we, his followers, are drowning in a deep, dark ocean of intense pain and separation, bereft of shelter. We have lost our spiritual guide and our dearmost friend – the thought of never seeing him again in this lifetime has broken our hearts. We will never again be able to sit with him, discuss philosophy, laugh or honour prasādam together. Everything around us feels bleak and lifeless.

    śūnyāyate mahā-goṣṭhaṁ girīndro 'jagarāyate
    vyāghra-tuṇḍāyate kuṇḍaṁ jīvātu-rahitasya me

    “Now that I no longer have the preserver of my life, the land of Vraja has become desolate, Govardhana Hill has become like a great serpent, and Rādhā-kuṇḍa appears like the gaping mouth of a ferocious tiger.” (Prārthanāśraya-caturdaśaka, verse 11, by Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī)

    Our only consolation is that he is now with his Guardians, Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja and Śrīla Purī Mahārāja - either preaching with them on another plane, or with them in the green pastures of Vraja-bhūmi happily serving the Divine Couple, Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Dāmodara.

    He has left us with the priceless gift of devotional service and the treasure of Gauḍīya siddhānta, and all his sincere and dedicated followers will be able to find the strength that they require and attain his direct, personal association by faithfully adhering to his instructions and propagating them.

    Swami B.V. Giri


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