The eagerness with which people enter spiritual and get disillusioned by it is because they expect spectacular results. Their expectations are never met. The idea that they will be spoon fed by Masters or granted supernatural powers are certain misconceptions they carry. Carrying on practice or sadhana without focusing on results with complete surrender to the God and Guru makes one a true seeker.
It has been 8.5 years since I came into Spirituality and became the ardent devotee of Lord Shree Krsna. Right from the very first day I met my KrsnaGuru, it became the sole purpose of my life to become His highest devotee and be his everything of everything.
I started learning under the tutelage of my Master various scripture especially the Bhagavad Gita which my Master expounds and teaches all his disciples and devotees to live and follow Krsna’s Way of Life. He also explained to me, that the ultimate goal of a Spiritual aspirant is to become the highest devotee of Lord Krsna. So the questions I asked was Who are the highest devotee of Krsna? What are the criteria to become Krsna’s highest devotee?
The one name of Krsna’s highest devotee that is mentioned by everyone is Srimati Radharani followed by great saints like Meera Bai, Kabir or Tukaram. My master will always narrate various stories depicting the qualities and the criteria to become the highest devotee, which comes with severe and arduous sadhana and penance. The list goes on, and it is not so easy to attain that status.
I made it my goal to be known as Krsna’s highest devotee and disciple not just in this life but eternally. I started to emulate and follow what my Guru taught me and continue with this madness for years giving tests of my faith in my KrsnaGuru endlessly.
When I went to Kolkata in 2009, I met my KrsnaGuru’s foster parents for the first time – Karthik Ganguly (Uncleji) and Geetha Ganguly (Auntyji), unconditionally loving, simplicity, kind, compassionate, and very humble divine beings is what I experienced. Shree is the name which appends Krsna’s, it was the name given to me by Auntyji. I experienced my maternal grandmother in Auntyji. All I could feel was nothing but divine bliss in their cozy little home.
I cherished every moment of my stay with them. Those five days were the best days of my life which I will never forget. After that whenever we have been to Kolkata we just visited them but did not stay with them. Every single visit of mine I experience their unconditional Love for my KrsnaGuru. Both of them are old yet would exude so much of energy in serving my Guru.
Uncleji who is 80 + years old will go to market for buying everything that he would like to offer to Krsna. Auntyji will cook the best meal to feed her most loving son she ever had. They would make all the preparations for the lunch well in advance even before we have arrived. They both then wait anxiously to welcome us. When we came, the joy and happiness that shined on their face was the most precious and priceless sight.
Both of them would spend time talking with us and will then serve us the lunch with all the love in this world and only then partake their meal. Their entire life has been a struggle but not once did I ever see them complaining or asking for things from my Guru. They would offer the best from what they have. Uncleji is always lost in the world of Spiritual. He would only talk about God to my Guru. He never spoke anything wrong about anyone or cursed God for not giving them enough. If he wanted he could have asked for things from my Guru but he never did.
On the contrary, he only spoke of how contented he was with his life. My Guru had got him slippers many years ago. He wore the same thing by changing the broken straps. I was in tears experiencing his simplicity, humility, humbleness and above all no ego at all. Similarly, during one of our visits, we offered them some small gift which I quietly placed in their God’s shrine. The next morning he calls my Guru and asks him why have we given them such an expensive gift. They don’t need them and just we visiting them was a priceless gift to them. I was in tears when I heard the conversation. It was the first time it hit me really hard in realising the true meaning of the words having “Unconditional Love and Selfless Service.”
With the passing years, Uncleji has been bedridden due to a fracture in his leg and has undergone many surgeries with no signs of recovery. Since then both of them are enduring terrible pains and sufferings. We could only offer to help them monetarily, but they refused to accept any monetary support from us. They are neither well-to-do nor have any savings. The only livelihood or the income they have is the pension which Uncleji receives for his service in Indian Railways. For whatever reason, we have not been able to visit them yet, but we are checking on their well-being regularly.
