The Chinese self-designation Hua and the root-word Ᾱrya

The essence of the article is that the word that the Chinese use to call themselves is derived from the Sanskrit word “Aryan.” The article explains how this conclusion is arrived at.
Excerpt:
‘It is but rare that I take the trouble to write a mere summary of a paper I have read with increasing enthusiasm. Here is one occasion. It pertains to “The earliest Chinese words for ‘the Chinese’: the phonology, meaning and origin of the epithet Ḥarya — Ᾱrya in East Asia” by Christopher Beckwith, published in Journal Asiatique 304:2 (2016), p.231-248. Some comments and background data are mine, but for the factual frame, the entire credit goes to Beckwith.

I had never suspected that the Chinese word for “Chinese” has a foreign origin. But yes, it does. In fact, the same foreign word has been borrowed twice and yielded two different Chinese words, one of which is widely used as the ethnonym for “Chinese”.’

“At any rate, the same word, or etymologically a homophonous loanword which came to be written with the same character, came to serve as the name of “us, Chinese”. According to Beckwith, in this meaning the term does not predate the Warring States period, the final part of the Zhou age (-5th to -3rd). At that time, knowledge was extant about distantly neighbouring countries, including Daxia 大夏, meaning “Greater Bactria” or “the Bactrian Empire”, i.e. Central Asia, then firmly held by the Iranian-speaking Scythians. These were a predominant influence from Croatia to Mongolia, where they imparted their lucrative knowledge of metallurgy and horse-training (Scythian legends pertaining to these skills were interiorized even by the Japanese). Their ancestral heartland was Bactria, i.e. present-day northern Afghanistan and southeastern Uzbekistan around the Amu Darya river (Greek: Oxus), an oasis friendly to agriculture and habitation amidst a harsh and inhospitable region.

The later Chinese tended to identify themselves with their ruling class. The Qin 秦dynasty (-3rd) yielded the international name China, Sanskrit Cīnā; the Han 漢 dynasty (-3rd to +3rd) lent its name to the usual self-designation of the ethnic Chinese as distinct from the minorities within China as “the Han”. It might be that a Chinese elite for some reason had identified itself with the expanding Scythians.”

‘The origin of the words Xia 夏 and Hua 華 is the collective self-designation of the inhabitants of Bactria, a country of which the Greeks rendered the Iranian name as Ariana. This is still the name of Afghanistan’s air company. The Iranians called themselves Aiirya, corresponding to the form Ᾱrya in Sanskrit, Arus in Anatolian (Hittite). In each of these languages, it originally meant “us”, “one of us” (as against “them”), “fellow countryman”. Surrounding or subject nations, and finally the Iranians themselves, used the word as an ethnonym for the Iranians. Indeed, Iran comes from Aiiryānām Khšathra, “kingdom of the Iranians”.
Whole article at  INDIAFACTS.ORG

Cows with names produce more milk, scientists say

cow_female_black_whiteErmintrude, Daisy and La vache qui rit may produce as much as 454 pints more each year than cows with no names.

In a study involving 516 dairy farmers in the UK, Dr Catherine Douglas and Dr Peter Rowlinson at Newcastle University found that treating the animals as individuals also increased production.

The average amount of milk produced by a cow over its annual 10 month lactation period is 13,198 pints (7,500 litres). Those cows with names had an average higher milk yield of 454 pints (258 litres).

Dr Douglas, from the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development at Newcastle University, said: “Just as people respond better to the personal touch, cows also feel happier and more relaxed if they are given a bit more one-to-one attention.

“Many farmers dote on their cows and have long thought that such interaction helps, but it has never really been tested.

“The statistics were significantly different for those cows with name – there was nothing else which could explain it.”

The study, published in the academic journal Anthrozoos which looks at interaction between people and animals, found milk yield to be lower on farms where cattle were herded as a group.

Nearly two thirds – 60 per cent – of UK farmers said they “knew all the cows in the herd” and 48 per cent agreed that positive human contact was more likely to produce cows with a good milking temperament.

Almost 10 per cent said that a fear of humans resulted in a poor milking temperament.

Dr Douglas said: “Our data suggests that on the whole UK dairy farmers regard their cows as intelligent beings capable of experiencing a range of emotions.

