Saturday, May 9, 2015

Poems by Gopinath Basak

I posted these ages and ages ago on Gaudiya Discussions. I just discovered them and thought I would share here. Gopinath Basak was a disciple of Pran Gopal Goswami. Through my friendship with Madan Gopal Goswami (his grandson) I learned of him. Gopinath Basak was a great scholar of Vaishnavism and an able poet. I gathered some of my favorites from his book, but unfortunately I did not keep a copy of it. They must be read in the Bengali to be fully enjoyed. My personal favorite is number 8.

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1

Seven spears in the heart

nṛpo na hari-sevitā vyaya-kṛtī na hary-arpakaḥ
kavir na hari-varṇakaḥ śrita-gurur na hary-āśritaḥ |
guṇī na hari-tat-paraḥ sarala-dhīr na kṛṣṇāśrayaḥ
sa na vraja-ramānugaḥ sva-hṛdi sapta śalyāni me ||

There are seven darts that pierce my heart and give me great pain: they are the king who does not serve Krishna, the person who spends money, but offers nothing to Krishna; the poet who does not glorify Krishna with his words; the person who has taken initiation from a spiritual master but has not taken refuge in Krishna; the person with good qualities who has not dedicated them to Krishna; the person with clear intelligence who has not taken shelter of Krishna; and finally the one who has taken shelter of Krishna but does not follow in the footsteps of the gopis. (Gopala-purva-campu 33.61)

hauka nā kena rājya pati jadi nāhi kore hari-sevā
hauka nā kena artha-vyayī hary-arthe nahile vyartha sabā
hauka nā kena kavi-śreṣṭha jadi hari-guṇa nā varṇaye
hauka nā kena gurv-āśrayī yadi nahi hari sevāśraye
hauka nā kena guṇavanta yadi hari tat-para nā hoy
hauka nā kena sarala citta yadi nāhi kore kṛṣṇāśroy
hauka nā kena hari-śrita yadi nohe vraja bhāvāśrita
ei sapta śalya viṣa jāta duḥkha hṛdi satata vyathita ||

So you are the master of a kingdom,
what use is it if you do not serve Lord Hari?
So you are the biggest of spenders,
it is all a waste if you do not spend on behalf of Hari!

So you are the best of poets,
what use is it if you do not glorify Lord Hari?
So you have taken initiation from a guru,
what use is it if you do not serve Lord Krishna?

So you are decorated with all the virtues,
what use is it if they are not used in His service?
So you are pure in mind,
what use if you have not taken shelter of Krishna?

And so you have taken shelter of Lord Hari,
what use is it if you have not taken refuge in the Vrindavan mood?
The poison from these seven darts pierces my heart
and spreads through my body, leaving me always in pain.

--o)0(o--

2.

Rare, rarer, rarest


devatā dulaha mānava janama sabahu janama sāra
tā para dulaha ārya mānava bhārate janama yāra
tā para dulaha vaidika rīte sakāma karama yogī
tā para dulaha niṣkāma jana jzāna-moya phala-bhogī
tā para dulaha saṁyata jana sādhu śāstra suvicārī
tā para dulaha śuddha geyānī niguṇa guṇa vicārī
tā para dulaha jzānottarā parā bhakati sazcāre jāre
tā para dulaha bhukti mukti siddhikeo parihāre
tā para dulaha mahad upāye kṛṣṇa-bhajana-kārī
tā para dulaha sāsaġga bhakta śyāma rati adhikārī
tā para dulaha kṛṣṇa-preme jadi hoy akaitave
tā para dulaha sei preme jāhe gopī-jana-priya seve
tā para dulaha vraja-janānuga akaitava rāge seve
sabahu dulaha rādhikāra bhakata sevā kore gopī-bhāve

This human form of life is very rare, even for the gods.
It is the best of all forms of life.

