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Editor's Note:
“Hoping to blossom into a flower, 
                           every bud sits, holding its soul in its fist.”
 Mahlaqa Bai Chanda (1767-1824)

The ancient Bhakti traditions overflow with poetic flower metaphors that depict the relationships souls have to the Divine. They speak of the core-essence within each of us all composed of the same substance, held in a tight bud, just waiting to us to give it the nourishment it needs for its petals to unfurl. Life wants us to bloom! 

But what does it mean to feel oneself blossoming? In the ancient text, the Bhagavat Purana, a community of women called the Gopis describe this sensation of "blossoming" in beautiful Sanskrit poetry. Their verses unveil a most intimate look into this experience, which has been celebrated and revered for ages. The examples of these women are still central to the Bhakti traditions when revealing the nature of those whose whose hearts overflow with divine love, or Bhakti.

In the spirit of the Gopis, and as an offering to their inspiring lives, women who practice Bhakti today have united their voices in a book dedicated to offering readers a rare glimpse into their blossoming hearts. Released on yesterday's full moon with Golden Dragonfly Press, Bhakti Blossoms is filled  with poems that speak to the bud in you that is aching to burst open! Today we offer you an except from the book, with a wish that all readers find the nourishment their own heart need to fully bloom. 
Lotus photography by Lisa Saraswati Devi

Lessons From the Gentle Flower
by Jai Gaurangi Devi Dasi

Oh, how she blooms!
When the dirt around her told her she was but a seed
Destined to remain in darkness,
She battled the seasons until she felt the warmth
Of the encouraging sun upon her back, coaxing her to grow
And so she persevered through the growing pains:
The rainfalls of tears, the scorching trials and tribulations.
She kept faith in those reassuring rays beaming down from above,
Saturating and nourishing her core.
Then one day, she burst through her shell,
And as her petals unfurled,
Revealing her true self to the world,
She found her identity:
She felt free.

Click here to order your own copy. *All proceeds from this project will be donated to diverse non-profit organizations around the world that support and inspire women and girls in their Bhakti yoga practices*
Book cover by Ragu Designs

Jai Gaurangi Devi Dasi: I was born as Jaanki Govindia and raised in the suburbs of London. The seed of devotion was sown in my heart by my dear parents and later nourished by my spiritual master Radhanath Swami. My journey of self-discovery in Bhakti yoga has been greatly influenced by my relationship with poetry and prose. I see writing as an offering of my heart to the world; sharing the expressions of my soul through my pen gives me deep connection to the hearts of others exploring this journey of life alongside me. In the words of the great Mother Teresa, "I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world."

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~


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