H.G. Matsyavatar Das

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Shriman Matsyavatara Prabhu in Assisi

By Madhavipriya Dasi

Assisi, 30 January 2010

Yesterday evening, Matsyavatara Prabhu held a confererence on Bhagavad-Gita and Divina Commedia at Santa Maria della Scala in Siena. More than two hundred people were in the audience. Once again, the Bhakti message becomes a protagonist in places that represent the peak of the Italian and European culture, and it is expressed in that universal language that connects the Orient and the West. Tomorrow, the same event will take place at Palazzo Priori in Perugia.

Today, together with Shrila Gurudeva and some devotees we visit Assisi and the places where San Francesco expressed his Bhakti for God. We concentrate in front of the place where San Francesco left his body on October 3, 1226 and where he had his first mystical vision, the Church of Porziuncola. Here, Shrila Gurudeva begins to speak with words that vibrate of the highest holiness.

“God shows Himself only for His sweet will. His manifestation or revelation to man is not forced by external or logical-material causes. Even undergoing the hardest asceticism doesn’t compel God to give His Mercy. Only thinking of this would be offensive.

To hope to receive the divine Mercy, we should have one aspiration only: realizing our real nature which is the one of servant of the Lord and surrender ourselves to His will. When the soul accepts to let itself go to God, with joy, not passively but creatively, by engaging every quality and talent to His service, the Lord reveals Himself. When our only desire is to serve God and in Him all the creatures, without expecting anything in return, because we are already gratified by doing so, the Lord manifests Himself in our heart. Shri Krishna is conquered only by Love which by definition refuses any forcing.

Here, San Francesco received the Divine Mercy. Here, the Lord revealed Himself to him when Francesco didn’t have any worldly desire left because he had realized their inconsistence and he was searching for the sense of life. Detachment from power and richness and from everything that is corruptible brings us close to God.

When God manifests Himself in our heart, we can hear a special music, which is not produced by material instruments but by the soul.”

While Shrila Gurudeva speaks, in the Church there is the sound of the organ and of chants that glorify the Lord.

“San Francesco decides to leave his body in this place where the Lord had manifested Himself. He welcomes “sister death” in harmony with all of the creatures, the create and the Creator, with that sentiment of pure devotion that joins him to the great Vaishnava Saints and those of all the authentic spiritual traditions. Their message is a message of hope and complete faith in God. Let’s cultivate this rasa in our heart and let’s always keep it with us. He who turns to the Lord with faith and in a sentiment of surrender, receives from Him all of the sustainment and love. If you raise your eyes to the sky, you can hear His voice.”

Upon exiting the church, we immerse ourselves in the singing of Mahamantra Hare Krishna. The names of the Lord enlighten the night, warm-up the hearts and open every way to the Lord.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Dante’s journey and Bhagavad-Gita - Siena, January the 29th

By Madhavipriya Dasi

Friday, 29 January at Santa Maria della Scala in Siena, artistic pole of the city and privileged reference for the European culture, Marco Ferrini hosted an event on the subject: “Dante’s journey and Bhagavad-Gita. Psychological experience of Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise for the Contemporary Man.”

The dialogue between earth and sky, Ferrini explained, is one of the central themes in both Bhagavad-Gita and the Commedia. “These two great works dialogue among each other in an extraordinary way. They both describe the cowardice and the longing of the individual in relation to the highest ideality. The spiritual message that is transmitted overpasses the limits of the paradigm of space and time. Geographical distances and millenniums disappear when we see that the journey of the protagonists of both works, Dante and Arjuna, find the same stages. They both must face inquietudes and hard trials to overcome their own limits. Even if they live in extremely different cultural, social and political contexts, both Dante and Arjuna begin their journey from a dark forest, which is their anguishing confusing and lost state. They both find the way that leads them to see the light of the soul all the way to the realization of the Divine Immortal Love which is Bhakti, in the Hindu-Vedic tradition and “the Love which moves the sun and the other stars” in the Divine Comedy .
After a social-historical and political contextualization of both works Ferrini read parts of the Divine Comedy and Bhagavad-Gita and commented and revealed surprising coincidences. At some points, the teachings seem to overlap in their universality. Even today they offer a great reference to the Oriental and Western men who wish to undertake the journey toward their inner enlightenment and happiness. A journey to realization in this life, this world, here and now, in comparison with their true society.

Virgilio leads Dante through this evolutionary journey all the way to Beatrice who represents the soul of the poet and in Bhagavad-Gita he is lead by Krishna, the Divine Manifestation that offers to his devotee eyes capable to see reality instead of appearance, with the purpose of realizing the highest spiritual essence.

“Each of us can live here and now in a state of conscience typical of Inferno, Purgatory or Paradise. To exit the Inferno, Dante had to change his point of view, detach himself from egoistical identification, see people dear to him in Inferno, look directly at human defects, identify in those infernal people that he meets what upsets him or stops his evolution in ascending the beautiful hill.

As long as we blame others for our suffering we cannot exit Inferno. Only if we take responsibility for our errors and do our best to correct them we can return to gaze at the stars and hoist the sails of the sheep of our intelligence. The beasts that block the way, Dante and Arjuna’s, are the same ones: the variegaled skin of that wild beast, or cupidity (kama), the lion which represents rage (Krodha) and greed (lobha), portrayed by the wolf which after eating she is more hungry than before. In both works the protagonists are encouraged and educated to overcome obstacles and as such it is inspired who immerges himself in the reading of these great texts entering into their deepest spirit.”

Love, Ferrini concluded, is the peak of the teaching of Bhagavad-Gita and Divine Comedy. It is a not merely human Love, it doesn’t coincide with sentimentalism, it is not of exclusive nature, but lived with universal modality which is expressed toward every creature. A kind of Love that doesn’t need expectations or compensation but it is sufficient to itself. In its purity it finds strength and total gratification. This Love allows us to enter that meta-space of the heart where man meets with God and where we can find all of the beauty, richness, knowledge and immortality that each of us is pursuing.”

For the 200 or more people who participated and for all of those that would like to participate there will be an opportunity to continue to explore the charming dialog between the Divine Comedy and Bhagavad-Gita and other lectures on this subject will be scheduled. You may find additional information on the following website www.c-s-b.org.