Some years ago I read Ravidra Svarupa Prabhu’s blog post titled Flowers of Devotion, wherein he described different important flowers in the Vedic literature. The atasī is said to be similar to Lord Kṛṣṇa’s skin complexion. He writes:
Dallas Morning News,
Do you ever shop at thrift stores? I confess I sometimes do. You never know what you’re going to find—sometimes brand-new items, at a fraction of their department store prices. When you’re on a budget (as I generally am), you get more bang for your buck if you frequent these places. So it happened not long ago, as I was in the neighborhood of such a store, I stopped in to see whether anything jumped out at me. There was an apron which looked perfectly clean, as if it had never been used. Like many people, when I’m cooking, I like to wear an apron to protect whatever it is I’m wearing.
Dancing Before the Deity
Over the last weekend I attended two festivals in honor of Siva-ratri. One was held outdoors and included a small fire yajna as part of the ceremonies for installing* the head of Lord Siva, just like the one worshiped in Vrindavana, India as Gopisvara Mahadeva, whose main function there is understood to be to guard the arena of Lord Krishna’s rasa-lila to ensure that no unqualified people can enter there. Only those whose love for the Lord is untainted by selfish desires can take part in the Lord’s spiritual circle dance.
SB 2.07.53 "If the jīva constantly describes māyā in relation to the Lord, remembers māyā or hears about māyā with proper faith, he will not be bewildered by māyā." -Viśvanātha Cakravartī Thakura
(this blog is recorded on the full page: quick time player needed; works best with Firefox)
Every day my short evening walk to and from the temple is different for many reasons. The subtle changes in the seasons provide an interesting backdrop for my trip, and of course the weather either brightens or clouds over the vast sky and blinking stars—or rains/snows on my foot parade. When I began the evening readings it was pitch black as I left the house, and then gradually the sky has become lighter with the horizon illuminated increasingly, day by day. Such simple pleasures can give great joy, and are an opportunity to remember Krishna, feel gratitude for His rich bounty , and for finding our path to Him. We live only by mercy!
If I come up with a tune for chanting in the shower or in the beginning of my walk, I sing to myself, and listen to the sounds of nature, along with my steps punctuated by the thrust of my staff, which leads the way. In the silence of the country, even small sounds can be fascinating, while loud ones seem booming—like at one house, there are two very excitable dogs that bark aggressively at any person. Even though the barking isn’t esthetically pleasing, I have had to accept it as part of country living, since in a radius of a mile there are often barking dogs which are part of the night.
City jokes abound about slow country bumpkins, and yet in my experience slowing down to notice our surroundings and their lessons is very helpful for developing a progressive, awakened life—many drops of experience, make the ocean of a rich life! I have discovered how living in the country and being apart from the ever increasingly fast pace of modern society, is so spiritually beneficial, and even for the health of the mind and body. While devotees should be everywhere, including the cities, the question is: What will be our consciousness, or how much are we remembering and serving Krishna and His devotees with feeling?
[I sent out an email to our office here at Krishna.com to thank and congratulate Ijya on his eleven year anniversary of working at Back to Godhead/Krishna.com. A few of our team thought it was a big enough mile marker to post online here so I am reposting our interoffice email here.]
A quick email to let you know about a big deal!!!