San Jose, California — Wednesday, March 21st

Familiar environment

In Chapter Two of Sri Guru and His Grace, Srila Guru Maharaj explains the meaning of diksha, or spiritual initiation:

Diksha is the process through which transcendental knowledge is imparted by the preceptor to the disciple.... Through diksha, all previous commitments are cleared, and one gets the light of new life in relationship with the transcendental Lord. [It] is a process by which we are given a noble connection with the absolute center, and, at the same time, all our previous commitments are finished. It is an inner awakenment of life that brings divine knowledge....

With inner awakenment, the outward commitments vanish, just as when you reach home, all other arrangements you may have contracted for your comforts are all cut off, for at home you find full comfort. When we are in a foreign land, we may seek the comforts which are supplied in hotels, but when we reach home, the hotel comforts are discarded; we find no more use for them.

Sometimes a minor is kidnapped from home. Later, while visiting his native place he may stay in a hotel, but if he suddenly finds his father's house and returns home.... the hotel is no longer needed. Similarly, with the inner awakenment of the soul, when we return home, back to Godhead, we will find our comfortable home with Krishna. So, to make a connection with our real home and dispense with our outward links is known as diksha.

Because we have so little knowledge of our real home in the spiritual world, we seek the so-called comforts of temporary accommodation in this material world. But we are unfamiliar with this world too, because it is actually a foreign environment for the pure jiva-soul. When we return to our real home in the spiritual world, we will find ourselves in a friendly, familiar environment.

Sripad Avadhut Maharaj invites me to Russia every year, and arranges lecture tours for me in many cities. After I wrote the Home comfort blog, I received a letter from one of my Russian readers (my iMonk blogs are translated into Russian) reminding me how, when I visited their city, I gave an analogy about the comfort and familiarity of home.

I travel from one city to another every few days on these tours, and I usually stay at one of the devotees' apartments. During a lecture, while making a point about how this material world is not our real home, I explained that no matter how pleasant our temporary accommodation might be, it cannot beat the familiarity and comfort of our home. For example, when we take a shower at home, we know just how much to adjust the handles of the hot and cold water faucets to have a pleasant shower, but when we are traveling, we have to experiment: "Ow! Too hot! Brrr! Too cold! Ooh! Still too cold... Aaah... just right!"

In Home Comfort, Srila Sridhar Maharaj says:

"Home... sweet home." This sort of feeling we shall find within us if we are fortunate to be allowed a little participation by the grace of the canvassers of that land: the agents of the Lord. We shall be taken to that proper soil and we shall gain some solid, familiar type of conception of what our real home is like. In this way we shall progress to that side.

Krishna and His agents (gurus) are engaged in a loving search for us; They are coming to show us the way back to our home. And just like that frightened, abducted child, when we finally return to our rightful position in the transcendental world, we will find ourselves in a friendly, familiar environment — with all the comforts of home.

Tags: Home comfort

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Layout by iMonk — March 21st, 2007.