Thank God, the Holy Name unraveling
illusory desires, giving a higher taste,
still, my life is swirling, between
these planes and subtle dimensions.
We live in a time of faithlessness, criticism, cynicism, and sarcasm. Those who do live by faith in God are often fundamentalist or fanatical in their rigid perspective. This gives religion and even God a bad name, discouraging people from being part of any group with strong beliefs and faith. Although faith may be looked at with suspicion, without faith no one can do anything either materially or spiritually (all faith [not what we have faith in] comes from the mode of sattva or goodness). In fact faith is the beginning, middle and full maturity of Krishna consciousness.
The “jungle” is returning,
time to “weedwack” to trim
and drive the lawn tractor
before it rains again.
Working at a New Age store means I get asked many spiritual, health related, and psychic type questions. People are searching for spirituality, healing, protection. I could have never worked here as a new devotee and youth. I have to draw on years of life experience and remain convinced of Krishna consciousness, yet open to present and hear truth in different ways.
It is said in the Vaishnava scriptures of the Vedas (like Shrimad Bhagavatam and others) that Krishna is non different from his holy name. We can associate with Krishna personally by chanting purely. Yet it also said that there is one important difference between Krishna and his name.
What is that?
Krishna's holy name is more merciful than Krishna.
How can this be?
On the path of knowing and loving Krishna ( Bhakti-yoga) there is great Light, love, knowledge, spiritual power, incredible beauty, wonder, sublimity and everything desirable and ideal. Then there is the opposite, which can be seen as the back or dark side brought about by material imperfections practitioners bring to the path. In effect this is a great covering or veil which has to be overcome to keep us on the path for the long haul.
Those of us who are coming to Krishna have to separate the two sides in a way which increases our faith and standing in Bhakti. In the beginning we have tender faith. To mature in our faith we have to build a solid foundation through our practical experience and positive taste from devotional activities, especially chanting the holy name and hearing the philosophy of Krishna consciousness in good spiritual company. Those who have developed faith and realization share that with us. It is possible to understand the positive and negative aspects of the Bhakti path and put them into proper perspective with the right association of mature practitioners. We have to be sincere, blessed, patient, and inquisitive to go beyond appearances.
I try to have a smiling attitude in all circumstances remembering my great good fortune of taking up the path of Bhakti. I endeavor to ask myself, "how can I use this situation for my good, what can I learn from this, and how can I help others". Even though we are small devotees our well-wishing and prayers for others are good for them and for us. I pray to be a cause of benefit to others in all my interactions.
Evening with The Veronicas