Rarer still is birth as a Aryan in the land of Bharata;

Rarer yet is the Aryan who, desiring some worldly reward,
engages in karma yoga according to the Vedic rites,

Rarer yet is the one who gives up worldly goals
and seeks the rewards of Gnosis;

Rarer yet is the self-controlled person
who understands the conclusions of the sadhus and scripture;

Rarer yet is one with pure knowledge, who can distinguish
between the Divine with attributes and the Divine without;

Rarer yet is one in whom the devotion
that transcends knowledge surges up;

Rarer yet is the devotee who casts aside
all ambition for worldly pleasure, liberation or mystic power;

Rarer yet is the one who engages in Krishna bhajan,
following in the footsteps of the perfected souls;

Rarer yet is the devotee engaged in sāsanga bhajan,
for he is eligible to know his personal relation with Krishna;

Rarer yet is the one who has attained love for Krishna without deception;

Rarer yet is the one who serves the beloved of the gopis in this mood of love;

Rarer yet is the one who follows a resident of Vraja
and serves with sincere and loving enthusiasm;

But the rarest of all is the devotee of Radhika,
who serves in the mood of the gopis.

--o)0(o--

3.

A Gaudiya Vaishnava


bāhire se ālā bholā antare hṛdaya galā
mukhe sadā kṛṣṇa bolā cokhe aśru mālā
dīnatāya se māṭir mānuṣ niṣṭhāte acalā
kṛṣṇa dite kṛṣṇa nite dhare śakti sob
alaukika lokavat gauḍīya vaiṣṇob

He looks artless, guileless
but inside his heart is melting;
the name of Krishna is always on his tongue
a garland of tears in his eyes.
In humility though forbearing,
his faith unswerving as a mountain.
To give or take Krishna,
is the power in his hands.
He looks like anyone,
but he is beyond the world.
That is a Gaudiya Vaishnava.

sabāra nīce paḍe thāke sabāike se sevya dekhe
sabāra iṣṭa miṣṭa bhākhe kṛṣṇa tattva jñāne
sabāi debā sabār sevā kṛṣṇa adhiṣṭhāne
nikhila bheda samanvayera mūrti savaibhava
tomāra preme goṛā se gauḍīya vaiṣṇava

He humbly takes the lowest place,
sees everyone as someone to serve;
to all he speaks what is pleasing and sweet,
connected to the truth of Krishna;
he knows that Krishna dwells in every soul
and so he gives to all and serves all.
All differences are resolved in him,
this is the glory he incarnates.
Formed through and through by Your love--
that is a Gaudiya Vaishnava.

sarvottama sadainya vinaya nirahaṁ suśānti nilaya
nitāi graha grasta hṛdaya sadaya viśva jīve
tomāra iccāya cale bale tomāra iccāya seve
tomāra gaṇa sange se pāya prema rasārṇava
tomāra sṛṣṭa hṛṣṭa iṣṭa gauḍīya vaiṣṇava

He is the best of all, yet he makes no claims.
He is without ego, the house of blissful peace.
He is under the astral influence of Nitai,
and so merciful to all souls in the universe.
He walks and talks according to Your desire,
according to Your desire, he serves.
When in the company of those who are Yours,
he finds an ocean of relish.
Your personal creation, Your own ecstatic object of worship --
that is a Gaudiya Vaishnava.

kaivalyake naraka māne svargake khapuṣpa jāne
indriya kṛṣṇa sevane viśva-pūrṇa sukhe
daivatādi nāhi gaṇe tomāra kṛponmukhe
tomāra-i audārya vīrya ātmā akaitava
tomāra kṛpā mūrtimanta gauḍīya vaiṣṇava

He takes nondualistic liberation to be hell
and heaven to be a flower in the sky;
his senses are all engaged in Krishna's service
and so he sees the world as a place of joy;
he pays no attention to other gods,
turned only toward the search for Your mercy;
He is filled with the heroism of Your munificence;
his heart is without deception;
the incarnation of Your blessings --
that is the Gaudiya Vaishnava.

