Bhakti Yoga-Devotional Service to the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna

Bhakti Yoga-Devotional Service to the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna
Gopis performing Devotional Service to the Lordships Sri Sri Radha Krishna

Archives

Your Commute Is Killing You


Your Commute Is Killing You

Long commutes cause obesity, neck pain, loneliness, divorce, stress, and insomnia.

Illustration by Robert Neubecker. Click image to expand. This week, researchers at Umea University in Sweden released a startling finding: Couples in which one partner commutes for longer than 45 minutes are 40 percent likelier to divorce. The Swedes could not say why. Perhaps long-distance commuters tend to be poorer or less educated, both conditions that make divorce more common. Perhaps long transit times exacerbate corrosive marital inequalities, with one partner overburdened by child care and the other overburdened by work. But perhaps the Swedes are just telling us something we all already know, which is that commuting is bad for you. Awful, in fact.

Commuting is a migraine-inducing life-suck—a mundane task about as pleasurable as assembling flat-pack furniture or getting your license renewed, and you have to do it every day. If you are commuting, you are not spending quality time with your loved ones. You are not exercising, doing challenging work, having sex, petting your dog, or playing with your kids (or your Wii). You are not doing any of the things that make human beings happy. Instead, you are getting nauseous on a bus, jostled on a train, or cut off in traffic.

In the past decade or so, researchers have produced a significant body of research measuring the dreadfulness of a long commute. People with long transit times suffer from disproportionate pain, stress, obesity, and dissatisfaction. The joy of living in a big, exurban house, or that extra income leftover from your cheap rent? It is almost certainly not worth it.

First, the research proves the most obvious point: We dislike commuting itself, finding it unpleasant and stressful. In 2006, Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and Princeton economist Alan Krueger surveyed 900 Texan women, asking them how much they enjoyed a number of common activities. Having sex came in first. Socializing after work came second. Commuting came in dead last. "Commuting in the morning appears particularly unpleasant," the researchers noted.

That unpleasantness seems to have a spillover effect: making us less happy in general. A survey conducted last year for the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, for instance, found that 40 percent of employees who spend more than 90 minutes getting home from work "experienced worry for much of the previous day." That number falls to 28 percent for those with "negligible" commutes of 10 minutes or less. Workers with very long commutes feel less rested and experience less "enjoyment," as well.

Long commutes also make us feel lonely. Robert Putnam, the famed Harvard political scientist and author of Bowling Alone, names long commuting times as one of the most robust predictors of social isolation. He posits that every 10 minutes spent commuting results in 10 percent fewer "social connections." Those social connections tend to make us feel happy and fulfilled.

Those stressful hours spent listening to drive-time radio do not merely make us less happy. They also make us less healthy. The Gallup survey, for instance, found that one in three workers with a 90-minute daily commute has recurrent neck or back problems. Our behaviors change as well, conspiring to make us less fit: When we spend more time commuting, we spend less time exercising and fixing ourselves meals at home.

According to research from Thomas James Christian of Brown University, each minute you commute is associated with "a 0.0257 minute exercise time reduction, a 0.0387 minute food preparation time reduction, and a 0.2205 minute sleep time reduction." It does not sound like much, but it adds up. Long commutes also tend to increase the chance that a worker will make "non-grocery food purchases"—buying things like fast food—and will shift into "lower-intensity" exercise.

It is commuting, not the total length of the workday, that matters, he found. Take a worker with a negligible commute and a 12-hour workday and a worker with an hourlong commute and a 10-hour workday. The former will have healthier habits than the latter, even though total time spent on the relatively stressful, unpleasant tasks is equal.

Plus, overall, people with long commutes are fatter, and national increases in commuting time are posited as one contributor to the obesity epidemic. Researchers at the University of California–Los Angeles, and Cal State–Long Beach, for instance, looked at the relationship between obesity and a number of lifestyle factors, such as physical activity. Vehicle-miles traveled had a stronger correlation with obesity than any other factor.

So, in summary: We hate commuting. It correlates with an increased risk of obesity, divorce, neck pain, stress, worry, and sleeplessness. It makes us eat worse and exercise less. Yet, we keep on doing it.

Indeed, average one-way commuting time has steadily crept up over the course of the past five decades, and now sits at 24 minutes (although we routinely under-report the time it really takes us to get to work). About one in six workers commutes for more than 45 minutes, each way. And about 3.5 million Americans commute a whopping 90 minutes each way—the so-called "extreme commuters," whose number has doubled since 1990, according to the Census Bureau. They collectively spend 164 billion minutes per year shuttling to and from work.

Why do people suffer through it? The answer mostly lies in a phrase forced on us by real-estate agents: "Drive until you qualify." Many of us work in towns or cities where houses are expensive. The further we move from work, the more house we can afford. Given the choice between a cramped two-bedroom apartment 10 minutes from work and a spacious four-bedroom house 45 minutes from it, we often elect the latter.

For decades, economists have been warning us that when we buy at a distance, we do not tend to take the cost of our own time into account. All the way back in 1965, for instance, the economist John Kain wrote, it is "crucial that, in making longer journeys to work, households incur larger costs in both time and money. Since time is a scarce commodity, workers should demand some compensation for the time they spend in commuting." But we tend not to, only taking the tradeoff between housing costs and transportation costs into question.

How much would we need to be compensated to make up for the hellish experience of a long commute? Two economists at the University of Zurich, Bruno Frey and Alois Stutzer, actually went about quantifying it, in a now famous 2004 paper entitled "Stress That Doesn't Pay: The Commuting Paradox." They found that for an extra hour of commuting time, you would need to be compensated with a massive 40 percent increase in salary to make it worthwhile.

But wait: Isn't the big house and the time to listen to the whole Dylan catalog worth something as well? Sure, researchers say, but not enough when it comes to the elusive metric of happiness. Given the choice between that cramped apartment and the big house, we focus on the tangible gains offered by the latter. We can see that extra bedroom. We want that extra bathtub. But we do not often use them. And we forget that additional time in the car is a constant, persistent, daily burden—if a relatively invisible one.

Do not take it lightly. People who say, "My commute is killing me!" are not exaggerators. They are realists.


Share/Bookmark

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Reflection

 
 

Sent to you by dinesh via Google Reader:

 
 

via .: Prabhupada Letters :. Anthology by letters on 27/05/11

1969 May 27: "Just like when you decorate your face, you do not see directly how your face has become beautiful, but when you see the reflection then indirectly you can see the beauty. By serving Krishna directly the result of the service indirectly comes to us."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

 
 

Things you can do from here:

 
 

Share/Bookmark

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

This Morning

 
 

Sent to you by dinesh via Google Reader:

 
 

via The Chipmunk by Balaram Das on 21/05/11

Radhanath Swami is back in town!


Jai Sri Krishna Balaram!


Balaram, chillin on the altar


The above was taken with the light metered to Balaram's turban, giving his face an extra-bright look.


