Karitka Journal -Sastra and Japa Thoughts

October 31st, 2005

October 28, 2005

Sastra Thought I:
(from Bhakti Sandarbha’s discussion on vadanam (prayers), which also includes obeisances): When one pays obeisances one should actually feel inferior to the person one is paying them to. If that is not there, it is just ritual. Devotion is a condition of heart. Bhakti is the process to change it. Observe ourselves: How do we actually feel during devotional activity? If humility and a service attitude are not the force behind our devotions, we can only sincerely lament.

October 29, 2005

I was surprised how many responses I got from the “My Sweet Lord” entry. A few below:

“I just wanted to write you my appreciations for your Karttika journal. The last “my sweet lord” series and the “visrambhena guror seva” entry especially. Somehow the verse had come into my mind a few days before receiving your email, although I didn’t really think of its meaning, it just kind of came into my head like a pop song.”

“Thank you so much for these thoughts. Just this week the words of that song by George Harrison came to my mind and I found I was really crying out—“My sweet Lord, I really want to see you and be with you” I felt like I was going deeper in my chanting. Thanks for sharing.”

“It was only the other day when I, too, was thinking of George Harrison’s mood of praying in his songs. It is devoid of fear. Instead, he wants a sweet, kind and loving relationship with Krishna. This mood is evident in another of his songs, “Give Me Peace”, in which he prays to Krishna:

“Give me life, give me life
keep me free from birth…
give me hope, help me cope
with this heavy load…
Trying to touch and reach You
with heart and soul…”

October 30, 2005

Japa Thought VIII:
The ability to focus the mind or sustain any endeavor is based on dhrti (determination) and dhrti is driven by faith. It’s simple. Without faith in what we are doing (that we are convinced of an auspicious result), then why bother at all, especially if it entails some austerity? I thus search for faith in every mala, some faith, whether it’s the mercy of guru, the inspiration of a sadhu or a sweet remembrance of the dhama, anything to arouse devotion and impel determination. If, however, the mind becomes focused on the holy name, then one has entered the ultimate source of inspiration. Nothing else is required. How fortunate are those with simple faith in the holy name!

October 31, 2005

Japa Thought IX:
Each verse in Siksastakam is an expression of the proper frame of mind for the chanter. Mood is everything for the chanter as the holy name first appears in the heart and then manifests on the tongue. At noon today I meditate on the disposition of pure devotion as found in verse four, “I don’t want wealth, followers or the opposite sex. I just want your causeless devotion service birth after birth.” I chant consciously to realize this mood so that my mantra arises from substance, the sincere heart that wants Sri Krishna and nothing else.

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