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More Lessons from Our Secret Garden--part 2

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carport through the gardenHaving a house and land requires doing continual upkeep and regular hours of doing small essential things that make up the big picture of a well maintained home and garden. Though I love to read and write it’s always good to get outside and work hard keeping an awareness of Krishna as the source of everything. We live in such a beautiful place and Krishna’s Nature is always ready to teach us if we keep our eyes open, remain thoughtful, and really endeavor to observe lessons in our daily life. Such intention or focus is powerful since we our awareness is so narrow. We can only focus well on one thing at a time so it is important to remind ourselves as to what we aspire to be absorbed in through out our day—what do we want to notice and remember when we sleep?

We have a lush garden this year full of flowers that daily attracted many winged creatures like bees and butterflies looking for nectar. And soon after the sunrise, before the heat of the day, small birds and colorful finches come for the sunflower seeds they peck from the flowers. They also distribute seeds they drop for next year show and their food. Actually all the sunflowers and zinnias in our front garden are volunteers from last year’s plants. The bounty of the earth is truly mind boggling!
Rain clouds
While I sit here to write after another long day in the garden, the storm which has been roaring in the distance for hours arrives with a bang of thunder, strong winds and rain. When the rainstorm seems to die down I think of other tumultuous thundershowers I have witnessed and been so impressed with. Such intense storms are to me, very exciting and inspiring, yet a bit scary at times and I am practically forced to take shelter of Krishna’s protection. Now it seems I will be able to go back in the garden in a short time, yet Krishna’s agents have other plans. As if to compliment my remembrances of other severe weather, Indradeva, the servant of Krishna turns up the volume and force to demonstrate our tiny, dependent position.
Everything is energy
Now the storm seems right on top of us, the lightening and thunder almost simultaneous. The thunder is deafening and the whole house shakes! I have to go inside so I sit in the greenhouse leaning against the house. The sound of the rain is much louder here, and it seems like it may shatter the clear roof! What a show! Such exhilaration, displaying Krishna's power and majesty! Of course if it gets much worse it could take up the house. We don’t get many tornadoes here, but they have happened a few miles from away. That might be too much excitement!

As usual the circuit breakers are tripped. My wife is a bit shaken, yet still cheery! We are in Krishna’s hands in life or death! We take precautions, yet depend on him. Such times are always stimulating for philosophical discussion and devotion to Krishna. I think that it's so unfortunate when people don't take the time or have the interest to be awed and inspired by Krishna’s divine material energy—and what to speak of the “painter”, Supreme Cause of all causes, or Source himself—Krishna, his beloved Radha, or Shri Chaitanya and his associates. The Supreme person is never alone or without something to do.
One of our many hotel altars
To me the most valuable possession in the world is affection to these Lords and the desire to both serve them and share this wondrous path of devotion with other seekers. I know it is active in every sphere of life. After all, there is no place where God isn’t, and so with practice we can see his hand everywhere and everything in relationship to him. I do it imperfectly, but I practice. This is really what Krishna consciousness is all about! It is not about a list of things one can not do, but of becoming or reviving our eternal attraction for Krishna, and in this attraction wanting to serve him and thank him for our life and many service opportunities.

We are all part of God, who we Gaudiya Vaishnavas know as Krishna. Thus our nature is to be a pleasure seeking (since he supremely is). When we find our happiness and pleasure in serving and loving Krishna we loose our interest in external material pursuits which the masses are madly perusing--this is natural detachment by attachment to Krishna. Although admittedly we may be perusing some of the same things, if our primary focus is on becoming Krishna conscious, gradually our life and awareness become transformed; our hearts will go to Krishna effortlessly as he becomes the end all and be all of our life, the purpose of our existence with every breathe. Whatever we do, we aspire to do it for him—to the best of our ability. Our success is guaranteed, but we have to keep trying to remain on the path. Though we may stumble and fall, we, like a crawling infant, have to keep trying to walk. Eventually we will not only walk, but fly to Krishna by the power of love or bhakti!

getting the strength to serve

Combined comments from old site

Sun, 08/08/2010 - 08:26 — Karnamrita.das
The Power of Devotional Service

I thought of this verse in relationship to the above. I can't say I ALWAYS am aware of Krishna in all of my life circumstances, but that is the path many of us are on. We begin where we are and aspire to improve:
"If I am engaged in devotional service unto You, my dear Lord, then very easily can I perceive Your presence everywhere. And as far as liberation is concerned, I think that liberation stands at my door with folded hands, waiting to serve me -- and all material conveniences of dharma [religiosity], artha [economic development] and kama [sense gratification] stand with her." (Krsna-karnamrta 107)

This verse is cited by Shrila Prabhupada in his purport to a verse from Shrimad Bhagavatam, 4.28.51, which describes the appearance of a very old friend, who represents the Supersoul, or God within our heart. He elaborates that following the order of the guru is tantamount to seeing the Supreme Lord, not just imagining we do. If you have this SB volume it is a very good purport to read--or it should you can read it here:
http://vedabase.net/sb/4/28/51/en3

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


*Reply*

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 13:26 — bhaktincarol
Devotees?

This made me think of mornings here, when we chant japa outside. As soon as the sky begins showing some light, birds come (from I-don't-know-where) and perch on the tree branches nearby. They just show up. They are excited and chirping and moving around between the branches, but mostly they just come near to where we are chanting.

There are several trees in the yard. But I don't see the birds coming to branches of the other trees. Just near where we are chanting : )


*Reply*

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 19:48 — Karnamrita.das
devotee birds

Anything is possible. Just like the stray dog I pictured in my blog before last reminds me to chant--because when I pet him I chant into his ear. That will go deep into him and he may remember it at death. At least he will get another opportunity to be with devotees and hear or possible chant the holy name. Fortunate dog, and fortune me that I am reminded to chant!

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita