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A DOWNLOADABLE E-MAGAZINE

Vol II * AUGUST 2009 * Issue VIII

Meditation leads to Ultimate Flowering

Introducing various Masters & Dimensions of Spiritual Sojourn

TM

KRISHNA
RASA LILA
THE COSMIC DANCE OF ESCTASY

www.taoshobuddhameditations.com
MEDITATION TIMES
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Editorial Team: Swami Anand Neelambar, Taoshobuddha
International Contributors: Hadhrat Maulawi Jalaluddin Ahmad Ar-Rowi
Assistant Contributors: Ma Prem Sutra, Swami Dhyan Yatri, Sufi Lakshmi Sahai

For Queries, Comments, and Suggestions and to submit


In This Issue Contributions, you can email the following persons:

Taoshobuddha: taoshobuddha@gmail.com
¾ Editorial
Swami Anand Neelambar avatar411@gmail.com
¾ Rasa Lila
¾ Janmashtami
¾ Shiva Gopi Gita You can also visit
www.youtube.com\taoshobuddha01
¾ Gopi Rasa Gita
¾ Letters to the Editor www.scribd.com\taoshobuddha

¾ Krishna, the Eternal Mystery – Sri Chinmoy www.scribd.com\avatar411


¾ Glory of the Gita – Swami Sivananda
¾ Vipashyana Meditation – Taoshobuddha
¾ Whirling – a cosmic dance of oneness Also you can check the blog at
¾ Venu Gita http://bodhidharmameditation.blogspot.com/

¾ Taoshobuddha Responds http://www.taoshobuddhameditations.myeweb.net/


¾ Cooking – Taoshobuddha Way – Ma Prem Sutra
http://meditationtimes.myeweb.net/
¾ Krishna – the Mysterious Master
¾ Stealing the Clothes of Gopis
¾ The Divine Love-Play
In our Next Issue
¾ Poem – Swami Anand Neelambar
¾ Reflections on Life – Swami Anand Neelambar
TASSAWURE SHEIK
MEDITATIONTIMES
PublishedbyTaoshobuddhaMeditations
Trinidad,Westindies

EDITORIAL
AsthismonthunfurlswecelebratethebirthofLord
Krishna with our main feature on the Rasa Lila
Dance.Alsoduringthismonthwecelebratethebirth
anniversary of Shri Aurobindo and the
Mahasamadhi of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa – all
ofwhichfallonthesameday–15thAugust,whichis
alsotheIndependenceDayofIndia. SwamiAnandNeelambar

The RasaLilaisamostmisunderstoodaspectinthe Certainlyoureffortsaremeagrewhenoneconsiders
episode of Krishna. It holds the secrets of the infinite realms of the various Masters and the
transformation and enlightenment. Krishna is a innumerablepaths.
central figure in Bhakti or Devotion, but he also the 
Lord of Vedanta – the highest philosophy of ThewhirlingdanceofRumiisalsomentionedinthis
Hinduism. Dance your way to God is an oft used issueasitisaparalleltoRasaLila.
expression of many masters. And one particular 
master, Rumi has made dance his technique of Many more aspects of Krishna are likewise
transformation. introduced,butthesearemerelytohighlightthevast
 ocean of the life of Krishna. He is not of this realm
Nataraja is totally symbolic of the cosmic play of and his realm is not in the scope of our normal
existence. If one can dissolve into dance one can understanding.IdaresaythatitwasonlyOshowho
become enlightened that very instant. Dance is broughtKrishnatothedomainwherewecatchatiny
movement, but inside his being, the dancer is glimpseofthe‘blueboyofVrindavan’.
unmoving. 
 “Krishna is utterly incomparable, he is so unique.
TheepisodeoftheportrayalofKrishnaoccursinthe Firstly, his uniqueness lies in the fact that although
tenthcantooftheShrimadBhagavatam.Thisisvery Krishna happened in the ancient past he belongs to
symbolic as the number nine represents thefuture,isreallyofthefuture.Manhasyettogrow
enlightenment and suggests that in order to to that height where he can be a contemporary of
understand the hidden secrets of Krishna one must Krishna’s.Heisstillbeyondman’sunderstanding;he
gobeyondenlightenment.Thiswasthemainmission continues to puzzle and battle us. Only in some
of Osho – the take one beyond the realm of the future time will we be able to understand him and
known into the dimensionless matrix of the further appreciatehisvirtues.…Krishnaisthesolegreatman
shore.Allmasterspointtothisfurthershoreandare inourwholehistorywhoreachedtheabsoluteheight
themselves on this sojourn to the beyond. It is only anddepthofreligion,andyetheisnotatallserious
out of their infinite compassion that they sometimes and sad, not in tears. By and large, the chief
give a glimpse to us, the weary travellers on the characteristicofareligiouspersonhasbeenthatheis
pathlesspath. somber, serious and sadlooking – like one
 vanquishedinthebattleoflife,likearenegadefrom
WeatMeditationTimesaretryingtomakeasmany life.InthelonglineofsuchsagesitisKrishnaalone
Masters and paths available to all types of seekers. whocomesdancing,singingandlaughing.”Osho

raslIla
RasaLila
especially during the festivals of Krishna

T
he Rasa lila (Rasa-lila) (raslIla) or Rasa
Janmashtami and Holi, and amongst various
dance is part of the traditional story of
followers of Gaudiya, and Vaishnavism in the
Krishna described in Hindu scriptures
region.
the ‘Bhagavata Purana’ and literature
such as the ‘Gita Govinda,’ of JaiDeva The rasa lila takes place one night when the gopis
where he dances with Radha and her sakhis or of Vrindavan, upon hearing the sound of Krishna's
friend or milkmaids. Raslila is a famous art form flute, sneak away from their households and
originating in Braj in Uttar Pradesh in north India. families to the forest to dance with Krishna
This folk art has elements of classical music, dance throughout the night. The night Krishna
and drama. supernaturally stretches to the length of one Night
of Brahma, a Hindu unit of time lasting
The term, rasa comes from Sanskrit and implies approximately 4.32 billion years. In the Krishna
‘emotion’ or ‘performance’. It also implies ‘juice’, Bhakti traditions, the Rasa-Lila is considered to be
‘nectar’, ‘emotion’ or ‘sweet taste’ and Lila is a one of the highest and most esoteric of Krishna's
concept from Hinduism, which roughly translates pastimes. In these traditions, romantic love
to ‘play (Lila) of the dance (rasa),’ or more broadly between human beings in the material world is
as ‘Dance of Divine Love’. By taking this etymologic seen as merely a diminished, illusionary reflection
breakdown of the word literally, ‘Rasa Lila’ means of the soul’s original, ecstatic spiritual love for
the ‘sweet pastime’ (of Krishna). It is often freely Krishna, God, in the spiritual world.
rendered as ‘the dance of love’. There are different
forms of Rasa or emotions and when translated This concept of Divine Love is not only
into dance movements these become expressions misunderstood instead ridiculed by baser minds
or bhavas. These bhavas are important aspect of as well. Those who have not experienced love
any dance movement. beyond the biology can never understand why
Hindu mysticism or Bhakti movement propagated
Rasa Lila is a popular form of folk theatre in the this aspect of love. Apparently it has the same
regions of Mathura, Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh,
intensity of emotions as experienced in ordinary Krishna’s pure loving devotion (Suddha-bhakti or
love yet still there is a vast difference. This aspect pure devotion).
transcends the finite beyond the boundaries of the
Just as a child plays at its own will with its
finiteness.
reflection in a mirror, so too with the help of His
In the Bhagavata Purana it is stated that whoever Yogamaya Krishna sported with the Gopis, who
faithfully hears or describes the Rasa lila attains were like many shadows of His own form.

Rasa Lila and Manipuri dance style


In the tradition of Vaishnavism of Manipur Rasa As many devotees of that time could not
Lila is depicted within classic Manipuri dance, and understand the Vraja language, Swami
revolves around the same story of the love Uddavaghamanda Devacharya trained his
between Krishna and the cowherd girls and tells Brahmachari students to play the parts that
the divine love story of Krishna, the bhagavan and appeared in the songs in order to get a visual
Radha, his divine beloved. This form of dance was representation of the Lila that was being
started by Bhagya Chandra in 1779 and in some described. Many were sceptical of this, and
parts of India is still performed every year on attempted to foil the first enactment. However, at
Krishna Janmashtami (the festival to celebrate the conclusion of the first Rasa Lila, it is said, the
Krishna’s birthday). According to different Lord Himself appeared and gave the actors his
traditions, the rasa-lila is performed either by boys own Crown, and decreed that whenever a qualified
and girls, or by boys only. The dance is performed actor was to take the part of the Lord, from the
holding dandi (plural of danda) or sticks and is moment he put on the crown on his head, it should
often accompanied with folk songs and devotional be understood that he represents the Lila potency
music. This form is very popular in Gujrat region of of God, and treated with due respect. Shri Radha
India. and Krishna shall be known as Shri Radha
Rasavihari.
The Traditional Rasa Lila performances in
Vrindavan are famous throughout the Vaisnava Since then, the traditional form has remained with
world as an experience of the spiritual world. Rasa actors who are young Brahmacharis. They will join
Lila performance was started by Swami Sri a group led by the Swami of that group. The music
Uddhavaghamanda Devacharya in the early 15th remains the typical Dhrupada style of the Vraja
Century at Vamshivata in Vrindavan, Mathura. He Acharyas who wrote the songs they heard to the
was a prominent saint of the Nimbarka tradition, accompaniment of Sitar and Pakhawaj and the
and disciple of the world-renowned Swami Sri songs are sung in Vraja Language, a forerunner to
Harivyasa Devacharya. The Vani literature of Vraja modern Hindi.
is the transcription of the songs that were heard
In recent times, many have taken advantage of the
by Swami Harivyasa Devacharya and his Guru,
religious sentiments and have begun mixing this
Swami Shri Shribhatta as they meditated on the
ancient art, and for popularity changed the music
Nitya Lila of Shri Radha Krishna. These songs
to popular day to day music and beats. Yet still
describe the eternal spiritual abode of Shri Radha
there are a number of dedicated few who seek to
Krishna, the Sakhis and Nitya Vrindavana Dham -
or Nikunja Dham.
preserve the traditional form of devotional art different stages of Krishna’s youth. In some areas
known as Rasa Lila. of Uttar Pradesh Rasalila is performed only by
Brahmin boys in the age group of 13 to 14 years.
Raslila is associated with Radha and Krishna and
their divine love. It is a joyous circular dance of Sri Even now, many roles of sakhis or mother of
Krishna and his playmates. Today we have Radha and Krishna are performed by men
villagers in India taking part in Raslila and disguised as women. Rasalila is also performed by
depicting various stories of Radha and Krishna mobile troupes moving from village to village. A
through dance, music and drama. traditional Rasalila usually lasts for three and a
half hours.
It also portrays Krishna’s association with the
milkmaids or gopis of the village. It shows how Rasalila in Mathura is of special significance and
Krishna casts a spell on the gopis who wanted him forms an important part of the celebrations of
to be their dance partner. Current form of Raslila Janmasthami. It is important to know about
has a basic script which has to be followed, but it Rasalila, which is basically a musical drama, whose
has enough scope for improvisation as well. storyline revolves around the different important
Though the emphasis of Raslila is on ‘darshan’ or events from the childhood of Lord Krishna.
the visual appeal, it is important to capture the
There are special mentions in the Bhagwat Purana
‘bhava’ or the sentiment. This is done through
of Rasalila. The different pranks that Lord Krishna
music, dance and drama enacted by the actors.
used to play with the village girls, the gopis, form
The various ‘raasas’ or dramatic flavors like the base of the Raaslila. Bhagwat Purana also
friendship, conjugal love, parental love, mentions how Lord Krishna used to perform raas
amazement, compassion, humour, chivalry, fury, with the gopis on the banks of blue Yamuna River.
fear and dread are expressed through this There is a belief that the gopis, after being
traditional folk form. Thus a variety and versatility separated from Lord Krishna, used to recollect the
is provided to this dance form. divine incidents from the life of Lord Krishna and
enact them. These performances later came to be
The range of the villagers who perform Rasalila is
known as Raaslila. This is how the concept of
quite vast. They perform legends that portray
Raaslila gained in its importance.

There is not really so much difference between Knowledge (Jnana) and Love (Bhakti) as
people sometimes imagine. We shall see as we go on, that in the end they converge and
meet at the same point.….The one great advantage of Bhakti is that it is the easiest, and
the most natural way to reach the great divine end in view; its great disadvantage is that
in its lower forms it often times degenerates into hideous fanaticism….This kind of love is
somewhat like the canine instinct of guarding the master’s property from intrusion; only,
the instinct of the dog is better than the reason of man, for the dog never mistakes its
master for an enemy in whatever dress he may come before it. Again, the fanatic loses all
power of judgment. Personal considerations are in his case of such absorbing interest that
to him it is no right or wrong; but the one thing he is always particularly careful to know
is, who says it.

Swami Vivekananda
VARIOUS ASPECTS OF RASALILA
Sanjhee: This is the colourful art of decorating the charkula, a tapered wooden column with four to
ground with flowers. The story goes that Sri five circular tiers has earthen lamps on each level.
Krishna in order to please Radha, decorated the The number of lamps can range from 51 to 108 at
floor with flowers one evening and thereafter this times.
art was known as Sanjhee.
The dancer with her face veiled, moves with swift,
Rasalila: According to the Bhagwat Purana, Sri graceful movements while balancing the 40 to 50
Krishna along with the gopis had danced the Raas kilogram charkula on her head. A dramatic dance
on the banks of the Yamuna at Vrindavan. When that is visually attractive, it is performed on the
the gopis felt conceited about Lord Krishna Dooj of Holi, to the accompaniment of Rasiya songs
dancing with them, he disappeared from their rendered by the men folk.
midst. In the agony of separation from the beloved
Rasiya: This is the rich tradition of folk-songs that
Krishna, the gopis recalled and enacted his lilas
is found in the Braj area. Rasiya songs describe the
(divine episodes of his life) which in course of time
love of the divine couple Radha and Sri Krishna. It
came to be known as the Rasalila.
is an inseparable part of the Holi celebrations and
Charkula: This is a traditional folk dance of Braj, all other festive occasions at Braj. The Rasiya is
where a female dancer balances a column of sung to the rhythm of huge drums, locally known
lighted lamps over her head while dancing. The as bumb.

The Real Basis

There is only one explanation. And that is, there is one common Living Reality in all of us
which furnishes the common inner bond. Our philosophy calls it Atma. We love and serve one
another not because of the external relations, but because of the community of that Atma.

Yajnavalkya tells Maitreyi:


(O Maitrey! Man is not loved (by wife) because he is the husband, but because of the Atma in him) It is
in this sense, i.e,, the same spirit being immanent in all, that all men are equal. Equality is
applicable only on the plane of the Supreme Spirit. But on the physical plane the same Spirit
manifests itself in a wondrous variety of diversities and disparities.

According to our philosophy, the very projection of the Universe is due to a disturbance in the
equilibrium of its three attributes – sattva, rajas and tamas – and if there is a ‘gunasamya’, perfect
balance of the three attributes, then the Universe will dissolve back to the Unmanifest State.
Thus, disparity is an indivisible part of nature and we have to live with it. Our efforts should
be only to keep it in limits and take away the sting born out of it.

Sri Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar


Janmashtami

‘Gokulashtami’ or ‘Krishna Jayanti’ or He is considered to be one of Lord Vishnu's most


‘Janmashtami’ marks the celebration of the birth of glorious incarnations. He is popularly known as a
Sri Krishna in the month of July-August. The entire naughty child, an inspired cowherd, a destroyer of
festival is celebrated with great fervor. All the demons, an enthralling flute-bearer and flute
temples are decorated with devotees visiting the player, a divine lover, and a clever diplomat - all
temples. Quite often the décor of these temples is rolled in one.
worth admiring and beyond imagination.
He is also considered to be the Hindu God of Music
Celebrations are held over two days. However the and is the patron god of Indian musicians. Krishna
celebration in temples continues for weeks. The is always shown with his flute or ‘Bansuri’.
first day is Krishnashtami or Gokulashtami. The Krishna is also known as Govinda, Gopala and
second day is called Kalastami or more popularly Kanhaiya.
Janmashtami.
Krishna is Lord Vishnu’s eighth avatar
Krishna was born on Ashtami day or the eighth (incarnation) on earth. The main object of this
day after Raksha Bandhan during the Hindu month incarnation of Vishnu as Krishna was to destroy
of SHRAVAN or rainy season. This falls in July – the cruel King Kansa of Mathura.
August. As the story goes he was born in the dark
half of the month and at the darkest hour of Kansa, the king of Mathura was a very cruel tyrant.
midnight. But the birth of Vishnu's incarnation was His tyranny spared no one, even the sages had to
to bring joy and give security to the suffering bear the brunt of this. Finally the Gods could
humanity. tolerate no more and in a dream Kansa was told
that his evil reign would be brought to an end by
his sister Devaki’s son who would kill him. The she escaped his hands and flew away to heaven
cowardly tyrant immediately threw his sister announcing –‘Beware, your killer is alive’.
Devaki and her husband Vasudev in prison so that
he could kill all the sons born to Devaki. At Gokul, under king Nanda’s protection, Krishna
got the loving affection of King Nanda's Queen
In captivity Devaki bore six sons, each of whom Yashoda whom Krishna looked upon as a mother.
were promptly killed by Kansa. The seventh Days passed with fun and frolic, while the child-
pregnancy was transferred mystically to Rohini Krishna grew up. Krishna grew up happy in
who was the first wife of Vasudev. Out of this Nandgaon amongst cowherds. His flute-playing
pregnancy Balram was born. Although it was enthralled the young girls or ‘gopis’ who danced
Rohini who bore the pregnancy however it was around him. The cows gathered with his sweet
Yashoda who brought up Balram as the elder flute playing. But one day rumors reached Kansa
brother of Krishna. When Devaki gave birth to her that Devaki’s son had somehow escaped his
eighth child, the newly born baby changed himself clutches and was living in Gokul.
into the form of Vishnu and commanded Vasudev
to carry him to Nand gaon and place him besides You will notice that the theme of ‘Krishna with his
Yasodha. That night the prison guards fell into a Gopis’ is a favourite theme for painting among
deep slumber and the doors were unlocked. many Rajasthani paintings.
Taking advantage of this opportunity, Vasudev
slipped out of the prison and whisked away the Krishna was ideal in all his human relationships - a
God-child to the safety a neighboring kingdom darling son to his parents, an endearing friend, a
which was ruled by king Nanda. King Nanda’s devoted disciple, a loving husband and a trusted
domain lay across the Yamuna River. At that time brother. There are many stories that tell about his
the river Yamuna was high, but when Baby superhuman qualities and mystical achievements.
Krishna’s feet touched the waters, the waters In spite of this Krishna never appeared distant to
parted making a channel for Vasudev to pass. any of his fellow human beings. In fact he was dear
to them than their own nearest kith and kin. The
He was also asked to bring back the baby girl shadow of his greatness never marred these bonds
whom Yashoda had delivered. Vasudev brought of the heart. To the Hindu, he is the supreme
back the baby girl. Seeing the baby girl, the statesman, warrior, hero, philosopher,
enraged King Kansa smashed her on the wall but psychologist, teacher and god himself.

Mahabharata and Bhagavad Gita


A major event in Krishna’s later life was that he essential teachings of the ‘Upanishads’ through 18
was the adviser to the Pandavas during the Great chapters.
Mahabharat War between the Pandavas and
Kauravas. He was Arjuna’s charioteer during the No other scriptural text propounds various paths
battle.. of transformation in such a profound and yet such
a concise and easy manner for the common man to
His teachings to Arjuna during this epic war are understand and comprehend as the Bhagwad Gita.
known as ‘Bhagwad Gita’ itself which means ‘the The setting of the Gita is also wonderfully unique -
song of the divine’. The Bhagwad Gita is written in set in the Kurukshetra or battlefield representing
the form of a spiritual dialogue between Krishna the eternal battlefield of the human soul.
and Arjun. It has 700 verses and captures the
Janmashtami Celebrations
The state of Gujarat is the abode of Krishna. The humanity. Then ‘Naivedya’ is offered to god and
town of Dwarka comes alive, with major then distributed to all. This Naivedya or prasaad is
celebrations and hordes of visitors. The temples of a mixture of puffed rice, milk, curds and sugar. In
Vrindavan witness an extravagant and colorful addition, plenty of milk products especially butter,
celebration on this occasion. Celebrations are held which was Sri Krishna's favorite childhood food, is
on a grand scale in all Krishna temples all over given as offerings. A wide variety of fruits are also
India, especially the ones in Vrindavan, Mathura in offered to god.
the state of Uttar Pradesh and in Dwaraka in the
state of Gujarat. Other regionally famous Krishna Plenty of Indian sweets are made during this
temples also celebrate Janmashtami with pomp festival. Among these are Laddus, Payasam or
and splendor. Celebrations are also held in many Kheer, Shrikhand and so on.
Hindu Temples in the US. Like the Krishna
Janmashtmi Celebration at Barsana Dham and Exactly at midnight, Krishna’s birth is announced
Shree Rajeshwari Radha Rani Temple in Texas. with ringing of bells and blowing of conch shells.
Many more Hindu Temples around the US
celebrate this festival. Many women observe fast for the whole day and
partake food only after Krishna’s birth. In temples
On this auspicious day of Janmashtami the idol of ‘Bhajans’ - recitation of devotional songs and
infant Krishna is bathed at midnight and is placed ‘Kirtans’ - religious discourses - start early in the
in a cradle. It is then adorned with flowers, evening and continue till midnight - the hour of the
jewellery and a small ‘mukut’ or crown. It is then Lord’s birth. Singing and music continue
placed in a cradle. Everyone swings the cradle to throughout the night. The following morning
the tune of bhajans or songs of praise. ‘NAND-MAHOTSAV’ is celebrated in praise and
gratitude to Nand, the ruler of the cowherds of
The atmosphere is filled with joy and jubilation as Nandgaon where Krishna grew up and lived in his
everyone rejoices the birth of Vishnu’s incarnation childhood.
that has been born to give security to the suffering

Celebrations at homes
In the houses, mango leaves are tied to the fruit, mithai, curd, (kuttu) Singhare-ki-Puri. This
doorways to mark the auspicious occasion. phalar is taken in the afternoon (around 2-3 p.m.)
Colorful ‘Rangolis’ or designs are drawn on the along with tea and coffee. During this fast,
front yard. Inside the house, a small wooden consumption of tea and coffee is not forbidden and
‘mandap’ is erected and decorated with flowers can be taken at any time of the day.
and plantain leaves. An idol of a crawling baby
Krishna is placed in a silver cradle which is then In the evening, the family members gather
placed in the mandap. Krishna’s idol is decorated together and sit down in the decorated room and
with flowers and a crown and jewelry at times. sing ‘bhajans’ or devotional songs in praise of
Krishna, like ‘Om Jai Jagdish Hare.’
Most families keep a ‘vrat’or fast on this day. The
fast is done all day and then one meal is had during
the day. This is known as phalar, and consists of
Om jaya jagadesha hare, Swami jaya jagadeesha hare
Bhakta janana ke sankata, Deva janana ke sankata
Kshana ][ mei dura kare,Om jaya jagadesha hare
Jo dhyawei phala pawei, Dukha veenashei manaka
Swami dukha veenashei manaka, Sukah sampati ghara awei
Sukah sampati ghara awei, Kasta mitei tana ka
Om jaya jagadesha hare

Mata pita tuma mere, Sharana gahoon kisakee


Swami sharana gahoon kisakee, Tuma binna aura nadooja
Tuma binna aura nadooja, Asha karoon jisakee
Om jaya jagadesha hare

Tuma poorana paramatma, Tuma antarayamee


Swami tuma antarayamee, Para Brahma parameshwara
Para Brahma parameshwara, Tuma sub ke swami
Om jaya jagadesha hare

Tuma karuna ke sagara, Tuma palana karata


Swami tuma palana karata, Mein sewaka tuma swami
Mein sewaka tuma swami, Kripa karo bharta
Om jaya jagadesha hare

Tuma ho ek agochara, Subake parana pati


Swami subake parana pati, Kisa bidhi miloon daya maya
Kisa bidhi miloon daya maya, Tumako mein kumati
Om jaya jagadesha hare

Deena bandhu dukha harta, Tuma rakshaka mere


Swami tuma rakshaka mere, Apaney haatha uthao
Apaney haatha uthao, Dwara para tere
Om jaya jagadesha hare

Vishaya vikaro mitao, Papa haro deva


Swami papa haro deva, Shradha bhakti barhao
Shradha bhakti barhao, Santana ke seva
Om jaya jagadesha hare

Jaya jagadesha hare, Prabu jaya jagadeesha hare


Bhakta janana ke sankata, Deva janana ke sankata
Kshana mei doora kare, Om jaya jagadesha hare
Om jaya jagadesha hare

The birth of Krishna is welcomed at midnight by the gentleman or the lady of the house by applying the
teeka and then doing puja to Krishna. Prasad and ‘charnamrit’ are then distributed to all present.
Dahi handi
This most popular ceremony of Dahi-handi takes A popular image of Krishna was and still
place on the second day of celebrations. The is......Krishna stealing dahi or butter from an
celebration of Krishna’s birth is also known as earthen pot. During his childhood, the naughty
‘Dahihandi’. An earthen pot or ‘matka’ or ‘handi’ and adventurous Lord Krishna along with his
filled with curds, milk, curds, butter, honey, fruits mates used to raid the houses of his neighbors in
and ‘jvari’ is tied from a high rope about 20 to 40 search of milk and butter; they too would build a
feet high. The rope also has prize money tied to it. human pyramid and plunder the pots of milk and
This prize money is distributed among those who butter. This ceremony replicates Krishna’s love for
participate in the building the pyramid. It is a milk and butter.
spectacular sight to see.
Once the pot is broken, the contents are eaten as
Young men form a human pyramid to break the ‘prasad’ amidst acclamations of ‘Govind’ which is
pot. To do so they climb, constructing a human another name for Krishna.
pyramid by standing over each other's shoulders
till the pyramid is tall enough to enable the person
at the top to reach the pot and claim the contents
after breaking it.

Rasa Lila
As Krishna loved song and dance, one of the main beloved Krishna, the gopis recalled and enacted
celebrations during his lilas or divine
this festival is episodes of his life -
‘RASLILA’. which in course of
time came to be
According to the known as the
Bhagvat Purana, Rasalilas.
Krishna along with
the gopis had danced The Dandiya or
the Raas on the Garba dances of
banks of the Yamuna today originated
at Vrindavan. from that ‘Rasalila
in Vrajbhoomi’ on
When the gopis felt banks of river
conceited about Yamuna.
Krishna dancing
with them, he
disappeared from
their midst. In the agony of separation from their
SHIVA GOPI GITA

T
he entire Bhakti movement is divided into shaivite and had taken the vow not to see any other
Shaivite and Vaishnavite. The two groups image of God except Shiva. And as part of the
belong to two dieties according to Hindu business one day a business man who was blessed
Trinity. Hindu Triniy consists of Shiva – the with a son decided to pay his gratitude by offering
destroyer; Brahma – the creator; and Vishnu – the a gold waistband to the statue of Krishna as he was
preservator. These are three roles needed for life to the follower of Krishna – a vaishanavite. A strange
created, preserved and then destroyed. No one situation arouse.
bothers about the creator. As a result there is only
As was requested the item was made but it was
one known temple of Brahma. Vishnu is reserves.
two finger width short. It was corrected but made
This too is not so significant. No one, after being
the item two finger width bigger. In spite of efforts
created, really bothers the preservation. Yet still
it could not be corrected. Now the reputation of the
Vishnu is worshipped in different forms not
goldsmit was at stake. So he decided to take the
directly. The role of preservation is done in
measurement himself on one condition. His
different forms and incarnations as Rama, Krishna,
condition was that he will go for the measurement
and others. This also explains the process of
with his eyes closed with a bandage on the eyes.
evolution. Lastly is Shiva – the destroyer – the
death. Everyone is afraid of death. As his fingers mover along the statue he felt the
hair lock and all the embelems of Shiva. He knew
Out of this understanding bhakti eveolved around
that he came to take the measurement of Krishna.
these two aspects of the trinity: Vishnu and Shiva.
This baffled him. So as he removed the bandage for
Out of Shiva evoled the tradition of Shiva worship.
confirmation of his feelings he found the Krishna
The devotees are called Shaivites. While the
statue in front of him. Hurriedly he closed the eyes
followers of Vishnu are called Vaishnavites. At the
and the same thing happened once again. This
plane of consciousness of these there is no
happened in southern part of India in Pandarpur.
difference between these two deties. Each is
There is a statue of Krishna with Shiva emblems as
assigned a role to perform for the sustenance of
well. There Krishna is worshipped as Bhagwan
creation. Everything has to move in harmony so
Viththal.
that balance is maintained. If the things are created
and preserved but not destroyed this will create an Now Shiva Gopi Gita. One day it happened it was
imbalance. But the difference is very easily evident winter season. The rasa was in progress in nidhi
among the devotees and organizations. This vana. Shiva decided to visit the rasa in nidhi vana.
difference is not new instead it is continuing from So he descended from the place of his abode at
the time of creation when the movement came into Kailas and came to the nidhi vana. As he was about
existence to enter the area Lalita stopped Shiva saying that he
cannot enter the area as this ismeant only for gopis
The entire bhakti movement is divided amidst
and no male is allowed. But Shiva expressed his
these two factions. During the times there is
deep desire to see the rasa and be part of rasa lila.
episode of Narhari Sunar (the gold smith) who was
At this Lalita suggested there is only one way for Shiva was male dressed as a female. Krishna
him to enter for rasa lila if he decides to have the noticed this strange gopi now entering the rasa. The
make up as a gopi and enters the area as a gopi. rasa continued. All of a sudden Krishna decided
Shiva so much wanted to take part in rasa lila that that he would like to see the face of each Gopi
he agreed to any condition put forward by Lalita. saying that the gopis had been dancing for so long
with drapes.
Accordingly Shiva was dressed up like a gopi and
It was decided that all the gopis will stand in a que
and one by one he will look at the face of each gopi.
This way the privacy will remain and he will be
able to recognize each gopi. Gopis gathered in large
number for rasa. Shiva stood at the other end and
was confident that his turn may not come at all as
the number of gopis was quite large in rasa. When
Krishna saw that Shiva was standing at the other
end. Suddenly he decided to start seeing the face
from the side of the que where Shiva was standing.
Shiva did not want Krishna to know that he came
to the rasa. But Krishna was mischievous.

Shiva found himself in a fix so he ran from the


place where he was standing to the other end of the
que. Seeing this Krishna decided to look at the face
of this gopi that was running wild from place to
place.

Shiva was caught and as Krishna raised the drape


Lalita put the make up, the anklet, dancing bells, Krishna exclaimed, ‘Gopishwer aap ki jai ho’ – hail
bangles, waist band, nose ring, ear rings, eye lash, to you o Gopishwer. It was the two elements of
and the bindi. With all the decoration and make-up Shaivism and Vaishnavism coming togather.
Shiva now enters the rasa amidst the sound of
dancing bells with face covered with a drape.. In Vrandavana there is one temple of Shiva where
he is dressed as gopi and on Mondays special
Unlike other Gopis Shiva had a different bodily make-up is done.
structure. Definitely it bound to look different as

Hanuman represents the sojourn from mortal consciousness into divine awakening. The Hanuman Chalisa is indeed a
mystical treatise on the evolution from mind into no-mind. Hanuman Chalisa shows the way of transformation from ego-
centricity to becoming a nimitta – an instrument of divinity…. In the mystical dimension Hanuman is sometimes used to
represent a seeker on the spiritual sojourn and at other times to represent the guru – enlightened master. This is very
symbolic as at the final state of dissolution, the seeker is the master and the master is the seeker.