 
 

Things you can do from here:

 
 

Share/Bookmark

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Radhanath Swami's Magic

 
 

Sent to you by dinesh via Google Reader:

 
 

via Seed of Devotion by Bhakti lata on 25/05/11

Over the past several days During Radhanath Swami's recent visit to Alachua, I have contrived so many reasons to keep my distance - he's too busy, I'm too mental and unqualified, etc.

My mind wants distance...

...but my soul wants closeness! Without fail, day after day, I am drawn irresistibly closer and closer to his beautiful presence, to listen closer to his beautiful kirtans, to soak in deeper his beautiful words... to laugh at his beautiful humor.

There is a saying, "We may forget what someone has said, we may even forget what someone has done, but we will never forget how someone made us feel." So while Radhanath Swami's words and actions guide my own words and actions on a daily basis, sometimes I forget all of that.

All I remember is how I feel when I am in his presence: bathed in purity. Inspired and at peace. 

This morning after Bhagavatam class, I simply walked up to him with a huge smile on my face; I expressed my gratitude for his class and his presence. I said, "I feel so grateful to be under your shelter, Maharaj,"  

He smiled in his effulgent way and said, "I feel grateful I got to serve you!"

I hope to serve him one day. 


Subscribe

 
 

Things you can do from here:

 
 

Share/Bookmark

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

GEESE LESSON FOR A CARING COMMUNITY

 
 

Sent to you by dinesh via Google Reader:

 
 

via Gita Coaching by akrura@gmail.com on 30/05/11


As each bird flaps its wings it creates an uplift for the bird following. By flying in a "V" formation the whole flock provides 71% better range than flying alone. There is a power in the collective work. People who share a common direction and sense of community can reach their destination quicker and easier, travelling on the thrust of each other.

Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it immediately feels the drag and quickly gets back in to the draft of the nearest goose. If we had as much sense as a goose, we would stay in formation with those who are heading where we want to go. Sometimes the leading goose gets tired and rotates back into formation for another to take over. Take turns in leadership. Share leadership.

Be interpendent on each other's skills, knowledge, and qualities. Geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up the speed. Make sure your honking from behind is encouraging, not discouraging.

ENCOURAGE - coeur means "heart" in french.

Whenever a goose gets sick, wounded or shot, two geese fall out of the formation to go with one to protect, help it and stay it until it can fly again, or until it dies. They then launch out to join another formation or rejoin their original flock.

 
 

Things you can do from here:

 
 

Share/Bookmark

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

USE IGNORANCE FOR YOUR SUCCESS

 
 

Sent to you by dinesh via Google Reader:

 
 

via Gita Coaching by akrura@gmail.com on 30/05/11


"I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my spiritual master opened my eyes with the torch of knowledge."

- Rupa Gosvami

Understanding that we don't know makes us open to learning more and to learning new things that will help us progress.

If one is open to learn he is more likely to be successful.

Learning means getting knowledge.

And knowledge means sattva - goodness and enlightenment.

Getting knowledge means getting more intelligence.

If you think that education is expensive (time-wise, money-wise, energy-wise), try ignorance.

But if you dedicate yourself to lifelong learning, you will know more and more and get better and better in all areas.

Are you open to learning?

Are you ready to learn what you need to learn in order to make progress?

Are you ready to look for the right people from whom you will learn?

 
 

Things you can do from here:

 
 

Share/Bookmark

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

WHAT IS KARMA?

 
 

Sent to you by dinesh via Google Reader:

 
 

via Gita Coaching by akrura@gmail.com on 30/05/11


From time immemorial we are suffering or enjoying the fruits of our activities.

For instance, if I am a businessman and have worked very hard and very smart and have earned a great amount of money, then I am an enjoyer.

But if I lose all my money, I am a sufferer.

Similarly, in every field of life we enjoy the results of our work, or we suffer the results of our work.

This is called karma.

Although we are suffering or enjoying the results of our activities, we can change the results, and this change depends on the quality of our knowledge.

We are engaged in various activities but we do not know what sort of activities we should take on in order to gain relief from the reactions of these activities.

These activities can be changed when we are in goodness, when we are in sanity, and understands what sort of activities we should perform.

This is explained in detail in the great book of wisdom, Bhagavad-gita.

 
 

Things you can do from here:

 
 

Share/Bookmark

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

KKSblog.com - The Amazing Power of Devotional Service!



KKSblog.com - The Amazing Power of Devotional Service!


The Amazing Power of Devotional Service!

Posted: 30 May 2011 03:34 PM PDT

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 2002)

We tend to think about fair and unfair because of our childish nature…children they think like that – fair or unfair, but actually as we are maturing in Krishna Consciousness we begin to realise that everything is fair!

The thing is that Krishna cannot resist devotional service! That is a fact! So therefore, we do not need to worry about fair and unfair – Krishna cannot resist devotional service, so we have it in our own hands, and so through devotional service one can attract Krishna. That is the meaning of the word 'Hare' – it can steal away Krishna – it can attract Krishna! Madana-mohana-mohinī …Srimati Radharani can even attract the attractor of all – Krishna. So those who follow in the footsteps of her and serve Krishna, can attract Krishna. Krishna cannot resist. So we can bring Krishna and we can control Krishna by devotional service – that is the amazing power of devotional service!

Gurudev

Posted: 30 May 2011 09:53 AM PDT

 

Hare Krishna dear devotees!

I dare to put here a short slideshow with glorification of our Gurumaharaj, that I presented to Him as this year's offering. Gurudev has already tasted it, so don't hesitate and take it as prasadam:)

Click below to see it:

GURUDEV


Share/Bookmark

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Constructing a bridge across the lake with floating stones!


Share/Bookmark

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Pearls Sprouting-Little Krishna


Share/Bookmark

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

KKSblog.com - They show us the way


KKSblog.com - They show us the way


They show us the way

Posted: 29 May 2011 11:25 AM PDT

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Durban – South Africa, April 2011)

We are always looking for the shelter, the shelter of the Vaisnavas.  But not only are these Vaisnavas there to bring us inspiration in the form of wonderful experience that brings great feeling that emerge from our heart, but also that the Vaisnava has come and will show us the way.

Srila Prabhupada travelled around the world tirelessly, 14 times in 11 years, in his old age.  And in those 14 times it is sometimes amazing to hear how much impact he had upon the life of someone who only met him very shortly.  I always meet people around the world who say, "I was there when Prabhupada came and gave a lecture and I heard the lecture…"  And it shows it has touched their lives and they've actually become devotees because of it and for their whole life they're taking inspiration from that meeting.  So undoubtedly, just the personal presence of a great Vaisnava can uplift us so much.

But then there is so much more, and that is there in the instructions.  There is Vapu and Vani.  There is the personal presence and there is vani – these are the instructions.  And the instructions of the spiritual master, it is said, are most potent because Srila Prabhupada says in the dedication of Srimad Bhagavatam: "He lives forever in his instructions and the follower lives with him."  And that is very profound, because within the instructions, Srila Prabhupada is forever present, and the follower lives with him also, in the eternal plane, equally so.  And therefore, it is these instructions that are so important.  These instructions are like the network that can save us when we are falling, when we are falling due to the harshness of the material nature.

