Monday, December 15, 2008

Merely Beggars

"We are all sojourners on the path of death. Everyone has to die, therefore, in this state of life whether one is male or female, high or low, king or subject, rich or poor, learned or foolish-everyone can make this very rare human form of life successful by becoming a servant of the servant of the eternally pure, completely blissful Sri Hari. Even in this conditioned life one can become liberated. Therefore, it is overwhelmingly necessary to try..."
-Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur 12-13-36, Auditory Hall, Gaudiya Math

"We must not look at the world by being weighed down with the mentality that is oppressed with the sense of deficiency or othewise, by the poverty or otherwise, of the display of worldly erudition, rank, etc, by any particular person. This is the state of forgetfulness of our real selves.

All persons of this world are really superior to us in every way as far as this world is concerned. All those matters are not any commodities that are fit to be coveted by us. We are merely beggars with the triple-staff of renunciation devoted to the chanting of the Words of Sri Caitanya.

We have no more nor any higher desirable object than the Pleasure of serving Sri Hari-Guru-Vaisnavas"-Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, 3-18-33, Madras

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Missing Krsna, Missing Ourself

Yesterday we were speaking on our own experiences of the process of self-realization. To many, self-realization is supposed to be an all-bliss, all the time hoedown-go and check your local chain bookstore in the "new age" section if you don't believe me.

In our experiences on the devotional plane, we can actually experience actual, honest self-realization, not sugar coated by speculations, schemes, or slippery slopes. The catch is that it's not easy, and it's not something you can easily purchase.

In this process, one begins to see the best and the worst of our character and conditionings. We can see and actualize the confident, loving, humble servant we eternally arer, but at the same time, we must deal with, face-to-face, all the roadblocks and weeds that are in the way.

Self-realization doesn't mean we try to stuff away our problems with some "secret" or some fancy poses and diet-tricks. It means we face up to what we're not so that we can become who we actually are.
Prabhupada writes in the preface to the Nectar of Devotion what real self-realization must include..
"At the present moment we are inventing so many ways to utilize our propensity to love, but factually we are missing the real point: Kṛṣṇa. We are watering all parts of the tree, but missing the tree's root. We are trying to keep our body fit by all means, but we are neglecting to supply foodstuffs to the stomach. Missing Kṛṣṇa means missing one's self also. Real self-realization and realization of Kṛṣṇa go together simultaneously. For example, seeing oneself in the morning means seeing the sunrise also; without seeing the sunshine no one can see himself. Similarly, unless one has realized Kṛṣṇa there is no question of self-realization."