31st Jan, 2016, Gurgaon.
I am under the weather since yesterday morning and as usual found that falling sick can be quiet a liberating experience as one struggles with the body but can easily experience that our subtle body is still very active. At a different level it can also act as a good circumstance which forces us to learn to depend upon Krishna more as we struggle even with basic bodily functions. At another level it helps us build some much needed ‘spiritual muscle’ as we struggle to stay active in our sadhna and service. Of course, all this didn’t happen to me (merely down with cold and cough) but I can say a little bit of conviction is that the struggle in Krishna consciousness is a very sweet struggle, as we struggle to please Krishna and take shelter of His internal potency rather than fighting and struggling with His material energy. It is an amazing experience, even if we taste it momentary.
I also wanted to share a funny inspiration. The above pictures are two flower pots sitting on the two opposite side of the ledge in our balcony. A few days back I was standing there and started wondering what are these two flower pots doing here and why I have kept them for so long. Then suddenly it dawned upon me that they both represent something deep within me and there is a message for me!
- The first picture is that of an elephant shaped flower-pot and has a broken tusk. So this is me, this elephant represent my unlimited material desires. The broken tusk signifies that although I have spent so many years in sense enjoyment, knowing all about material sense enjoyment, yet inspite for being in the path of Krishna consciousness for so many years, and having tasted some glimpse of the higher taste, the desires for sense gratification remains unabated deep inside me.
- The second flower-pot is a pig flying in the air. We know the English proverb ‘pigs don’t fly’, it’s a way of saying that something will never happen. So this is the current state of my devotional life and spiritual aspirations. I keep on day dreaming one day my circumstances will change and I will take Krishna consciousness more seriously and then so and so thing will happen as I will take such and such step to progress fast in Krishna consciousness. Unfortunately all such thinking is just a phantasmagoria and will probably never happen. I need to wake up and take whatever steps I can take now, today, and make whatever little progress I can rather than live in some rosy future which is not going to happen.
I searched for an appropriate prayer to share with everyone and then felt inspired to share the beautiful gem called Gopinath Mama Nivedana Suno, written by Sril Bhaktvinoda Thakura, it’s a prayer worth reading every single day of our life.
gopīnāth, mama nivedana śuno
viṣayī durjana, sadā kāma-rata,
kichu nāhi mora guṇa
gopīnāth, āmāra bharasā tumi
tomāra caraṇe, loinu śaraṇa,
tomāra kińkora āmi
gopīnāth, kemone śodhibe more
nā jāni bhakati, karme jaḍa-mati,
gopīnāth, sakali tomāra māyā
nāhi mama bala, jñāna sunirmala,
swādīna nahe e kāyā
gopīnāth, niyata caraṇe sthāna
māge e pāmara, kāndiyā kāndiyā,
korohe karuṇā dāna
gopīnāth, tumi to’ sakali pāro
durjane tārite, tomāra śakati,
ke āche pāpīra āro
gopīnāth, tumi kṛpā-pārābāra
jīvera kāraṇe, āsiyā prapañce,
līlā koile subistāra
gopīnāth, āmi ki doṣe doṣī
asura sakala, pāilo caraṇa,
vinodá thākilo bosi’
1) O Gopinatha, Lord of the gopis, please hear my request. I am a wicked materialist, always addicted to worldly desires, and no good qualities do I possess.
2) O Gopinatha, You are my only hope, and therefore I have taken shelter at Your lotus feet. I am now Your eternal servant.
3) O Gopinatha, how will You purify me? I do not know what devotion is, and my materialistic mind is absorbed in fruitive work. I have fallen into this dark and perilous worldly existence.
4) O Gopinatha, everything here is Your illusory energy. I have no strength or transcendental knowledge, and this body of mine is not independent and free from the control of material nature.
5) O Gopinatha, this sinner, who is weeping and weeping, begs for an eternal place at Your divine feet. Please give him Your mercy.
6) O Gopinatha, You are able to do anything, and therefore You have the power to deliver all sinners. Who is there that is more of a sinner than myself?
7) O Gopinatha, You are the ocean of mercy. Having come into this phenomenal world, You expand Your divine pastimes for the sake of the fallen souls.
8) O Gopinatha, I am so sinful that although all the demons attained Your lotus feet, Bhaktivinoda has remained in worldly existence.
(Somehow the last para of this prayer always touch something in my heart!)
All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.