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Date with Destiny--Saved from Death--Enlightened by a Deer


(this blog is recorded on the full blog page: quick time player is needed; works best with Firefox or Explorer; if you are using Google Chrome it will automatically play, so if you don't want to listen, mute your speakers.)
 photo 11055331_10205628611428053_2405937437644898940_o_zpso1lbxysi.jpg[Reposting from yesterday a fictional retelling of an event I just experienced] Thursday is shopping and errand day when I travel a radius of about 20 miles to purchase some organic vegetables, dump garbage, occasionally give away stuff at the Goodwill, and take care whatever else needs to done in nearby, exciting Sandy Ridge—like go to the bank or post office. As I was driving away from the bank, I thought that this had been a normal day for me. Rising at 4:30 AM, I began by reading some of Yamuna Devi’s biography and then Shrimad Bhagavatam. As often happens, time seems to shoot by and I have to rush to take my shower and prepare to wake the Deities, and begin my japa, or personal chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra on beads.

By 6AM I was chanting. My wife joins me between 6 and 7. This morning I was happy to have almost finished my quota of “rounds” on my beads by 8 AM. At that time I begin the breakfast offering as part of my worship, and then bathe my Shilas, or sacred stone manifestations of Krishna. At slightly after 9, my wife and I honor the Lord’s prasadam or the food which has been prepared for our Deity’s pleasure, though according to our necessity and diet, while we get some morning sun on our deck. Then more reading, finishing my chanting, emails, making a few posts, and it is time to leave for my outing. Today I had to leave earlier than usual since the store I buy the organic produce at was closing early.

On the open road the sun was brightly shining with those beautiful, white puffy clouds, gently moving across the sky that inspire me so much. Another typical hot summer day. I was thinking about the fact that while I pray to be free from my anarthas or unwanted mentalities or attachments, sometimes my mind would like to have them. We have so many parts of our conditioned identity. While ideally we remain in our best or core self in the mood of goodness, sometimes our parts take a primary voice and role in our life and we may do, or at least think about doing, what isn’t helpful for our spiritual progress, even degrading.

As I was lamenting this fact in myself, I heard a loud thud, and saw a deer to my right that was obviously the cause of the sound, being hit by my car. I had been looking straight ahead and didn’t see the deer. I was calm and not shaken up, as it happen so fast, and I don’t easily become scared by sudden noises. Stopping the car, I assessed the damage as best I could. I wondered if I could still do the shopping. Then I thought about the deer and walked back to check on her condition. Though still breathing, she was very freaked out, scared, and in shock. I felt bad to have hurt this poor creature, now in this condition because of me.
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There was no blood that I could detect except on her face.

"Damn!" I thought, "I hate causing suffering to others!" Feeling very helpless in easing her suffering I began chanting to her and sending blessings. This seemed to calm her down and she felt more present, without that glassy look in her eyes. I apologized for hitting her and likely causing her death, and prayed to Krishna and his divine agents that she wouldn’t suffer too much, and that by hearing the holy name and being prayed for, her next life would be favorable for spiritual cultivation in a human birth. Not knowing what else to do, I stood to leave. Then something amazing happened. The deer spoke to me!

“Don’t worry about me or be too hard on yourself. It was my destiny to be killed at this time but to also hear the holy name from a devotee, so I am grateful to you. I spent this deer life in total forgetfulness, but now, in your spiritual presence, and by the grace of the holy name, I remember all that happened in my last birth, and this short one. In my last life I was a devotee who fell from the path by having a very critical mentality and making many offenses to devotees. Though I tried to forget about Krishna, I couldn’t, and so I dulled my senses with intoxication, and busying myself with petty concerns. Whenever I saw devotees I would become angry and either run away, or harass them.

“I couldn’t stand what I had become, but I felt helpless to change. I even took up hunting deer, but once as I shot a buck, I had a heart attack. Due to some special mercy, as I lay dying, I knew that I was actually an eternal soul meant to serve Krishna. Thus, I regretted the life I had just lived in vain. I prayed to Krishna with sincere tears and remorse to forgive me for my many transgressions, and for his help in returning to the path of bhakti. And I especially prayed that I would never minimize devotees or criticize them needlessly due to malice or envy, but see the best in them-- as the Lord does--and to help them overcome whatever impediments were preventing their spiritual advancement. The same thing you want to do in your life!”

I had goosebumps on my arms and this last comment brought tears to my eyes. How could she know? This was all rather unbelievable and super sensational. I began wondering if this was real, or if I was dreaming. I felt weak like I might pass out. Sitting on the ground I held my head, which was spinning.

The deer, observing my condition said, “Come, come now. I’m the one hit by the car and dying! Why are you so shook up? You believe in miracles, don’t you? What isn’t possible for the Lord, or those he may empower?”
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Coming to my senses, I replied, “Well, yes I do believe in miracles, but nothing like this has ever happened to me before! Things like this only happen in movies, novels, or dreams.”

“Just because something has not happened before, doesn’t mean it can’t happen—otherwise, how would you have met devotees in the first place? Does this seem like a dream to you?” inquired the deer.

“Actually it seems like the most real experience I have had in a long time.”

“And if it is a dream, and yet you learn from the experience and are changed for the better, does that make it any less important or ‘real?’ ”


“There you have it,” replied the deer. “Just be open to learn—isn’t that what you always say?”

“Yes.” After a moment of reflection, I said, “Actually, “real” means remembering or serving Krishna, and everything else is ‘unreal’ or asat. So whatever is the “objective reality” of my encounter with you, if by it, I make spiritual progress and help you, then that is truth and reality.”

The deer concluded: “I only have a short time left, but I would like to point out something to you. You have helped me, so I have been given a way to help you.”


“If you put it into practice.”

“OK, shoot—I mean, go ahead.”

Deer: “No problem! You were thinking this was just an ordinary day. My message to you is that there are no ordinary days! If you truly appreciate the unique opportunity every day brings for spiritual progress, keep an attitude of gratitude for all that you have been blessed with (both material and spiritual) and as a result look for the extraordinary in your everyday life, then you will see nothing as ordinary and everything as an opportunity to depend on Krishna. Please reflect on this at the beginning of every day. Expect to be blessed and always pray to see the best and learn whatever you need to.”

“A related item is that your days are numbered. I realize that you know this in theory, but remember, you are going to be 65 years old in a few days, and with every passing day there is more chance that you will die. Over 200 people a year are killed by hitting deer—so you were saved from that fate and given more time to grow as a person and make spiritual advancement. One astrologer thought there was a good likelihood you would leave your body at 73—only 8 years from now. Right? I’m not saying you will, but if you called out the holy name and served your Guru and Gauranga with a sense of urgency, you would make much more progress than you would with your general complacency. Therefore, you need to make some basic changes in your life, and give as much as you can for each day in devotion.”

Hearing from the deer such relevant, profound truth was stunning for me. The deer was then silent and still, and passed on to another life. I prayed to follow his advice and am making small changes in my life to make better use of my time. One can gain the same knowledge by reading or hearing it from an advanced devotee, but some stubborn people like me, need to wake up with an extraordinary event that gets their attention. Of course, as recommended by my deer teacher, I have to practice seeing life itself as extraordinary, as it is when we receive the seed of bhakti. I need to expect and see everyone and every situation as a teacher. Attitude, expectation, and intention color everything, becoming what we notice and receive.
[Background Music from "Angels of Healing," by Aeoliah, "The Joy of Innocence"]
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