Swami Anand Neelambar – Hanuman Chalisa – A Mystical Dimension


GOPI RASA GITA

W
henever we seek to enter the esoteric observed the vow of worshipping goddess
dimension of any aspect of mythology or Katyayani. For the entire month they ate only
religion or tradition it is referred to as unspiced khichri or combination of rice and daal
cooked together.’
mysticism. To explain this aspect it is called ‘Gita’.
Therefore in order to bring this understanding I The gopis who observed the vow to worship
have to explore this as ‘Gopi Rasa Gita’ and bring a Katyayani were young and unmarried. What, then,
deeper understanding of the entire aspect of Rasa was Krishna’s age at this time? Krishna had left
Lila, an act where Sri Krishna danced on the banks Gokula when he was only three and a half years old.
of the river Yamuna in the full moon night along He was seven years old when He lifted the
with Sri Radhika Rani and other Gopis. mountain, Govardhana, on the little finger of His left
Gopi-gita is part of Rasa Panch Adhyaya. There are hand.
five chapters in Srimad Bhagwatam that relate to What is this Girraj Mountain? Before I proceed let
Rasa- Lila. Remember ‘Five’ is a mystical number me explain the katha of Sri Girraj Mountain. Once it
with great meaning hidden within its womb. happened that Sri Narayan was visiting the earthly
Human body has five kinds of life-airs or prana-vayu realm or goloak. He went on Drona Mountain. A
(Pancha - Prana) residing in the heart, and among yajna was in progress there. Krishna visited a gopi
these five, one is the most vital. The twelve cantos of named Girija. This was followed by Sri Radha Rani
Srimad Bhagwatam are connected to twelve parts of who was following Narayana. However she was not
a body. allowed as a gopa named Sudam stopped Sri Radha
Rani from entering the Yajna shala. At this Sri Radha
The Tenth Canto is the heart of that body. Within Rani got angry and cursed him to be born in raksha
that heart, these five chapters explain Rasa Lila clan. The gopa was born as demon Sakhyasur as a
signifying the five life-elements of man’s eternal result of this curse.
existence. Among these, Gopi-Gita is the foremost.
This is the heart. Not only that the gopa also cursed Sri Radha Rani to
be separated from Thakur ji for 100 years. When
Before I take you through Gopi-gita it is significant Krishna met Sri Radha Rani and he came to know of
to remember the chapter in Srimad Bhagwatam that the curse he said they have to go through this curse
describes the episode of gopis’ worship of the for 100 years. At this Sri Radha Rani said, ‘She
goddess Katyayani Devi to attain Krishna as their would like to dwell in goloak, where there is sacred
husband. The first verse of this chapter states: bank of Sri Yamuna ji and also there is the Girraj
Mountain.’
hemante prathame masi
nanda-vraja-kamarikau At this Sri Krishna caste a glance at Drona Mountain
cerur havinyaa bhuijanau
and Girraj Mountain was born as the son of Drona.
katyayani-archana-vratam
This Girraj Mountain is another form of Sri Krishna.
Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.22.1) The mountain is very beautiful. And Drone
Mountain loved Girraj Mountain.
Sukdeva said, ‘During the first month of the winter
season, the young, unmarried girls of Gokula
Later on once sage Pulasya visited the Drona God has far more good qualities than even the
Mountain. He fell in love with this mountain and perfected saints. Such saints do not become angry,
expressed desire to take the Girraj Mountain to and they are not disturbed by hunger, thirst, or any
Kashi. The father mountain was not ready for this. other material distress. They do not steal or tell lies.
Yet still knowing the anger of the sage Drona agreed
Krishna tells lies. He weeps and becomes angry. He
to allow the sage to take the Girraj Mountain if he
plays tricks on people, and He is naughty in so many
agrees. So when sage enquired Girraj Mountain
other ways. He sometimes cries for butter and sugar
agreed to accompany him only on one condition.
candy. If He does not get what He wants, He
The condition was, if for any reason the sage put the
becomes furious and hurls all the items in our home
mountain down it will get established there and will
onto the ground, and then scatters them here and
not move from there.
there.
Sage Pulasya carried the Girraj Mountain. On
‘This is a proof in itself that He is not God. In any
reaching Goloak dham Girraj became very happy. It
case, even if you would insist that He is God, He is
was déjà vu. He wanted to settle there. So Girraj
still my son, so I will admonish and punish Him and
increased its weight. With this the sage felt tired and
treat Him as a father should treat his child.’
decided to take a rest. As a result the sage rest Girraj
at one place. After taking the rest when the sage got Nanda Baba continued to laugh at the very idea that
set to start the journey again he could not lift Girraj Krishna is God. Same time Yogamaya appeared, and
Mountain as it had already established there. This by her mere presence and influence, everyone
enraged the sage. At this Girraj Mountain reminded present there forgot the idea. This incident took
the sage of his condition? The sage had no choice place during the month of Kartika, when Krishna
but to leave the mountain there still he cursed Girraj was seven years old, and it was just after Kartika
that you will continue to get smaller in size. That that the gopis worshiped Katyayani.
gopi Girija assumed the form as Sri Yamuna ji.
Girraj Mountain therefore is another form of There were two groups of gopis: those who were
Krishna. married and those who were not. Although it was
the unmarried gopis who worshiped Katyayani, the
This is the story of Girraj Mountain. After Krishna married gopis like Lalita, and Radhika also had
lifted Girirja, all the elders and their priests purva-raga (the gopis’ tender love for Krishna
gathered together and told Nanda Baba, ‘You should before their first intimate meeting with Him). This is
not treat Krishna as if He were your son alone. He is because, although they had met with Him so many
actually not your son. He may be a demigod, or times, they always felt the excited anticipation of
perhaps He is God, or someone like God. We have the first meeting.
heard that Narayana Himself has come in the form
of Krishna, and perhaps it is true. So you should not The unmarried gopis were somewhat younger than
treat Him like an ordinary boy. Do not bind His the married ones. Radhika is thirteen and a half
hands, and do not chastise or punish Him. He is only years old, and Krishna is fourteen. Lalita is twenty-
seven years old, and yet He lifted a mountain like seven days older than Radhika, and Vishakha was
Govardhana or Girraj. How is that possible? This is born on the same day as Radhika. Rupa Maijari and
indeed mysterious.’ Rati Maijari are a little over twelve years, so they
are about one and a half years younger than
Hearing this Nanda Baba laughed. ‘I have heard that Krishna. This means that when Krishna was seven
gopas only become mature and intelligent at the age years old, the gopis who were engaged in the
of eighty. They cannot properly decide anything worship of Katyayani Devi were about six; but they
before then, because their minds are not fixed. already had love and affection for Him. Their love
Krishna is just an ordinary boy. for Krishna for was not kama or amorous love,
because kama is not possible at such a tender age. their husbands who had obstructed them, but
They loved Him dearly, but there was no feeling of actually it was Yogamaya who did so. She had
kama. Krishna told those gopis engaged in worship, entered the minds of their husbands, fathers,
‘Next year, during the autumn season, I will fulfill mothers, and other relatives influencing them to
your desires.’ Then, a year later, when Krishna was prevent the gopis from going.
about eight years old, He played His flute to call the
If Yogamaya had wanted them to join the rasa-lila,
gopis for rasa dance.
she would have made duplicate forms of those
It is said that He was in Vrandavana until He was gopis. In this way the real gopis would have been
ten years old, and within that time He performed able to leave their homes unnoticed and enter rasa-
Rasa Lila as well as all His Vrindavana pastimes, lila. However, Yogamaya could not help these gopis,
including the killing of the demon. because they had some traces of a consciousness
that was not favorable for fully developed parakiya-
In other words, He appeared to be fourteen years
bhava (paramour love in relationship to Krishna).
old when He was actually only ten, and the gopis
They still had the conception: ‘This is my husband,
also appeared to be older than they were actually. It
and these are my children.’ Their affection was not
is said that they grew up very quickly and looked
solely for Krishna but was shared with many others.
big because they used to eat plenty butter and sugar
candy. In actual fact, the reason they appeared to be Devotional process of rasa Lila
teenagers is because of the influence of Yogamaya.
We are now beginning the devotional process. If our
In their previous births, some of the young
eternal spiritual form is that of a gopi, we will
unmarried gopis had been personified Vedic
develop an increasing taste to serve as a gopi. We
scriptures called srutis. Some had been sages; while
will gradually be able to perform sadhana and in
others had been princesses from Janaka-puri, and
this way we will develop a yearning to be like the
some, daughters of the demigods (deva-kanya).
gopis.
Among the gopis, some had the association of the
One year after Krishna made his promise to the
nitya-siddha gopis, and they also had purvaraga.
gopis, on the full-moon night in autumn He looked
These gopis easily entered the rasa-lila, whether
at the moon and began to play His flute. He
they were married or not. On the other hand, the
remembered, ‘Our forefather, the moon, has a
married gopis who had purva-raga but did not have
beloved other than his wife, Rohini. His beloved is
the association of nitya-siddha gopis were stopped
Purva-disha, the eastern horizon.’
from entering rasa-lila. The gopis mentioned in the
above verse from Srimad- Bhagavatam (10.22.1) had Vyasa described this scene as follows:
association with the nitya-siddha gopis. We know
this because at the end of the month they invited Krishna was thinking, ‘The hands of our forefather,
Radhika, Lalita, Chitra, and all other such gopis to the moon, are smeared with kuakum. Those hands,
join them in their worship. This means that they had his rays, are decorating the face of his beloved
the association of those gopis, and consequently Purva-disha without any difficulty, and she is shyly
they could easily enter the rasa nritya. accepting that reddish ornamentation. Why should I
not do the same?’
This is confirmed in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. The
nitya-siddha gopis and those who had their In other words, the reddish rays of the moon
association entered the rasa-lila without difficulty, radiated throughout the forest, bathing the trees
whereas the married gopis with sons or daughters and the rivers, and everything in it in a red light. In
were checked by Yogamaya. They could not go, even that ambrosial atmosphere, thoughts of the gopis
though they had purva-raga. It appeared that it was came to Krishna’s mind, and He remembered His
promise to fulfill their inner quest. He pondered, ‘By The gopis replied, ‘We agree that if You are God we
diffusing the reddish hue of his gentle rays and by should certainly obey You, but our first duty is to
glowing with the effulgence of newly applied serve our guru. When we have executed that order,
vermilion, Chandra (the moon) has reminded Me of we will obey Your instructions to serve our
My promise and has placed within My heart the husbands.
inspiration to fulfill it. This is the perfect moment
‘Our second consideration is this. We know that God
for Me to do so.’
is our father, God is our real husband, and God is
Then, on that full moon night of the sharad everything; so if You are God, then You are both our
(autumn) season, Krishna played a beautiful melody husband and our guru. In every way, if You do not
on His flute and the gopis came running to Him. But accept our service You will be guilty of acting
when they arrived, He told them to return to Braja. against the principles of religion. You are giving us
‘A lady should serve her husband,’ He said, instructions on religious principles, but You should
‘regardless of his qualities. Her husband may be practice this Yourself.’
poor or plagued with diseases, but she should serve
At last, after all these the rasa began. Krishna
him under all circumstances.’
danced with Sri Radhika Rani in the center of the
At first the gopis did not say anything in reply, but circle of gopis, and at the same time He danced with
within their minds and hearts they questioned, each of the gopis comprising the circle. It is not that
‘Does He really mean it or is He joking with us?’ He expanded into as many manifestations of
They observed Him closely as He tried to cleverly Himself as there were gopis, because in Vrandavana,
hide His real intention. It seemed that He was pastimes there is no evidence of opulence
honestly expressing Himself in a straightforward (aishvarya-lila).
manner, but in fact, He was not.
Rather, He danced so quickly, like a firebrand
Finally the gopis said, ‘You are our guru and, as orbiting in a circle, that it simply looked as if He
such, You are giving us so many instructions. We were constantly and simultaneously dancing with
know that even in the presence of God, a person each and every gopi. If He had expanded into many
should serve his guru first, so let us first serve You, manifestations of Himself, this pastime would have
our guru, before we return to serve our husbands.’ been aishvarya-lila. Instead, He was engaged in
human-like pastimes (nara-lila).
In Bhagavad-gita, Krishna says:
Many people have commented that Krishna
ye yatha maa prapadyante,
manifested His kaya-vyuha (direct expansions of His
taas tathaiva bhajamy aham
personal form) when He was dancing in the rasa-
mama vartmanuvartante,
lila, however this is not so. There are those who
manunyau partha sarvashau!!
think that Krishna expanded his form to perform, in
fact it is not so. In reality only Krishna’s svayaa-rupa
Bhagavad-gita (4.11)
(original form) performed this transcendental
I reward everyone according to their surrender pastime.
unto Me. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O Krishna moved like a lightning flash from gopi to
son of Patha. gopi, dancing with each one in turn. Sri Radhika saw
Sri Krishna was instructing the gopis and also that Krishna was dancing with Her. Then, as She
telling them, ‘I am God. I am telling you what to do, cast Her gaze over all the other gopis, She saw that
so you should obey Me’. Krishna was dancing with each of them as well. Each
gopi thought,
‘Krishna is dancing only with me.’ Sri Radhika alone When a hero (nayik) is controlled by a heroine
could see Him with each and every gopi. When She (nayika), the heroine thinks herself to be the most
looked beside Her, She saw that He was there with fortunate beloved. This fortune is called saubhaga
Her, but when She looked toward the other gopis, and, as it evolves, it brings her to the state of
She saw Him dancing with them. saubhagya-mada. Generally ‘mada’ means
intoxication through drinking, but saubhagya-mada
Krishna’s performance of rasa-lila in this way does
means intoxication from the feeling of good fortune,
not manifest aishvarya form by bringing forth
‘In all of Braja, there is no one equal to me in good
expansions of His form. Instead it was WHIRLING
fortune.’
from gopi to gopi at a lightning speed. This was
indeed miraculous. Moreover, He performed many In this state, the gopis became so proud that if they
varieties of activities with the gopis as they danced had been aware of Krishna’s dancing with other
together. He asked one gopi if she were fatigued, He gopis, they would have developed mana. Then, in
gently wiped drops of perspiration from the face of that angry and sulky mood, they would have been
another, and He fastened ankle-bells on another. completely unable to continue participating in rasa-
With each and every gopi He had various lila with the other gopis. Instead, each gopi was
interactions, and thus each gopi became maddened convinced that she had Krishna fully under her
in their love for Him. All these acts were performed control, that He was captivated and controlled by
while he was dancing with Gopis. Rasa Lila involved her and obedient to her every command. Gopis were
a lightning speed with which Sri Krishana moved overwhelmed because of this saubhagya mada
from gopi to gopi, performed various acts as part of while Sri Radhika Rani exhibited the mana and its
the rasa and yet still he was with Sri Radhika Rani. various bhavas.

The gopis’ madness that had intoxicated them by Krishna understood what was happening, and
their own good fortune, is called saubhagya-mada. considered, ‘I have decided to sport with all the
In this regard Srimad-Bhagavatam states: gopis and fulfill all their most cherished desires, but
there is no hope of that happening unless they
tasaa tat-saubhaga-madaa
change their bhava. In some way their pride must be
veknya manaa ca keshavau
removed.’
Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.29.48)
He then saw that Radhika was no longer there in
Then Keshava saw that the gopis were madly rasa-lila. In Her mana, She had abruptly left that
intoxicated due to their good fortune, and He also place and was going elsewhere. Such is the situation
saw Sri Radhika’s mana, Her mood of lovingness yet with human mind. With this Krishna also
jealous anger. disappeared, and all of the gopis began their search
for Him. It is said that Krishna became invisible,
The gopis as an entire group exhibited both whereas in reality He did not. Rather, He went to a
saubhagya-mada and mana, while mana was only nearby kuija and hid there. Thus continues the Gopi
exhibited by Sri Radhika Rani. Only She could see Gita as part of Rasa Lila.
Krishna dancing with the other gopis. The other
gopis did not see this, and thus they were
intoxicated by their good fortune (saubhagya-mada)
in which they saw Krishna dancing with them alone.
Letters to the editor
Bismillahir Rahmaanir Rahiim,

Nahmaduhu Wa Nusolli 'Ala Rasulihil Karim,


Wa Ba'du,

Assalamu'alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

Alhamdulillah, the MEDITATION TIMES gives to the audiences an extra knowledge and
understanding about different paths to reach the divine destination.

Special thanks to Hadhrat Sufi Taoshobudhha for reviving the spiritual elements in modern
age for discovering the various paths to reach the truth. May Allah’s blessing be upon those
who strive to love him and are striving to bring the people towards him, especially to
Hadhrat Sufi Taoshobudhha for what he has done for the sake of Allah.

Either by following a guru or without a guru is not so important because a guru is just a
medium for a person to reach the knowledge of the unlimited. The true source of knowledge
and understanding only comes from Allah, nothing else. If one knows Allah really well and
can learn from the manifestations of his names, attributes, qualities and actions, so one may
not need to have a guru anymore, Allah will be his greatest guru. But for those who can't
even understand about his creator's names, qualities, attributes and actions, how could he
understand his essence? These kinds of people are compulsory to have a guru to guide them
physically and spiritually to reach the divine. Otherwise their journey will be impossible at
all. He will move like a blind man in a dark night. Still if one needs a guru, Allah is the best
guru.

May Allah bless us, Amin.

Wabillahi taufiq wal hidayah,


wallahu a'lam wa 'ilmuhu atam.