You are subscribed to email updates from kksblog.com
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
Email delivery powered by Google
Google Inc., 20 West Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610



--
Yours
Dinesh

Share/Bookmark

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

BHAGAVAD GITA – THE ULTIMATE SUCCESS BOOK

 
 

Sent to you by dinesh via Google Reader:

 
 

via Gita Coaching by akrura@gmail.com on 5/26/11



Ljubljana, Slovenia

Here I would like to show you how Bhagavad Gita can help you attain success in all important areas of your life.

LION

I will start with a little story about a lion - the king of a jungle. Once a lion was walking in the forest and he came across a monkey.

He asked the monkey, "Monkey, who is the king of the jungle?"

The monkey said, "You are sir."

"That's right - and you never forget it!" Then he continued, and came across the snake.

"Snake! Who is the king of the jungle?!"

"You are sir."

"That's right - and you never forget it!"

Then he came across the elephant, "Elephant, who is the king of the jungle?" - and the elephant just walked by.

The lion got upset. "Elephant, who is the king of the jungle?!"

Elephant just ignored him. And then third time when he asked, the lion got so angry that he actually bit the elephant, and the elephant got angry himself, and took him with his trunk and smashed him several times and threw him against the trunk of a tree.

Then the lion said, "Wait, wait! You don't have to get so angry with me just because you don't know the right answer."

The moral of the story is that there is always someone higher than me.

WHAT IS SUCCESS?

When you look at your life, what would you consider a success? What is success?

Do you want to be successful on the path devotional service, in spiritual life? Is this the only thing you want to be successful in? Or is there something else? Would like to have a financial success?
Think about it.

Although we are practicing spiritual life we need money to survive. And money, if not misused, is not bad. That's also one area in which you need to be successful in order to function.

Of course if you want to take to spiritual life you don't need so much money and even if you are poor you can practice spiritual life successfully and effectively. But one reason why we need more money is also because we want to spread Krishna consciousness. We want to print more books, we want to open more centres and in that way facilitate people's spiritual life.

So some people want to be successful in relationships, some people want all these areas. I would say success for us is being successful in all these areas. Being successful in relationships with other people, being successful financially, and being healthy. If you neglect one of these areas, it affects other areas. There has to be a balance. This is a big thing now in the professional/business world: work-life balance.

You are working 12 hours a day, you come home very much irritated. Your wife/husband says something and there is a clash. Then you suffer mentally or emotionally; you get a heart attack. So there must be a balance. And for a balance there must be knowledge how to balance, there must be determination to do it and patience. One needs so many things in order to have this balance.

THE BHAGAVAD GITA

The Bhagavad Gita transformed my life and the lives of hundreds of people I know all over the world, my friends and acquaintances. In order to benefit from this book and what is in it, we at least have to give it a chance and be a little open. Of course most of you are devotees, most of you are practising very seriously and you are open but are you getting the most out of this book?

Some of you have seen small books in a market. Nowadays they try to make it very practical, very short, because people do not have so much time to read. They also give you instructions how to get the most out of the book. We should also have a leaflet and give people instructions about how to get the most out of the Bhagavad Gita.

This could inspire them to you it for their own benefit. In order to benefit from this book we first have to be open to it. You may say, "Well I already read it," but are you really open? So how many of you are ready to be open to the Bhagavad Gita?

This book deals with very important questions in our life. What are the important questions in your life? What would you say?

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

"How can I be happy by giving a contribution? How can I be happy by giving?"

That's nice.

What other questions are important to you?

We could say that for every one of us, the question that is important is: how can I get what I want? If we get more specific then you can say how can I get this, how can I get that? But that is a very important question to ask.

In order to be able to ask this question, you have to ask yourself another question first.

What is the question before the question "how can I get what I want"?

"What do I want?"

That's a great question in our lives! What is it that I really want? If you clarify what you want then there is a probability or likelihood that you will start working on it and maybe ultimately get it.

How many of you know what you want in life? What is it that you want the most? What is it that you want in general, what is it that you want long-term, what is it that you want short-term?

The beginning of success is to decide what you want.

HOW TO BENEFIT FROM THE BHAGAVAD GITA

Do you want to benefit from this book? Do you want to learn what is in it? Do you want to use it? It is up to you.

If you do not want it, even if you read it, it will not help you. There are two people sitting in the audience listening to maybe some inspirational class who are very wise, who have a very nice wisdom and they react differently to it. One person takes the principles and tools that he or she learns and makes a huge success of his or her life and another does nothing, does not use it. So you can decide in which category you want to be in. Do you want to use things that are given to you for your success or you want to remain indifferent? It is up to you. This book is not very useful if you do not use it.

Sometimes I send free e-books to people. If you want me to send you a free e-book, I have very good books with very good principles. You just e-mail me. But if send you the Gita, you will get a note from me that says: "This book is useless if you do not read it!"

Morever, this book is even more useless if you do not use it, if you do not apply it. And this is where we need assistance: how to apply the principles of the Gita. So that is why we need the help of devotees. They help us to apply the Bhagavad Gita in our lives.

ATTITUDE

Do you know what are the three most dangerous words in English?

"I know everything."

Yes! Fantastic! "I know everything" or "I know that".

You come to a class and somebody like me is giving a boring class and you are saying, "Yeah Yeah I've heard this already and I know that we are not this body and when is prasadam …"

If you think "I know that"', you will never learn anything.

Just a few hours ago a devotee came to our center and we asked him, "Why you are coming here?" and he said, "I came here to learn something."

So if we think "I know that," we will never learn anything. Better attitude is, "I have no idea, I do not know anything." The most knowledgeable and the wisest people of this planet will say that they know very little.

Now, how will you know if you know something? Practically. What will be the proof that you know something?

You know something only if you live it. Not only if you say it, or if you have heard it, or if you agree with it, or if you believe it.

So if we know the Bhagavad Gita but we do not live it, then we do not know it! And the worst thing of all is that we do not benefit from it. That is the worst thing.

It takes a lot of repetition to learn things. Some people learn more quickly than others but we need to be very patient in repeating things and repeating the activities, until it becomes unconscious competence - where you do things perfectly and automatically.

So for this one requires a lot of practice. If you learn a principle from here, try to apply it, then you have a practice. As it is said, practice makes perfect. We attempt to become good at something and then we give up after a few attempts. Some people give up after one attempt, some people even before they have attempted they say, "I can't do it."

HOW SOON YOU GIVE UP?

So how will they be successful if they give up even before they have tried? Have you had an experience of giving up even before you have even tried?

Let us say I ask some of you, "Tomorrow you are going to give a lecture in public at Dublin University." What would you say about Krishna?

I can imagine some would say - no way! Why? You think you cannot do it?

"Maybe I can do it but my English is not so perfect, if they ask me some provocative questions my face will go red so I can't do it."

So they did not even try, they did not even give themselves a chance to try. So similarly if I say can you chant one round a day and you say, "I can't do it." Immediately giving up. So these are the principles of failure. Opposite of this is success: when you are ready to try.

I teach people, "You come to me and tell me that something does not work, only when you have tried it 108 times first." and they say, "Wow, I never thought like this."

Do you know about Edison and his attempts to try to invent the light bulb?

Before Edison invented the right one he discovered 10,000 ways that did not work. When he was on the 5,000 attempt a journalist interviewed him and said, "Mr Edison why are you wasting time, you are wasting people's time and national resources?" And he said "Young man, you do not understand how things work. I have not failed 5,000 times, I have just discovered 5,000 ways that do not work and I am going to succeed." And he succeeded. That is called persistence.

So if you are maybe not too successful in your spiritual life, do not give up. Do not give up. Just keep on trying. There is a famous saying, "If at first you do not succeed try again."

That is the common one but I have another one: if at first you do not succeed, ask yourself why. That can help because you can find the causes for not succeeding. Not just like a bull trying to go through the wall! "Okay I will be persistent like anything." Be more intelligent about the way you are going about being persistent.

When your mind tells you "I know that," you can tell your mind, "Thank you for sharing," and then you move on to learn something. Be open to learning. This is the principle of success.

HIGH CHARACTER

I wanted to teach you some more principles and elements of success. As they say there are inner laws of success and they are described in the Bhagavad Gita. One of these laws is that it is not enough to be in the right place at the right time, you also have to be the right person, to be in the right place at the right time, in order to be successful. So this means that one has to have the right character, the right attitude. That is described in the Bhagavad Gita.

Am I doing what successful people do? Successful people are self-disciplined and unsuccessful people are not self-disciplined. They say, "Well I would also like to be rich,"

But are you ready to do what this rich person does?

"Well, I don't know, it's too hard."

How many of you want to be successful? (Many would say "I".)

Now the difficult question comes: how many of you are ready to pay the price for success?

Many people want to be successful but they are not ready to pay the price for success. So in order to start our road to success, helped with the Bhagavad Gita, we have to ask ourselves some basic questions.

Who are you? What are your beliefs? What are your values? What do you stand for? What are you ready to die for? What are you ready to sacrifice for? Are you ready to act in spite of fear? Are you ready to act in spite of doubt? Are you ready act in spite of anxiety or worry? Are you ready to persist?

If we analyse the lives of those who are successful whether spiritually or materially, we can see that there are some character traits that they have. They are very determined, they are usually moral people, they like to give, they like to help others. These are universal laws of success also given in the Bhagavad Gita. If we follow in the footsteps of those who are successful, we can become successful and it is up to us, it is our choice if we want to do it.

How many of you believe that your inner character will make a big difference in your life and bring you to success?

Bhagavad Gita helps us develop our character. Prabhupada was always proudly speaking about what we are doing for society - we are actually training people of high character. He would always say: they do not eat meat, they do not take intoxication, they do not gamble, they do not have illicit sex. These are the basic principles for a good character and human life but there are other things also.

Study of the Gita is not meant for the recreation of armchair speculators, but for the formation of character.

If you want your life to get better, YOU have to get better. You cannot remain the same or continue doing the same things and expect different results. That is just the law of nature or law of God.

So Bhagavad Gita is giving us very basic principles about how we should develop ourselves, how we should grow. Without growing our life will not be very productive.

ROOTS AND FRUITS

Now just imagine, you have a tree here and there are different fruits. Here is a trunk, branches and roots. So usually when people look at a tree what do they look at?

Fruits. Like nice apples, bananas, guavas. In order to get these fruits what do you have to do with the tree? Water the roots.

So this is what is in the Bhagavad Gita: how to water the roots and ensure you get fruits. But if you do not water the roots there will be no fruits. This is just the law of nature. This is what Bhagavad Gita is teaching us: how to create conditions for your success. And there is a law that if you know it and if you follow it, there will be no failure, you cannot fail.

So this is a very important principle to understand, that if I want to be successful in any area, I have to learn how to do it. Sometimes people come to me and say they want to achieve something. I say do you know how to do it? No.

So what is the next natural question? How to do it! But even before this, the question is: are you willing to learn?

You can learn almost anything if you decide to, how to do things and how to achieve success but are you willing to learn? Are you willing to learn how to become a first-class devotee? Are you willing to learn how to become a successful businessman?

In London we had a meeting amongst our temple leaders, they are mainly managers and our president was teaching us principles of success. He says he was studying turnaround experts. When you come to a company that is in crisis and you analyse what is wrong and how to turn round the whole financial crisis, the common thing they notice is that somewhere at the top there is conflict. There are strained relationships and it shows up in lack of profits. It is a practical consequence.

If you want to have a good relationship with other people, communicate with them, do not avoid them. How can you have a good relationship by not communicating? It is impossible. By not communicating that you care about people, that you value their opinion, you cannot develop a good relationship.

Successful paople do certain things that unsuccessful people do not do. Look at devotees: who is a successful devotee for you and what do they do? You can learn from them.

If you look at the tree, the roots are actually below the ground level, you do not see them. So many people are unsuccessful because they are unconscious. They just deal with what they see. But they do not deal with what is unseen. For example you cannot always see motives of people. Like somebody has a hidden agenda or hidden motives, only later on it becomes obvious that they had a very dubious motive.

CAUSE AND EFFECT

If somebody is curious: what will actually make them successful, what will be the cause of the good effect that I want? We live in a world of cause and effect. Action and reaction. Law of karma. So what are the things that will be the causes of good results? There is a law behind it.

We may say that my life is a product of luck, or of of destiny. That is not true. You mainly can create your own life. You can influence your destiny. To some extent it is true but you can affect it positively. Like if you started to chant Hare Krishna, your karma decreases. Large parts are wiped out. Everybody would like this, especially if the karma is bad.

What are the unseen forces, unseen laws, unseen causes of the visible, tangible effects? That is also explained in the Bhagavad Gita. What are these rules that will bring these wonderful fruits? Would like to have a financial success? In the physical world we see something manifested but what is behind it?

EGG

imagine there is a newspaper article, which says, "A great breakthrough – the chicken has come out of the egg." It has broken out of the shell and it is so amazing. And someone might think it is wonderful, but what happened before that, you tell me? What happened before the chicken has come out of the egg?

There is one thing that we know. That the chicken really endeavours to get out of the egg. You see only the end result that this is so wonderful, but there was hard work before that. Similarly, there is one very famous teacher who analysed the best companies in the world but you would be shocked that these companies are not so famous. He analysed their success over the period of thirty years and they are still successful, like Gillette. They measured profits, turnover. They analysed how they have become successful and they said that they have become successful between the period 1960 and 1990. Over 30 years they are working extremely hard to build up this company, every part of this; the management and leadership.

The thing that we can learn from this is that success does not come overnight. One has to work over a period of time and one has to be patient also. The fruits we see in the physical world but the roots are actually in the spiritual area and the emotional area, what is in the mind.

WHERE THE SUCCESS STARTS?

In the London fitness club there is a sign on the wall which says, "The extra mile is between your ears." The way you think affects the results you have in your life. So if you change your thinking, if you change your consciousness, your life will change and your results will change.

One thing that unsuccessful people do is - they make excuses. So my question to you is: do you want to have excuses or results in your life?

You can become expert in making excuses. Maybe you are already an expert. What are your top ten excuses or top one excuse for why you are not the best you can be, or why you are not achieving better results?

"I do not have enough time."

Nice, that is a classic one.

"It is too hard."

"I am not good enough."

"My parents were very incompetent so the genes and environment is not conducive to my growth."

So many things you can say, but if you think deeply, you can see that all these are actually excuses.

What else do unsuccessful people do? They blame others.

Are you good in blaming others?

Another one is justification. Are you good in justifying your own imperfections?

So Bhagavad Gita is teaching us to stop making excuses, stop blaming others and take full responsibility for our lives.

THREE MAGIC WORDS

Three magic words, three secret words for success are: I am responsible.

Who is actually responsible for our conflict? I am responsible. Maybe you are also responsible because you are responsible person but for anything that happens to us, we are responsible. That is according to the laws of nature. We do not get what we do not deserve, according to the Bhagavad Gita.

So once you do this, your road to success starts. As long as you are blaming others and justifying, Blaming your grandparents, your parents, politicians, leaders, teachers, saying that they are wrong and self-centred, you obstruct your own success and happiness.

We can blame the whole universe because it does not make us happy. "Why is everyone not dedicated to making me happy?" That is the question some pople ask. "Why are you people not dedicated to making me happy? Why are you not worshipping me? Why are you not offering the fire and water and incense? Why?"

If one is thinking like this, by default, by the law of nature, one cannot succeed. So if you change the way you think and see things, then there is the likelihood of becoming successful and changing your life.

Do you believe that? Try to see things according to higher knowledge.

YOU ARE NOT THE MIND

Do you know that you can affect the way you think, feel and will and desire - consciously? It is very difficult to accept that. "I do not want to think nonsense but it just comes." Where is it coming from? From the mind.

Well, I can see the thought. Who is it that is seeing these thoughts? Just now I am thinking, "I would like to eat five kilos of prasadam." My mind is saying this but my stomach is saying no, you are torturing me, I cannot digest this much prasadam. So I am well aware of this dialogue going on.

More food, five kilos, my stomach is saying no. So who is observing this? Who is seeing this?

Or how do I feel at the moment? I feel a bit let down by all of you because somehow I am trying to get you very much fired up but you are very quiet!

The problem is that we identify with the mind? We think that we are the mind. But actually we are not, we are spirit soul.

A "CHICKEN"

A little story. Once there was a chicken farmer who was also a very a very passionate mountain climber. One day he was climbing the mountain and he came across a nest with three large eggs and the eggs were beautiful, so he was thinking: shall I take one?

He had a henhouse and he was thinking that maybe I can put it there and the chicken can hatch it. But he knew it is illegal, it is unethical and it is not ecological. He was in doubt whether he should do it or not but still he did it. Put in the bag, climbed up to the top and when he came back down to the village he put it in his henhouse.

The chicken enthusiastically laid on it and after some time a creature came out and the chicken was very proud because it was different from other chicken. And this little creature looked at the other chicken and started living with them and identifying with these chicken, thinking that he is a chicken. It was doing what other chickens do, pecking around a courtyard, sometimes trying to fly a few metres like chickens do. They do not fly very much.

For many years this bird lived with the chicken, like a chicken, doing things like them. But one day this bird saw something in the sky and was so impressed, and asked the sister chicken, "What is this? It is so wonderful. It is like poetry in motion."

And the chicken said, "This is an eagle, it is the king of the sky, the king of the birds. And we are not part of his life. We are just meant to do what we are doing here. He can fly so elegantly and so high."

But something was touched in him at that moment. Why? Because he was not a chicken. He was an eagle. So he looked and he was thinking, oh okay, and he continued living for years like a chicken, doing what chickens do. And this eagle - he lived and died as a chicken because it is all he thought he was. A sad story.

So you tell me, what do you find in this story? Is there any message that you are getting?

"He did not try to find out his real identity."

"We develop desire and consciousness according to the association we get."

"He based his life on the false belief that he is a chicken."

"You do not get what you expect and if you identify with a set of restrictions then you will not be able to surpass them."

So it's our choice. If we want to remain where we are, if we are happy with what we have, we can continue as we do. But if we want to soar we can do that to, by learning and applying the timeless success principles given in the Gita.

This book gives even deeper success principles than you can find in other books, because this book is spiritual. So if you use these principles, and get assistance on how to apply them from devotees, then you will highly increase the likelihood of your success.

The opportunity is available so please take it and be happy.

 
 

Things you can do from here:

 
 

Share/Bookmark

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Pastimes of Narottama Dasa Thakura

Pastimes of Narottama Dasa Thakura
by Srila Narahari Chakravarti (excerpted from Sri Narottama Vilasa)

I take refuge at the lotus feet of Lokanatha
Prabhu, who is completely indifferent to the pains and pleasures of this material world. His mercy was fully realized only by the great scholar Narottama dasa. All glories to Narottama dasa Thakura, the beloved disciple of Lokanatha Goswami. How the illustrious Narottama took his birth in the house of Krishnananda Datta, the elder brother of Sri Purusottama, I dare not discuss elaborately here. However, for your pleasure, I shall give a brief description.

One day while Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was dancing with his associates during sankirtana, He suddenly looked in the direction of Sri Kheturi village. A peculiar look appeared on His face, tears whelmed up in His eyes, and He cried out the name "Narottama! Narottama!" again and again. The ocean of mercy Nityananda Raya shouted in joy, and Haridasa, Vakreshvara, and others were inexplicably filled with happiness.

The wheel of time turned, until finally, on the sixth hour of the full moon day in the month of Magha, when all auspicious signs were visible, Narottama dasa took birth to fulfill the mission of the Lord.

His mother, radiant with beauty, wept joyfully as she lovingly gazed at the charming face of her son. An unearthly effulgence suddenly illuminated the entire delivery room, and happiness swelled in the hearts of everyone present.

From that moment the village of Sri Kheturi became an auspicious place. The residents suddenly felt purified, as if cleansed of all misgivings. They trembled with ecstatic emotions, tears filled their eyes, and they spontaneously chanted the holy name with devotion. They rushed to the house of Krishnananda, carrying all kinds of gifts for the newborn child.

The delighted Datta Mahasaya warmly welcomed them all without taking his eyes off the face of his son for a second, while Krishnananda's exalted father distributed charity profusely to the singers, musicians and others present, for the protection of his grandson. There was no woman in the world as fortunate as Narottama's mother, Narayani. By the Lord's grace she was granted the eyes to see Gauranga, Nityananda, and Advaita dancing ecstatically within her own home.

Narayani watched jubilantly as her son began to grow like the moon. Similarly, Krishnananda's pleasure knew no bounds as he constantly stared at the jewel-like face of his son. Grateful for his good fortune, he fed the brahmanas daily.

At the appropriate time on an auspicious day, Krishnananda arranged for the ceremony of offering rice to his son. The astrologer present on that joyful occasion noted all the auspicious signs on the child's body and predicted that the boy would be an illustrious person: "This baby will be the greatest of men; therefore he should be called Narottama."

The festivities went on happily until Krishnananda tried to feed his son the rice. To everyone's dismay the child refused to eat. Although they coaxed him again and again, the boy repeatedly turned his head away, refusing to eat. The festive atmosphere was replaced with anxiety, and everyone looked at each other nervously, not knowing what to do. The thoughtful astrologer, however, reassured everyone: "Don't worry, this baby will not accept food unless it has first been offered to Lord Vishnu."

Thus the rice was offered to Lord Vishnu, then again offered to the child. To everyone's relief, the child happily devoured it. From that day on, realizing the value of prasada, the king ordered: "Only food which has been offered to Krishna should be given to my son." Although the worship of Krishna was customary in their family, from the time of Narottama's birth everyone became much more attentive to the service of the Lord.
Student Years

After a few years Narottama began his studies and soon proved to be a genius. Within a short time he became a scholar in all subjects. The teachers use to comment: "How is it possible that this boy can learn so quickly? Do you think he is an incarnation of God?"

He was an adorable boy and endeared himself to everyone. Soon he was the talk of the town: "Just one glance at Narottama is sufficient to cool my mind and chase away all miseries." "From every angle of vision the prince is beautiful." "I have never seen such a gorgeous boy." In this way Krishnananda's son was glorified throughout the town.

Krishnananda was happy simply to gaze upon his son, but as time passed he began to think, "My son is capable in all respects; he must be married soon. I am getting old and should follow the path of my father. It is time to be relieved of my kingly duties." Thus he consulted with the wise Kayasthas to find a suitable bride for his son.

Meanwhile Narottama was lost in the ecstasy of love for Krishna. With eyes full of tears, he joyfully worshiped his Lord privately, oblivious of everything else. In this way he lost all taste for mundane pleasures and could not bear to even hear topics related to royal pleasures and properties. Aware of their son's growing apathy for material life, Krishnananda and Narayani were filled with anxiety and could think of nothing else. Finally they decided to appoint someone to constantly watch over their son, but still they were unable to find peace of mind. Narottama's home became a prison for him, and he longed to be free. Although he said nothing, he was constantly waiting for the opportunity to leave home. Every day he secretly pleaded desperately for the Lord's help. His body became covered with dust as he rolled on the ground crying. Raising his arms in the air, he begged pitifully, "Gauranga! Nitai! Advaita! My Lords, please save me from this hell."
Hearing From Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami

At that time the news of Lord Gauranga's glories was spreading throughout the world. Narottama's only solace was when he received some word of the Lord's pastimes. There was one aged brahmana in Sri Kheturi named Krishnadasa. He was a genuine servant of Lord Krishna and loved Narottama deeply. He could not let a single day pass without seeing Narottama. That brahmana, Krishnadasa, was so powerful by dint of his devotion that no one dared disobey him. Every day after completing his worship of Krishna, Krishnadasa would visit Narottama. Narottama welcomed him with wholehearted enthusiasm, humbly falling prostrate at his feet. Offering him a seat, he would then eagerly inquire about Lord Chaitanya and His associates. Krishnadasa happily narrated the pastimes of the Lord in three parts (Adi, Madhya and Antya). He went on to glorify the transcendental activities of Nityananda and Advaita with such emotion then even wood or stone would melt upon hearing his devotional narration. He explained the life histories of Pandita Gadadhara, Pandita Srivasa, Vakreshvara, Svarupa, Murari, Haridasa, Narahari Dasa, Gauridasa, Gadadhara, Vasu Ghosha, Mukunda, Sanjaya, Damodara, Kashishvara, Sri Paramananda Bhattacarya, Krishnadasa brahmacari, Lokanatha Varya, Sanatana, Rupa, Sri Gopala, Raghunatha, Raghunatha Bhatta, Sri Jiva, Subuddhi Mishra, Raghava, Krishna Pandita and others.

He then spoke about of Srinivasa Acarya. VrindavanaGoswamiGoswamiVrindavanaS pontaneous love for Srinivasa arose within the heart of Narottama. Floating in a river of tears, Narottama thought, "When shall I get the company of Srinivasa." Who can understand Narottama's state of mind? Daily he listened attentively to the stories of Mahaprabhu and his devotees, and cursed himself for not having attained their association. His mind was always disturbed; he could not eat, nor could he sleep at night.
Feeling Separation from Lord Chaitanya

One day, due to the desire of the Lord, Narottama fell asleep and in his dream he saw Gauraraya. His splendid beauty could not be compared to gold, lightning, or anything else of this world. The beautiful curling hair hanging down His back could turn the mind of even the most virtuous woman. His earrings shone brightly and His lotus eyes were the trap of Cupid. His smiling face could easily defeat the effulgence of the moon, and the beautiful tilaka on His forehead could capture one's breath. His graceful hands swept down to His knees. And how broad His chest was! Beautiful jeweled garlands hung around His conch-like neck, and His deep naval was finely shaped. His thin waist defeated even the lion. His knees looked like toppled banana trees, and His feet were more attractive than lotuses. How gorgeous was His three fold loin cloth. Observing the beauty of Mahaprabhu, Narottama shed tears of love and fell on the feet of the Lord.

Placing His feet on Narottama's head, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said sweetly, "O Narottama, look at me. I cannot bear your tears. Don't worry. Go straight to Vrindavana. There you will be initiated by my dear devotee Lokanatha. He will happily pour the nectar of the maha-mantra into your ears. I have many plans which are to be served by you."

Narottama's sleep was then broken Narottama could not bear Mahaprabhu's disappearance, and he rolled on the ground in disappointment. Thus again, due to the Lord's wish, Narottama fell asleep. In his dream he saw Lord Chaitanya on the bank of the Ganges in Navadvipa. He was enjoying His pastimes along with Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara, Srivasa, Svarupa, Narahari, Haridasa, Vakresvara, Mukunda, Murari, Govinda, Madhava, Vasu Ghosa, Shuklambara, Gauridasa, Sri Sanjaya, Damodara, Mahesha, Shankara, and Yadu Acarya. All of them surrounded Gauranga as they engaged in sankirtana, while the people of Navadvipa witnessed their divine pastimes. Eager to inspect this beautiful scene, even Brahma, Siva and other demigods and goddesses mingled with the crowd in disguise. Even the animals and birds were charmed. Those who were born blind were suddenly able to see and rushed to observe the extraordinary sankirtana performance. Seeing this wonderful fun, Narottama wept with joy. On seeing Narottama, Mahaprabhu Gaurachandra emotionally took him to His bosom and soaked Narottama with His tears. Narottama fell on Mahaprabhu's feet, and the Lord affectionately lifted him from the ground and put him in the care of Nityananda and Advaita. He also helped Narottama to obtain the mercy of His associates, and they all advised Narottama to go to Vrindavana. Narottama was unable to control his emotions. Observing the beauty of Nityananda, Narottama fell on His feet, and Nityananda put His feet on Narottama's head, blessing him with unconditional love for Sri Gauranga, then advised him to go to Vrindavana. Upon seeing the beauty of Advaita, Narottama fell at his feet. Advaita at once lifted Narottama and placed him at the lotus feet of Gauranga. Narottama bowed to the feet of Gadadhara, Srivasa and others, who also embraced him one by one. Narottama bathed in the tears of everyone. All of them encouraged Narottama to go to Vrindavana.

