Monday, January 21, 2008

My India Diary-Part 14

Day 33 Mumbai 1/8

We've got to reach up and grab the olive branch of self-realization or we're just a polished animal holding plastic flowers. HG Gauranga Kishore Prabhu said in Bhagavatam class this morning that only the fortunate, the intelligent, the wise know that this human form of life is meant to discover the true identity of our self, of our soul. We must not be like Kailash, ignoring the warnings of Narada Muni, absorbed in our business, family, and attachments, until we become a snake in our backyard about to be smashed to death by very own family members.

Thankfully, Lord Caitanya has given us the most merciful and sublime process. There is no need to trust anything else besides His golden lotus feet in order for us to score the goal of life.

We enjoyed some Mumbai hospitality in the humble home of the esteemed and wise Radha Rao, the mother of one of Caitanya's biomedical colleagues back in Michigan. We told her about our reasons for our committment to Krsna Consciousness, our longings of the soul that we can only find in the cultures of the East. We also tried to encourage her doctor son from afar to do puja on other days of the year besides Janmastami. We rested and feasted nicely and sincerely promised to come back soon.

We made a quick stop at ISKCON Juhu, taking darshan of the most patient and dear Sri-Sri Radha-Rasabihari. While we dined on sweets, Mauricio took a tour of the Bhaktivedanta Insititute, picking up some light reading on such subjects as quantum physics. He is well on his way to becoming the first devotee to win the Nobel Prize, and we will gladly show up at the veggie celebratory feast and do our part.


Now sitting in seat 36D on American Airlines Flight 293, the long journey into the subcontinent now over, at least externally. As we return to the security-state confines of America, the West, Normal-Ville, where drivers are fast but following the lanes, walls and floors are clean, and the people are a motley mix of pious and something that goes even below non-pious, Justin and I are currently meditating on our welcome-back burrito party, featuring sides of chocolate chip cookies and ginger ale. To say we miss being back in America is not exactly true, but we don't mind going back.

At least India did that to me. My desires are now to follow the examples of surrender, committment, and service I saw abounding organically and constantly in all the temples and asramas we visited. Radha-Gopinath Mandir, for myself, was a place of inspiration, once I got over my initial intimidation in the midst of such fixed-up and beautiful devotees. Who am I amongst these simple and sincere souls? I aspire to serve them at every opportunity.

To Mother India and all the devotees, I pray only to return to serve, to be absorbed deeper, and to bring more dust back for those, like myself, who really need it.

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