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Primal Scream, Spiritual Joy


Self decepton

Perhaps most poignantly and important in this story
of a son and mother estranged, yet reconciled at the end
is the fact that one’s conditioning needs to be understood
and we can’t make much progress if we deny or repress
our pain or resentment, anger, or unresolved issues
hiding behind the banner of spiritual advancement.

Material heart and soul heart
A strong theme through
my journey with my mom
in her last days and final death
is the duality of matter and spirit
or the contrasting, sometimes overlapping
needs of the human heart and soul’s heart.

If we are observant, or endeavoring to be
life’s so-called small details and events
have much to reveal to us—
this means to become awake and aware
to know that our Gurus and Gauranga
have provided all that we need to live and grow.

A conditioned soul to varying degrees
sleepwalks through life caught up
in the karmic drama of illusory desires
with self created duties made of mental prisons
often complained about, questioned, or struggled with
while “others”, Fate or God are blamed.
(questioning, “Why me, I’m a good person”.)
Trapped in a mental prison
The spiritual life prepares us for death
when all titles, wealth, and cherished possessions
are taken from us abruptly
while the body we devotedly served
with so much time, effort and money
to both preserve and enjoy—
becomes an embarrassing, miserable burden.

What was once expected enjoyment
turns into a painful abode at life’s end —
all becomes intolerable, lamentable, regrettable—
the former bodily palace and paraphernalia
becomes a confining cell, and we wonder how
we can live like this, while death seems a relief.

Many people become disgusted in adversities face
but tend to forget in time due to ignorance—
called in Sanskrit: smasana-vairagya, or
detachment in a cemetery or place of cremation—
which can only be avoided by spiritual knowledge
purification from material desires, and spiritual taste.

Ridges of mountains
Beautiful, powerful, yet harsh mountains
surround and inspire me
rising up from the desert floor
shaped by extremes of heat and cold
desolate, jagged, rocky layers of ridges
some closely visible, others snow and cloud caped.

The desert ground transformed
by the miracle of water
like a huge oasis in all directions
disguising dry sand as paradise
by palm trees and lovely flowers
roadrunners, ducks, and other birds flourish.

Inside the gated community
of well manicured lawns
regular garden, maintenance people
are always busy at work to keep order
while the residents golf, or walk their dogs
with no preparation for their inevitable death.
wasted time, missed ques
In this backdrop lived my mom
hating the desert and sun
fiercely opinionated, independent, critical
anti-social—yet loved by her friends because of it
slowly deteriorating, a litany of complaints
eventually not wanting to live, with death questionable.

Interestingly my mom lived
in a concrete island of sorts—
her fancy duplex and pool on either side—
surrounded by a triangle of asphalt roads
the other flat unoccupied for years
her “island” a fit metaphor for her life.
Dualities of the watered desert
Truly all the surroundings here
combined together speak volumes
of the beauty and false promises of matter
providing ample clues for thoughtful devotees
splendor, aesthetics, majesty, uplifting power
amid constant extremes, changes, death.
(of which people’s status and wealth can’t alter)

Self decepton
Perhaps most poignantly and important in this story
of a son and mother estranged, yet reconciled at the end
is the fact that one’s conditioning needs to be understood
and we can’t make much progress if we deny or repress
our pain or resentment, anger, or unresolved issues
hiding behind the banner of spiritual advancement.

As much as we want to escape from
or live in our material family eternally
we have to examine how our vision is clouded
by the pain or bliss of our family
rising to the spiritual platform honestly
exposing the temporary, embracing the eternal.

After many years of spiritual/emotional healing
I have uncovered and retired many unwanted conceptions
yet I’m surprised that in these final days
facing my mom’s death and our relationship
many issues resurfaced—again I was the abandoned child
searching for my mother’s approval, to be loved and understood.
We can't escape the Truth
Part of our healing and purification
is to share our struggles and successes
with confidential loving friends
so we can learn to be honest
authentic persons who don’t hide behind
a devotee façade, looking good, yet a pretender.

We must see matter’s naked form
both in the world, in other’s lives
and most importantly in our own—
which frankly is much harder to face
yet self honesty and being real with others
is essential for our spiritual progress.

Although our life must be carefully examined
evaluating it to learn its secrets to sever
the strong cords of love and hate that bind us
birth after birth to work reactions and relationships out—
ultimately physical process alone can’t free us
as the real solution is the spiritual blissful bhakti path.
Using our life properlyObtain the goal

Combined comments from old site

Tue, 06/01/2010 - 20:32 — Samadhi-Radha
Hare Krishna!

wow your blog drips with beauty, i love it, you and your Self. bless

Tue, 05/25/2010 - 23:30 — Karnamrita.das
Jayananda's death anniversary

I am sorry I wasn't able to comment on this auspicious day of Jayananda's disappearance, or tomorrow's appearance of Lord Nrisimhadeva, but I thought I would post a condolence article from BTG and also refer you to search out Lord Nrisimhadeva here on in which you will find many articles. Hopefully some of the other bloggers will post something as well.

On May 1, just four days after his thirty-eighth birthday, Srila Prabhupada's very dear disciple Jayananda dasa passed away in his quarters at the Los Angeles Temple complex (New Dvaraka). For the last few months his body had been ravaged by leukemia, and recently he had abandoned all attempts at recovery and, preparing for the crucial time of death, moved to New Dvaraka to immerse himself in the pure association of Lord Krsna's Deity and His devotees.

Jayananda joined the San Francisco Radha-Krsna Temple early in 1967, just after it opened and less than a year after Srila Prabhupada founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in New York City. Though he had both an engineering degree from Ohio State University and a San Francisco State Teachers College degree, Jayananda was then supporting himself by driving a taxicab. He was looking for a way to make life simple. At twenty-eight, he became the senior devotee in San Francisco, and soon the temple president.

Mukunda dasa, who was there at the time, told us about Jayananda's rare qualities: "He proved himself to be the most responsible and selfless person. You could never detect even the most subtle type of wish to satisfy his own personal needs. He had that very unique attribute -- whatever needed to be done, he would do. He was driving his taxicab fifteen hours a day or more to get overtime to pay the temple's rent and various other expenses, and he was looking after fifteen or twenty new brahmacaris [celibate students]."

Over the years Jayananda took special interest in the annual Ratha-yatra festival (please see "The Festival of the Chariots," page eight). He would plan the festival, build the carts, cook and distribute the prasada (spiritual food offered in love to Lord Krsna). During his last days he was always planning how to expand Ratha-yatra so that more temples could participate. Incapacitated as he was, he still helped design the special carts now being built in Los Angeles, which can be disassembled for easy transportation from city to city.

Back in 1967 Jayananda gave Srila Prabhupada his life savings of five thousand dollars, and then again, with his last letter to Srila Prabhupada, Jayananda enclosed a second gift of five thousand dollars -- money that had been earmarked for medical expenses. Jayananda was so anxious to serve Srila Prabhupada that he even gave up the desire to go back to the spiritual world. "When I leave my body," he said near the end, "I want very much to come back to continue serving Srila Prabhupada in this world." These are the sentiments of Krsna's most exalted devotees (Vaisnavas), of whom Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, our great-great-grand-spiritual master, once wrote:

He reasons ill who says that Vaisnavas die
When thou art living still in sound!
The Vaisnavas die to live, and living try
To spread the holy name around.

The following letter, dated May 5, arrived from Srila Prabhupada just before we went to press:

My Dear Jayananda,
Please accept my blessings.
I am feeling very intensely your separation. In 1967 you joined me in San Francisco. You were driving my car and chanting Hare Krsna. You were the first man to give me some contribution ($5000) for printing my Bhagavad-gita. After that, you have rendered very favorable service to Krsna in different ways. I so hope at the time of your death you were remembering Krsna and as such, you have been promoted to the eternal association of Krsna. If not, if you had any tinge of material desire, you have gone to the celestial kingdom to live with the demigods for many thousands of years and enjoy the most opulent life of material existence. From there you can promote yourself to the spiritual world. But even if one fails to promote himself to the spiritual world, at that time he comes down again on the surface of this globe and takes birth in a big family like a yogis' or a brahmanas' or an aristocratic family, where there is again chance of reviving Krsna Consciousness. But as you were hearing Krsna-kirtana, I am sure that you were directly promoted to Krsna-loka.
janma karma ca me divyam
evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma
naiti man eti so' rjuna
[Bg. 4.9]
Krsna has done a great favor to you, not to continue your diseased body, and has given you a suitable place for your service. Thank you very much.

Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami