Guru Maharaj's August NC visit

Madangopal - August 8, 2006 8:13 pm

Guru Maharaj left San Francisco early Monday morning to come to N.C. for a week to give us his association and guidance. We are grateful to have him for a week. I will try to share some of the details as time permits. GM did not bring a monk with him, so we are left with some extra nectar seva. Thanks Gaura Vani! :)


Gaurangi and I picked GM up at the airport in Charlotte. He was happy to see us, and we were most certainly excited and elated to see him. The good fortune that descends when GM visits is undeniable.


On the two hour drive to Karnam and Archana's house we chit-chatted about a variety of topics. We discussed the NC scene, San Fran Ratha Yatra, Gaurangi's recent experiences at a Bharat Natyam dance camp, ISKCON history, GM's history post-ISKCON and a few personal discussions such as our future service.


When we arrived at Karnam's house GM gave a short darshan. Tharsan and his mother Devaki are here until Thursday, visiting from Canada.


GM was very happy to see them and he thanked them for their endeavor to come the long distance. He then spoke about pada-sevanam. He explained that using your feet to get to a holy place or to the company of a sadhu is pada-sevanam. Nowadays we serve with our feet by stepping on the brake and the gas as opposed to walking, but it is pada-sevanam nonetheless.


To be continued...

Madangopal - August 10, 2006 9:45 pm

Okay folks... Sorry for the delay. This is rather difficult for a number of reasons - I'm away from home and not much free time for internet posting, but primarily because I have a hard time writing down notes as opposed to just absorbing the nectar as it is produced. I am making sure that there are good recordings though and I assure you that these are the greatest classes... anandam buddhi vardhanam. The ocean of GM's heart is ever expanding. Sometimes I feel like I'm on the shore and I can't really explain what goes on. I'm taking it all in and processing it and its hard to be a journalist about it. You just have to get the recordings and have your own realizations too! I'll try to give some bits since I know you can't wait...


So I have about 15 minutes to pump out some quick notes.


Tuesday morning class was questions and answers. Karnam/Archana asked about whether the guru sees through a cultural filter, in some reference to the ideas discussed around Hari Sauri's article. GM explained that the guru doesn't see through a cultural filter, but rather that his message/vision passes through a cultural filter. This is no different than if the guru is Bengali, his message will come in Bengali language or if from Sri Lanka he/she will speak in Tamil. The message isn't changed, but it is impossible to get away from the cultural filter because the guru's heart has to be expressed through the vehicle the guru posesses.


He then made an interesting point about how the guru may have certain tastes, for example with food, but his eating is still completely spiritual. Prabhupada may have had different tastes than BSST.


A nice thing he said when discussing this was that what you love (to eat) the most, you should offer that to Krsna, because then there is more feeling in it. If you love pizza, you should offer that!


Devotees may have different tastes, but if they use the vehicle they have, the different likes and dislikes it becomes spiritual. Therefore spiritual presentations will have variety because devotees have different tastes.


An example GM gave about relativity and the guru's message coming through a filter was of George Washington. He was a great man in the historical sense, but he also owned slaves. That was the culture of his times. Who now who considers Washington a great man would follow in his footsteps by keeping slaves??


GM is stressing this point a lot during this visit about oneness and difference in presentation of Krsna Consciousness. We should be one in tattva but there will be difference in expressions of bhakti.


Gotta run! :)

Karnamrita Das - August 29, 2006 12:08 am

Well we really did have a great visit. Then in a few days there was Janmastami and Prabhupada's Vyasa puja and Madan Gopal is back in College so our commentary sort of ended. After the festival my wife and I did a bit of couples counseling etc with some intensive weekends.......I didn't take notes, but I did take a few pictures. Of course I love the subject matter, our Swami, GM, though they are not so different from last visit. Also my battery recharger crashed so I couldn't recharge my batteries (my spiritual batteries were getting recharged, but not my material ones) Anyway I will post the pics I have even though so much time has gone by and the energy has shifted to the upcoming India pligramage and Temple construction in Audarya. Perhaps this post will inspire others to contribute some commentary of their impressions and/or realizations.


Swami will be coming out again in December and we look forward to that. Each visit is unique. On this one trip no on came with Swami (someone was going to help pay for the visit but changed their mind so we could only afford one ticket). This did give us (Madan and myself) the pleasure of filling in for a servant....and Madan recorded the lectures learning as he went. I got to buzz up Swami but I was a bit too timid, not wanting to hurt him, so he had go over my work a bit......we hope we did an ok job in general. I also did my best to message his neck which was stiff, but I don't have much strength to last for very long........From our part it was nectar to serve in that way, imperfect as it was.


The visit was from Monday Aug 7-14th. It was Balarama' s appearance on Wednesday so a number of lectures were about Balarama which was great because I haven't heard any CD's about Sri Balaram. We followed our usual schedule with morning and evening programs, most at our home in Prabhupada Village (PV) North Carolina, one evening in Winston-Salem, and Friday evening and Saturday morning at Madan and Gaurangi's home in Hillsborough.


One interesting aspect of this visit was that Tharshan (Dharshan) and his Mom Thevaki (Devaki) came for 4 days. Thevaki came to see what her son was involved in. She became charmed by Swami and all devotees making a real connection with all of us. She comes from a very pious back ground and had no idea there were devotees of Krsna worldwide. She took many pictures which will fill in what I wasn't able to. (I am waiting to receive them) Also we took one video of a lecture, which Tharshan has converted to a DVD. It was his camera which I used. We will see what it looks like. Hopefully the MP3 will be out soon. The lecture at Archi and Dulal's in Winston was amazing!!


There were no anagonists present this time so this visit was without any intense drama. We have a small but dedicated group of devotees who attended the talks. For me this week went by the fastest yet. I couldn't believe it was actually a week!


Swaim__s_August_2006_visit_4web003.jpg Swaim__s_August_2006_visit_4web004.jpgSwaim__s_August_2006_visit_4web008.jpg



The first evening.






Swami shows off Venu Gopal's (Madan and Gaurangi's son) rendering of Lord Balarama.




The artist and his sister.




At Madan and Gaurangi's.




The listening ladies.




One of the most important aspects: questions, here asked by Gaurangi Priya dd