Regards,
Faqir Mawlawi Jalaluddin Ahmad Ar-Rowi
'Ufiyallahu 'Anhu

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Krishna, the Eternal Mystery
ExtractedfromadiscoursefromSriChinmoy

SriKrishnawasateacherfromtheverybeginningofhis wasuseless.SriKrishnaprotectedhiswholeraceandall
life. Even before he entered into the physical world he hisrelatives.ThenLordIndraacceptedhisdefeat.
acted as a teacher. Before he entered into his mothers
womb,hecametohisfatherwhohadbeenimprisoned Krishnawasacowherdandhehadmany,manyfriends.
bythekingandsaid,Iamnowgoingtoenterintothe He was a very great flutist. The boys and girls,
physicalworld.AssoonasIamborn,youwilltakeme especiallythegirls,usedto
out of this prisoncell and take me to Nanda (one of cometolistentohismusic.
hisrelatives).HisfathersawSriKrishnavividlybefore But the love he had for
he came into the world of manifestation, and to them was always of the
everybodyssurprise,allofasuddenallthedoorsand purest. He had many so
gatesoftheprisonwerewideopen,andhisfathertook called girlfriends. We
himtoNandasplace.Herehestartedhisteaching. immediately associate this
term with the wrong
Before he came into the world, a similar incident emotion, but in Sri
occurred to the mother of the Lord Buddha. Also SriChinmoy Krishnas case, his
Christianity practically says the same, that Jesus relationshipwasabsolutely
enteredintohismotherswombconsciously. pure. Among these girls, there was one called Radha.
Radha finally became his consort and his shakti, and it
To come back to Sri Krishna, while he was just a child was she who understood fully who Sri Krishna was.
heopenedhismouthandshowedhismotherthewhole There Sri Krishna was expressing his Divine Love to
universe.Hewasteachinghismotherthattheuniverse humanbeings.Itwasdelightthathewantedtoexpress,
isnowhereelsebutinsidehim. pure delight, to this physical world. But criticism was
existent in those days too. People started criticising Sri
Then, when he was eleven years old, one day he Krishna openly because of his fondness for Radha.
observed that his parents and his relatives and Radha became very close to him. One day, Radha, in a
neighbours were all performing ceremonies in honour sulking mood, said to him,Look,you aresopureand
oftheLordIndra,IndratherainGod,KingoftheGods. so divine and I come here to listen to your music and
SriKrishnasaid,WhyareyouworshippingIndra?Itis youtellmeeternal,divinetruths.Howisitthatpeople
better to worship this hill. Why dont you worship this create such gossip, especially my girlfriends? Just
Giri Govardhan? Our cattle are being fed by this hill, because you give special attention to me they criticise
andeveryoneisbeinghelpedinonewayoranotherby us.? Sri Krishna gave her a broad smile and said, All
this hill. We should worship the hill and not Indra. right.SoonedaySriKrishnainvitedallhisgirlfriends
Indraisnothelpingusinanyway.Ifyouwanttoknow and told them,TodayI wishto have aspecialgame.I
the truth, then you worship this hill.? They listened to knowallofyouarepureandallofyouarechaste.Most
him on that occasion. They worshipped not Indra but of you have husbands. Then Sri Krishna took a sieve
the hill, and Indra became furious. He inundated the and a bucket of water. He told them each to pour the
whole place with water. There was a constant water into the sieve, and if the water did not leak
downpourwhichlastedsevendays.ButSriKrishnawas through,itmeantthatthatparticulargirlwaspureand
nottoacceptdefeat.Withoneofhisfingersheliftedthe chaste. They started, one by one, to pour water, and of
whole hill, and the hill served the purpose of an coursewiththefirstonethewaterleakedthrough.They
umbrella. The entire vicinity was under the protection allwerelaughingandsayingthatshewasnotchasteor
ofthehill,anditisstillthere.ItissaidthatSriKrishna pure, and she buried her head in the fold of her arm.
held it for seven days and then Lord Indra felt that it Then the next girl came and the same thing happened,
andonandonwitheachgirl.
Radhawasobservingthescene.SriKrishnasaidtoher, name,fameandduties.ButinRadhascase,Iamalways
Radha, why are inhermind.Radhaisamarriedwoman,Radhahasher
you silent, why own husband, but no matter where she goes and with
dont you try? whom she speaks, her mind is always on Me. I am the
She said, They Lord of the Universe, and whoever thinks of Me is the
are always purestonearth.Thosewhothinkofotherthingsarenot
criticisingme,and pure.
if I try I will
probably join Whenhegrewupinthesocietyveryoftenhewishedto
them in their give most illumining counsel. Everybody came to him
failure. Sri for guidance, and he was their chief counsellor. When
Krishna said, thePandavasbecamehismostintimatefriends,heused
Why dont you to advise them all the time in their difficulties; in all
comeandtry,itis their sorrows and joys Sri Krishna was there to advise
a game after all. them.ThenhecametothebattlefieldtohelpArjuna.We
Soshecameandpouredthewater,bucketafterbucket, already know from the Gita how he advised Arjuna to
butthesievedidnotleak.Theywereallastonishedand fight, and he taught Arjuna all about the inner life, the
Sri Krishna said, Look here, now you can see who is spiritual life, inner perfection and outer perfection,
chaste,whoispure.NowIamteachingyoutheeternal realisation and revelation. Sri Krishna said, Whenever
truth.IamtheLordoftheUniverse.RadhacomestoMe thereisdeclineofrighteousness,andunrighteousnessis
forspiritualhelpandEternalTruth,andMyloveforher intheascendent,thenIbodyMyselfforthtoprotectthe
andallofyouisspiritualanddivine.Someofyouhave virtuous and put an end to evildoers; to establish
husbands, but your minds still roam elsewhere. You Dharma,Iambornfromagetoage.Thisisoneofthe
care for other men and you give much attention to mostimportantversesintheGita.

GLORY OF THE GITA


Swami Sivananda
The Bhagavad Gita is a dialogue between Lord Krishna and half of the Margasirsha month according to Hindu almanac. It
Arjuna, narrated in the Bhishma-Parva of Mahabharata. It was the day on which this scripture was revealed to the world
comprisres eighteen chapters of a total of 700 Sanskrit Verses. by Sanjaya.
Considerable matter has been condensed and compressed
within these verses. On the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Lord In the whole world-literature there
Krishna, during the discourse of His most interesting and is no book so elevating and so
instructive talk with Arjuna, revealed the profound, sublime inspiring as the Gita. The Gita
and soul-stirring spiritual truths and expounded to him rare expounds very lucidly the cardinal
secrets of Yoga, Vedanta, Bhakti and Karma. All the principles or the fundamentals of
teachings of Lord Krishna were subsequently recorded as the Hindu religion and the Hindu
Song Celestial or the Bhagavad Gita by Sri Bhagavan Vyasa Dharma. It is the source of all
for the benefit of humanity at large. The world is under a great wisdom. It is your great guide. It is
debt of gratitude to Sri Vyasa who has presented this Celestial your supreme teacher. It is an
Song to humanity for their daily conduct in life, spiritual inexhaustible spiritual treasure. It is
uplift and Self-realisation. Only those who are self-controlled a fountain of Bliss. It is an ocean of
and are endowed with faith can reap the full benefit of the Knowledge. It is full of Divine
Gita, which is the Science of the Soul. splendour and grandeur.
SwamiSivananda
The Gita Jayanti day or the birthday of the Bhagavd Gita is The Gita is the cream of the Vedas.
celebrated throughout India by all the admirers and lovers of It is the essence of all Upanishads. It is the universal scripture
this unique book on the 11th day (Ekadasi) of the brightest
for all people of all temperaments and for all times. It is a could be. Even a man who has elementary knowledge of
wonderful book with sublime thoughts and practical Sanskrit can go through the book. It deals with the four
instructions on Yoga, Devotion, Vedanta and Action. It is a Yogas, viz., Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga and Jnana
marvellous book, profound in throughts and sublime in Yoga.
heights of vision. It gives peace and solace to the souls who
are afflicted by the three fires (Taapa Traya) of this mortal The Gita is like the lake of Manasasarovara for the
world (Samsara), viz., Adhyatmika (afflictions caused by Paramahamsa (monks and renunciates) and thirsting aspirants
one’s own body), Adhibhautika (those caused by beings to sport in. It is the ocean of bliss in which the seekers of
around one), and Adhidaivika (those caused by the demi-gods Truth swim with joy and ecstasy. If the philosopher’s stone
or forces of nature). touches a piece of iron even at one point, the whole of it is
transformed into gold. Even so, if you live in the spirit of even
The Bhagavad Gita contains the divine nectar. It is the one verse, you will doubtless be transmuted into divinity.
Chintamani, Kalpataru and Kamadhenu (wish-fulfilling gem,
tree and cow respectively). You can milk out anything from it. Study of the Gita alone is sufficient for the purpose of daily
It is a book of eternity. It is not a catch-penny book which has Svadhyaya (Scriptural Study). You will find a solution here
a life like that of a mushroom. The Gita has been my constant for all your doubts. The more you study with devotion and
companion of life. It is a vade mecum for all. Peace, Bliss, faith, the more you will get deeper knowledge, penetrative
Ananda, Happiness, Wisdom, Atman, Brahman, Purusha, insight and clear right thinking. Even if you live in the spirit
Dhama, Nirvana, Param Padam, Gita are all only synonymous of one verse of the Gita, all your miseries will come to an end
terms. and you will attain the goal of life – Immortality and Eternal
Peace.
The Gita is a boundless ocean of nectar. It is an immortal
celestial fruit of the tree of Upanishads. In this unique book, The Gita is a gospel for the whole world. It is meant for the
you will find an unbiased exposition of the philosophy of generality of mankind. It was given over five thousand years
action, devotion and knowledge and a wonderful synthesis. ago on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, by Lord Krishna to
The Bhagavad Gita is a rare and splendid flower that wafts its Arjuna. None but the Lord can bring out such an
sweet fragrance throughout the world. All the upanishads unprecedented and marvellous book which gives peace to the
represent cows; Sri Krishna is the milker of the Upanishad- readers, which helps and guides them in the attainment of
Cows; Partha (Arjuna) is the calf who first tasted that milk of Supreme Bliss, which has survived upto this time. This itself
wisdom of the self, which was milked by the Divine proves clearly that God exists, that God is an embodiment of
Cowherd, Sri Krishna, for the benefit of Arjuna and all knowledge and that one can attain perfection or liberation by
humanity, as the Bhagavad Gita. It helps to solve not only realising God alone.
Arjuna’s problems and doubts, but also the world problems
and the problems and doubts of every individual. Glory to The whole world is a battlefield. The real Kurukshetra is
Lord Krishna, the friend of the cowherds of Gokula, the Joy within you. The battle of Mahabharata is still raging within
of Devaki ! He who drinks the nectar of the Gita through you. Ignorancce (Avidya) is Dhritarashtra. The individual soul
purification of the heart and meditation, attains immortality, is Arjuna. The Indweller Who Dwells in your heart is Lord
eternal bliss, everlasting peace and perennial Joy. Krishna, the charioteer. The body is your chariot. The senses
(Indriyas) are the horses. The mind, egoism, senses, sanskaras
Just as the dark unfathomed depths of the ocean contain more (mental impressions), vasanas (latent tendecies), cravings,
precious pearls, so also the Gita contains spiritual gems of Raga-Dvesha (likes and dislikes), lust, jealousy, greed, pride
incalculable value. You will have to dive deep into the depths and hypocrisy are your dire enemies. Bhagvad Gita teaches
of the ocean of the Gita with sincere attitude of reverence and you how to transcend these and realise your highest Divine
faith. Only then will you be able to collect the spiritual pearls nature.
of the Gita. Only then will you be able to comprehend the
profound and subtle teachings of the Gita. Glory, glory to the Gita. Glory to Lord Krishna, Who has
placed the Gita before men of this world for attaining Sreyas
The Gita is a unique book for all ages. It is a book that comes or Moksha. May His blessings be upon you all ! May the Gita
under the category of Prasthanatraya, the authoritative books be your center, ideal and goal ! Blessed is the man who
of the Hindu religion. The Gita is the immortal Song of the studies the Gita daily. Twice blessed is he who lives in the
Soul, whicih bespeaks the glory of life. The instructions that spirit of the Gita. Thrice blessed is he who has realised the
are inculcated by Sri Krishna are for the whole world. It is a knowledge of the Gita, Atmajnana or Self Knowledge.
standard book on Yoga for all. The language is as simple as it

Om Tat Sat
Om Santih, Santih, Santih
MEDITATION LEADS TO ULTIMATE FLOWERING

VIPASHYANA MEDITATION TECHNIQUES

© 2009, Taoshobuddha
TAOSHOBUDDHA
TAOSHOBUDDHA

The word ‘Taoshobuddha’ comes from three words, ‘tao,’ ‘sho,’ and ‘Buddha’.
The word Tao was coined by the Chinese master, Lau Tzu. It means that which
is and cannot be put into words. It is unknown and unknowable. It can only be
experienced and not expressed in words. Its magnanimity cannot be
condensed into finiteness. The word Sho implies, that which is vast like the sky
and deep like an ocean and carries within its womb a treasure. It also means
one on whom the existence showers its blessings. And lastly the word Buddha
implies the Enlightened One; one who has arrived home.

Thus, TAOSHOBUDDHA implies one who is existential, on whom the


existence showers its blessings and one who has arrived home. THE
ENLIGHTENED ONE!
VIPASHYANA MEDITATION TECHNIQUES
WHEN INTELLECT IS UNDULY ACTIVE WE CANNOT ATTAIN THE EMPTINESS OF THE MIND.

BRIEF HISTORY change the destiny, it was suggested that he be


married. Also it was made sure that nothing
unusual be allowed to happen around him as

A
flower that never knew about the sun
and a flower that has experienced the sun metaphysical questions would arise in him seeing
are not the same. Indeed they cannot be. the leaves turning yellow and then falling etc. So
Because a flower that has never witnessed the he was married to Yashodhara and around the
rising sun can never feel the rising sun within! palace where he was living, all dried leaves were
Such a flower is dead. It has the potentiality but picked up before sunrise. All arrangements were
the potentiality has not attained fruition. It has made so that no unusual questions would arise in
never known its own spirit. However, a flower his mind. However, Buddha had not come to rule
that has witnessed the sunrise has also seen any kingdom. One night he first saw an old man,
something arise within itself. It has discovered its then a sick person, and finally a dead body. That
own soul. Now this flower is no more a flower. was the destined night. It is said that these three
The flower has known a deep happening within. men were the Enlightened masters of the past,
who came to guide and pave the path for Buddha.
To create this inner sun of awareness within, He questioned his charioteer about these events.
Buddha invented a technique of meditation He was told that such is the destiny of each
almost twenty-five centuries ago. This technique human being. Buddha did not return to the palace
not only creates the inner sun of awareness, but at that night. He decided to seek the answer to these
the same time it also allows the awareness to questions. So he embraced the life of a wandering
penetrate into every cell of the body and then to ascetic.
the entire being. The technique that Buddha
invented is known as Anapana Sati Yoga. This is Then it was believed that there were two major
the yoga of incoming and outgoing breath techniques of meditation. First of these techniques
awareness. It is also known as Vipashyana was of concentration. This involved experiencing
meditation. The word Vipashyana has two words various stages of meditative absorption. This is
put together – Vi and Pashyana. Vi means neutral called jhana or dhyana. Buddha went to two
and Pashyana means to see. Thus, Vipashyana masters of the time to learn this. In the process he
means to look at everything with a neutral attained the highest state of jhana. Yet still he was
attitude. far from the Truth or Dhamma, so he asked his
teachers if they had anything more to offer. But
Vipashyana is also known as Insight Meditation. they were honest enough to say no. Buddha did
It was discovered by Buddha to unravel the all that was needed to attain the highest spiritual
questions arising in his mind to know the truth. state and then left.
When Buddha was born, his father was of a well-
advanced age. Astrologers were called in. One of Then he came across the other form of meditative
the younger astrologers said that Buddha would practice which was also used. This was the
leave the kingly splendor in search of Truth. practice of self-mortification or self-torture. It was
While the other astrologers suggested ways to believed then, that by tormenting the body the self
or ego would vanish. This could be accomplished So he decided to pursue the middle path himself.
in several ways, including fasting or lying on a He realized the significance of the middle path.
bed of nails. Buddha went through all these He then went to Niranjana River and sat on the
techniques. For six years he wandered. His last bank to meditate and discover the middle path.
master was Alarkalam. For six months Buddha
lived on one grain of rice. He practiced the fasting It is said that Buddha wanted to cross the river
intensely. Nothing happened! Niranjana but he was so weak that he fell into it; it
was a shallow stony river. He held on to the
After a long period of fasting he became very frail branch of a tree leaning from the other shore. He
and weak. He had no energy to live. He was lying thought about the futility of his actions of the past
half unconscious under a banyan tree when he few days. He thought, “now that I am so weak,
was discovered by a cowherd boy. The young boy what would I be able to do even if Enlightenment
realized that the recluse must have been fasting happened?” He could not sleep. He remained
for a long time and that had weakened his body. awake the whole night watching the stars
But Buddha did not see the boy. The boy was wise disappear in the sky. Somehow he came out of the
enough to give milk to Buddha but Buddha was river! He made a seat of grass under a Bodhi tree
so weak that he could not open his mouth. The and sat for meditation. Then a woman came by to
boy hesitated to touch Buddha as he belonged to a offer him some food as offering of her good
lower caste but realizing the situation he decided fortune. She thought that God had come to her in
that even though it was a sin to touch Buddha, it this human form of a holy man sitting under the
was more important to save him. He could ask for Bodhi Tree. She offered Buddha excellent food in
forgiveness afterwards. forty-nine pieces on a beautiful platter. Buddha
ate all that was offered and then again began to
Buddha felt better after drinking the milk and was meditate without any further need for
finally able to move. He saw the boy sitting next nourishment. It was now sunset. He decided not
to him respectfully, so Buddha enquired who he to move again until Enlightenment happened.
was. The boy said that he was a cowherd and
asked for forgiveness. Buddha consoled the boy; That night, at near about midnight, Buddha was
he told him that he had done the right thing and strongly tempted by Mara or Maya or illusion. It
there was no need to ask for forgiveness. Further is the symbol of all obstructing forces. The three
Buddha said, “We are not good or bad simply daughters of Mara – Desire, Lust, and Aversion
because we are born in a low or high family. Our came to persuade him to leave the path of
goodness depends on our actions.” meditation and return to the palace and become
the king. This did not affect Buddha who was
So Buddha stayed under the tree. In the evening tranquil. This made Mara angry, so he sent his
he heard a song coming from the nearby forest. armies by land and air to frighten Buddha. He
The song was being sung by a group of girls who became afraid; he opened his eyes and raised his
were collecting firewood in the forest. The song hand to ward off the attack. But then he realized
meant that if the strings of the musical instrument there was no one. They were, in fact, his
were too tight they would break on being used. hallucinations.
Also if the strings were too loose the instrument
would not make the right sound. The strings Buddha continued his meditation. He was
would have to be neither too tight nor too loose. tranquil and restful. He meditated watching his
Thus, Buddha saw the futility of the extreme mind until dawn when each star in the sky had
paths and also the dangers of attachment to them. disappeared. With this, something dawned on
him. Buddha got a clear insight and inner These sutras are related to mindfulness. Buddha
understanding of all the phenomena, both within explained that awareness is only for intuitive
and without. Enlightenment happened at that understanding and awareness itself, not for
very moment! The thing which Buddha was anything else.
waiting for years, happened that precise moment.
It was during meditation Buddha discovered the Intuitive insight gradually develops along the
technique of Vipashyana or Insight Meditation. path of awareness. We may see that this
incorporates three main factors namely: attention,
The meditation is such that it not only creates an awareness, and watchfulness. These three words
inner awareness, but simultaneously allows the explain the techniques of insight. Insight is
awareness to penetrate to the very cells of the developed if we follow this properly, in other
body, to the whole of one’s being. It is also called words when the meditation is done in the right
Anapana Sati Yoga. It is a meditation. way.

That brings awareness of incoming and outgoing However, in the early stages, insight is closely
breath. It is based on constant or attentive connected with intellect. This is mainly because of
awareness. We attach various meanings to conflicts within and the knowledge that we have.
awareness. We have to be clear about its meaning. But with insight, we come to understand what we
When Buddha spoke of breath awareness, he know; insight gets deeper. And thus is revealed
meant to look attentively without applying any the difference between insight itself and the
knowledge or information. It means that we function of intellect. The two go on cooperating in
simply look with a quiet mind, without making deep meditation. But this is quite different from
any comment or applying knowledge, what we have known originally. Intellect gets still
interpretation, or explanation! The art of neutral and becomes receptive when insight operates.
observation is not so easy. By doing so, we can see Now intellect will pick up the signals given by the
that the mind can be emptied of its contents. Then insight – words and concepts.
we can understand the way the mind works and
also examine the contents of the mind. This is the We need to allow intellect to be quiet and passive.
way to meet everything – fully with the whole Then intellect becomes subservient to insight. It
being and with all the energy that you have. Then can no more remain active all the time. When
there is no more dissipation of energy. And it can intellect is unduly active we cannot attain the
be directed for looking at what is going on. This is emptiness of the mind. We cannot come to total
looking beyond appearance. It is significant to silence. When we attain stillness, then we can see
understand that we are simply looking ‘at’ and without obstruction. This seeing is insight! And
not looking ‘for’. There is a vast difference thus the meaning of the method of Vipashyana!
between looking at and looking for. When we are
looking ‘at’ there is no more expectation, which is To begin the process we need to cultivate our
an aspect of looking ‘for’. If we look for something attention. And in developing this attention, we
in meditation and there is expectation, the need some primary object as focus. In Vipashyana
disappointment is bound to come. This will lead we use the rise and fall of breath as the
to clinging, loss of energy, and mental imbalance. preliminary object. We need not regulate the
It is important to look attentively and silently. breath. Just let it be as it is. Let the breath move in
This will bring clear understanding and insight and out as naturally as possible without any
into the nature and the contents of the mind. interference of the mind. As the breath moves in
Buddha explained the same in Satipatthana Sutra. and out, observe the rise and fall. This is the first
step for the mind, to see the nature of the rising coma for months, yet still breathing goes on.
and the passing away in the physical sense of Breathing is an unconscious mechanism.
breathing.
There are two aspects of breathing – the Incoming
As an individual we go on breathing breath and the Outgoing breath. When you
unconsciously. Breath is Prana. Breath is élan breathe in and pause, there is a gap, and then you
vital. Yet still breathing is unconscious. We are breathe out. After you breathe out, there comes
unaware of it. And if we were to be aware of another gap, before you start breathing in or
breathing in order to breathe, we would die. inhaling again. Therefore, there are two gaps. The
Sooner or later we would forget. Thus, we cannot first one happens within you after the breath
remember anything continuously. Breathing comes in. This creates a Center within. This is
establishes a connection between our voluntary known as your Soul or Inner Center. The other
and nonvoluntary systems. We can, however, happens when the breath is out and waiting to
control our breathing to some extent. At times we come in. This gap is called Parmatman or Cosmic
can even stop breathing for a while. But no way Center. If the breath that has gone out does not
can we stop breathing permanently. It goes on come in, it is referred to as Death while the gap
without any effort on our part. One can be in within is called Life.

Vipashyana
Buddha used breath as a vehicle for two things breath for more than five of six seconds. Only a
simultaneously. First to create consciousness and very alert person can be aware even for that long.
second to allow this consciousness to penetrate to We miss awareness every moment. You can start
the very cells of the body1 “Breathe consciously,” awareness with incoming breath, but no sooner the
was Buddha’s message. Buddha never meant breath has come in you are somewhere else. And
pranayama. It was meant to make breath an object suddenly you realize that you were to breathe
of awareness. But not changing it. consciously but the breath has gone out and you
were somewhere else.
There is no need to change the breath. Leave it as it
is. Just natural! The only necessary thing is, breathe To be conscious of the breath simply means that no
consciously. As the breath comes in, allow the thought can be allowed. Thoughts distract your
consciousness to move in. And let the attention. Buddha never said to stop thinking. His
consciousness move out with the outgoing breath. only emphasis was on ‘conscious breathing’. And
Let there be total attention on breath. Move with it. when you breathe consciously, thoughts cease
Flow with it. Never forget even a single breath. automatically. You cannot breathe consciously and
Buddha is reported to have said that if you can be think at the same time.
aware of your breath for even one hour, you are
already Enlightened. But never let a single breath As a thought comes in your mind, your attention is
be missed. withdrawn from breathing. A single thought is
more than enough to make you unconscious of
Definitely, one hour seems like a small fragment of breathing. This technique seems very simple, but it
time. But it is not so. When you are trying to be is vital. Buddha told his monks to do whatever but
aware, one hour seems like a millennium. It is so not to forget one simple thing: the incoming and
because generally you cannot be aware of your the outgoing breath.
As you continue to do this frequently, you will outgoing breaths lies your center. However, there is
grow in consciousness. It is difficult. But once you another center – the Cosmic Center. You may call
have done this you can no longer remain the same this as God. The Cosmic center lies between when
person. You will be a different person and a the breath goes out and before it comes in.
different being. As you begin to breathe in and out However, these two centers are not two different
consciously, by and by you move to your center. It things. In the process first you become aware of
is so because each time you breathe in, your breath your inner center and then you become aware of
and with the breath the life force touches the very your outer center or the cosmic center. Then one
center of the Being. day ultimately you know that these two centers are
one. Thus, the outer and the inner lose their
Physiologically you think that breath just purifies significance.
the blood. This is a bodily function. But when you
begin to be aware of your breathing, by and by you Buddha says, move consciously with the breath.
go deeper than physiology. Then one day you will Then you will create a center of awareness within
begin to feel your center, right near your navel. You yourself. As this center is created, awareness will
can feel your center only when you move with the begin to move to your very cells and provide
breath continuously. You have to continue, because nourishment to the cells as every cell needs oxygen.
as you reach nearer the center, it will be even more It can be said that each cell breathes. Even the earth
difficult to remain aware. You can start when the breathes, say scientists. With the universe breathing
breath is entering. When it is almost touching the in, the earth expands and when the universe
nostrils, be aware of it. As it move inwards, breathes out, the earth contracts. According to
awareness will be more difficult. A thought may Hindu scriptures, creation is Brahma’s single
come in or a sound or something else may happen incoming breath and destruction or dissolution is
and you move away from the awareness. Brahma’s outgoing breath.

If you can reach to the very center, for a brief There are three aspects of anything that is going on.
moment breath stops and then comes in a gap. The They are rising, existing, and falling away. In case
breath comes in and then goes out, between these of breathing, it can be said that there is a cessation
two there is a subtle gap. This gap is your center – of breath. This can lead to a silence and therefore, it
the center of the being. It is only after practicing is possible for us to transcend the consciousness of
this breath awareness for a sufficiently long time breathing. It seems that breathing automatically
you will be able to remain with the breath. You can stops but in reality it is not so. Breathing gets
be aware of the gap only when there is no breath deeper and even. Then you breathe internally and
movement. Now the breath is neither coming in do not feel the movement. When we do not see the
nor going out. Between these subtle gaps, between gentle movement it is said that breathing has
two breaths, you are at your center. Thus, breath stopped. So when silence becomes more significant
awareness was used by Buddha as a means of then you can transcend the consciousness of
reaching to the center. breathing. In that case do not cling to the object.
The preliminary object is only to start with.
Be conscious when you breathe out. Again there is
a gap. In fact, there are two gaps; one gap comes Naturally you tend to pay attention to the
after the breath comes in and before it goes out. immediate object which is evident. Thus, there is no
Another gap comes in when the breath is out and set object. Everything that enters the consciousness
before it comes in. This second gap is more difficult eventually becomes the object of meditation. We
to be aware of. And between these incoming and identify with attention, awareness, and
watchfulness. In this process we are not the There he did not find anyone. This made him more
observer. And when we begin with meditation, fearful and uncertain as well. He ran until he came
both the mind and the body discharge. However, across a vast stretch of water. He did not know
we have to know what is happening, knowing just what to do. There was no boat to take him to the
for the sake of knowledge and not for doing other shore. He became even more frightened. He
anything. Awareness is at work, but we are no decided to make a raft. He collected some reeds
more. and branches and made a raft. Then he started his
journey. On reaching the other shore he abandoned
When you sit in meditation for long, your legs tend the raft. He was now free to enjoy himself on this
to go to sleep. You will get concerned about it; let new island.
the legs go to sleep, but keep the body in an upright
position. Sometimes the legs may wake up, but you Something like the above happens in meditation. In
should remain unconcerned. And do not move the beginning it maybe like trying to escape from
because of pain or discomfort. If you move, you these poisonous snakes. Sooner or later we shall
cannot observe all that is going on in the mind. The arrive at a challenging situation. And in that
body will certainly feel the discomfort. In that situation we cannot rely on anything. Nothing is
situation go on looking constantly. A point will available. But then when we look into ourselves,
come when knowing happens. So no more doing, we can bring about everything we need and build a
instead seeing alone! raft.

Also when you are sitting in the rain let the rain Buddha told the monks that this raft was for
drops fall and just observe what is happening in crossing the ocean of life, not to cling to it. When
your body and the mind. Feel your attitude. When there is clinging, grasping, and attachment then
a situation arises do not look for any technique to you may stay in the ocean or you may even drown.
get out of that situation. Be in that situation Also, you cannot carry it with you as you set foot
completely, because without it you cannot learn. on the other shore. Then it will become an
Life is always open. Life has both shallow and unnecessary burden. All techniques and teachings
deeper moments. Go through every aspect of life. are for help to flow. When you try to hold on to
Expect nothing, but take things as they are and as them, you become rigid and fixed. Then no
they come. movement is possible. All such techniques are
useful but never fix yourself on them. When you
In this form of meditation keep your eyes closed. are fixed to any specific teaching then you become
Keep your attention steady and focus on the rise narrow-minded. When you are sick you take
and fall of. In the Eastern monasteries, before treatment and medicine. Also you follow a
meditation begins, a bell is rung three times. One particular pattern of treatment and take
has to listen to the sound from the beginning to the precautions. But once you are cured you do not
end, follow the sound, and be aware of the carry the prescription anymore. All your
continuity of hearing. prescriptions, treatments, and medicines are
dropped then. So when you are fixed you are
When meditation begins there are fears and narrow-minded. No more openness! No flexibility
uncertainties. Buddha narrated a story to his monks or adaptability! When you want to move from one
to help them in practice. It is said, once a man came position to another, be always open. In that case
across four poisonous snakes, symbolic of water, awareness becomes stronger. In Buddhism this is
earth, fire, and wind. He became afraid. To escape self-reliance.
them he ran into a village expecting some help.
UPSURGE OF ENERGY IN VIPASHYANA MEDITATION
Quite often it happens when you are doing moves from the nerve ends. That is the reason the
Vipashyana Meditation; there is an upsurge of male sex organ has a particular shape so that
energy. And because of this you feel very sensual. energy leaks out. When too much energy is
You are so silent and energy is not dissipated. flowing within and you are unable to do
Generally, much energy is dissipated anything, it gets released through the sex center.
unnecessarily. This makes you feel exhausted. So
when you are sitting ideally, you automatically During a sexual act, a woman never releases
become a reservoir of energy. This goes on getting energy. This is the reason that a woman can go on
bigger and bigger and then there comes a point making love to many persons in one night but a
when it begins to overflow. This makes you feel man cannot. A woman can even conserve energy,
sensuous. Sensitivity arises. It appears as if all if she learns the technique of conservation. She
senses are now fresh and alive. You feel as if you can even get energy.
have taken a bath. This happens.
For this very reason, Buddhist monks who have No energy is released through the head because of
been doing this meditation for a long time do not its rounded shape. Thus, the brain never loses
eat much. It is not that they suppress appetite. energy, instead it conserves it. Energy never leaks
There is no need. They eat once, a very small
from any rounded shape. This is the reason all
meal. It is almost like a breakfast. Even sleep gets
planets and stars are round in shape. So when you
less, but there is no loss of energy. They go on
working hard. They naturally engage in works sit in the lotus posture you become rounded.
like wood cutting, gardening, and field work. In Therefore, when one end releases energy the other
fact, they work the whole day, but still there is no receives it. Instead of going out, the energy moves
dissipation of energy. within almost like a circle! Energy is conserved,
and thus the body becomes a reservoir of energy.
Also, the sitting posture is very energy
Because of this you feel full; you may not have
consuming. The lotus posture Buddha uses is
such that all ends of the body meet – feet upon eaten but there is certain fullness. This is a good
feet, and hands upon hands. From these points sign, enjoy it!
energy moves and flows out. Energy always

VIPASHYANA MEDITATION - A technique of breath awareness

To create this inner sun of awareness within, Buddha invented a technique of meditation almost twenty-
five centuries ago. This technique not only creates the inner sun of awareness, but at the same time it
also allows the awareness to penetrate into every cell of the body and then to the entire being. The
technique that Buddha invented is known as Anapana Sati Yoga. This is the yoga of incoming and
outgoing breath awareness. It is also known as Vipashyana meditation.

The word Vipashyana has two words put together – Vi and Pashyana. Vi means neutral and Pashyana
means to see. Thus, Vipashyana means to look at everything with a neutral attitude.
WHIRLING
A COSMIC DANCE OF ONENESS
Whirling is part of a sacred ceremony in which the dervish rotates in a precise rhythm. He represents the earth revolving on
its axis while orbiting the sun. The purpose of the ritual whirling is for the dervish to empty himself of all distracting
thoughts, placing him in trance; released from his body he conquers dizziness.

W hirling is the dance that brings inner


harmony first and then expresses itself
through various hand and facial gestures
as calmness, serenity, bliss etc. In its esoteric sense
whirling of the dervishes is an act of love and a
drama of faith. It possesses a highly structured
form within which the gentle turns become
increasingly dynamic as the individual dervishes
it is quite similar to Hindu Mythological dance of strive to achieve a state of Trans. The music that
Rasa Lila where Hindu incarnation of God in the accompanies the whirling from beginning to end
form of Krishna danced on the banks of the Blue ranges from somber to rhapsodically. Its effect is
river Yamuna under the full moon, a perfect intended to be mesmerizing. Chanting of poetry,
ambiance, in the company of his consort Radha and rhythmic rotation, and incessant music create a
other milkmaids. Beyond all finiteness of amorism synthesis which, according to the faithful, induces a
it is an expression of Love divine or ishk-e- feeling of soaring, of ecstasy, of mystical flight. This
haquiqui. brings harmony within first and then the same
harmony becomes the cause of ecstasy or suroor.
Whirling Dervish (wurl-ing dur-vish) is a mystical
dancer who stands between the material and However Whirling has a Sufi origin. It evolved
cosmic worlds. His dance is part of a sacred under a different situation, circumstances, time etc.
ceremony in which the dervish rotates in a precise All these things have a deep effect on the technique
rhythm. He represents the earth revolving on its and its outer appearance. In Sufi terminology
axis while orbiting the sun. The purpose of the whirling is known as a Sufi technique. A Dervish
ritual whirling is for the dervish to empty himself or Darvesh is someone treading a Sufi Muslim
of all distracting thoughts, placing him in trance; ascetic path or ‘Tariqat’. It is quite similar to
released from his body he conquers dizziness. mendicant friars in Christianity or
Hindu/Buddhist/Jain sadhus.
‘Ride the breeze of dawn into eternity,
Becoming dust under the hoof of the horse of a Dervish!’
Dar in Persian means ‘a door’, so Dervish literally
Rumi
means ‘one who goes from door to door’. The word
is also related to terms for ‘ascetic’ in some
The rituals of the Rumi’s followers (Whirling
languages, as in the Urdu phrase darwaishana
Dervishes) are among the enduring as well as the
thabiyath, ‘an unflappable or ascetic temperament’.
most exquisite ceremonies of spirituality. The ritual
Religious practice
Many Dervishes are mendicant their specific traditions. Some
ascetics who have taken a vow of practice quiet meditation, as is the
poverty, unlike mullahs. The main case with most of the Sufi orders in
reason they beg is to learn South Asia, many of whom owe
humility, but Dervishes are allegiance to, or were influenced by,
prohibited to beg for their own the Chishti order. Each fraternity
good. They have to give the uses its own garb and methods of
collected money to other poor acceptance and initiation, some of
people. Others work in common which may be rather severe.
professions; Egyptian Qadiriyya –
The whirling dance or Sufi whirling
known in Turkey as Kadiri – are
that is proverbially associated with
fishermen, for example.
Dervishes, is the practice of the
Dervishes (Mevlana mausoleum,
Some classical writers indicate that Konya, Turkey) Mevlevi, or more correctly Maulvi
the poverty of the Dervish is not meaning the learned one, Order in
merely economic. Rumi, for instance, says in Book 1 Turkey, and is just one of the physical methods
of his Masnavi used to reach religious ecstasy (majdhb, fana). The
name Mevlevi
Water that’s poured inside will sink the boat
comes from the
While water underneath keeps it afloat.
Driving wealth from his heart to keep it pure Persian poet,
King Solomon prefered the title ‘Poor’: Maulana Rumi
That sealed jar in the stormy sea out there who was born
Floats on the waves because it's full of air, in Balkh,
When you've the air of dervishood inside modern day
You'll float above the world and there abide... Afghanistan
Orders and whose
shrine is in
There are various orders of Dervishes, almost all of
Turkey. He
which trace their origins from various Muslim
was a Dervish
saints and teachers, especially Ali and Abu Bakr.
himself. This
Various orders and suborders have appeared and
practice,
disappeared over the centuries.
though not
Other groups include the Bektashis, connected to Whirling dervishes, Rumi Fest intended as
the janissaries, and Senussi, who are rather 2007 entertainment,
orthodox in their beliefs. Other fraternities and has become a tourist attraction in Turkey now like
subgroups chant verses of the Qur'an, play drums any other practice world over.
or dance vigorously in groups, all according to
K
nown to the west as Whirling Dervishes, intended to be mesmerizing. Chanting of poetry,
the members of the Mevlevi Order (named rhythmic rotation, and incessant music create a
for their founder Mevlana) from Konya synthesis which, according to the faithful, induces a
lived in what we might call cloisters or monasteries feeling of soaring, of ecstasy, of mystical flight.
- what to them was a Mevlevihane. The one at
The Mevlevi sect belongs to the Sunni or orthodox
Galatia in Istanbul is a product of late Ottoman
mainstream of Islam. Its doctrine never developed
architecture, and quite elaborate in having a tomb,
a revolutionary strategy - and although it was
a large chamber for the ceremony of the whirling
occasionally criticized for its heretical ideas, it
dance (Sema), a fountain from which water was
always enjoyed the respect of the officialdom.
charitably distributed to the public, a time keeper’s
room, cells for the dervishes, separate quarters for Many later Ottoman Sultans, including Mehmed,
the Master, a section for women, a chamber of the Conqueror of Istanbul, were enamored of
silence, a large ornate fountain for ablutions, and a Mevlevi ideals. The reformist Sultan Selim III was
laundry room. virtually a member. Suleyman, probably the
greatest of the Sultans, held the Mevlevi dervishes
The Mevlevi Order founded by Mevlana in Konya
in high esteem and their ‘Sema-hane’ (whirling
during the Seljuk period is made up first and
hall) constructed for them as his imperial gift. The
foremost of structure analogous to the monasteries
hall/mosque stands next to Rumi’s mausoleum in
of the West. The first of these tekkes is named for
Konya.
Mevlana and was considered as the originator of all
the rest. Divani Mehmet Celebes stands out in the Besides Mevlevi dervishes, also Bektashi Order’s
early spread of the order. The Celebes or gentle dervishes were highly regarded by the sultans and
ones who went out to break new ground and make other common people. The dances of Bektashi
converts saw themselves as disciples of this great dervishes were called as ‘Kirklar Sama dance’,
master, and an astonishing number of tekkes were which didn’t involve whirling like the Mevlana’s.
established during Divani Mehmet Celebi’s lifetime
The Whirling Dervishes played a vitally important
and thanks to his efforts; in Aleppo, Egypt and
part in the evolution of Ottoman high culture. From
Algeria, on the islands of Chios (Sakiz) and
the 14th to the 20th century, their impact on classical
Mitilene, and of course on the Turkish mainland.
poetry, calligraphy, and the visual arts was
The rituals of the Rumi’s followers (Whirling profound, while music was perhaps their greatest
Dervishes) are among the enduring as well as the achievement. Since Islamic orthodoxy opposed
most exquisite ceremonies of spirituality. The ritual music as being harmful to the listener and
whirling of the dervishes is an act of love and a detrimental to religious life, no sacred music or
drama of faith. It possesses a highly structured mosque music evolved except for the Mevlud, a
form within which the gentle turns become poem in praise of the Prophet Mohammed, chanted
increasingly dynamic as the individual dervishes on high occasions or as a requiem (funeral song or
strive to achieve a state of trans. The music that lament). Rumi and his followers integrated music
accompanies the whirling from beginning to end into their rituals as an article of faith.
ranges from somber to rhapsodically. Its effect is
In his verses, Rumi emphasized that music uplifts traditional Turkish instruments) and 12 dancers.
our spirit to realms above, and we hear the tunes of There is also a master of ceremony. A performance
the Gates of Paradise. The meeting places of the is broken into two parts with the introduction
dervishes, consequently, became academies of art, conducted by the master followed by 3 or 4 pieces
music, and dance. Today, the Performances of The of music. This is followed by a 4-part whirling
Whirling Dervishes include twelve musicians (on ceremony.

The Ritual of Sama

T
he fundamental condition of our existence is Fix-footed, the samazen provides a point of contact
to revolve. There is no object, no being which with this Earth through which the divine blessings
does not revolve. The shared similarity can flow. Turning from right to left, he embraces all
between all created things is the revolution of the creation as he chants the name of God within the
electrons, protons, and neutrons within the atoms heart. The Sama ritual consists of seven parts:
that constitute their basic structure. From the
1. It starts with the singing of the Nat-i-Serif, a
smallest cell to the planets and the farthest stars,
eulogy to the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon
everything takes part in this revolving. Thus, The
him), who represents love. Praising him is praising
Samazens, the ones who whirl, participate
the truth of God that he and all the prophets before
consciously in the shared revolution of all existence.
him brought.
The Sama ceremony represents a spiritual journey.
2. This follows the call of the drum and the slap
The seeker’s turning toward God and truth, a
of glory, calling the samazens to awaken and Be
maturing through love, the transformation of self as a
Awaare. This begins the procession known as the
way of union with God, and the return to life as the
Sultan Veled Walk. It is the salutation of one soul to
servant of all creation.
another, acknowledged by bowing.
The Samazen (with a camel’s-felt hat representing a
3. This is followed by the Sama ritual itself. It
tombstone and a wide white skirt symbolizing the
consists of four Salams or salutations. The First
death shroud), upon removing his black cloth, is
Salam is the birth of truth by way of knowledge. The
spiritually born to Truth. The samazens stand with
Second Salam expresses the rapture of witnessing
their arms crossed, ready to begin their turn. In their
the splendor of the creation. The Third Salam is the
erect posture, they represent the number one,
transformation of rapture into love; the sacrifice of
testifying to God’s unity. Each rotation takes them
mind and self to love. It represents complete
past the sheikh, who stands on a red sheep skin. This
submission and communion with God. The Fourth
is the place of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi , and the
Salam is the samazen’s coming to terms with his
sheikh is understood to be a channel for the divine
destiny and his return to his task in creation. In the
grace. At the start of each of the four movements of
fourth Salam, the sheikh enters the circling dervishes,
the ceremony, the samazens bow to each other
where he assumes the place of the sun in the center
honoring the spirit within. As their arms unfold, the
of the circling planets.
right hand opens to the skies in prayer, ready to
receive God’s beneficence or grace. The left hand, 4. The Sama end with a reading from the Quran.
upon which his gaze rests, is turned towards the The sheikh and dervishes complete their time
earth in the gesture of bestowal. together with the greeting of peace and then depart,
accompanied by joyous music of their departure.
One of the beauties of this seven-centuries-old ritual the turning towards Divine Unity is the very essence
of whirling is the way that it unifies the three of WHIRLING. But most significantly, it implies the
fundamental components of man’s nature; mind, enrichment of this earth and the well-being of
emotion, and spirit. Combining them in a practice and humanity as a whole.
a worship that seeks the purification of all three in

Dervishes performing the sacred dance of Whirling


VENU GITA
If you have to sow or nourish the seeds of transformation or love for the divine you have to create such sentiments and
qualities of a FLUTE within you. Only then you can understand the VENU GITA.

The pastimes of Krishna or different aspects of Rasa-Lila cannot be understood by hasty readers. Rasa-Lila is the
dance of inner harmony and ecstasy in its union with the cosmic one.

Srimad-Bhagavatam, Tenth Canto, Chapter Twenty-One

V
enu Gita is the part of Srimad Bhagavatam to lament this separation through various melodies
Canto 10 and Chapter 21. Winter season and calls of lament.
began approaching Krishna arrives in
There are three qualities of flute:
Vrindavana. The gopis prayed and worshipped
Krishna with Venu Geet. Krishna played the 1. Flute does not say anything or sing unless it
mystical flute as the clarion call to these gopis. has to do so. This is the quality of a master.
Venu Gita is important aspect of Srimad He is here to speak out of any material gain.
Bhagvatam as it takes you into a deeper realm of He speaks only when he finds it to be
the qualities of Venu. Krishna plays flute on the necessary for the growth of the aspirant.
banks of the River Yamuna and with this flows the 2. Flute is hollow inside. There is no resistance
eternal call from a master to continue and begin the or inertia of its own. This implies there is no
process of transformation. Hearing which the desires, anxieties, agitations etc within. This
Gopis cannot resist and they start gathering for the is another quality of the master. He has
Rasa-Venu-Lila. Before I go into Venu Gita it is attained harmony and oneness within. And
important to know something about Venu. Venu is when there is harmony and oneness within
the Hindi word used for flute. love flows like the fragrance of a flower for
anyone who is open to it.
There are certain qualities of flute. It is part of reed
3. Flute whenever it says anything it is always
bed. And then one day it is separated from the reed
pleasant, and melodious. Whenever a master
bed. A few holes are made along the physical kaya
speaks it is for the transformation of the
or the body of the flute. It is well decorated. And
aspirants. He has attained and there is
then prana –vayu as air is blown through it. Out of
nothing to gain or do in the three worlds.
this comes the song of lament of separation. Since
Yet still he continues to operate and interact
the piece of the bamboo was separated from the
because men follow him in many ways.
reed bed it felt the pain of separation. It continues
As an individual we continue to nourish from the lakes with it. The infallible Nanda-
differences, bitterness, anger and many such Nandan Krishna entered that enchanting
emotions and feelings. If you have to sow or Vrandavana forest, accompanied by His cows and
nourish the seeds of transformation or love for the gopas.
divine you have to create such sentiments and
qualities within you. Only then you can understand EXPLANATION
the VENU GITA. With this we will now enter the
Sukadeva explains the very nature and the
VENU GITA.
ambience of six seasons. Summer and the rainy
Text One season had just passed, and now the autumn is
approaching in its pristine beauty and splendor.
Sri suka uvacha
Autumn is followed by winter and then vasanta, or
ittham sharat-svaccha-jalam
padmkara-sugandhina spring is to follow. Although Vrandavana is always
ittha arat-svaccha-jala springlike, there are certain differences between the
nyavisad vayuna vatam seasons. This first verse of the Venu-gita describes
sa-go-gopalako cyutah the autumn season.

Sri sukah uvacha - Sri sukadeva said (or Sri Since autumn comes after the rainy season, the
sukah, the very dear parrot of sri Radhika , said); ponds and rivers are filled with pure water and the
ittham - in this way; sharat the beautifully lotuses are in full bloom. The bees hover around
decorated season of autumn; svaccha - clear; jalam the flowers for nectar as they fly all around
- having water; padma- kara - from the lakes, drinking nectar. The air is full and heavy with the
ponds and rivers such as the Yamuna, fragrance of the various blossoms like bel, kamal or
Kusumasarovara, Manas-ganga, Govinda-kunda lotus, juhu and others such flowers of immense
and other such reservoirs of water filled with lotus beauty and fragrance.
flowers; su-gandhin - with the sweet fragrance;
It is in such an environment of gaiety of
nyavisat - He entered; vayuna - by the cool and
Vrandavana that Krishna, the gopas and cows enter
fragrant breeze; vatam - ventilated; sa - with; go -
the forest every morning. Balarama is also with
the cows; gopalakah - and the cowherd boys;
Him. The gopis watch Krishna and His friends
achyutah - the infallible Nanda-nandana Sri
enter the forest from their homes, and then
Krishna
amongst their friends who share the same moods in
PURPORT love for Krishna, they discuss His pastimes.

The season of autumn is approaching. Its beauty is This verse describes the morning season. Although
Krishna has already entered the Vrandvana forest,
spreading all around. Sukadeva explains this to
the gopis are still seeing His entrance into the forest
Raja Parikshit, Vrandavana became extremely
and hearing His flute song in their hearts. They
beautiful due to the exquisitely decorated season of have gathered together in their specific groups to
autumn. The lakes, ponds and rivers were filled talk about Krishna and to express their minds to
with clear, sweet water. Gentle and fragrant others who are in the same bhava or mood.
breezes blew, carrying the aroma of lotus flowers
There are different groups (samuha) of gopis. The this in turn makes the gopis restless as well.
term samuha refers to a general group consisting of Krishna steals their hearts (vikshipta-manaso-
both older ones in the parental rasa and younger narpa) and takes them into His own heart. Thus the
gopas who have a conjugal relationship with gopis become senseless; their hearts are with
Krishna. Within that group are many parties Krishna.
(yutha). Each yutha has a yutheshwari or leader.
Sri Radhika is the leader of one group of gopis,
Chandravali is the leader of another, and Shyama ,
Bhadra, Chitra and sometimes Lalita and
Vishakha are other group leaders as well.

Within the yutha, the gopis are divided into smaller


groups consisting of those who are experiencing
the same bhava or loving feelings for Krishna.
Within these smaller groups (ganas), the gopis
reveal their hearts to one another. In this way, they
become immersed in this particular pastime and
are able to actually see it flowing in their hearts.
The gopis are not remembering their homes, their
physical bodies, or anything material. They are
only seeing Krishna and their pastimes with Him,
although they are at home and He is in the forest The gopis are expressing purva-raga, the mood of
with the cows and the cowherd boys. anticipation in meeting Krishna. There are two
kinds of purva-raga, one for the sadhaka who is
This pastime takes place in the autumn (sharat), practicing raganug - bhajana, and one for the
between summer and winter. The flowers are siddha devotee. The raganug -sadhaka can
blooming and the weight of their fragrance makes
experience only a shadow or semblance of purva-
the air so heavy that even moving about in it is
difficult. Anyone who tries to run in this air has raga, but the vraja-vasis experience pure purva-
difficulty. Because it is autumn, the air is also cool. raga. When Sri Radhika meets Krishna, She thinks
it is the first time She has ever has seen Him and
Although the gopis are at home in the village, they Krishna thinks He has never met Radhika before.
can see Krishna on the bank of the Yamuna within Radha and Krishna are nitya-navina: They are ever-
their hearts because they are immersed in
fresh. The raganug -sadhaka can only realize
remembrance of His pastimes. Because they have
purva-raga when visuddha-sattva (pure goodness)
given their hearts and all their attention to Krishna,
they have become restless and all the symptoms of enters his heart. Until that time, he experiences
ecstasy are manifest. purva-raga only in a theoretical way. When the
sadhaka attains the siddha stage, he can realize
In the first few verses of the Venu-gita, the gopis everything in the pure form.
describe both the scenery of Vrandvana and
Krishna’s beauty as He enters the forest with Both the Srimad-Bhagavatam and the Brahad Vamana
thousands of cows and cowherd boys (sa-go- Purana explain that the gopis hearing Krishna’s
gopalako chyutah ). Achyuta means that Krishna is flute were of three types: the kaya-vyuha of Sri
infallible. His face is beautiful. He is restless, and Radhika; nitya-siddhas; and sadhana-siddhas. The
gopis belonging to the category of kaya-vyuha are nitya-siddha devotees and were able to join the rasa
not jiva-tattva. They are bodily expansions of Sri dance and the other lilas.
Radhika who is the personification of the haladin -
sakti. The nitya-siddha gopis are jiva-tattva who The rishi-cari gopis did not practice full raganuga -
have manifested from Baladeva Prabhu. They were bhajana. They had not become siddha. They
never conditioned at any time. The sadhana-siddha attained the level of suddha-sattva by their
gopis are of two kinds: yauthaki and ayauthaki. meditation. They also had lobha for bhajana. When
The word yauthaki means that which pertains to a they saw Lord Ramacandra, their greed became
group (yutha) or, in other words, a member of a thicker and they took their next birth in the wombs
group. The yauthaki gopis were in special groups of gopis, by the Lord’s mercy. According to their
and the yauthaki gopis were not. The yauthaki previous qualifications, some of the rishi-cari gopis
gopis are further divided into two categories: the received the association of nitya-siddha devotees
shruti-cari gopis (personified Vedas) and the rshi- and some of them did not. Those who did receive
cari gopis or muni-cari gois (the sages who the association of nitya-siddha gopis were purified
meditated in Dandkakaranya). by that association and thus were able to join the
rasa dance. Those who were not associated with
nitya-siddha gopis were held back by Yogamaya.

