by Atulananda Acarya
I sing to the Sadhaka, (the practitioner), the one
The one who arises, the one who yields their senses
The one who is strong in determination
The one who is always humble and afraid
The one who feels the great debt with his master
The one who does not belong to oneself,
who controls oneself at each step
The great warrior
Oh Krsna! Give us Your grace!
Without it we are nothing
There is no sadhaka, or sadhana, or any hope at all
Make us strong before Maya,
Weak before Your supreme will!
Oh Lord! Fill our lives!
Prabhupada wanted us not to forget You...
Do you remember before Srila Prabhupada came?
For some, their heads were filled with smoke
Long hair and shrill music
Searching for the truth... in a guitar
Embarked on long journeys, some travelled
Some lived in mountains
High up among large rocks and rivers
Crazy youth, inventing love
Making the grand cheap
Some seudo intellectuals would say:
"Everything is energy, you and God Himself"
"You are God".......they would say......
In the craziness of a wandering age
Without knowing anything, they knew nothing
Heaven always spoke but none understood
Stars kept their words mute
Books carried their wisdom
Some searched, others didn't even do that
But without Prabhupada everything kept quiet
Then he came full of grace for everyone
To awaken, to awaken he came saying:
"Love is truth, the reason for life"
Now you awaken and arise
You have a great engagement
Everything teaches you
Everything instructs you
You are a child and the message is so great
So great is your debt
What did you know about Krsna?
What did you do? Who were you?
Now you want to seal your committment
To the mahatmas
Fulfill them, surrender your life
You feel empty, incapable
But you run anyway
To fill hearts along with your own
You run to understand what you don't understand
To satisfy this internal necessity that is never satisfied
You ask for the service impetuously with your chanting
Afraid and daring, you ask for service in the Supreme Domain!
Before that you knew nothing,
Oh sadhaka! How you have changed!
You yearn for His service
Weren't the words of Prabhupada the sweet sound of His flute?
Oh, he with the lotus lips! He with the lotus feet!
Who, like a swan, travelled around this earth!
Oh sadhaka (practicioner)
How beautiful your life is!
You become a child again
You begin to live with heaven
The sun speaks to you about your gayatris
(The stars about the first one)
The moon reminds you of your fasts
And the sacred dates of the saints
I like your austere, hard, pure life
Your bath in the morning
Taking with you the Holy Name
You bow before your guru like a child
Your heart is full of his words
You feel like you want to love but you can't
And the great masters ask you to be peaceful
I love your life because you love without loving still
For this beautiful hope that you have
You live in faith of a beautiful perspective
You enjoy without enjoying and accept the severeties
You meditate - hard blows make the heart soft
You search for sweetness, love, service
You bring yourself to the sources
You sit to listen to the words of the saints
You want to purify yourself, "wash away the coal," finish yourself
You want to fill yourself with Krsna, with goodness, with service
Everthing is a great leap for you, a great risk
The most absurd risk because you come close to the Best
These are Maya's tricks and now you are learning to live
To sign your committment with heaven
Your committments and vows descend from there
Your life is a poem
Your life begins to become a beautiful song
Together with the Beautiful Oh sadhaka, oh my sustenance
Keep your heart pure in spite of everything!
Do not feel alone near the Vaisnavas!
Is there calm, is there peacefulness, oh sadhaka?
Not yet, you tell me
Is there purity, is there conviction, did you achieve anything?
Not yet, you answer me
Have you understood, do you know what to do, who you are?
I lack a lot, is your response
Your gurudeva has put you on the negative side
Krsna awakens you and takes you to this same reality
He wants to run to embrace your humility
In your complete humility, He maintains
His embrace Near your ear he whispers:
"I will give you causless knowledge,
and unattachment from this world...
." Why would you want any other wealth?
Oh sadhaka! You walk when you feel that you are not walking...
When you cry because you have lost, then is when you have won
Sweet peace, sweet ether, sweet beautiful silence
The little bells of aratik are sounding
And the sun brightens the twilight
Giving the sadhaka another day
When the birds go to sleep
You put your soul to rest with the Holy Name
You take her to lay on the lap of your master
Your life no longer belongs to you
Day after day you repeat your word, and fulfill your promise
Increasing your wealth in heaven
Your life is simple, sealed in love
You live in that virtuous world, so pure and transparent
That the embodied eye cannot see your progress
But you go to Him You go to Him, sadhaka, do not fear
That is what the masters say.....
You sit on the floor
And sometimes eat with your hand
Everything is divine to you
You eat your simple rice, after a prayer of thanks
With the happiness of a banquet of the gods
You are with your own, with family, in your simple life
You are advancing towards the glorious kingdom
Where you are the king of your senses and the slave of the
Beautiful "Simple life, high thinking"
What great riches the wise have given you
You value it with your simple life, your simple mind
You are now daily fighting strong wars
Life is won by one who fights for her
Not by one who accomodates this fatal and sleeping body
You are heroic, you are glorious
Ordinary people are afraid of discipline and high ideals
They are afraid to speak the truth, much less live it!
They want soft pillows, soothing music and sex
Sex fills their consciences with a pornographic life
There is no soul for them, only bodies, dirty and lowly
Who are never occupied in divine service
Yet, oh sadhaka, you live for the soul!
Daring and fearless you go to this realm with steps of hope
Towards a luminous and saintly life
You fight against all, parents and siblings if it be necessary
If they don't want to go this way
You are ready to continue alone, assured and strong
Like a great soldier below a large bastion
Ready to die for the generals who know the glory
Who, crowned as kings of their senses,
Guide you to your kingdom, to your home,
Oh sadhaka! Oh saint!
So lonely! So many obstacles!
So much adversity! Oh friend, my life razes!
I fall in my prayers and feel alone
In this way I only find mishap and adversity
And I return to my prayers
I take up chanting again I feel
Your internal company
Your love in my heart and also yours,
Oh sadhaka! And again I want to be like you
And renovate my vows
Feeling united with the saints through my practice
What are vain conversations good for?
What relief do they give the heart?
Let us talk about the Lord Let us feel His company Bless me,
Oh sadhaka! with your intense sadhana
Take me to your kirtan
Don't let me loose myself in the void
I chant the holy name with a great hope
You have encouraged me,
Oh bhaktas! Like drops that, little by little,
bring back my heart
Each word of the mantra comes to me
Entering a little It is always like this for everyone
Just listen to this sweet name that runs to your heart
Will you receive this present with a cold heart?
Will you be able to understand thus what it is about?
Treasure this present from Srila Prabhupada
He arrived with his candid heart
And brought the science of love
He brought it in a concrete way
So that you can feel it and live with it
At last live in love! In love, in the greatest love
This is our hope
With this in mind you rise early in the morning,
Oh Sadhaka The Lord knows what you are looking for
He listens to your mantra
He puts it in your mouth and hides
Call Him, serve Him and call Him
His sweet heart only looks for the most oportune moment
To give Himself.
Sometimes, when I get up, I say:
When will I be able to love you my Lord?
When will I be able to say Your Name?
When will I be pure and not cause pain with my sins?
When will my mind be clean
And pure devotion shine within her?
When will I be your devotee?
When will I have true love?
When will I truly search for
Your service, leaving all personal comfort behind?
When will I laugh at fear, anger and illusion?
When will I know the sweetness of humility,
and when will I have love for the devotees?
When will I break Maya's enchantment;
perverted desire; mundane attraction?
When will You,
Govinda, be my concrete reality, my support,
my friend, my refuge, my goal, my everything...?
The days multiply, years come and go,
and I am still the same, still so far...
But I am on the pathway of the sadhaka
That path which I wish to take up and never let go of
That long road, sometimes dangerous and sinuous,
That mountinous road that I search for and love
Where I fear and stumble
Where I suffer helplessness
And where I search for you,
Oh sadhaka! Oh sadhaka, who extends your hand!
Do you remember your life, sadhaka?
When the day arrived in which Govinda called you?
When the enchantment of exact science dissappeared
and the greatness of man crumbled
When you perceived time, the factor of time ruling all
And this world was no longer a friendly refuge
When you became conscious of death, and of other life,
And from sinful acts there was an awakening
A deep and sober awakening
Repeatedly in the mind, insistant,
Always present in your consciousness,
An metafisical glance
Beyond the smile and kiss
Beyond the perfume and jewels
The world became a superficial curtain of Maya
The laughter, the parties, the engagements and friends
The earnings of the day, the taste of night
Everthing vanished like a weak cloud
What men call culture
Were spasms of poor creations
Lost sensations and sad illusions
The air of importance, the air of greatness
Just air inflating the balloon of pride
The fight to become independent in this blur of life
The fight to continue exploiting others
What is happening?
You said, awakening
And you went to your parents, your siblings, your friends
But it was no longer the same
You had changed and you were seeing:
The meaning of the words, of that same evangel
Words that galloped deep into your heart
And then lonliness came to embrase you
The lonely and quiet paths welcomed you
The empty beaches, the wet rocks
The hard hearts and the response of the deaf
And you felt disoriented, abandoned and lost
In a world to which you were recently born
Where you still did not crawl or eat
In a world where you recently moaned and cried
You were alone in an empty universe
The disguises and honors of the world no longer possessed you
Success and triumph craved by youth
For you was tasted and chewed food already
Forever sadly eaten and swallowed
When the soul awakens, it no longer belongs to this world
Only the eternal is real, searcher of roots,
And you cried to find other alert souls Ay, so many books!
Ay, so many paths and teachers!
Ay, hidden Govinda! Ay, the Naughty, the Beautiful!
So many lives, so many paths, so many questions
To mature the heart, the sweetest fruit
Then you reached the devotees
They came searching for you with their song and their books
The chiming of kartals, remember?
The dance of happiness
The soul finally invited to its long awaited fiesta
You finally arrived, sadhaka, to your safe refuge
You followed a long path to arrive at this one
This long path of love and service
This long path full of grace
And in this way your fresh and rejuvinated soul
Took flight in the kirtan shaking off the incongruences
And so you sit to speak with other sadhakas
What your history was, how you came to Krsna
How His mercy unveiled the key of the universe
Opening the mouths of the wise and discovering deep secrets
You tell of your coming with happiness
With the happiness of he who receives His grace
You tell of your painful travels with a smile
But your tears for those who still sleep endure......
Songs To The Sadhaka Part II
One day they asked the humble and simple sadhaka;
the one of continuous sadhana who passed the tulasi
beads through his fingers together with the Names: "What
is the result you wait for from this abnegated life
The sadhaka closed his eyes and a smile came across his face: "What more
than a life of surrender?" In this way he summarized his simple response.
Yet, after a pause, as if called by the vine of the Vedas, he began to mutter
his thoughts. "In my next life I hope to be born in a small far away village
populated by saints at the edge of a sacred river where sounds of the Lord's
praise begin to vibrate before sunrise, declaring His beautiful glory with
the most beautiful poetry.... I want to have my mansion there: a small straw
and mud hut... and my father a saint absorbed in the Holy Name with a frugal
life and a deep heart; with loving words full of religion. And my mother as
well, an abnegated saint, lover of simplicity and poverty, the exalted?? deity
and the service to her husband.
The music of the crystalline river would always be there, and I would see
the country of dense richness lifting its fruits to the sky; kissed by the
sun and caressed by the fresh breezes that give away aromas and bring a concert
of birds... I would rise when the sky were a dark canvas splashed with stars
and I would think about the saints. I would review the last verses in my
mind and study the Holy Scripture. My eyes wet with emotion would search
to thank the giver of such fortune. Always surrendered to the Holy Name and
the study of the Scriptures; always working happily in all my chores, I would
learn to work the Earth and recognize the callings of the birds and the currents
of the waters. I would know the goodness of each herb, and I would learn
to cook and play various instruments. All this would be normal and natural.
Most importantly would be the gatherings of the sages; to sit for hours listening
to their realizations, accompanying them on their pilgrimages and always
praying to receive their grace.
"I would always keep in mind that this world is passing, a preparation for
the infinite, a school of many years and many lessons. I would always force myself
to feel the will and the presence of Krsna in all things. I would try to understand
that I am not this body.
The divine kirtan of the Holy Name will fill my time, from sunrise to sunset.
I will always search for goodness. I will look to love all, even the smallest
beings, and I will pray for the grace of feeling myself to be the most destitute,
the most deprived of all beings.
"I will ask for grace from the mountains and the trees, wanting to learn
from the silent greatness and quiet tolerance of the givers of fruits. I will
want to have the grace of the powerful wind as it flies freely without any limits,
its resonant blow squelching the hearts of the ignorant. I will want to learn
from the sun who illuminates everything in his generous march; who like a great
paramahamsa takes sweet water from the salty sea. From the waters of that same
ocean, I will want to learn how they reach up to please the rocks, and how the
small, hard and insignificant stone causes the great ones to stumble, and builds
mansions. In every breeze, in each drop, in each reflection, and in each grain
of sand, I will be embellished by You. My mind will go to you. But all of these
will only be secondary observations of minor importance; and I will search out
the feet dust of Your devotees, and I will make a garland for them and will worship
the form of Your gracious deity.
I will feel the grace of the fasts quieting my mind and calming my senses.
I will be happy with this divine austerity. A sensation of peace and happiness
will come from within me like a voluntary force of conquest than dominates
the passions and establishes a noble and pure character....
I do not know if I would have a house and children, fruits and a garden. Only
God knows what is good for me. But I want to be born with a profound sense
of renunciation. I want to be born with complete disinterest in the pleasures
of this world, without any interest in personal enjoyment, personal earnings,
and the apparent vain success that so many search for with vehement blindness.
I pray for this; that total unattachment be my most coveted goal; that to know
myself to be the smallest and most insignificant be my greatest ambition; that
all the wealth I have be purity of heart and an understanding of the saints.
May "slave" be my name, dominated desires and passions my principle,
unpolluted devotion my entire character, charity my action, my learning the
shastras, my teaching complete surrender to His divine feet, the holy remnants
my only food, His Holy Name my exclusive chant, tilaka indicating that I pertain
to His house, my hands yearning for tulasi beads. I pray for this; to have
such immense grace.
May my feet always go to Your temple. May my eyes always look at Your image.
May my ears always receive Your sruti. May my mind remember You, my intelligence
discover You, and my heart long for You. May my already dominated tongue sing
only Your glories. May all be for You. May all revolve around You: the moon,
the sun, the knight cricket, the illustrious cities, all thoughts, all acts,
all senses, all desires, all united in You, all assembled with You. Everywhere,
only You; You and those who serve You; You and those who love You. I pray for
that reality. I pray for the Truth in all things.
At home, peace of a saintly life will reign. My parents will be a source of
consolation, of strength and light. Hymns would escape through the windows,
or they would be heard coming from the fresh Earth when the stars mark the
darkness of the sky, and when the moon passes her pallid presence...
I will be free of vices, of desires to exploit and triumph in this world selling
perversion and subculture, animalizing man, degrading the race to dementia....
only to be a great man in the new marble temples called banks... I will not
want the form or the eloquence of the speculating and charlatan intellectuals,
lovers of sex and of a superficial and placid life; those fanfares who prefer
inventing to learning, who speak without listening, and who turn knowledge
into a cold object of analysis and study, a mere object of observation from
the obscure platform of pride. Yet, their knowledge is never anything venerable
and worshipable for them, never anything valuable enough to dedicate their
lives to. This is because they do not have any knowledge, because they only
chew and swallow the peel of their mental appreciation without ever arriving
at the sweet substance of Your presence. These intellectuals speak of a world
without God, and if there is one, He is of little importance. For them, the
only thing that is worth anything are their many fantasies and crazy ambitions.
They fill books and books without saying anything clearly. Leading one from
one puddle to another, they do not know the ecstasies of Your word; they do
not know that wisdom means a life dedicated to You....
Will I be able to appreciate saintliness as the greatest wealth? Will I truly
be free of fear of the many dangers of this world?... I will take shelter in
Your name and in the company of Your saints. They will give me refuge, and
in this way the ocean of dangers will reduce to the water contained in a calf's
footprint, because there is no worse danger than not knowing Your greatness,
and there is no greater poverty then to ignore Your grace."
But, wait a minute! Who are you, little Sadhaka, to aspire to such an advantageous
birth? What have you done and why do you dream about such worthiness?"
My master taught us to think big. But you're right, where did I get such flippancy
in my flight. It's true, I do not deserve anything, and all that I receive
is by the grace of my master and my Lord, and only for Their glory. But it
is also true that one will be taken according to their heart's desire and mind's
disposition. Maybe in a thousand more lives, but one day I want to be blessed
with the pleasure of a saintly and simple life. Then, everything will make
me pray in an incessant manner: the pain of my sins, the fear of falling, the
order of my guru, divine grace, the very taste of the Name, the events of life,
and the implications of this Truth in the actions that I execute....
With great pleasure I will sing the verses of the Bhagavad-Gita in sweet Sanskrit,
tasting each word full of bhakti flowing directly from the heart of the Beloved.
I hope, then, that I will cry... His words will come like a far off memory,
like a sensation of something already known, like meeting with an old friend
again, whose name is Krsna.... His name is beautiful and dynamic, full and
sober, pleasing to the ear and joyful. I will rejoice in harmonizing with His
eternal wisdom, my mind quieted, my intelligence strong, my heart purified
and perfumed with the lotus of His transcendence. 'Oh, colossal chant of my
glorious Lord!' I will think to myself with great pride, with an inevitable
smile on my lips, with the smile of Sañjaya before the immanent triumph
of the army of my Lord. Oh, yes! Your enemies will fall like flies, like helpless
moths before Your effulgent splendor. The speculators of the world will not
be able to oppose Your splendid exposition... They will avoid You or speak
of You wrongly or, they will surrender to You - if they are genuine searchers.
