a blade of grass

… he told me that perfection could be learned from nature. be more humble than a blade of grass; more tolerant than a tree. give respect to others freely, without expectation or motive. in such a state of mind, stripped bare of your false pretenses, call out to your Lord eternally.

i’m still working on it …


where's the Krishna consciousness?

Haribol. Not sure how to begin this post, or even if it really is a post or not. I've been wrestling with this for a little while, going back and forth, writing and then deleting (only to write almost the exact same thing, only to delete it all again).

Here's the problem in a nutshell: I don't feel Krishna conscious right now. No, I don't mean that I'm losing my religion (cue classic REM song by the same name) or anything like that. I just mean that today, right now, in this blog post -- I just don't feel like writing anything particularly devotional.

Is that weird? Is that a symptom of some greater problem? Do I need a Bhakta Program intervention or something?

Either way, I'm faced with a bit of a dilemma. I could either blog about exactly what I am thinking or doing (which may be just whining about still having a headache, or boring you by analyzing the soy sandwich I made myself for lunch, or confessing to how much I enjoy watching re-runs of the Wonder Years) without editing myself or worrying about where the Krishna conscious purport is.

Or I could find something meaningful and genuinely spiritual to write about, and I can't find it, at least wait until I can come up with something like that.

There's that third option -- finding the Krishna consciousness in the mundane -- and I usually like to at least try to do that, but lately I've been feeling that it only works when it is real. Krishna can (and does) show up in the oddest of places, and when that happens its pretty awesome. But when it doesn't, I don't feel like forcing it or being corny about it, like one of those "pop goes the Gita" type of essays devotee writers (myself included) churn out from time to time.

I guess knowing that Krishna devotees are reading these posts (especially as its fed through Planet ISKCON) makes me even more self-conscious. How do I feel about the worldwide Vaisnava community knowing that I have nothing better to write about on a Friday evening than a TV show from the 1980s?

I want to be real. At the same time, I am aware of the dangers of letting complacency and spiritual deviations sneak in, all in the name of "being myself." I remember in one lecture that my guru (Radhanath Swami) gave someone asked him about how to be enthusiastic in spiritual life when we just don;t feel like it. "Shouldn't we just be honest and be ourselves rather than pretend to be something that we're not?" Maharaj was strong but playful in his response: "Be ourselves? How can we 'be ourselves' when we are only beginning to learn who we are? No we don't want to merely be ourselves -- the conditioned selves we think we are -- we want to be the selves, the empowered enthusiastic loving servants, who Krishna wants us to be." I thought it was a great answer and it does help to me make things more clear for me, but it is not always so easy for me to put it into practice.

So, that's my story and I'm sticking with it. Sometimes (often) I don't have any realizations, or purports, or Krishna katha to share. Sometimes I'm dry and might end up speaking something else instead. Should I be okay with that? Is that a glimmer of humility, or just a lot of hot air?

I'm not sure if I've raised more questions than I can answer. Maybe I should turn this over to my readers. What do you think? Please leave me a comment and share your thoughts.


Jahnavi said...

I might've written the exact same post - I completely know what you mean. Sometimes what I want to say is totally un-Krsna conscious or I have nothing to say at all but my stream of consciousness is decidedly mundane. When my blog was added to planet ISKCON, I knew that suddenly I was getting a certain audience reading it, which forced me to check myself every time I was going to write a post...but i think I'm getting less concerned with that now. I liked your quote from Radhanath Swami - very inspiring.

I liked this post - it's so easy to create an ideal persona on the internet, so your honesty is refreshing :D


P.S. I watch the Wonder Years too sometimes :)

eric said...

Haribol, Vineet! :)

I've got this same dilemma, especially since being added to PlanetISKCON. I made use of was RSS feeds for categories. Then I gave Sita Pati the RSS feed for my KC category. So now, if I don't want something to post to PlanetISKCON, I just don't post it to my KC category, after all, this is my personal blog as well.

And if that's not an option, just don't post. If you really need to post any way, get an additional blog. I did that for a long time, but felt that I was lying to myself and my friends, sort of leading a double-life. I didn't like it, so here I am now.

It's good to see you again, old friend,


Eric said...

Haribol, Vyenkata Bhatta prabhu...

Sorry, it's been awhile, I guess.


Madhava Gosh said...

Smells like "separation" to me. :-) Which is, contrary to many's expectation, not an ecstasy but a misery.

Even the greats have doubts.

Mother Theresa

Radhapriya devi dasi said...

I can totally relate to what you write. Being newly added to the Planet ISKCON stream has left me in a state of writer's block, knowing that My Guru Maharaja's (Ssnkarshan das Adhikari) daily writing feeds here as well as, many other Maharaja's writing. Like Jahnavi said, I check myself once, twice and thrice to think is this beneficial for anyone to read? would I want my Guru Maharaja to read this?

I also have another blog which has a viewing audience of about 30 devotees and is locked down from the public so its a little easier to write and perhaps a more appropriate forum to post information that maybe is not desirable to have floating around on the internet.

If you think about it in the larger scale everything we write or do is reflective on our Guru Maharaja, so that makes life heavy. But all we can do is try to be the best representatives we can, while trying to be real about where we're at in spiritual life or where our consciousness is at. HH Niranjana Maharaja said in a Japa Workshop in Boston is until we reach the state of suddha-nama we are all struggling sadhakas.

So taking things in the light of being a struggling sadhaka we can see, that there are times that we are more Krishna conscious then others, times when we can share realizations or thoughts that will inspire or at least that people will be able to relate to, as well as, other times where we don't have the most Krishna conscious things to say. Regardless of what the post is about it seems being honest is key. Kind of like the airport example if you want to go to Philly via plane, you have to be honest about where your at, what your destination city is. Similarly if we want to be able to write Krishna conscious things all the time we have to write from where we currently are to get there. By sharing these struggles and experiences with one another perhaps in some way or the other we 'll progress quicker or at least have some company for the journey.

Hope you can make sense out of my rambling.

either way, thanks for being real, Prabhu.

Hare Krishna

April said...

I must say that I appreciated the honesty of this blog. I have found that when I'm honest with other devotees about things like this more often than not I receive understanding back. (Although I must say that I only open myself up to those I feel like I can trust not all of Planet Iskcon.) Trying to have something KC to say all the time when we have been so conditioned to talk such nonsense is a duanting task, and Maya is good at making us feel the hopelessness of that task. However it's nice to hear that these problems aren't mine alone. I don't want this to be taken as misery loves company, more like I'm not alone in my struggle and there is strength in numbers. When I hear what you say I feel the reality of my logic " this is par for the course and that we just have to admit it and keep on trying." So good going.
(Voiceover in your head as you read this - a la wonder years - Maybe posting this blog about an 80's tv show wasn't such a bad thing.)


Bhakti lata said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madhavi said...

There is nothing wrong to feel like that! Often, its not wrong to have something "total" un Krsna conscious to say, because you can find something KC in everything !! Wonderyears - a classic TV show and watching that and then comparing it with the lewd soaps of today, makes you believe even more in Srimad Bhagavatam about the degeneration of Kali Yuga! =D ! On a side note, what is Planet ISKCON?