Srila Sridhara Maharaja's Avirbhava Mahotsava

Vrindaranya Dasi - November 9, 2004 12:24 am



We had a wonderful celebration for Srila Sridhara Maharaja’s Appearance Day, with a particularly insightful talk. Glimpses of Guru Maharaja’s new commentary on Siksastakam came out in some penetrating analogies: in talking about how Srila Sridhara Maharaja preached to the disciples of Srila Prabhupada after his disappearance, Guru Maharaja explained how Srila Sridhara Maharaja exemplified tolerance (taror api sahisnuna), giving shade even while some tried to cut him down. Guru Maharaja compared Srila Sridhara Maharaja to a great banyan tree that is unaffected by a few chips to one of its trunks. A banyan tree is so broad and expansive that it takes root everywhere. Although some may have been able to cut down one branch (keep some people away from Srila Sridhara Maharaja) his influence is so great that even those who don’t know it are affected by his insights. His influence is pervasive like a great banyan tree.


Guru Maharaja also talked about how Krsna is so humble that he takes the lowest position as a sweeper and cleans the heart that chants his name. He said that when sweeping it done, dust rises into the air. This represents how we become aware of our anarthas when we chant the holy name. Guru Maharaja said that this should make us humble, and if it does not it is a big problem. If we are faced with our anarthas and we don’t become humble, our hearts will become hard, and eventually we will rationalize our problems and blame them on Gaudiya Vaisnavism.


Another important point that Guru Maharaja made was that if we get a taste for bhajana and broadcast that to others (particularly if we do so for the purpose of drawing attention to ourselves), Krsna will become displeased with us and withdraw because he likes a humble heart. Therefore, it is always recommended that one not reveal one’s bhajana to others.


After the talk, we had a sublime kirtana led by Agnideva prabhu and a delicious feast for the pleasure of Srila Sridhara Maharaja.




Panchatattva - November 9, 2004 1:45 am

Thank you Vrindaranya for posting about Sridhara Maharaja's Appearance Day celebration. It sounded like Swami gave an awesome lecture, and I'm meditating on the principle of how Krsna likes a humble heart. Beautiful!


Thanks again.

Pancha Tattva dasi

NrsinghaDas - November 9, 2004 2:40 am
Another important point that Guru Maharaja made was that if we get a taste for bhajana and broadcast that to others (particularly if we do so for the purpose of drawing attention to ourselves), Krsna will become displeased with us and withdraw because he likes a humble heart. Therefore, it is always recommended that one not reveal one’s bhajana to others.


I have wondered about this for some time. It always just seemed proper to me that one not speak of all of their inner experiences in Krsna consciousness, but then again it seems that that may be exactly what we should speak about to encourage each other and help to build faith. Personally I feel it is more safe and proper that one who is getting a taste keep their bhajan confidential, but at the same time I wonder why Krsna feels that these things are better kept a secret ? It seems that it could be a form of support if devotees spoke about these things to each other.

Brahma Dasa - November 9, 2004 5:10 am

As far as I understand: To "not reveal one’s bhajana" mostly refers to the personal inner experiences of devotees who are entering the higher stages of Krsna consciousness--ruci-asakti-bhava bhakti. Stages where one has real mystic experience of Krsna. These devotees are advised to keep the details of their inner life a secret even to other devotees, except of course their guru who will advise them appropriatly.


This is in response to those who would make a show of devotion with claims to see or know God. There are plenty of good actors out to make a busness of religion. This prohibition helps us avoid such pretenders.


Otherwise its not wrong to share ones faith or feelings about Krsna consciousness with the right people. This is what preaching is all about. But the scriptures warn the preachers as well--not to preach to the faithless. In this sense even those in the begining stages of Krsna consciousness should not reveal their bhajana.


Preaching is the overflow of ones realization, but one should preach according to time and circumstance, and to the level of the particular person that one is preaching to. Srila Prabhupada used to say that preaching should start with 'your not the body.' If that goes well then one can go on from there. /Brahma

Babhru Das - November 11, 2004 6:05 am

We also had a nice program in Hilo the other night in honor of Srila Sridhar Maharaja. Vidagdha Madhava, who received diksa from Srila Sridhar Maharaja, gave talk that started with a little background but focused on Maharaja's involvement with Srila Prabhupada's disciples in the late '70s and early '80s. It was painful to hear Vidagdha recount so many instances when our godbrothers abused Maharaja, but Srila Sridhar Maharaja's forbearance and compassion made the presentation a sort of chiaroscuro picture of his character, with the darkness of ISKCON's leaders' behavior emphasizing the light of Srila Sridhar Maharaja's exemplary humility and generosity.


I planned to share an excerpt from Follow the Angels if time allowed, but it didn't. So I'll share it here, and I'll also post it under the Quotes area.


Deep Engagement in Responsible Service

Responsible service can help us avoid falling prey to lust, anger, and

other enemies of devotion. Foremost among our protectors is faith,

sraddha. Next comes sadhu-sanga, association with pure devotees,

and bhajana-kriya, deep engagement in the duties prescribed by the

divine master. Deep engagement is necessary, especially for the mind,

not merely the body.

Mental engagement can be attained only by responsibility. Some

responsible service is given to the disciple. We feel the weight and it

occupies our thoughts; we cannot but think about it. The mind is

engaged there, surely. Thus, the mind gets no chance to dwell on

lower things. This is the beauty of deep engagement in responsible

service. In the practical sense, that helps us a great deal. Then

association and scriptures will really be of substantial benefit to us: as

service (pariprasna, sevaya).

As much as we are able to engage in deep, responsible service, the

effect of our impure tendencies will be minimized. They will come

and peep, and will step back when they discover that we are deeply

engaged. We have no time to give attention to lust and anger; we

cannot be enticed. In this way, they will have to retreat. Then if they

return once, twice, thrice or more, we may not spare any attention for

them. We will be very deeply engaged in seva.

Seva, service, should not be merely physical; there is mental seva, and

only responsibility can capture the mind. In responsibility, the mind is

compelled to think on the matter; otherwise, the mind may be free to

wander hither and thither even while the body is apparently engaged.

So engage the mind in deep service, responsible service.

Sridama Dasa - November 12, 2004 5:27 pm

Vrindaranya, thanks for posting this. I've been trying to meditate on these realizations since I first read your post a few days ago.