“Placing more importance on knowing the individual animals and calling them by name can – at no extra cost to the farmer – also significantly increase milk production.

“Maybe people can be less self conscious and not worry about chatting to their cows.”

Dairy farmer Dennis Gibb, who owns Eachwick Red House Farm near Newcastle with his brother Richard, said treating every cow as an individual was “vitally important”.

“They aren’t just our livelihood – they’re part of the family,” he said. “We love our cows and every one of them has a name.

“Collectively we refer to them as ‘our ladies’ but we know every one of them and each one has her own personality.”

(From The Telegraph)

The Impossible Dream: Don’t Bet on It

They were ordinary folks: he a 59-year-old retired steelworker, she a night waitress in a cheap restaurant for 36 years. They lived in Rehobeth Beach, Delaware, in their mobile home, enjoying the seashore and an occasional visit from their granddaughter, Michelle. Then, last July 22, they became celebrities: Nicholas and Marvein Jorich hit the jackpot in the Pennsylvania State Lottery and were more than $8.8 million richer.

“I’ve dreamed of this for 36 years!” exclaimed Mr. Jorich. (That’s how long he’s been married, and how long he worked in the steel mill.)

Of course, he won’t get all the money right away. After taxes, he’ll net about $336,000 a year for 21 years—if he lives that long. Still, the Jorichs’ bonanza has given a lot of other ordinary folks something to dream about. The lines are much longer now at the lottery windows throughout the state, and the Bureau of State Lotteries couldn’t be happier.

Lotteries are just part of the booming gambling industry. John Scarne, considered by many the world’s foremost authority on gambling, surveyed more than 100,000 people in this country and concluded that Americans bet a total of nearly $1 trillion annually. That’s one third of the gross national product!

Most of the money is wagered on sports, casino games, horse races, lotteries, and bingo, and the ratio of illegal to legal bets is about 7 to 1. With 60% of American adults involved in gambling, and with 80% of all Americans in favor of legalizing it, many states are knocking down any last barriers and getting in on the take by levying taxes and running lotteries or off-track betting parlors.

As I passed the corner lottery window the day after the Jorichs’ big hit, I noticed the long line and began to reflect on the effects of gambling and why devotees of Lord Krsna take a vow to give up all forms of it. The words of Krsna in the Bhagavad-gita came to mind: “Those who are too attracted to wealth and sense pleasure, and who are bewildered by these things, cannot have the resolute determination to attain self-realization.” As for wealth, the people on the lottery line didn’t seem to have much—they looked like middle- and lower-middle-class working people. And as for pleasures, I was sure theirs were run-of-the-mill. But they could dream. Millions of dollars falling into their laps and transforming their lives. And that dream was the problem.

Would $8.8 million save any of these hopelessly hopeful people from getting old? From getting sick? From dying? Would winning the jackpot release any of them from the laws of nature, which dictate that they, as spirit souls, must return again and again in body after body to fulfill their unfulfilled desires and suffer the results of their karma? Only self-realization and pure devotion to Krsna can do that, not hitting the “lucky” number. So in reality the odds against their dream coming true by winning big in the lottery aren’t one in several million, but zero in infinity.

For a devotee of Krsna, gambling is out of the question. Along with illicit sex, meat-eating, and intoxication, he rejects it at the time of formal initiation. He understands that it’s simply an impediment on the spiritual path. Gambling inflames greed and the desire to enjoy material pleasures, precisely the things a devotee wants to minimize so he can develop “resolute determination to attain self-realization.” Gambling also destroys truthfulness and straightforwardness, two essential qualities for a devotee, because it’s based on a network of lies and half-truths—that you can beat the odds, that the game is honest, and that if you win, the money will solve all your problems. Most important of all, gambling is a flagrant misuse of money, which all belongs to God and is meant to be used in His service.

Yet if I had told all this to the impatient people who stood in the lottery line that sweltering July 23, chances are none of them would have refrained from buying their tickets. Their only concern was the Big Dream, the multimillion-dollar jackpot in the sky. They didn’t know that while they were betting on a sure loser, the devotees already held the winning ticket: the knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita, the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra, and the other aspects of Krsna consciousness that would one day qualify them to enter the spiritual world and enjoy an eternal life of bliss and knowledge in the company of their Lord.

