Dhanurdhara Swami November 21st, 2000
I talked with Partha-Sarathi Prabhu this morning about chanting. His recommendation was pray, pray more, and deepen our prayers. Without humility and a consequent yearning for perfection bhakti, true devotion, cannot come to the heart.
Met an old Godbrother friend who confided in me about a unique process of purification that he had just undergone. When I asked if it could be mentioned in my journal, he replied that I could repeat the story as long as his name was not used and his identity was not evident. He explained that it was important that it be kept confidential because if one accrues any prestige for his austerities, the honor one receives becomes the fruit of one’s austerities, and not the desired spiritual attainment.
My friend had just returned from Tibet where he completed the grueling 14-day circumambulation of Mt. Kalaish, the abode of Lord Siva. When he told me this I was surprised and jokingly asked, “Are you aspiring for santa-rasa?” (One of the impetuses for developing ecstatic love in the mood of santa-rasa is to stay in lonely places like the Himalayas.) He seriously replied that Lord Siva is in charge of the false ego. To remove the false ego and to develop the pure ego of the humble servant of the Vaishnavas, one could take the help of Lord Siva. He quoted two or three places in the Bhagavatam where pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash is described. I could not immediately confirm the validity of his pilgrimage in terms of Gaudiya teachings, but I listened respectfully because my friend is a good Vaishnava. I believe he chants a minimum of 64 rounds per day, and I know he still preaches very rigorously, and successfully, for 8 months of the year.
He described to me the traditional circumambulation of Mt. Kailash, how each day one adopts in a progressive manner a different meditation to help one give up bodily identification. He also described how one of the five people in his party almost got lost and if that person didn’t by chance relocate their camp, he could have died of exposure.
He joked to me that he had to undergo this process because he was not fortunate like me, referring to the humbling circumstances I had to tolerate in the last fives years for the sake of Srila Prabhupada’s service. I told him that he was just being kind, since deserved retribution is different from voluntary austerities.