In a Prison of Our Own Making


The illusion of freedom,
the greatest oppression
the masses enslaved by
the promise of capitalism.

The folly of youth
is what it is glorified for
that each person is a clean slate
with unlimited possibilities.

We are advised: “You can do anything
you set our mind to and act on”—
not knowing our heart’s attractions,
repulsions, inclinations already fixed.

The illusion of freedom,
the greatest oppression
the masses enslaved by
the promise of capitalism.

This life fact played out
in the outer societal drama
is actually the hidden truth of
our internal bondage to matter.

It only seem we are free
yet if we study there are limits
walls and boundaries that restrict—
we struggle against our many voices.

Taken a step further
from the soul’s perspective
the world is the plane of restriction,
limitation, where we are forced to act.

The body with its mind and senses
is an imposition on the soul,
not wanting to serve God
forced to serve physical illusions.

The illusions of type of body
and its desires, what we think will
bring us happiness, and our struggle
to find completeness and satisfaction.

The soul has nothing to do with
race, material gender, ethnicity
bodily likes, dislikes, friends,
enemies or the struggle to survive.

As the body ages
hopefully maturing us
further restrictions are imposed
demonstrating graphically our bondage.

Everything is in decline:
our energy, remembrance
mobility, attractiveness, replaced
with gray, wrinkles, slowness, pain.

Do we go forward, or look back
with longing about unfulfilled lust
or dreams of unrealized grandeur
which will only give us another birth?

Having lived a life of devotion
our last vestiges of enjoying spirit
are smashed on the reality rocks
of the bodies old age march to death.

So now I am faced with the
naked truth of my life,
standing at another crossroad
I have to choose my path.

What’s my necessity as a soul?
separating it out from my ego’s desires
knowing my physical life is short
how many lives failures will it take to awaken?

We all have to constantly reflect
on these things, seeing every moment
a constant choice of our priorities—
Krishna is asking us, “What do you want?”

Combined comments from old site

Thu, 01/15/2009 - 05:30 — Krishnanshu
Hare Krishna

Hare Krishna

Your writings are very enlightening, Thank you very much for sharing.


Fri, 01/09/2009 - 00:04 — shikha

thanx for nice inspiring post . really its very difficult to get out of material pangs even knowing they will make miserable . still my mind is sticking to it . really its very difficult to recoognize urself at soul level , to be of high purity . as i read ONE OF POST OF MATA NAVASI G THAT DIVE DEEP IN . its truth that i really dont know taste of real SUPREME BLISS . JUST PRAYING TO KRISHNA FOR HIS MERCY . SO THAT HE SHOULD TAKE ME INTO HIS SERVICE . really thanx its very encouraging and such a touching post . HARE KRISHNA G

Tue, 01/06/2009 - 16:52 — o01N3sR4o

To die trying!, Forever! Never! Again! lol!!!

Thu, 01/01/2009 - 19:55 — Snehal
Hare Krishna! Thank you for

Hare Krishna!

Thank you for this wonderful poem.

I am neither advanced in age nor advanced in spiritual understanding. But whatever 5 year experience I have on this devotional path, I have understood one thing. It is very difficult to understand the most simple concept that I am a spirit soul and not the body.May be I am aware of this fact but when it comes to live life with this understanding, I have to really struggle.

Making choices for what is favourable for spiritual advancement of soul over what is offered by material energy is always challenging. Moreover, we are subjected to the reactions of our past deeds making the situation even more challenging. I feel all this is because our lack of understanding that we are souls and our attachment to bodily concept of life.

Hopefully, some time in this or some other life, I understand this properly. But I would really be thankful if you suggest something that would help me develop a correct understanding of this concept.




Fri, 01/02/2009 - 05:24 — Karnamrita.das
Prayer and Desire

As I have shared before, necessity rules our life. Our journey toward Krishna and in the material world is fueled by our desires. The meaning of the verses in the Gita's 8th chapter that instruct us that what our minds are absorbed in at death determine our next life, teaches us this principle.

There is no overnight "formula". We have to be absorbed in Krishna so we forget about our physical necessities--we do them only out of habit, though our heart is in service to Krishna and those dear to him. Easy to say, not possible to just turn on a "switch" to make it so. We are practicing. And it should be thought of as a life time cultivation. It may happen in a second, or many births. We are in the shower of purification, scrubbing with the soap of the holy name and devotional activities, and the "dirt" is thick, and baked on from lifetimes---after one layer, there is another, and another, though as we advance we get better and deeper cleaners! Eventually Krishna himself will remove whatever is remaining.

Find devotees who have what you want and observe their life, questioning them for your deepest answers. Study Bhagavad-gita 2.7 and 4.34, and SB Prayers by Queen Kunti. Understand what it means to be a sadhaka or dedicated spiritual practitioner. Examine yourself. As in the poem, ask yourself, "What do you really want?" Do you want religious life or Prema? This is not meant to discourage you, but to give you insight into how to apply KC according to your unique conditioned nature. We have to use that, not be used by it. We have to begin wherever we are. We don't begin at the top, but at the beginning.

If we are at least attracted to the goal, we can traverse toward it. Krishna will help us if we keep in the sun, not in the shade! We take one step toward him, he takes a hundred toward us. Stretch yourself, yet be yourself as you are--not artificial. Change is what spiritual life is about, and change for the better. Yet as you know change shakes up our life. People generally want to keep things the same--comfortable and predictable. But Krishna consciousness is a wild ride. Prepare for that. We have to be willing to move when Krishna moves us!

We are not jnani's who shun everything to be detached mechanically. No. Our process of "detachment" to matter, is attachment and love for Krishna. The activities prescribed for devotees in the bhakti scriptures are meant for that purpose.

Be patient, though not complacent. Keep alive your desire for loving and serving Krishna, and pray like anything, and show by your service that you mean it. Don't expect that honorary degree--though we can and should expect mercy, though in Krishna's time frame. We are all in the line for mercy, if someone behind seems to get mercy before you, don't demand "justice". If you do, you will be told to go to the end of the line!

Krishna and our guides are present in the scriptures and commentaries. Study them regularly, think about them, and write down your questions. Here is part of one of my favorite purports in Prabhupada's Gita [ BG 14.22-25]:

"Krsna first indicates that a person transcendentally situated has no envy and does not hanker for anything. When a living entity stays in this material world embodied by the material body, it is to be understood that he is under the control of one of the three modes of material nature. When he is actually out of the body, then he is out of the clutches of the material modes of nature. But as long as he is not out of the material body, he should be neutral. He should engage himself in the devotional service of the Lord so that his identity with the material body will automatically be forgotten. When one is conscious of the material body, he acts only for sense gratification, but when one transfers the consciousness to Krsna, sense gratification automatically stops. One does not need this material body, and he does not need to accept the dictations of the material body. The qualities of the material modes in the body will act, but as spirit soul the self is aloof from such activities. How does he become aloof? He does not desire to enjoy the body, nor does he desire to get out of it. Thus transcendentally situated, the devotee becomes automatically free. He need not try to become free from the influence of the modes of material nature."

Be blessed my friend! Sincerity is invincible.[BG 6.40]



Fri, 01/02/2009 - 05:58 — Snehal
Thank you

Hare Krishna!

You have really motivated with this comment.

Thank you specially for the purport. I will always remember this purport.

Thanks once again.


Wed, 12/31/2008 - 07:49 — Namacarya das
I read the song and like

I read the song and like it... As I was going through the lines, one got me more strong than others. I wanted to comment on it , and then..... I saw that Navasi wrote almost the same what I wanted to write (of course, she is much more deep and realized in bhakti yoga).
Speaking for myself, about crossroads. I would like to stop erroring (making mistakes), and do things what Krsna (Guru) wants me to do. The bewlidering point is that may times I do not know what is right move.
Then ... I know, heard it many times, the formula to success is to engage in devotional service with more seriousness, determination, enthusiasm.
Please, dear devotees, bless me so that I can become useful to the Lord.
Thank you.

With love and respect,
Namacarya das


Thu, 01/01/2009 - 11:20 — Karnamrita.das
To err is human, to forgive divine!

Making mistakes is part of life, but if we learn from them, that is a redeeming quality and can make it worthwhile. When we make mistakes we have to be willing to forgive our self and endeavor to improve. We are not perfect, but sitting on life's fence to be safe is to go nowhere. Of course sometimes we have to not act in a situation, or take a few steps back. Many things can be done in different situations that are progress or appropriate.

Certainly if we are doing our best to serve Guru, Krishna and the Vaishnava's that is our saving grace. Life is about making decisions. We think, pray, feel and ask advise if we can, though finally we have to go forward and accept responsibility for making our choices. If we stumble we have to get up. Thank Krishna that he carries what we lack, preserves what we have if we are sincerely trying to serve him. We pray to do our best and leave him the rest!

Your friend in Krishna,



Thu, 01/01/2009 - 13:02 — NityānandaChandra
wonderful title. It made me

wonderful title. It made me remember a small realization or lesson that I learned from HH Jayadvaita Swami's seminar on Nectar of Instruction. It was in regards to this verse.

The Nectar of Instruction 6
dṛṣṭaiḥ svabhāva-janitair vapuṣaś ca doṣair
na prākṛtatvam iha bhakta janasya paśyet
gańgāmbhasāḿ na khalu budbuda-phena-pańkair
brahma-dravatvam apagacchati nīra-dharmaiḥ
vapuṣaḥ — of the body; ca — and; doṣaiḥ — by the faults;

Being situated in his original Kṛṣṇa conscious position, a pure devotee does not identify with the body. Such a devotee should not be seen from a materialistic point of view. Indeed, one should overlook a devotee's having a body born in a low family, a body with a bad complexion, a deformed body, or a diseased or infirm body. According to ordinary vision, such imperfections may seem prominent in the body of a pure devotee, but despite such seeming defects, the body of a pure devotee cannot be polluted. It is exactly like the waters of the Ganges, which sometimes during the rainy season are full of bubbles, foam and mud. The Ganges waters do not become polluted. Those who are advanced in spiritual understanding will bathe in the Ganges without considering the condition of the water.

One who understands Astrology or Ayurveda can understand that dosha, or imperfections are not merely pertaining to ones body but also ones own behavioral nature. So if someone is a jerk, or if someone is spaced out, or passionate, or energtic, or pushy one can learn to tolerate such imperfections of the body and simply appreciate their service to Krishna.


Fri, 01/02/2009 - 13:26 — bhaktincarol

I just recently realized a devotee has actual illness. Now some of their behaviors make more sense. Imperfections of behavioral nature. It's so recent, I haven't had time to think it through. But it seems completely wonderful that in spite of all their difficulties, they are still practicing as a devotee of the Lord.

Wed, 12/31/2008 - 05:27 — Navasi
Crossroads And Choices

Thank you, Karnamrita,

I love this poem. I think it's much easier as we get older to realize that we are making the choices at each moment that are in fact creating our next birth.

Looked at from that perspective, they take on much more importance and scope.

I feel this part of your poem, myself, exactly:

"So now I am faced with the
naked truth of my life,
standing at another crossroad
I have to choose my path.

What’s my necessity as a soul?
separating it out from my ego’s desires
knowing my physical life is short
how many lives failures will it take to awaken?

We all have to constantly reflect
on these things, seeing every moment
a constant choice of our priorities—
Krishna is asking us, “What do you want?”"

Though all of life is a crossroad, and we are constantly having to ask ourselves these things, it seems to me, that the older I get, the more significant these crossroads seem.

Also, the more complex, since there are so many more factors, and issues involved as we get old enough (or mature enough) to see them all.

Thank you for sharing this.



Thu, 01/01/2009 - 11:36 — Karnamrita.das
Blessings of aging

My dear wise Godsister. Nice to see you here. Hope all is well. As we slow down and our body declines there can be a natural awakening of our inner faculties. Some say that for those who are married, before 50 is all biology where we are running around trying to bring up our children and save them from themselves or others!

Those of us who are approaching our older years--or are in them--have the benefit of experience. Experience often means we have done many dumb things, made huge mistakes and have been humbled, hurt and tempered by heartbreaks and disappointments. We have also seen how Krishna consciousness has enabled us to deal with these reverses and how Krishna helped us realize many of our dreams for service.

Being on the path of Bhakti gives us a way to see those life experiences in relationship to the words of the scriptures, our gurus and saints, putting them all together in ways to benefit the next generations. The outside world is youth obsessed (or repressed!), yet it needs to be balanced by the wisdom of elders and the sages of the past and present. Though everyone has to learn their own lessons, the experience of those who have gone before can give us a vision we can't have on our own, and prepare us for the inevitable unexpected.

Your friend in Krishna,