Archive for December 2009

Enjoy the Drink, Not the Cup

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Mathajis,

Please accept our humble pranams. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

During the recent visit of our beloved Guru Maharaj to Abu Dhabi in June 2009, His instructions stuck to us like a carving in the stone:

"If you do not have time to read Srimad Bhagavatam (18000 verses), if you do not have time to read Bhagavad Gita (18 chapters, 700 verses),then atleast read follow BG Chapter 2, 2.55 to 2.72. Atleast atleast please read, meditate, churn sincerely follow this verse 2.55 from Bhagavad Gita".

shri bhagavan uvaaca
prajahaati yadaa kaamaan / sarvaan paartha mano gataan
aatmany evaatmanaa tushtah / sthita prajnas tadocyate

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O Paartha, when a man gives up all varieties of desire for sense gratification, which arise from mental concoction, and when his mind, thus purified, finds satisfaction in the self alone, then he is said to be in pure transcendental consciousness."

In the purport to this verse, Srila Prabhupada writes, "Artificially such sense desires cannot be stopped. But if one is engaged in Krishna consciousness, then automatically sense desires subside without extraneous efforts."

Ever since we started attending Guru Maharaj’s classes in Avatari Desh, our life’s perspective has changed completely. Maharaj’s sincere advice to dovetail our entire karmic activities with Krishna Consciousness has started its payoff in the form of peace of mind. We are feeling incompetent to receive such a mercy because our effort is not that much sincere, but the payoff is high. Unwanted hankerings have started reducing in us and we started feeling the ecstatic pleasure in hearing, speaking, reading His glories and pastimes. In this regard, we try to relate a story we came across:

A Professor once invited few of his former students to his home for a get together. All the invited students assembled with great enthusiasm. The professor also prepared very delicious and nice Chocolate Drink to serve his guests. There were a range of cups kept in the room and he requested the guests to help themselves to take the cup and he served the Chocolate drink. Each one of them held a cup and started tasting the drink. But instead of enjoying the drink, their mind started looking at what others hold in their hand, sometimes feeling happy that they hold a better cup than their colleague, sometimes feeling morose if otherwise. Ultimately, they finished the drink but they did not relish it to the full extent they must have done. Everyone forgot the basic fact that the Chocolate drink inside each cup is the same and they missed to fully relish it.

In the end professor enlightened them – "The cup that we are drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What each of us really wanted was hot chocolate."

In this story the cups are like the materialistic status of life what Sri Krishna has given us (with the basic propensity of ours to look at other’s cups and comparing ourselves always – what we have and what we aspire to have). The chocolate drink inside the cup is like the nectar from Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita Srila Prabhupada and Guru Maharaj is giving to us with their causeless mercy.

The cups we have, do not define nor does it change the quality of BBC (Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavatam and Chanting). Sometimes by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the nectarean juice that Sri Krishna has provided us in the form of His holy names and instructions. Just to sustain in this world we actually need some material things, that’s all. We have to buy those things which are really needed but not the things which we want. There is huge difference between want and need. Even a plain cup does the same job what a fancy and expensive cup do. Moreover if we have an expensive cup or more material things then we have pay more attention in taking care of the cup than in enjoying the drink or tasting BBC. But in case of a normal cup,we don’t care much about our material status/possessions but rather we give more importance to the real substance – BBC.

Pure devotees may not have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything that they have. We have to always remember five things – live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly and leave the rest to Krishna.

We pray to our Guru Maharaj to please bless us to have the intelligence to relish the drink (Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita) and stop comparing our cup (materialistic life) with what others have. Even to the most disgusted in this material life, Maharaj’s sparkling words serves as the best encouragement. His very simple advice for a devotee’s query about How to advance in Devotional Service was to "Think About Death Always – Mujhe Jana Hai!"

How much it is experienced by us, the moment we think about death, the intelligence takes over our mind and senses. The more we are situated in this thought, the mind’s impulsive reactions to the actions around us keeps reducing. This saves us from lot of unwanted situations. The more we think, speak, hear and read about Krishna, we have lesser and lesser time to churn and grind the old batter (unwanted thoughts) which the mind always tend to do, if left on its own. Our Maharaj’s active life style even at this advanced stage gives us the very basic lesson of keeping oneself busy with the things which are essential for life. We heard ample times from our Maharaj that he renounced this materialistic order of life when his "plate was full". In fact, with our limited ability to think, we are unable to judge how much full we are in materialistic order.

Therefore we pray to Krishna, Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev to bless us so that the word and meaning of "tushtah" prevail upon our life.

Thank you very much.

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