Sri Caitanya Sangha North Carolina

Madan Gopal Das - November 20, 2007 10:30 pm

Just starting this thread to hopefully flesh out impressions I have gained from this visit. Any other's with thoughts please post here. I feel like we could start whole threads on many of the topics GM has touched on here, but it is a monumental task to do justice to what GM reveals in each talk or instruction.


Nov. 15th - Guru Maharaj, Vrindaranya and Nitaisundara arrived in Raleigh at 10:30 p.m. They are carrying loads of luggage because they are leaving from here to Costa Rica to manifest something special there. Their bags were packed according to the weight limitations and as a result they have hardly any personal items - two pairs of cloth each. Nitaisundara was a little upset because his third pair of underwear was not allowed. :dance: They will be "roughing it" in the jungle in CR, sleeping in tents and cooking on camp stoves. That sounds so fun!!! It is always wonderful to see GM!! We drove home and chatted a bit about NC news...everybody took rest pretty late.


Nov. 16th - Guru Maharaj came out from his room and took an early lunch with us. It is very nice having him in our home, with just a couple of monks. It is very intimate and sweet. We have young children that can be quite loud and naturally crazy, but the monks are very tolerant and friendly. Guru Maharaj was watching our son wrestle with a friend in the leaves outside and he started playing a sports announcer - "Venu's got Siva pinned, oh, but wait a minute, Siva's making a comeback, he's on top, they're rolling, rolling..." It was hilarious.


The first program was at our house and we had about 30 people attend. Gaurangi asked GM to speak about kartika or damodarastakam and he chose to start a theme for this visit of explaining the damodarastakam verses. The song is very deep, and GM really brought out so many insights and added so much sweetness to the song that I will never forget.


verse 1: The sage Satyavrata Muni begins his prayer with tattva - namamisvaram sac-cidananda rupam. GM spoke for about 30 minutes just on namam - not me. As the muni is doing, we must come out of the world of me and mine to offer respect. He is offering respect to the isvara who possesses a rupa of sat cit ananda. This line is mirroring deep tattva from vedic samhita's - isvara parama krsna sat cit ananda vigraha. GM explained that the tattva in the beginning is necessary because in the verses that follow we will see a young lad crying because his mother is going to chastise him. For one unfamiliar with tattva it can be hard to digest that the great Brahman is now crying and rubbing his eyes in the courtyard of Yasoda ma.


more to come - gotta go to the next program!

Madan Gopal Das - November 21, 2007 12:40 pm

Nov. 17th - This morning we had a program at Indulekha's home. As he often does, GM asked for questions for this morning sanga. Indulekha asked about the time of death; if we experience pain, light, falling - she was putting forward some of the varied claims people make about the time of death. GM spoke about the 100% death rate and emphasized the cultivation of our identity as sadhakas. That should be our preoccupation and how we identify ourselves - "I am a sadhaka first and foremost!" The sadhaka whose life has been absorbed in the lila will continue in that progress at death. Just as we go to sleep at night and wake up the next day pursuing the previous days work, similarly the person who is serious in their spiritual practice and internalizing it will dream about that preoccupation at night and "wake up" after death to continue that pursuit. Death is in a sense inconsequential for the sadhaka. It is simply a change of service. In this vein GM spoke at length about developing a serving ego. He related the story of one of BSST's disciples who was a big manager in one south indian matha. BSST had heard about all of the big service his disciple was doing and called him into his presence. After confirming the services that the devotee was rendering he said to him "okay, I want you to fly to Calcutta tomorrow to start something there." Without hesitation the devotee replied "yes Guru Maharaj." In response BSST told him "okay, you do not have to go." GM explained that BSST was testing the devotee to see if he was attached to serving, or to the results of his service. GM then related that to death in that if we are attached to serving, death is just a change of scenery and we will go on to render further service in another situation.


GM led a wonderful chanting of damodarastakam and then everyone went to take prasad. The menu was nice - hummus, sandwiches, chips and dip, steamed asparagus and some other preps I forget. Dessert was two kinds of pie!

Tadiya Dasi - November 22, 2007 3:07 pm

Thanks for the report, Madan Gopal! Much appreciated :dance:

Babhru Das - November 24, 2007 8:53 pm

While the NC TV-ers gather themselves after this last visit, I want to mention that Swami called me yesterday from the Atlanta airport, on the way to Costa Rica. He told me how happy he was with the way this visit went. The crowds were a healthy size, including apparently the devotees from the temple who said that, due to some GBC policy, they were unable to invite Swami to the ISKCON center in Hillsborough. He seems to feel the field there is ripe for growing our sangha on the East Coast.

Vrindaranya Dasi - November 25, 2007 11:23 pm

Gaurangi-priya cooking:



Nitaisundara cooking:












The kids:



Gaurangi-priya and friend doing a Damodara-astakam dance performance:

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Vrindaranya Dasi - November 25, 2007 11:26 pm

A game of charades after the feast on Thanksgiving:


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Syamasundara - November 26, 2007 5:01 am

A charade! What a great idea! Nice absorption. I can see a devotee meditating on a particular lila or devotee, and a bunch of devotees shouting all kinds of holy names or Krsna related words!

It's almost better than a kirtan, with the advantage that all the participants are not getting distracted, as they want to win, and the disadvantage that a lot of chaos is created until someones guesses, while in a kirtan the leader sets the course of the river of bhava and the devotees are just rafting.

Tadiya Dasi - November 26, 2007 3:33 pm

Nice pictures!


I'm not sure I know what kind of a game "charades" is...but it looks fun! :Party:

Bhrigu - November 27, 2007 8:53 am

Thanks for the report and the beautiful pictures, Madan and Vrindaranya! You seem to have had a wonderful visit. And I would have loved to see the Damodarastaka-dance! What could be more pleasing to Krishna than when talented devotees use their talents in his service?