Vacuum; the low after all highs

Dear readers,

I am very happy to connect with you all today, most especially because I launched my first book last week and all things been equal it should be released next month, fingers crossed. Believe me when I say, I have spent almost half of my existence on this planet putting the pieces that make that book up. I do hope is serves it purpose and helps those in need of guidance.

That been said what are we going to discuss today?

This morning while doing my mantra meditation, my mind took a quick “break” and in that split second a couple thoughts flew in.

  1. What is that special “feeling” that creates such an attraction between two people down here that makes us forget who we are?
  2. If our spiritual essence is all blissful and all knowledgeable and yet we are caught up in this mix of material existence, then its either we are easily influenced as living entities or the material nature is very strong.

Just after these thoughts, I tried to bring my mind back to the mantra meditation I was doing but they kept haunting me. Hours later as I prepare to write my blog for this week, I am torn between presenting this thoughts in an “unfiltered” manner, just as they rummage my mind or to refine them and present them as a polished finished thought process. I felt I’ll rather go with the latter.  The whole point of writing is to be real, authentic and genuine. To connect with people without filters and to share ideas, insights and thoughts with people in a manner that helps them see beyond the physical, hence the name metaphysical perspective. Everyone in this material is searching for that one person who completes them and makes them feel special. Some people try to find this person in a friend, a spouse, a family member etc.

Often times our search doesn’t yield much and even when it does, we can’t spend eternity with them, because death snatches them away and we are left all lonely and then vacuum sets in. As a teenager and even till this day I write poetry and the theme is always love but that of intense love in separation, usually of a lover not there or of one who is broken hearted. I shared these poems a few times with people and once half way through, a friend of mine paused and said “who did this to you?” I asked; what? He pointed at my poem and looked at me saying “I mean this, who hurt you this bad bro? These words strike a deep chord with me, I can feel them as if it were me.” He was in for a shock when I told him they were just my inner thoughts and not based on actual events in this life.

Well years later with more understanding of certain spiritual truths, I have come to see where those deep yearnings came from. The real self, deep down cannot stop searching for the Supreme Lord and that was why no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t write about something else. The interesting part is that there is more to this feeling of vacuum. I have seen the lives of very rich, successful and famous celebrities, who have it all and then the next thing we hear is they died of substance overdose or suicide or fell in a depression. It beats me hollow every time. So with all that money, fame, glamour etc., you were still not happy? Why? In front of the cameras we can put up a fake smile, we can show off our flashy lives on social media and all that fun stuff, however when we go to bed at night, when no one is watching, far away from the cameras and paparazzi, reality kicks in. The soul languishes in pain and cries bitterly. Maybe you may have experienced it. Our eyes cannot stop shedding tears and we feel really heavy on the inside and we don’t even know where the pain is coming from.

It is at this critical moment we should pause and reflect. During moments like this, when our soul is tired of pretending and living a life that doesn’t reflect its true nature, we need to wake up and do the needful. When our pain is unbearable and all the fences we have built to shield ourselves from reality are down, we need to wake up and do the needful. Suicide, substance abuse are all just temporary escape routes to hide from these nights of reality that hit us hard. We can run and hide but not for long. That vacuum won’t fill up, no matter how much we try to, especially if we are using the wrong things to fill it up.

There are days I sometimes catch myself fighting such pain, thinking and rethinking. Then I remember that I am blessed by the best and shouldn’t settle for anything less. I am the eternal servitor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and as such He definitely has my back. He just wants to know that I trust him enough to let go and let him fill up all and every type of vacuum in my life. Letting go is not something we are accustomed to because we always fear the worst might happen. Fear is born of ignorance and because we do not really know the capability of the Lord, we are in ignorance which in turn brings fear.

You can be rest assured that you are not alone, and that there is always help around us if and only if we are ready to access it. Most importantly is the fact that there is help right within us, if we decided to connect on a deeper level beyond all superficiality. The Lord is sitting right inside our hearts beckoning on us to turn towards him, even for a second and connect deeply. We have to become like whales in the ocean, they swim deep down. We have to go deep in our relationship with the Supreme.

Till next week, do have a blissful week ahead. Share, and follow for more.

PS; Image credit doesn’t belong to me.

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Talents as an offering to the Supreme Lord

Dear readers,

I feel so happy to be here sharing this with you all today, the last 48 hours has been blissful because we just had an entire day of singing, chanting and dancing. No distractions just the Holy name. I can only hope you all are as blissful as I am. A brief reminder to everyone, my book is gradually approaching its final stages and soon it would be ready for publishing. Do keep an eye for it.

I try to keep my blogs realistic and today my blog is related to the 24hr Kirtan festival we just had. I shall speak on this with regards to talents and unique abilities. Some of us are blessed with various talents and abilities and in one way or another these abilities can make us or mar us. Whenever I watch a talent show and see how people display very unique set of talents and everyone is in awe and wonder, I begin to reflect. If an ordinary human being, who is conditioned by birth, disease, old age and death can do all these wonderful feats, imagine how much more the Supreme Lord can do. Imagine how much talent and ability the Supreme Lord possesses, and even after endowing each and every one of us with such unique Talents, he still has unlimited talents himself.

