We just had 3 guests stay with us, and I always love to offer our home to our dear devotee friends, acquaintances, and sometimes couples who we counsel. My wife likes it 'cus the house gets cleaned nicely :->>, yet more importantly we get to spend some quality time with devotees, and offer our best hospitality. Since we live in a rural area, the atmosphere is very peaceful and conducive for spiritual practice, and we have very beautiful Deities (authorized forms of God described in the scriptures) who offer their blessings.
A discussion of why Gaudiya Vaishnavas consider the form of God greater then just his all-pervading energy is for another time. Suffice it is to say here, that according to one the Gaudiyas' primary scriptures, the Shrimad Bhagavatam, the Lord has three features, Brahman, or his all-pervading aspect, Paramatma, or the localized form of God within everyone's heart and w/i every atom, and the Source of both, Bhagavan, or the Supreme from of God, from whom everything and everyone emanates.....this is a big topic....in fact it is THE topic necessary to understand in order to engage in bhakti and surrender to Krishna.
Blogging on Krishna.com is new, and is now in the experimental stage. For me it is a real privilege for so many reasons. I truly love the process of writing, and to have an audience (especially one of spiritual seekers and devotees), is a real dream come true. I have many ideas of topics and also for format.
No it is not a new dance step, but a process. I first heard the term from a devotee scholar who used the term to indicate the process of taking the best from any situation--in his case his educational pursuits. Prabhupada gives the example of the swan that can draw out the milk from a mixture of milk and water. We have to look for the nectar or the essence which can be used for Krishna's service.
My wife and I "own" four acres of land (the bank thinks they own it, though it really belongs to Krishna) in the foothills of North Carolina. It is near to Hanging Rock State Park (one hour north of Winston-Salem).
This country area is quite beautiful, the peaceful environment conducive for spiritual practice. After living in the suburbs of Baltimore for 14 years, an unbelievable opulence is having all spiritually minded devotee neighbors.
Sometimes I go down to the bottom of our land and chant, read or just commune with nature. Here is a poem I wrote during one such occasion:
The appearance day of the Guru is called, Vyasa-puja, or the worship of the representative of Vyasadeva. Vyasa is considered an empowered incarnation of God, who compiled the Vedic literature for this current age of Kali.
Traditionally disciples write homages to their guru on the Vyasa-puja day to help them remember their debt of gratitude for their guru for giving them the gift of Krishna consciousness. I thought I would share my offering to Shrila Prabhupada, as I wrote it for another blog, with the idea of exploring some of the misconceptions about what having a guru means. In that sense it is not a traditional type offering.
For many Hindu's and all Vaishnavas Janmastami is one of the most important holy days. The "birth" of the unborn Godhead, who also appears in multi-incarnations to serve his different purposes. According the dictionary Krishna is a "Hindu" god, an incarnation of Vishnu. So should that be the end of it? Is it merely a Hindu concern? If I am Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, agnostic or atheistic, etc., does Krishna or his "birthday" anniversary have no importance to me?