Today, I felt the sudden urge to speak with Uncleji, and I immediately called him. I was pleased to hear his voice and experienced the strength he exuded. He enquired about how we were all doing and then said: “I pray to the Lord for your well-being.” He never showed he is sick or suffering. When I asked him about his health, all he said was, he is fighting hard, and the rest is in the hands of the Lord. I could not stop crying. He has so much suffering yet he did not curse God for it nor did he ask for his recovery or money. By the way, the pain that he is going through is not his own. He is suffering for someone else in this world. These divine souls take on people’s suffering. Despite so much of difficulties, he has not asked God to give him anything, on the contrary, he still means good for everyone in this world and shares whatever that little he has with him with others. They live the words “Sharing is Caring.” I have so much to talk about them but no words can ever describe the greatness of these divine souls.
Every single lesson which my KrsnaGuru has been teaching I see it being lived by Uncleji and Auntyji in reality. All that they asked from KrsnaGuru is to meet with him. Today, my head bows down at the feet of these great divine souls in deep reverence and gratitude for showing me how to be the highest devotee of the Lord. Uncleji is the “Highest Devotee of Lord Krsna.” Shree seeks KrsnaGuru’s grace to live “Thy Way of Life and attain Prema unto Thy Lotus Feet” in this life and eternally.
Monday, August 14th, 2017, is a day Shree will always remember in this life. Today marks the day of Krsna Janmashtami, and on the same day on August 14th, 2009, Rajashree became Shree, ‘Twice Born,’ the day I met my KrsnaGuru on Krsna Janmashtami. Eight years later my eighth birthday is on the same day of Krsna’s Janmashtami (Birthday).
This 8th birthday of mine is way too remarkable as Shree has crossed certain milestones in the world of Spirituality, Of which one of the most beautiful ones is that Shree completed her study of the scripture – The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Shree began this Scripture September, of 2009 and finished it August of 2017.
Shree was overwhelmed when she had to complete reading this scripture as she couldn’t part ways with Sri Ramakrishnaji who have been with her on her whirlwind journey always guiding and teaching some of the precious and priceless lessons of Love and Devotion to the Guru and God by teleporting her back-in time to Dakishneshwar or Kolkata through the divine vision. His last words to me were, ‘keep going ahead and find the treasure that awaits deep inside the forest and never stop.’ Shree is incredibly humbled with sincere, heartfelt gratitude which she can only feel within her heart.
Now to the birth of the unborn, on this wonderful day, Shree wishes you a very ‘HAPPY SHREEKRSNA JANMASHTAMI.’ With humble reverence, Shree thank Thee for gracing this land with Thy Lotus Feet, making it Pure and Divine once again. Thank you for bestowing Thy Grace upon Shree to be born with Thee Eternally for this Spectacular Performance in ‘Krsna Leelas.’ This journey is the equivalent of a full 70 mm Dolby Digital story. Romance, love, happiness, bitterness, villainy, anger, songs and a million shades of adult gray material too! This sport or play is what is called ‘Krsna Leela’ (The Lord’s Play) in which he so beautifully sports and enjoys every aspect of his sport as he is the Story Writer, Creator, Director, Cinematography and Actor/Actress in his Movie/Creation.
‘Krsna,’ whose nature is secretive and unknown, is not only ‘Sat-Chit-Anand’ (Truth Knowledge Bliss) but one who can never be fathomed, whose ways are inscrutable and indescribable. One who is the paragon of masculine beauty in whose charm this entire Universe is mesmerized. Krsna’s enchanting human ways bewilder even the great Sages and Saints. He loves to manifest in the human form to sport in his creation experiencing his OwnSelf. His ultimate goal is to expound about ‘Krsna’s Way of Life,’ the most esoteric knowledge of all Knowledge.
The Love incarnate manifests age after age in various garbs and lives incognito, creating delusions in the minds of the mortal beings making them believe that Krsna is an ordinary human being. One who play acts in his own ‘leelas’ to set an example for this world to follow. His sole purpose is to redeem the mortal beings from this birth-death cycle. One who is unattached in the world of duality, like the Lotus leaf in the water.
He is an actor par-excellence in every role that he plays, be it a teacher, father, mother, husband, friend, lover, brother, servant or King. You name it, and he becomes that for you! He is the ‘Uttama Purusha’ or ‘The Perfect Person’ amidst all imperfect situations unaffected and unperturbed. His sole purpose is to establish Dharma and Righteousness. He performs every duty of that human form to absolute perfection and sets an example for this world to follow in his footsteps.
Krsna is the Athangha Sagar (limitless Ocean), whose depth and breadth can never be measured, who can only give selflessly and yet is full of Himself. He is a perfect Celibate, even when surrounded by his ultimate dancing beauties or damsels, retaining his Spiritual Nobility. The Infallible Lord whose nature is something Shree would love to covet from Thee and live a life of Thy alone. Let Shree serve you selflessly and love you unconditionally and let her mind be attached to Thy Lotus Feet alone without which she hasn’t reached anywhere in this Spiritual World.
Shree offers her humble and heartfelt obeisance unto Thy Lotus Feet. Without the diamond cutter, the diamond is mere a stone. The lustre in the diamond is the reflection of who You Truly Are. Without Thee, Shree’s existence has no meaning. Shree is eternally indebted and ever grateful to Thee. Shree seeks Thy grace to attain Unreserved, Uninterrupted, and Favourable Devotional and Loving Service with absolute Faith and Complete Surrender Unto Thy Lotus Feet. Let Shree’s Tishnaghi grow beyond the sky, and Shree is always Adiyean to Thy Lotus Feet. Om Namo Bhagavade Vasudevaya.
Ramakrishnaji said-People do not trust a man when he speaks of God. Even if a great soul affirms that he has seen God,the average person will not accept his words. He says to himself-“If this man has seen God, then let him show God to me”. But can a man feel the pulse of another person in one day. He has to go to the doctor to distinguish the different pulse for many days. He must stay in the company of those knowledgeable ones…..
With the mundane knowledge that the general public has can they judge the knower of Truth?
The reason for disbelief is because they have absolutely no clue of what they are looking at.
It is the way an aboriginal who found a Coke bottle and wanted to return it to the Gods from heaven-remember the movie-The Gods Must Be Crazy! Now how can someone who has never seen a Coke know what it is? Likewise the ones who have absolutely little or no knowledge feel that the one who speaks of God is wrong and do not trust him. They have false knowledge about that so they disrepute the person. That not only happens to the unknowing but to the knowing also.
The disciples too tend to disregard the preceptor and disrepute him too.Take the case of Jesus and all His disciples. Now even Vivekananda was suspicious till the end about his preceptors divinity, hence he asked Ramakrishnaji the question-Show me who you are?
He too wanted to have the proof of his preceptors divinity. Divinity has NO PROOF so do not ask for it. God himself is invisible for the non believer so how can he show himself to the believer also? To see God you need the Vision which was given to Arjuna. That means you should first qualify to be Arjuna and have full belief and trust in the One who shows you that vision. See only a few can become Cordon Blue chef-got it!!!
In this world of proof for everything,there is no tangible proof for the existence of God or the Divine. Believe if you must otherwise do not take undue interest in the things which are of no concern of yours. Just leave it to the ones who care for that.If you do not play golf, then do not criticize the game or talk rot about it.
Let me give you one line here-remember only gutter water will flow from the gutter, so do not make your mouth foul by speaking foul. Just the way you stay out of the game you do not have any idea about so stay out of the field you do not have any knowledge about.
With due respect to my Preceptor I shall end here with a simple words from Guru Charitra where
Namdharak says to His Guru-At the feet of my Preceptor flows the Ganga and all the Holy rivers. Sweeter is the accounts of the Gods from His mouth and my obiesience to Him(Guru) who is God Himself!
Why is it tough being a teacher/Guru? Why is teaching so difficult? Why are teachers treated so much with disrespect? Why is teaching as a profession frowned upon by everyone? Why are teachers paid so less for their services? What incentive is left for someone to become a teacher?
I remember during my school days I had a very strict headmistress and everyone was afraid of her. She always carried a thick flat piece of wood which we called a telephone. She used it to thrash anyone who committed some crime or misdemeanours in class. It fell on our knuckles or our behinds and what a whack it created. We were all so much afraid of this drill Sargent.
Later on, in college the teachers or lecturers read from books and asked us to read solved question papers. They never taught us anything at all. We had to attend separate outside classes to know the subject. But the main focus was to get good marks in examinations so everyone studied only the solved question papers of previous years. Students paid more attention to competitive exams to secure admission into professional colleges. Everyone then aspired to become a doctor or an engineer.
The role of a teacher diminished as we attended higher and higher classes. Teachers were treated more like some class monitors or clerks who took attendances. During my kids education, the thrust was to do classes outside the school where the same teachers gave personalised training at an exorbitant cost. These same teachers agenda in school was to rush through the syllabus and somehow finish it in a limited time. There was always more competition to attend private classes than school periods. There were very few dedicated teachers left then.
The teachers profession became attuned towards earning more and more, so the main thrust of giving proper and appropriate education left them. The noble profession became a money earner. Later, newer medias opened up and the same teachers left the profession to become qualified professional in other industries. Learning lost its charm and it only became more mechanical task of writing exams. Gaining admission in prestigious institution only was the objective of few intelligent students. Few teachers gave the secret recipe for getting admission to these Ivy League colleges. These specialist teachers were more sought after for their special skill sets. Education lost out in the race to prestige and greed.
Today it is extremely tough to find a good teacher due to various reasons. One is lack of respect towards the teachers and their profession by students. Next is the less amount of remuneration paid to them. Only a few get paid the earth and they are a hallowed institution themselves. They become more pricey as they get more recognition and awards.
In spiritual, the rule of the game is you cannot become a teacher without the divine command. The teacher or Guru is the sakshat Parabrahman or the divine unmanifest. The Guru is authorised by God Himself and by his Satguru. The Guru’s Master is the approver of the part the Guru would be playing in this world. There are no grades or degrees in spiritual path. The Guru is the sole arbiter and judge. He will be the guide and will lay down the syllabus for every individual disciple. The syllabus or studies are not the same for other disciples. It may differ like heaven and earth. The teachings are spontaneous and religious.
There is a strict discipline in his domain. There are unwritten rules which transcends the normal worldly norms. The demands are unnerving and unyielding. The rigours start at the beginning of the day, very early in the morning and goes on till the end of night. The disciplines to be maintained are very strict and tough. Life in the monastery are not for the weak minded. The teacher there is a toughest disciplinarian. Service unto the Master is mandatory. Above all the Master may not ask for any compensation for the disciples training. Even the stay is free. The Gurukul system is the epitome of absolute training and learning for a greater cause.
People may say that the Gurukul system is very archaic and ancient system and irrelevant today but if we need truly dedicated and evolved citizens then this is it. Shantiniketen was started that way and it has churned out good number of students. Still there are monasteries which follow such methods and I hope there are more.
Should we give concessions to ourselves or others for committing small or big morally wrong actions? Does the universe allow a little bit of leeway for these discrepancies?
When I was a kid I had heard a beautiful story. There is a young man about to be executed and he is asked his last wish. He says that he would like to see his mother for the last time.
