I'm especially grateful at this time, that we have the knowledge passed on, and the invitation, to the world of Krishna.
Last week, on Thursday, my very dear father suddenly and unexpectedly left his body.
I was minutes away, and close enough to witness the attempt to revive his body, restart his heart; and to bear witness to the fact that he was well and truly blessed to escape that body. It was so well-used and had begun to fail him in every way. He could no longer walk without wheels, he could no longer play the guitar which he loved to do, he’d not been able to surf for years and years, and had gotten to the point where he could barely eat. Even so his spirit was so bright that we just felt he would go on with us here forever.
My sister and I had been talking just half an hour before he left, about how much we would miss him, and how extreme the deterioration of his physical condition was. . . but the shock of the sudden departure, and the difficulty of how much we MISS his physical presence!
The thing is, we feel sad because we miss him so much, but we also feel so absurdly blessed and happy, to know that he has left us, but not for some unforseen location, but directly stepped into the waiting arms of Sri Krishna, the presence of his beloved friends and spiritual guides.
Having such solid reassurance refreshes and reaffirms my gratitude that we have been blessed to be invited to the world of Krishna.
I can’t even imagine experiencing this loss without the benefit of spiritual vision.
Dear dad was so favored by Krishna, that he met his spiritual master, Abhay Charan das Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, while dad was still a youth. He was introduced by friends (nice friends to have!), and was immediately attracted to the chanting of Krishna’s holy names. Eventually, he married a very wonderful devotee (my mum!) and had 6 children. Yes, six!!! By the arrangement of Krsna, we have all been blessed to be raised by Vaishnava parents who nurtured our attraction to Krishna, and attachment to Guru, Krsna’s pure loving servant and representative.
It’s so nice to have a lot of brothers and sisters, especially ones who we can chant and dance and cry and laugh with, as we feel happy/sad with a lifetime of memories.
All through the years of his life, but especially once his body started deteriorating rapidly, my dad clung on to the shelter of the lotus feet of his spiritual master. The main impetus sustaining his ongoing struggle with his body, was the chance to hear, chant, learn, surrender. He wasn’t perfect – he wasn’t all “holy” and that is so encouraging. I have full faith, that as he chanted and surrendered to sweet Krsna, embracing Krsna heart to heart, he will be re-situated in his eternal position as a beloved friend of Sri Krishna.
I feel encouraged to continue, and do my best to make my choices the ones which will bring me closer to my friend Krsna, and not bring me away. .
When I was young, we heard a lot of times the phrase tossed around “be pleasing to your Spiritual master”… I feel like, it was not until I was older and increased in understanding that I was able to comprehend the essential message of this somewhat casual phrase. What is pleasing to the devotee of Krishna is ANYTHING which brings you closer to Krsna. The only things displeasing, are those which take you further AWAY from Sri Krishna. Doesn’t that make life easy? Life choices can be distilled into; is this going to enhance my attachment and attraction to Krsna, or will it put barriers in place and make me more attached and attracted to this world and sense-enjoyment?
Dear dad, thank you for this gift of life, this gift of love. The knowledge that if you live your life in attachment to Krishna, then leaving this world means reunion with Sri Krishna.
My dear friends, I wanted to share with you the most beautiful prayer, message, and invitation, a message of love that is so sweet and kind. Please read on for notes I took during a lecture from my dear Gurudev, and take up the message and embrace Krsna to your heart. . .
The loving servant of Krishna appears for the singular purpose of inviting us back home to the world of Krishna. He tells us, “the world of Krishna is so wonderful – there is no birth, there is no death, there is no old age, no disease, no hankering, there are no unfulfilled desires or cravings so there is no anxiety, no fear. The world of Krishna is sat-cit-ananda – full of transcendental knowledge and ananada or blissfulness. In this transcendental abode, there is nothing to be desired. One finds there is nothing more to be gained. Krishna is complete satisfaction for the individual spirit soul. When we have a loving relationship with Krishna, we have no need for anything else. All sense of need is gone. There is nothing lacking. The world of Krishna is beyond imagination. The world of Krishna is beyond our ability to speculate about.By the mercy of the devotee of Krishna we can get a glimpse of blissfulness and the happiness which can be ours.
A lover of Krishna comes and invites me to a the world of Krishna, invites me to have a loving relationship with Krishna.
The lover of Krishna says, ‘My dear friend, just see Krishna. He is your best friend. By cultivating love for Him all of your desires will be disappear, you will be free from them and you will be satisfied’.
We hear about Krishna and see his loving relationships in the spiritual world. We hear how wonderful it is, how wonderful Krishna is, and then we may desire to have a loving relationship with Krishna. We begin to want to live in the abode of Krishna. Hearing about it we understand it sounds very wonderful. We become very attracted to the idea that when we leave this world we can enter a world of pure spirit, no more matter, but eternality and true spiritual love. We hear about that and want that. We hear that we can have a loving relationship with Krishna here and now. Not in the future but now. So we chant, offer water, fruit flowers to Krishna.
But may doubt this, thinking “Maybe I am not engaging in Krishna’s service very nicely. This isn’t the best flower, we could do better with offerings, I am certainly not being perfect in my service, and I am making mistakes’. If we are trying to do practical service or spread the names of Krishna or help carry out the mission of Spiritual master. We may be doing music, videos, movies, business or other things, while doing them I know that what I’m doing is not perfect, I make mistakes, I screw up, and then I may begin to doubt and think that “I’m not perfect and my service can’t be perfect” and start to think that, ‘I’m not qualified, my service is full of faults and imperfections’. So we begin to doubt that I could hve a relationship of love with Krishna, that I could actually be welcome into the arms of Krishna, be welcome into Krishna’s abode.
At this time, we need to remember that what Krishna is looking at is not exactly the things that we are doing, the service we are offering, but the spirit which motivates us – our intention to be pleasing, and it is inseparable from our love.
In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna says,
“If one offers me with love and devotion a leaf, flower, fruit or water, I shall accept it”.
Maybe you are offering a little flower or fruit. The key is to offer it with love – devotion. When we are offering our service, whatever we are doing, if our intention is to be pleasing because of our love for our Spirtiual master and Krishna, even if it is not perfect, or there are some mistakes in our efforts to use our bodies, minds and intelligence in Krishna’s service, if we are motivated by our desire to be pleasing out of our love, then we are connected to Krishna.
Everybody makes mistakes. It is impossible to be perfect in our service. If we are preaching and trying to give people Krishna, perfect would mean that everything will be successful. If we are trying to use our time and efforts to raise our children, hoping that they will be attracted to Krishna, and one of our children, or some of our children or all of our children end up not being interested in this life/ or at this time in cultivating love for Krishna we may think that ‘I am a failure – what have I achieved?’ If you have been doing it out of a desire to be pleasing then you have been successful. You are connected to Krsna out of love. The foundations of your life’s activities is pleasing Krishna. Krishna is not so interested in exactly what you are doing as he is in your offering, your love. Your desire to be pleasing to him out of love.
Krishna enjoys your love. He is completely self-sufficient. What is important is your desire to be pleasing.
He doesn’t need your fruit or flowers – everything is completely created from Krishna’s energy anyway. But there are opportunities for us to offer to Krishna as a connector. It connects us. We get to offer Krishna my time, my talents, my intelligence. Whatever little things I have that I know he doesn’t need, I get to offer these out of love. Whatever opportunity I have, all opportunities to connect through offering service.
Service itself is not the most important thing. It is a means by which I can re-establish a loving connection with Krishna. While doing so I will be fumblin and bumbling around. It is not going to ever be perfect.
We need to appreciate that Krishna’s love for me is unconditional. He doesn’t need my “service”.
Lord Chaitanya gives us the opportunity to be part of his mission. It is up to me to choose to be a part of it. He doesn’t need me, and is not dependent on it.
When the spritual master is chanting the names of Krishna it is an invitation to the spiritual world. ‘Welcome, please enter the spiritual world’. Out of compassion and love he pleads,
“Don’t remain in this world of self-centredness, enter Krishna’s world. You will be happy in this world and will continue after leaving this world. My dear friends, please consider this invitation seriously”.