Both the shruti-cari gopis and rishi-cari gopis are


ayauthaki gopis they are in special groups
according to their bhava or mood in serving
Krishna. The ayauthaki gopis are the daughters of
the demigods and of many others. All of them had
developed lobha (greed) to associate with Krishna
in the conjugal mood by hearing and seeing
Krishna’s pastimes. The yauthak gopis were
practicing under the guidance of the nitya-siddha
gopis.

When Krishna called the gopis to the forest in the


middle of the night for the rasa dance, only those
gopis who had attained perfection were able to go.
By the influence of Yogamaya, the nitya siddha
gopis have no real relationship with their husbands
The shruti-cari gopis had been practicing raganug - and they have no children. Therefore, they are able
sadhana for many thousands of years, and they had to go to Krishna. The less advanced gopis do have
pleased the Lord by offering beautiful prayers. By relationships with their husbands and so they are
His grace, they attained the association of advanced hindered by them. By Yogamaya’s influence, these
devotees and developed in the past the stages of gopis are restrained from going to Krishna for the
shraddha , nistha , ruchi, asakti and bhava. When rasa dance, but because they experience intense
they reached the stage where their bhava was about purva-raga, and because of their greed to associate
to be converted into prema, they left their bodies with Krishna, the fire of separation burns up their
and took birth in the wombs of gopis in good and bad karma and they become purified.
Vrandavana. Then they attained the association of Their purva-raga was so strong that simply by
hearing His flute, they became immersed in raga nuga sadhana; they still retained a small
remembrance of Krishna in deep separation. amount of shubha and ashubha-karma. The shruti-
cari gopis were in a different position because by
Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.29.10 states: their association with the nitya-siddha devotees,
they were completely free from both the pious and
duhsaha-preshta-viraha, tivra-tapa-dhut subhah impious activities. As a result, they were able to go
to Krishna when He called them with His flute.
For those gopis who were confined to their houses, These gopis were not ordinary souls. They were
intolerable separation away from their beloved able to meditate on Krishna twenty-four hours a
caused an intense agony that burned away all day in purva-raga. The gopis in the Venu-gita have
impious karma. Their bodies were partly material passed through all the stages of sadhana and have
and partly chinmaya (spiritual). The basis of their attained prema.
impious karma (ashubha) was that they had some It is erroneous to consider Rasa Lila or such dance
attraction to their husbands and children and to sequences between Krishna and the Gopis as mere
worldly affairs. But the fire of separation burned sensuous ones. Many times yogamaya stops gopis
everything away. Krishna appeared to them at that
from entering the rasa. Rasa Lila represents the
time and they took Him in through their eyes and
most intimate relation between the master and the
brought Him into their hearts, embracing Him so
deeply that all pious and impious karma was aspirant. The aspirant has reached to level from
washed away (prakshina-bandhanh). where he can understand the subtle message of the
master.
Their impious karma was washed away, but their
shubha karma was also washed away. What is this The Gopi tatwa
pious karma? Ashubha means worldly attachment; signifies the state
subha means praise, wealth, reputation, of the aspirant.
followers everything that automatically comes There is no inertia,
when one practices bhakti. Both are obstacles in
and such other
bhakti. In the case of these gopis, their husbands
negativities. This
and other relatives loved them so much, and their
attachment to this shubha-karma was an obstacle signifies that the
that was washed away when they took Krishna energy has shifted
into their hearts. from head to the heart. There is no pride. Yet still
there is one danger that is of jealousy arising out of
At present we have both shubha and ashubha- the other which is quite natural for a female and
karmas because we are entangled in the many
also this brings greed to be more and more in the
pains and pleasures of our bodies. Due to being
company. All this is signified by various terms
embodied, we suffer in so many ways, and this
appears to present obstacles to our bhakti. When all used in Venu –Gita.
the anarthas the non-essentials are cleared from the
The pastimes of Krishna or different aspects of
heart, then Shuddha-bhakti can enter.
Rasa-Lila cannot be understood by hasty readers.
In the case of the rishi-cari gopis, not everything Rasa-Lila is the dance of inner harmony and ecstasy
was washed away by their practice of in its union with the cosmic one.
TAOSHOBUDDHA RESPONDS
Thank you Taoshobuddha, Sir (I don’t know how to refer you), it is great to know that
you cook your own food and see and reply the mails yourself. I thought may be a PA
or someone would first see things that is why I wrote Harsh as in Hindi language, to
non Indians my name looks weird.

It is great to get a reply from the one who knows. Somehow I came across Osho’s
books and liked them and then through internet I downloaded some audios (I am
annoyed that they were put down from Oshoworld.com).

For meditation I generally use the simplest of technique, I learned this through a video
of Shri Akhil Swami Saraswati.

In the video Swamiji first instructs you to jump, and dance and jog for 5 minutes. Then
he instructs to become aware of all five senses and then finally a silence follows.

The first time I did it, whole day was sort of lucky for me. In my class (I am just 10 and
would be joining college from July 27) I said which I thought I could never say, mean
that they were out of mouth and then I understood what I had said.

Once in a while after meditating I feel really calm and aware. It feels as if I was before
meditating sitting in dim light but after meditation someone has put a more powerful
source of light. Everything looks fresh and I can see clearly it feels as if I was in some
kind of sleep which got broken. Also I can more clearly feel the air touching my arms
around my ear, through my hairs. But within an hour or two they stop. And it is not
always that I feel these. Sometimes more clearly while other times very little. I also feel
such things after a very vigorous work.

And if I feel it very clearly I try it out soon but most times I do not get the same result
and then all my wish to continue ends and then I meditate after maybe a week or two.
Kindly try to explain the meaning of all these effects and what should I further do to
strengthen these observations on myself.

FROM HARSH CHANDALIA, INDIA


Beloved Harsh,

It is really good to know that someone at such a tender age of 10 is so keen on meditation.
This is indeed the outcome of the past lives. Continue the journey. I am awlays with you
whenever you need me or my assistance. You can connect with me through an internet phone
facility called Skype.com. First this you have to download and install on your PC. Then the
next step is to create contacts. Once you are on my contact list as soon as I am on line you will
get the indication. For this facility you will need a web cam or head phone with a mic facility.
The voice quality is very clear.

All the mails are an intimate communion between the writer and the one to whome it is
addressed. Therefore it is to be read and responded by the one to whom it is addressed.

You had mentioned the name of Osho. He is a beautiful master of masters. Very rarely a
master of this type is ever born:
hjarae sal nrigs ApnI benUrI pe raetI hE

bfI muiZkl se haeta hE cmn me< dIdavr kae$ pEda.


He has created many meditations. I will e mail you the PDF copy of his meditations. His
dynamic meditation is very effective. It proceeds in 5 steps. It is 60 min meditation
comprising 5 stages. Osho responded all his mail himself. He used to get the mail sorted out
and put in an order so that all similar questions can be responded together.

All the experiences that you mentioned do happen in the process. In the beginnging these
states do not long for long. However as you continue consciousness creates grooves within
and then such state can last for a longer period of time.

I have created and uploaded many videos that are available for free viewing on
www.youtube.com/taoshobuddha01 and on www.totalbhakti.com/taoshobuddha

You can start with one video at a time and listen to it persistently at a particular time for a
period of 3 weeks there will definitely be the difference. Choose part one of any of the
following videos:

1. Relax into being part 1, 2, 3


2. Light of the being part 1, 2, 3

Fell free to send me mail any time.


Love,
TAOSHOBUDDHA
TAOSHOBUDDHA WAY

MA PREM SUTRA

RECIPE OF THE MONTH


STUFFED CABBAGE ROLES COOKED IN SHAHI GRAVY
I have not come across a recipe like this in any cook book. only those special recipes. Other Shahi, Moughalai and
This is a recipe from my mothers’ kitchen. During winter other dishes I can cook and get anywhere but not this.
and summer on Sundays she will cook this dish and serve Therefore when Prem Sutra expressed her desire to
along with rice, whole wheat chapaties, daal taduka and compile these recipes in book form it was decided to
chutney of the season and onion-tomato salad with present these recipes as a special section ‘Recipes from my
spinach leaves. Mom’s Kitchen’.

The taste still lingers with me. It has been several decades In this series I will present certain special recipes as I have
when we had tasted this recipe cook by her. Therefore modified these for better presentation and as a savory
when I visited India in 2007 I had requested her to cook dish.

Ingredients floats on the surface. Divide the mix in two


portions and set aside the half.
1. Cabbage - large 3
2. Onion. Ginger, garlic paste 3 tbs 5. Add shredded cabbage to the remaining and
3. Seasonings paste 2 tbs cook dry. Add mushroom and cook together.
4. Onion diced 1 cup
5. Cashew nuts crushed ½ cup When almost finished add cashew nuts and
6. Mushroom diced fine ½ cup turn off the heat. Allow to cool.
7. Freshly grind Coriander and
6. Spread each leaf and place some of the
Fennelle seeds 2 tbs
8. Shahi masala 1 tbs mixture and fold the leaf from all sides to get
9. Tomato puree ¾ cup
the shape of a square or rectangle. Set aside
10. Salt to taste
11. Oil to cook until all are done.
12. Fresh cream 2 tbs 7. Once again using the wok type pot heat and
13. Fine thread to tie the rolls
add the remaining gravy remaining tomato
puree and water if necessary. This dish is
Methodology
served wrapped in gravy
1. Remove the outer hard leaves from cabbage 8. Now add fresh cream and slip the cabbage
without damaging. Wash and place in boiling rolls gently and allow simmering until done.
salted water until tender. Remove and set 9. Serve these garnished with a dash of
aside spreading each leaf. coriander, and few parsley or mint, or
2. Shred cabbage and set aside. coriander leaf and a few strands of carrot
3. Mix all seasoning and the Masala pastes and beet root.
together so that the grains get soaked in
water and become softer. Serve this as compliment with other dishes for a
4. In a shallow wok type pot heat oil and add savory dinner or lunch.
Masala mix and ½ tomato puree until oil
KRISHNA
THE MYSTERIOUS MASTER
Totality of the being is indeed paradoxical. It is this paradox that makes Krishna difficult to understand.
Therefore, people who have loved and worshipped him have done so by dividing him into parts, and they
have worshipped his different fragments, of their liking. No one has accepted and worshipped the whole of
Krishna. No one has embraced him in his entirety.

K
rishna is unique and incomparable in understand him and appreciate his virtues and
many ways. And so is his way of teaching. ways of teaching.
Ordinary human mind cannot understand
The most significant reason is that Krishna is the
the ways of Krishna as a master and for that matter
only being in the entire history of human
they do not consider Krishna a master. Krishna is
consciousness who reached the absolute height or
considered an Incarnation. In that very thinking depth of religion. And yet there is no seriousness
everyone goes on missing Krishna. From the very or sadness, or tears in him. The chief characteristic
beginning Arjuna considered Krishna as his friend of a religious person that we see and know has
and cousin. There was opening in him for been that he is sombre, serious and sad-looking.
arguments and the possibility of growth. And the He looks like the one vanquished in the battle of
life. He is a traitor from life. In the long line of such
moment you take Krishna an Incarnation you have
sages and saints it is Krishna alone who comes
closed all doors for evolution. dancing, singing and laughing under all
circumstance that have faced him throughout.
There are many dimensions of Krishna as a being,
son, husband, friend, and as a master. Here I am
When we look at the religions of the past we find
taking of one dimension Krishna – the master. His
all these were life-negative and masochistic in their
uniqueness lies in the fact that although Krishna
approach. All along these extolled sorrow and
happened eons ago indeed he belongs to the future.
suffering as great virtues. If you keep aside
Man has yet to evolve to a plane of consciousness
Krishna’s vision of religion, every religion of the
so that he can be considered a contemporary to
past presented a sad and sorrowful image.
Krishna. And without reaching to the plane of
consciousness from where he can understand the
A laughing and overflowing religion that accepts
being of Krishna there is no way to neither be a
life in its totality is yet to take birth. And it is good
contemporary to Krishna nor understand the
that all old religions are dead, and along with them,
message of Krishna.
the old God concept is dead as well. It is said of
Jesus that he never laughed. It was perhaps his sad
Krishna is still beyond man’s understanding. He
look and the picture of his physical form on the
continues to remain a puzzle. It seems that
cross that became the focal point of attraction for
somewhere in distant future man will be able to
people, who are unhappy and miserable. In a deep
sense Mahavira and Buddha are against life too. Naturally our life is going to be sad and miserable
They are in favour of life somewhere on another if we deny the body, because all our life’s juice – its
planet. They supported a new kind of liberation health and vitality, its sensitivity and beauty, and
from this life. all its music – has its source in the body. So a
religion that denies the body is bound to be
All the religions up to now, have divided life into miserable. Such a religion is bound to be lifeless
two parts, and while they accept one part the other like a dry leaf fallen from a tree. And the people
is denied. Krishna alone accepts life in its totality. who follow such a religion, and allow themselves
Acceptance of life in its totality has attained Total to be conditioned by it, will also be sick and prone
fruition in Krishna. That is why India held him to to death as these leaves are.
be a Total Incarnation. All remaining incarnations
were considered as imperfect and incomplete. Even Krishna alone accepts the body in its totality. And
Rama is described as an incomplete incarnation of he accepts it not in any selected dimension but in
Vishnu. But Krishna represents the ‘Totality of all its dimensions. Apart from Krishna, Zarathustra
God.’ is another. About him it is said he was born
laughing. Every child enters this world crying.
And there is a reason for saying so. Krishna has Only one child in the entire history laughed at the
accepted and absorbed everything that life is. He time of his birth, and that was Zarathustra. And
accepted the flowers, the thorns, the leaves, the this is an indication of the fact that a happy and
stem, the roots and in fact the plant in its entirety. laughing humanity is yet to be born. And only a
joyful and laughing humanity can accept Krishna
Albert Schweitzer remarked that the religion of in its totality. Krishna has a great future.
India is life negative. And this is correct to a large
extent. However Krishna is left out. His statement After Freud the world of religion is not going to be
is utterly wrong in the context of Krishna. If the same as it was before him. Freud stands as a
Schweitzer had tried to understand Krishna he watershed between the religions of the past and the
would never have said so. religion of the future. With Freud a great revolution
has taken place and human consciousness attained
It is indeed unfortunate that we did not allow a breakthrough. We shall never be the same again
Krishna to influence our life in its totality. He after Freud. A new peak of consciousness has been
remains the solitary dancing island in the vast touched and a new understanding, an altogether
ocean of sorrow and misery that our life is. Or, we new perspective, a new vision of life has come into
can say he is a small oasis of joyous dancing and being. And it is essential to understand it rightly.
celebration in the vast desert of sadness and
negativity, suppression and condemnation that we All the religions of the past taught suppression as
really are. Krishna could not influence our entire the only way to God as a result he was to suppress
life, and for this we are alone to blame. Krishna is everything – his sex, his anger, his greed, and his
not in the least responsible for it. We were not that attachments. It was believed that only then he
worthy, or deserving, to have him, or imbibe him, would find his soul, would attain to God. This war
or absorb him. of man against himself has continued long enough.
And in the history of thousands of years of this
Up to now, man looked at life in fragments. Also war, barely a handful of people, whose names can
life is thought dialectically. The religious man be counted on one’s finger can be said to have
denies the body and accepts the soul. Thus he found God. So in a sense we lost this war, because
creates a dichotomy between the body and spirit. down the centuries billions of people died without
He denies this world, he accepts the life beyond. discovering their souls, or meeting God.
Certainly beyond doubt there must be a basic fault note asking him to abduct her from the wedding
in the very foundation of these religions. It is as if a Krishna did not run away. As one who has known
gardener has planted ten thousand trees and out of and experienced God, he alone does not turn his
them only one tree brings fruits – and yet we accept face from war or any other situation. He is full of
his scripture on gardening on the basis that at least love and compassion, and yet he has the courage to
one tree has blossomed. But we fail to take into accept and fight the war. His heart is totally non -
consideration that this single tree might have been violent, yet he plunges into the fire and fury of
an exception to the rule. Or it might have violence when it becomes unavoidable. He accepts
blossomed on its own. The rest of the trees, that the nectar, and yet he is not afraid of poison.
remained barren, bear testimony that the gardener
has failed. In fact, one who knows the deathless should be free
of the fear of death. And of what worth is that
If a Buddha, or a Mahavira or a Christ attains to nectar which is afraid of death? One who knows
God in spite of these fragmentary and conflict- the secret of non-violence should cease to fear
ridden religions, it is no testimony to the success of violence. What kind of non-violence is it that is
these religions at all. The success of a religion, or let scared of violence? And how can the spirit, the
us say the success of the gardener, should be soul, fear the body and run away from it? And
acclaimed only when all the trees of his garden, what is the meaning of God if he cannot take the
with the exception of one or two, flower. Then the whole of this world in his embrace?
blame could be laid at the foot of the remaining tree
for its failure to bloom. Then it could be said that
this tree remained barren in spite of the gardener.

With Freud a new kind of awareness has dawned


on man. Suppression is wrong. It brings with it
nothing but self-pity and anguish. If a man fights
with him he can only ruin and destroy him. If I
allow my left hand fight with my right hand,
neither is going to win, but in the end the contest
will certainly destroy me. While my two hands
fight with one another, I alone will be destroyed in
the process. That is how, through denial and
suppression of his natural instincts and emotions,
man became suicidal and killed himself.