When his mother comes near him, he bites her ear off. When he is asked why he did that? He answers that when I started to do small crimes, my mother never said anything at all. Then emboldened I started to do bigger and bigger crimes. Today, I am being executed for a heinous crime. I wouldn’t have reached this stage in my life, if my mother would have pulled my ear and stopped me doing wrong then.
Thus this story brings us to the light how we do things in life. We give ample concessions to ourselves and our children. Everyone agrees that smoking cigarettes is injurious to health, so should we allow even a single concession to a person to smoke a few cigs?
Doing drugs is a crime in some very strict countries, so would you allow a few milligrams to be smuggled in? No way! If there is death penalty for that then the government will not be lenient at all. Again, in some Islamic nations unmarried couples cannot stay together even if they are living together for donkeys years in their own nation. It’s considered taboo and a crime there.
In life we allow concessions all the time. We want to bend rules for our own benefit. If someone tells you that they will be falsifying bills only this one time, would you allow that much concession to the individual? Again, if someone tells you that they haven’t had a drink in their life, would you concur with him? If you probe you will find that they might have taken a sip once during their college days. They may ask, whether that silly stupid mistake is allowed or not? What would be your response?
In some countries people resort to hymenoplasty, stitching together the hymen back again for getting married since there is a demand for virgin wives! Would that individual be considered a virgin by any chance? Now you may say that is stupid and idiotic, but tell that to those who follow such stuff!
In spiritual we have certain rules and regulations. One of them is about falsehood. Karna lost his powers at the precise moment when he needed them since he told lies to his Guru Parshuram about his antecedents. Many a times the Master appears harsh when He decides against someone who has broken the rules. In case of Dronacharya, he asked for the finger of Eklavya when he sneakily learnt the art of archery.
Guru’s are normally very loving and considerate but any misdemeanor of any kind may not be tolerated by them. Sometimes the Good Lord allows concessions as a boon to someone but it mayn’t happen all the time. A curse could be upturned by a reverse of curse(upashap) in very rare circumstances. Take the case of Shishupal. His mother was given the concessions that Krishna will allow Shishupal about a hundred misdemeanors and will not be killed by Him, when she asked for the boon from Krishna. But once he crosses the 99th one, Shishupal will die at the hands of Shri Krishna at the hundredth instance.
So please know that whenever you do give concessions for someone else or your own self, there are repercussions and karmas associated with it which you will have to face. No one can avoid karma and it’s execution. Do not try to find shortcuts in the spiritual world. There will always be a payout for even the slightest misdemeanors or karmas.
Why is man so confused while making decisions in life? Why does he lose focus about things that really matter the most? Instead of attacking the main subject, why does he behave so irrationally?
A man has a very bad childhood, where he is never accepted at all by his own blood parents. He is always blamed as a mistake and is told that they should have aborted him. He is made to feel like a terrible miscast. Later on he is given for adoption but the scars runs deep. He focuses on other things to get to a better position. Then he behaves erratically with his own children and people around him. He abuses his own kids and wife. His employees and servants too feel his uncontrollable wrath.
A wife undergoes severe beatings and physical torture at the hands of her husband. There is no love or compassion in the marriage. Every single day is a torture. She dreads him coming home and she believes that sleeping next to him is the highest form of punishment that she is getting from god. Life becomes unbearable and she curses him every single day of her life. Though she never expresses it to him, she secretly wants out of the torture chamber of marriage.
One day she is able to extricate herself and her kids out of it and thanks the stars. After her divorce, she believes she has got rid of her problems but soon realizes that he is never going to let her live in peace.
Every single day she lives in dread after that. Either she is afraid that her kids may be taken away from her or he may come back once again. She blocks out the pain and torture and busies herself by helping others. Then the hurt and pain shows up at another place instead. She removes it out on the society and one particular person. That is her battering ram or a place to vent out.