  Published in BTG 1983

 

 

 

Impersonalism and Krishna West

 

 

 

Both of these statements are from Hridayananda Goswami: “It’s like a rite of passage, a test of your faith and love, that you don’t care what the public thinks,” Resnick said. “If we go out in the street, it’s like Vedic Cirque du Soleil. People love it. They take pictures. But how many Americans want to join the circus?”[1]

“Then of course there’s the argument about uniforms. And what I say is the general advantage of a uniform does not necessarily justify a specific uniform. It’s like what if for example a policeman instead of wearing these sort of like really cool pants and shirts and everything, what if they wore mini-skirts, or what if they wore clown costumes? You could say, “Well it’s a uniform.” What if police wore clown costumes so if you saw someone dressed as a clown on the street you know, “That’s a policeman. So, I need a policeman. Look for someone in a clown costume.” It’s not just the general idea of wearing a uniform, it’s wearing something that people feel comfortable with, they can relate to, and it totally connects with them.” [2]

The first is from a recently published article on the Krishna West project, and the second is from a lecture he gave at the ISKCON temple in Hawaii in 2011. It is clear he thinks devotees who dress in dhotis and saris and chant Hare Krishna on the streets of cities all over the world are “clowns” and part of a “circus.”

Compare his unflattering remarks to Srila Prabhupada’s praise for Western devotees who dressed in dhoti and sari and took to the culture he himself loved.

“When I was speaking in Berkeley University sometimes in the year 1966, one Indian student stood up and he said, ‘Swamiji, what this Krsna consciousness movement will do? We require now technology.’ So I replied, ‘Yes. You are after technology. So you are a beggar. I am not a beggar. I have come here to give something. That is the difference. I have come here to give some culture, and you have come to imitate the Western civilization by technology. That is the difference. You’ll remain a beggar, I shall remain a giver. That is the difference.’ So still I am maintaining that position of giving, not taking. Before me, so many swamijis went there. They did not give, but they took something and came here and advertised themselves as foreign-returned sannyasi and exploited the people. They lost even their original dress. Everyone knows, I have never changed my dress. Rather, I have given the dress to the foreigners, and they have taken it. The Ramakrishna mission people came to request me that I dress myself in coat, pant, hat. Because they are doing. Their so-called swamis, they are dressed in coat, pant, hat.

“So this is a culture. This culture is meant for the human society. Fortunately this culture developed on this land of Bharatavarsa. Unfortunately, people are so much bewildered that they are giving up this culture. That is the most regrettable portion of, of our movement. Anyway, my mission was that I shall go to America, and if some of the American boys and girls, younger section, would accept it, then I’ll bring them here to show these rascals that how great this culture is. So portion of the population, they are realizing now.” (Lecture, SB 1.9.48 Mayapur, 14 Jun 1973)

The source audio clip (audio file attached) even more emphatically reveals Srila Prabhupada’s love and appreciation for the historic culture of India. He was proud of his disciples who had taken to it. If ISKCON is to remain Srila Prabhupada’s institution, then it must also continue to preserve the preferences of its founder. Otherwise, if it is indifferent or hostile to his preferences, then how is ISKCON still Srila Prabhupada’s institution? It can’t be, because even the so-called little things are pleasing to Krishna and His representative. Yasya prasadat bhagavat prasado yasyaprasadan na gati kuto pi. If this principle is disrespected, then ISKCON’s mission is also vanquished.

Consider for example a vyasa-puja celebration for Srila Prabhupada in which none of the foodstuffs prepared include anything Srila Prabhupada is known to have liked. Despite having positive information about Srila Prabhupada’s preferences and the ability to cook according to them, the cooks still say, “As long as whatever we cook is offered with love and devotion (and it is vegetarian), then Prabhupada will accept it.” But what does it mean to have “love and devotion” toward someone yet be indifferent to his likes and dislikes? Obviously, someone prefers pizza to pakoras, but it’s not Srila Prabhupada. It is someone else. The effort to cook the feast is motivated by the cooks substituting their own preferences for Srila Prabhupada’s and then ascribing those preferences to him. It is much like what scholars do when they use Krishna’s words to promote some idea of their own and then say that Krishna endorses their idea. The indifference is motivated by impersonalism, and all endeavors based on this indifference are therefore opposed to bhakti.

A typical motivation for this indifference is utilitarianism. In his purport to SB 3.15.19, Srila Prabhupada says, “One time an atheistic svami remarked, ‘What is the use of watering the tulasi plant? It is better to water eggplant. By watering the eggplant one can get some fruits, but what is the use of watering the tulasi?’ These foolish creatures, unacquainted with devotional service, sometimes play havoc with the education of people in general.” Although appealing to a utilitarian motive, the “atheistic swami” obviously prefers eggplant to Tulasi. His utilitarianism is still guided by a personal preference—his own.

By way of accepting a religious principle for a utilitarian purpose, even theists can make the same mistake of substituting their own preferences for Krishna’s or the acharya’s. At one time, large numbers of devotees engaged in collecting money by selling record albums and stickers with the idea that the money would be used for Krishna. But this generally turned out to have been a bad thing. Some of the money was indeed used for Krishna conscious purposes, but for the most part the motivation for taking up those economic activities was something other than bhakti. It was niyama-aagraha, which Srila Prabhupada says is “accepting some of the scriptural rules and regulations for immediate benefit, as utilitarians advocate” (NOD 2). That is why devotees in general eventually abandoned those activities. “Utilitarian” means that something is useful for a purpose, so with all things utilitarian, the question becomes a matter of desire. The purpose of doing something is to fulfill someone’s desire. If it’s not Krishna’s desire, it’s your own, and then you ascribe your desire to Krishna. The motivation again is impersonalism.

As quoted in the On Faith article, “’Some temples are a little too attached to the traditions as they came,’ said Sarvatma Das, a 34-year devotee and Hare Krishna priest.” [1] However, those traditions come substantially from Krishna Himself. People who develop reverence and devotion for some extraordinary person often adopt the likes and preferences of their object of worship. In the same way, it is natural for a devotee of Krishna to also be very interested in Krishna’s likes and preferences. The Lord in many incarnations appeared in India, and He interacted with the people there. How do Krishna’s people dress, eat, sit, walk, live, marry, etc? A devotee of Krishna will want to know these things, because they represent the preferences of that which is worshippable. But if in the name of swelling the ranks of ISKCON we abandon the principle that Krishna has His own, personal preferences apart from ours, our endeavor will have been useless from the beginning.

Some say that just because a woman wears a sari does not make her a devotee, and that is true. But that is irrelevant to the fact that the sartorial and culinary facets of India, along with many others, substantially reflect the original, unchanging culture that comes from the spiritual world—the culture that Krishna and His devotees prefer. The Krishna West project is motivated by a materialistic idea of culture, one that denies those personal preferences.

The Krishna West project is tainted with impersonalism. As stated in the On Faith article, “Resnick and his organization, Krishna West, want to reverse that [Indian] normalization. They imagine a temple without saris. Prasadam could be Italian, Brazilian or Chinese if correctly offered to Krishna. As long as they use the proper mantras, guitarists, drummers or jazz bands could lead chanting.”[1]  But what does Krishna Himself like, and what does Srila Prabhupada like? Krishna West teaches that we can worship Krishna and yet ignore Krishna’s personal preferences. They give us a Faustian bargain: we attract people to Krishna consciousness by catering to their own, personal desires while denying that Krishna has His own personal desires.

Notes

[1] Rosalie Murphy, “Hare Krishna Gets Evangelical” 16 Jun 2014, On Faith, 19 Jun 2014 <http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2014/06/16/hare-krishna-gets-evangelical/32487>.

[2] Hridayananda Goswami, “Future of ISKCON” 18 Oct 2011, ISKCON Hawaii, ISKCON Desire Tree, 19 Jun 2014 <http://bit.ly/1qwMlPG>.

 

 

 

Gauda Sarasvata Brahmanas from Karnataka ended up in Bengal

I always wondered how the families of Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis, who were Gauda Sarasvata Brahmanas from Karnataka ended up in Bengal. This article explains this mystery.

“Sena Dynasty  ruled Bengal for little over a century (c 1097-1225).The emergence of the dynasty, who supplanted the Palas in Bengal towards the close of the 11th century AD, is a very important chapter in the history of ancient Bengal. Taking advantage of the revolt of the Samantachakra in the varendra during the reign of Mahipala II, vijayasena, the founder of the Sena dynasty, gradually consolidated his position in Western Bengal and ultimately assumed an independent position during the reign of Madanapala. One important aspect of Sena rule in Bengal is that the whole of Bengal was
brought under a single rule for the first time in its history…” FULL ARTICLE

Say No to FDG

Dear Sriman/HH/Smt. _______________ Prabhu/Maharaj/Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Kindly allow me to introduce myself to you. My name is XYZ Das and I’m an
initiated devotee of ISKCON since —- .

I am aware that the GBC body has approved the appointment of female diksha
gurus in resolutions passed during 2005 and again during 2009. I am also
aware of the candidature of Narayani Devi Dasi for female diksha guru.

This is to humbly express my principled opposition to both of the
resolutions approving FDG, as well as to the candiditure of any woman for
FDG.

I believe that FDG is not in consonance with the teachings of Srila A.C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and his vision for the establishment of
“daivi varnashram”.

Therefore, I humbly request you to do everything in your power to reverse
these incorrect decisions taken by the GBC body in the recent past.

Futher, I feel that extensive research ought to have been undertaken by
competent devotee scholars, with unbiased minds, before such legislation and
an appoint of an FDG be made by the GBC body.

Thanks very much for your kind consideration of my humble views.

Hoping this meets you in good health.

Your servant,

XYZ Das/dasi

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“Sriman Chandrashekhar Prabhu – GBC” <chandra08_8@yahoo.com>

Q&A: Once initiated, how does one further develops and maintains a strong and proper relationship as a disciple with the Guru?

Thank you for your question. However, it is not an easy question to answer but nevertheless I’ll try to offer some of sastric advice and some of my personal experience of whatever little value that may be. First of all here is an straightforward and excellent explanation which summons it all up by Srila Bhaktissidhanta Saraswati Thakur in his Amrita-vani “immortal instructions”:

33. Can one be attached to sense gratification even after taking initiation?

“The process of attaining transcendental knowledge is called initiation. We should know that the Supreme Lord is the transcendental Absolute Truth, we are His eternal servants, and we have no duty other than to serve Him. Knowing this is actual initiation. The absence of this understanding is ignorance. At present, there is a controversy about the word “initiation”. People proudly claim that they have taken initiation from a bona fide spiritual master, but how can they maintain material attachment even after taking initiation? How can they desire to make advancement in material life? If they don’t learn about their relationship with the Lord, independent and proud people uselessly brag about their initiations. Rather than treating their spiritual master as if he were as good as God, they treat him as their disciple, fit to be their order-supplier. Considering the guru an ordinary mortal being, these persons become offenders at his lotus feet.

The spiritual master is worshipable. There is no one more worshipable to us than guru. Serving the guru is superior to serving the Lord. There is no greater religious principle than serving the spiritual master. Even though we repeatedly hear this, due to our strong attachment for body and house, we forget it and think that serving our family members and ourselves is more important. Our position is similar to that of the boy who forgets his duty and absorbs himself in play rather than study.

If after accepting initiation we do not awaken our propensity to serve the Lord, then we must be cultivating a desire for fame, wealth, and serving our family members. It is only by good fortune that one receives the opportunity to serve the Lord, but we foolishly waste that opportunity. The results of our folly are so poisonous that we are left only with disappointment. Do not doubt my words. If we do not follow the guru and the Vaisnavas’ orders, what can they do to help us?”

From Narottama das Thakur’s song which we sing every morning it is obvious that guru disciple relationship, especially on the part of a disciple, is not “lightweight”. He says ‘guru-mukha-padma-vakya, cittete koriya aikya, ar na koriho mane asa – Make the teachings from the lotus mouth of the spiritual master ONE with your heart, and do NOT desire ANYTHING else…so this is a state of FULL SURRENDER which we have to attain, first we have to learn how to surrender to living spiritual master in order to be able to surrender to Krsna. Since we are beginners we don’t see and think of Krsna 24/7 in fact if we analyze how much we are absorbed in “non thinking” on Krsna we should be ashamed. Therefore our serious practice of Krsna consciousness is way to please ones guru and Krsna, yasya prasadad bhagavat prasado…and the best way to deepen our relationship with guru. The initiation means that we accept spiritual master as our guide and trainer and the best friend…one should not be ashamed to inquire from guru about spiritual life.

Submissive inquiry and service, pranipatena,pariprasnena,sevaya…and simultaneously love and gratitude to our guru. The best way to develop relationship with ones guru is to help him, assist him in the mission of his spiritual master. To maintain sense for the missionary spirit of Srila Prabhupada’s movement and participation in it is in my humble opinion the best way to advance. 

Was Draupadi disrobed at all?

To read two interesting philosophical papers in defense of Srila
Prabhupada’s teachings in his books, please click the link below. Excerpt: Srila Prabhupada in his comments on Srimad Bhagavatam writes substantially that the attempted disrobing of Draupadi took place. In The Draupadi and Dharmaraja articles, we encounter a rather surprising statement, “I seriously wonder if this incident took place, based on evidence from the Bhagavatam . . . There is not a word about disrobing, nor about Yudhisthira gambling her.”

http://www.krishnaeastandwest.com/articles.html

Sri Andal- A Brief Life-Sketch

Sri Andal (a female) is  one of the twelve Alwars  who appeared on this earth in 3000  B.C.  at Srivilliputhur near Madurai. Andal was found in the Tulsi garden, in the premises of the temple of Sri Vatapatra Sai. Peri alwar, her father, found her while tending the garden.

From childhood she used to listen to the pastimes of Lord Krishna with rapt attention and developed a deep love for the Lord. Andal helped her father in weaving flower garlands to offer to the temple Deity every day. One morning, Peri-alwar observed her wearing and adorning herself with the flower-garland intended for the Deity and herself looking into a mirror and enjoying it. He considered this as an act of disrespect and, with great anguish, did not offer the garland to the Lord on that day. The Lord appeared in his dream and informed him that He relished only the garland worn by Godai (Andal) and that in future flower garlands worn by Godai alone be offered to Him.

Peri-alwar realized the divinity of Godai(Andal), and from then she was reputed as “Andal” (one who ruled Bhagvan) and “Choodi Kodutha Nachiar” (patroness who would offer flowers after adorning herself). It became a routine for Andal to wear the flower garland prior to offering to the Deity. As Andal grew up, day by day, her love for Krishna also increased and she resolved to marry Him. When Andal attained adolescence, Vishnuchittar (Peri-alwar) was amazed at her conviction to marry Krishna. She was advised to observe Margali –bath rituals, which was a custom of yore for marriageable girls to have choice husbands.

Andal in the mood of gopi collecting all girls at Ayarpadi at dawn during the Margali month, day after day performing the ritual on the banks of the river Yamuna and bathing the Deity…this procedure, expressed lucidly in 30 Hymns, awakening her mates and proceeding to the river-bed, with Bhajan and Kirtan and to bath the Deity, is the topic of Tiruppavai. Apart from Tiruppavai , Andal also sung 143 hymns in Nachiar Tirumozhi in which her expression of intense love to Krishna, in varying moods of bridal love–tender  hope, utter dejection, joyful triumph, woeful sorrow and total surrender.

Lord Ranganatha came in the dream of temple chief and instructed him to bring Andal to Sri Rangam in bridal decoration. A palanquin, duly decorated, was sent from the Sri Rangam temple to Srivilliputhur. King Vallaba Deva made elaborate arrangements, decorated the procession route and greeted Andal with music and other paraphernalia for a Divine wedding. People cheered; King Vallaba also joined the bridal party.

Andal proceeded inside the temple of Sri Ranganatha and sat near the lotus feet of the Lord and disappeared from mortal vision and again joined the eternal pastimes of the Lord.

Srila Bhaktivinoda’s Grief

We are now sitting in our bhajana-kutira in Sri Purusottama-ksetra. Why have we abandoned the capital of scholarship, the crowded and busy Calcutta, to escape to this far-off place? Some time back, when we had just started the publication of Sajjana-tosani, our heart was enlivened with hope: the more an unadulterated Vaisnava-dharma is promoted throughout the world, the more benefit its people would get. We took up our work with such honest intentions. Many learned gosvamis and babajis started coming from all different parts of Bengal to offer help. One impersonalist, a renowned scholar, joined us and, captivated by the beauty of suddha-bhakti, started manifesting pure Vaisnava behavior. On hearing the charming instructions on Vaisnava-dharma even mundaners were enchanted by suddha-bhakti. Those fond of music and song who were previously averse to God now submerged themselves wholeheartedly in the waves of suddha Hari-kirtana, continuously rejoicing at their good fortune. In towns and villages, devotional societies were established one after another. The pure Vaisnava faith manifested its glories in the hearts of almost every person in Bengal, astounding and delighting all by its natural splendor and sweetness.

Seeing such changes, beyond our boldest expectations, in the life of Bengal, our enthusiasm in preaching suddha-bhakti increased day by day. Unfortunately, at this very point the times and course of events suddenly altered. All those false religions that had hidden themselves hither and thither from the powerful rays of Vaisnava-dharma, just as glowworms hide from the rays of the sun, suddenly started crawling out from their hiding places, taking on new forms. Mayavada, the religion of the demons that for the time being had sunk into the abyss of forgetfulness, emerged once again in people’s conversations and discussions, this time camouflaged by the words of smrti and having taken refuge on the boat of brahmana scholars’ logic.

Following them, Mayavada’s accomplices, the yogis, appeared both in this country and abroad, causing confusion in the entire religious domain. From the other side, sensualists began causing harm to the world by taking the form of varied pseudo-religious groups such as sahajiyas, baulas, and the like. A few worms swarming in the stool of pratistha displayed the utmost impudence by posing before the ignorant public as avataras of Bhagavan. Others took attractive Vaisnava names, decorated themselves with acarya titles, and started promoting non-Vaisnava ideas in the guise of Vaisnava-dharma.

Our heart shattered on seeing this drastic turn of events. While we were looking for the underlying cause of what was happening, the following words of Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvatipada suddenly unfolded in our heart:

kalah kalir balina indriya-vairi-vargah

sri-bhakti-marga iha kantaka-koti-ruddhah

ha ha kva yami vikalah kim aham karomi

caitanya-candra yadi nadya krpam karosi

It is Kali-yuga, and our enemies the senses are powerful. The path of bhakti is strewn with millions of thorny obstacles. Where shall I go? What can I do? O Caitanya-candra! I am helpless unless you show mercy on me today![i]

Tearfully chanting these words, we reached the place of our Lord’s appearance (Sri Mayapur), yet even there our sorrow did not subside. Having forsaken our homeland in search of the Lord, we finally came to Sri Ksetra, the place of the His disappearance. Here we rolled in despair on the golden sands, and then the Lord revealed the following message in our heart:

“O Sajjana-tosani! May thou be in peace. In this samsara, the nature acquired by the jivas according to their karma in unlimited rebirths pushes them to assume more karma again and again. Unless they are freed once and for all from nondevotional desires, whatever saintly instructions you give them will bounce off their ears and not penetrate their hearts. Thus no matter how well you preach bhakti, they will remain indifferent because of their karma.No matter how well you explain its importance, all your speeches and discourses will prove to be in vain. Now hear My command: Stay in the place where after burying My beloved Haridasa I performed loud kirtana. Reside here and pray for the welfare of the burdened souls by constantly chanting the glories of sri-nama. Hearing these glories will bring them the sukrti that will give them confidence in the name’s power. This in turn will bless them with faith in suddha-bhakti, birth after birth.”

In obedience to the order of Sri Krsna Caitanya, the Lord of our heart, here we set up a

bhajana-kutira where the heaving waves wash onto the seashore.[ii]

[i] Caitanya-candramrta 49.

[ii] Sajjana-tosanni 15.1, quoted in Sri Bhaktivinoda-vani-vaibhava, ch. 13.