In my numerous attendance to Kirtan and holy name festivals, I have heard a lot of devotees sing and I have always had a great appreciation for any devotee who actually sing for the pleasure of the Lord and is not about showmanship. One may wonder but how can we tell if someone is singing genuinely for the pleasure of the Lord. I’ll say this should be a topic for another day, however a brief response will be “the taste of the pudding is in eating”. When one sings solely for the pleasure of the Lord, immediately all those who are gathered there can feel that energy and most importantly; everyone listening is drawn to sing with such pure intention, at least for that moment. The sign of a person chanting or signing Suddha Nama or the pure name is that they make others want to sign the pure name too. Sometimes devotees in their kindness will make remarks like “Oh you sing very nicely”. I try never to take such remarks to heart because I always tell myself no matter how good it sounds, it is nothing compared to what the gopis sing every day for the Lord. This keeps my ego in check.

However as if to help me further check my ego, during the 24 hour kirtan there was a young Lady (I would love to mention her name here to give her credit however I don’t have such permission and would not want to violate her privacy) who sang and practically got everyone mesmerized in the hall. The externals such as harmony, melody, and rhythm were all present, but there was more. In my own opinion there was this undertone of a desperate call out to the Lord. In fact it is said that one should chant like an infant calling out to the mother. I could hear this pure unadulterated call out that was just to please the Lord. Why did this stand out so much?

Usually people attend kirtan festivals with the hope of hearing some “famous” Kirtankari sing, and the presence of these “famous” Kirtankaris could affect the attendance if care is not taken. Now for once, here was kirtan by a not so “famous” kirtankari, which was really exceptional. I kept saying to myself

Lord please give me a drop of this unique talent and ability that I may be able to sing for you and make others sing too.”

Often times the natural tendency for most people is to become jealous and defensive and even try to minimize others who have exceptional talents and abilities. This doesn’t help and would never help. If you cannot celebrate the talents of other people then don’t expect people to celebrate your talents too. Especially in a devotee circle, we have to be very careful not to become envious of people who are unique and gifted. We should encourage them to do more and pray that the Lord sees their service, then and only then can we make progress. If on the other hand we try to minimize, criticize, fault find or even sabotage someone who has a very unique talent that we do not have then we are headed straight for doom. We cannot progress this way. We should remember that we are servants of the Lord and the only competition we have is in pleasing the Lord, nothing else. Srimati Radharani is described as the topmost Gopi non different from the Supreme Lord Himself, and there is no one dearer to Him than she is. However it is described that her is mood is that she is willing to give up her position for anyone who can serve the Lord better than she does. We all know there is no one take up that position yet she is willing to step aside.
This should be our mindset, if someone can serve the Lord better, then let me help him or her to do so. It is in this mood that we can succeed and advance seriously. Second point is, we should remember that no matter how good our talent is, it is nothing in front of the Lord and we are actually privileged to be able to serve the Lord in whatever capacity that we are doing now. There are millions of goddesses of fortune and millions of manjaris serving the lord daily, all with unique abilities and talents. Humility is the keyword, and for me this was Humility check 101.

Last but not least is to remember that talent which is not employed in the Lord’s service is like a jewel on the head of a python; it is useless decoration. Whatever the lord gives us, we should try to offer it back to him, and then he gives us more and then we offer again and then he gives even more and the reciprocation continues. Till next week do remain blessed, read, share and follow for more.

Who we are vs who we want to be

Dear Readers,

Welcome to another exciting week of inspirational discussions on various metaphysical topics. Before delving into our topic for this week, I’ll like to once again remind you all of my upcoming book on Juvenile Delinquency. In a short while I’ll make available a link where you can have a preview and together we can make the publication a reality, and you can have early orders. Stay tuned.

The topic at hand today is one that each and every one of us has an internal ordeal about, and often times many people get confused or carried away by the delicate nature of this tussle. There is always the dilemma of how to strike a balance between the person we are and the person we want or would like to become, whether in our spiritual quest, Education, Finance etc. I’ll like to pay a little more attention as how this concept affects the spiritual practitioner. For those who are gaudiya vaisnava’s we may classify ourselves externally as Celibate (brahmacaris), Householder (grhasthas), Retirees (vanaprasthas) and Renunciates (sanyasis). In the social ladder we may be Teachers, Administrators, Merchants or Labourers. Externally it is easy to identify with one or more of these classifications however internally there is always the thoughts that bug us; “are we really ideal grhasthas? Are we doing our dharma as we should?” etc.

Once in Europe I was asked a rather delicate question by a Lady who had a friend who was in some dilemma concerning marriage and intimacy. Her friend was in a relationship and her partner was quite open and honest about his preference when it came to intimacy. He had made it clear from the onset that he wasn’t on the platform of having an intercourse just for procreation yet, and it would take him some time to get there.

Read: He would like to have intimate moments with her regularly when they were married as opposed to just when they wanted to have kids.

She on the other hand was not so interested in having regular intercourse and felt she could very bring it down to just for the sole purpose of having kids. Now her question was whether she could proceed or not with the relationship. I made it clear that I wasn’t in anyway asking her to quit or stay put however there were certain facts that we couldn’t ignore. One is they both had a very diverse approach to sexual intimacy and this may put a strain on the relationship. Second is that if they were to neglect this difference and try to “force” their way through with the relationship then sooner or later one of them would feel either neglected or feel ashamed of their “level of desire”.

The beautiful twist in this incident is that sometimes many of us are like the lady in question except that we actually put up an image of the “person” we are trying to become and forget about who we really are. If we fail to acknowledge our real state and try to artificially promote ourselves to a level that we are not actually on, then we will definitely encounter issues, setbacks, internal turmoil’s and eventually frustration. The ability to accept who we are is called Sincerity, and until we embrace real sincerity, progress is difficult. In our spiritual practices, many of us would like to sleep less like the Gosvamis of Vrndavan, Eat little like them, read more like they did and minimize our sensory demands and impulses especially that of the genitals to the barest minimum. This is whom we want to be.

The reality is that we actually sleep a lot more than we probably should, we eat a lot more than our bodies can take, and we have huge difficulty controlling our genitals. In fact one of the biggest problems we face as Humans is the urge of the genitals; How to manage them. This is who we are.

If we artificially start acting like the Gosvamis and deny ourselves of our real level of advancement and try to present ourselves as the versions of ourselves that we would love to become rather than who we really are, then we may confuse people, deceive ourselves, and create a lot of internal disturbances for our already troubled minds. I’ll personally love to chant 1 lakh (100,000) of God’s names every day, this is whom I’ll like to be, reality is I am not there yet so what would be the ideal thing to do? Create a system that I am my own police (that I do self-check, with little or no external influence) and gradually work myself up to 100,000 names a day.  Pretending that I chant that much or making a show as if I chant that much, or trying to act as if I chant that much wouldn’t help me or anyone who believes that I do. This is where most of us struggle.

In the quest to become the person we would like to be, we deny ourselves the gradual growth which is very essential to our solid development and then put ourselves in difficulty when we can no longer keep up the image. This principle applies to any other area we are trying to work on. Now some people may ask “isn’t it actually beneficial if we start acting as the person we want to become rather than acting as we are now, which may not be the best version of ourselves?”

It is true that putting ourselves in the mood of whom we want to become we can gradually get to that platform, however the key word is; aspiring to be rather than acting as. If I want to be someone who has total control on his mantra medition or japa, the process is to gradually yet constantly work myself to that point rather than “act” as if I already did have that control. If we are sincere enough to look at ourselves in the mirror and say “Hey dear me, listen up, it is nice that you want to be this very exalted person, however if we want to really get to that position we have to go about this in a manner that is consistent and diligent. We have to move up at a pace that doesn’t throw us off course, and most importantly we are doing it for our own good and not to impress anyone.” When we adopt this mindset, we can immediately see that the internal noise “quiets down”.

Thank you for your continued support, till next week do read, share and follow for more.

Causeless Mercy

Dear readers,

Thank you for joining me here again this week for yet another interesting topic. I hope you all are faring well. Before I delve into this week’s topic, I’ll like to inform you all about a few projects I have been working on.

I am excited to announce to you all that there are a couple of books I am yet to release and hopefully by the special grace of God they should be ready soon, however prior to this I’ll like you all to kindly follow this blog closely as the big reveal day is fast approaching. One of my book is on a global situation we face and how we can tackle this issue using ancient wisdom while the other on traditional vaisnava philosophy. There is a lot more coming after these initial two. When they are finally released I’ll be giving free copies to those who follow my blog space. Then I shall upload links to where they can be gotten online.

This is but a sneak peek and with time I’ll reveal more!

Today I’ll like us to deliberate on a word that we often come across in many religious circles, and that is “Mercy”. When used in connection with the Supreme Lord it is usually used to describe a special kind of consideration given to us as adepts or worshippers by the Lord, which we usually do not merit. That is to say the mercy the Lord shows us in various circumstances, is not born from our righteousness, intelligence, austerity, prayers etc. Rather it is as a result of the Lord being kind and showering his grace upon us. Usually the question arises, what do we have to do to deserve this “causeless mercy”?

Truth be told we do not have to do “anything” in particular to deserve the causeless mercy, because as it states it is without cause. If we got it as a result of something that we did, then it won’t be causeless. On the other hand sometimes, some adepts use this as an excuse to act capriciously, be lackadaisical, and then say the Lord will shed his causeless mercy anyway, so why should they bother to put in any effort.

I’ll share a short story to explain the concept of causeless mercy. Even though it is a physical example and in no way translates directly into how the Supreme Lord operates, it will give an idea nonetheless. In my third year at the University while taking my Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Production Engineering, I had an exam I took on engineering design. This course was so dreaded that the Dean himself taught it. The day of the exam came and the Dean walks in with the Question papers and starts to hand them to us. It was 15 objective questions; that is multiple choice questions, where we were to select the right answer from about 4 options, A.B.C.D.  Time allotted was 3 hours. Yes, 3 good hours. I know some of you might feel this is just too much of an exaggeration but trust me I kid you not. As soon as he was done handing them out, he smiled and said “you may start, best of luck”, and He walked out. Now many lecturers would stay in the hall to make sure students don’t ask one another or try to cheat, but he knew what he had set and confidently walked away.

One hour into the exam the hall was dead silent even though there was no one to supervise us, everyone was in total confusion. We had no clue what to write or even choose. Now there was a trap, because he knew that out of frustration some students might just select any of the multiple choices and probably get the right answers from such gamble, he gave each and every one of us an blank A4 paper stapled to our answer booklet where we were to show workings of how we arrived at our answers. These questions by the way, involved calculations. Two hours later the hall is still dead silent and he walks in smiling. He asks us “how is the exam going?”  There was barely an audible answer from a hall packed full with students. You could see many students had their sheets blank and we had just one more hour to go and 15 questions unsolved. What made this course really special was that it was a core course and it had a very high credit hour. Which means scoring low on it would affect your GPA (grade point average). So we had to pass it. Now he begins to walk around the hall and he noticed that many students were stuck. Even those of us who were considered “smart” had a hard time doing much. There was a boy we all saw a whiz kid and even he was having troubles that day.

At the end of the semester the results come back and you guessed right; it was really poor. Now this is where I’ll like us to focus on. The Dean had noticed the overall poor performance and had given a whooping bonus of 10 marks each to everyone. It was over 100 and we needed at least 40 to pass. We had a quiz earlier that semester that was for 10 marks too. So the score from the quiz plus the exams made the total of 100. Even after adding 10 marks to everyone’s score many students still failed. This act by the Dean was an act of “causeless mercy”. We didn’t do anything to deserve it. Now for those who scored at least 20 before he added the bonus 10 marks, they automatically made the cut if they had at least 10 also in the quiz. Those who were lax and felt the bonus could save them, and didn’t put in the extra effort, they failed. I know you all must be wondering “did I pass?” Yes I did. Narrowly too. My total score was 55, which means I scored 35 in the exam, 10 in the quiz and the 10 bonus came to my rescue. Now if for some reason the bonus wasn’t there I still would scale through with at least 45 marks.

The lesson here is that, in as much as we may pray and depend on the Lord to show us his “causeless mercy” in our spiritual quest, we also have to try to merit it by putting in some extra effort. The story of Mother Yasoda trying to bind Krsna also explains this. Only after seeing the many futile attempts and her will to also engage the neighbours (by asking them for ropes) in the act of binding Krsna, does he allow her to bind him. The Supreme Lord will shed his mercy however we must be ready, willing and worthy to get it.

Till next week, do read, share and follow for more.

Festival of Life

Dear readers,

It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to share with you all once again yet another interesting blog today. Last weekend was filled with fun activities, lots of people and a very busy schedule. Many people had a great time with the festival of colours and the inner child in everyone was let loose.

During this period of festivity alongside having to manage schedules and see that the guests that were visiting were getting the service I was allocated to do; on time, I had some quite thoughtful realizations. There is a famous artiste who mentioned in one of his songs that “life is one big party when you are still young, but who’s going to have your back when its all done.” Similarly, just like a real party, the party of life also has its different stages.

Stage 1. Planning: Usually before a big event a lot of energy is put into planning and preparing in order to be able to achieve all that we set out to do. We try to make sure that we have everything in place to guarantee the smooth flow of the event and we make a list of things we need. Life’s party is similar in so many ways. This stage in our lives is the period of youth, when we make a lot of plans and dream about all the great things we want to do, at various points in our lives, usually leaving little or no time in it for God or matters self-realization.

Stage 2. Item acquisition and shopping: When we have dates set out and all that, we often proceed to buy the things we think we need, the things we want and the things we hope our guests would like. We may spend little money or a lot of money depending on our budget. Some of us might even go for an overdraft and empty out our accounts. It’s all a matter of choice.  Similarly in life we also try to acquire different types of education in the hope that this would give us the capacity to achieve our dreams. We spend a lot on various forms of formal or informal education, often times neglecting the real education that we need. We may think we know the type of education we want or need or the type that may help us succeed however if we don’t have proper education about the soul, we sooner than later find out that we have not really learnt much.

Stage 3. The Event: The D-day arrives and we are all pumped up and the anticipation is in the air. We begin to expect visitors. Some show up on time, some late, some don’t even show up at all and some call us to cancel. We however hope that irrespective of the turn up, we can still have a great event. During the event we try to serve everyone as much as we can, sometimes we do and sometimes we just can’t please everyone. We try to see if we can also be a part of the event from time to time without getting lost in the service of attending to people, and at other times we try to socialize. After the event, some guests stay till late, some leave just before it gets dark, and some may even sleep over and then leave the next day. Invariably all the guests leave at some point.  The D-day in our lives is divided into various parts and could be seen from different perspectives. The first part is when we finally get to achieve some of the goals we set for ourselves. Usually we achieve some and sometime we don’t. If we fail to set spiritual goals then we haven’t really lived a fulfilled life yet. The second stage is when we get the “guests” that show up on time (puberty, body growth, etc.), those that show up late (wrinkles, aging, body pains, etc.), those that don’t show up at all (long hidden terminal illness that pop up at the last stages) and those that call us to cancel (repeated sickness, failing body functions etc.) however despites these “guests” we still go on with our life’s party.

Then after the party or at the time of death, we have some guests leave on time (friends usually leave first), then we have those who stay late (intimate friends and distant relatives may be at our death bed a little longer) and those that stay till the next day (close family member who mourn us to the grave and for a few weeks or months after we pass). If we pay so much attention to life’s party without trying to connect to the ultimate spiritual party then when these “guests” arrive we are not prepared to host them.

Stage 4. The Cleanup: This is probably the most difficult part of any party. The mess created after every party, has to be cleaned up. Even if we get a few volunteers, the fact remains that we need to do the greater part as the house belongs to us or at least we are responsible for the cleanliness of the venue.

 At the time of death we may be able to have a good reading at our funeral by many people who might have known us, they may say a lot of nice things, we may even have them read out our achievements or our acts of philanthropy etc.  All these will nevertheless remain here and only a few good merits from these activities go with us to the next life. These so-called good merits are in themselves things that bind us further. If we have failed to do the most benevolent act which is to save the soul, then we have actually had a party that wasn’t successful.  Thus we need to see and remember that eventually this house (body) we have, would be thrashed up (grow old) and the best cleanup we can do is to give our souls a better place to live in, preferably a body that is free from birth, disease, old age and death.

I hope these few words help us see things better in a broader perspective. Till next week, do read, and follow for more.

Question on our World Events and Crisis

Dear readers,

Welcome to another day in my blog session. It is great to be able to connect with you all here.

In the light of the recent events happening around the world, I have taken a little time out to reflect a little more and to share with you all these reflections. It is no news that the US has been through one Hurricane and is bracing to receive about four more. With Hurricane Harvey, Irma, then the ocean bed in the Bahamas drying out, to heavy hailstones damaging cars, livestock’s and property in Spain today, all I can think of is what is actually going on?

Why is mother Earth or Nature clapping back at us to severely? Why are all these events happening back to back with an almost undeniable increase in severity? Are we totally innocent and are just been “victimized” by nature, or are we abusing the Earth so much that she is tired of our unsustainable methods of development?  Are we conscious of our choices in matter of lifestyle, energy, food and clothing? Do we see this planet as a shelter to every living entity in it or do we as human beings feel that without us the planet is nothing?

What do we really contribute to this planet? Is it in proportion to what we take from Nature and the environment? Are we treating every living entity we encounter with love and compassion? Do we place the collective good of the planet and others before ours, or do we just try to fleece the environment as much as we can until we have taken more than we would ever need? Is religion nowadays just another medium to have a social gathering? Is religion missing spirituality? Does our religious belief aid in the preservation of the ecosystem or does it encourages us to destroy it? Are we brutally ending the lives of people and animals in the name of religion? Are we stretching the Earth beyond her limits when it comes to getting natural resources? Are we polluting the environment and thus reducing our life span by the very choices we make every day?

Are we avoiding natural, effective plant based medicines that have been proven to cure many terminal diseases, just because our “pharmacies” will “run out of business?” Why are we spending billions on ammunitions and warfare, and yet complaining every day about world hunger? Why have we modified plants that were simple and healthy all in the bid to make them look “better” only to discover that we have in fact created the very thing that is now killing us in droves? Why are we suddenly making a fuss about organic food been healthy and better and how GMO’s are not healthy when we consciously injected these plants in the first place? Why do we waste so much food every year just because they don’t look a certain way or have a certain shape, and then proceed to hold international seminars on how to curb world hunger?  Why are we feeding away our food stuff to a few livestock’s just to satisfy our desire for flesh when the same amount of food can feed hundreds of people?

Why start a war when we know very well that those who suffer the most are women, children, old people and the majority who have no clue why these wars are fought? Why is that those who start a war and send young men who are husbands, fathers, brothers, etc. to fight, never send their own sons? Why struggle so hard to get a political office when you know deep down inside you, that you have absolutely no plans of making a change and that all you care about is lining up your pocket and bank account. Why is it that a continent as rich as Africa with almost all natural resources available in large quantity, be termed as poor? Why is it that a continent that has planting season all year round be termed hungry? Why do we make so much propaganda about stolen diamonds and resources gotten from war zones only to sell the same precious stones here in the West at exorbitant prices? Why do we interfere with the political situation in other countries when we know very well that the state of our own economy is far from being perfect? Why is this planet in debt? To whom do we owe all these trillions, aliens? We claim to be the most advanced species on this planet and pride ourselves as “higher animals” yet we are the only specie that pays to live on a planet that we didn’t create? We claim the children are the future yet we abuse them daily? A man is not a gentleman if he hits a lady but a woman who slaps and man and calls him derogatory names is hailed as being feminist? I know some of you might get uncomfortable with some of these questions especially the last one, but that’s the whole point. Maybe it’s time we get uncomfortable and see that something is wrong.

Maybe when we stop hiding behind our numerous camouflages and reveal our true selves, that is if most people even know who they really are, then we may hope to find a solution. One may ask ok, after pointing out all these what do you suggest as a solution, for it is easy to criticize but not easy to walk the talk. One day at a time, and one human at a time I am making a conscious difference starting by making sure that my words, actions, and choices are not a problem to this planet. We are often quick to criticize those who manage the affairs of state but also fail to realize that those people were once just like us. So I feel the best time to teach a president is when he is still in high school, and not when there is chaos in the white house.

Till next week do follow this space for more. Until then read, reflect and internalize.

Voice of a sojourning soul

Dear readers,

It is a pleasure to share with you all once again this week, yet another interesting topic. Last week we looked at a very crucial topic; the ideal and real situations in this material world. This week we shall deliberate on rather go through a prayer that I call the “voice of a sojourning soul”.

The following prayer is a humble cry from the soul seeking to find solace in the Supreme Lord. It is made in a mixed mood of desperation, eagerness to meet and feeling of unworthiness. Hopefully I can collect them into a series later on. I hope it helps someone connect on a deeper level.

Dear Lord, It is I your eternal servant trying to make contact after so long. I know you have not forgotten me for a moment, however I have barely kept in touch. Please forgive me for this long silence and forgetfulness. There are times I have selfishly made contact because I had some difficulties or something to ask you, and there are times I made contact because it was a special day, however I hardly remember when I made contact because I was deeply motivated by your pastimes and activities. In all please do not forget the voice of this sojourning soul.

Dear all attractive Lord, It is I your eternal servant trying to make contact after so long. I have promised to give you my entire life when I was trapped in the womb, instead I have spent about one third of it now doing my own thing. I have taken vows to think of you and no one but you, to have you as my Lord birth after birth however I have made the things of this material world my master. I have neglected the ultimate life line you have given which is your holy name and I have taken shelter or other names. In all please do not forget the voice of this sojourning soul.

Dear Lord who is the life of the sacred river Yamuna, It is I your eternal servant trying to make contact after so long. I have been given this wonderful name by my spiritual Guide who is your eternal associate, in order to help me always remember who I am, instead I have falsely identified with the false notion of been initiated into a bonafide line of spiritual practitioners. I have ignored the mood of the name he has given me and instead have been searching elsewhere for your reflection. I have abandoned the river Yamuna and now take pleasure in swimming in the river of material sense gratification. In all please do not forget the voice of this sojourning soul.

Dear Lord who reciprocates to all his devotees in their respective moods, it is I your eternal servant trying to make contact after so long. Even though you are accessible in whatever way and manner I intend to reach you, yet somehow or the other I have been deluded by the identification with my body that I cannot seem to reach you in a mood that is most befitting and pleasurable to you. Yet every day I long and hope that with time and by the mercy of my spiritual guide I can gradually come to the platform whereby I can serve you in my best capacity and mood. In all please do not forget the voice of this sojourning soul.

Dear Lord whose complexion resembles that of a dark cloud before rain, it is I your eternal servant trying to make contact after so long. Just as a dark cloud pours down a heavy amount of rain and cools the earth below it, your name and pastimes offer us all the coolness and spiritual water we need to be free from the thirst after material life. Yet somehow or the other I have chosen to rather plunge myself deep into the water of family life, thinking myself to be a husband, father and householder. Instead of preparing the souls you have entrusted in my care I have taken the liberty to act as if I were you my Lord. In that folly, I see myself as you and try to imitate you. In all please do not forget the voice of this sojourning soul.

Dear Lord who attracts the heart of cupid himself, it is I your eternal servant trying to make contact after so long. To love you means to do all that gives you pleasure and anything other than that is lust. I have been posing lust as love for you, knowing fully well that pure love for you and gratification of my senses are poles apart. I know that in order to get real satisfaction I should satisfy your senses, not because you need it but because it is good for me. Nevertheless, I don’t do anything for your pleasure and my greatest satisfaction comes from my own sensed been pleased. In all please do not forget the voice of this sojourning soul.

Dear Lord who is the master of all mystics, it is I your eternal servant trying to make contact after so long. In every aspect of nature you show me your numerous mystic opulence, you show how you pervade all that be and there is. You show how unlimited you are by supporting innumerable stars and planets, by the systematic rising and setting of the sun. Instead of surrendering unto you totally I am still fascinated by the little “broken glass” mysticism the path of devotional service has to offer. I have performed very arduous austerities and still do, all with the hope of subduing the body and becoming a great mystic, but of what use is my siddhis in the face of death, who trembles at the mention of your name. In all please do not forget the voice of this sojourning soul.

Dear Lord whose complexion is golden, it is I your eternal servant trying to make contact after so long. You have come to this planet on several occasions either directly or through your messengers or your incarnations. Each time you came the message was the same; develop love for you. Somehow or the other, I have not taken full shelter of these messages, thinking I have so much time left. However with each passing day I can see that this is one of the biggest lies I have told myself. Seeing how much time I have spent away from your loving service I beg that you kindly reinstate me in your service. In all please do not forget the voice of this sojourning soul.

I hope this prayer helps you all connect with the Lord deeply. Till next week do read, internalize and follow for more.

You are not ready for this!

Dear readers,

It is yet another week and I am indeed happy to share with you all yet another interesting discussion today.

As spiritual practitioners we are always sure to be caught up in the never ending internal war of ideal or real. In as much as we strive to achieve this perfect stage of idealness or even near perfection, I must say that the rise should be one of gradual ascent than one of artificial meandering. I would like to share a few thoughts that may bug the minds of a practitioner or maybe simple thoughts that we may face every day as we try to make good use of our time in spirituality.

  1. In an ideal situation, we are supposed to be God conscious 24 hours of the day, fixing our mind, intelligence and senses on his name, form, quality and pastimes. Reality; we find it difficult to even go through one round of Japa meditation (soft chanting of the holy names of God), without having the mind wonder off like a stray dog. Do we give up, whine about it or become sad? Absolutely not, we forge ahead with patience, consistency and determination.
  2. In an ideal situation, those who are householders are supposed to support those who are renunciates and give charity to all. Reality; many householders find it difficult to even make ends meet let alone support someone else. Does this however justify not giving charity? No, it doesn’t. We start from whatever small we have and if really are bereft of things to give, then we can always give love, compassion and appreciation to those around us.
  3. In an ideal situation, one should understand that this material world is a temporary place and that whatever we do here is not eternal and thus we should focus more on those things that are eternal. Reality; many of us live like we have a contract with God to be here eternally. We don’t care about life after death, we think we are invisible, and that everything is meant for our enjoyment, especially if we have our material lives somewhat successful. Does this negate the fact that we still live in a temporary world? No, so why not be in this world, but not of this world. Stand like a lotus flower in the water but do not get touched by the water.
  4. In an ideal situation, marriage should be holy sanctified and considered sacred. It should be meant for raising God conscious kids. Reality; the marriage institution has gone through a lot these days. It seems like most people just marry for the wrong reasons and the few that do for the right reasons cannot even live theirs happily without constant criticism from the so-called advanced modern day society. Sex in marriage isn’t for kids anymore, and many people marry and for whatever reason see kids as an inconvenience. Does this mean we should no longer get married? No, we should rather try to fix this from the base, from the family unit. If our families lack solid spiritual foundations built on sacred values, chances are that they will fail for sure.
  5. In an ideal situation, Spiritual mentors are supposed to look after our spiritual life and help us realize our true self and get back to our original home; the spiritual world. Reality; we have pseudo-spiritual leaders who take advantage of their followers and try to make a show of renunciation while living double lives. We have pseudo – spiritual leaders who have no sense of self control and who preach detachment. Do we now lump together all spiritual leaders as cheats? Absolutely not, one must know the signs of a genuine spiritual master and thus be able to make the right decision when seeking to surrender to one.
  6. In an ideal situation, there should be abundance on this planet with enough resources for everyone. Also in a community there should be abundant resources for all those who live in it to share. Our planet should not face hunger, or starvation. Reality; despite been so blessed with a lot of natural resources from Mother Earth, we are still suffering so much. Why? Abuse, greed and lack of knowledge as to whom these resources belong to. If we however take what we need and not what we want and also think about the feelings of other people, who may very well need to use the resources we have over-accumulated then there will be no issue of hunger or world starvation.
  7. In an ideal situation, after we have come to the spiritual path, we should all become holy and sanctified. We should understand the trivial nature of this world and focus on higher spiritual values. Reality; we seem to find people with the most bizarre natures and behaviors in a spiritual setting with a lot more prejudice and material conditioning than we may get in the secular world. This is because just like a hospital holds a lot more sick people at once in one space, than we may find randomly, the spiritual community holds a lot more people who need cleansing in one space than we may find in the secular world at one given time. Naturally we may expect more, but we should know everyone gets well at their own pace and time. The point is to get well and leave the hospital, take your medication and stop worrying about how the next patient is taking theirs, especially if you are not the Doctor.
  8. In an ideal situation, after reading these points we should reflect and make positive changes in our lives, be it material spiritual, or otherwise. Reality: many people will see this as just another post or blog, many will read their own meanings into it without asking questions, many will see it as just another guy blowing his “self- righteous horn”, many will not even understand. Does that mean I should stop putting out great content to sensitizer people? Absolutely not, I will continue because I understand that I am part of the change I need to see and I am just as accountable as anyone who reads this.

Share this post with others, read it, internalize it. Till next week follow this blog for more.

By-Products of Spirituality

Dear readers,

Welcome to another interesting week of insightful topics and discussions. It is great to be able to share with you all once again.

The last weekend has been festive and intense for those of us who are Gaudiya Vaisnavas and during this very auspicious period of reflection on the appearance of the Supreme Lord on this planet over 500 years ago, I took in some realizations which I shall share. During the course of our spiritual journey many of us will encounter different test, trials, setbacks, be they internal, external or objects of our own creation. Our response to these factors usually go a long way to shape or mold our subsequent path in spirituality.

However adversity is not the only stumbling block on the path of devotional service to the Lord, as opulence, and even material success could very well impede our progress. It is on this matter we shall deliberate today. Many people take on spirituality for a diverse number of reasons and with time these reasons manifest or take form due to the practitioners intense desire to have them or just due to the fact that they have developed some good spiritual credit that gives them the spiritual eligibility to attract and manifest these subtle desires. In the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krsna mentions that four kinds of Men surrender unto Him, the distressed, the one who desires wealth, the inquisitive and he who is searching the knowledge of the Absolute truth. Now very few people fall in the last category and Lord Krsna Himself mentions this again in the Bhagavad Gita that of many Men who seek Him hardly does one know Him in truth.

Today these four classes of men still seek Krsna and they are not to be condemned of Judged, however our discussion today is centered on what happens to a practitioner who fall in the category of those who harbor desires and seek to fulfill it in the process of devotional service. It is said that the Maha Mantra is a wish fulfilling mantra and as such those who chant this mantra naturally have their desires fulfilled.  Second point is that on the level of chanting the semblance name (nama-abhasa) one gets his material desires fulfilled. This is one of the qualities of such improper chanting. Having one’s material desires fulfilled is not a flaw in itself if the objective is to use those desires to further service the Lord properly, however when these material desires are used to acquire fame, worship and adoration, or presented as a pseudo-advancement yard stick, then the practitioner gets into a difficult position in his/her spiritual life. Of course one may cite the verse that says “akarma sarva karmo va, moksa karma udaradi…” that is even if one has no desires, to many desires or desires liberation still one should worship the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, as a reference to justify our having desires different from giving satisfaction to the Supreme. Fair enough, the idea is that with time and practice, the practitioner can either dove tail those desires or even rise above them and totally focus his time and energy on the Lord’s service.

If a practitioner who while chanting harbors material desires in his mind or heart, soon they will manifest and come to reality either by the potency of the semblance name or by virtue of his spiritual practice. This in itself is doesn’t mar his progress as much as the fault of beginning to assume that these material desires that are manifesting are as a result of his spiritual growth and his progress on the path of devotion. This thought or misconception is where the real problem lies and if not tackled immediately, could very well spell out his downward swirl. When a practitioner or persons on the path of devotional service begin to equate spiritual progress with the level of one’s material success then the growth of our devotional creeper is stunted. So what should be the mindset of a practitioner who has material desires or has them being fulfilled while engaging in devotional service?

The sincere practitioner should pray to the Lord for guidance and help to be able to curb his material desires. He should try to reduce the association of persons or things that increase these desires. He should take his devotional practice seriously while accepting whatever material embellishment he gets as just a means to serve better. He should not use or even harbor the desire to use these material embellishment to attract fame, honour or adoration. The practitioner should dearly pray to the lord to help him surmount the temptations that come with material progress and he should pray to those practitioners who are advanced to help him steer clear of distractions that come with material advancement.

I know some of my readers may wonder and even begin to think that I am saying material advancement is bad or not something to acquire. The truth is when something powerful is placed in the hands of someone who cannot manage it, then it becomes dangerous. However when placed in the right hands it is desirable. So it is not much the item but the person who has the item. On a lighter note, as living beings in the material world it is natural that at some point in time we will have material desires either due to past karmic impressions or due to our current actions and choices. This should not be a cause for despair or lamentation, the mere fact that we can identify which desire is not favorable or which advancement may be an impediment is a step in the right direction. The only thing we have to do in addition is to be careful of our choices, and our actions.  There is no one to police our thought or our desires or to see how we use our material embellishments. The only person who can really check us is; ourselves.

I hope this blog sheds good light on this matter, do read, share and follow for more. Do have a splendid week ahead.

God; form or formless

Dear readers,

It’s a pleasure to be able to share with you all once again yet another interesting topic. Last week we had the chance to deliberate on a thought-provoking matter and needless to say we were able to gain a lot more insight on tests in our spiritual journey.

Today however topic of deliberation is different and beyond the regular, before we delve into it, allow me to give a brief preamble. If you are new to this blog space and would like to have a background information on what I’ll be discussing today then please do read this blog >God’s descent<. Having said that, today we shall be discussing about the form or formlessness of God. It might sound somewhat bold to try to “depict or describe” God, however there is no cause for alarm or panic as whatever I present here today will be backed by references from scriptural texts and in this way we can appease the minds of my readers who are from various religious backgrounds.

The reason why I have chosen to deliberate on this topic today is because; tomorrow the world over many Gaudiya Vaishnava will be celebrating the advent of the Supreme Lord on this planet over 5000 years ago.

So first question is why would God want to come here to this planet in the first place?

In the Bhagavad Gita Chap 4 text 7 and 8, the Lord gives the reason why he descends. He says whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious principles he descends, and when he does he comes with the objective of re-establishing religious principles, protecting his devotees and annihilating the miscreants. Sometimes the Lord doesn’t descend himself but sends his emissary to do his bidding. This emissary could be the Lord himself in the form of an incarnation or of a being invested with spiritual potency to carry out his mission. The Bible confirms this in John 3.16 where it says for God so loved the world that he sent his Son, that whomsoever believed in Him would not perish but have ever lasting life. So by accepting the Lord or his incarnations when they descend puts us under their protection. When we are protected by the Lord we definitely will have ever lasting life.

Does God really have a form?

Many people ascribe various attributes to God, and in this light describe Him as the great Light, the Great sound, the great energy etc. In as much as He is all these, He is also more. He is the great light but also the source of that light, he is the great sound but also the source of that sound. He is described in an ancient text known as the Brahma Samhita, or hymns by Brahma; one of the demigods working under the Lord’s direction. In this text it is mentioned that “the lord has an eternal, blissful, spiritual body. He is the origin of all, and has no other origin. He is the prime cause of all causes. This means that despite the fact that He has a body his body is not subject to the laws of material nature like ours. We have a body that grows, falls sick, gets diseased, grow old and eventually dies off. These attributes do not occur in the body of the Lord, thus his body is eternal, blissful and spiritual. His body doesn’t deteriorate in any way form or manner. He never gets old and there is no question of death for him, as he is death personified himself.

In the Bible in Genesis 1:26, God says “let us make Man in our image and likeness” which means we have a form similar to his.  In the Hadith, it is mentioned that on the day of resurrection, Allah will come to those who worship Him and He’ll say I am your Lord”, they reply: we’ll stay here till our Lord comes to us and when he comes to us we will recognize him, then Allah will appear in such a shape that they can recognize.

If God has a form why is that form not spoken about, or why is He treated as formless by many religions?

In all sincerity, many people are hesitant to speak about the form of the Lord due to inadequate information on this subject matter. This is because not many scriptures have a detailed description, and thus there is hesitation to discuss that which is not properly explained. However those who have access to revealed scriptures like the Vedas, which are the oldest scriptures known to Mankind, have no difficulty in getting the right information.  Second is they find it difficult to actually discuss the subject because they are limited in understanding and feel the Lord’s form is like theirs; which is full of limitation. The human mind finds it difficult to discuss about the absolute or anything absolute because it is finite in nature. Naturally whenever there is a discussion in that direction and there is inadequate guidance then the immediate response is to try to negate the concept so as to remain “safe” in their limited conception.

More so, one cannot speak about what one has no information on. In order to speak about the name, form, qualities and pastimes of the Lord, one needs to have access to the information and the right attitude to get it. Also, because this concept has been abused by many people who claim to be “god”, because they know it is valid and exists, many religious do not even teach it ( for those of them who know).

The form of the Lord is definitely not one we can cover in one dissertation, however this is just a sneak peek into the concept of the nature of the form of God. When we make a genuine effort to try to serve the Lord in truth and surrender to a bona fide representative or spiritual guide, then we can hope that the necessary information needed is revealed to us. By the mercy of the spiritual master one gets the benediction of the Supreme lord, and without his mercy one cannot make advancement.

I hope this dissertation helps shed light on this matter. Till next week, do share, read and internalize. Follow for more.