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.