He stands here, a sea of sweet nectar...


Smile...
and enjoy
this lila!

Welcome to

Radha's
Krishna Links

~ Spiritual Enhancement Page ~
Adoring my Beloved Krishna!
Saying to those who long to plunge into Him: 'Come, dive deep!'


This page was last updated 06.15.09



"The fire of Self-knowledge reduces all bonds of Karma to ashes, O Arjuna,
like the blazing fire reduces wood to ashes."
-- Sri Krishna (Bhagavad Gita 4.37)



You may skip to the
Table of Contents
but you are strongly encouraged to first read the
Introduction



THE INDEX PAGE

THE 'MY STORY' PAGE
Website Introduction
"My Story"
How to Surrender to God
Website Conventions

THE TERMS PAGE
Terms Used
Caution

THE LINKS PAGE
Links About Sri Krishna
Links to Krishna Scriptures
Links to the Ecstatic Poets
Links to Krishna Art
Links to Krishna Music
Links About Bhakti Yoga and Spiritual Longing
Links About Madhurya Bhava and the Kundalini Experience
Links to Krishna Organisations
Links to Other Spiritual Resources
Links to Vegetarian Resources
Other Quick Links

THE READINGS PAGE
Recommended Reading
Printed Scriptures
Other Spiritual Books

THE PRACTICE PAGE
Spiritual Practice
Focus: How to Alter Your Consciousness
Some Nuts and Bolts
Additional Information
How to Take Krishna as Your Lover
Physical Manifestations
Focus: How to Turn Sickness into Ecstasy
Lifestyle Choices and the Western Devotee
The Road Ahead
Focus: Who Is the Guru?
On the Spiritual Wounding
Devotees and Abuse
On Siddhis
On Surrendering Ego
Meditation: Transforming Into Union
My First Anniversary
My Second Anniversary
My Third Anniversary
My Fourth Anniversary
Postscript
On Madhurya Bhava
Footnotes

MY BHAVA PAGE
My Madhurya Rasa Experience
Quotes on:
I. The Divine Lover

II. Divine Eroticism and Maturation
III. Whispers from the Bosom of the Beloved
IV. Divine Reality
Krishna's Advice
In Dedication
Credits

RADHA SPEAKS OUT
The Position of Women
Abuse Links
Aggressive War
The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
On Sacred Sexuality
On Pursuing Krsna: For Proper Devotion or for the Ultimate "Lay"?
Fundamentalism and Sri Prabhupada
The Mystic and the Greater Religious Community
How Many Krishnas Are There?
The Nature of Love
An Exegesis on the Soul
A Letter to Ego

POEMS OF KAANTA BHAVA
Introduction
The Poems
Explanatory Notes
Radha Instructs Krishna's New Bride in the Arts of Love
Other Kaanta Bhava Links

DOWNLOADS PAGE
Introduction
The Rasa Pancadhyaya
Other Downloads



I am happy even before I have a reason.  I am full of Light even before the sky can greet the sun or the moon.
Adore me only
With heart undistracted;
Turn all your thought
Toward solitude, spurning
The noise of the crowd,
Its fruitless commotion....

-- Bhagavad Gita 13.10

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Recommended Reading

Sri Krishna said of literature:

"My dear Uddhava, an intelligent person should never take to literatures that do not contain descriptions of My activities, which purify the whole universe. Indeed, I create, maintain and annihilate the entire material manifestation. Among all My pastime incarnations, the most beloved are Krsna and Balarama. Any so-called knowledge that does not recognize these activities of Mine is simply barren and is not acceptable to those who are actually intelligent."

-- Uddhava Gita 11.20


The Most Sacred Texts:
"Scriptures" are texts handed down through the generations recognized as having some useful or redeeming personal, if not societal, value. Generally, they promote spiritual growth by pointing to common values and concepts useful in setting aside individual ego and developing an affinity to the greater cosmic Reality, however that may be defined. Each tradition has unique teachings, but all share certain core beliefs common to most other traditions. Fundamentalism is usually unyielding obedience to narrow interpretations of scripture and often result in systems of practice at odds with the greater message of scripture. Beware of fundamentalist tendencies in most traditions as they always promote, in some way, the advancement of human ego; this is how fundamentalism, at times, results in horrendous activity.

