The death of "Yuri"

Nanda-tanuja Dasa - September 7, 2004 9:06 pm
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Pancha Samskara: The Process of Initiation


Some people think that prema or love of God can be obtained without panca-samskara. This is incorrect. The conditioned soul in this world has become hostile to the Divine, and consequently his original spiritual nature has become distorted. As a result he must sanctify himself before that true spiritual nature can develop. And what is the means to attain this pure state? The best way is through samskara or sanctification. Without samskara how can his distorted nature be given up?

I had been waiting for this moment for so long... I was looking for so long... Going through so many spiritual paths, arcane and esoteric knowledge, theology and philosophy, just to be left unsatisfied and disillusioned. When for the first time I got a copy of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, I knew I’ve got something special. It felt genuine, full of life and truth. I never looked back since.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Pancha Samskara: The Process of Initiation


It is said in the sastras that the seriously inquisitive student must approach a spiritual teacher who has attained shelter and faith in the Vedas and God, and surrender to Him.


tasmad gurum prapadyeta jijnasuh sreya uttamam

sabde pare ca nisnatam brahmany upasamasrayam (Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.3.21)


When one surrenders in this way, the material ocean diminishes to the size of a calf's hoofprint. However, if that surrenders is in name only, then it is pointless. At the present time most people do not want the shelter of a genuine teacher because very few want to solve the problems of life. However, it is the responsibility of the living soul in this world to search for a teacher and solve these problems. The Lord reveals Himself to the serious student in the form of a teacher who can rescue him.

I knew that books are not enough -- sadhu and sastra are both necessary for spiritual advancement; I needed to find a guru. The Sad Guru. ISKCON completely turned me off -- I was looking for a mystic, not for a corporate officer. Somebody with dynamic approach to the teachings, not just saying “This is Maya, Prabhu” and giving outdated example. I was very fortunate to discover works of Srila Sridhara Maharaja which fueled my search for Sri Guru and eventually I’ve found Swami BV Tripurari. His revolutionary approach to sastra and dynamic preaching charmed me. Never before my heart was touched the way he did. I knew he was my gurudeva, I needed to catch him.


Surrender is a very difficult thing to do. That’s not what we are taught in the school of life. We are taught to fight, surrender means death. I guess that what Srila Sridhara Maharaja meant by “die to live.” Cutting a return ticket is not an easy thing to do either. Both require faith. Faith to jump into unknown, jump fast because house is burning. I scraped together just enough to make this jump. Fortunately Guru Maharaja out of his mercy was very gracious to safely catch me by giving me harinama initiation, the nectar of the Lord's holy name.


On Sri Krsna Janmastami eve the weather in Audarya got very hot. The air was filled with smoke of gigantic forest fire raging several miles away which gave it a smell of Vrindavan. Guru Maharaja was speaking about significance of appearance of Sri Krsna and it’s external and internal reasons, then he call me to step forward and was talking about commitment and seriousness of the initiation, it’s meaning and responsibilities which come with it. To tell you the truth I hardly remember anything what was going on because I was so overwhelmed by the experience. Thankfully Vrindaranya dasi was recording the video of it, so I can not wait to watch it and get to the depth of Guru Maharaja’s talk.


Some people might ask, so do you feel any different? Sure. Now I can proudly wear my kunti-mala and tilak. I feel great that Guru Maharaja gave me shelter at his lotus feet. I feel great that this life time wasn’t wasted and I feel very optimistic about the future, future of going back to Godhead.


It took me many years to come to this point and I have very many people to thank for it. Thank you all! Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Tripurari Swami Srila Guru Maharaja ki jaya!


Nanda-tanuja Dasa - September 7, 2004 9:07 pm

One more picture:


Ramakesava - September 7, 2004 9:49 pm

Whoah! I got a fright there. I thought you'd died...


Congratualations! Gaura-premanande hari-haribol!

Babhru Das - September 8, 2004 2:33 am

Okay--if Yuri's gone, who's here now? Did you forget to tell us your new name?

Caitanya-daya Dd - September 8, 2004 2:52 am

Jaya! The mercy of Guru Maharaja is great. You are fortunate. Congratulations!


So is it Nanda-tanujana dasa?

Nanda-tanuja Dasa - September 8, 2004 3:24 am

Well, Guru Maharaja said Nanda-tanuja Kinkara, so I think it's Nanda-tanuja Dasa, because Kinkara and Dasa mean the same thing.

