lunes, 11 de octubre de 2010

A Letter From Swami BV Nemi

 By Swami BV Nemi

Dear devotees,
Please accept my dandavat pranams.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada.
All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga. All glories to Sri Sri Radha-vinodebihariji.

I am sending news from our Matha in Delhi, where I arrived last night. The mood here now is more comfortable than it was even a day ago, although the prospect of Srila Gurudeva leaving, perhaps very soon, is very real and undeniable.
The first important point is that Srila Gurudeva wants to stay. He is cooperating with the treatment. In the morning, the devotees wanted to put a tube in his nose for feeding, and he agreed, though it is uncomfortable. When Dr Lance (who has treated Srila Gurudeva successfully before) came from the States today, Srila Gurudeva said, “He saved my life before” and was pleased to see him.
When I arrived yesterday evening, Srila Gurudeva had stopped eating and drinking for the last couple of days, and was not taking any medicine. The prospect and mood were very bleak, and the devotees were quite depressed. Now the mood is quite different.

Today, Srila Gurudeva drank juice and kept it down, and took some soup. He was thirsty and decided to drink some water through his mouth, and kept it down. He is also taking medicine, and had normal bowel movements. Brajanath Prabhu was much more hopeful this morning. Then Dr Lance arrived. He has a very successful clinic in the States, and specializes in curing hopeless cases. After examining Srila Gurudeva, Dr Lance said that he thinks he can cure him. He will be here for two weeks, and he said that in 5 days he will know for sure what the outcome of the treatment will be. He used to use chelation therapy, but he now uses herbal treatments and a special form of sound therapy, because these are more effective than his previous (successful) treatments. Devotees who were there said that that the whole mood and energy became much lighter immediately he arrived.

Tomorrow Dr Ray is coming from the Philipines. He has also helped Srila Gurudeva enormously on several occasions in the past. Next week, two more doctors are coming from Europe.
It remains to be seen what the outcome will be. In any case, both Srila Gurudeva and the devotees are more comfortable than they were yesterday.

Yesterday, our beloved Rasananda Prabhu received sannyasa from Srila Gurudeva. His name is now Sripada Bhaktivedanta Sridhara Maharaja. Sripada Bhaktivedanta Sridhara Maharaja ki jaya! Paramananda Prabhu from the Philipines and Jayadeva Prabhu from Rupa-Sanatana Gaudiya Math received babaji initiation.

Brajanath Prabhu has emphasized the need to be realistic. Whatever happens in the next few days and weeks, Srila Gurudeva will leave at some point in the not-too-distant future. Brajanath Prabhu also emphasized the need to make a more positive atmosphere around Srila Gurudeva. If the devotees are so depressed, it is more difficult for Srila Gurudeva to feel positive about recovery. We have seen that when his health is poor, he seems to want to leave, and then if his health and energy improve, he again wants to write and preach. We know that he is a maha-bhagavata. At the same time, like ordinary people, he responds to his health and situation.

That is the news in brief. I will write again when I can.
I would like to make two personal suggestions. Please forgive me if these appear childishly simplistic, but I know that some devotees have difficulties in this area. The first suggestion is that we should use this opportunity to make a closer heart-to-heart connection with Srila Gurudeva while he is physically present with us. Sometimes devotees have a hard time with this; they think that if they meditate on Srila Gurudeva and feel that he is present, this may be just imagination. It is important to understand and accept our Vaishnava philosophy. Srila Gurudeva is the personal, outward manifestation of Supersoul, who is present in our heart. Srila Gurudeva told me personally on one occasion, “Gurudeva and Krishna are with you always, so best thing is to feel that.” Yes, it is true that our sense of his presence will to some extent be imagination, but there is also essential reality there. Bhakti-yoga practice means daily practicing and making that connection stronger and stronger, and more and more real. That is the first suggestion.

Then the question may arise, “But how to do make that connection?” That brings me to the second suggestion. Brajanath and I discussed the question: “How much of our distress now is for Gurudeva, and how much for ourselves? Does Gurudeva want us to feel weak and helpless?” Our tendency at this moment may be to just pray in distress, and feel the emptiness that we fear. However, there is an alternative. We can connect with Srila Gurudeva and tell him how much we appreciate his beautiful qualities and his wonderful gifts to us. We can count our blessings. We can compare our lives now with our situation before we met Srila Gurudeva. With deep appreciation and gratitude and love, we can tell him how happy we are to have met him. When we do this, it becomes easier to connect with Srila Gurudeva’s transcendental presence. Srila Gurudeva and the devotees are very, very open to each other right now. It is a golden opportunity to connect with more and more love and appreciation. This is the basis of bhakti-yoga, the yoga of meeting in divine love.

Aspiring for service to Sri Hari, Guru and Vaishnavas,
B V Nemi

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Transcendental Update




Transcendental Update

Dandavat pranam, dear Brothers and Sisters,

All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga.

You have all been regularly receiving updates about Srila Gurudeva. In turn, here in Vrndavana many of us are receiving letters and phone calls from you, full of your love for Srila Gurudeva, your concern that he is getting the best care he can be getting, your apprehension and confusion due to hearing varying reports and thoughts from several devotees, and your fear of a world without him. In this pastime of his, he is surely and purposely churning all our hearts in order to bring us closer to him in many ways.

Srila Gurudeva in the kunjas at Mana Sarovara 1997


In response to your heartfelt feelings, we would like share with you these ‘Transcendental Updates,’ which have been kindly and personally given by Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja and Srila Gurudeva themselves, and which can be categorized in the following ways:

  1. It is natural for us conditioned souls to be confused at this time
  2. The pure devotee is not an ordinary human being
  3. The pure devotee can never be diseased. Only conditioned souls are subject to disease
  4. The pure devotee cannot be controlled
  5. The pure devotee is independent. He is under Sri Radha’s care
  6. The pure devotee knows everything. He has all powers. No one can fool him
  7. The bona fide guru is always with us

Many of us have found strength and nourishment in the quotes below, and want to share them with you all.

Aspiring for the inspiration to serve Sri Guru and Vaisnavas,
Syamarani dasi, Vrndavana Vilasini dasi, and Vaijayanti-mala dasi


(1) It is natural for us conditioned souls to be confused at this time


“It is said, vaisnavera kriya-mudra vijne na bujhaya: even the most learned man depending on direct perception of knowledge cannot understand the activities of a Vaisnava.” (Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta, Madhya-lila 7.66 purport)


(2) The pure devotee is not an ordinary human being


“A Vaisnava is always protected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but if he appears to be an invalid, this gives a chance to his disciples to serve him.” (Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta Adi-lila 9.11 purport)


“The Lord comes to this material world through the agency of His internal potency, and similarly, when a devotee or associate of the Lord descends to this material world, he does so through the action of the spiritual energy.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.1.35, purport)


“Such a person is an eternally liberated associate of the Lord, and his body is completely spiritualized. Although he is visible to material eyes, he is spiritually situated, and all his activities are spiritual. By the will of Krsna, such a devotee is understood to possess a spiritual body.” (Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta Antya-lila, 5.49-50)


“Foolish people consider Krsna a human being, and they consider Lord Krsna’s pure devotee an ordinary human being also.” (Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta Madhya-lila 22.51 purport)


Bharadvaja: “I understand, Srila Prabhupada, that the pure devotee can be as pervasive as Supersoul? By the mercy of Supersoul, he can be present in many places at once?”
Prabhupada: “Yes. By the grace of Krsna, a devotee can become anything.”
Duryodhana-guru: “So in other words that means the pure devotees can be omniscient?”
Prabhupada: “Everything. God is omniscient, so a pure devotee can become omniscient by the grace of God.” (Morning Walk, Los Angeles, June 8, 1976)


“Thus the spiritual master is not different from the Supersoul sitting within the heart.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28.52, purport)


