Wednesday, March 19th, 2003
Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Navadwip Dham, West Bengal.
A Leap of Faith
Jumping blindly into the Infinite
Today is the day. My whole life has been leading up to this day; the day I accept the mendicant order of tridandi-sannyas; the day I renounce the world.
sarva-dharman parityajya / mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo / moksayisyami ma sucah
I am ready to step forward boldly, to jump blindly into the Infinite. Surprisingly, I do not feel any kind of regret or trepidation. I feel good; I feel excited; I feel happy.
I awake at 3:00 a.m., brush my teeth, perform my ablutions, and take a cold shower. As I put on my dhoti, I realize that this is the last time I will dress in white cloth. I apply tilak to the twelve parts of my body and chant my gayatri mantras; later today, I will receive a new sannyas mantram.
I attend the first of four mangala aratis held daily at the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. At the Shiva Mandir at Govinda Kunda, I offer my obeisances to Nandi, and my dandavats to Lord Shiva. "O Lord Shiva," I pray, "You are the master of Maya. On this day when I boldly join the campaign that has declared totalitarian war against your consort, please be pleased with me and protect me from her inevitable wrath and illusions."
At the second arati for Sri Giriraj and Sri Govinda Kunda at the Mahaprabhu's Divine Water Play and Gupta Govardhan Mandir in the middle of Govinda Kunda, I pray:
bibhrad gostham apan mahendra-mada-bhit priyan na indro gavam
"O Sri Giriraj, please be pleased with me and protect me from maya like you protected the cowherd community from the wrath of Indra."
sri krsna-manase yeba kare hetha snana
gupta-govardhane radha-krsna-seva pana
"O Sri Govinda Kunda, please purify my mind and give me the desire for the divine service of Sri Sri Radha Krishna in Gupta Govardhan."
At the third arati for Srila Sridhar Maharaj at His Divine Grace's Samadhi Mandir, I pray: "O Guru Maharaj, twenty years ago you initiated me into the maha-mantra. Please bless me today that I may be faithful to my vow of sannyas to your dearest disciple and successor."
And at the fourth arati for Sri Sri Gandharva-Govinda Sundarjiu at the Nat-Mandir, I pray: "O Govinda, O Lord of the senses, please be merciful to me.
At about nine o'clock that morning, in an extraordinarily exquisite, intensely moving and loving ceremony, Srila Gurudeva gave me the sannyas mantram, and the name Bhakti Lalita Akinchan Maharaj.
One of the meanings of this name is: "One who has given up everything for the beauty of Krishna bhakti."
I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am. Krishna, Krishna, Krishna!
Layout by iMonk — March 19, 2003.