miércoles, 27 de enero de 2010

School Uniforms for Children in Vizianagaram

Sri Krishna

School Uniforms for Children in Vizianagaram

Dear friends and devotees,

Jaya Sita Rama. Please accept my humble pranams.

This month we were approached by Mr. Victor, the principal of Mandal Parishad Primary School in the rural village of Jonnavalasa, Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh. He heard of our ashram's food distribution programs in Vizianagaram and requested us to do something for the children in his school.

Already the children receive daily meals from the government, through the national mid-day meal program, so we asked in what way we could be of assistance. He replied that the children could use school uniforms, as their families cannot afford them.

Principal Victor wanted to make sure the school uniforms would fit properly, so he asked that each child be measured by a tailor and have a uniform stitched according to their particular measurements. That evening we went with Mr. Victor to the cloth market in Vizianagaram to select the cloth for the uniforms. After selecting the cloth we then arranged for a tailor to come the next day to the school for taking measurements and cutting the cloth.

On our website you can see some pictures of the children at the school. There were a total of 170 children, spanning grades 1 through 6. There is a short video from the day at the top of that page as well.

Afterwards Mr. Victor mentioned to us that two young girls at the school, around 7 years old, had recently become orphans. He requested us to do something to help them. We are currently looking into what we can do to best help these two children.

In the meantime our devotees have continued distributing food in rural villages around Vizianagaram for 15 days each month (every second day).

Yours in service,

Jahnava Nitai Das,
Bhaktivedanta Ashram &
Bhaktivedanta International Charities

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Some reflections on Radha's mana - Jagadananda Das






  1. Seva to Vrindavan, not Saving Vrindavan
  2. Mahābhāva (example from Ujjvala)
  3. GGM : Updates (Winter 2009-2010)
  4. Some reflections on Radha's mana

Seva to Vrindavan, not Saving Vrindavan

de Jagadananda Das, el Lunes, 8 de noviembre de 2010 a las 15:50

Jagadananda Das

We have made an unfortunate choice of words by saying, "Save Vrindavan." Vrindavan is eternal and IS the abode of sachchidananda ghana-yugala-vigraha Shri Shri Kishor Kishori. It is not in need of saving. So we should be saying "Serve Vrindavan." And of course, by serving Vrindavan we can save our souls and see the underlying true form of Vrindavan.


By closing our eyes and pretending that the problems do not exist, we miss the opportunity for seva. The dirty condition, the unconsciousness of the residents, etc., all provide opportunities for a very demanding level of seva.


Communicating effectively to those who need to hear is a complex, achintya bhedabheda task... as indeed is all preaching. Preaching is "education", leading out, making manifest what is the natural, ideal state of the individual.


Most Brajavasis DO want to see their homeland instated in its natural glory. Due to whatever reasons, they need support and sometimes guidance, and sometimes chastisement, but mostly support and encouragement. And doing it from a sense of superiority is, and always will be, counterproductive.


This is a service that takes great commitment, great humility and great bhakti. Don't think you can't save your soul by serving Vrindavan. Make your mind and Vrindavan one, and Radha-Krishna will appear there like a flame in dry tinder.


The complexities of the administration in Vrindavan are byzantine and a bit beyond my understanding. Current development is mostly the result of increasing prosperity in both private and public sectors. Recent infrastructure work has increased in large part as a result of large influxes of money from the Central and State governments, much of which came as part of the Commonwealth Games push.


The UP Gov't uses the Mathura-Vrindavan Development Authority (MVDA) to supervise most development in the area. There is also the Mathura district administration, which again is under the aegis of the Commissioner in Agra. So there are many players. We are doing what we can to make contact with all of them.


The primary motivation of the MVDA is economic development. They never saw a construction program they did not like, and for good reason. They are lucrative for everyone concerned. But in terms of planning, creating meaningful zoning restrictions, etc., they are largely indifferent, and local residents who are not part of the moneyed crowd are insufficiently consulted. This is the purpose of the BVHA: to create a common voice and to get that voice heard.


Construction is being pushed forward by ashram and temples with clients in Delhi and elsewhere (including foreigners) and by businesses who see a potential for clients amongst pious, well-to-do retirees. The other hope of UP Gov’t and MVDA, etc., is to create a mundane tourism market for Vrindavan.


Clearly, Vrindavan's natural and cultural heritage is the source of its attraction, no matter who the prospective “client.” Vrindavan's natural heritage needs to be enhanced by planting trees, getting it to an international standard of cleanliness, reducing pollution of all kinds, and bringing sanity to the vehicular traffic. Its cultural heritage needs to be enhanced through the preservation of old buildings and opening more areas to exclusively pedestrian traffic.


There is no reason why this cannot be done, with the cooperation of the Brajvasis. If they see that it is in their long term interest, they will support all the above ideas. The thing is that it is harder to get a large group of people affected by a general problem than it is for a small group of people with money to create big problems for everyone else.


A big part of my message here is that Western devotees need to get a little closer to the Braj mood and become a part of this effort, not as moralizing outsiders, but as humble comrades in seva. There is no more room for sectarian competitiveness in serving Vrindavan, any more than there is a place for nationalistic divisiveness in the efforts to stem global warming. Vrindavan belongs to all the devotees of Radha and Krishna, without exception.


Indeed, if looked at correctly, for Vaishnavas, Vrindavan is a microcosm of the Earth itself. We may not be able to save the world, but if we can do the needful in Vrindavan, that will be the proverbial root of the tree by which the entire world-tree is watered.


I hope all readers will offer support, both moral and material, to this important and immediate task.

Mahābhāva (example from Ujjvala)

de Jagadananda Das, el jueves, 15 de abril de 2010 a las 17:41

Jiva Goswami’s interpretation of mahābhāva is confirmed in his reading of Rupa Goswami’s example:

rādhāyā bhavataś ca citta-jatunī svedair vilāpya kramāt
yuñjann adri-nikuñja-kuñjara-pate nirdhūta-bheda-bhramam |
citrāya svayam anvarañjayad iha brahmāṇḍa-harmyodare
bhūyobhir nava-rāga-hiṅgula-bharaiḥ śṛṅgāra-kāruḥ kṛtī ||

The God of Love is a great craftsman:
he has taken the lac of Radha's soul and yours,
and melted them together with his perspiring heat.
O king of the elephants in the groves of Govardhan!
He has joined your souls together and washed away
any sense you had of difference between you.
Then, in order to paint the inner chambers
of the universal mansion, he added
yet more vermilion color to the mix. (UN 14.155)

There's a double meaning to this verse that is very difficult to convey.

The idea is that the God of Love is an artist who has joined Radha and Krishna's souls. The metaphor is that the artist is mixing paints in lac, adding vermilion to it so that he can paint the inside of the mansion of the universe. He has to melt the hard lac before he can add color to it.

Similarly, Radha and Krishna's hearts are like lac. Placing them in the fire of love (sveda means perspiration, which evokes actual lovemaking), and melts them together. Then he adds the red color (anurañj is the same verb that anurāga is derived from) with the "new vermilion red colored dye" (nava-rāga-hiṅgula-bharaiḥ).

This brings the ideas of both rāga and anurāga into the picture, as Jiva did with his interpretation of mahabhava. Still, the idea of yāvad-āśraya-vṛtti, that this love of Radha and Krishna extends into the universe is found in the words harmyodare--painting inside the belly of the universe. This is the way Vishwanath interpreted the mahābhāva definition--that this love expands to envelope everyone within the three worlds.


Now think: This is Rupa Goswami's vision. As he climbs the ladder of sthayi bhavas, going deeper and deeper into the deepest manifestations of Radha's love, he returns to a cosmological thought. Every living entity is an āśraya, a center of emotion and feeling, which is always outwardly directed. In Radha and Krishna, that emotion finds perfect mutuality, the ideal state of love, perfect harmony between two souls united in love.

That desire, the desire for that state of perfect, transcendent love, is what lies not only at the heart of every living being, making rasa itself possible, but it is the very essence of the universe.

Now, listen: Even the materialistic person, the demon, according to Bhagavad-Gita says the world has no other cause but desire. kim anyat kāma-haitukam. But Rupa Goswami's vision is so delightful. He sees desire itself as an expansion of Radha and Krishna, coloring all the paintings that make up this artistic universal creation, whose God is now the Navina Madana.

I say, "This is the way I want to see the universe."

Radhe Radhe!!

GGM : Updates (Winter 2009-2010)

de Jagadananda Das, el jueves, 25 de marzo de 2010 a las 6:51

Bhagavat-sandarbha, 3.0 version.

The fully revised Bhagavat-sandarbha has now been uploaded. I had the good fortune to get a copy of Puridas's edition of the Sandarbhas from Shrivatsa Goswami and also picked up a reprint of the Berhampore edition, so I have revised the source texts section here, with comments.

Puridas's edition purports to be a critical edition and he has noted and listed numerous alternate readings, which I have copied where significant. There were also several other important variants that I discovered. Unfortunately, I still cannot give 4.0 status to this document, but it well deserves the 3.0 status

The original text used for transcription was the one edited by Dr. Chinmayi Chatterjee (Calcutta: Jadavpur University, 1972). This was a great disappointment, I have to say, as it is not at all up to the standards of modern scholarship, as should be expected of a university. So many corrections, etc., had to be made that the entire edition was more or less useless, even for alternate readings. Some of the readings found there have been kept in the footnotes, however.

Subsequent corrections and the addition of Sarva-samvadini were made from--
  • (ed.) Kanailal Adhikari, Sri Mayapur: Gopinath Gaudiya Math, 1999. For comments on this edition, look here.
  • (ed.) Haridas Shastri, Vrindavan: Sri Gadai Gaurahari Press, 1983.
  • (ed.) Ashokakumar Bandyopadhyaya. Kolkata: Sanskrit Pustak Bhandar, 2009. This is an acknowledged reprint of the Berhampore edition.
  • (ed.) Shyamlal Hakim. Vrindavan: Harinam Sankirtan Press, 19xx.
  • (ed.) Puridas. Calcutta, 1951. A critical edition using numerous printed editions and manuscripts. A list of these is provided in the file itself.
The numbering system used in this edition has been changed from the two primary systems previously used, namely the one followed in the Berhampore edition and that followed by Puridas. A concordance is provided at the end of this file. Haridas Shastri and Shyamdas Hakim have used the Puridas edition, whereas the Jadavpur edition follows the Berhampore, as of course does Kanailal Adhikari. I suspect that the manuscripts are also numbered, but I had no opportunity to verify manuscripts.

On the whole, I believe that the major variants in the two families of manuscripts reflect the earlier Bengali edition (i.e., the edition of Bhagavat-sandarbha that was sent to Bengal with Shrinivas Acharya) and a later, revised edition that became extant in Vrindavan. Further work is still required reviewing the Puridas work, but this edition provides a general idea.

There are still some problems with Word's complex fonts program, which willy-nilly changes the formatting of the text to Arabic reverse direction, following laws that are known only to the Arabic programmers. You can solve this problem by cutting and repasting as text only, no formatting. Make sure that the language selected is English or some other non-complex font language. I believe the error began when I started naming my language as Sanskrit, but has proved very difficult to resolve.

On the whole, I am very happy to have gotten this on-line edition to this point of refinement and it reflects the objectives of this site very nicely. If other scholars do the kind of intense textual work that is necessary for translation and analysis of a text, and also makes that work available online, it will make future scholarship of Gaudiya Vaishnavism that much more reliable. This work was done in the course of editing Satya Narayan Dasji's translation of the Bhagavat-sandarbha, and will make it unnecessary to print the Sanskrit with the translation. Readers who are interested in the Sanskrit can download the GGM text and compare the translated version with the original, while those who are not need not have the extra 200 pages of printed paper to lug around.

Radhe Radhe!!


Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi with the commentary Rasa-kulya or Harilala Vyasa, Vol. I

Though the Radha-vallabha sampradaya has several commentaries of the Radha-sudha-nidhi, this one is generally accepted as being the most rasika and extensive. This is the complete version of the first volume, up to verse 135 (of 270). Interestingly, it seems that Harilal Vyas himself took a break of several years before continuing with the second volume--or simply that it took him several years to write. At this rate, it may take several years to get online also, just as it took Shyama Kunj several years to publish.

Harilal Vyasa's commentary was published in two volumes, of which I have only found the first. (ed.) Baba Kishori Sharan. Vrindavan : Shyama Kunj, 2024 Vikrama (=1968).

I have to say, I am particularly proud of this contribution, as one of my heartfelt objectives is to make a wider selection of texts from the different Vaishnava sampradayas available to students of the different manifestations of devotional culture, particularly in the Sanskrit language. So, that objective is being furthered here today.

As I have gone through this file, I have to say that there is a remarkable similarity of Radha-vallabhi language, etc., with that of the Gaudiyas. This is not to say that there individual distinctions are not significant, but it does bear some credence that the Radha-vallabhis were more closely connected to the Gaudiyas in their origins, and they continued to read, at least in their more learned circles, the works of Rupa Goswami.

In time, of course, these connections become looser and the individual expressions become more and more important. Nevertheless, there will be something to be gained by recognizing the similarities.

This commentary is particularly rich. Although it is not a systematic theology, it certainly provides material for the construction of one. Of course, the Radha Vallabhis are not greatly concerned by any of the theological questions that haunt the Vedantins, but certainly those that do concern them are dealt with extensively.

This edition is still in great need of a thorough revision. The original text itself is a bit of a mess--run on words, typographical errors, illogical punctuation, etc., etc. While typing, it is not always possible to properly examine every point of difficulty. Still, for the most part, quoted verses have been cross-referenced and clearly indicated. Hundreds of verses from the Bhagavatam, Vrindavana-mahimamrita, etc., are thus identified, etc. I have tried, at least on many of the verses, to highlight words that come from the verse when they appear in the commentary so that it is easier to follow the intention of the commentator. In the future, revised edition, this will be improved and carried over to all the verses.

The second volume is about half finished, so look forward to that. I will be looking around for other commentaries on RRSN to add them to our collection.

Radhe Radhe!

For further discussion, see the Forums.

Ishopanishad with commentary by Madhvacharya.

This is just a short text, but a harbinger of future directions that the GGM will go. I am eager to add the Madhva-bhashya on the Vedanta-sutras. You can see from this threadhere one of the important reasons why. It seems the NO Gaudiya commentator has bothered to thoroughly examine the citations from Madhva's commentary that found their way into Jiva Goswami's work. So making these texts available is an absolute necessity.

Note of course that most of Madhva's Bhagavata-tatparya can be found in the Bhagavata commentaries in the appropriate place. Now that Govindacharya Bannanje's Sarva-mula-grantha series is available to me, I would like to get that posted also, along with Bannanje's very helpful notes.

Still lots of work left to do on the Gaudiya Grantha Mandir!!

Some reflections on Radha's mana

de Jagadananda Das, el miércoles, 27 de enero de 2010 a las 12:33

This verse from the Ujjvala-nilamani keeps coming to me—

aher iva gatiH premNaH svabhAva-kuTilA bhavet
tasmAd dhetor ahetoz ca yUnor mAnam udaJcati

The path of love is as naturally crooked at that of a snake. Therefore lovers quarrel, sometimes with good reason, and sometimes for no reason at all. (UN 15.102)

This is the difference between Gaudiyas and Nityaviharis. The latter see no usefulness in mana from the point of view of rasa, whereas the Gaudiyas (a pox on them!!) do. Why? Because that is somehow at once an integral part of the essence of loving relationships, which have a permanent, innate dialectic in them.

The word mAna ("measure, weight" --> "self worth" --> "pride") has two different uses. One is the kind of frustrated anger and displeasure that is half explicable, half not, and seemingly causes a distance to grow between lovers. That is the meaning in Ujjvala-nilamani chapter 15.74-146. The other meaning, from chapter 14, is a sthayi-bhava, which in effect tries to explain the underlying reasons, based in love, that such manifestations take place.

In other words, mana is not just a lila, where Radha or Krishna stop talking to one another until one or the other one gives in and begs, “Please make it stop! Don’t push me to the breaking point! I can’t live without you.” At that point, Krishna prays, “Put your merciful feet on my head. I can’t take it any longer.” Rather, it is a particular state of love, which lies between sneha and pranaya.

Mana means pride, because love does not just mean losing your identity in the loved one. It also means finding value in yourself.

Rudra Bhatta says (and Rupa Goswami quotes):

snehaM vinA bhayaM na syAn nerSyA ca praNayaM vinA
tasmAn mAna-prakAro’yaM dvayoH prema-prakAzakaH

Without sneha, there would be no fear. Without pranaya, there would be no jealousy. Therefore mana reveals these two other states of love also (or, mana reveals the love of both nayaka and nayika). (UN 15.78)

Radha’s mana is durjaya-mana. She does not give in so easily, but eventually she has to. Because she is also needy. She needs Krishna, but she has to prove something. Before she can trust him, she needs to push the screws in deeper. It is a kind of torture, really. So how can anyone accept that Radha should be cruel to Krishna in that way? Only the Gaudiyas really seem to have a feeling for it.

But Rupa Goswami has an answer for those who don't, these Chandravali followers. Perhaps all men are conflicted a little between Chandravali and Radharani, though of course no one in the Gaudiya sampradaya will admit it. We accept without question Rupa Goswami’s edict: tayor apy ubhayor madhye radhika sarvathadhika, “Of Radha and Chandravali, Radha is superior in every respect.” (UN 4.2)

But men in this world are generally conflicted. Intellectually they want a Chandravali who will be submissive. At their worst, they are those Japanese sex-doll fetishists who keep lifesize, big-lipped, simulated flesh women piled up in a cupboard for immediate, unprotesting, sexual availability. The Nitya Vihara!!

These are the men who infantilize women in their fantasies, who in the extreme become pedophiles. This is what I mean when I condemn masculinity, when I say that raw and savage masculinity is by nature I-It consciousness and exceedingly troubled by the Other in any form.

When we condemn masculine religion, it means that religion which is in competition with other religions, which effortlessly and repeatedly turns God into an idol, an impersonal object, a purveyor of desire, subject to a subjective vision and not the object of objective vision and love.

But I digress: Radha is Krishna’s Other. And he must surrender. That is her power. And from her point of view that is not so much a conscious thing as the result of her loving attitude known as mana. Mana arises in Radha whenever she thinks she is being treated like a Chandravali.

If Krishna has been with Chandravali and comes to Radha, she naturally says, “Well if you think I am just another Chandravali, then what is the point? There already IS a Chandravali out there. As a matter of fact, not one, but countless Chandravalis. For a handsome and heroic chap like yourself, Chandravalis are a dime a dozen. So what do you want with me?”

But Chandravali is also a part of Radha. This is not some kind of sado-masochistic dominatrix lila with whips and black leather. The way the lila has been described, Krishna is one, but he is also two: there is the bahu-vallabha Krishna of the Bhagavatam, in whom the element of aisvarya remains. And the Radha-vigata-prana Krishna of the Gita Govinda, who gives up this indifferent supremacy and all-attractiveness to become the attracted one.

The point is that for Krishna to be fulfilled, he must transcend being the one who has sAdhAraNa-praNaya (GG 2.1), whose love is generalized, even the one who is samo'ham sarva-bhUteSu (Gita 9.29). The dialectic of love, the process of maturation, comes through commitment and surrender--even for Krishna. Otherwise love has no real meaning for Him.

mAno dadhAno vizrambhaM praNayaH procyate budhaiH

When the different feelings of mana take on the qualities of trust, then that is called pranaya. (UN 14.108)

The synthesis of the lila comes about through the earning of trust (vizrambha), which deepens the sense of intimacy that was originally established in sneha.


Forgive me, I prattle like a fool. The impersonalists say we cannot understand God by analogy, and yet that is the only way we can understand. We are told not to go too far with analogical thinking, and yet our acharyas have already gone too, too far.

Everything that glorifies Krishna's aishwarya--his omnipotence, his omniscience, his absolute transcendence--is true. And yet, the greatest mystery about Krishna is his madhurya, which is far more ineffable than his aishwarya, indeed you could say a far greater miracle of omnipotence--to be omnipotent, and yet somehow not.

And all that carries over into God's relationship with the jiva and creation. He controls everything, and yet somehow or other, the jiva is free to choose, to make decisions that determine his own fate.


Some relevant material from Govinda-lilamrita, chapter 13, shuka and shari quarrel.

antaH-kauTilya-mAlinyA bahir-vIkSaNa-raJjanAH
gopAlA bhAnty amI pakva-mahAkAla-phalopamAH 19

The Sharis say, ""Hey Shukas! All the cowherd boys outwardly look very nice like ripe makhala fruit, but inside, they’re just as bitter! That is because they are full of deception and trickery.”

vAmya-valkala-sanchannA dRDha-mAnAsthi-saMvRtA
nArikela-phalAnAM vA gopikAnAM rasa-sthitiH20
bahir-antaz caika-rUpA doSa-heyAMza-varjitA
drAkSA-phalotkarasyeva svAmino me rasa-sthitiH 21

The Shukas retort: “O Sharis! Although the gopis are sweet on the inside, they’re covered by an outer layer of orneriness, and then by tough shell of mana—just like the hard layers covering the sweet coconut meat. That is the the shape of rasa where they are concerned. But where Krishna is concerned, he is the same inside and out, without any flaw or wasted elements. He’s sweet inside and out, like a bunch of grapes.” (13.20-21)

antaH sadA rasa-mayo’pi bahiH samudyat-
mAnAkhya-yantraNam Rte na rasa-prado’sAv
ikSu-prakANDa iva vaH prabhur acyutAkhyaH 22

The Sharikas answer with a grin: “Oh Shukas! Your master may be rasamaya within, but his dishonest, pert behavior is coarse and knobbly like sugarcane bark. So, just as sugarcane juice isn’t available until the cane has been run through the juicing press, your rasika Krishna doesn’t supply any rasa until he's been run through the mill of the gopis’ mana! No wonder he is called achyuta!”

Achyuta meaning, not a drop of juice falls.



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How to Chant Sanskrit Verses - Jagadananda Das - jueves 21 de julio de 2011
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Gaudiya Vaishnava
Clarifications about my attitude to Iskcon and the... - mar 26
GGM : Updates (Winter 2009-2010), de Jagadananda D... - mar 27
Some reflections on Radha's mana - mar 27
Mahābhāva (example from Ujjvala) - abr 20
Clarifications about my attitude to Iskcon and the... - abr 08
Some Christian Prayers in Sanskrit - abr 08
Govardhana according to Vrinda Devi - abr 09
Govardhan Bhatta: Praises of Sri Rupa Goswami - abr 09
Govardhan Puja - http://www.news.vrindavantoday.org

Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya :: Five best verses - abr 09

Jagadananda Das - Notas - jun 18

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