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On Reason and Love

Bhaktivinoda Thakura was a nineteenth century religious reformer in the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya. He was a prolific author, songwriter, poet and proponent of Krishna bhakti. The following is from his article “The Temple of Jagannath at Puri” written on September 15, 1871. CONTINUE READING THIS ARTICLE »

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Kirtan Podcast 3: In the Temple of My Heart

Bhaktivinode Thakurmama– my, mana– mind or heart, mandire– in the temple
Kedarnath Datta Bhaktivinode Thakura was a nineteenth century religious reformer in the Chaitanya or Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya. He was a prolific author, songwriter, poet and proponent of Krishna bhakti.
In this beautiful Bengali song, Bhaktivinode Thakur expresses his ardent desire for Lord Krishna to reside in his heart, where he can make his offerings of love. I find this song serves as a reminder and inspiration that behind all religious ritual lies the purpose of the transformation of the mind or heart, and that ultimately, the heart is both the place of genuine worship as well as the truest and most pleasing item to be offered in devotion.

The song is sung by the bhajana group Spiritual Skyliner, which was a traveling group of Vaishnava brahmacaris from Germany. The angelic lead singing is by Gadadhara Das. Musically this song is unique in that each verse is sung in a different melody. Mama Mana Mandire appeared on the cd Spiritual Skyliner: Sacred Mantras. More of their music can be found here and here.

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Mam Mana Mandire
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Mama Mana Mandire

by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

(1) mama mana mandire raha nisi-din
krsna murari sri krsna murari

Please abide in the temple of my heart
both day and night, O Krsna Murari, O Sri Krsna Murari!

(2) bhakti priti mala candan
tumi nio he nio krsna-nandan

Devotion, love, flower garlands, and sandalwood- please accept them,
Delighter of the Heart!

(3) jivana marana tava puja nivedan
sundara he mana-hari

In life or in death I worship You with these offerings,
Beautiful One, O Enchanter of the Heart!

(4) eso nanda-kumar ar nanda-kumar
habe prema-pradipe arati tomar

Come, son of Nanda, and then, O Son of Nanda
I will offer Your arati ceremony with the lamplight of my love.

(5) nayana jamuna jhare anibar
tomara virahe giridhari

The waters of the Yamuna river cascade incessantly from my eyes
in your separation, O Holder of Govordhana Hill!

(6) bandana gane tava bajuk jivana
krsna murari sri krsna murari

May I pass my life absorbed only in songs of Your praise, O Krsna Murari, Sri Krsna Murari!

Related Posts: Kirtan Podcast: As Kindred Spirits / Kirtan Podcast 2: Aindra Das

Kaustubha das

An Expression of Conviction in Bhakti

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From the Vaishnava Saint Bhaktivinoda Thakura:

Give up the shackles of matter slowly. Cultivate your spirit inwardly. Give up prejudices which you have acquired from the so-called rational thinkers who deny the existence of spirit.

Be humble in yourself and learn to respect those who work towards spiritual attainments. Do these with your heart, mind and strength in the company of spiritual people alone and you will see Krishna in no time. CONTINUE READING THIS ARTICLE »

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Sri Krishna Janmastami

Janmastami

Best wishes to everyone on Sri Krishna Janmastami!

For the occasion I thought I would offer something nice to meditate on in the form of the above painting, by Murlidhara das, and the lyrics to a beautiful song by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura about the desire for Krishna to appear in ones heart. Both the original Bengali and English translations are included.

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Dhanurdhara Swami

Kirtan and Humility or: Scrambled Thoughts on Grass

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“One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than a blade of grass, more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and ready to offer all respects to others. In such a state of mind one can chant constantly.”
(Shri Shikshastakam verse 3)

Pradyumna, a friend and noted scholar, recently shared with me, in his own words, Bhaktivinoda Thakur’s interesting commentary on the phrase trnad api, “lower than a blade of grass” from Shri Shikshastakam (Shri Caitanyas eight core instructions), where the anonymity of the kirtaniya (kirtan leader) is described: CONTINUE READING THIS ARTICLE »

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PODCAST: As Kindred Spirits

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He Gopal (Yasomatinandana)
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From the CD Nectar of Devotion, Hey Gopal (Yasomati-nandana)

On this track As Kindred Spirits blend the traditional chant “Krishna, Govinda, Govinda, Gopal, Nandulal” with the bhajan Sri Nama Kirtan (Yasomati-Nandana) composed by Vaishnava theologian and songwriter Bhaktivinode Thakura. In Sri Nama Kirtan Bhaktivinode Thakura employs a lyrical device wherein nearly the entire song consists of Krishna’s names, each of which serve to rouse remembrance or meditation of the Lords many lilas (pastimes). You can find the translation below.

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From the CD’s liner notes:

“Adapted from a melody performed at the world famous Radha Ramana Temple in Vrindavan, this song is composed of names of Lord Sri Krishna. Vaisnavas love to sing the names of Krishna – amala harinam amiya-vilasa. ‘These pure, holy names of Lord Hari (Krishna) are full of sweet, nectarean pastimes.’ If you know what to listen for, you’ll also hear a riff from one of the sweetest devotional Indian movies ever made, called, Sita Swayamvara.”

More Information on As Kindred Spirits

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Gaura Vani: Lead vocal, Harmonium arrangements and recording engineer
Sandeep Mody: Tabla, Sarod, Violin, arrangements, and backing vocals.

Sridhama, Bhakti, Tuka, Radhika, Ani, Rombhoru, Ketu, Radha Madhava, Nandu, Sunanda, Jayananda, Jagannath Chandan, Bali, Mitrasena, Shyam, Sita and Krpa: All vocal and instrumental accompaniment.

Bada Haridas, Bhakta Jim Sater: Sound mastering, mixing, and additional technical assistance.

Sri Nama-Kirtana

(by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura)

(1)
yashomati-nandana, braja-baro-nagara
gokula-ranjana kana
gopi-parana-dhana, madana-manohara
kaliya-damana-vidhana

(2)
amala harinam amiya-vilasa
vipina-purandara, navina nagara-bora
bamshi-badana suvasa

(3)
braja-jana-palana, asura-kula-nashana
nanda-godhana-rakhowala
govinda madhava, navanita-taskara
sundara nanda-gopala

(4)
jamuna-tata-chara, gopi-basana-hara
rasa-rasika kripamoya
shri-radha-vallabha, brindabana-natabara
bhakativinod-ashraya

Translation

(1) Krishna is the beloved son of Mother Yashoda; the transcendental lover in the land of Vraja; the delight of Gokula; Kana [a nickname of Krishna]; the wealth of the lives of the gopis. He steals the mind of even Cupid and punishes the serpent Kaliya.

(2) These pure, holy names of Lord Hari are full of sweet, nectarean pastimes. Krishna is the Lord of the twelve forests of Vraja. He is ever-youthful and is the best of lovers. He is always playing on a flute, and He is an excellent dresser.

(3) Krishna is the protector of the inhabitants of Vraja; the destroyer of various demoniac dynasties; the keeper and tender of Nanda Maharaja’s cows; the giver of pleasure to the cows, land, and spiritual senses; the husband of the goddess of fortune; the butter thief; and the beautiful cowherd boy of Nanda Maharaja.

(4) Krishna wanders along the banks of the River Yamuna. He stole the garments of the young damsels of Vraja who were bathing there. He delights in the mellows of the rasa dance; He is very merciful; the lover and beloved of Shrimati Radharani; the great dancer of Vrindavana; and the shelter and only refuge of Bhaktivinoda Thakura.

Related Posts: An Expression of Conviction in Bhakti


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