As I Sit by the Spring, the Half Moon Reminds me of Lord Chaitanya's Appearance Day

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half moon through the trees
Looking straight up through the tall bare trees I notice the half moon, reminding me that in exactly one week on the full moon day is the important and auspicious appearance anniversary day of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. It is a special day to observe because there would be no Krishna consciousness movement or Krishna.com without him and those who represent him. In comparison to more pious ages people of modern times are not considered particularly qualified to understand God, and what to speak of what Shri Chaitanya comes to teach.

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half moon close upI finally made to my favorite spot at the bottom of the hill. I sit by the spring which serves as the boarder between our land and the neighbors. Like many people in these hilly parts our land slopes steeply. Our house is on the top of a small ridge like the edge of a bone which drops sharply on two sides. Having a hilly property with many different mini slopes or parts like a jagged rock makes for a great variety of sights and gives the appearance of being much larger than flat land. Though it’s less useful agriculturally than flat fields, I find it much more interesting and unique. So many different perspectives to this one small parcel of land!

I would love to have seen the land as it was originally before it was logged 40 or 50 years ago. Mercifully there are still a few old tree left, perhaps unsuitable for the loggers purpose. It is curious, yet without knowing more about the commercial value of trees, I can only wonder why they were saved. On the one hand I am grateful to see these very large trees, while on the other I find it a bit of a tease that cause me to feel sad that the land isn’t unspoiled. Such is life in Kali-yuga. The old trees are like silent sentinels or guardians watching over the land carrying the wisdom of the earth in their bark rings that mark each new year. In my “book” they are “real trees”, or what trees are especially mean for. Each human being has to understand what they are personally meant for, which is why we have the Vedas and various scriptures around the world.
winter trees
As I sit in my writing chair the song of the stream is noticeably louder then usual due to the melting snow providing a soothing backdrop for writing my thoughts. Although it is a typical observation, while I was walking down the trail to this spot I was particularly taken by the stark winter scene with no leaves on the trees or lush foliage. Perhaps my observation was triggered by the fact that I haven’t ventured here more than a few times due to the exceptionally cold winter or the strange quality of late afternoon light reflected off the clouds. Hard to say exactly, isn’t it?. Perception is so limited, relative and colored by our moods and thoughts that we miss so much—most of what there is to experience. This is another way to explain one of the four defects of human beings (mistakes, illusion, imperfect senses and cheating propensities), namely imperfect senses.

Science theorizes that our senses of perception take in millions of bits of information, yet our mind can only really focus on one primarily. What we can perceive as aspiring spiritualists is the connection of everything to its Source, whom we call Krishna, known from Vedic texts by such definitions as the “cause of all causes”, everywhere present, and the source of everything and so on. In the beginning of my spiritual search I could see clearly that there was something which was behind the “laws” of nature and I wanted to know what this was. I could understand that my upbringing and education had not prepared me to even ask this most fundamental of questions.
half moon through the trees
Looking straight up through the tall bare trees I notice the half moon, reminding me that in exactly one week on the full moon day is the important and auspicious appearance anniversary day of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. It is a special day to observe because there would be no Krishna consciousness movement or Krishna.com without him and those who represent him. In comparison to more pious ages people of modern times are not considered particularly qualified to understand God, and what to speak of what Shri Chaitanya comes to teach.

Although on the face of it Lord Chaitanya comes to bring the “yuga dharma” or process of self or God realization for this age, he also comes to teach the highest, most selfless and intimate love of Krishna. He taught the fifth goal of the Vedas beyond artha (economic development) kama (sense enjoyment) dharma (religion or codes of behavior) and moksha (liberation from the cycle of birth and death. The fifth and most confidential purpose of the Vedas is sometimes called, “Prema-dharma” or the dharma or nature of the highest love for the most intimate aspect of God—Krishna.

I will do my best in the next week to speak more about Lord Chaitanya and his significance. It will be my pleasure and good fortune to do so! I will end by quoting five special aspects of his teachings:

1) Lord Chaitanya teaches direct worship of Lord Krishna, who appeared as the foster child of the King of Vraja.
2) He suggests that the place known as Vrindavana is as good as Lord Krishna because there is no difference between the name, quality, form, pastimes, entourage and paraphernalia of Lord Krishna and Lord Krishna Himself. That is the absolute nature of the Absolute Truth.
3) Lord Chaitanya appreciated that the highest mode of worship in the highest perfectional stage is the method practiced by the damsels of Vraja [headed by Shrimati Radharani who is both our Deity and ideal of devotion]. These damsels (gopis, or cowherd girls) simply loved Krishna without a motive for material or spiritual gain.
4) Chaitanya recommended Shrimad-Bhagavatam as the spotless narration of transcendental knowledge.
5) and He pointed out that the highest goal in human life is to develop unalloyed love for Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (adapted from the preface to the Teaching of Lord Chaitanya)

In addition Shri Chaitanya summarized all the Vedas. He considered that but for these three items—namely eternal relationship with God (sambandha), acting in terms of that relationship (abhidheya) and the attainment of love for Him or prema (prayojana)—all that is instructed in the Vedas is superfluous and concocted. The word prayojana means "necessities," and the ultimate necessity is explained by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as “prema pum-artho mahan”: the greatest necessity for a human being is the achievement of love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna.
Mayapur Deity of LC