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Saved from Drowning, and a 5 minute video, The Intensity of the Search for Cancer Treatments

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Author: 
Karnamrita Das

Praying for tolerance like the tree photo DSCN7043_zpsovp4l5yn.jpg
I decided to include either a reworked blog, or some written material in addition to videos concerning my cancer healing journey so you can also have something to read and think about even if you don't watch the video. I admit that if you don't know me, or what I am about, my personal healing journey with cancer may not interest you. However, if you or a loved have cancer, or any life-threatening disease, I think you will get something out of this series. Plus, as we are all confronted with the temporariness of our body, and it's inevitable demise, we are all the same boat of having to come to terms with physical death, and if there is any afterlife, or soul, or God.

I will post the links for the videos at the end of my written material as that will motivate me to put them up all on YouTube. Even if they can help a few people, I will be happy. Currently I have great spiritual urgency in my writing, speech, and inner life, due to my facing possible death for the last 3 1/2 years, and now, living alone in Vrindavan accompanied by my Deities and many pictures of incarnations of Krishna and his great devotees, I also surround myself with the holy name, intense prayers for surrender, in lamentation for wasted years of life, and for spiritual aspirations. Adding to my intensity of spiritual purpose is my voluntary, but also forced austerity of a super intense and regulated healing Ayurvedic regiment for cancer.

As a result of all this I can honestly say that my spiritual life is being rekindled, with the hope and prayer that it becomes a blazing fire, so to speak. This comes out gradually in my current Vrindavana Healing Video-Blogs, where to my eye we get to see a gradual transformation. First I will be posting preliminary videos from the first days of my cancer diagnosis from 3 years ago. Though I haven't found much commenting on blogs here these days, I do appreciate suggestions for how best to share these videos I am making.

I'm here to serve you by who I am as a person, as a long-standing practitioner of bhakti, or pure devotional loving service for Radha and Krishna, and Their combined incarnation for this age, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. We attempt and pray to serve them, and their servants, like our spiritual masters, like Shrila Prabhupada, and his servants, and servants of his servants. We pray to take our place in that line of preceptors and mentors, and in that way, if you want, to be of service to you, and the family of of the earth that we all share.

I am a person who has studied the most successful and well-known success, or motivational, authors for decades, and more importantly, worked on myself thru self-help studies, and gone to professionals, for years to emotionally and mentally recover from an abusive alcoholic family, in addition to 50 years of spiritual practice in bhakti which has been invaluable in shaping my character! Thus, I bring a lifetime of experience in bhakti, and personal growth, which in my experience can be excellent partners in our long term sustainable spiritual progress. My endeavor and prayer is to be an example of, and promote, what I like to call, "Practical, Practicable, Down-to Earth, Common Sense, Sustainable, Focused, Vital, and Essential, Krishna Consciousness," which is an attempt to summarize what I aspire to live and share. Please think about this!

What can I say? Every person can be of help to us in some way, and though I am quite imperfect, I do my best to give what I have been blessed with. You can judge for yourself if I can speak to your need. For my healing I am required to teach what I have learned and to "walk my talk," or I will simply fade away. That is why I speak with such urgency, even pleadingly, as my life depends on it, both literally, and in the sense of giving me life. Promoting myself has never been of interest to me, yet in the service of the help I pray to share, it seems necessary so you can have some idea of who I am, and what I am about. One piece of advice: Look for the gems in all situations that may be hidden behind appearances. That is one truth I have learned in my life.

I have been blogging here for 11 years, and I am so grateful to the devotees on Krishna.com who have allowed me to begin blogging, which has been such a great boon for my life. In my writing and blogs I aim high, but I'm not up in the clouds, as I share my humanity, my struggles, and also my spirituality, and high ideals for my bhakti spiritual practices. I know your time is the most valuable commodity you have, and so I appreciate your audience, and to my best ability, endeavor and prayers, I want to give you value for your investment of time and attention. Here is the featured blog, followed by the video. Thank you and Hare Krishna!}

SAVED FROM DROWNING

I was drowning in the ocean of material existence and happened upon a life preserver left by wandering mendicant. Being helped by this mercy of flotation, I was saved from drowning and carried to a tropical Island. In this beautiful place I met students of the wandering mendicant who taught me how to live on the island and what was the goal of life. A few times I had the opportunity to meet my mendicant friend and receive instructions from him on how to live pursuing the love of Krishna. Thus, I lived happily here for some years, thinking that my place of joy and rest was assured.

