Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Empty Yard

Practically everyday, I look out of my window and I see my neighbor working on his yard. Of course, in winter he is not doing yard work but plows the snow if it snows etc. At least major part of the year, I see him waving at me and enthusiastically doing his work. Clearly, I saw how he was connected and was taking pleasure in maintaining his garden. His persona was one of energy and movement. I guess as a proud homeowner, Americans in general tend to take pride in their upkeep of yard and gardening.

Then one day I saw he was missing in his regular activities. After few months, I chanced to meet him in his yard and I was told by my neighbor that he has cancer. As a result, he reduced his movements and stayed indoors most of the time. I prayed to the Lord for His well-being.

As time passed, the yard seemed eerily silent and void. I started to have a gut feeling that something was not right. What once was a yard of energy looked desolate like an abandoned brownfield. It did not sit well with me. I was constantly meditating on his missing figure. Has the inevitable taken place? Not able to withstand my apparent internal conflict, I googled the obituary only to find my good neighbor passed two months ago. He was 61, by modern standards that is young indeed.

I went over to my neighbor's house with a single rose stem and expressed my support and sadness to his wife. Life goes on...isn't it (as my brother would say in his english accent). Everything seems normal and now i see a hired landscaper doing the yard work every week.

Once upon a time my neighbor was real, he existed and his passion for keeping the yard was real. His energy could be felt and he was constantly up and about. Now that same energy is there but it can be felt in the emptiness by him not being here. So which is true? The fact that he existed or the fact now that he doesn't? The Bhagavad Gita says that the soul is eternal and that there is no birth or death for the ever lasting soul. So I am pleased to know that my neighbor truly is somewhere in the cosmos. While the soul may be eternal, the reality as "my neighbor" and "his yard work" is not. It is this apparent reality I am questioning - is it even real? Both his presence and non-presence seems very real but also very opposite! Which is true, bewildering indeed, Maya is!

I am reminded of this deep statement by His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami which jump started my own quest for the truth. It comes right in the beginning pages of the introduction of Bhagavad Gita - "Our very existence is in the atmosphere of nonexistence. Actually we are not meant to be threatened by nonexistence".  These words cannot be anymore truer for me especially now as I can feel the presence of existence and non-existence and my struggle to grasp the truth?

Hare Krishna

Friday, April 28, 2017

Give her a garland!

One time Jadurani painted a picture of Krishna/ Radha Krishna, and Radharani is holding a garland for Krishna and Krishna is playing his flute, but when Prabhupada saw the picture, he saw that Radharani is not looking towards Krishna. So Prabhupada said what is this? he said, 'it looks like Radharani is looking for another boyfriend?.

But seriously you know, Prabhupada was like criticizing this picture, that, this is not correct. And of course she worked hard on this picture and she was crushed, you know, I did all this to please Prabhupada and Prabhupada is rejecting it. When Prabhupada would say something like that, looking for another lover, that means like biting sarcasm. Not like that, you know, funny joke. It means that you know you are nonsense, you painted Radharani like she is looking for another lover or something. He rejected the picture. So, not so quite harshly but then he said this is not good. So Jadurani was very naturally unhappy.

Then the next day Prabhupada called her and said actually the picture is alright. Krishna told Radharani that that girl Jadurani is a nice girl; you should give her a garland!!

- From "Lecture on pastimes of Srila Prabhupada" By HH Jayadvaita Swami

Friday, April 21, 2017

The plight of man is a wonder indeed!

Once a man was chased by an elephant in a forest. Seeing no respite, he climbed a tree but he slipped, was about to fall before he could hold on to a branch. He looked up and found that the elephant is waiting to devour him and two rats, one black and one white, were slowly nibbling the branch  he was hanging on to. He understood that very soon  the branch would fall to the ground.

As the man looked down, he discovered that there were many snakes. Suddenly a drop of honey fell on his face. He pulled his tongue out and licked it. There was a honeycomb between the two branches he was holding. Due to disturbance caused by his holding and shaking the branch, bees were out to bite him. But at the same time honey was also oozing from the comb.

Forgetting the obvious (elephant, snakes, rats, and bees), he just adjusted his tongue to get drops of honey straight on his tongue. Now, he was happy indeed forgetting his precarious situation.

This analogy from the Mahabharata perfectly fits a common man. The man represents the common man or ourself. We are stuck in this precarious situation of this material world (samsara). Death (elephant) is chasing us continuously; it will not leave us without devouring. The black and white rats represent night and day respectively. They are slowly reducing our age. The hissing snakes represents the big obstacles in life. Honey-bees represent the day to day problems we face in our life. The sweet honey represents the pleasures’ of this world in its myriad forms.

If only we accept the lending hand of Krishna, we can save ourselves a lot of trouble but we are too attached to the drops of dripping honey.

The plight of man in this world is a wonder indeed!

Hare Krishna

Monday, April 17, 2017

Tuesday, April 4, 2017