Moving Temples in Krishna's Temple of Light

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These fortunate souls trying to wake up
from their forgetful dream of being the center
of life and the universe, by taking up the chisel
of the holy name, to the shapeless, ever-changing,
plastic stone slab they thought defined them.

_________________________________________________
Reflections at the Japa Retreat 2

Offering respects to Prabhupada,
Sacinandana Swami, Giriraja Swami (who are teaching)
and all the Vaishavas who have
taken up the holy name as their life,
joining together for a week to go deeper .

Inside the Temple of Krishna's
multicolored Lights
sit Krishna's many moving temples
chanting and hearing the Holy Names.

Inside these bodily Temples--within the Temple
the soul sits in his heart seat
covered by layers of desires and attachments
from countless births crystalized into
the bodily machine of blood, guts, bones, organs.

These fortunate souls trying to wake up
from their forgetful dream of being the center
of life and the universe, by taking up the chisel
of the holy name, to the shapeless, ever-changing,
plastic stone slab they thought defined them.

Beginning to wake up from the dream
of forgetfulness from Krishna, inhabiting a fool's paradise,
coming together to also wake up from another dream
that they understood what the holy name was,
thinking they were fully engaged to their capacity.

Reflecting on this as I sit by the river
in the beauty of the external, sleepy energy of Krishna,
I am covered by a Harinam (holyname) shawl
as this is fitting because the
Holy name of Krishna is all there is!

According to Baladeva's commentary on Vedanta
every Sanskrit word is a name of God--
Shri Chaitanya taught this returning from initiation,
in his grammar lessons he showed every word
meant Krishna--our goal to see him everywhere.

Also, in explaining his shiksastakam, Chaitanya
taught that God has many names
since people have many desires--as many
desires as there are, that is the number of
his names--"As they surrender, he reciprocates."

We can have whatever we want as
the world is fueled by our desires, attachments,
but is this the end of life?--or do we as
souls have a nature and relationship to God
which is the perfection of our longings?

Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta taught that the only
worldly scarcity is the lack of Krishna consciousness,
so as our soul becomes uncovered we
will see that everything and every creature
is dancing to the will of Krishna.

The Vedas say that the wind is blowing out
of fear of him, the sun is shinning out of fear
of him, and so every material object
is resting on his will, taking their shape
and nature according to his guidelines.

And further, as we walk down the
dirt road and observe the bugs biting us,
or crawling, or birds flying, animals
moving--all are existing due to his will,
truly chanting to him in their own way.

As Haridas Thakur replied to the questions
of Chaitanyadeva, when we chant and hear
the echo, that is actually the chanting of
the unmoving living beings, so as we
take the name to awaken, we can share that.

As we fill the day with chanting and
remembering Krishna, we can have a glimpse
that within the 14 worlds there is nothing
of value, save the Holy name, pastimes of Krishna
and serving the Vaishnavas who embody the teaching

We read the Bhagavat, serving those
devotees who are considered the book in flesh,
as we make friends with and share our heart to
our peers; and the overflow of our spiritual
taste is sharing it with others.

The hope is that they too will be transformed
by the holy name, and become mad (after Krishna);
as we watch them wake up and surpass us
we are happy that gurus, the Vaishnavas,
and Krishna are pleased--that means success!

I am happy I took this time to reflect
as there is still time to finish 64 rounds--
but then I was interrupted from my revelry--
the Unexpected brings my wife holding her
gut, in agony, in need of medicine.

She spoke of a splendid morning of chanting,
and then Krishna put her in his left hand
of pain and distress; so as I was dispatched to
the drugstore, and I remembered I forgot
to feed Giriraja and Shalgram---O!

So I felt partially to blame for my wife's
suffering--as we are one--and Krishna serves
many purposes---I saw my fault, my wife saw
hers, and we both experienced the different
kinds of mercy Krishna gives his devotees.

As I drove to the drugstore on my mission,
to my left passed a funeral procession,
and I laughed at this obvious reminder
that we can go at any moment,
whether at home or at a japa retreat.

