California, USA — March 30th, 2013

Carrying on

While observing Gaura Purnima earlier this week, I was skimming through some of the hundreds of blogs that I've posted over the last ten years (since March 14th, 2003), and was a little disconcerted to find that I haven't written much about Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu...

I'm not sure why this is so, but perhaps it is because I'm still struggling with the basic primer on God consciousness (Bhagavad Gita), never mind the books on higher education (Srimad Bhagavatam) or the postgraduate studies (Chaitanya Charitamrita).

I guess, also, it's because writers are urged to "write about what you know." I don't know a whole lot about Krishna and Mahaprabhu (just your basic, theoretical understanding of Their divine pastimes) so I can't tell you much more than you already know...

But I do know a little bit more about Srila Gurudeva, having lived for many months in the room adjacent to His Divine Grace (after some initial reluctance) in 'the intimate closeness' of his veranda in Calcutta, and accompanying Srila Gurudeva on some of his many world tours.

So the majority of my blogs are about Sri Guru and the guru-disciple relationship, and what I have observed and learned during my brief association with Srila Gurudeva: his compassion for Westerners in general and his affection for his disciples in particular, and how His Divine Grace would invariably teach us by practical example.

Of course, all these interactions and observations are filtered through the prism of my own subjective lens (with its concomitant blemishes and imperfections), so based on what you know about me and my conception (gleaned from my writings and occasional lectures), you have to make your own adjustments and corrections to this data:

evam parampara-praptam / imam rajarsayo viduh
sa kaleneha mahata / yogo nastah parantapa

Krishna consciousness is transmitted from guru to disciple, but due to the self-centered biases and prejudices of the hearer, this pure conception is modified and adulterated from one telling to the next.

Bhagavad Gita (4:02)

And this, for the most part, is why I write: so that I can be corrected if I ever begin to deviate from the Krishna conception of divinity that Srila Guru Maharaj and Srila Gurudeva have given us.

Krishna consciousness is the evolution (and the complete revolution) of consciousness. Evolution is, by definition, a gradual process. At least I have made enough progress to begin to understand that I will not be going 'back to Godhead' any time soon.

prayatnad yatamanas tu / yogi samsuddha-kilbisah
aneka-janma-samsiddhas / tato yati param gatim

After many lifetimes of assiduous striving, a sincere practitioner's sanity is eventually restored: they are discharged from this asylum and allowed to enter the normal society of the spiritual world.

Bhagavad Gita (6:45)

Knowing that I still have such a long way to go is exhilarating, not depressing. (To paraphrase Groucho Marx: "I don't want to belong to any society that will accept people like me as a member!")

So I guess I'm trying to say thanks for tagging along on this sometimes rambling attempt to chronicle the 'trials and tribulations' of the iMonk... even if it's just to learn from some of the many mistakes that I have made in my often hapless attempts to serve Srila Gurudeva :)

Tags: Making Progress · Slokas


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