The texts below are arranged by category and then author. Some of the citations below are included more for bibliographic documentation than for recommendation. My comments follow each reference in italic type. Note: References to the writings and translations of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami used on this website and not specifically noted in the below bibliography, were obtained from the Bhaktivedanta database cited below.

Bhagavad-Gita
Miller, Barbara Stoler (1986). The Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna's Counsel in Time of War. New York: Bantam Books. Although a refreshing alternative translation written by an academic, I do not regard it as authoritative. It does provide a perspective on the text that differs from Gaudiya Vaishnavas.

Prabhavananda, Swami and Isherwood, Christopher (1995). Bhagavad Gita. New York: Barnes and Nobles Books. An inexpensive and concise translation of the "Song of God" from a Vedanta perspective.

Prabhupada, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami (1972). Bhagavad-gita As It Is. New York: Collier Books. This is a scholarly and devotional translation of the Gita complete with the Sanskrit original, Roman transliteration, and an extensive commentary on each verse. I view this text as generally authoritative although I sometimes disagree with the fundamentalist interpretations and commentary on some verses. The newest edition from The Bhaktivedanta Trust contains some revisions which have stirred controversy within the ISKCON community. Both the reprinted 1972 edition and the revised edition are currently available. Earlier, smaller edition by Prabhupada (originally published in 1968) has been reprinted and is now currently available from many bookstores in the West.

Prasad, Ramananda, Ph.D. (2001). The Bhagavad-gita (The Sacred Song), A Modern English Translation by Ramananda Prasad, Ph.D. (Third Edition). Fremont, CA: International Gita Society. This is a pocket-sized, non-sectarian English translation. You can download a copy or may obtain a printed copy of this translation absolutely for free by contacting http://www.gita-society.com/gita3rd.htm.

Prasad, Ramananda, Ph.D. (2004). The Bhagavad-gita (The Sacred Song) (Fourth Edition). Fremont, CA: International Gita Society. This edition is an excellent non-sectarian translation which includes the Sanskrit original, Roman transliteration, English translation, and commentary featuring quotations from a large number of other texts, including non-'Hindu' ones. The œcumenical quality of the commentary is extremely useful and refreshing. You may purchase this text directory from the International Gita Society, or obtain a printed copy of the English-only translation for free by contacting: http://www.gita-society.com/gita3rd.htm.

Sivananda, Swami (2003). Bhagavad Gita, Text, Word-to-Word Meaning, Translation and Commentary by Swami Sivananda. Tehri-Garhwal, Uttaranchal: The Divine Life Society. (Rs. 200/-). Although written from a Vedanta perspective, this volume has a lot of practical advice and devotional fervour. I have found this Gita very useful-- simply pass over the doctrine with which you disagree (but it may help you in the future to understand why you disagree with other respectable practitioners of the Dharma). Swami Sivananda has always advocated a deeply devotional bhakti despite the other teachings for which he is known. In the West, you can easily and cheaply order a copy of this book from The Divine Life Society website in India. The handmade hardback binding adds to its charm.

Tripurari, Swami B.V. (2001). Bhagavad Gita, Its Feeling and Philosophy. San Rafael, CA: Mandala Publishing. This is a beautiful new translation and commentary from a teacher I respect (a devotee of Prabhupada) and whose teachings often resonate deeply within me. It is a devotional translation of the Gita complete with the Sanskrit original, Roman transliteration, and commentary on each verse.

Purana
Saraswati, Swami Ambikananda (2002). (translator). The Uddhava Gita, The Final Teaching of Krishna. Berkeley, CA: Seastone. The introduction was written by Thomas Cleary. Each chapter is a clear rendering of the text and is prefaced with a summary and brief commentary. Contains extensive notes and a Sanskrit glossary. Swami Saraswati is a disciple of Swami Venkatesananda. Some web sources for the Uddhava Gita were also used on this website. The Uddhava Gita is actually Book (Canto) 11 of the Bhagavata Purana; if you already have the complete Bhagavata Purana, then you already have the Uddhava Gita.

Bryant, Edwin F. (2003). (translator). Krishna: The Beautiful Legend of God, Srimad Bhagavata Purana, Book X. New York: Penguin Books. This is a modern translation of one of the great narrative texts about Krishna. Chapters 29-33 compose the Rasa Panchadhyayi, a text especially relevant to developing a madhurya bhava relationship with Lord Krishna.

Das, Kalankanta (2003). (translator). Bhagavat Purana: Pastimes of the Supreme Person. P.O. Box 247, La Crosse, Florida 32658 USA. This is a modern rhyming English rendering of the first two books of the Bhagavata Purana by a devotee of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The rendering is, at times, too simplistic and like reading Dr. Seuss, but it is an inexpensive text. I purchased my copy at an ISKCON mandir.

Ramayana
Tulasidasa (1990). (Prasad, R.C., translator). Tulasidasa's Shriramacharitamanasa (The Holy Lake of the Acts of Rama). Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. This is a beautiful edition of Tulasidas' rendition of the Ramayana translated into both modern Hindi and English. The story centers around Ram, Krishna's previous avatar. Contains several appendices, including the Hanuman Chalisa.

Other Bhakti Texts
Karthikeyan, N.V. (2005). Kandar Anubhuti, (God-Experience) of Saint Arunagiriathar. Shivanandanagar, Uttaranchal: The Divine Life Society. (Rs. 120/-). This work presents the original Tamil, transliteration, English translation, and an extensive commentary on this devotional text. Although devoted to Skandar, an incarnation of Lord Shiva, there is much in this book that is useful. The text is preceded by extensive forward and introduction.

Sivananda, Swami (1998). Narada Bhakti Sutras (Revised Edition). Shivanandanagar, Uttaranchal: The Divine Life Society. (Rs. 50/-). Although written from a Vedanta perspective, this volume is very useful for devotional life. In the West, you can easily and cheaply order a copy of this book from The Divine Life Society website in India.

Tyagisananda, Swami (undated). Aphorisms on the Gospel of Divine Love or Narada Bhakti Sutras (with Sanskrit text, word-by-word meaning, English rendering of the text and elaborate explanatory and critical Notes by Swami Tyagisananda). Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math. Although written from a Vedanta perspective, this version of the Narada Bhakti Sutras is often very devotional and helpful in daily spiritual practice. The œcumenical perspective will be useful for those living in the West. This text has been in existence since the 1940s and I found a copy in my local library. Cheap paperback editions are available various Vedanta sources.

    A zipped copy of Prabhupada's edition of the Narada Bhakti Sutras as a MS Word® document is available for free download from the Internet Archive.

Buddhist Sacred Texts
Byrom, Thomas (1976). (translator). Dhammapada: The Sayings of the Buddha. New York: Bell Tower. Preface by Ram Dass.

Cleary, Thomas (1995). (translator). Dhammapada: The Sayings of the Buddha Translated from the Original Pali. New York: Bantam Books. A very clear translation interspersed with useful comments. The Dhammapada is one of the foundational works of Buddhism and is highly recommended for the spiritual beginner.

Taoist Sacred Texts
Chan, Wing-Tsit (1963). (translator). The Way of Lao Tzu (Tao-te Ching). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. There are many very useful translations of the Tao Te-ching in print, each having their own thought provoking perspectives. I have several and this edition is probably the most general introduction to this wisdom text. This edition is complete with an academic introduction and commentary with references.

    The Tao may be understood by our union with Brahman or even the awakening of Shakti within us and can be seen as an intermediary step toward union with Krishna (BG 18.54-55). Brahman represents the monist union with the Deity while union with Krishna could be understood as either monoist or dualist. The traditional Vaishnava perspective is an eternal dualistic lila with Krishna (BG 9.34). I believe that, like the 'nature versus nurture' debate in many psychological explanations for human behaviour, the answer is that both are true. Whatever way is the ultimate reality, my sweet Krishna is my wonderful end.

MacHovac, F.J. (1962). (translator). The Book of Tao. White Plains, NY: Peter Pauper Press, Inc. This was my first translation of the Tao Teh Ching, or of any mystical text outside of my childhood religion. The translator rearranged the sutras from their traditional positions to an order that seems more natural, according to content. This is a pleasant and thought-provoking version of the Tao.