Oh yes! The sincere searchers will find peace in every one of Your words...
Those who fear the night of Kali, who see the world as a arduous hell; those
souls who love goodness and Truth, who are inclined towards purity, who exercise
discipline, who look to advance and correct themselves; those who long for
humility and a master, who want to learn songs of praise and aspire towards
always being alert to the unexpected voice of the Truth, they will love You.
Oh Gita! They will carry you within their hearts. They will pronounce you with
each breath. They will not separate from you in any one of their acts... I
will feel this within my smile, within the smile of your inevitable triumph,
your victorious flag waving in the skies of Kali, the voice of my Lord sounding
like a tumultuous thunder, with the brilliance of lightening, agitating the
clouds which hide the sky... I want to love every verse, every beloved verse
of Your words, every expression of Your love for those of us who suffer the
ignorance this gross body ties us to. I will always want to listen to the dawn
of Your voice... I will go to the feet of Your saints with pertinent questions...
I will want to penetrate the revelation of Your mysteries, which demand a lot
of light and love, a lot of surrender, for a vain spirit like mine.
There will be the saints, submerged in their studies, reviewing their worn
books with deep eyes, tired of the world. With each verse they will raise me
towards the clouds, to the height of Your infinite glory. They will elevate
me with the words of realization that come from their mouths like venturous
ocean waves of prema in which they are always submerged. And they will give
me more everyday. They will take me to the Bhagavatam, to all the literature
of grace and love, through all those pages that are read under the light of
purity and dedication to Your service. They will teach me the meaning of those
words which the envious soul can not understand. Then I will want to feel a
great longing for Your company... or at least a great zeal for purity, for
possessing all the virtues that decorate bhakti; but for Your pleasure - not
my honor... I will want very much to please You, that You rejoice in me in
some way. I will always pray to please You one day. Within my heart, I want
the conviction of Your goodness, of Your presence, of the virtue of all things,
and of the rejection of sin. I want resolute strength to always advance, to
go upwards, to have the sufficient realization to surrender to You... I want
to savor the moment when You command: "Get up and fight!" and treat
men like me as miserable and wretched... I will enjoy it when You challenge
those who do not love the Truth, those who spare sacrifices to obtain You,
those who become indignant with the world if it does not give them pleasures,
and who are quick to get annoyed and angry.
Yes, in this new life I will want only to be like grass that does not rebel,
that cooperates and participates with humble silence. I will want to have the
tolerance of the tree who, after an entire life of gifts and deprivation, turns
its body in for the convenience of others. With this spirit, the tree grows
tall and full, but it knows how to sway with the blowing wind... This is how
I want to grow, in the spirit of Your love, knowing how to bow to the sound
of the sruti...
But how will I reach this without Your grace? Without Your generous gift? It
will be impossible if You are not merciful to me... That is why I pray with
all humility, or with the little that I possess, that You come to help me...
Because You permit beings to see with the help of the sun and moon. You permit
us to remember Your Names every time we awake in the morning. You permit us
to know that we exist and that other things exist... Recently I have heard
that something like the science of loving surrender to Your divine feet exists.
This is the science that I good willingly wish to learn today. Please do not
take any longer to teach it to me; give me Your quick shelter, the company
of Your devotees, and the know-how of appreciating them with all my heart...
"Sometimes, I will want to lose myself in the silence of the mountains,
to dig deeper within. And in my small retreat I will sit near a fresh stream
and sing the sastra (the scripture)... There, I will ask You: 'How long will
I carry the pain of my ignorance? When will mercy for others awaken within me?
When will I search for You with a pure heart? When will I know the path that
leads to Your Love?' Sometimes I will want this solitude to mortify me by analyzing
my profound lowliness. And I will surely feel that I am still far from being
truly solitary... But still, I will try it for some time... I will submerge myself
in Your name. I will feel it enter my heart. In those few moments of deepness
and pleasure, of great delight and abandonment to You, I will feel the word of
the sages to be true; that other than Your name, there is nothing else in this
world... Then I will come down from the mountain yelling Your Name at the top
of my lungs, filling every direction with the echo of my yell, so that even the
distant trees of the far off gorges can hear about You...
When I arrive home I will bow before the beautiful and simple tulsi plant,
the one that always decorates Your feet and offers herself on Your plate with
love... I will bow before her, the giver of devotion, who occupies her entire
being in Your service... My mother will greet me with a few words, already
absorbed in her daily prayer. She will lay out the straw mats on the earth
with her brilliant eyes and her smile of light. She will take out the prasadam
from her clay pots, which was her loving offering to God. Again, this pure
food prepared by my mother, with the natural ingredients of the land, or the
result of begging, will invite me to pray... The cow manure was the simple
precious combustible. Everything is aromatic and tasty... No one could make
it like she, who always inhales the incense and tulsi offered to the deity...
And when my father returns from the association of the devotees, I will wash
his feet with fervor and will splash the water on my head... The father of
the house has arrived. He who initiated me in devotion, he who sounded the
first hymns to Hari in my ears, he who showed me the form of the deity and
took me to the feet of my guru. He who, day and night, watched over me so that
the fire of divine virtue would shine within me...
I will love the day's awakening, each time with its clothes of soft colors,
always changing, like a dance of flamencos who call beings to life, who announce
the arrival of he who crowns the sky, the dazzling star, the abode of Narayan...
The golden king will mark the various duties with his gait... I want everyday
to be saintly, everyday to be dedicated to You. I will want to see the multiple
celestial bodies within the concert of Your will, what to speak of the events
of my life! What to speak of the grown plant within the most lost and forgotten
garden!... But this is nothing... This is the most elemental and sober of Your
reality... I will want, once again and forever, the taste of Your name... And
because of this, my eyes will close, sacrificing the dawn and the twilight,
the galaxies of infinite stars will close, denying the same concert of this
life that You Yourself direct, looking for something more from You... I will
search in Your name, in the gentleness for Your will. I will penetrate the
spring of Your sweetness, beyond all mundane radiance... Daring repentant!...
Favored by Your unlimited grace, I will go directly to knock on the door of
Your loving connection... I will only follow the footprints of those saints
who walk under the care of Your glance and who are insatiable beggars of Your
sweet, sweet Love... I will pray that their voice fill the basin of my heart...
May they take reigns of my erratic conscience... May they soothe me with their
realizations... May they always direct me on the path that they dominate, full
of mercy and virtue...
And when I arrive to where my guru is, I will be before the lord of my life.
His will shall be my rule, his wish my command. I will also try to get ahead
of his wish and always please him in everything. His friendship will rule above
all other friendships, his advice will be the conclusive Vedanta. I will only
want to see with his eyes, listen to his words, serve his sentiment. This soul,
full of mercy, will give me the Holy Name. He will teach me the correct attitude
with which to chant. He will teach me to serve the Vaisnavas and the universe
of Love... His word will always be my consolation, his presence the face of
dawn, the memory of him alone the enthusiasm of my life, his acts my pride,
his mission my eternal service... On his feet will be the mark of great saints,
the holy dust of the places of pilgrimage, and the freshness of the river waters
that cross these lands... Carefully giving out the mature fruit of the succession
of descending masters, he will always speak words with lotus fragrance; always
very willing to listen to the afflicted spirit that crosses the hard loneliness
of this life invaded by blind passion and ignorance... He will be the consolation
of the poor and give his audience to the princes of Earth... He will remain
the same before the rock and the ruby, before the rich and the poor, before
the wise and the irreligious... He will always dance wisdom on his lips and
will give us his sweet nectar telling us: "Chant this Name as if you had
a thousand mouths, make a chorus in your heart with the angelic voices... Fill
your life with the sound of the mantra and always chant... Always chant like
the bird that by doing so increases her beauty... Like the anxious river who
makes music with the rocks and relieves the afflicted mind... Like the harsh
ocean that joins the chorus with a powerful brilliance... Like the wind that
draws sleeping prayers from the countryside. Like the colossal cloud that roars
thunder and lightening; sound and light illuminating the sky... Always sing
like this, until your heart is possessed, intoxicated with love, beyond yourself,
your life given to Him; until the chanting submerges you in the absolute dedication
of divine service; until you withdraw from all the veils of Maya and are taken
to that place of ambrosial fields, to the land of nectar, to the sweet home
where all have an affectionate concern for you... where your interest is represented
entirely by the harmonious plan of the Omniscient Absolute.
Do not let your spirit be confused by the ambiguous light that emanates from
the Supreme Being. You come from that light, a small seed of consciousness...
