Vrindaban Sadhus of Vrindaban II

December 9th, 2002


Sadhus of Vrindaban II

On my way to the temple every day I pass the Radhe-Shyama baba who lives in that small austere room next to the Radhe-Shyama well at the end of the parikrama path. He’s a nice old man and sometimes I see him across the road chanting and catching a few minutes of winter sun. Sometimes he calls me over and asks for some wheat or rice, which I assume is how he maintainshimself. I always forget to bring something, so today, I decide that I will just give him a hundred rupee donation–a lot for a poor sadhu. I walk over and hand him a hundred-rupee note. His eyes lit up and he hugged me affectionately. We embrace, and I then ask him his name.

“Fool Das,” he replies.

“No, seriously. What is your name?”

“Fool Das,” he says louder.

Japa Thought VII

A respected and spiritually adept friend confided in me about his chanting that morning. “It works,” he said, “to feel terrible about yourself and take shelter of Gaura-Nitai.”

Spiritual Test I

I am contemplating the idea of writing another type ofjournal taken from the notes of my morning reading. I’ve already started. I want to use one excerpt here to form a self-evaluation. Here it is:

“Tests are necessary in spiritual life to strengthen one’s resolve in spiritual life.

“While going to see Srila Rupa Gosvami, Sri Caitanya praised him profusely before the other devotees. He then observed their reactions to test them. Just like we shake a nail to see if it can withstand the force of being banged, the Lord or the spiritual master tests our capacity to handle their full mercy before bestowing it. Lord Caitanya even tests his most confidential associates:

“‘Just to examine Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya and Ramananda Raya, the Lord began to praise the transcendental qualities of Sri Rupa Gosvami before them.’ (Cc. Antya 1.107)

“Of course, their reaction was to become joyous that Sri Rupa was so fortunate.

“The test: Imagine being with someone you consider a peer in front of your spiritual master. How would you feel if the spiritual master profusely praised them?”

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