saṁsāre se anāsakta bāhya dehe sādhaka bhakta
antare se anurakta rāgānugā lobhe
gaurotsave vrajera bhāve sadā iṣṭa seve
keśa-śeṣa-sudurlabha gopīra anubhava
acintya prabhāvī se gauḍīya vaiṣṇava

Though detached from the world;
externally, he carries on like a sādhaka bhakta;
yet within he seethes with rāgānugā greed.
Festive in the mood of Gauranga
he always serves the object of his love:
the mood of the gopis,
so rare for even Brahma, Vishnu and Ananta.
Of incomprehensible divine power,
that is the Gaudiya Vaishnava.

--o)0(o--

4.

Again and again


chāḍi chāḍi bali chāḍite nā pāri viṣama viṣaya bandhana
bhaji bhaji kari bhajite nā pāri bhajanīya nanda-nandana

Again and again, I say I will give it up—
but I cannot give up my attachment to the terrible
attachments of sense gratification.

Again and again, I say I will engage in bhajan,
but I cannot worship the most worshipable
son of Nanda, the king of Braja.

kori kori boli korite nā pāri hari anurāgi saṅga
jāni jāni kori jānite nārinu jāta-rati jana-raṅga

Again and again I say I will,
but I cannot remain in the company
of those who truly love Krishna.

Again and again I say I know,
but I have not yet been able to know the delightful ways
of those in whom feelings of love for Krishna have arisen.

boḍo boḍo kori boḍo-i māninu abhimāne hoi andha
adhama adhama kohi goāinu kapaṭa jīvana manda

Again and again I have become puffed up,
thinking myself to be something extraordinary,
blinded by my egotistical pride.

Again and again I have said
how low and miserable I am,
leading a hypocritical life of false humility.

joto joto sādhu bhakata pravara dūre thāke more chāḍi
joto hoy mora abhimāna bhora toto hoi guru bhāri

Whatever great advanced devotees there are,
the saintly persons whose very company I need,
they all stay far, far away from me.

And the more deeply I become
immersed in my smug arrogance,
the more I think that I am a worthy teacher of others.

nija nāme ruci tāi nāme ruci ruci nā hoilo nāme
sevā sevā kori sevā cāhi phiri lābha pūjāra kāme

I love to hear my own name being spoken
this is why I make a show of loving the Holy Name,
but in fact, I have no love for the Holy Name.

Again and again I say that I want to serve
and I wander around looking for service,
but I do it all for profit and prestige.

bhajana bhajana miche garajana sādhu kṛpā binā vṛthā
sādhu kṛpā phala nāme cokhe jala aparādha kṣaya yathā

Again and again I talk about bhajan,
but it is all false sloganeering;
without the blessings of the saintly, it is all meaningless.

The result of the saint's blessing
is tears in the eyes when one chants the Holy Name,
the destruction of all offenses to the Name.

āmi abhimāna koro samādhāna sādhu pada-raje śodha
nitā dāsa dāna dāo abhimāna gopī-bhāve ātma-bodha

O Lord! Please solve this problem
of intractable pride I have in myself.
Such purification can only come from the dust of a sadhu's feet.

Give me pride in being the servant of Nityananda;
and reveal to me my true identity
as a cowherd girl in Vrindavan.

--o)0(o--

5.