But now break this small, old structure and give birth to your fresh bud.
Announce the life that is within you. Demonstrate how you can be a person
in the transcendental kingdom... Retrieve your divine potential... The realization
of eternity is like a deep breath of one who almost drowns, yet for a moment
might think that he does not need anything else, nothing more that just breathing
that healthy, fresh air, which is only the beginning and sustenance of a
life that must begin to grow and develop so much more. In this way the soul
which has realized brahman, or spirit, begins to breath the aroma of its
own nature, free of the deadly covering... But you should not remain there!
Do not think, my brother, that this is the ultimate end. Do not fool yourself
calling this goal "Vedanta." It is a slander to the Veda which
gives us much more than this. Do not say that you have already concluded
the pathway of divine knowledge and self-realization, and do not call yourself
God... How far you will then be from the true goal! And your declaration
that you are the Supreme will only plant atheism and irreligion. True religion
can not be mixed with envy and pride. They repel each other like fire to
cold, or like the sun to darkness... He who claims he has become one with
Him is seated in the pedestal of his mistaken attainment - far, very far,
from the small reality of his soul which is of a life of surrender to the
service of the loving Lord.
The Veda gives us so many indications... Like an abundant tree, full of wisdom,
who keeps the fruits that matured from contact with the sun in its highest
branches... These high fruits are the sole domain of the sky and the wind;
a wind that takes away the transcendental aroma of the sruti, the sound of
the scripture, taking the most profound conclusions, like a sacred pollen,
to fertilize new spirits... There, above, is also the domain of the bird named
Sukadev Goswami. Only the lightness of his spirit can perch in the little soft
branches. Only his blessed beak can taste the nectarine fruit cared for by
the mahajans, the greatest self-realized souls... And after tasting the intoxicating
nectar satiated in the purest rasa, after embracing the deep stratum of the
most profound spiritual realizations, he opens his majestic and colorful wings
to begin his own flight to rescue more treasures from the infinite sky... And
in this way, sages like he, from whom King Pariksit extracted the valuable
nectar, will take you to the flower of purest honey. They will bring you into
the same Lila as Sri Krsna, into the enchantment of His esoteric pastimes,
forbidden for the envious and egocentric hearts. There the Ultimate Truth will
be, that which the sages describe with select verses. He is the most enchanting
and all fascinating Being... This is the Love of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna...
All other love bows before Him and yields the way to His noble excellence...
All other love becomes enriched and is nurtured by Him, as the sun nurtures
many flowers, the roots many fruits, and as the fine diamond enhances the small
stones that surround it... This is the ultimate end: the loving service of
Sri Sri Radha Govinda in Vrindavan. Do not aspire for anything other than this.
Qualify yourself completely. Dedicate yourself fully to reaching the most elevated
heights and the deepest realizations... Your heart can only satiate its yearning
in this service... It was created for this... like the small fish for the immense
ocean, like the small bird for the immense sky..."
My gurudeva will speak like this; words of deep wisdom, relieving the soul
from agonizing ignorance... But really, how insolent of me! I can not say,
'That is how my gurudeva will speak.' How can the blind know what the clairvoyant
sees? How can the deaf know the music of Your praise? I only know that he would
say something of the sort based on the scriptures. Please excuse my daringness...
Still, he will destroy the dark swamp of impersonalism, and will give the nectar
of the pure Name. You will hear his voice at the ends of the world! Throughout
the entire canopy of heaven, the word of Jagat guru will be heard!...
He will announce the message of Mahaprabhu, His deep desire, the reasons for
His great appearance... Then one day he will take out a hidden nectar from
among his books... something that he had reserved for me until that moment...
something that he kept for a long time while I prepared myself... Lets imagine
something like Krsna gradually revealing things... And he will tell me, with
his sweet voice that escapes among smiles: "You have already heard of
the Golden Avatar, of the proprietor of the Holy Name, of the triumphant prophet
who traveled throughout Bharata (India) with His song on His lips... his beautiful
figure outdoing all beauty... and He gave all of it to the sweetness of the
kirtan... His long arms reaching up toward the sky calling His devotees who,
like crazy bumblebees joined around the honey of His chanting... 'In every
city, town, village, along the river banks and sea shores, in every point of
the immense firmament, the Holy Name of Krsna will be chanted.' This was His
great prophesy, and He Himself gave initiation to the movement with the first
waves that shook the great ocean of prema (Love) emanating from His very Self."
Then I will have the sensation of guessing the wish of my guru. His heart full
of mercy, embodying the nature of a pure Vaisnava, he will not be able to tolerate
the pain of others, the pain of ignorance, the pain that consumes those who
hurt each other with the great needle of sin... 'They eat the meat of innocent
brothers and suffer the enrapture of mundane pleasures...' He would tell me
with humid eyes, with a trembling voice, when the sun is going down, just about
to illuminate the landscapes of the Western cities... 'They have forgotten
the importance of the soul and sexual desire excites their senses and passions.
For them, there is nothing more than this in life. Save them from that hell!'
He would say something like this, and I will feel the weight of an old promise...
The last birds fluttering around in his garden as if giving their immediate
approval before the sun goes completely away and its luminous following appears
in the already obscure ocean sky...
Will I be able to do it? I will think, savoring the idea, appreciating the
challenge, thanking the trust of my divine father... His firm word, full of
conviction, his sure look, his always merciful posture, they will completely
invade my being... In his command will come the potency, the capacity to fulfill
it... I know that this is true, so I will feel it completely, full of emotion
and with a certain fear and uncertainty... 'My guru pushes me towards the cliff...'
I will think. 'He wants me to know the sweetness of the mercy of the Vaisnavas...
After all, what is the mission of Mahaprabhu without a life of preaching?'
I will watch the mountains as they go to sleep, and I will hear the soft murmur
of the river, and when, together with the chorus of the crickets, the last
songs of night go out, I will think that it will no longer be like this; that
I will no longer listen to the music of Your praise so easily in those cities
of progress that I could never appreciate. From every house in my village of
mud and straw, the chanting of Your praise began at dawn. I walked barefoot
and everyone knew each other. The greatest event was the arrival of a great
saint, and the most joyful sight was of the deity with fine bordered dress
and a garland made of fresh flowers from the pathways. This image of my village
will have to enter the snout of the great impersonal and indolent cities. I
will go there with my little chant, with my few books, with the firmness that
gives grace, and with the love that I learned from the elders...
'Take this,' my guru will say to me with a smile of pride and triumph. 'Take
the image of the great Acharya, of he who crossed the ocean at an advanced
age and took Krsna-lila to the center of hedonism and subculture. Take his
conviction and his word, in whose service I have also played a part... When
he crossed, there was only sin on the land of the barbarians, but now there
are many Vaisnavas and they will share the divine sacrifice with you...' Hearing
this, I will hold that saintly image I received from his generous hand in my
mind... Then I will feel a very sweet and peaceful happiness. I will feel that
I received a far away blessing from high above, and that now I will be able
to please him in something: he who planted prema bhakti in the arid desert
of Kali and watered it with the rain of his incessant kirtan.. 'Help conserve
the fruits of the flowering garden, that the seeds of his love open in radiant
creepers. May the worm of envy or the carrion of mundane interest not enter.'
My guru might say this to me, engaged in his service to the parampara.
I will depart with the blessing of my divine father and after giving obeisances
to the tulsi of the house... There my parents will be sitting humbly, like
the little plant they worship... Their feet will be more valuable to me than
all the places of pilgrimage put together... And with those feet on my head,
I will go... I will go to increase the fame of those who love, because this
is the only true quality that should be declared. Pushed by their Love, I will
appear like an apostle on the Earth, and I will set foot on those hard paved
roads... in the cities where one can not distinguish between day and night,
friendship and danger, trust and deceit, love and lust, help and convenience...
Those cities will receive me with their electric screams and soft carpets.
I will speak with the great dignitaries of the land and in some corner, with
a poor mendicant... Who knows how much success and failure I will have, yet
I will know that whatever good thing I do it will be thanks to the voice of
my guru and other preceptors, thanks to the little tulsi plant that they worship
at home, thanks to the sacred books that I carry, thanks to this chant that
since a child You gave me, and thanks, finally, to those who once looked upon
me with piety."
That was how the sadhaka spoke that day, as if he were speaking to himself,
as if he was leafing through the pages of a longed-for hope... There where
pink clouds in the sky and his heart was at peace with its shielded purity.
He was a beautiful and luminous sadhaka, and those who saw him desired his
friendship immediately. Many revealed their most intimate secrets to him like
a lotus opening itself before the warm Autumn sun. He showed the way for many
idealistic and restless spirits. He gave out firm determination in the principles
of bhakti. By his side nobody could say, "its just that I can't." More
likely they would say: "Give me your support, your friendship, your grace..."