Star, Jonathan (2001). (translator). Tao Te Ching, The Definitive Edition. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam. This text presents a re-ordered critical Chinese text with English translation, commentary, and an exhaustive Chinese glossary and concordance.

Other Sacred Texts
Wansbrough, Henry (1985). (editor). The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB). Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc. This is a beautifully rendered, often poetic translation of the Bible, although the critical notes reflect a liberal academic bias. The English translation of the biblical text is recommended for a devotional study of the Christian scriptures and a "readers edition" without most of the notes is generally available.

The Holy Bible (KJV, AV, the "King James" or "Authorised Version"). Public Domain. This version is recommended for a study focused on the meaning of the original texts. It is much more of a word-for-word literal translation of the original languages. Although the language is archaic, I find it much clearer than the often muddled renderings of more modern translations. Many useful helps based on this version are still available. Most of the uncredited quotations of the Bible on this website are from the AV or are my personal adjustments of the authorised text. Other public domain versions of the English language Bible, such as the Geneva Bible, have also been consulted for this website. "Darby" refers to an extremely accurate nineteenth century literal translation from the Greek original similar to the AV by John Nelson Darby, one of the founding fathers of the "Plymouth Brethren" movement of Protestant Christianity.

The Holy Bible (ASV or the "American Standard Version" of 1901). Public Domain. This version contains the translations preferred by the American members of the Revised Version (RV) committee of 1881, based on the initial Wescott-Hort compilation of variations from the Textus Receptus (or the "Received" majority Greek Text of the New Testament). The Revised Standard Version (RSV) of 1946-52 is based on newer editions of the Wescott-Hort (critical) Greek text. Some of the language chosen for use in the ASV is illuminating. The field of textual criticism is terribly convoluted and has been a contentious issue in Christianity for the past 125 years.

Peterson, Eugene H. (2003). The Message//Remix: The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress. This is a contemporary paraphrase but one in line with most conservative evangelicals. As with most dynamic translations, the text is more influenced by the translator's biases than in more literal translations; nonetheless, this is a good and thought-provoking rendering of the Bible in modern English. The work is aimed at today's youth without resorting to the slang of other paraphrases.

Meyer, Marvin W. (1984). (translator). The Secret Teachings of Jesus, Four Gnostic Gospels. New York: Vintage Books. Contains The Gospel of Thomas as well as three other gnostic texts. Good for contemplation. The (relatively) new cache of extra-biblical writings has revealed a wide range of suppressed early variations of Christianity.

Strong, James, S.T.D., LL.D. (1890). Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. Public Domain. This concordance is exhaustive in its coverage of the AV biblical text; I have included this work here since every single word of the Bible has been catalogued with reference to its every occurrence in the Bible. Each occurrence of a word in the English text has also been indexed with a number referencing the Hebrew or Greek word of the original language text. Appended Hebrew and Greek dictionaries indexed with these "Strong's" numbers provide the reader ready access to the original biblical texts. Many other Christian references also use these "Strong's" numbers. A number of different reprints and editions of this monumental and useful work are now available.

The Presidency of Islamic Researches, IFTA, Call and Guidance (1410 AH). The Holy Qur-an: English Translation of the Meanings and Commentary. Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah, Saudi Arabia: King Fahd Holy Qur-an Printing Complex. A beautifully printed English rendering of the Qur-an with extensive conservative notes and introductions, produced by royal decree. The text and commentary tends toward a fundamentalist perspective.

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Is Bhakti in the Bible? Read on!

Sustain me with raisins, refresh me with apples; for I am sick with love. O that his left hand were under my head, and that his right hand embraced me! I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the hinds of the field, that you stir not up nor awaken love until it please. The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes, leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills. My beloved is like a gazelle, or a young stag. Behold, there he stands behind our wall, gazing in at the windows, looking through the lattice. My beloved speaks and says to me: "Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. (Song of Solomon, 2:5-11, RSV)

The "Song of Solomon" is considered by many authorities to be the 'Holy of Holies' of the Bible. Regardless of doctrinal positions, such love of the Divine was surely practised by some in the ancient Israelite tradition.