My day of fast

je dina tomāra bhakatera sāthe ekatra nā hoy vāsa
je dina tādera hari-kathodaye vañcita thāke e dāsa
āmāra se-i dina upavāsa

The day that I do not have the company of devotees,
the day that I am deprived of their wondrous Hari katha,

that, for me, is a day of fast.

je dina rasanā rase nā base nā rasamaya hari-nāme
je dina sukhera kīrtana rase vañcita viṣaya kāme
jīvanera parihāsa
āmāra sei-i dina upavāsa

The day that my tongue does not relish, does not touch
the delectable syllables of the Holy Name,
the day that I do not experience the joy of kirtan,
cheated by my desire to enjoy sensual pleasures--

my life turns into a joke;

that, for me, is a day of fast.

je dina yugala rāṅga śrī-caraṇe smaraṇa kore nā mon
je dina caraṇe deya nā añjali tulasī phula candana
vṛthā deha geha vāsa
āmāra sei-i dina upavāsa

The day that my mind does not meditate
on the rosy feet of the Divine Couple;
the day that I do not make to those feet
an offering of flowers, tulasi and sandalwood--

useless are my body, my home and my life

that, for me, is a day of fast.

je dina jīvana saravasva-rūpa hṛdaye uṭhe nā bhāsi
je dina pirīta vilāsa o kṛpāya phoṭe nā-o mukhe hāsi
je dina yugala sevanera rase bhariyā uṭhe nā buka
je dina tomāra viṣayera rase antara māne nā sukha
durbhāgya sarva-nāśa
āmāra sei-i dina upavāsa

The day that the only reason for living,
the Divine Couple's form, does not float up in my heart;
the day that my face does not break out in a smile
at remembering their loving pastimes, by their blessings;
the day that my chest does not fill with the pleasure
of rendering service to that Divine Couple;
the day that I do not find pleasure at thinking of You,
being distracted by the attractions of sensual life--

that is a day of great misfortune, a tragedy--

that, for me, is a day of fast.

je dina nijera bhajana garve jege uṭhe abhimāna
je dina se hetu cakitera prāya hao o hari antardhāna
je dina hṛdaya dainya āsane bhakati devī nā pūje
je dina e deha hoy nā bhūṣita vaiṣṇava caraṇa raje
je dina govinda sambandha vihane uṭhe hīna abhilāṣa

se dina kudina kugraha-moy
mahā-saġkaṭa maraṇera bhoy
bhū-kampa ghūrṇi jhañjhā praloy
durbhikṣā āra mahāmārī coy
se dine kore bāsa

The day that I become vain of my accomplishments in bhajan,
and my heart fills with the sin of pride;
the day that for that very reason, like the extinction of a candle,
Krishna suddenly disappears from my heart;
the day that my heart does not take a humble seat
to render worship to the goddess of devotion;
the day that this body is not decorated
with the dust of a Vaishnava's lotus feet;
the day that bereft of any relation to Krishna,
base desires rise up within me--

that day is filled with inauspiciousness,
the stars and asterisms are all malignant;
it is a day of great danger
and fear of death;
earthquakes, tornados, cyclones, worldly destruction,
famine, the plague--

are all present on that day.

je dina ātmā bubhukṣu āmāra sei din upavāsa
gopī anugati abhāva gopīra sei din upavāsa

The day that my soul goes hungry,
that, for me, is a day of fast.

The day that I do not follow the gopis--
that, for me, is a day of fast.

--o)0(o--

6.

The two husbands dilemma


Part I.

didi dui bhātārer gharakannā ki viṣama dāya
sob viruddha svabhāva tāi |
ṭhekeci bikiye māthā dui ṭhākurer gurur pāy |

O sister ! What a predicament I am in !
I have to manage two husbands’ households,
and they are complete opposites in every way!
I have really done it by selling my soul
to the feet of two different holy masters.

tāy kāro saṅge nāi kāro miśāla
ekṭā bāṅgāla ekṭā deśāla
keho ḍāla bhāta khosāla keho mākhan ruṭi cāy |

Neither seems to get along with the other.
One is Bengali, the other’s from the back country.
One likes rice and dal;
the other wants ghee and rotis.

