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Spiritual Work: Uncovering our Darkness, To Reveal our Light

Karnamrita Das

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

Every day as I sit to chant japa
my heart naturally empties,
showing me my anarthas
if I’m honest, without pretense—
my default conditioned desires revealed
past karma manifested in lust, enviousness
attracting me to fleshy illusions and plans,
castles in the air of past and present—
What about you dear friend,
have you stared into your heart
at your cherished illusory desires?

Gazing at Radhe Gopinatha’s beauty
blessed by their exquisite kindness
pure countenance, penetrating, loving gaze—
alas, at my dullness, but still, I am very attracted
so I pray constantly to be delivered
from whatever diverts my heart;
O friend, understanding Krishna is everything
(until we love Him totally, forgetting He is God)
as the root and source of existence,
I follow my desires to Him beyond physicality
as it is really Krishna my soul pines for,
if only I would be free of bodily identification
without hankering for separate enjoyment,
seeing things or bodies not for exploitation
but only to serve and give happiness
to my supreme beloved, Krishna,
and those most dear to Him.

Looking at who we pray to be like—
not officially, but truly
what we aspire for and value,
while honestly seeing our conditioning,
those things and persons who attract (distract) us,
even though lifelong desires remain
if we know the value of bhakti
the goal of loving service to Krishna,
always praying for spiritual attachment,
then, despite our lack of purity
our ideal of prema will carry us—
this is what Shri Chaitanya sees
beyond our past or present, our ideal
is what we will one day become
so let's give energy to that
and not how deficient we feel.

Every day we have opportunities
to remember Krishna and chant Krishna—
even if aren’t completely successful—
still, it was a good day if we tried
and tomorrow we will endeavor again,
praying for all we’re worth for support:
“Krishna, please help me wake up
and bless me to be a pure devotee,
letting me share my faith and experience,
my good fortune and Your devotee’s mercy
to everyone I know or meet, as appropriate.

If I count myself as a devotee,
every morning as I rise from sleep
I offer my day, and life to Krishna,
praying to remember Him,
doing what I must in a service mood,
revering prayer and the holy name
as my constant companion and friend,
remembering I’m a das, or servant,
of the servant, of the servant of Krishna—
Who so kindly shares himself in my day,
indirectly, yet still powerfully, and kindly,
if, above all else, He’s my goal
and my faith for Him is strong by knowledge,
practical realization, in good association—
if it isn’t, then that’s my prayer life
and finding faithful, kind devotees
to spend time with and emulate,
since the value of saintly company is inestimable
as we become like who we spend time with—
the devout, the T.V., or crazy thoughts—
in a purposeful planet and life,
help is always available
if we are willing to ask, pray, and search,
our natural Light will come to shine forever.