Monday Morning Greetings 2018 #10 – Spiritual Fear

March 5th, 2018

My chanting yesterday was exceptionally clear and focused, at least for me. I couldn’t understand why. I woke up in the morning much later than my scheduled time, which upset my regulation. There was nothing of particular note the previous day that should have inspired such devotion. That my meditation was concentrated seemed like mercy. As I continued chanting, the holy name became increasingly prominent in my consciousness. I became the observer and saw myself clearly. I could perceive my insignificance in relation to God in the form of His name. I was humbled and the taste of devotion deepened further, but I became halted by a subtle fear: “I am praying for the consciousness to chant with more taste and that means deepening my humility, but what if God answered my prayers and gave me the humility to accept His will? Could I truly allow the authority of guru and Krishna to fully be the rule of my life? What would I have to give up? What would I have to accept? Am I ready to cross the wall of false ego and totally surrender my selfish desire for independence and control at the lotus feet of Śrī Krishna?” I shuddered at the thought.
We are all stalled in our spiritual life by a type of fear, at least subtly or unconsciously, otherwise why would we not immediately take the plunge of full surrender to Krishna? But why hesitate? Surrender, in terms of spiritual life, simply means yielding or submitting to the reign of truth. Isn’t truth that which men and women of character die for and what sets one free? Is not the goal of life to see the truth and live by it? The Absolute Truth is reasonable, compassionate, and only for our benefit, so why fear humbly serving that truth simply because it doesn’t conform to all our attachments or endorse our ego?
These feelings of apprehension are so innate that we may even envy the authority of those capable of guiding us towards our ultimate welfare, fearing that our independence will be cramped. Krishna therefore cautions us about resenting the ācārya, one who knows and represents the truth.
“One should know the ācārya as Myself and never disrespect him in any way. One should not envy him [emphasis mine], thinking him an ordinary man, for he is the representative of all the demigods.” (Bhāg. 11.17.27)
This morning I was somewhat satisfied with my chanting. At least I reached the next step—confronting the wall of false ego that fears losing power and control, the very barrier we all must cross to go deeper at every proceeding level of our spiritual life. I am praying for the courage to sincerely stretch my hands above my head and unconditionally shout to Krishna from the bottom of my heart, “What you want I will do!” Unless our chanting sincerely brings us to that point of surrender, how will the pure holy name ever manifest on our tongue?

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