Narottama then woke up and it was morning. He consoled himself and finished his daily morning duties. He wept with joy as he began to see many auspicious signs, indicating good fortune. In anticipation he waited, hoping that the fortunate moment would soon arise.
Journey to Vrindavana

Shortly thereafter, Narottama's father and his men went to Gauda for business. Narottama seized the opportunity. He somehow managed to trick his mother, then he deceived the guard watching over him and quickly left his home secretly. In fear of being caught, Narottama did not visit Navadvipa, but started towards Vrindavana through the forests. He disguised himself in such a way that no one could identify him. For fifteen days he ran at random, then heaved a sigh of relief.

The miserable condition of Narottama's parents was beyond description. Narottama became the talk of Gauda. "Prince Narottama must have gone to Vrajapura." "He must be the Narottama whom Mahaprabhu had called for in Ramakeli village." "The strength of mind he has manifested is not known to an ordinary man." In this way Narottama became very popular in that town. Nityananda, Advaita and other favorite associates of Sri Chaitanya always thought of Narottama's well being. It is said that he who was fortunate enough to have seen Narottama could forget his fear of material life. Narottama undauntedly passed through the main roads now. Who can describe Narottama's sincere efforts in the service of the Lord? Traveling along the road, he sang the glories of Gauranga with continuous streams of tears rolling down his face. Those who just once looked upon the face of Narottama attained peace of mind. The villages which Narottama selected to halt at each night became blessed by his presence. Whether male or female, anyone who kept company with Narottama during his journey would comment softly among themselves about the wonderful characteristics of Narottama: "Even the golden champaka flower would become ashamed on seeing the beautiful color of this young man's complexion."

"Look at his beautiful face and big eyes. How superb are his nose, cheeks, eyebrows, forehead and ears!" Someone else said, "Look how long his hands are and how broad his chest is." "Who are the fortunate parents of this extraordinary man with such beautiful knees and feet." Someone said, "He cannot be an ordinary human being. He must be a demigod or a son of a king." Another person remarked, "Alas, how sad it is that such a young man has become apathetic toward family life." Others said, "We wonder how his parents are living without him." "Fie to providence, who has no mercy for this boy and has dragged him out of his family at such an young age."

Being extremely moved by Narottama's presence, no one wanted to return to their houses. They brought many things for Narottama to eat and offered him a comfortable bed to sleep on. But Narottama could not eat or sleep; he spent the night in sankirtana. Everyone felt sad to see the body of Narottama smeared with dust. In the morning the villagers did not want to let him go, but Narottama begged their leave. This was the normal scene which occurred daily along his journey to Vraja; Narottama stole the heart of everyone he met.

Within a short time Narottama visited all the holy places and at last, with an enchanted mind, entered Vrindavana. First of all he went to visit Vishrama Ghat in Sri Mathura, where he bathed in the Yamuna and took some rest. In the solitude of the night he began kirtana there. At that time a great Vaisnava resident of Mathura came there carrying many varieties of Krishna prasada and affectionately fed Narottama. Narottama asked him about the well-being of Vraja. With a pierced heart the brahmana informed him of the demise of Raghunatha, Kashishvara, Rupa and Sanatana. On hearing of the disappearance of Rupa and Sanatana, Narottama fell on the ground crying. Striking his head on the ground, he called out, "Kashishvara Pandita, Sri Bhatta Raghunatha." Tears streamed from his eyes like a river, and he was about to faint. Seeing the death-like state of Narottama, the brahmana took him in his lap and consoled him. They spent most of the night together discussing many topics. Late at night, due to the will of the Lord, both them fell asleep. In Narottama's dream, Rupa, Sanatana, Kashishvara and Raghunatha appeared before Narottama. Narottama at once fell on their feet. All of them embraced Narottama and soaked him with their tears. They spoke sweetly to Narottama, some of which the brahmana could hear. With great satisfaction they showered their blessings upon Narottama and then disappeared.

Narottama was unable to tolerate their disappearance. He began to lament, gazing desperately in all directions. The brahmana was astonished to see Narottama's condition. He hastily took Narottama in his lap and tearfully spoke sweetly to him, thanking him for his purifying association. After considerable time the brahmana's emotions cooled and he begged Narottama to come to his house in the morning. Narottama bowed before the brahmana and requested him to let him go. "Please be kind to me and let me go, for I am dying to see the feet of the Goswamis. Please be merciful and help me to fulfill my desires." With tears in his eyes the brahmana affectionately took him in his lap and blessed him. He accompanied Narottama for some distance, but due to his old age could not walk farther. Thus he gave Narottama directions to reach Vrindavana and ordered a man to assist him in his journey. After Narottama's departure, the brahmana, with a broken heart, stood staring at the path.

While walking, Narottama began to think, "Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has brought such a low and unqualified man as me here to the sacred land of Vrindavana. He has sent me to the abode of mercy, Sri Lokanatha Goswami Prabhu. Will he accept me as his servant? Will I be able to hold the lotus feet of Sri Gopala Bhatta, Sri Bhugarbha Goswami, Sri Jiva Goswami and others on my head? Will they show their mercy to a worthless man like me? Srinivasa Acarya is the embodiment of love. Will he love a poor soul like me?" As he thought in this way, his eyes filled with tears, his body trembled uncontrollably, and he was unable to walk a single step farther.
Meeting Srinivasa Acharya

Meanwhile, on the same night that Narottama entered Vrindavana, Srinivasa suddenly became overwhelmed with joy for no apparent reason. He took this as a good sign, and tears of love began to fall from his eyes as he thought, "I'm probably going to meet a very dear friend." In eager anticipation he began kirtana and continued on throughout the night. However, late into the night he fell asleep. In his dream Sri Rupa Goswami appeared before him and said, "O Srinivasa, in the morning you will meet Narottama." Thus having spoken, he disappeared.

In the morning, when Srinivasa awoke he rushed to meet Sri Jiva Goswami and revealed his dream. Sri Jiva Goswami was very happy to hear the news, as he had been in great anxiety waiting for Narottama's arrival. He told Srinivasa, "Previously Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told me about Narottama, and I have already told you about him. This is that Narottama for whom we have been waiting for so long." Sri Jiva then hurried off to the temple of Sri Govinda, and Srinivasa happily returned to his house.

Suddenly a person approached Srinivasa and informed him, "A prince has come from Gauda. He is a young man with beautiful features, and his body is soaked with tears. I cannot describe the wonderful emotions of that man after he observed the face of Sri Govinda. Crying incessantly, Sri Jiva Goswami took him in his lap and welcomed him with sweet words. He sent me to bring you to that place." Hearing this, Srinivasa could not control his emotions and began running to the temple of Govinda.

Srinivasa was overwhelmed to at last see Narottama. Like a poor man who has gained a priceless gem, Srinivasa rushed to embrace Narottama. What Srinivasa expressed to Narottama through his embrace I am unable to describe. Nor can I explain with one mouth how Narottama felt upon meeting Srinivasa. Everyone began to whisper about the uncommon friendship between Srinivasa and Narottama. They became such close friends that one could hardly differentiate one from the other. Sri Govinda had at last fulfilled the desires of Narottama. Sri Krishna Pandita, the head priest of Sri Govinda, brought the garlands worn by the Deity for both of them. It should be noted that Sri Krishna Pandita was a great scholar and intimate associate of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. After the demise of Kasisvara Pandita, Sri Krishna Pandita became the head priest of Sri Govinda. Everyone knew that Sri Krishna Pandita had great love for Narottama. Narottama humbly bowed to the feet of Sri Krishna Pandita.
Taking Shelter of Lokanatha Goswami

Sri Jiva Goswami quickly took Narottama to the solitary hermitage of Sri Lokanatha Goswami. They found him alone in a secluded place where he had been suffering the misery of separation from Rupa and Sanatana. Sri Jiva Goswami bowed to his feet and slowly told him about Narottama. Lokanatha had been restlessly waiting for Narottama to come. Now seeing Narottama before him, Lokanatha began to float in an ocean of tears. Narottama fell at the feet of his spiritual master, and Lokanatha placed his feet on Narottama's head. With sweet words he assured Narottama that after a few days he would initiate him. Again and again Lokanatha asked Sri Jiva, "Please help Narottama to establish his grasp of devotional books." Lokanatha then uttered the names of Rupa and Sanatana and let out a heavy sigh. Observing Lokanatha Goswami, Sri Jiva was unable to check his tears. Sri Jiva took his leave and left to take darshana of the lotus feet of Sri Radhavinoda.
Under the Guidance of Jiva Goswami

Thereafter Sri Jiva Goswami took Narottama to meet Gopala Bhatta Goswami. He was also sitting alone in a secluded place, cultivating the memories of Rupa and Sanatana. I have no words to accurately depict the sweet relationship between Sri Gopala Bhatta and Sri Sanatana Goswami. This has been described in one verse: "I worship Sri Gopala Bhatta Goswami, whose heart is filled with love for Sanatana and the friendship of Sri Rupa. He who worships them is able to obtain the mercy of Sri Gopala Bhatta. I worship Sri Gopala Bhatta, whose life and soul is Sri Radha-Ramana."

Sri Jiva Goswami bowed to the feet of Gopala Bhatta Goswami, who was very happy to meet Narottama. Narottama fell at his feet, and Gopala Bhatta Goswami at once showed him great affection, warmly embracing Narottama and soaking his body with tears. Sri Jiva and Narottama offered their obeisances and went for darshana of the lotus feet of Sri Radha-Ramana. They also went to the temples of Sri Govinda, Gopinatha and Madana-mohana.

While conversing together they entered the temple of Sri Gopinatha, and Sri Jiva introduced Narottama to Sri Madhu Pandita. Narottama immediately touched the lotus feet of Sri Pandita. Sri Pandita affectionately held Narottama to his bosom and brought him to see Sri Radha Gopinatha. He gave the garland which had decorated the Deity to Narottama.

Sri Jiva Goswami then took Srinivasa and Narottama to the house of Sri Bhugarbha Goswami, a great scholar and inseparable associate of Sri Lokanatha Goswami. He always spent his days in remembrance of Mahaprabhu. Sri Jiva Goswami introduced him to Narottama, who at once touched the his feet. Bhugarbha Goswami embraced him very lovingly. After bowing to his feet, Sri Jiva returned to his house with Srinivasa and Narottama and brought them before Sri Sri Radha Damodara. Narottama was overwhelmed with love at the sight of the Deity. How can I describe Narottama's state of mind upon seeing the tomb of Sri Rupa Goswami? Tears streamed down his face as he rolled on the ground. Gradually, his body became still and there was no sign of heaving. Srinivasa quickly took him in his lap. Sri Jiva pacified him and took him to his cottage.

Sri Jiva then received a message to go quickly to the Govindaji temple. Thus he, Srinivasa, and Narottama went to the temple and observed the raja-bhoga arati of Sri Govinda. After respecting maha-prasada, they returned to Sri Jiva's cottage. There they spent time discussing topics related to Krishna. Later they went to the temple of Sri Madana-mohana and observed the uthvapana arati of the Deity. Sri Jiva then introduced Narottama to everyone there. Seeing Sri Madana-mohana, Narottama became overwhelmed with love. Forgetting himself, he wept incessantly. The priest lovingly gave him the garland which had decorated the Deity. Sri Jiva then took him to the tomb of Sanatana Goswami. One mouth is incapable of describing the emotions of Narottama upon observing Sanatana's tomb. With great affection Sri Jiva pacified Narottama and brought him to his cottage. There he put Narottama into the hands of his dear Srinivasa. With great happiness Srinivasa bowed to the feet of Sri Jiva and started with Narottama for his cottage, where they spent the entire night discussing topics related to Krishna. In the morning they bathed in the Yamuna and worshiped the Lord. With joyful minds they went to see Sri Jiva Goswami, who immediately sent them to Radha Kunda and Shyama Kunda.

After observing the beauty of the two kundas, they went to the place of Sri Raghunatha dasa Goswami, and Srinivasa cautiously introduced Narottama to him. Though Dasa Goswami had been in a miserable state of mind due to separation from the Lord and His devotees, he suddenly became very happy. "Where is Narottama?" Saying this, he opened his eyes. Narottama bowed to his lotus feet. Being affectionately moved, Dasa Goswami showered his mercy upon Narottama. Narottama was then introduced to all the great scholars there. Sri Raghava Pandita, who had been living at Govardhana, was extremely happy to see Narottama. Srinivasa and Narottama finished their travels to all the sacred spots then reported back to Sri Jiva.

Without delay Sri Jiva happily began educating Narottama. During his studies Narottama won the hearts of all with his sensitive and scholastic explanations. Who can understand the heart of Narottama? His service attitude towards Lokanatha Goswami was beyond compare, and Lokanatha Goswami was extremely please with his beloved disciple. One day, observing Narottama's eagerness, Lokanatha fulfilled Narottama's long-cherished desire and initiated him into the chanting of the maha-mantra. Everyone in Vrindavana was greatly impressed by the depth of Narottama's understanding of devotional scriptures. Thus, to everyone's pleasure, Sri Jiva Goswami conferred upon Narottama the title "Sri Thakura Mahasaya." All the mahantas were filled with joy, and Narottama's fame rapidly spread throughout Vrajapura.
Share/Bookmark

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati