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Visiting a sadhu (more than meets the eye)

Karnamrita Das

(this blog is recorded on the full page: quick time player needed)
Associating with those who have spiritual standing, or are advanced in their devotional feelings for Krishna, is a principle way for us to make spiritual advancement. From such persons one can feel the "current" of spirituality. Hearing from them in the right mood can help one be free from any doubts and increase one's faith. By faith I don't mean belief, which is an activity of the mind, but faith is a symptom of spiritual standing which is trans-rational. The material world is the plane of misery and doubt, while the spiritual dimension is free from suffering (since there are no material limiting conditions, like birth, old age, disease and death), and is full of joy and faith. All the various stages of spiritual advancement given by Shrila Rupa Goswami (one of the principle disciples of Shri Chaitanya), are considered a deepening of this commodity of spiritual faith. To put it another way, spiritual realization means going deeper into this faith or attitude of acceptance and certainty which inspires one to serve. Doubt brings hesitation or inaction, while faith inspires one to give and serve Krishna and His devotees, and chant the holy name. Suspicion leads to suspension of our spiritual progress, while a drop of faith can overcome mountains of doubt.

What follows is short free verse rendering of an experience I just had after visiting a "sadhu" or saintly person. The following day I had an enlivening thought---the theory I had heard, and yet before our Deities it seems especially poignant. It was like I could feel the truth coming to me. Just before this experience, as if preparing me to be open to this impression, a huge crash of thunder startled us and knocked out our phone and Internet router, which perhaps created a teachable moment or internal opening. Life without the phone or Internet is an opportunity to listen to our internal phone or Internet, or emphasizes the necessity to go within--or go without! The Internet won't be with us forever, but the necessity to remember, serve and love Krishna is everlasting. Today I traveled 40 miles to a dentist and now a bookstore so I could share my thoughts for your kind consideration and contemplation.

Visiting a sadhu
(more than meets the eye)


To and fro 3 hours
an essential effort given
showing our priorities
regardless of illness
to visit a sadhu
for soul nourishment
the joy of sharing
with those he has touched
enjoyable, uplifting energy
yet soft and subtle
not being overwhelmed
cracked over the head
or dazzled by a shock
but like a loving hug
that leaves a residue
life transforming scent
dissolving ego walls
the heart’s temple arises
every visit builds it upward
the current of spirituality
igniting my heart’s gentle fire
creating a new life journey
so tangible and meaningful
skeptical doubters remain blind.


During the drive home
building on the day
listening to CD lectures
stimulating my brain
my heart comes out
from the mud of attachment
the miles and hours fly
home safely in a moment
giving thanks to Krishna
tired but wired and focused
no question of sleep
so I read and write
shutting my eyes at midnight
awakening to the rain
but can’t get up till 7
racing to wake the Deities
getting ready for chanting
the roaring rain meshing
with our peaceful chanting--
thunder tumult startles us
a gargantuan explosion
shaking our head and home
showing our insignificance
Internet line and phone blown.


Sitting to chant
material layers melting
Radha Krishna’s beauty increasing
astonishingly so—but by seva
a glimpse of the spiritual world
the jiva’s plight is secondary
to the primal couple’s relationship
we are glorifying in song, dance, poem
Their love we showcase to all
aspiring to give and serve
facilitating Their meeting and union
so human-like and accessible—
there is such value in humanity,
youth, earthly facilities for love
that the Supreme Brahman (Shri Krishna)
comes to awaken His eternal prema
playing on His own lila stage
growing from a baby to adolescent
meeting Radha for the first time
learning to play His flute
discovering its magic to attract
all souls come to Him
but mainly for Radha
our Deity and devotional ideal!
Shri Chaitanya's constant remembrance of KrishnaPhotobucket