This topic contains 7 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Vaijayanti mala 11 months, 1 week ago.
January 7, 2017 at 7:42 am #2416
All Glories to Śrī Śrī Guru and Gaurāṅga!
Please accept my dandavat praṇāma.
In my life, I can remember feeling the most spiritual nourishment when a group of like-minded devotees gathered together to discuss a devotional topic, that is, to engage in an iṣṭa-goṣṭhi. As we entered deeper and deeper into a particular subject, so many new, inspiring insights would emerge. At such times, the teachings of our guru-varga became something more than just words in a book and they had increasing relevance in my daily life. In churning their teachings with like-minded souls, I began to feel a new kind of spiritual inspiration that I had never felt before. Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura writes:
vaiṣṇava-saṅgete mana, ānandita anukṣaṇa, sadā haya kṛṣṇa-parasaṅga
The heart feels joyful at every moment in the company of Vaiṣṇavas, where topics of Kṛṣṇa are always discussed.
The goal of this reading group is not just to assimilate knowledge but to thoughtfully contemplate Śrīla Gurudeva’s hari-kathā and share our thoughts and understandings with each other in such a way that we become individually and collectively inspired. You don’t need to be an intellectual or well versed in śāstra. There is no right or wrong, or good or bad way to participate. You just need to have a heart for Gurudeva’s teachings, some ability to appreciate and reflect upon the thoughtful contribution of others and a willingness to share your own contemplation.
Recently, a friend of mine shared with me this amazing quote by Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura on the proper approach to study:
“We love to read a book which we have never read before. We are anxious to gather whatever information is contained in it, and with such acquirement our curiosity stops. This mode of study prevails amongst a great number of readers who are great men in their own estimation as well as in the estimation of those who are of their own stamp. In fact, most readers are mere repositories of facts and statements made by other people. But this is not study. The student is to read the facts with a view to create, and not with the object of fruitless retention. Students, like satellites, should reflect whatever light they receive from authors, and not imprison the facts and thoughts just as the magistrates imprison the convicts in the jail!”
From an English lecture delivered in 1869, at Dinajpur, West Bengal.
The Foreword to Kṛṣṇa, Reality the Beautiful © Caitanya Sarasvata Maṭha
Reading Group Plan
Each week, on Monday, we will study/review one chapter of Nectar of Govinda-lila. Because a good discussion comes from focus, I will divide each chapter into parts, depending on the size and breakdown. I will post a few questions to start off the discussion, but of course, you are welcome to submit your own questions for the group to contemplate. This will all be done on an online forum, so that participants can contribute throughout the week, at their convenience. The dates for each session are as follows:
Week one (Jan 9 – 15) Always Think of Me
Week two (Jan 16 – 22) Become My Devotee
Week three (Jan 23 – 29) Worship Me and Offer Obeisances to Me
Week four (Jan 30 – Feb 5) Vasanta-pañcamī
Week five (Feb 6 – 12) Niśānta-bhajana
Week six (Feb 13 – 19) Śriyā Śuka
As the facilitator, I will also bring some focus to the discussion if I notice we are wandering off track, but will not do that at the expense of a spiritually valuable discussion or one that is obviously nourishing for everyone.
I look forward to doing this online study course with you and hearing your reflections on this amazing book.
Aspiring for the service of Śrī Guru and the Vaiṣṇavas,
Madhukar dasJanuary 7, 2017 at 8:45 pm #2419
Satya devi dasi
Dandavat pranams. All glories to your service. Thank you for this. Looking forward to it all. Your servant, Satya devi dasiJanuary 9, 2017 at 2:24 pm #2496
I love that quote from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur. After we finish listening to a class, my partner and I like to share what we got out of it, but much better with more devotees!! Madhukar prabhu, I may go to the Pure Bhakti Academy in Puri, and not be able to finish participating in this. How will you be able to take advantage of the Academy in Puri while this is going on? Radhe Radhe!January 9, 2017 at 2:34 pm #2497
how do we find this forum ?January 10, 2017 at 10:38 am #2506
Lalit Kishori dasi
Prana Vallabha. Its on Mygvp.com – courses – Nectar of Govinda Lila but if you posted this quesiton are you not already on it?January 10, 2017 at 10:43 pm #2509
Question: If Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur was speaking to people in 1869, why would he mention satellites?January 12, 2017 at 10:11 am #2517
‘Satellite’ is a Latin and it is also a French word from the 16th Century. It simply means’something that is separated from or on the periphery of something else but is nevertheless dependent on or controlled by it. (2) ‘a celestial body orbiting the earth or another planet’ (not in that order in this link).
https://www.google.co.in/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=satellite%20meaningJanuary 12, 2017 at 10:12 am #2518
‘Satellite’ is a Latin and it is also a French word from the 16th Century. It simply means (1)’something that is separated from or on the periphery of something else but is nevertheless dependent on or controlled by it. (2) ‘a celestial body orbiting the earth or another planet’ (not in that order in this link).