Lay Monasticism

Gauravani Dasa - September 28, 2006 5:39 pm

Dear Devotees,


After much consideration, Guru Maharaja and I have decided that living in a monastic environment is not the ideal situation for me. I feel the need to explain this decision to you all in an effort to avoid any misunderstanding.


My personal psychology prohibits me from living in the monastery with a peaceful mind. As much as I identify with the ideal of monastic life, realistically I do not have the emotional balance required to pursue it long-term. Guru Maharaja is and has always been very supportive. We both feel this decision is well thought out and conducive to my devotional life.


We have discussed the idea of a lay monk--one who lives simply, outside of the monastery and generates income for the mission. I identify with this ideal, being uninterested in marriage but with a need for more independence than monastic life affords.


I am dedicated to seeing Guru Maharaja's vision happen, and I plan to do my best in making sure that it stays well-funded. My plan is to get on my feet financially, then continue to pursue an honest career, the fruits of which will be offered to Guru Maharaja. At the beginning of October I am moving North Carolina to take advantage of the low cost of living, and to be in a position to help begin Audarya East.


The devotees should be aware that my seva related to the MP3 project and Audarya Audio subscriptions will be transferred to Gurunistha. Please direct any inquiries about those projects to him. I will remain as an administrator for Tattva-viveka, so please feel free to contact me regarding issues about the forum.


I humbly ask the devotees for their blessings--that I might develop some real feeling for guruseva, no matter what form it may take.


With sincere gratitude,

Gauravani dasa

Bhrigu - September 28, 2006 5:49 pm

Gauravani, you are a wonderful, dear devotee, no matter in which position you are. I don't have any real power to bless, but if I had, I would certainly give you all my blessings and best wishes. :Devil:

Madangopal - September 28, 2006 7:04 pm

You are a very sincere, sweet devotee and friend Gauravani. I hope that living out here will be a good situation for you and I look forward to serving Guru Maharaj together with you. I am happy for you that you have been honest with yourself and guru as to the best situation for you to serve in. Then there is no impediment. Guru Maharaj attract such high quality people and I'm glad to know some like you.

Nanda-tanuja Dasa - September 28, 2006 10:26 pm

We love you no matter what color cloth you wear :Big Grin: You are a kind soul and a very good person. I think it was brave of you to face your issues and make this balanced decision. I will admit that I will miss seeing you in Audarya and your librarian pedantic approach to audio archiving. I hope Gurunistha will continue your work with the same zeal as you had been doing it. Does it mean you will not be present for Govardhana-puja Festival? Good luck, I’m sure you will be safe under Guru Maharaja's care even if you live a little farther.

Vrindaranya Dasi - September 29, 2006 12:30 am

It has been wonderful getting to know you here at Audarya. We'll miss you, but I look forward to continued connection through Tattva-viveka and seva. As Audarya East develops, I hope that there will be more and more opportunities for sanga between devotees on the east and west coasts. Thank you for all your dedication and service! It has been great having you here at Audarya! :Big Grin:




Gaurangi-priya Devi - September 29, 2006 2:51 am

Well, it is very exciting for us here in NC to be having you back. I look forward to having your sanga, and we'll have to start get togethers with the devotees from Hillsborough and Sandy Ridge. Let us know if there is anything you need as you get situated.

Prema-bhakti Marga - September 29, 2006 3:10 am

It was nice to get to know you a bit in our few recent visits to Audarya. My family and I appreciated all your hard work and dedication and we wish all the best in your future endeavors.

Babhru Das - September 29, 2006 4:58 am

I think this is good news because it shows you'll continue to progress in your dedication to service to guru and Gauranga. As Swami often points out, Lord Krishna tells Uddhava that real beauty means understanding our real position and acting accordingly: sve sve 'dhikare ya nistha sa gunah parikirtitah. Bhaktivinoda Thakura quoted this verse in numerous places.


You have my best wishes, and I look forward to the day I can meet you and receive your blessings.

Syamasundara - September 29, 2006 9:15 am

Due to the dampness of my room I can't seem to be able to fire blessings today, but honestly I don't think you need them.

The material world is but a holographic fog; as long as you can feel your feet on the solid ground of siddhanta and you have Sri Guru as a compass, it doesn't really matter where in the fog you are.


grhe thako vane thako, sada hari bole dakooooo

sukhe duhke bulo nako, vadane hari nama bolo re!! :Big Grin:

Tadiya Dasi - September 30, 2006 2:19 pm



This must have been a difficult decision for you, but the fact that you made it and that Guru Maharaj has blessed your decision tells me that you will definetely continue to be a wonderful servant to both Sri Guru & Gauranga. In one of the first emails I ever received from Gurudev, he wrote to me that: "sincerity begets divine reciprocation". And that Sri Krishna says: na hy kalyana krd kascid durgatim tata gacchati --"sincerity is invincible". You have shown a great deal of sincerity in this situation, Gauravani, and I'm sure that everything will be fine for you.


I wish you all the best in your 'lay monasticism' :Big Grin:


ps. I sent you an email about transcribing before I saw this...sorry, and feel free to forward that email to Gurunistha.

Caitanya-daya Dd - September 30, 2006 2:36 pm

gauravani, the service you have rendered for guru maharaja, the devotees, and for audarya has been immeasurable. i hope you are not feeling that you have "failed" in any way. Monastic life is difficult (i can attest to that!). It was a great pleasure to have you on the west coast--it is our loss, but a wonderful gain for the devotees on the east coast! I wish you all the luck, strength, and love a godsister can give you in your devotional life in north carolina. :-)

Vamsidhari Dasa - September 30, 2006 5:34 pm

Dear Gauravani,

Itt is hard to imagine you not being at Audarya as we have all grown fond of your gentile and kind presence. I wish you all the best and you will be missed. Please keep in touch.