GARLAND OF VERSES BY INDRADYUMNA SWAMI

Hare Krsna,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
In our Vaisnava tradition, anthologies such as Srila Rupa Gosvami’s Padyavali and Srila Sanatana Gosvami’s Krsna-lila-stava serve as ways in which the author expresses profound appreciation and love for Krsna by authoring or compiling various verses and pastimes of Krsna and relishing them, as well as facilitating others in relishing such nectar.

Following in their footsteps, we, a couple of insignificant disciples of His Holiness Indradyumna Swami, have compiled this garland of verses from the ocean of verses he quotes on his Facebook posts throughout the year as he travels far and wide in his preaching activities around the world. Whether he is on the road or the plane or in distant lands, he regularly shares the verses which are close to his heart and which, strung together, form a beautiful garland that we now humbly offer for the pleasure of all of you who are rasika bhuvi bhavuka? (thoughtful and expert devotees who know the art of relishing the transcendental mellows).
We have also added context around the circumstances in which each verse was quoted and links to the original posts. And to keep the length of the garland wearable, we’ve restricted ourselves to a sampling of Indradyumna Swami’s Facebook posts from just some of the highlights from last year.

January 2017

At the beginning of the year 2017, Indradyumna Swami wrote that before he begins his japa in the morning, he chants the following verses (as a prayer) from the 8th chapter of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Hari-nama-cintamani:
nāmera sadṛśa jñāna nāhika nirmala |
nāmera sadṛśa vrata nāhika prabala ||4||
nāmera sadṛśa dhyāna nāhi e jagate |
nāmera sadṛśa phala nāhi kona mate ||5||
nāmera sadṛśa tyāga kona rūpe naya |
nāmera sadṛśa sama kabhu nāhi haya ||6||
nāmera sadṛśa puṇya nāhi e saṁsāre |
nāmera sadṛśa gati nā dekhi vicāre ||7||
nāma-i parama mukti nāma ucca gati |
nāma-i parama śānti nāma ucca sthiti ||8||
nāma-i parama bhakti nāma śuddhā mati |
nāma-i parama prīti nāma parā smṛti ||9||
nāma-i kāraṇa tattva nāma sarva prabhu |
parama ārādhya nāma guru-rūpe vibhu ||10||
The holy name is the purest form of knowledge; it is the best of all vratas or vows and the highest meditation; it gives the most auspicious fruits; it is the greatest renunciation; it is a matchless spiritual activity; it is the most pious of holy works; it is the supreme path of self-realization; it offers the greatest liberation and goal; it is the topmost destination; it is the best devotional service and the most purifying agent; it gives love of Godhead and is the essence of remembrance of the Lord; it is the cause of all causes, the Supreme Absolute Truth; it is the most worshipable object and acts as the supreme guide and spiritual master. [Indradyumna Swami’s morning prayer]

In mid-January, Indradyumna Swami traveled to South Africa for preaching, but while there he had a prostate biopsy and subsequently contracted a serious bacterial infection that developed into septicemia. After he regained his health, Indradyumna Swami reflected on the experience in a series of Facebook posts:
uttarovāca
pāhi pāhi mahā-yogin
deva-deva jagat-pate
nānyaṁ tvad abhayaṁ paśye
yatra mṛtyuḥ parasparam
“Uttarā said: O Lord of lords, Lord of the universe! You are the greatest of mystics. Please protect me, protect me, for there is no one else who can save me from the clutches of death in this world of duality.” [Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.8.9;Indradyumna Swami’s “Wisdom Gained – #1”]
ahany ahani bhūtāni
gacchantīha yamālayam
śeṣāḥ sthāvaram icchanti
kim āścaryam ataḥ param
“Hundreds and thousands of living entities meet death at every moment, but a foolish living being nonetheless thinks himself deathless and does not prepare for death. This is the most amazing thing in this world.” [ Mahābhārata, Vana-parva 313.116; Indradyumna Swami’s “Wisdom Gained – #2” ]
āyuṣaḥ kṣaṇa eko ‘pi na labhyaḥ svarṇa-koṭibhiḥ
na cen nirarthakaṁ nītiḥ kā ca hānis tato ‘dhikā
“Even one moment of life spent cannot be regained for millions of gold coins. Therefore, what greater loss is there than time spent uselessly?” [ Cāṇakya Paṇḍita; Indradyumna Swami’s “Wisdom Gained – #3” ]

