After some very busy work last week, I needed to get distracted from the pangs of material existence to 2 days of calming, relaxing, tasteful, soothing and a pleasing weekend. And yes, I got all of it. Where? At the temple.
No matter how many times you have seen Them, One never gets tired of looking at Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda. Even new comers to the temple just stand there staring.
As always, very welcoming. Standing in front of These deities and pouring one’s heart out, whether it be related to material pains or spiritual gains, feels so good.
The evening tulasi aarti was very enliveling. Majority of the people in the temple at this time were guests or new comers to the temple. The devotees were at prasadam hall, or preparing for the Saturday home programs or at the kitchen. A few would lead the kirtans, do the rituals and deity worship at the temple hall. Its nice to see the new comers participate in our rituals like watering the tulasi plant. Of all the things that happen at the temple, this is probably the only activity in which they can directly participate. It reminded me of my first time at this temple 3 years ago. It was the first time I had ever watered a tulasi plant in a temple.
Their Lordships getting ready to get to bed. And boy, did They look wonderful.
I woke up at 3am, ready by 4am and was at the temple hall by 4:28am. Woohoo !! Made it !
Although battling a high fever, Jagannath Ram prabhu (seen seated next to the white board) carried out a beautiful Srimad Bhagavatam class in which he explained the “Symptons of Living Entities”, which can be found at 11.11.21 and goes as follows :
“Coming to this conclusion of all knowledge, one should give up the false conception of material variety that one imposes upon the soul and thus ceases one’s material existence. The mind should be fixed on Me, since I am all pervading.”
What I did pick up from the class? Plenty. He made many striking statements which made me contemplate.
“No relationships are possible if one is not ready to forgive the other party. If you can’t forgive, then it means that you are trying to be the controller and enjoyer”
“We tend to do 3 things with other people which tells us that our mind is still conditioned – to compare (causing bitterness), to complain (due to built up anger) and to criticize (solution is humility). One can see this in the material world and also in spiritual communities”
“Srila Prabhupada used to say that devotional service should be executed like a well conducted orchestra”
“Srimad Bhagavatam teaches us to see the little good in people and magnigy it”
It was nice to catch up with devotees again. Hanging out with devotees is great fun as well as a great learning experience. I look at these prabhus and matajis and use it as a mirror for my personal grooming of character and goals in Krishna Consciousness. So much progress to be made. So much patience needed.
That is Gopa Vrindesh. This PhD in Telecommunication graduate, moved away from satellite technology and wireless communication to direct and live communication with Krishna. He is busy getting young students take up to Krishna Consciousness along with serious study of scriptures. It was nice to catch up with him for a few minutes before I began my harmonium class.
This weekend at the temple, they passed around some extremely frangrant jasmine flowers. WoW ! I mean it was really strong, fresh and had a cool feel on your hands. At my grandma’s home we have a jasmine flower vine as well. And we pluck plenty of these every morning for our Krishna altar. Jasmine happens to be my favourite flower too. By the end of the day, I noticed that there were a handful of flowers at the corner of the temple, ready to be thrown away. Didn’t have the heart to see it reach the dustbin. So, I picked them, took in as much fragrance as I could in one forceful inhale, and then took it to Koti prabhu’s home nearby, and left it on his laptop. I think its still there.
So, that’s it. 2 days gone and soon its time for another week at the material side of things. I packed my stuff and walked back to the tram stand, to get home.
Oh man ! Its amazing how quickly material energy comes after you. Of course, I didn’t eat any chocolates afterwards ! But I did walk past that store later in the day. Of course, I didn’t enter the shop ! What do you take me for anyways? A karmi?