Shyamdas Archives

Panditji and Shyamdas — Annakut morning satsang, 2010

Shyamdas was a connoisseur of satsang, and he knew he had hit the jackpot with Panditji, his satsang partner par excellence in India. A non-commercial, bhava-filled, indigenous, brilliant, humorous, good-natured scholar, Panditji is what Shyamdas would call a “monster” in knowledge, a “dinosaur” in his traditional roots, and a “radio” simply switched on to unleash the unstoppable stream of devotional wisdom and insight.

On the morning of Annakut in November 2010, Panditji stopped by Shyamdas’s apartment in Girdhar Nivaas, Gokul, for some impromptu satsang, primarily in Sanskrit. The first topic discussed was the equal importance of praising Krishna’s glories to praising Krishna Himself! Bhagavat katha/vani, in other words, is sada sevya–“always!” (as Panditji loves to exclaim in English) to be worshipped. “Til one’s last life breath,” as Panditji reiterates. It doesn’t take much to get Panditji on the subject of Gopi Gita, and sure enough from about 7″ to 11″ of the recording he uses that great song of the Gopis to reinforce the point that discussing God is as glorious as God Himself. From around 11″ to 13″ they move to the subject of Rasa Lila and the idea that, as Shyamdas briefly interjects in English, “In the heights of love there is no law.”

At around 13″ they suddenly break into a conversation, again mostly in Sanskrit, about what the plan for the rest of the afternoon is, including the arrival of a certain guest, a young yogi from Israel whom Shyamdas thinks would love to hear some Brahma Sutras from Panditji. A few minutes later Panditji is back at it again with the Sanskrit bhava teachings, I believe with the bhava of the traditional Dipavali festival of lights. By 19:45 he mentions that the dust of Braj for Lakshmi is like the kumkum that afforded the Pulindi Gopis entrance into Krishna’s lilas. The satsang seems to be winding down, and Shyamdas mentions it is the Gujarati New Year. Then Panditji excitedly asserts that every day is New Years, every day is Rasa Lila, every day is Janmashtami, etc. in the nitya-lilavad view of Pushtimarg. This launches him back into full-on satsang mode by 22:30.

At 25″ Panditji critiques renunciation, saying that sanyasis are only eligible for shant bhava, not for rati-sthayi bhava, shringar rasa, the amorous mood of Krishna Lila. Pushti bhakti is independent (29″) and the two pandits conclude their satsang with the analogy of the ineffableness of love: how could one describe the taste of a sweet to one who has never tasted it?

Just before heading out Panditji encourages Shyamdas and Vallabhdas that they are very fortunate, for it is the fruit of many lifetimes, not a single one, that they have reached this sacred hamlet of Gokul to hear the glories of the Bhagavatam and Shri Krishna, and to walk through the front gate of this historical property, the seat of the Pratham Peeth, the lineage descended from Shri Gusainji’s eldest son.

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Created by: Vallabhdas
Edited by: Vallabhdas
Featuring: Panditji Vishnu Shastri, Shyamdas

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