Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Nostalgia for the days before the fall

Truly, truly, I am really feeling strange today. For the first time in several months, I am doing something that I did as a matter of course for several years--sitting at my computer, translating, thinking, writing, without worry about anything else. I just went for a tranquil japa walk in the crisp autumn sunlight...

The fact that I have been pulled away from this life because of my need to meet my financial responsibilities to my family has been an extremely painful experience. Sometimes I feel that my arm is being twisted harder and harder while the Twister says, "Let go, let go! You know what your real life is! All the rest is just a mirage! Let it go and nothing evil will befall anyone. The misery is in getting your arm twisted."

Would I not be better able to serve the world by continuing the work of the Grantha Mandir, or by translating, or by writing original works on Krishna consciousness, both devotional and academic (all of which is pretty much at a complete standstill)? Is it not just a matter of my choice--just doing it, as the Nike folk say? And yet I work in a job for which I am paid a pittance and am replaceable by 100,000 others.

Indeed, the choice does look simple. I wish that it were. One of the reasons I am so attached to dharma is that I was critical of the way that Iskcon treated worldly responsibilities so cavalierly in the name of a higher dharma--causing a loss of reputation and much confusion in many individual lives on the way. I came to the conclusion that if Krishna consciousness is to function in the world, it would have to evolve into a worldly religion. This is how I came to understand Prabhupada's insistence on the development of Varnashram Dharma. However, clearly, this is a shell or framework that one must pierce through in order to attain genuine Krishna consciousness.

My first problem is that I don't have a "Krishna-samsara." But even there, genuine Krishna consciousness means direct response to Krishna/Guru in the heart. There would be something of a balm to my heart if I had managed to impose a temple atmosphere in my home, but I failed to do so. I let things go their own way, and now I find that I cannot find the will to correct the distortion. Indeed, I feel as though I myself am the one who needs to be picked up by svajatiya-sanga. I know how I would preach to myself, and yet I am resisting due to an unshakable desire to shake everything and take shelter of the Dham.

I can quote at least fifty verses that are forgiving of abandoning dharma if one seeks the essence of spiritual life. Some of them have been ringing in my ears for months--na dharmaṁ nādharmaṁ śruti-gaṇa-niruktaṁ kila kuru. And yet I am hanging on to the rags and shreds of this samsara, knowing that I should be somehow sharing this with my family, preaching from my home, doing what Bhaktivinoda Thakur would have wanted me to, and being instead afflicted by a paralysis of charity.

I am trying to discipline myself and not indulge in lamentation. "aśocyān anvaśocas tvam prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase" about sums up one of my Inner Voices' attitude. I know that God helps those who help themselves, but I throw myself on the Divine Couple's mercy and ask them to please make an arrangement. Either make it easy or give me the brains and the strength to deal with it.

3 comments:

visnudas said...
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visnudas said...

Joy Radhe!
Jagat, how can i send a pm to you?

Jagat said...

Jai Radhe, Vishnudasji. I guess jankbrz at yahoo will do. YS, Jagat