We all have to appreciate our tenuous
and temporary material plight---where we
can be kicked out at any time; so today
while we have a sound mind and health,
let us take the holy name as our life and soul.

HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA
KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA
RAMA RAMA HARE HARE

Combined comments from old site

Fri, 09/26/2008 - 04:53 — Snehal
Hare Krishna!

Seems like you had nice spiritual time during japa retreat.
Hopefully I will too get such oppurtunity as I am inspired by your experience.

I was thinking if I dont get oppurtunity to go for such event, why not decide and chant 64 rounds at home itself. I know the effect of chanting with other devotees (specially in association of realized souls) is more powerful but something will be better than nothing. What do you think?

Apart from this, I liked the last verse very much.
"We all have to appreciate our tenuous
and temporary material plight---where we
can be kicked out at any time; so today
while we have a sound mind and health,
let us take the holy name as our life and soul."


*Reply*

Fri, 09/26/2008 - 05:57 — Karnamrita.das
Chanting more

In the early days of the movement, Prabhupada asked the devotees to chants 64 rounds. They tried and didn't think they could. Then he asked them to chant 32. Some result. And finally they settled on 16----at least 16, and as he said to some, 16 good rounds----not inattentive. In any case in the beginning we can just begin with a number we are comfortable with and stick to that. The main principle is to remember Krishna, and in chanting making a commitment to a certain number and build on that.

So if you can have a day to increase your regular number of rounds that is good, and if you have some association, someone you can chant more with, that is also helpful. We are trying to cry out to Krishna to save us from material existence.....intense desire---laulyam or eagerness, greed for mercy---is the mood we pray to have. What is important to us, that will come out in prayer and chanting. Whatever we give attention to becomes stronger. When we chant if we focus on our material desires then our chanting doesn't go to Krishna, but to our desires. So we have to chant not lip deep, but heart deep!

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


Wed, 09/24/2008 - 09:05 — Navasi
Lovely

Thank you, Karnamrita prabhu,

This is really wonderful. Your touch with Krishna's holy name while on this japa retreat really comes through your writing. I can feel it.

There are so many wonderful aspects to this, I have to try to select only a few to comment on :)

"so as our soul becomes uncovered we
will see that everything and every creature
is dancing to the will of Krishna."

"all are existing due to his will,
truly chanting to him in their own way."

I love those parts. Seeing everything and everyone as being connected to Krishna is so amazing. They really are chanting to Him in their own way, even if they don't know it. Every soul is calling out to Krishna, whether they realize it or not.

This part is wonderful:

"As we fill the day with chanting and
remembering Krishna, we can have a glimpse
that within the 14 worlds there is nothing
of value, save the Holy name, pastimes of Krishna
and serving the Vaishnavas who embody the teaching"

If and when we actually realize this, that is the end of confusion, doubt and suffering. There is no where and no situation where we cannot be with Krishna through his Holy Name. There is no other thing of value.

People suffer so much in this world, and have to endure so many problems. There is no other answer. If only we could really understand that. Realize it.

I guess that's what japa retreats help accomplish. You are very fortunate to have gone on one. Thank you for bringing your inspiration back to us and sharing the mood.

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

*reading this is very inspiring. I will be reading it many times. Thank you.


*Reply*

Wed, 09/24/2008 - 09:33 — Karnamrita.das
Thanks for stopping by

This form of expression is to me a way to give vent to deep feelings that are sometimes more difficult to express through regular writing. ( I spoke of this in today's blog) The retreat was such a powerful experience, at the end during a final kirtana, I was really at a loss to be able to express the bliss I felt.

I see that these free verse poems are not that popular, which is understandable. I think they take more work than just reading something, since there is so much more than meets the eye. Of course that is really true with any piece of writing, especially the deep philosophy of Krishna consciousness. There are so many angles and levels of meaning. Like you, I truly appreciate the comments and questions to sort of feel the pulse of my readers. Thanks so much for your thoughts---I am grateful!

Indeed people are suffering deeply in this world, and if we can do something to share the ultimate solution which awakens spirituality, what an honor and gift for us, and the readers!

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita