I learnt an important lesson on June 10th this year.
I was getting myself deeper into a self pity mode. That’s when I read one transcription of HH Romapad swami maharaj. He instructed that `we should not let ourselves fall into self pity mode and it is best to keep our heart simple and and always be greatful to the Lord for what he has given us.’
These words stuck me like thunder and I realise that I have to snap out of this self pity mode and I did it. Thank you so much Maharaj for this wonderful instruction.
Over the time I realised that as we become more greatful to Krishna our hearts turns softer and softer. I also realise that as our dependence on Krishna increases, He guides us.
To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me. (Bg 10.10)
Thank you Srila Prabhupada for constantly showing right directions to a neophyte like me, I know you are there with us, guiding each of your follower and well wisher.
Since last one week or so I was trying to read NOI as I realised that even after reading it in the past I don’t know much about it, beyond the surface level reading. I downloaded various lectures by senior devotees and downloaded few notes posted on iskcondesiretree and was unsuccessfully trying to learn the `deeper’ meaning of each verse.
Today morning as I sat again to learn the first and second verse I opened pocketveda on my ipad and as I started reading the verse first and then instead of going back to my downloaded notes I felt like again reading Srila Prabhupada’s purport, after reading 3 paras of second verse’s purport the meaning came in a flash to me, I was shocked the way I was able to absorb it.
I realised that atleast for me reading Srila Prabhupada’s books are best way forward. My hankering for reading previous acaraya’s books came down drastically today morning as I realise that Srila Prabhupa has given us jist of all vedic literature. If I understand them well then may be in future I can understand other books better.
I was hopping like a monkey from one book to another and from one lecture to another. I let my own mind and intelligence take the decision over faith in instructions of my diksha and siksha gurus to read only Srila Prabhupada’s books and do not read too many books. I beg forgiveness at their lotus feet and promise to first read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books diligently and beg all vaisanava to help me develop faith in Guru, Shastra and Sadhu. Today I again realised that using my own intelligence I can’t reach anywhere.
I was talking with a close devotee friend, Sumeet Gupta Prabhuji, yesterday evening. While talking to him I realised how so many senior devotees have left their mark on me. I am sharing some of them to show my deep appreciation for them. And there are hundreds of others senior devotees in ISKCON from whom we get inspiration every day.
The first one to leave his imprint, continues to do it, HG Rukmini Krishna Das Prabhuji, he is the temple president of Sri Sri Radha Radhika Raman and Krishna Balram temple, Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi. Let me admit that whatever little sadhna bhakti I have in me is all thanks to him. His lectures shaped me each time I listened to him and I was fortunate to be able to get his direct instructions which saved me many a times whenever I felt constrained or disturbed. The only good thing I have done in my spiritual life is to go to him and share whatever I felt inside me openly. Looking back, I can laugh at myself and my silly questions or agitations on small issues. He always heard me patiently and gave instructions which saved me from going astray. He takes class every Saturday and each lecture is a gem to be absorbed in heart and follow. The centre is one of the best in India and dedication to Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON runs supreme.
Second is a short description. During my initial years I one day saw lots of hustle and bustle in Punjabi Bagh temple and I found someone special is visiting. I couldn’t get the name initially and listened to his lecture, it was mesmerising. I later told my wife, rather foolishly, that after listening to his lecture I felt like leaving everything and walking behind him. My wife suffered a lot of insecurity due to this foolish statement to her and she many a time would tell me that she dreams that one of the western devotees has taken her husband away with them J . Even today I remember the power and conviction his lecture had and I am sure that if he would stood up and asked who would like to dedicate his life to Krishna, I would have raised my hand. I can only imagine what effect Srila Prabhupada had on these young disciples. That person is HH Giriraj Swami Maharaj. I am most fortunate to be called his servant in my spiritual name.
Third one is very special, he gave me diksha this year in Feb, HH Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj. I met him two and a half years ago in Gurgaon, another good story for some other time as to how Krishna makes us meet our Guru. I paid my obeisances and my life was never the same again. I had know idea who he was, I just knew that he took my heart away with him. I could not keep him out of my thoughts and within days I pleaded with him to take me under his shelter and he took pity on me and accepted me as his son and disciple. He inspires me everyday and shapes me. Most of all he cemented my relationship with ISKCON as an organisation, my strong love and attachment for ISKCON and Srila Prabhupada today is all his mercy.
And the last on today’s list is HH Radha Govinda swami maharaj. What a speaker, what style of katha and so much rasa in every sentence, in every word. HG Karuna Chandra Das recommended listening to his lectures. He made me lose interest in philosophy and learn to absorb Krishna katha, from Bhishma stuti, Giriraj Dharan lila, Bali Maharaj, Prahalad Stuti….., each katha is dipped in love for Krishna. I hope to take his darshan very soon in Vrindavan Dham.
Today morning, at a Bhakti Vriksha seminar, I was told that we can only give what we have. If we have a grief then we can give grief , if we have anxiety then we can pass on anxiety and only if we have Krishna then we can offer Krishna consciousness to others. All these senior Vaisanavas gave me Krishna Consciousness, it is entirely my lack of receptiveness that I am still a neophyte. I should rather say that despite all my shortcomings and material propensities I still tasted Krishna’s nectar due to their pure consciousness.
I will write about my realisations from other senior Vaisanavas soon.
HH Bhakti Charu Swami is going to take to take a seminar on Udhav Gita in December at Ujjain and I thought let me read the book first as I was keen to attend it.
I went through all my e books and got Udhav Sandesh and started reading it. Foolishly I thought they were same books. It was after a while when I realised my mistake but I continued it as it is a short book and it held my attention. Udhava Sandesh entails Krishna asking Udhava to go to Vrindavan and inform all the Vrajawasis that Krishna is going to come back to Vrindavan and tell them how He miss them all. He describes in detail how to reach Vrindavan from Mathura and various milestones on the way. He describes gopi’s love for Him. He remembered His earlier pastimes with many of them and glorify them.
When we read such literature the first thing which strengthens in our heart is that Krishna is a person with feelings.
I had two questions in my heart. I am sharing the first one today
Why there is so less description of suffering of mother Yashoda compared to that of gopis in the book ? Was the gopi’s love for Krishna more than mother Yashoda’s ?
I just had a vague answer in my heart but knowing my position as a neophyte, I asked a senior Prabhuji at temple today morning. He listened patiently and replied that it is difficult to understand the feelings of each acarya and Rupa Goswami, who authored this book, is in madhurya rasa so he has apparently glorified gopi bhav more. He told me that another book on the same topic by another acaraya mentions that Udhava is told to follow a stream of water and when he would reach the source of the stream he will reach Nand Maharaj’s home. The stream is made from Nanda Maharaja and mother Yashoda’s tears !! He nonetheless added that in Vatsalaya rasa there is only that much one can love someone whereas in madhurya rasa one can cross all the boundaries and we know that madhurya rasa also has vataslaya rasa inside it.
While listening to Prabhuji’s reply my own hazy answer got suddenly cleared and I told him, `Prabhuji can we also understand that Krishna, as supreme personality of Godhead, has no specific mother or lover he is reciprocating in equivalent degree to whosoever is offering him his/her love. Prabhuji’s eyes lit up and he said yes you can think it like that as well.
His reply and confirmation cleared a lot of doubts inside me and gave a new clarity and my own little realisation. Hare Krishna !
O ! Narasimha Deva, please rip open my chest with your sharp nails, as you opened Hiranayakashipu’s
Please take out all the vices filled deep inside me.. Lust, anger, greed, illusion, envy and bewilderment.
Hidden deep inside me infinite desires still long for sense gratification, respect and praise from others.
O ! Narasimha Deva, please rip open my body of which I am so proud of and take out all these vices entangling like long intestines within me.
O ! Narasimha Deva, please fill my mind, body and soul with unalloyed devotion for Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar and bless me that I am able to serve Srila Prabhupad’s servant’s servant’s servant’s servants.
some of my realisations as I sold a property to buy a home.
1. As the deal went up and down, I realised my prayers have improved !! I would chant but was not praying too much but now the prayers started ! I prayed constantly to let me go thru all the anxiety but please take over the home I was buying this home to establish it as Krishna’s new abode.
2. I realised, and could appreciate, a little bit, why Kunti Maharani was asking for more and more trouble.
3. I need to have complete faith in Krishna. Unless there is complete faith the anxiety won’t go.
4. I should learn not to hate people who fail us at the time of testing. It is easier to read and speak about it but when it fell on my head, I got the first hand taste. Very good learning experience. why hate the messenger when my own Karmas are coming back to haunt me. But Krishna does makes it easier for even a neophyte devotee to go through such situations with ease. I thank Him to make me realise it and practice it a bit.
5. I must do my best and leave the rest to Krishna, He knows what is best for me and is my best well wisher. So I must thank him for any final result.
I, therefore, thank Him for all this upheaval during this property deal and making me stronger in my sadhna Bhakti and I also got few realisations as a bonus.