Where is Krishna? Giving Value to Our Lives

Karnamrita Das

(this blog is recorded on the full page: quick time player needed)

Two days of sweltering intense heat
oppressive 100 degree-plus weather
at night, huge violent wind storms,
leaves and branches decorate the ground
heat lightening, thunder, but no rain
our sleep is spotty at best, the day, tiring
then, finally tonight, cooling, lasting rain
where the crashing thunder has meaning.

Knowing I won’t sleep, I rise
downstairs at 1:30 am, I chant
the thunder and lightning subside
while the rain continues unabated,
opening the sunroom’s sliding doors
I pace with the holy name and breezes
in-between chanting rounds, I listen
to the soothing, steady rain.
Krishna in Thundershowes
Like the harmonium’s drone
life-giving, sustenance, relief, joy
an easy analogy to Krishna’s mercy:
on God, we’re totally dependent,
the devotee’s “job” is to remember Krishna
while some may question, like an atheist:
“Where is your God?”
we know He is everywhere—usually.

Sometimes we may even doubt
being caught up in our personal drama
dear one’s suffer disease, calamity, or even death—
we feel betrayed by a so-called friend
the world seems cruel, dark, capricious,
then we remember to chant the holy name
Hare Krishna hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare!
Bilvamangala Thakur
Our spiritual experiences of His presence remembered
the first devotees we met/initial impressions of a temple
friends in whom we confide and share our spiritual journey
blissful kirtanas, chanting on the street, delicious Prasad
reading the Gita, Bhagavatam, Krishna and Chaitanya lila
hearing from our gurus or spiritual mentors/ the Deities’ beauty
Krishna consciousness is a healing, invigorating balm
soothing our soul, scorched and battered by the material fire--remember?
Or we go to the park to find His peace
surrounded by green and living things, we smile,
Krishna is the life of all that lives—ourselves included,
closing our eyes we feel part of everything—
He is our life breathe, heartbeat, consciousness, Source
our constant companion when we are aware
praying by speaking of our joys and sorrows
we feel His embrace and care, we are never alone!

Our lives may be what they are
while we try to improve or tolerate it
at times joy or sorrow, the weather hot or cold—
regardless, take shelter of Krishna always,
Krishna and His name can be constant
despite upheavals, reverses, temporal happiness
our body is temporary and racing to death
shall we lament, or rejoice in loving service?
Old age  within youth
With a philosophical, spiritually thoughtful mind,
avoiding what keeps us bound or stuck
recommitting regularly to bhakti practice
(remembering the undesirable alternative)
letting the holy name cleanse our heart
like the pure rain giving us relief and life—
Ah, yes, I’m an aspiring devotee,
with a loving, joyful relationship to Krishna,
with devotee friends, let’s remind one another.

Friends chating