Kirtan: The Whole World Is Empty Without Divine Love

We will have kirtan, a discourse (brown bag) by organizer Ruchira Datta, and Q&A. 

"“My mind feels so much internal attraction towards the center of the infinite that wherever I cast my glance I see nothing...I have nothing: no consciousness. It has gone somewhere else—towards the infinite...All charm is withdrawn so extensively that everything is empty. My senses, mind, and everything else has been drawn up, attracted by the all-attractive, all-charming, all-sweet...Sri Krishna, reality the beautiful.”

"The more we advance, the more we find it unlimited, and finding it unlimited, we become hopeless but we can’t turn back. There is no possibility of retracing our steps; we can only go ahead.
"“You are going to be lost in Krishna consciousness. And what will be your position? You are a drop and you will be thrown into the ocean of divine love.”"
—Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev Goswami, The Golden Volcano of Divine Love

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has taught in eight verses the progressive path of kirtan, the chanting of the holy names, which leads to pure love of God.  We will discuss the seventh verse.

Thanks so much to Cogen Bohanec and Sonoma Yoga Martial Arts (SYMA) for hosting this event! There is plenty of parking in the shopping area in which SYMA is. 

NOTE: Only vegan food is allowed in Sonoma Yoga Martial Arts.  Please feel free to bring your vegan lunch to eat during the discourse if you would like.

Ruchira Datta was born into a family steeped in Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's Vaishnav tradition for many generations. Despite ample opportunity and plenty of peer pressure to give it up, she has also consciously and deliberately chosen to continue on this path, over and over again, as a child, teenager, and grown woman. She has been reading Vaishnav scriptures for more than 30 years, and has been a direct student of two preeminent Vaishnav Gurus in Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabu's disciplic lineage for over 20 years. 

Ruchira is a Bengali Indian-American raised in Colorado and California. She was first tutored in Bhakti and Kirtan by her mother, the late Vaishnavi translator and author Devamayi Dasi. Ruchira was initiated into the meditative chanting of the Hare Krishna Mantra by the revered monk Sri Srimad Bhakti Pramode Puri Maharaj (1898 -1999) and is also an initiated student of Sri Srimad Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj, founder of GOKUL and seniormost present guru in Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's line. She has also studied under several other preeminent Vaishnav Gurus.

She studied mathematics and computer science at Caltech and UC Berkeley, and has worked extensively as a software engineer. She is currently a computational biologist at UCSF. Her hobbies and interests include Sanskrit, linguistics, hiking, classical music, cognitive science, baking, rock climbing and science fiction. She is an activist with the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition and, and an 
inveterate bibliophile. She lives in the East Bay with her father and younger sister, who has been gleefully writing her "about" profiles since the age of seven.

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