A student had got into the bad books of a professor right in the first year of college. Every single year, the results are going downhill due to this professor who never gives good reviews to this student. Due to his bias the student doesn’t get selected or gets scholarships or admissions at other progressive institutions due to bad ratings. He scrapes out in the last year with a mediocre performance only. The student knows that his professor is the main reason for his poor performance and pathetic results.
He turns his attention towards his employment and is one of the worst employees in the organization. Later in retaliation he judges his downlines with contempt. He puts spokes in his downlines career growth.
In all the above three examples, you noticed that the person has completely lost the main essence of his or her own anger towards the right person and has directed it to some other being. Losing focus of the subject and deliberately pointing it towards another is the way of expression of every individual undergoing suppression. You notice the boss getting upset for no rhyme or reason on you. You say that he must have had a bad morning driving to work or his spouse must have fought with him earlier.
Man has to learn to see the issue right into the eye and not get distracted from it. If the main cause of your unhappiness is your childhood or ex-husband or whosever, then it is important you face the person and not distract yourself. Your enemy is your wrongdoer alone, then why take out your anger on some other individual? It is important to focus your pent up anger on that person itself and not others.
In the Mahabharata, Shri Krsna tells Arjuna that he needs to take up the fight with Duryodhan and other Kauravas. Krsna doesn’t allow Arjuna to forgive or forget his enemies. Even after fourteen years of vanvas or exile, when Arjuna talks of complacency, forgiving and forgetting the insults and deprivation caused to the Pandavas, Krsna gets very angry and directs Arjuna to fight.
The entire premise of The Bhagvad Gita is to do your inborn duty or swadharma and never shy away from it. The grand idea about forgiving and forgetting the atrocities done to you can cause a loop in the karma in your future lives. This can take you eons of life and death to completely get out of the cycle of karma.
In every single example above the main protagonist wants to get out of the relationship and run away never to face the same person again. But fate decrees otherwise. To close the loop in the system, you will have to be born again to clear off the debt of karma only with that individual alone. If someone had beaten you blue in some life, you will have to beat the same person in some other life. And here you had never ever wanted to see that person again in this or any other life. What an irony!!!
So Krsna tells Arjuna to square off right in this life and get over with it right here and now. Never carry grudges or anger forward. Never misdirect it on others, otherwise they too will do the same to you in some other life of theirs.
Krsna gives various methods to overcome that misdemeanor or actions happening to you. When one learns from a qualified Master how to circumvent the karma, they will be able to free themselves from the cycle of birth and deaths. So Krsna advises methodologies and tricks to get out of the sins.
So now go and learn them from a qualified teacher or Guru and never get entangled with anyone or anything hereafter.
The flowers arrived every year on the same day. And the gifts too.
But I still remember how they came the first time.
I received a call early in the morning from someone who asked me for my house directions, saying that he had a parcel for me.
He arrived at my doorstep holding a huge bouquet of flowers and the choicest of Bengali Sweets.
I was aghast and flabbergasted at this huge gift so I asked him which agency he came from?
He said that he was working for the topmost IT company in India and was doing a favor for one of his friends.
Then he handed me a letter which spoke in very lovely terms how she wanted to wish me on her birthday. The letter just spelt one word to me- LOVE!
The flowers(108) and sweets come every year on the same day at every location that I shift to.
My wife smiles at me every time that happens and my children give me mischievous looks.
I know her love is boundless and can never be compared to anyone.
I know this sounds very much like a love story but let me tell you the secret here.
Her birthday is the day she met me.
The flowers and gifts are the part of unconditional love she has for her Guru.
She does not live in India anymore but always remembers to send me the two things in whichever part of the world I am in. Such is her devotion and love for her spiritual master!
Lastly, her husband and her family does not know even today whom she talks to or sends gifts to.
You may ask why and the answer is-Even today the world looks at spiritual as leaving this world and becoming a sanyasi. She has tried explaining a million times to them but they always look at her in scorn and think that they will loose her to some crooked, bearded, orange cloaked swamiji!
So she keeps her world completely incognito!