After some years I shockingly discovered that the Island had been purchased by a paper company and that all the trees were being felled for paper. Soon my tropical paradise would become a desert, and many of my friends had already left. In such a condition I was compelled to find a way to leave the island, so I stowed away on a boat with no idea where I was going.

Still, I had my faith that everything would work out and that I was being looked after by my unseen guide of whom I had learned about from that mendicant teacher. Though I encountered many storms and doubts at sea my faith carried me and I was guided in a new, though related direction.

In the solitude of the boat on my personal journey I discovered many things about myself that I needed to address. Fortunately, while on my journey I was able to meet other passengers who were similarly trying to sort out their lives and make peace with their past.

In our times of introspection and great need we discovered teachers who helped us become more balanced and better persons. This enabled me to be more peaceful and to practice what I learned from my mendicant savior when I was so young and inexperienced.

I realized that one can never become complacent if one is to perfect their lives. We have to keep adding to our knowledge and deepen our realization--and should never think we know everything there is to know. There are many layers of truth to be penetrated. What worked in our youth may not be able to sustain us as we mature.

In addition to learning about the spiritual goal of life and pursuing it, I practically understood that we have to learn to live our lives in consideration of our nature and personal mission, as a means to stay the course on the spiritual journey. Now I am an advocate for this to everyone who has the necessity to grow:

Fix your mind and heart on the transcendental destination by serving saints and the Lord of your heart in a way that is sustainable and complements your conditioned natural proclivities. Don't be fanatical by denying who you are in the body or thinking your way is the only way. Stretch yourself, but don't break.

Always remain open by not limiting what person or in what way you will be helped. Sincerity will always be rewarded in time. Make prayer and spiritual practice your constant inner companions, while keeping company of like-minded spiritual people who help you grow personally and awaken spiritually. Life is both a journey and a destination!

Never the less, the destination always illuminates and informs the journey, giving it meaning. In a sense it is a never-ending journey of service and selfless giving, where all is meant for loving Krishna and his devotees. Those who have reached the land of no return, beyond death and doubt, also want to be part of Krishna's earthly lila, considered even sweeter than the unmanifest lila in the spiritual realm.

While we are on that journey, and for eternity, we can be emissaries of the mercy of Mahaprabhu and the holy name, or sharing what we have and what we live for. Even in our humble state of endeavoring to be devotees, we may consider our lives an extended part of the mission of Shri Chaitanya, and by the blessings of great devotees share our good fortune with others as the overflow of our spiritual practices.

[I just discovered this parable I wrote 4 years ago, before I was diagnosed with cancer, which is really the story of my life, and laid the ground work for my mission expressed in my basic talk about getting out of anarha nivritti, or the offensive stage of chanting the holy name, and getting our inner house in order for the higher stages of bhakti.]

“For many years, I would frequently begin my diary entries with the following words 'Today is the last day of my life. Today I die.' After making my submissions to my spiritual mentor, Srila Prabhupada, I would anticipate what I would do in the remaining minutes before I was to leave this planet. I consciously made an effort to try to take each day in the spirit of it being my final time on earth. Any kind of austerity can become mechanical and therefore diminished in potency. Have you ever meditated on the moment when you have to leave your body? If this is the last opportunity you have to relate to certain people and do certain things, will you honestly be able to leave with a sense of completion? Remember that our state of consciousness at the time of death determines the quality of our next life.” -Bhakti Tirtha Swami via "Surrender: The Key to Eternal Life", chapter 7

I made this 5 minute video a few weeks after my cancer diagnosis in December 2015 and this time is the seed beginning of my transformation, intensity in facing death and so many benefits, which many of you know is still manifesting and increasing here in Vrindavana, and building on my whole life experience.

INTENSITY OF THE SEARCH FOR ALTERNATIVE CANCER TREATMENTS: