Archive for July, 2001

New Jersey Meditation On Humility

July 13th, 2001

New Jersey

Meditation On Humility I
Something is pure only in its original nature, without additions. For example, water, when pure, is only water.

Srila Prabhupada comments, “Living entities in a pure state are called devotees.” (BG 9.30, purport). Purification thus means the gradual cleansing from the self of anything external to its pure state of devotion.

We are naturally attached to the things we need to be purified of as we have adopted them out of material attachment. Relinquishing attachments is painful. Purification is, therefore, painful. The false ego, the conception that we are independent from God, especially has to be gradually removed. Purification therefore also takes humility.

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New Jersey Went today to

July 12th, 2001

New Jersey

Went today to inaugurate the 24-hour kirtan in honor of Dadu, Sri Krishna Mohan, who passed away almost two weeks ago. I already wrote about his passing in a previous journal. Since he left there have been programs at his home every night. I could see how comforted the family was in such a spiritual atmosphere. They are feeling deep separation and shed many tears, but it was noticeable that they were not at all morose. That’s because their separation was enriched with so much love and honor for their father whose life was successful and whose destiny is assured, and because that love and honor is being nourished by so many devotees who are visiting daily.I sensed that the underlying joyfulness in their home?despite, almost contradictorily, their grave feelings of loss?was because in their remembrance of Krishna Mohan, their home was pervaded by the love of a devotee, and such love is happiness, even in separation.

I did kirtan for almost an hour. The organizers of the program from ISKCON-Towaco then transferred the kirtan quietly to an adjacent room so that I could speak?especially to his extended family, many of whom I have never met before. It was as much a pleasure to be with them as it was a pleasure to be with Krishna Mohan because, like him, they were alive with piety and emotion in our personal exchanges. I took the theme of my talk from something I read which I expanded and applied to the life of Krishna Mohan: A person is remembered neither by what they had or even what they accomplished, but how they made people feel.

I am receiving some nice letters from devotees who met Dadu even briefly who read about his passing from my journal and remembered him. Some excerpts:

“I was very sad to hear about Dadu. I loved him very much.” ?Narottama

“Was also saddened when I received your journal earlier this week about the passing of Krishna Mohan Prabhu. Actually, I was surprised how sorrowful I was after reading it. I remember Dadu from living in Towaco and seeing him regularly. He was certainly a special person. Next Friday is the 30th Anniversary of Sri Sri Radha-Gopivallabha’s installation in Boston and I am helping to sponsor that festival in honor of Dadu and the benefit of Satyabhama and Krishna-priya and their family.” ?Rathi Krishna

New Jersey Staying with Mahamuni

July 11th, 2001

New Jersey

Staying with Mahamuni and Nitai. They’re devotional and clean; a good place for some writing today.

Almost four months in the US?a long time for me. I?m feeling a need to go home to Vrindavan. It’s now time to concentrate more on chanting and writing. I have my own place there, so it’s conducive for that. In the US I am an itinerant preacher, but my mission is done?not done, but what I needed to accomplish is done, at least for this visit. I’ve met and encouraged the devotees I needed to see. I’ve helped to provide sadhu-sanga, opportunities for devotees to chant and hear about Krishna. I sense a change is now necessary, at least for some time, but when and where to go?

My prayers today are for clarity of direction. I have a theory about solving dilemmas, especially for a spiritual person. My theory is that dilemmas are often caused by the mental plane. The mental plane is that plane of selfish calculation where we hover over the mind?the mind being a repository of our desires?analyzing which desires eke out superior personal comforts and pleasures. One on the mental plane becomes concerned with even the smallest increments of personal enjoyment in his decisions, and thus even the smallest judgment is painstaking.

For a spiritually minded person, ultimately, his personal decisions are centered on deciding what God wants. On the most basic platform this is called seeking righteousness. Generally, such directions come easily when one makes a conscious effort to transcend the mental plane, for what God wants for us is usually clear and only obscured by our separate interests. In other words, God is always manifesting His will, either externally through His saints, or internally through the Supersoul, which can also manifest as our conscience. There is thus generally no dearth of clear direction for a devotee other than their own inability to hear and interpret those directions.

Based on my understanding and observations I am convinced that a God-conscious person can generally get decisive direction by an internal determination to supplicate his will to the will of God. Of course, it is helpful when a suitable guide is conveniently there for advice, but even when there is good advice, many decisions are still ultimately meant to be decided ourselves.

In Vrindaban, whenever I was agonizing over crucial decisions I would go to Srila Prabhupada’s samadhi and sincerely surrender. My simple prayer: ?What you want, I will do.? My experience was that if I sincerely cleared the haze of excessive self-interest, God would soon speak through a devotee or some unusual circumstance to tell me what to do, and I was sure of it.

My prayer again today: ?God, what you want I will do.?

It’s uncanny. As I am writing this essay some direction is coming. I will make some calls tomorrow to get further indication. What happened? As I was writing and meditating on the nature of the mental plane and the obstacles it places to realizing God’s will, I began to meditate on the various options to my present dilemma and realized that subconsciously some of the alternatives were not being given appropriate consideration based on self-interest.

In conclusion: Dilemmas are often caused by analyzing things selfishly?where we get caught up in the minute details of what gives us more or less pleasure?but if we consciously desire what Krishna wants, it usually becomes much easier to attain clarity of direction.

The Passing of Krishna Mohan

July 3rd, 2001

Ye anilo prema dhana?

When I returned from my walk today, a neatly written message by Giri-Govardhana was left on my desk evidently relaying a message she received by phone from Ekachakra:

?I am at the house of Dadu (Krishna-Mohan). If you could call and talk to the family, it would be very much appreciated.?

I called hoping to speak to Dadu and was deeply saddened to find out that he passed away peacefully yesterday morning at the age of 83. I am confident of his destination, but he will be missed dearly.

Krishna-Mohan was an older Indian gentleman, a retired doctor, who imbibed genuine humility. He would visit me weekly in my room when I stayed in Towaco, falling down to the ground like a rod begging me for my mercy every time. He would often cry and sincerely express his insignificance and his need for grace. I felt embarrassed since, although he considered me his guru and revered me with the deepest reverence, I looked at him as my senior both in age and devotion. By the force of his sincerity I would sit or recoil on the edge of my couch, praying that he would soon rise and relieve me of my shame, but he would not rise quickly. He was absorbed in full submission to Krishna through His devotee. It was a personal and deep mediation, governed by the heart and not dictated by obligation or time. I sat and waited for him to rise, praying to Krishna to accept his devotion and prayers.

One time Vraja Kishor, a lover of Dadu, was in the room watching him begging for my mercy. When he left, Vraja Kishor was quite moved. I appreciated what he said to say about Dadu, paraphrasing Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s response to the humble entreaties of Rupa and Sanatana: “His humility is breaking my heart!”

Barring the extraordinary mercy of the Lord or His devotee, how many lifetimes must it take to make one’s heart so soft and kind? Dadu drew the spontaneous affection of all because he wasn?t envious of anyone, almost exemplifying the prayer of Srinivas Acarya to the six Gosvamis?dhiradhira-jana-priyau priya-karau nirmatsarau pujitau.

Dadu was an elderly and respected doctor from Punjab, but he wasn’t dry. In personal dealings he instinctively knew the art of spontaneous affection and no barrier of age or culture could dam his expression of it. No matter who it was, one would immediately feel the joy of loving dealings in his presence. Actually, Dadu was rasika; he loved Krishna, and he understood that love in a way that he could easily apply that love naturally to whomever he met. I remember when Raghunatha, from the band Shelter, came to a program that I was doing at his house on Christmas Day. He had never met Dadu or his wife, Satyabhama, before, but by the end of the evening they seemed to have such a deep bond of affection, almost an intimate relationship. It was like that with all the young devotees who met him. I have never seen such an elderly gentleman who could relate with these young devotees with such intimacy?or with anyone for that matter. It was indeed a rare gift from God.

The last time I saw Dadu was three weeks ago, the day after he returned from the hospital for the last time. A few days before, Jahnava had called me from Dallas and offered me a ticket to see saintly Mother Kirtida before she also left this world. I have some regret in not being able to take up her offer, but it was Krishna’s will, since I was able to see Dadu that Thursday and would have missed seeing him for the last time.

When I arrived it was obvious that Dadu?oxygen tubes in his nose, pale, and very weak?was in a very precarious condition after his third heart attack and a bout of pneumonia. We sang Vraja bhajans for almost an hour as he lay on the sheet-covered couch in the living room by Radha-Shyamasundar, his Deities, smiling in approval, and even sometimes struggling to play along with a small set of kartalas. When I was to about to leave, I was shocked that he
somehow managed to get down from the bed, fall to the floor, and pay dandavats at my feet with tears in his eyes, begging for mercy. I felt so bad. I could only think about how bad it was for his health?his head bowed to floor, the blood rushing to his head?but he ignored by pleas. “Dadu, Dadu, get up! This is not good for your health!” Finally Anjali, his granddaughter, was able to gently encourage him to rise. He sat back on the couch, thanked me for coming with his gentle smile and a shine from his kind eyes.

I love Dadu and I now pray to him, a great soul with Krishna, to open my heart like him, without fear, to the love of the devotees.

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