Krishna alone is relevant to the new awareness. In


the wake of new understanding that came to man
because of Freud and his findings Krishna hold the
future. It is so because in the whole history of the
old humanity Krishna alone is against repression.

He accepts life in all its facets, in all its climates and


colors. He alone does not choose one thing for the Krishna accepts the duality the dialectics of life
other. Instead he accepts life unconditionally. He altogether and therefore transcends duality.
does not deny love. Being a man he does not run Transcendence is not possible so long as there is
away from women. When Rukmani send him the conflict or as long as you choose one part and reject
the other. Transcendence is only possible when you field that he can continue to love with his whole
are choice less and accept life in its totality. That is being while wielding a sword in his hand.
why Krishna has great significance for the future.
And his significance will continue to grow with the It is this paradox that makes Krishna difficult to
passage of time. When the glow and the glamor of understand. Therefore, people who have loved and
all other godmen and messiahs has dimmed, when worshipped him have done so by dividing him into
the suppressive religions of the world have been parts, and they have worshipped his different
thrown in the waste basket of history, Krishna’s fragments, of their liking. No one has accepted and
flame will be attain to its peak, moving towards worshipped the whole of Krishna. No one has
the pinnacle of its brilliance. It will be so because, embraced him in his entirety. Poet Surdas sings
for the first time, man will be able to comprehend superb hymns of praise to the Krishna of his
and understand him. And not only will that man be childhood, Bal Krishna. Surdas’ Krishna never
able to imbibe him. And it will be so because, for grows up, because there is a danger with a grown-
the first time, man will really deserve Krishna and up Krishna which Surdas cannot take. There is not
his blessings. much trouble with a boy Krishna flirting with the
young women of his village, but it will be too much
It is really difficult to understand Krishna. It is easy if a grown-up Krishna does the same. Then it will
to understand that a man should run away from be difficult to understand him.
the world if he wants to find peace, but it is really
difficult to accept that one can find peace in the We can understand something on our own plane,
thick of the market place. It is understandable that on our own level. There is no way to understand
a man can attain to purity of mind if he breaks something on a plane other than ours.
away from his attachments, but it is really difficult So for their adoration of Krishna, different people
to realize that one can remain unattached and have chosen different facets of his life. Those who
innocent in the very midst of relationships and love the Bhagwad Gita will simply ignore the
attachments, that one can remain calm and still live
SRIMAS BHAGVATAM, because the Krishna of
at the very center of the cyclone. There is no
the GITA differs from the Krishna of the
difficulty in accepting that the flame of a candle
will remain steady and still in a place well secluded BHAGVATAM. Similarly, those who love the
from winds and storms, but how can you imagine BHAGVTAM will avoid getting involved with the
that a candle can remain lit steadily even in the GITA. While the Krishna of the GITA stands on a
midst of raging storms and hurricanes? So it is battlefield surrounded by violence and war, the
difficult even for those who are close to Krishna to Krishna of the BHAGVATAM is dancing, singing
understanding Krishna.
and celebrating. There is seemingly no coordination

For the first time in his long history man has whatsoever between the two.
attempted a great and bold experiment through
Krishna will remain beyond human understanding
Krishna. For the first time, through Krishna, man
until you are transformed. Arjuna could
has tested, and tested fully his own strength and
intelligence. It has been tested and found that man understand Krishna because he was transformed
can remain, like a lotus in water, untouched and first and then he could visualize the cosmic nature
unattached while living in the throes of and the form of Krishna. Seek transformation you
relationship. It has been discovered that man can will come to realize the essence of Krishna.
hold to his love and compassion even on the battle
Stealing the Clothes of Gopis
There are two types of veils. One is that which veils the manifestation of God.
Know this as Maya. The other veils the jiva or microcosm. Know this as vasna or lust.
When these two veils are removes one gets the vision of divinity! This is ‘Raso vaishya’!

T
here are two types of veils. One is that which Katyayani, great mistress of yoga, empress of great
veils the manifestation of God. Know this as deluding magic, make the son of the cow-herd Nanda
Maya. The other veils the jiva or microcosm. my husband. I bow to you.’ Saying this prayer, the girls
Know this as vasna or lust. When these two veils are would worship her, and having set their hearts on
removes one gets the vision of divinity! This is ‘Raso Krishna, the girls performed this vow for a month. Also
vaishya’! they worshipped Bhadrakali (Durga) so that the son of
Nanda (Krishna) would be their husband.
Just as when you roast the seed its capacity of growth is
destroyed. So too when an aspirant comes to me I Arising at dawn, calling one another by name, they
destroy the desire seed. Thus is destroyed the capacity would join hands and go to bathe in the Kalindi every
of the seed to bring forth new fruits and the seeds. And day, singing loudly about Krishna as they went. This
when this desire seed is destroyed aspirant can continue was everyday practice of these girls. One day, when
the inward journey. This is why I order the RASA LILA they had gone to the river and taken off their clothes on
in different forms. the bank as usual, they were playing joyfully in the
water, singing about Krishna. Krishna, the lord of all
One of the pastime of Krishna is the stealing of the
masters of yoga, came there with his friends of the same
clothes of the Gopis while they were bathing. This is
age in order to grant them the object of their rites. He
highly misunderstood. The acts that Krishna performed
took their clothes and quickly climbed a Nipa tree, and
cannot be understood at the level of the mind. And
laughing with the laughing boys he told what the joke
when you look at these at the level of the mind you are
was: ‘Girls, let each one of you come here and take her
sure to misunderstand. These are mystical in nature.
own clothes as she wishes. I promise you, this is no jest,
Therefore these need the mystical insights of an
for you have been exhausted by your vows. I have never
enlightened one.
before told an untruth, and these boys know this.
Stealing the clothes of gopis is by far the most popular Slender-waisted ones, come one by one or all together
childhood tale of Krishna. First try to understand the and take your clothes.’
incident in simple terms as recorded in the Srimad
When the cow-herd girls saw what his game was, they
Bhagavatam: and then I will give the mystical insight.
were overwhelmed with love, but they looked at one
“In the first month of winter, the girls of Nanda’s village another in shame, and they smiled, but they did not
performed a certain vow to the goddess Katyayani come out. Flustered and embarrassed by Krishna’s
(Durga). They ate rice cooked with clarified butter. They words and by his jest, they sank down up to their necks
bathed in the water of the Kalindi (another name of in the icy water, and, shivering, they said to him, ‘You
Yamuna) river at sunrise. They made an image of the should not have played such a wicked trick. We know
goddess out of sand and worshipped it with fragrant you as our beloved, son of the cow-herd Nanda, the
perfumes and garlands, with offerings and incense and pride of the village. Give us our clothes, for we are
lamps, and with bouquets of flowers, fresh sprigs of trembling. O darkly handsome one, we are your slaves
leaves, fruits, and rice. And they prayed: ‘Goddess and will do as you command, but you know dharma:
give us our clothes or we will tell your father, the them. Though they were greatly deceived and robbed of
chieftain.’ their modesty, though they were mocked and treated
like toys and stripped of their clothes, yet they held no
grudge against him, for they were happy to be together
with their beloved. Rejoicing in the closeness of their
lover, they put on their clothes; their bashful glances, in
the thrall of their hearts, did not move from him.
Knowing that the girls had taken a vow because they
desired to touch his feet, the lord with a rope around his
waist said to the girls, ‘Good ladies, I know that your
desire is to worship me. I rejoice in this vow, which
deserves to be fulfilled. The desire of those whose hearts
have been placed in me does not give rise to further
desire, just as seed corn that has been boiled or fried
does not give rise to seed. You have achieved your aim.
Now, girls, go back to the village and you will enjoy
your nights with me, for it was for this that you fine
ladies undertook your vow and worship.’ When the
girls heard this from Krishna, they had obtained what
they desired; and, meditating upon his lotus feet, they
forced themselves to go away from him to the village.”

The lord said to them, ‘If you are my slaves and will do Srimad Bhagavatam10:22:1-28.
as I command, then come here and take back your Compare: Brahmavaivarta Purana 1:27;
clothes, O brightly smiling ones.’ Then all the girls, Brhaddharma Purana 3:17.
shivering and smarting with cold, came out of the
water, covering their crotches with their hands. The lord This was the version as narrated in Srimad Bhagvatam.
was pleased and gratified by their chaste actions, and he Another narration is given now. In spite of certain differences
looked at them and placed their clothes on his shoulder the theme is common. And this is what you need to focus.
and smiled and said, ‘Since you swam in the water By the time Krishna was seven years old, he was both a
without clothes while you were under a vow, this was darling of and a terror to the gopis in Vrandavan. The
an insult to the divinity (to Varuna, god of the waters). gopis loved his cute appearance and radiant face, but
Therefore you must fold your hands and place them on hated it (or pretended to) when he stole butter and curd
your heads and bow low in expiation of your sin, and from their homes and shattered their earthen water pots
then you may take your clothes.’ with his sling. Very often Gopis would complain to his
mother, Yashoda. With constant complaints Yashoda
When the village girls heard what the infallible one
would be compelled to scold or even punish Krishna in
said, they thought that bathing naked had been a
front of the gopis. This irked Krishna and he thirsted for
violation of their vows, and they bowed down to
revenge.
Krishna, the very embodiment of all their rituals, who
had thus fulfilled their desires and wiped out their It so happened one afternoon he saw the gopis bathing
disgrace and sin. Then the lord, the son of Devaki, gave in a secluded spot in the river, Yamuna. They took off
their clothes to them, for he felt pity when he saw them their garments as these lay on the riverbank. They enter
bowed down in this way and he was satisfied with the river bare for the bath. Krishna saw this and decided
to take the revenge. So he collected all the clothes and themselves as His slaves and were more than happy to
scuttled up a tree and ensconced himself in the do whatever he asked them to do.
branches. The ladies came out of the water, laughing at
After having returned the clothes of the unclad gopis
the latest village gossip. Water droplets were trickling
bathing in the sacred waters of river Yamuna, Krishna
down their bodies and their long, black hair were falling
congratulated them for their unflinching devotion
on their backs like serpents. When they realized that
towards him and promised that he would sport with
their garments were missing there was a horrific shriek.
them during the forthcoming autumn nights.
They realized the presence of someone and were sure
that the person has taken their clothes. The gopis True to his word, when he observed the blooming
covered their nakedness with their arms as best as they jasmines, and the moon smearing the eastern sky a
could and looked around for their clothes. brilliant crimson red (like a lover returning after a long
absence makes his beloved blush with his touch), all
Suddenly they spotted their clothes hanging on the
being conducive, Krishna let forth from his flute a
branches of a tree well out of reach. Then they saw
breathtaking symphony, which stole the hearts of the
Krishna and realized what had happened. But Krishna
gopis of Vraja (modern day Mathura and Vrandavana).
refused to acknowledge them and began playing his
flute. They begged in vain but Krishna would not relent.
After they had pleaded, Krishna told them to come out
from hiding so that he could see them one by one. And
then seek forgiveness for complaining every now and
then to his mother. The gopis readily complied. But
Krishna was not through. He dropped one garment. The
gopis leapt upon it and Krishna enjoyed the ensuing
scuffle till the owner retrieved her garment and put it
on. This continued till all the garments were delivered.
Then Krishna jumped down from the tree and departed
nonchalantly playing his flute. He heard one of the
gopis remarking. ‘Thank God! He is only seven.’ And
Krishna could not figure out what difference it made
whether he was seven or seventeen.

In the Bhagwat Purana this incident is presented in a What actually veils the spirit or the soul from
philosophical manner. At this time the gopis were manifestation? It is in fact the ignorance or ego, or Nafs
engaged in a month long ritual in which they were that veils the light of the being from manifestation.
praying to Durga to make Krishna their husband. By Clothes are the veil - that obstructs the light mystically.
bathing naked in the river they had exposed their bare A master strips you naked of your mind, conditioning,
bodies to the demi-God Varun, who resides in all water thoughts and thus makes you appear innocent in front
bodies, thereby vitiating the effect of their prayers. So as of the master bereft of any veil. This is what is to be
not to lose the effect of their prayers, they would have to understood by this incident. If you try to understand
atone for the sin that they had committed. The such incident in their dictionary meaning you are bound
atonement was that they come out of the water with to misunderstand. Scriptures are the narration of the
their clasped hands held high and then collect their sages as a device of transformation.
garments. The gopis considered Krishna their God and
Rasa Lila:
The divine love-play
In Vrandavan Dhama
Woh hai Rangeela, Chail chabeela, Rasa rachaiya.
Woh hai natkhat, woh jamunatat phere lagaye murli bajaye,
Gopiyon ke sang raas rachaaye, Murli bajaiyaa
raas rachaiyaa, shyam salona hai…...

Jo hai albela mad nainowala….

jiski deewani brij ki har bala

woh kisna hai,woh kisna hai…….

The “sweet pastime” of Krishna


Lord Krishna’s disappearance

H
owever, the Gopis became filled with pride Rasa Lila is based on the legendary love story of
and considered themselves superior to Radha Krishna. The loving interplay between God
each other after performing Rasa Lila with and the human soul is interpreted through Lord
Krishna. One night during Rasa Lila, Krishna while Krishna and his love play with the Gopis. The
in Rasa, suddenly disappeared from the scene to blissful love of Radha for Krishna can be seen as the
remove the Gopis ego. On not finding Krishna soul’s wish to be one with the Almighty. It finds
amongst them, they became extremely miserable itself manifesting in many ways.
and started praying to make him come back. They
Though Radha never married Krishna, her love for
then sang songs now popularly known as Gopika
him was so total and pure that even today we
Gitam. After which they started crying and fell
worship Krishna along with Radha. This love story
silent. Krishna returned smilingly, when he saw that
has been called ‘Rasa’ by the great Rishi Vyasa. All
the Gopis had learnt their lesson and had been
artists; be it a musician, painter or poet have been
cured of vanity. After which he blessed them with
besotted with this love story.
Maha Rasa. The eternal love legend
The Divine Dance Form Rasa Lila has now attained such proportions that the
devotees rush to touch the feet of the boy who plays
The classical Manipuri dance presents the love story
the Lord. The young boy becomes the embodiment of
of Lord Krishna and Radha, his
Krishna himself during
beloved, along with the cowherd
the festival.
girls in Vaishnavite style. It is the
most beautiful presentation of The holy Nidhi Ban, Seva
Rasa Lila. Kunja and Nidhuban are
gardens where Krishna
But in different parts of the
performed many of his
country Rasa Lila is performed in
pastimes. It is believed
different ways along with folk
that on the eve of
songs and devotional music.
Janmashtami, Krishna
Usually Rasa Lilas are performed
performs Rasa Lila with
only by boys or boys disguised as
Radha Rani and other
girls.
‘gopis’ here. No one is allowed to stay inside after
Rasa Lila performances by Vaishnavas of Vrandavan dusk because according to popular belief the Krishna
are considered to be an out of the world experience. visits the place with Sri Radha Rani.
The eternal spiritual abode of Radha Krishna, the
Seva Kunj is surrounded by temples like Radha
Sakhis and Nitya Vrandavana Dham are described in
Damodar Temple, Radha Syamasundara Temple,
the devotional songs, chanted during the
Radha-Vrandavan-Kendra Temple.
performances.
At Nidhiban (Nidhuban, Nidhuvan), Krishna is said to
have rested with his beloved Sri Radha Rani. The
Rasa Lila on Janmashtami
shrine inside has a bed, which is decorated with
The Rasa Lilas form one of the most important flowers by the priest every evening. This divine dance
aspects of Janmashtami or the birth celebrations of form has continued to enthrall all across the
Krishna. Nowadays boys in the age group of 10-13 centuries and continues to do so. There is nothing
perform these acts with main focus being on the more pure than this dance that expresses passionate
formative years of Lord Krishna. love for the Almighty.

Kumati is a life lived in cowardice and ignorance of the higher ideals. A life wasted in pursuit of
material acquisition and scholarly rhetoric with no inkling to spirituality. What Adi Shankara calls
dukrinyakarane – useless indulgence in the semantics and rules of grammar without understanding
the essence of the message? Or what Shakespeare refers to as ‘a tale told by an idiot full of sound
and fury but signifying nothing.’ Kumati is an application of intelligence in trivia and pettiness. This
word kumati comes from two words ku and mati. Ku implies the negative or outward or the
downward movement of the energy or faculty of discerning. And mati refers to the faculty that can
discern. It is the opposite of Sumati . Sumati implies the use of the discerning faculty for the positive
or inward movement of the energy. And transformation happens only when the energy moves
within.
HANUMAN CHALISA – A Mystical Dimension
Swami Anand Neelambar
THE IMMACULATE MISTAKE

To trust when doubts is thy only companion

To dream when nightmares is thy only vision

To believe when despairs is thy soul’s solace

To hope when lies is thy constant comfort

To rise above deceit and still be fooled

To love and feel the pain and hurt

To need a touch and receive a fist

To care when it is too late

To wish when the memories are faded

To desire when the heart is broken

To heal when the scars are open

To feel a power not your own

To hold a friend from falling when you can’t stand

To help a needy when you don’t have for yourself

To give thanks in thy pity

To win and not seek reward

To lose and not feel remorse

To think when the head is confused

To breathe and feel the pulse of death.

The immaculate mistake is to die in vain

Never trusting that all things are possible

With the gentle hand of love.

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