The New Face of Uncertainty
July 28, 2014 – 4:35 am | One Comment

As a species we have started to unshackle ourselves from the great behemoths of corporeal uncertainty. But, in the same stride we’ve attached ourselves to lesser, but more devilish concerns that keep evolving at a blistering pace.

Read the full story »
editorials

Lively, insightful commentary on contemporary issues facing spiritual practitioners.

reviews

Book, film, and audio reviews of contemporary Gaudiya media, as well as a wide variety of media of interest to the spiritually minded.

news

News from around the world with an emphasis on alternative press that is especially relevant to spiritual practitioners.

classroom

Excerpts from classical Gaudiya texts, with and without commentaries, hosted by teachers with whom readers can interact and ask questions.

philosophy

Philosophical articles on Gaudiya Vaisnavism that focus on the tradition’s scriptural conclusions as well as its feeling for the nature of ultimate reality.

philosophy »

A Living Sadhu
July 24, 2014 – 3:05 am | No Comment

images5IC9155Xby Srila Gaura Govinda Swami, from chapter six of Pariprasna: The Process of  Inquiry.

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada always emphasized that he was eternally present in his books, instructions, tapes, and letters. So when you say we should take association of a sadhu can we do that through Srila Prabhupada’s books?

Gaura Govinda Swami: If Prabhupada says he is there, then you try to see him, associate with him and listen from him. Do you see Prabhupada? Is he speaking to you?

Devotee: Through his books.

Gaura Govinda Swami: Through his books, yes. All sadhus speak through their books. Jiva Goswami, Rupa Goswami, Sanatana Goswami, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and Srila Prabhupada all say that they speak through books. This is not a new thing. This is our vaisnava procedure. But you should see him. Can you see Bhaktivinode Thakur? Can you see Jiva Goswami? You may say, “Oh I have read their books, I have their association.” That won’t help you. You cannot understand what they have said merely by reading their books. Your consciousness is very low, so you cannot understand their words. They are very, very merciful, but you should follow the proper path. If you are intelligent you will understand how they are still here, not only in the form of their books but also they are here. You should see them. Why are you thinking so foolishly? So many books were already there, so why has Srila Prabhupada said this? You are thinking, “We need only to read books. There is no need of association with a sadhu who is physically present. Is there any sadhu? No, there is no sadhu at all.”

Your motto is, “Seeing is believing.” You cannot see, so you cannot believe. Because you are a conditioned soul your vision is defective. You cannot see a sadhu.

Krsna is there, can you see him? No, you cannot, because you are not endowed with proper vision. First develop the proper vision and then you can see Krsna. Then you can see how a sadhu is there. It is not a fact that sadhus are not present. How is everything going on? How does the sun rise, the wind blow, and Indra give rain? All these things are going on. No sadhu? No Krsna? It’s nonsense, foolishness. We are so proud and puffed up. We are identifying our self as the body, mind and false ego. We think we are very great. So we say “Oh there is no sadhu.” We are in the category of identification with the body and mind. We have not come to the beginning of the stage of purity. No!

Devotee: So we have to associate with a living sadhu?

Gaura Govinda Swami: Definitely. There is always one there. But he is not a cheap person. Such a person is very rare. If you can get his mercy then you can see him. Otherwise, by your own effort and perception you cannot see him. No, no, no.

You always think that you are drasta, the seer, and that the sadhu is drsta, the one to be seen. Everyone is like this. They think they are the seers. But it is just the reverse. You are to be seen and they are the seer! Think this over very deeply. I think you cannot completely understand what I say. We always think that we are the seer and that they are to be seen, but this is not a fact. It is just the reverse. They are the seers and we are to be seen.

Devotee: How are we seen by the sadhu by our service?

Gaura  Govinda Swami: Yes. The sadhu is the seer. If he showers his mercy upon you, he sees you. If you receive that merciful glance then you are very fortunate. However, you are in the category of bodily consciousness. How can you have it?

Guru is the manifestation of the Supersoul, caitya-guru in the heart. He manifests a body and appears. He knows your heart.

Devotee: I don’t quite understand.

Gaura  Govinda Swami: Yes, try to understand. As I told you, just hear patiently. A new bhakta cannot understand it because it is a topic of the highest class. You are in pre-primary class, how can you understand? You are not even in the primary class. How can you understand this topic of the highest class? Just accept the bona fide authorities. That will help you. The teacher says, “Two plus two is four.” The primary school student accepts it. If the teacher asks the child, “What is two plus two?” The child will reply, “Two plus two is four.” “Why is two plus two four?” “My teacher says.” He will answer like this. That means he has accepted authority. This is the only principle in the beginning. How is two plus two four? Why not three or five? That will be explained in a higher mathematics class, not in the beginning. You have to have patience and get a promotion. My guru maharaj says in his purport that the beginning is purity of consciousness. First come to this beginning stage, then gradually other things will come up. You are not in the beginning stage so how will the higher topics come up? This is a very, very subtle and very deep philosophy.

Putting full faith in the sadhu you need only submissively hear—sravanam, sravanam, sravanam. In that way you can get the mercy of that sadhu. That will help you. Only one thing is required, nothing else—sravanam, sravanam, sravanam. Just hear. Serve that sadhu, please him, hear submissively, surrender yourself at his lotus feet and submissively ask questions. Out of mercy the sadhu will impart tattva-jnana to you.

This is the only process.

Unless you get association with a living sadhu, what can you do? Will you put some question to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Prabhupada will answer you? This process is a living thing, it is always there, it is always current. It is not that inquiry was done a certain way in the past and now things are done differently. No! It is an eternal process, pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya.

A Living Sadhu
July 24, 2014 – 3:05 am | No Comment
A Living Sadhu

This is not a new thing. This is our vaisnava procedure. But you should see him. Can you see Bhaktivinode Thakur? Can you see Jiva Goswami ?

Absolute Good
July 7, 2014 – 12:30 am | No Comment
Absolute Good

Don’t allow yourself to be a member of this physical world, the world of physical good and bad. Try to be aloof from physical relativity and be a member of the nirguna (transcendental) plane.

Vaisnava-ninda: Pure Vaisnavas are Above Criticism – Part 3
July 3, 2014 – 12:30 am | One Comment
Vaisnava-ninda: Pure Vaisnavas are Above Criticism – Part 3

“Pure Vaisnavas have no faults and therefore are above criticism.”

Vaisnava-ninda: Those Who Chant Namabhasa Are Not Vaisnavas – Part 2
June 30, 2014 – 12:30 am | No Comment
Vaisnava-ninda: Those Who Chant Namabhasa Are Not Vaisnavas – Part 2

Although the chanting of namabhasa can award any result, even up to emancipation from the material energy (mukti), the Vaisnava only chants suddha-nama and is never inclined to chant any form of namabhasa.