February:

At the end of February, Indradyumna Swami had an operation for prostate cancer and the day before he quoted a Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam verse calling for protection:
durgeṣv aṭavy-āji-mukhādiṣu prabhuḥ
pāyān nṛsiṁho ‘sura-yūthapāriḥ
vimuñcato yasya mahāṭṭa-hāsaṁ
diśo vinedur nyapataṁś ca garbhāḥ
“May Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, who appeared as the enemy of Hiraṇyakaśipu, protect me in all directions. His loud laughing vibrated in all directions and caused the pregnant wives of the asuras to have miscarriages. May that Lord be kind enough to protect me in difficult places like the forest and battlefront.” [ Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, 6.8.14Indradyumna Swami’s prayer ]

March:

From Vrindavan in March, Indradyumna Swami appreciated the opportunity to reside in the Dhama with the words of Śrīla Raghunātha dās Goswāmī:<b
r> anyatra kṣaṇa-mātram acyuta-pure-premāmṛtāmbho-nidhi
snāto ‘py acyuta-saj-janair api-samaṁ nāhaṁ vasāmi kvacit
kintv atra vraja-vāsinām api samaṁ yenāpi kenapy alaṁ
saṁlāpair mama nirbharaḥ pratimuhur vāso ‘stu nityaṁ mam
Even if I have the opportunity to bathe in the ocean of pure love of Kṛṣṇa, and even if I have the pure devotees of the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead as my associates, I will not consent to live even for a moment, in any sacred place other than Vrajabhumi. Even if the residents of Vṛndāvan appear to be ordinary, and even if they fill my ears with useless gossip, I pray that I may remain among them, eternally residing here in Vraja. [ Vraja Vilāsa-Stava, verse 105; Indradyumna Swami’s Vṛndāvan Reflection ]

April:

In April, Indradyumna Swami took a number of devotees to the village of Dauji in Gokul, Vṛndāvan. The next day he would leave Vṛndāvan to return to his preaching duties in the western countries. Before this, he sought the blessings of Dauji, Lord Balarāma, who resides in His deity form in a beautiful temple in the center of the village. He quoted from Srila Prabhupāda’s Kṛṣṇa: The Supreme Personality of Godhead.
One cannot attain the supreme platform of self-realization without being sufficiently favored by Balarama. Bala does not mean physical strength. No one can attain spiritual perfection by physical strength. One must have the spiritual strength which is infused by Balarama. Balarama is the source of spiritual power, or the original spiritual master. [ Kṛṣṇa, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, “Prayers by the Demigods for Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Womb.” Indradyumna Swami’s reflection on Balarama ]
As Indradyumna Swami left Vṛndāvan to begin his preaching activities in the west, he reflected on Śrīla Prabhupāda’s austerity and then quoted one of his favorite verses from Śrīla Prabhodānanda Sarasvatīpāda:
yathā yathā gaura-padāravinde
vindeta bhaktiṁ kṛta puṇya-rāśiḥ
tathā tathot-sarpati hṛdya-kasmād
rādhā-padāmbhoja-sudhāṁbu rāśiḥ
Translation: “One who is extremely fortunate may get the mercy of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. As much as one can devote his full attention to the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya, to that extent he will be able to taste the nectarine service of the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani in Vrindavan. The more one engages in the service of Śrī Caitanya, the more one finds oneself in Vrindavan, tasting the nectar of the service of Sri Radha.” [ Caitanya Candrāmrta, text 88; A favorite verse of Indradyumna Swami’s ]

May:

On the occasion of his Vyāsa Pūjā, Indradyumna Swami thanked disciples, friends, and well-wishers and quoted with such humility from the Nectar of Devotion: One aged devotee of Krsna addressed Him in this way: ‘My dear Krsna, O killer of the demon Agha, my body is now invalid due to old age. I cannot speak very fluently, my voice is faltering, my mind is not strong, and I am often attacked by forgetfulness. But, my dear Lord, You are just like the moonlight, and my only real regret is that for want of any taste for Your pleasant shining I did not advance myself in Krsna consciousness.’ This statement is an instance of lamentation due to one’s being unable to achieve his desired goal. [ Nectar Of Devotion, Chapter 29; Indradyumna Swami’s reflections on Vyāsa Pūjā ]

June:

The day of the first official festival on the Baltic coast in Poland, Indradyumna Swami turned to the third canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam for nectar on what true compassion signifies and yields: kṛtvā dayāṁ ca jīveṣu dattvā cābhayam ātmavān mayy ātmānaṁ saha jagad drakṣyasy ātmani cāpi mām “Showing compassion to all living entities, you will attain self-realization. Giving assurance of safety to all, you will perceive your own self as well as all the universes in Me, and Myself in you.” [ Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.21.31Indradyumna Swami’s reflections before Polish tour ]

July

GarlandPic

In July, Indradyumna Swami wrote lengthy diary entries to keep eager devotees around the world apprised of how the Polish tour was proceeding. Meanwhile, on his facebook page, he continued to post verses as he reflected on Śrīla Prabhupāda and the preaching service he and the devotees were offering up to Prabhupāda’s lotus feet: akṣṇoḥ phalaṁ tvādṛśa-darśanaṁ hi tanoḥ phalaṁ tvādṛśa-gātra-saṅgaḥ jihvā-phalaṁ tvādṛśa-kīrtanaṁ hi sudurlabhā bhāgavatā hi loke
Translation: “O devotee of the Lord, to see you is the perfection of the eyes, to touch your body is the perfection of bodily activities, and to glorify your qualities is the perfection of the tongue, for it is very rare to find a pure devotee like you.” [ Hari Bhakti Sudhodaya 13.2; Indradyumna Swami reflections on Śrīla Prabhupāda ] yadā parānanda-guro bhavat-pade padaṁ mano me bhagaval labheta tadā nirastākhila-sādhana-śramaḥ śrayeya saukhyaṁ bhavataḥ kṛpātaḥ
Translation: “O transcendentally blissful guru, when my mind finally achieves a place at your lotus feet, all the tiresome labor of my spiritual practices will be finished, and by your mercy, I will experience the greatest happiness.” [ Verse by Srila Sridhar Swami quoted in purport to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.87.33Indradyumna Swami’s reflections on Śrīla Prabhupāda ]

August:

Indradyumna Swami continued with his diary entries well into August, reflecting on the Summer festivals and on the devotee’s blissful presence at the Woodstock festival that was attended by over a million people last year. One verse he quoted glorified Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the most appropriate manner befitting the grand festival: yuga-dharma-yutaḿ punar nanda-sutaḿ dharaṇī-sucitraḿ bhava-bhāvocitam tanu-dhyāna-citaḿ nija-vāsa-yutam praṇamāmi śacī-suta-gaura-varam Translation: “I bow down to Gaura, the beautiful son of Mother śacī, who is worshipped by the chanting of the holy names in the age of Kali, who is the son of Nanda Mahārāja come again, who is the extraordinary brilliant ornament of the earth, whose various preaching methods are suitable for people in this world of birth and death, whose consciousness is fixed in meditation on His form of Vrajendra-nandana Kṛṣṇa and who is worshipped together with His abode of Sri Navadvipa Dhama.” [Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, Sri śacī-sutastakam, verse 7; Indradyumna Swami’s August diary entry ]
Later in August, Indradyumna Swami reflected on the solar eclipse and reflected on how the Gopīs took the opportunity of a solar eclipse to meditate deeply on Lord Kṛṣṇa during their meeting at Kuruksetra. They prayed to Kṛṣṇa: āhuś ca te nalina-nābha padāravindaṁ yogeśvarair hṛdi vicintyam agādha-bodhaiḥ saṁsāra-kūpa-patitottaraṇāvalambaṁ gehaṁ juṣām api manasy udiyāt sadā naḥ Translation: “Dear Lord, whose navel is just like a lotus flower, Your lotus feet are the only shelter for those who have fallen into the deep well of material existence. Your feet are worshiped and meditated upon by great mystic yogis and highly learned philosophers. We wish that these lotus feet may also be awakened within our hearts, although we are only ordinary persons engaged in household affairs.” [ Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.82.48Indradyumna Swami on solar eclipse ]

September:

In September, a portion of Indradyumna Swami’s famous Festival of India tour was brought to America for the first time as the “Discover India” tour. The devotees held programs at Buffalo State University, Corning-Painted Post High School, Dublin Abbey Theater in Ohio, MIT, and other venues, and went on harinam in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, etc. While in Boston, Indradyumna Swami and the tour Devotees made a special trip to Commonwealth Pier, where Srila Prabhupada arrived in the USA in 1965. There, Indradyumna Swami delivered a lecture on the potency of the Sadhu who carries the Lord within his heart to turn any place—even Commonwealth Pier—into a Dhama. He quoted the following verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: bhavad-vidhā bhāgavatās  tīrtha-bhūtāḥ svayaṁ vibho tīrthī-kurvanti tīrthāni  svāntaḥ-sthena gadābhṛtā “My lord, devotees like your good self are verily holy places personified. Because you carry the Personality of Godhead within your heart, you turn all places into places of pilgrimage.” [ Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.13.10Indradyumna Swami reflections at Commonwealth Pier ]

October:

In October, Indradyumna Swami’s Kartik Parikramā program began, delivering the nectar of Vrindavan, not just to the 300 or so devotees who attended, but to the world of devotees who were following the live feed Kartik Parikramā videos on Facebook and Indradyumna Swami’s YouTube channel.

Parikrama17

Near the end of the month, in his disappearance day offering to Śrīla Prabhupāda which he posted on Facebook, Indradyumna Swami cited the following verse, reminiscent of the mood of full surrender in service: nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve na kutaścana bibhyati svargāpavarga-narakeṣv api tulyārtha-darśinaḥ Translation: “Devotees solely engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, never fear any condition of life. For them the heavenly planets, liberation and the hellish planets are all the same, for such devotees are interested only in the service of the Lord.” [ Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 6.17.28Indradyuma Swami’s Reflections on Śrīla Prabhupāda]

November:

By November, Indradyumna Swami’s Kartik Parikramā program had ended on a very blissful note, but the passing of his dear disciple, Braja Vallabhi devi dasi, put the entire ISKCON devotee community in shock. Srila Indradyumna Swami exalted his disciple in a moving letter to her and quoted from several sources about the land of Vṛndāvan and the bright future which awaits his disciple: papadya bhavadīyatāṁ kalita-nirmala-premabhir mahadbhir api kāmyate kim api yatra tārṇam januh krtātra ku-janer api vraja-vane sthitir me yayā krpām krpana-gāminīṁ sadasi naumi tām eva vām “O handsome, fragrant tamala desire tree blooming in the Vṛndāvan forest and embraced by the madhavi vine of the goddess ruling this forest! O tree, the shade of whose glory protects the world from a host of burning sufferings, what wonderful fruits do the people find at your feet?” [ Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Utkalikā-vallarī, A Vine of Hopes, text 66; Indradyumna Swami’s letter to Braja Vallabhi dasi ]

December:

Indradyumna Swami spent most of December in Vṛndāvan, visiting friends, going on Parikramā and absorbing himself in the Dhama before setting off on his preaching travels in the new year. In a facebook post, he reflected on Vṛndāvan by quoting from Śrīla Prabhodānanda Sarasvatīpāda: My life and soul is the most opulent land of Vṛndāvan, which is overwhelmed by the pastimes of Sri Sri Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, which is decorated with many groves and fountains, which is beautified by khadira and sandalwood forests on the banks of the Kalindi River, which is decorated with many beautiful caves at Govardhan Hill, where eternal good fortune is constantly showering, and where Sri Sri Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa constantly perform the most wonderful pastimes. [ Sri Vṛndāvan Mahimāmrta, Sataka three, Text 60; Indradyumna Swami’s reflections on Vṛndāvan ]

We humbly offer this garland of ever-fresh and fragrant flowers for the pleasure of all of the Saragrahi Vaiṣṇava Devotees with hopes of your wearing it for some time and keeping it close to your heart. We also offer our deepest gratitude to His Holiness Indradyumna Swami for providing such a transcendental variety in his Facebook posts throughout the year through such contributions as these to keep us all inspired in our Krsna consciousness.
Your dependent servants,
Gandharvika Keli devi dasi, Virginia, USA and
Govinda Caran Das, California, USA.

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