Babhru Das - September 8, 2004 3:57 am

Dear Nanda-tanuja kinkaram,


Congratulations on your good fortune. Nanda-tanuja means Nanda's son, and kinkaram means servant. See the 5th verse of Siksastakam:

ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram

patitam mam visame bhavambudhau

krpaya tava pada-pankaja-

sthita-dhuli-sadrsam vicintaya



"‘O My Lord, O Krsna, son of Maharaja Nanda, I am Your eternal servant, but because of My own fruitive acts I have fallen into this horrible ocean of nescience. Now please be causelessly merciful to Me. Consider Me a particle of dust at Your lotus feet.'


Cc. Antya 20.32


Your name is a wonderful meditation. Thank you for sharing your fortune with us.

Bhrigu - September 8, 2004 7:08 am

Sorry for nit-picking, Babhru, but if the name is supposed to mean "servant of the servant of Nanda's son" (and not as ex-Yuri thought), it should be Nanda-tanuja-kinkara Dasa, not Nanda-tanuja Kinkaram Dasa. In Siksastaka 5, the words are not grammatically connected. Nanda-tanuja is in the vocative, adressing Krishna, and Kinkaram is in the accusative, to be taken together with the words mam (me), patitam (fallen), etc.


Your servant,



Nanda-tanuja Dasa - September 8, 2004 2:49 pm

Devotees had been discussing "Nanda-tanuja Kinkara Dasa" vs "Nanda-tanuja Dasa" question after the initiation as well, but couldn't reach a conclusion. I've sent Vrindaranya dasi request several days ago to clarify this with Guru Maharaja, but they’ve been pretty busy I’m sure, so she didn’t reply yet.

Nanda-tanuja Dasa - September 8, 2004 4:41 pm

Email from Guru Maharaja --

It's Nanda-tanuja dasa or Nanda-tanuja kinkara. Kinkara means dasa. Just a little twist. But it maybe best just to say "My name is Nanda-tanuja dasa," which is true ;)
Babhru Das - September 8, 2004 5:17 pm
Sorry for nit-picking, Babhru, but if the name is supposed to mean "servant of the servant of Nanda's son" (and not as ex-Yuri thought), it should be Nanda-tanuja-kinkara Dasa, not Nanda-tanuja Kinkaram Dasa. In Siksastaka 5, the words are not grammatically connected. Nanda-tanuja is in the vocative, adressing Krishna, and Kinkaram is in the accusative, to be taken together with the words mam (me), patitam (fallen), etc.

Oh, of course! O son of Nanda, although I am your servant, I have fallen. . . .


There's nothing to apologize for, Bhrigu. I'm grateful for the Sanskrit lesson, particularly when it focuses my attention on Mahaprabhu's instructions. When I read his name, I just thought of that verse.


I started studying Sanskrit 20-odd years ago, when I ran the gurukula in Honolulu and taught at the Bhaktivedanta Village gurukula in California. But I never got very far (I was always a little bit ahead of the kids I was teaching), and I what little I learned has grown very rusty.


I think we all appreciate your post.

SashidharaDasa - September 8, 2004 6:24 pm

Hearty Congratulations Prabhu..!!!


In one of the Sanga, Maharaja says


"Initiation is more than a mere formality. It is about the love one feels for a sadhu that creates a bond between him and oneself. It is the happy formalization and announcement of that realtionship, and a comittment to it in which 'divya jnana' is transmitted. "


Gauidya Vaishnava Guru Parampara ki Jaya




Jason - September 8, 2004 9:32 pm

Dear Nanda-tanuja prabhu:


Congratulations. Thank you for sharing the photos also. I get chills up my spine when I see things like this. A new life...what's the saying, "...today is the first day of the rest of your life."


I'm happy for you man.





Caitanya-daya Dd - September 9, 2004 12:31 am

Nanda-tanuja Prabhu, in the first picture it looks like Guru Maharaja is saying something to you. Is he? If so, what did he say?

Nanda-tanuja Dasa - September 9, 2004 2:08 am

Traditionally Guru transmits spiritual power and potency of the mantra is seed form by placing his right hand on the head of the disciple and whispering it into his right ear.

Ken - September 9, 2004 3:00 am

Dear Nanda-tanuja,

Congratulations on the awe-inspiring honor and merciful gesture of harinama initiation bestowed upon you by Tripurari Maharaja. I wish you well in your "new life."



Rohininandana Das - September 14, 2004 12:31 pm

Dear Nanda-tanuja :blink:

Congratulations :) .very nice pictures.

you writed, that you were so exited that dont remember very well what Guru Maharaja speaks. i haved that same :D . i remember what i thinking that day "oh no, i dont remember very well what Guru Maharaja speaks :( " it was something like that :D

but seriously once more big big congratulations :)