4:11 am in the dark and awoken asudden and almost abruptly. In those almost inexplicable moments, I always get the same message in my head. Oh, God is asking for me to be alone with Him, Them, Her as it is the only time I would be actually willing to listen without a good fight. Sometimes, I can’t convince myself that sleep is worth the sacrifice at that “ungodly” hour. But today I took up that not-so-subtle offer and allowed that current to float me out of bed and into the living room. I continued to go with it and thought that I would just chant softly the names of God for a bit. 4:30 am came and I thought why not turn on the light on my altar to practice gently awakening God. So, I pressed on the light; it washed over those two pair of hands like the moon’s reflection on the dark ocean. I then realized it was 4:30am and in some sense, I had just awoken God and now I would just leave the room?… No, I couldn’t just leave, I thought. I quickly grabbed a little book and a chair, and I started to sing soft prayer. Before I knew it, I was done. I wondered to myself how I had convinced myself to get up at 4:11am and start doing this… I suppose its just a call and all I did was just respond as I felt was the only way to do at that hour. Like when you are called to hunger, you just eat. But it wasn’t just that.. Because the response was not forced. Within myself, I accepted something or really someone for myself and by my own deciding. However contrived many factors of my story may be or seem, it holds that for me, it represents a real choice I have and want to continue to have. Choice. Its like when you finally hit 18 and you are technically free from your parents, but you decide, by your own choice, to be apart of your parents’ life anyways. But its an entirely different relationship, because you actually chose it and may continue to choose it for the rest of your life. But the moment that choice is no longer there, then much of everything becomes meaningless…. Anyways, I feel today will be very different than many of those before it. Surrender is the cake, but free will is the sugar.
Robin Williams has died and they think its suicide.. Depression. Disease of the mind. “One must deliver himself with the help of the mind and not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well.” - Bhagavad Gita 6.5
I’m feeling very very sad for him and the world. All his pain and suffering and he made everyone so happy and full of joy, but could not please or satisfy himself. Its classic life in the mode of passion and it pains me to see that he went this way… into this end in ignorance…
Only in the mode of goodness can one begin to satisfy and please oneself.
In passion, all your activities please everyone else, but never yourself…
In ignorance, your activities please no one, not even yourself…
The third stage of bhakti yoga is called Bhajana-Kirya or simple Practice
Its comes when you have taken guidance from qualified devotees and you begin to practice. According to Vraja Kishor in “To Dance in the Downpour of Devotion” which is almost a direct translation of Madurya Kadambini by Visvanatha Chakravart Thakur, this stage of Practice has six stages within it. I refer to five of them below as those are the ones I have experienced. I also give the sanskrit terms.
Below I share a little of how the experience has been thus far in hopes that if anyone else is experiencing this they will be encouraged to learn from my experience and do better than I did through this somewhat dark time for me.
Yesterday, I learned something wonderful. I was reading Transcendental Psychology and I read something very strange: that coming to the realization that we actually HATE Krishna (or God if you prefer) and want his position is the beginning of “purification,” the fourth stage of Bhakti yoga. My friends, I never understood how that could be somehow part of a more advanced stage, but I now could not be more happy to read it. Passing through initial enthusiasm (utsaha-mayi) through mood swings (ghana-tarala) and indecision (vyudha-vikalpa) and struggles with wanting to be the subject of all pleasure (visaya-sangara) and now struggling to practice more seriously and humbly (Niyamaksama) has been like an uphill battle and I felt like most of the time I was moving backwards, but I finally can see that this is actually part (a well-documented part) of the process towards pure love of god. I literally thought I would never ever take initiation (because I felt so incapable), but now I see how close this has all brought me and again I think there may be some hope for me yet to move forward. What a relief this has been.
To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek Him the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement.
Front page of the New York Times: War, Sanctions, War, Destruction, More Destruction over here, Ashes, and Desolation. The people of the world who are most affected by this will undoubtedly feel very desperate now. Much worse things to come undoubtedly.. Time for a revolution of consciousness, time for a new system.
Stop the consciousness of violence by stopping the killing you do - eating meat. You are what you consume - Dead meat and violence. Violence reaps Violence.
Stop the consciousness of exploitation by not exploiting others for our needs. Get what you need from the Ultimate Source and stop trying to take it from those (i.e. everyone else) who cannot give what is really not theirs.
Stop the consciousness of possession and understand everything you have was given to you and you can only borrow it until you are forced by death to give it away.
Stop the consciousness of cheating. Live honestly and sincerely.
And most importantly, stop the consciousness of apathy by softening your heart with the force of divine love - the only force to melt the iron cage around our heart that keeps it from saving and helping others.
Its time for a revolution of consciousness.