ābāra jete-o tārā duṭā du-tāl
ekṭā bāmon ekṭā goāl
kājei duṭor durūp kheyāl
āmi ṭheklām du-ṭānāy

And then, they are of different castes—
one’s a Brahmin, the other a cowherd !
So they have whims that go in opposite ways;
I am being pulled in rival directions.

goālā koy mākhon tol
bāmune koy phul tulasī tol
bhorera belā duṭor dui rol
āmi khāṭbo kāra kathāy

The cowherd says, “Go churn butter.”
The Brahmin says, “Go pick flowers and Tulasi!”
These are the orders I get at the break of dawn—
which one of the two must I obey?

(ābār śuno didi majāra kathā)
goālā koy sājo ṣoḍaśī
āmi meye bhālovāsi
bāmune koy hao sannyāsī
cenṛā kānthā diye gāy

(Now listen, sister, while I tell you something amusing.)
The cowherd says, “Dress up in all your finest!
Make yourself up! I love pretty girls!”
But the Brahmin says, “Renounce everything!
Shave your head and dress in rags!”

nadīyā bāmunera cele
nāce gāy hari bole
vṛndāvanera rāi bole
goālā vāṁśī bājāy

In Nadia, the Brahmin boy
dances and sings and shouts “Haribol!”
In Vrindavan, the cowherd calls for Radha,
playing songs on his enchanting flute.

Part II

didi kali-yuge dui bhātāra-i sad-upāy
dui siddha-dehe bhajabi tāy
ekaṭī puruṣa ekaṭī nārī
tui veśa karechis bece māthā
dui ṭhākurer gurur pāy ||

O sister! In this age of Kali,
two husbands are indeed the best way to go!
Worship them both in two spiritual bodies—
one male, the other female.
You have done well, girl, to sell your soul
at the feet of these two, different holy masters.

ei dekho tora siddha deha āche paḍe
ekṭī puruṣ ekṭī nārī
gurur vākya anusāre
ṭhik kore ne āge tāre
āntarika bhāvanāy

Look – your spiritual bodies are there waiting—
one male, the other female.
Follow your guru’s directions
and take them, deciding on them
out of deeply-felt conviction.

śuno ole prāṇa so-i
tor siddha deha hole so-i
tui dui hoye dui dehe jābi
vraja goālinīra prāy

Listen my dearest friend!
You have a spiritual body.
You will become two, and in these two
you will got to Vraja as a cowherd girl.

dekha śrī-rādhikā vṛndāvane
rāsa-rasa suvasane
lalitādi sakhīra sane
meyera dehe kula kalaṅkinī hoye
vāṁśīra tāne nāce gāy

Just see Radha in Vrindavan,
dressed up in her finest for the rasa dance
surrounded by Lalita and her girlfriends
There, in a girl’s body, you will blacken your family reputation
by singing and dancing to the music of Krishna’s flute.

ābār sei rādhā nade pure
sei goālinī rādhā nade pure
gadādhara nāma dhare
ājanma sannyāsa kore
meyera gandha nāhi gāy

Then again, that same Radha has come to the town of Nadia,
that cowherd girl Radha is here in Nadia town
taking the name of Gadadhar,
a renunciate from birth, never even touched
by the scent of a woman.

temani tui meyera dehe
vṛndāvane madhura rasa bhajane
tora goālā bhātārera sane
kula-śīla teyāgiye
nācbi lo kadamba talāy

So, you will take a girl’s form in Braja
worshiping in the madhura rasa,
with your cowherd “husband”
renouncing family and acceptable morals
you will dance at the foot of a kadamba tree

(ābār sei tui) gadāir moto puruṣ dehe
dāṅḍabi śrīvasera gehe
tor bāmun bhātārer bāme
samaya bujhe nadīyāy

And the very same you,
taking a male body like Gadadhar’s
will go to Srivas Thakur’s house
and stand to the left of your Brahmin “husband”
understanding what is right for his Nabadwip mood.

gauḍeśvara vaiṣṇava jagate
e-rasa rase gopate
gadādharer anugate
anye nā sandhāna pāy

In the Vaishnava world of Lord Gauranga
this secret delectable mood has been hidden
revealed only to those who follow Gadadhar;
others have not a clue.

ādarśa daṇḍaka bane
rāmacandrake muni-gaṇe
madhura rasa bhajane
upabhog korte cāy

The original example is found in Dandakaranya
where the silent sages who saw Lord Rama
were enchanted and wished to worship him
in the sweet mood of romantic love.

--o)0(o--

7.

Oh Mind! Don't go to Radha's kunj


ār jeo nā rādhāra kuñje āmāra mon
dhanya kalira āgaman

Don't go into Radha's kunj, O my mind;
the glorious age of Kali has arrived!

rāiera kuñje kalaṅka āce pati phirena pāche pāche
dharte pārle dhare keśe nāke karbena apāveśan

In Radha's kunj, disrepute is waiting;
your husband is lurking around, following you.
If he catches you, he'll drag you by the hair,
he may even cut off your nose in anger.

rādhā kṛṣṇa dui eka puruṣa rūpe gaura-gadādhara sva-svarūpe
udaya holen nabadvīpe duera rase due korte āsvādan

Radha and Krishna have taken male forms
and now appeared in their own identities
as Gauranga and Gadadhar in the land of Nabadwip
where both of them relish each other's loving moods.

satya tretā dvāpara yuge je rasa dite nāren kono yuge
se rasa āja saṅkīrtana samāyoge sva-bhakte korlen samarpaṇ

Krishna was unable to give this rasa in any previous age
whether Satya, Treta or Dwapara;
but now the Lord is bestowing this very same rasa,
on his own devotees through sankirtan.

--o)0(o--

8.

We are Radha's dasis

olo āmarā rāiera dāsī
āmarā rāiera dāsī āmarā rāiera sevā bhālovāsi

Hey everyone! We are Radha's dasis
We are Radha's dasis
and we love to serve Radharani.

rāi jokhon je bhāve thāke āmarā ghire basi
rāi kāndile āmarā kāndi hāsile āmarā hāsi

Wherever Radha is, in whatever mood she is
we gather around her.
If she cries, we cry.
If she laughs, we laugh.

rāi śyāmake bhālovāse tāi āmarā-o bhālovāsi
rāi ānugatye śyāma sevā kori dekhe rāi boṛo ullāsī

Radha loves Shyam, so we love Shyam, too.
When she sees that we serve him according to her directions,
she becomes very enthusiastic.

rāi śyāma-nāma bhālovāse tāi āmarā nāme piyāsī
rāi sukhe nāma kori bale sei bālovāse kālośaśī

Radha loves Shyam's name, so that makes us thirsty for his name.
and because we sing his name for Radha, she loves him even more.

rāiera mukhe kṛṣṇa-kathā śuni mora soba divāniśi
rāiera kathā kṛṣṇa-mukhe śuni āmarā hoi ullāsī

Day and night, we all listen to Radha speak about Krishna
and when we hear Krishna speak about Radha, that gives us great joy.

rāiera nāma-ṭī sāra kore śyāma bājāya mohana vaṁśī
rāiera nāme vāṁśī rava śuni āmarā hoi udāsī

Shyam plays Radha's name, the essence of life,
as the enchanting tune on his flute;
When we hear Radha's name in the flute song,
we forget about everything else in our lives.

rāiera prati apūrva pirīti koren go kālo-śaśī
rāiera prīti dekhe poḍechi śyāmera premera phāṁsi

The black moon Krishna has incomparable love for Radha;
from seeing the love Radha has for him,
we have fallen into the net of love for Shyam.

rāiera nāme āmarā mānī kṛṣṇete hoi udāsī
rāi milile śyāmera sane morā kori miśāmiśi

We swell with pride at hearing Radha's name,
but we are indifferent to Krishna.
We only mix with Shyam when she meets with him.

morā rāiera dāsī bole kṛṣṇa kato-i vā hoy ullāsī
rāiera kṛṣṇa bole hoi morā sadā-i śyāma pratyāśī

Krishna becomes so joyful when he learns that we are devoted to Radha.
We always think of Krishna because we know that he belongs to Radha.

rāiera sane kṛṣṇa milana boṛo-i bhālovāsi
yugala premera sevā niye sadā modera bhālovāsā-vāsi

We love to see it when Krishna meets with Radha.
Our only joy, our happiness, comes from serving the Divine Couple
in ecstatic love.