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OM

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He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep
to gain that which he cannot lose.

-- Jim Elliott

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Other Texts:
I view the writings of the ecstatic poets as nearly on par as commonly received scripture. Rumi, Hafiz, Kabir, Lalla, Mirabai, Teresa of Avila, all show that the ecstatic union with God is an experience common to all the spiritual traditions of humanity.
Whatever your path, you can know God in a sure and deeply personal way. Your path is your own. Follow it, using these illuminated writers as guides. In recommending Sufi and Buddhists texts, I am simply pointing to other paths that lead to spiritual growth. Ultimately, it all leads back to the One I am calling Krishna.

The works below are arranged alphabetically by author. A few of the texts listed are here for documentary purposes. These documentary texts are not recommended for general reading and this may be indicated by bold text in the comments below.

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Psalm 42

To him that excelleth. A Psalme to giue instruction, committed to the sonnes of Korah.

[ 1] As the harte brayeth for the riuers of water,
so panteth my soule after thee, O God.
[ 2] My soule thirsteth for God, euen for the liuing God:
when shall I come and appeare before the presence of God?
[ 3] My teares haue bin my meate day & night,
while they dayly say vnto me, Where is thy God?
[ 4] When I remembred these things,
I powred out my very heart, because I had gone with the multitude, and ledde them into the House of God with the voyce of singing, and prayse, as a multitude that keepeth a feast.
[ 5] Why art thou cast downe, my soule,
and vnquiet within me? waite on God: for I will yet giue him thankes for the helpe of his presence.
[ 6] My God, my soule is cast downe within me,
because I remember thee, from the land of Iorden, and Hermonim, and from the mount Mizar.
[ 7] One deepe calleth another deepe
by the noyse of thy water spoutes: all thy waues and thy floods are gone ouer me.
[ 8] The Lorde will graunt his louing kindenesse in the day,
and in the night shall I sing of him, euen a prayer vnto the God of my life.
[ 9] I wil say vnto God, which is my rocke,
Why hast thou forgotten mee? why goe I mourning, when the enemie oppresseth me?
[10] My bones are cut asunder,
while mine enemies reproch me, saying dayly vnto me, Where is thy God?
[11] Why art thou cast downe, my soule?
and why art thou disquieted within mee? waite on God: for I wil yet giue him thankes: he is my present helpe, and my God.

from the Geneva Bible [public domain].

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Also recommended are the available recordings of Bhagavan Das, Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, and Ram Dass (also Ram Dass & Amazing Grace), all devotees of Sri Neeb Karori Baba. These recordings contain kirtan (sacred songs) using the names of God to reshape the heart of chanter. You can order many of these recordings and many other resources from the Neem Karoli Baba Ashram in Taos, NM.

A wonderful (Gaudiya) devotional album presented as a small book bound with a CD is available from Mandala Publishing entitled Bhajan, Mantras of Mercy (2002). It contains chants and songs performed by Rasa (from their Hearts of Space album Union) and includes textual contributions from Swami B. B. Tirtha and Swami B. V. Tripurari.

Quietly chanting the names of God in loving devotion (called 'japa') is the primary practice of Bhakti Yoga and will open your heart to God. Offering food to the Lord in deep loving devotion will also open your heart to Him. In all things, do with loving devotion to Him and your reality will change!

The grace of God is
being able to
remember God.

-- Bhagavan Das





They are carried away by the sound of the flute...

Wearing a jewel, Krishna sometimes counts the cows with a tulasi [basil] garland which bears the fragrance of a beloved. When he sings, on occasion throwing his arm around the shoulder of an affectionate friend, the does, mates of the black dear, approach and sit near him, the ocean of all qualities. They are carried away by the sound of the flute and, like the gopis, have given up their longings for their homes.

O sinless one...dressed in festival attire made of garlands of jasmine, and surrounded by cows and gopas, plays [on the banks of] the Yamuna with his friends.

The gentle wind, pleasant from the touch of sandalwood, blows, honouring Him. The lesser gods surround him and pay homage with music, songs and offerings.

--Sri Bhagavata Purana X, 35.18-22



OM



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