May Jijaji be happy. May love manifest everywhere.

I would like most of all that Jijaji be happy.

In the course of our spat, I said that his life sucks, which seems to have struck a sensitive spot. But at the same time I said, life sucking is pretty normal. My only claim for my own life was that I found it interesting, because, after all, in the micro moments, taken one by one, my life also sucks.

Without the sucking part, what would be the meaning of happiness? Even embedded in tranquil surroundings, with no worries for food or shelter, receiving the love and gratitude of seniors, respect and kindness from equals and juniors, the mind usually focuses on the problems that we have before us, the tasks that are inevitably presented to us and which are the nutrition by which life, as an experience, grows.

Of course, my life would not be interesting for everyone, that is the blessing I get for being an individual, but I summarized why it is so for me, and expressed that in the form of gratitude to Srila Prabhupada. And this is because there are certain secrets to satisfaction in life, and the principal one may be gratitude.  And of all gratitude, it is the thankfulness for our destiny that gives our life a sense of value. And of all destinies, it is the destiny that is manifest when we choose or are chosen by a guru, that has the most impact. And that is true whether we ultimately accept or reject that connection.

(1) I like Krishna consciousness. For what it is worth, the religious dimension of life is, for me, enriching. The dynamic between faith and despair, which in my life is a constant, is the essence of the drama. But more than that, whether the aesthetic and intellectual superstructures of Krishna bhakti are disingenuous ideology, foolish, excessive, shallow, empty, or intellectually lacking substance, etc., etc., I still like it better than anything else out there. It is my love, to which and whom I have surrendered my fidelity, as the integral part of my external identity.

I cannot separate myself from this identity, except theoretically, and so I no longer try except inasmuch as a healthy detachment to all things, even this, is a part of that entire exercise.

(2) KC gives me a lot to think about it. It opened up my mind to this infinite microcosm known as India, where Radha and Krishna happen to have floated to the surface as its recognized essence, but where every other manifestation -- good, bad or ugly -- informs that central reality. At least it came forth as the central reality for me, and became my lifelong object of meditation. And this for me is just the basic fact of my life, about which there can be no lamentation. We are given a life to discover some part of reality; that is our task. This is the path I took and I embrace it without regret. It has given me a rich mother lode of things to contemplate.

In other words, the door to my experience of life and its purpose and meaning was mediated to me through this Vaishnava tradition. Each item of that tradition has been examined and analyzed to the best of my ability, its relationship with or counterpoint to other, more dominant modes of understanding in the worlds from which we came; and whether accepted or rejected, has at least raised questions and demanded that they be answered.

(3) And of those questions, the greatest is love. To understand love may be [is] the most important task any individual has in life, and as a collective entity, humanity needs to master the art. What problems in the world today are not caused by the absence or insufficiency of love?

I may personally not be expert in the practice of love -- and indeed my contribution to the misery of the world is likely, on the whole, to have been greater than my contribution to the sum total of love and joy -- but still, I cast my vote for love, prema, in the singular, dual and plural, as the highest achievement.

If prayer has any meaning, then let me pray for this. May love's manifestations be everywhere.

Jai Sri Radhe.


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