--o)0(o--



Friday, May 8, 2015

Naked Truth

Beware the man who speaks of love with such poetic ease:
He is a seducer, a word spinner seeking just to please.
But he’s so obvious, even a child can expose
the rude blemish of one who wears no clothes.

On the street they point at the naked and scorned
form of the avadhut, who had just been born.
They said: One who needs love cannot give it.
One who only talks of love does not live it.

I speak of love, he answered, 'cause in my cave
this is what my God in silence to me gave.
I heard that I must learn to love to find my soul,
but I am unworthy: being love’s object still my goal.

I am not worthy: This is my naked truth so plain
I wear no clothes so not to say it over and again:
Nakedness is a feature not a flaw of love,
and on this path, you never can be naked quite enough.

One who speaks knows the words and how to make a show.
Those who know, love and do not pretend to know.
Those who speak have seen the first rising of the dawn,
not the sun. It will rise when all the clothes are gone.

No one is loved exactly the way they want or need.
So the bee flits from flower to flower looking for mead;
and we search from object to object to find refuge,
but Love gives shelter only after getting her dues.

Speaking of love is an act of love; may it bring you pleasure.
Your grace alone will reveal my words’ true measure.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Purva Raga

When we think of love’s most beautiful moments,
they are usually purva-raga moments.
Which is true and correct,
for the birthplace of love is a tirtha
that should be visited often
to take a holy bath in its sweet waters,
to drink them as a sacramental wine,
and to rehearse the liturgy of that avatar of love
until it is the one language that you know.

For you will return often to that fording site
for shelter, to remember that first sweetness
in moments that are both sweet and bitter,
to sift its sands for secrets now forgotten
in the place where reality met the myth of origins.

The true story of love has many more chapters.
And each chapter asks:
Was the attraction strong enough?
Was its conception immaculate?
Was it pure enough to sustain the sadhana of Love?

And if you have the good fortune
to experience purva raga again
after misfortunes in love,
then savor it. Savor it and let it trail off
into infinity without any knowledge
of anything but a flowing faith in its inevitability.

Savor it until it melts into
the eternal myth of romance,
into the holy rasa ocean of Radhe Shyam.

Let the minds melt into one another
before the bodies touch.

Let Love’s birthplace be numinous, a Vrindavan
in the midst of flutes and flowers and fairytales.
Look at love from the peak of Govardhan,
from the vantage point of Goloka.

And here on earth,
bedeck the birthplace of love with patience,
and build the foundation of the temple slowly,
in expectation of many happy returns.

So says Jagat:
Melt the mind with Love’s steady selfless flame:
The imprint of God’s face will forever there remain.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Icebergs melting in the ocean of rasa

We are all icebergs… melting.
We keep our personas happily masking the meltdown,
going on below the surface
and we don’t know what it is.
Our philosophies are our attempts to explain
and perhaps be honest. But the melting goes on
and the tip of the iceberg is anxious for its survival.

What is my philosophy?
Can you have certainties where God and love are concerned?
Nothing is certain, but believe in Love anyway.

God says look at love, look at the human. I am there.
Love me, love my dog. And all the rest that is mine,
but especially that which is made in my image:
all the “me’s” that I have manifested everywhere for you to love.

You have found Me, you think, on the altar, in the Bhagavatam,
in words and paper and stone, in the rules of dharma,
supplication and surrender to the God Above and Within.
And even in the golden alleyways of Vrindavan.
Your bliss is your praman, but your journey just begun.

Where am I?
I am the Waldo of the world. Where will you find me?
In the clouds or in a kiss? Where do I reside?

If Prema is the prayojan, then look in the direction of prema.
As your eyes improve, you will see more clearly
and I will appear to you with form as the Beloved 
and without form as Love Itself;
Its rays will shine forth through you and light the world.

Can you have certainties where God and love are concerned?
Nothing is certain: But believe in Love anyway.
Run blindfolded, you will not slip or fall,
I will be there to catch you always.

When you finally see Me, you will finally know what
a kataksha is. How one eyeblink length glance
has more content than a thousand pages of shastra.

This is how you enter the lila, one kripa kataksha at a time.
One glimpse at a time until you get the composite picture.

Says Jagat: Below my iceberg tip, below my philosophies,
Radharani’s glance is melting me into the ocean of rasa.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Words from the Chaittya Guru

(1)

The beginning of civilization is respect, nay veneration, for the feminine.
Respect for motherhood, respect for the Goddess, the mother in all mothers.
There is no love without respect. There is no Radha without Devi.
There is no understanding of Radha and Krishna
without first understanding Shiva and Shakti.

(2)

It is quite simple really:
Goddess is Archetype. Woman is type.
There is therefore "Goddess-ness" in every woman.
Radha is Goddess. Krishna is God.
Therefore Radha-ness exists in every woman.
And Krishna-ness in every man.
The sadhana for the man is to see the Radha-ness.
The sadhana for woman is to see the Krishna-ness.
The sadhana of the couple is to see the Yugalness.
The sadhya is prema.

(3)

Wherever the Lover and Beloved enter into popular consciousness,
that is a manifestation of the Archetype.
But archetypes exist on a scale
from fullness (pūrṇa) to mediocrity (tuccha).
This is the scale in which prema stands at one end
and kama at the other.
Krishna is not God: He is the fullness of Love's Object.
Radha is not Goddess: She is the fullness of Love's Feeling.
The Yugala is their Union. Their Union is Prema.

(4)

A myth is what never happened but is always true.
What never happened is that there was "Nothing But Being"
and Nothing was happy, because even just being is joy.
But Nothing became conscious of its being
and said, "Let me become, for there is more joy in becoming."
And the first thing it became, the first Twoness,
was man and woman locked in embrace.
The first Idea, the Adi-rasa, became Radha and the Adi Purusha.
And from that bliss came all the worlds, material and spiritual.

(5)

The anima and animus are the unconscious desire for love
given ideal form -- suitable for love.
If one takes all the animae and all the animi in the world
removes all impurities and distills their essence,
one has the arrow that points to Radha and Krishna.

Love means seeing
the Radha-ness,
the Krishna-ness,
and the Yugal-ness.

But Love sees beyond the projection to the real person.
Because God is really in the person,
not the anima, not the animus.
Love means seeing both the self and the Self in the other.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Absence and Love

What is love other than forgiveness for imperfection?
And where is imperfection's root but in absence?
Will absence not then be love's greatest test ?
And demand the greatest sacrifice, that of being joyful?

Tabula Rasa


Shiva’s trident glitters gold
as the sun trickles over the Shivalik Hills
and a new day breaks over the Ganges.
The terrors of Terra’s trembling
toppling temples and towers in Kathmandu,
destroying lives and hopes, has left no marks
on the rising of the dawn.

A friend is incommunicado.

And here too a minor earthquake
in the liminal spot between one paradigm and another
the shifting of a tectonic plate
that has been rubbing and grumbling for far too long.
Inner houses and temples, beliefs and attachments
so sturdy in semblance, crumble once again.

A companion has become incommunicado,
unavailable to touch or sense or mind.

Do we build anew, or do we remain in the blissful
open air? Why build again that which only crumbles?
What are we going to write now
on the few blank pages that remain
in the book of Thanatos?