“So this Paramatma is also incarnation of God. And the same Paramatma, when He comes before you, being very much merciful upon you, to teach you from outside, that is guru.” (Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad-Bhagavatam lecture, Los Angeles, 1972)


“The spiritual master is external manifestation of the Supersoul.” (Srila Prabhupada’s letter to Rupanuga: 72-02-22)


“The spiritual master as the visible manifestation of Krsna is necessary, therefore, to direct the devotee on behalf of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” (Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 14)


“Only out of His immense compassion does the Personality of Godhead reveal Himself as the spiritual master.” (Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta, Adi-lila 1.46, purport)


“The true acarya, the spiritual master of the entire world, must be considered an incarnation of Krsna’s mercy. Indeed, he is personally embracing Krsna.” (Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta, Antya-lila, 7.12, purport)


“All the demigods and their exalted qualities, such as religion, knowledge and renunciation, become manifest in the body of one who has developed unalloyed devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.18.12)


“If one thinks that the body of a pure devotee is material, he is an offender, for that is a vaishnava-aparadha.” (Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta, Antya-lila 4.194 purport)


“The spiritual master is always considered either one of the confidential associates of Srimati Radharani or a manifested representation of Srila Nityananda Prabhu.” (Caitanya-Caritamrta, Adi-lila 1.46, purport)


(3) The pure devotee can never be diseased. Only conditioned souls are subject to disease


“And thus the sun fails to rob the pure devotee of his duration of life, inasmuch as he is constantly busy in the devotional service of the Lord, purifying his existence. Death is a symptom of the material infection of the eternal living being; only due to material infection is the eternal living entity subjected to the law of birth, death, old age and disease.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.17 purport by Srila Prabhupada)


“As the contamination of the germs of a particular disease can influence a weaker person, similarly the influence of material nature, or illusory energy, can act on the weaker, or conditioned, soul but not on the liberated soul.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.25.18 purport by Srila Prabhupada)


In the last portion of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Antya 8.28–31), it is stated: “At the last stage of his life Sri Madhavendra Puri became an invalid and was completely unable to move, and Isvara Puri so completely engaged himself in his service that he personally cleaned up his stool and urine. Always chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and reminding Sri Madhavendra Puri about the pastimes of Lord Krsna in the last stage of his life, Isvara Puri gave the best service among his disciples. Thus Madhavendra Puri, being very pleased with him, blessed him, saying, ‘My dear boy, I can only pray to Krsna that He will be pleased with you.’ Thus Isvara Puri, by the grace of his spiritual master, Sri Madhavendra Puri, became a great devotee in the ocean of love of Godhead. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti states in his Gurvastaka prayer, yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto ’pi: “By the mercy of the spiritual master one is blessed by the mercy of Krsna. Without the grace of the spiritual master one cannot make any advancement.” It is by the mercy of the spiritual master that one becomes perfect, as vividly exemplified here. A Vaisnava is always protected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but if he appears to be an invalid, this gives a chance to his disciples to serve him. Isvara Puri pleased his spiritual master by service, and by the blessings of his spiritual master he became such a great personality that Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted him as His spiritual master. (Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta Adi-lila 9.11 purport)


(4) The pure devotee cannot be controlled


“Yes, they will be able to control by love and affection. Without this no one will be able. Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja controlled me so much by love and affection, and I am still under his control. No one else can control me. Even Krsna can never control me, because I am already under the control of Srimati Radhika. Radhika is so powerful. If Krsna will be angry upon me, I will say, “Why are You angry? You should not be angry. My Svamini is Radhika, you know.” Then Krsna will say, “Oh, your Svamini is Radhika. Then, namaskara to you.” (Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja darsana, Jan. 15, 2001, New Zealand)


(5) The pure devotee is independent. He is under Sri Radha’s care


“The Bhagavad-gita states that devotees of the highest grade are under the care of daiva-maya, or yogamaya: mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah.(Bg. 9.13). Those who are actually great souls (mahatmas) are fully absorbed in Krsna consciousness, always engaged in the service of the Lord. They are under the care of daiva-prakrti, or yogamaya.” (Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta, Adi-lila 4. 30 purport)


(6) The pure devotee knows everything. He has all powers. No one can fool him


“My lord (Narada Muni)! Everything that is mysterious is known to you because you worship the creator and destroyer of the material world and the maintainer of the spiritual world, the original Personality of Godhead, who is transcendental to the three modes of material nature. PURPORT: A person who is cent-percent engaged in the service of the Lord is the emblem of all knowledge. Such a devotee of the Lord in full perfection of devotional service is also perfect by the qualification of the Personality of Godhead. As such, the eightfold perfections of mystic power (asta-siddhi) constitute very little of his godly opulence”. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.6)


“Agadha-dhisanam dvijam: the acarya is a perfect brahmana and has unlimited intelligence in guiding the activities of his disciple.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.7.15 purport)


“This is called tri-kala-jna: past, present and future. So Yamaraja, or Lord Brahma, or great personalities, and even great sages, saintly persons, they know the three features of time.” (Srila Prabhupada’s lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.48 — Detroit, June 14, 1976)


“Although a devotee may apparently express himself to be ignorant, he is full of knowledge in every intricate matter.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.7.8, purport)


“The Vedic mantras say: yasmin vijnate sarvam evam vijnatam bhavati. When the devotee sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead by his meditation, or when he sees the Lord personally, face to face, he becomes aware of everything within this universe. Indeed, nothing is unknown to him. Everything within this material world is fully manifested to a devotee who has seen the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 8.6.9, purport)


“Yasmin vijnate sarvam evam vijnatam bhavati. This Vedic hymn declares emphatically that the devotee of the Lord knows everything material and spiritual in relationship with the Lord. Devotees are not simply emotional, as is ill conceived by certain less intelligent men. Their direction is practical. They know everything that is and all the details of the Lord’s domination over the different creations.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 3.7.26, purport)


“On the contrary, I see so many who are covering what is there in their hearts. Such persons think, ‘My Gurudeva doesn’t know anything; he is foolish. I can cheat him.’ They don’t say this directly, but they think in this way. They think they can bluff a pure devotee, but a pure devotee cannot be bluffed. How can you bluff he who can control Krsna? If one is really guru, he can never be cheated or bluffed. You should know the identity of guru.” (Lecture by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, called “You Can’t Bluff Guru,” Murwillumbah, Australia, January 24, 2001)


“One who thinks of the spiritual master in the disciplic succession as an ordinary man, is taken to be a resident of hell.” (Padma Purana)


“52. All-cognizant: Any person who can understand the feelings of all persons and incidents in all places at all times is called all-cognizant…It is described that Krsna, the enemy of Kamsa, has sixty-four transcendental qualities, and all of the ever-liberated souls who accompany the Lord have the first fifty-five of the qualities, without any doubt.” (Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 22)


(7) The bona fide guru is always with us


“In the absolute world there is no distinction as me, or he, and I. Krsna and His representative are the same. Just like Krsna can be present simultaneously in millions of places. Similarly, the spiritual master also can be present wherever the disciple wants. A spiritual master is the principle, not the body. Just like a television can be seen in thousands of places by the principle of relay monitoring.” (Srila Prabhupada’s letter of May 28, 1968)


“First, we must always think that guru is our atma, our life and soul.” (Guru-devatatma)


[Syamarani dasi:] “Gurudeva, you said last evening that the guru is non-different from our atma. But I don’t feel like that. Whenever I see you, I feel guilty that I am not serving you nicely.”
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] That is why I gave that class. Just as there is no separation between Krsna and the gopis at any time, and yet at the same time they feel separation from each other, so the spiritual master is never separated from the disciple.” (Conversation of Dec. 3, 2002, in Murwillumbah, Australia)


“Do you think I would ever leave you? Don’t think like that. I am always with you and you are always with me.” (Srila Prabhupada’s conversation of January, 1967, in NYC)

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