Sharing Bhakti (In Your Own Words)

Tadiya Dasi - November 3, 2013 11:18 am

Dear Devotees,


Something that Kalpataru das shared here on Tattva-viveka inspired me to start this thread. He shared a poem in which the last line goes: To give this gift is how to make it yours.

This is something I have been quietly thinking about myself for quite some time now: knowing that it is Guru Maharaja's wish that we do this (share bhakti and our experiences on the path with others) and feeling that I need to do this for I have been given generously...and thus, I am in the position to give what I have received and failing to do so, especially out of laziness or fear of embarrassing myself, is just a cop-out.


And the thing is, really, that do this kind of sharing is more for our benefit, anyway. The ones on the receiving end of our sharing and "preaching" (if you want to use that word, I personally don't like it much) are actually the ones doing most of the giving :) Like I wrote in response to Kalpataru's thread/quote...

Trying to think of ways to give/share bhakti with others...it can be quite absorbing. Because then you need to stop and pause, think: what have I been given? How to put it in words? Have I realized it? Applied it? Acted on it? And if you try to share from an honest place, you can't avoid having to face yourself during the process. Thus, I have come to the conclusion that "preaching", at least for me, is really preaching to myself ;) If others can benefit from that - great! But at least for someone like me, the opportunities to share and "preach" bhakti, are really opportunities for this kind of learning and introspection. So the people who listen, are actually the givers: giving you (the "preacher") this gift. How nice! :)

So, I would like to encourage everyone to share and I hope that this thread might become a place for everyone to share how they are sharing bhakti with others in their lives. I know that for me it's most inspiring and enlivening to hear devotees' experiences :) In Finland, we practice giving lectures during festivals: everyone is given a chance to give a short talk and I think this has been a good practice for everyone involved :)

Many devotees in our sanga already excel in this kind of sharing and I would like to thank all of you for your courage and the inspiration you have given me! My gratitude goes especially to:

Kalpataru for his honest and inspiring blog
Saragrahi for her gorgeous art

Krisangi & Kamalaksa for their endless list of comics, books, blogs, etc. :)
Bhrigu for his wisdom and lectures and knowledge

Malini for her photos (and sharing how you feel in the presence of Guru Maharaja; the words & the video - I loved it)
Nama-dharma & Lila-mayi for sharing yoga & bhakti in a creative and inspiring way

Hari-bhakti for being an inspiring example; giving talks, everything you do with yoga & bhakti

Gauravani & Dana for sharing their interfaith journey together

and really, I could go on and on. :) All the devotees in Audarya, Madhuvan & Saragrahi, your whole lives are about giving this gift and sharing with all - so thank you! You inspire me everyday.

Tadiya Dasi - November 3, 2013 11:27 am

So, since I started this whole thread...I'm going to share something I wrote earlier. Many of you probably saw this on Facebook (at least those of you who are my friends there ;) ) This is something I wrote after the Poland Retreat this year. I wrote it for my friends who are not involved in bhakti, wanting to share my experience of bhakti and the feeling of Gurudeva with them - therefore I did not use many Gaudiya terms and tried to say it "in my own words." Here it is:


I just came back from a bhakti yoga retreat with my teacher and this is my reflection on my experience this year and my thoughts about it all. From my heart to yours.

Most days, these days, trying to love God/Life feels like this to me:

From the complications of loving you
I think there is no end or return.
No answer, no coming out of it.

Which is the only way to love, isn't it?
This isn't a playground, this is
earth, our heaven, for a while.

Therefore I have given precedence
to all my sudden, sullen, dark moods
that hold you in the center of my world.

And I say to my body: grow thinner still.
And I say to my fingers, type me a pretty song,
And I say to my heart: rave on.

- A Pretty Song, Mary Oliver


Though sometimes, there are moments in which, to quote the words of yet another poet, Emily Dickinson: "I dwell in Possibility". This was and has always been my experience when I spend time with my Guru, my guide and friend. As I now have for a few precious days. From his company, I walk away feeling expanded; made somehow bigger and better by his presence. There's a soft vastness in him that feels familiar and comforting. Like meeting an old friend in the homeland of the heart where I am always welcome.

I come to him so often, and this time too perhaps more than ever, feeling small and cramped inside my own head and heart and return feeling as if all things are possible and that there's no limit to our loving, and being loved by, God/life. All possibilities are there, where there is love. This is my experience.

And faith is existing in that space of possibility. Connecting to it with all your heart. In giving whatever space you have in your heart, for love and loving. In return of that space given, love will enter and make even more space for you.

Faith creates faith. Love creates love. So find the ones who have faith and love, be with them. Watch then how the possibilities for you to feel like that expand as well from such company.

Faith, to me, is recognizing that life is so much bigger than you and me. In the face of that Bigger, our smallness is not a problem. That's comforting. There is a spaciousness in faith that gives one room to breathe, room to grow in. Room to have a meaningful life outside of one's own limitations. Life gets bigger when viewed through the bigger picture of faith.

The mind will always has it's limitations, by comparison the heart is a much more accommodating place to reside. If we're looking for a home, the heart would seem like a good choice to start looking. This is bhakti, the yoga of the heart.

There are people who have made their way back to home, back to the heart and beyond. These souls are guides, good friends to have. Find your guide among them. Look for that feeling of home in their company: "For home going, one needs a home knowing friend."

Faith does not have to be grand to be true. It can be something as simple as hope. Yet to have hope, is a big thing.

Our hearts were made for big things. For love.

You have faith in that, don't you?

And to use one's life continuously expanding one's capacity to love - to give - is, to me at least, a life well spent. This, to me, is what bhakti yoga is all about. Or at least, it's a good place to start. All you need, to start, is a heart that wants to love. You've got it. We all have it.

We all sense this to be true: our love could be bigger.

And it will be, when directed to the something Bigger, whose vastness is inside of us all. We could be loving with a million of hearts instead of just one half-beating one.

So start there. In your own heart. With the faith, or with the hope, you have for that something Bigger than you. Look for the friend you have awaited all your life. Not because you "must" have a guru but because you and your life will be so much bigger for having made that search, that connection. Love makes all things possible.

And all you need is love, yes. But have you ever thought that all love needs - is you. And to give one's heart to love is the biggest thing you, and I, could do.

Dwell in that Possibility.

I did, for a few days. And all I can say, again echoing the words of Emily Dickinson, is that sometimes the only effort on our parts is:

"This –
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise –"

Life is a big Giver.

Gopala Dasa - November 4, 2013 10:34 pm

Tadiya, thank you for the re-post from facebook. I was happy to read your reflection from the summer again.


Over the past couple of years I've had some opportunities to present Bhagavad-Gita to yoga students locally. It is humbling to sit in front of (other) students and to try to speak from my own experience. I feel overwhelmingly fortunate that I have anything at all to share, actually. I will always go in with a plan, but just as often all kinds of points that I had no idea were “in me” will start to come out instead. (Of course, some things are put there without us knowing.) The greater the interest on the part of participants, the greater intensity and feeling of necessity I can bring to my listening and reading. My experience with the Gita in particular is that when I prepare a few verses for discussion, it feels as if I am studying GM's commentary for the first time. It becomes very much alive, and points glossed over in many prior readings will just kind of jump out. I wonder where those points had been hiding from me before. Nandini and I now lead a class every month, and for the above reasons I would like to do more.


After one class a gentleman expressed particular appreciation to me. I pulled him aside and responded, "You don't understand, I am benefitting from this so much. You may be getting something, but really, I feel I am getting more." He is a thoughtful guy and he understood the spirit of my comment. And he believed me, too.

Tadiya Dasi - November 5, 2013 9:23 pm


It is humbling to sit in front of (other) students and to try to speak from my own experience. I feel overwhelmingly fortunate that I have anything at all to share, actually. I will always go in with a plan, but just as often all kinds of points that I had no idea were “in me” will start to come out instead. (Of course, some things are put there without us knowing.) The greater the interest on the part of participants, the greater intensity and feeling of necessity I can bring to my listening and reading. My experience with the Gita in particular is that when I prepare a few verses for discussion, it feels as if I am studying GM's commentary for the first time. It becomes very much alive, and points glossed over in many prior readings will just kind of jump out. I wonder where those points had been hiding from me before. Nandini and I now lead a class every month, and for the above reasons I would like to do more.


Thank you for sharing, Gopala! Great to hear that you & Nandini lead classes every month - wonderful for you and for all those who get to listen, I am sure :)


I can relate to the process of preparing for a talk that you describe here, and I've had similar experiences (points and ideas coming out of the text seemingly "out of nowhere" etc.) and many times as soon as I promise to give a talk...things start to happen and it can become pretty enlivening for my whole sadhana when/if I immerse myself in the preparing.


I have found that the most important thing is to always speak from one's own experience, come hell or high water (or a panic attack ;)) Sincerity is invincible!


I hope to get a chance to hear you - and Nandini - give a talk someday, somewhere! :)

Nama-dharma Das - November 9, 2013 3:24 pm

Thank you for creating this thread, Tadiya, and for mentioning whatever small efforts I have made with regards to preaching. I really appreciate your comment about not teaching out of fear of embarrassment, as I have gone through this in the days leading up to each class I have led. Actually, even posting here creates some fear of being judged or showcasing my lack of understanding with the subject. :)


I have found some comfort with Krsna's statement to Arjuna, "For those persons who worship me, directing thoughts to me without deviation, who are always united with me in (bhakti) yoga, I carry what they lack and preserve what they have." While I am certainly not one of the devotees that Krsna mentions here, I take comfort with the fact that I know someone who is. I feel Guru Maharaja's support each time I teach.


In the couple of classes I have given, I have found it to be incredibly absorbing and challenging to share the heart of the teachings to people with very little background in Bhakti or The Bhagavad Gita. Indeed, it has made me realize some of the limitations in my understanding of the very topic I am presenting, which is both humbling and inspiring as it encourages me to pour back over the texts and listen to Guru Maharaja's talks with more attentiveness. As Gopala mentioned earlier in this thread, I feel like I am getting more out of each talk I give than the other participants.

Kalpataru Dasa - November 10, 2013 7:26 am

Oh, Tadiya, I feel honored and bit embarrassed that you mentioned me in such nice words. Thank you.

Recently I don't feel that I share much. My practice and spiritual interest went down recently, I'm preoccupied with other things right now, overwhelmed by personal issues, but when I get back, I'll try to share again. Good luck to you!

Tadiya Dasi - November 10, 2013 9:27 am

Thank you for creating this thread, Tadiya, and for mentioning whatever small efforts I have made with regards to preaching. I really appreciate your comment about not teaching out of fear of embarrassment, as I have gone through this in the days leading up to each class I have led. Actually, even posting here creates some fear of being judged or showcasing my lack of understanding with the subject. :)


I have found some comfort with Krsna's statement to Arjuna, "For those persons who worship me, directing thoughts to me without deviation, who are always united with me in (bhakti) yoga, I carry what they lack and preserve what they have." While I am certainly not one of the devotees that Krsna mentions here, I take comfort with the fact that I know someone who is. I feel Guru Maharaja's support each time I teach.



Nama-dharma, I am so glad to have your contribution to this thread! Thank you! :)


It's a shame that fear and fear of embarrassment keeps so many of us on the fence...holding back when instead we could be giving back, if only we would get out of our own way. Often, we are our own worst critics. As a recovering perfectionist (;)) I've been thinking a lot about how much this fear of being exposed has actually held me back and how many opportunities to experience and learn and share I have lost because of my reluctance to feel vulnerable.


The thing is, we are imperfect but the biggest imperfection in us is not what our false sense of self would have us believe: it is not our problems and shortcomings, neither it is our lack of skills or intelligence or mistakes and misunderstandings. The biggest imperfection in us is thinking that we could be or become perfect in the first place! Better to just let the Perfect be perfect ;) I really love how Srila Sridhara Maharaja thinks about these things: he says that our imperfection is a good thing for it gives room for the Perfect one! He says that our limited capacity coupled with our need for perfection gives room for help beyond ourselves to descend in to our lives in the form of Sri Guru.


Srila Sridhara Maharaj also writes beautifully about the nature of the Absolute, how it's perfection is such that it has the power to help us. And, indeed, coming in touch with the extent of our need for help and truly feeling the nature of our imperfection can be a healthy thing: After all, realizing you are sick is often the first step towards healing. Asking for help is the healthiest thing in our helplessness, especially when the beautiful reality of Sri Krishna Caitanya is that: help is always at hand. :)


However, the tricky thing is that the path of Sri Caitanya requires that we let go of what little sense of control we think we have and throw our hands up in kirtan - and as Guru Maharaja once pointed out to me - "not one hand only". ;) This is what we learn in Draupadi's story as well. Krishna saved her from the shame of being exposed only when she no longer held on to her sari and raised both of her hands in the air, saying only: Oh Govinda!


Srila Sridhara Maharaja writes: The imperfect is not so if it is not in need of help, and that also from beyond itself. The perfect is not perfect if He cannot assert Himself or help others, and that too, of His own accord.


Oh Govinda - this is our luck! The affectionate nature of Sri Krishna that is bhakta-vatsalya; how he comes to help us personally in the form of Sri Guru. I remember this whenever I think of the deities of Gaura-Nityananda of Audarya: looking at Gaura-Hari's both arms raised in kirtan and Nityananda's one arm reaching toward us. Our task remaining only to grasp his hand and hold on!


Being vulnerable is not nearly as bad, as it sometimes feels like ;) Indeed, being vulnerable allows intimacy and courage. Sharing one's heart in confidence is part of being in a sanga (as per Rupa Goswami's instructions). I really liked a point that Guru Maharaja made in his recent lecture (Vraja Means All Things Possible): "sadhu-sanga is a safe place" for one to share their heart and problems without fear with others. He said this in relation to Krishna arranging a private moment for Indra to confess his shortcomings and problems to Krishna (in relation to his mistakes in the course of the Govardhana-lila), so he wouldn't feel ashamed having to confess such things. Becoming humble is so much about this: taking every chance available to expose our false values and false sense of self hiding in the corners of our heart. Coming out and exposing all the things about ourselves that we are ashamed of and in our pride would like to keep hidden from others.


I have a story in relation to this and I can testify that yes, sadhu-sanga is a safe place to practice this kind of vulnerability. I once (well more than once, like Indra I have a lot of problems!) went to Guru Maharaja and told him a shameful secret that I've kept hidden from most people thinking that he would share my belief that I am absolutely a hopeless case with no prospect. Well, I walked away from that meeting full of hope and feeling like I had just seen my prospect appearing before me, in him. From his point of view, what appeared so big and daunting and shameful to me, was so insignificant and small to him. He lifted that heavy rock from my heart as effortlessly as Krishna lifts the Govardhana-hill ;) I think this is one of the gifts of sadhu-sanga: sharing with others allows for others´ (quite possibly more sane and wise than our own) perspectives to influence our own.


Again, I think of the lifting of Govardhana-hill and how the cowherd boys were also holding up that hill, offering their help to Krishna. Lesson: There's strength in numbers and sadhu-sanga has such power to hold us up. The nature of sadhus is such that they will be quick to use their staffs to help us, whether it is to hold us up or to chastise us ;) In any case, it will be good for us.


Regarding the fear of having very little share with others. I really like what Guru Maharaja has said about the attitude that he himself had when going to hear devotees' talks. He said that he would think that if there was even one point that the lecturer made that helped him to think differently, inspired him, etc. he would walk away feeling that it was worth it. This is encouraging! You don't need to know everything to give lectures...


Vulnerability leads to authenticity and people in general are inspired by authenticity and sincerity. So, it's a great place to be. Being outside one's own comfort zone, tends to put one right in the teachable moment that Guru Maharaja so often encourages. Good teachers are always good students.


And together, we can learn so much :)

Oh, Tadiya, I feel honored and bit embarrassed that you mentioned me in such nice words. Thank you.

Recently I don't feel that I share much. My practice and spiritual interest went down recently, I'm preoccupied with other things right now, overwhelmed by personal issues, but when I get back, I'll try to share again. Good luck to you!


No, Kalpataru, thank you! And I mean it: you have given me so much and I am grateful. Remember what goes down, can only go up :) We can do it together. Inspire one another. You have inspired others, including me - perhaps now, it's time for you to receive inspiration from others.

Nama-dharma Das - November 11, 2013 7:22 pm

Thank You, Tadiya. Your words are inspiring. I will come back to them again and again.

Swami - November 12, 2013 2:05 pm

All very inspiring!

Bhrigu - November 14, 2013 9:39 am

What a great thread, Tadiya, and thanks for being so generous with me!


I celebrated Shrila Prabhupada's disappearance day with Paramadvaiti Maharaj and his devotees at Vrinda Kunj (I had planned to go to the Krishna-Balaram temple but ran into Maharaj next to Radha Raman the day before and he invited me, so I couldn't say no). It was a really nice festival. Maharaj first had some senior sannyasis speak but then had asked people to prepare poems to Shrila Prabhupada to read. Everyone who raised their hand got to speak. I hadn't prepared anything and felt shy in this somewhat unfamiliar surrounding, so I didn't say anything. Afterwards, Maharaj indicated some displeasure at this -- "I had hoped you would speak, but you never raised your hand." Yes, I should not have minded not having something fancy and beautiful prepared, but have freely shared something, and I would have been blessed.

Swami - November 14, 2013 4:46 pm



Could you tell us about the book your are writing? This might be a good place to share that experience in progress.

Tadiya Dasi - November 14, 2013 8:57 pm

Yes, I should not have minded not having something fancy and beautiful prepared, but have freely shared something, and I would have been blessed.


Thank you, Bhrigu, for joining the discussion! So glad to have you here - and, yes, please do share with us all about the book you are writing! How exciting and inspiring! Here's your (second) chance to be blessed...and our chance to be blessed by what you share! :)

Bhrigu - November 15, 2013 8:17 am

Ok, I won't miss a second chance! I am writing a book about Radha's and my stay in Calcutta last year. I write it in my free time which is rather limited, so I am progressing rather slowly, but I have finished a little over half of it by now. The idea is that the book will be for a large audience, a little book of around 200 pages with a light content, a travelogue of father and daughter in an exotic place. A bit of autobiography, lots of funny anecdotes, culture, some history and geography of Calcutta (and a little of India in general), kind of about this quirky guy loving a city and a little girl -- and of course Indian spirituality in general and Gaudiya Vaishnavism in particular. I try not to fall into sermonising in the book, but the real idea (apart from gaining puja and pratistha...) really is writing about Gaudiya Vaishnavism in a way that will sound appealing to a large audience. Most of this part is still unwritten, so I can't really say how well it will turn out. I want to retell the basic stories of Radha and Krishna and Shri Caitanya, trying to catch something of the magic in them.


I am writing in Swedish, but I hope the publisher will have the book translated into Finnish as well.


Here is a quote for you, from the first chapter:




Från Delhi åkte vi tåg till Agra och Taj Mahal, för många resans höjdpunkt. Från Taj Mahal åkte vi bil till Vrindavan, sätet för Krishnas ungdomliga jordiska äventyr och en av Nordindiens viktigaste pilgrimsorter, full av pittoreska små tempel, heliga män och asketiska änkor. I Vrindavan fick jag till min dotters förtrytelse mina glasögon stulna av ett gäng apor; några småpojkar fick dem att slänga ned glasögonen genom att kasta kexpaket åt dem, men ena linsen krossades när de föll mot gatans stenbeläggning. Det tog två veckor innan jag i Calcutta fick nya glasögon, men nu vet jag att man klarar sig med en lins om man måste.


Min dotter var genom mina berättelser redan bekant med Vrindavan som Krishnas lantliga idyll och var glad över att nu på riktigt få se ställen som berget Govardhan och floden Yamuna. Att pastorala Vrindavan idag är en dammig, överbefolkad och ganska skränig liten stad bekymrade henne inte, men en fråga hade hon.


‒ Pappa, var är Krishna?

‒ Han är i sina tempel; titta där, där är Krishna och Radha!

‒ Det där är statyer! Var är riktiga Krishna?


Ja, var fanns Krishna? I änkans bön, i den gamle brahminens skriftstudium, i de trötta pilgrimernas lovsång, i de offergåvor som med kärlek bärs fram till honom i Vrindavans alla tempel ‒ och i hennes hjärta. Men hur förklara det för en treåring?

Swami - November 15, 2013 11:02 pm


Tadiya Dasi - November 16, 2013 6:29 am

Gurudeva, Swedish isn't my first language either but from what I understood, the gist of it is this: When Bhrigu and Radha went to Vrindavan, she (Radha) was already familiar with it from the stories that Bhrigu had told her. She wasn't bothered with the fact that Vrindavan today is quite different from the stories she's heard but she did have one question...


-Daddy, Where is Krishna?

-Krishna is in his temple; look there is Radha and Krishna!

-But that's a statue! Where is the real Krishna?


And then Bhrigu writes that Krishna can be found in the prayers offered to him, in the devotees' love for him that manifests itself in all temples of Vrindavan and in her (Radha's) heart.


And now, let's hope that Bhrigu can come here and give us the "bona fide" translation ;)

Brahma Samhita Das - November 16, 2013 5:28 pm

.Wonderful sharings all of you, Thank you!

Dandavat Pranams
I was very happy to meet with Brigupada Prabhu and his daughter Radha in Vrindavan!
Very nice style of writing.. looking forward to read your book when it is ready.
I share with you here what I wrote to Prabhupada that I was to shy to read up :)
Mercyful mercyful Nitai!
We lived lifetimes in forgetfullness of you, what a loss !
but you, Lord of all, always remember us
In the radiant dress of a humble monk
All the far away oceans you crossed
and dawned from the east to show the world as it is.
merciful Grand Father! Great saviour of all!
who on this earth has not heard your call
Upon arriving on the shore to the land of service opportunity.
Seeing our severe conditioning, Bhaktivedanta composed a prayer in compassionate extacy
*"Listen now Krishna, you better arrange the needed,
Or I´ll complain to Her, your most beloved."
A heartfelt prayer so compelling
reforming our entire predestined star constallation.
Our given path of regulated devotion
leads to perfection due to your spontanious emotion
We where actually not supposed to understand.
yet you convinced the Lord with your simple prayer
to give us a helping hand.
Here now we are many years in times afar.
yet your prayer gives us life until today
And of all the gifts you gave us
the most precious is the perfect giver.
He who unites all with illuminous love and trust
He whom never rests until every soul becomes receiver.
*based on my limited understanding of my Gurumaharajas commentary to the prayer Srila Prabhupada "Radharani kushi habe"
when the Maha Bhagavata devotees share their faith it is not Sadhana (eventhough they may see it so from their humble angle of vision) Rather it is the external manifestation of their Bhava which unfolds the lila of Gauranga on this earth
They seem to be in constant struggle to resist the inwards carrying current of Bhakti Devi to capture them with her forceful understreams in her eagerness to bring them to the land of nectar.
I heard from Shrila Shridhar Maharaj that Laxmi collects from all and give to the Lord while Sarasvati takes from the Lord and gives to all.
and in between the two Devis there can be some antagonism that also reflects in the devotees who sometimes argue, why you sitt only in the temple with a favoured elite, go out and preach and invite all! while the other argues, boil the milk! why to expand when quality is the demand!
srila Sridhar maharaj also refered to the divine drama when Srimati Radharani conspired to steal the flute of Krishna.
my Gurudeva commented (parafrasing): Srimati Radharani is the embodiment of both and so she expands in Laxmi and Sarasvati to meet all the yernings in Her Lords heart.
When the Mahabhagavatas preach, the attentive eye can detect when they pray to remain in the mundane realm. They are searching their beloved Gurudeva in his eternal instruction. Due to deep separation they find a solas in the service to their Gurus Lotusfeet enshrined in the heart of fortunate souls that Ishtadeva have sent their way. (as they know that their Guru will be so pleased if faith may illuminate their hearts
They seem to be ready to do anything in their unconditional and uninterupted attempt to bless the world with access to the marketplace of Nitai.
Like Srila Prabhupada who wanted to distribute deities of their lordship Gaura Nitai on the streets with a hope they will gradually understand that they have to worship them.
When Shrila Shridhar Maharaj heard that, he remarked: Only Swami Maharaj could do such a thing.
Raganuga preachers can be seen so devoted in distribution that they loose track of the rules and regulations in their living to give to others.
They taste Rasa in remaing preaching the ABC and to help to solve the problems of the beginners.
My faith is such that the Divine couple and their whole entourage resides in every word uttered by such a saint, Whatever he may decide to speak about.
Their basic preaching becomes their indirect speech of love, revealing the highest to those who desires it truly.
Simultaniously they bridge beginners to Gauranga Nitais Lotusfeet!
And just as we should not imitate the Rasika Bhajananandis, we are cautioned to imitate such Rasika preachers aswell. We aspire to serve their needs and stand in awe and reverence with a hearts aspiration to become their object of affection and friendship.
millions of thanks for all your continous stream of HArikatha!
please have the confidence to correct any fault in my words.
there could be many as I have adressed a topic far above my head.
at your feet
brahma samhita das
Bhrigu - November 16, 2013 5:29 pm

Tadiya did a good job in bringing out the main idea. I wanted to showcase the idea that Krishna really can be found in acts of bhakti.

Otherwise, I am just back from a small retreat at Krishangi's and Kamalaksha's place, and am still relishing the great talks there! Kamalaksha welcomed everyone and then spoke on how a house really becomes valuable only when devotees are invited into it. Tadiya continued what she has begun in this thread, sharing the heart, really baring her soul in a very brave and beautiful way. Mathuranath then spoke on seeing Krishna in the little things -- the taste of water, the "original" person behind all other "original" stuff, in the ability of people. Radha and I had to leave early, but perhaps you can write something about the rest of the talks, Tadiya?

Tadiya Dasi - November 18, 2013 8:13 pm

The little weekend retreat at Kamalaksa's & Krisanghi's was very refreshing and enlivening for me, in many ways. First of all, it was great seeing some devotees that I rarely get to see (Mathuranath, Syama-Gopala, Haripriya and Bhrigu). To get to spend time with them and to be in kirtan with them is always such a soothing, inspiring place to be. I was there for Friday and Saturday, and unfortunately did not attend on Sunday because I got sick. I already felt sick on Friday evening and had a sore throat and jokingly said to the devotees that this must be Krishna's way of saying that I shouldn't give a talk (I was scheduled to talk on Friday) ;)

But I did give a talk and was fortunate enough to hear Kamalaksa, Bhrigu, Mathuranath, Nandarani & Mohan give talks. I'm hoping that someone who attended on Sunday could write about Krsangi's & Syama-Gopala's talks (and post pictures from the retreat!)


The talks were great and they were all somehow, without conscious planning, connected with one another. Kamalaksa talked nicely about applying the spirit behind the principle that householders should before eating themselves go out in the streets, asking if anyone was hungry – and in this way share the prasadam with everyone.

I really liked Kamalaksa's lecture for I know that for him and Krisangi this kind of sharing is a lived reality rather than a principle. As we all know they demonstrate this kind of sharing of one's resources in so many cool and innovative ways! I also appreciated Kamalaksa's words about (the Finnish) tendency for perfectionism and how this should be avoided – and how instead of obsessing about our faults we could focus on the more positive and productive aspects of our practice. Kamalaksa also expressed his appreciation of the fact that so many of the participants of the retreat had travelled from quite a distance and had carved out time from their busy schedules to be there and how that alone was a sign that they were on the right path, taking positive steps on the path of bhakti. Positive steps on the path of bhakti can be, and often are, quite literally the steps we take to be in the company of devotees.

Thank you, Kamalaksa & Krsangi, again for arranging this retreat! Your seva is much appreciated :)


Mathuranath was so eager to give his talk and I really enjoyed his enthusiasm and his straight forward yet joyful and down to earth presentation of Krishna-consciousness. He talked nicely and eloquently about the four qualities that make Krishna who he is – the playful God with humanlike sweetness. He mentioned and elaborated on the 4 qualities of Godhead that only Krishna has: namely venu madhurya, lila madhurya, rupa madhurya and prema madhurya. He also talked about how he applies bhakti in his daily life by remembering Krishna in the little things: taste of water, sunshine, etc (as taught by Krishna himself in the Gita). So inspiring!


Mathuranath also talked extensively about Krishna as time, and how he is reminded of Krishna, for example, everytime he looks at his watch. Mathuranatha had also taken a quote from the movie Matrix that describes what he had always felt within even as a child – a certain uneasiness with the temporary nature of the material world - and talked about how this "splinter in the mind" made him pursue spiritual life in the first place. The quote Mathuranath shared with us from Matrix is:


”You're here because you know something. What you know, you can't explain. But you feel it. You felt it your entire life. That there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there. Like a splinter in your mind - driving you mad."


and then he nicely connected this feeling he – and so many of us – have experienced with bhakti. Thank you, Mathuranath!


Bhrigu talked about how the previous acharyas have defined Krishna and bhakti. He talked about Bhaktivinoda Thakura's ”summary” of Krishna in 3 different aspects in his Dasa Mula Tattva: how Krishna is the supreme, has all shaktis and is the ocean of rasa. Bhrigu also talked about Tamal Krishna Maharaja's doctoral thesis about Prabhupada as a theologian and Prabhupada's emphasis on Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He also nicely connected Krishna's supremacy with the ”nothingness” of tatastha-shakti (us) when it's not influenced by Krishna's internal energy (bhakti). And how we have a choice: to be something maya's world or something in Krishna's world – and how, on our own, we literally are nothing.


Then Bhrigu talked quite a lot about Krishna as the supreme one who possess all the shaktis and what this means practically and in theory. We did not get to Krishna as ocean of rasa much to the disappointment of Syama-Gopala and the rest of the audience. ;) One nice detail from his talk was the idea that mere book knowledge is like borrowed money: you don't really own something unless you have it in use, for example, in case of an emergency. Bhrigu's lectures are always a treat: his knowledge and grasp of the theology of Gaudiya vaisnavism is vast and his experience as a teacher shows. He's an entertaining speaker with a confidence that comes only from knowing what you're talking about. Thank you, Bhrigu!


Nandarani (a student of Bir Krishna Goswami) talked about Krishna's childhood past times from Ananda Vrindavana Campu by Kavi Karnapura Goswami. Nandarani's talk included sweet narrations from Krishna's childhood such as the time when Krishna wanted the moon, thinking that it was churned butter on the sky. And how mother Yasoda would see the whole cosmos from Krishna's mouth on two different occasions; once when she was breastfeeding Krishna and once when she thought that Krishna had eaten dirt.


Mohan talked about Sri Guru and how we should approach Krishna through those who are dear to him (Sri Guru and Srimati Radharani). Unfortunately during his talk I had a terrible headache and had to watch the clock for fear of missing my bus, so I missed quite a lot of his wisdom and inspiration. After the disappearance of his Guru, Srila Narayan Goswami, Mohan has found new inspiration from Vrindavan's Sadhu Maharaja and I just love the way he talks about his siksa-guru. The inspiration he has gotten from him is evident - and I couldn't be happier for him for finding that connection. It is very inspiring to me!

Sri Nama Dasi - November 20, 2013 6:26 pm

Thank you so much for this up-date, it sounds very nice!

Braja-sundari Dasi - November 21, 2013 5:01 pm

:Love: This thread is so inspiring! Thank you all!

Guru-nistha Das - November 23, 2013 6:19 pm

Bhrigu, that's very exciting news about your new book! I hope they translate it into Finnish since my Swedish is so awful.

Prema-bhakti - November 24, 2013 12:24 pm

Thank you everyone. Loved reading this thread. I am so inspired by what everyone is doing.


Bhrigu, your books sounds so sweet. When I first took my son Ras to Vrndavana, he reacted the same way as Radha, He was expecting to go see Krsna and meet him.

Bhrigu - November 26, 2013 10:39 am

Thanks Prema! This time Radha knew she most likely wouldn't see Krishna, but we did try to keep our eyes open. When a monkey snatched my glasses one day, someone unknown turned up, retrieved the glasses and wouldn't take money for the help. I told Radha that perhaps that had been Krishna in disguise. "No", she said. "Krishna can speak all languages. That one only spoke English. Besides, he was fat."

Prema-bhakti - November 28, 2013 3:47 pm

Nice one Radha!!!

Tadiya Dasi - November 30, 2013 4:54 am

Dear devotees,


In this spirit of this thread: I have started a blog where I will be sharing my thoughts on bhakti, my poems and my experiences on the path. I will try to write in such a way that makes sense both to my friends who are not involved in bhakti (but are curious about it) as well as to the devotees. My blog is called Bhakti Blossoms and you can find it here: http://bhaktiblossoms.wordpress.com/


I will copy & paste my first post here:


Some Thoughts on Bhakti, Joy and Becoming Like Milk


Watch out for power,


for it’s avalanche can bury you,

snow, snow, snow smothering your mountain.


- -Watch out for hate,

it can open it’s mouth and you’ll fling yourself out

to eat off your leg, an instant leper.


Watch out for intellect,

because it knows so much it knows nothing

and leaves you hanging upside down,

mouthing knowledge as your heart

falls out of your mouth.


Watch out for games, for the actor’s part,

the speech planned, known, given,

for they will give you away

and you will stand like a naked little boy,

pissing on your own child-bed.


Watch out for love

(unless it is true

and every part of you says yes including the toes),

it will wrap you up like a mummy,

and your scream won’t be heard

and none of your running will end.


Love? Be it man. Be it woman.

It must be a wave you want to glide in on,

give your body to it, give your laugh to it,

give, when the gravelly sand takes you,

your tears to the land. To love another is something

like a prayer and can’t be planned, you just fall,

into it’s arms because your belief undoes your disbelief.


Special person,

if I were you I’d pay no attention

to admonitions from me,

made somewhat out of your words

and somewhat out of mine.

A collaboration.

I do not believe a word I have said, except some, except I think of you like a young tree

with pasted-on leaves and know you’ll root

and the real green thing will come.


Let go. Let go.

Oh special person,

possible leaves,

this typewriter likes you on the way to them

but wants to break crystal glasses in celebration,

for you,

when the dark crust is thrown off

and you float all around

like a happened balloon.


Admonitions To A Special Person by Anne Sexton


The Real Green Thing Will Come


This poem by Anne Sexton captures perfectly many of the things that have been on my mind lately and speaks of my experiences in a way that is just so beautiful to me. The poem speaks quite eloquently about love and how we must become it. Describing first what we must let go (power, hate, intellect, false love etc.) in the process of becoming it. Then it speaks of letting go even the need to ”become” as fast as possible and encourages one to celebrate the journey as it’s happening, instead of putting all of one’s effort into ”arriving”. As someone, who has tried to ”arrive” her whole life, this is something that gives me pause and perspective.


I especially love the line: “To love another is something like prayer, and can’t be planned, you just fall into it’s arms because your belief undoes your disbelief.” I love it because it so perfectly describes my experience on the path of bhakti yoga and what I would like for this blog of mine to become: a celebration of that kind of love – of bhakti – that truly has the power to undo your disbelief.


I can see how I am myself very much like the special someone who is “a young tree that hangs on to possible leaves”. I recognize that much of my bhakti is like ”pasted-on leaves” (compared to the full blossoms of Bhakti). Still, I try to live everyday in the hope that someday, “the real green thing will come.” Trusting that through the practices of bhakti, it will come. And in the meanwhile, my task is simply to root myself as deeply as possible to the ground of bhakti. Cultivating nistha, steadiness, instead of rushing ahead. And my message to everybody is: “Know that you’ll root”, too. Someday, somehow, little by little.


There was a time I did not like myself at all “on the way” to the possible leaves and almost uprooted the whole tree because of this! To be honest, this is something I am still working on. I can’t unravel years of conditioning in a second but I am learning to like myself more and more throughout the process of bhakti. And I definitely like others ”on the way” to the real green, blossoming leaves of Bhakti. So, why not myself?


I want to learn how to celebrate and “break crystal glasses” for you, for myself, for us all being on this path. So welcome, to the blog! I hope you don’t just take my words. Let this rather be a collaboration; so I welcome your comments! I hope what I share will inspire something of value to blossom in you!


Love Like Milk


My own practice is bhakti; a heart-centered approach to yoga and living. A path of passionate devotion in which I am still very much a beginner and learning. Everyday, I cautiously yet consistently knock on the door of my own heart through the practices of bhakti, namely meditating on the names of God, Krishna. I have taken little steps on this path, sometimes one towards and many away from it. But the pull of this love is the strongest force I have ever encountered! It just keeps pulling me right back in; the embrace of it deepening every time. I would liken it to a mother’s love: it is soft, warm, welcoming, unconditional.


In the bhakti tradition this kind of love is personified in mother Yasoda (Krishna’s mother) from who’s breasts, the scriptures describe, milk is continuously flowing. It is the milk of love of God; coming right from the soft heart of a mother. It is nourishing. It is life-giving. What we can hope to become as bhaktas is to become servants of this kind of milk.


Someday, through bhakti, we too can hope to reach a state of love so deep and profound that love will flow from our hearts like that; nourishing the whole universe in the process. One name for God in the bhakti tradition is Visvambhara, the Nourisher of the Universe. Know that God is like that: A big giver, a nourisher at heart. Imagine then, what power the devotees like mother Yasoda have to nourish us when they can even feed the Nourisher of the entire universe! The devotees are like cows: the milk of love of God pouring from them. And how much does Krishna love them? There’s a beautiful description of Krishna’s love for his cows in Jiva Goswami’s Gopala Campu:


Whenever they are satisfied so too is he; whenever they are hungry, he is as well.

He calls them near again and again, and pressing against them.

He relishes their scent and further embraces them, examining them closely and feeding them.

Without him their hearts are empty and they stand motionless as if they were painted.

Only when they are reunited with him do they recover, smelling, seeing, hearing, tasting and touching him.


Let Your Heart Become Alive


The above desciription might not mean anything to you. It might feel foreign. Maybe the names Krishna and Yasoda sound just weird to you. But really bhakti is closer to you than you realize. It’s an approach to life and living – really, loving – that makes perfect sense. Bhakti is about trusting that your deepest hungers are not arbitrary and what you sense intuitively to be true about love is real: you need love because you were made for love and loving.


Love has claimed you as her own long before you were born. We belong to love in the most literal sense and in loving we find our belonging. This love is calling you and will never stop calling you. So you might just surrender right now, right here. The fact is: we belong to love. We are her belongings and she is free to use us as she wishes. We all know this intuitively: freedom means nothing without love. And we are all perfectly willing to give up our freedom for love. In fact, bondage in love feels like true freedom! We need the other to fully have ourselves. We all search for that perfect love in each other: Knowing somehow that perfect love requires the other. That love is experienced in the loving. And life is best lived in call and response to love. I would say: There is such a thing as the happy slave, the devotees (bhaktas) know this. And the sufis say, ”Thirst is proof of water.” Can you prove them wrong?


So, trust that there is a love that loves you. A source of love that will receive your love and make your capacity for loving bigger in the process. Such is the reality of love: it is the Full becoming Fuller. Trust in the possibility for real joy that comes from service to love. From loving with your whole self. From knowing who you are: from connecting consciously with all that you are and could become. Become first, fully alive. Keep looking for that which makes you come alive.


And let me give you a hint: God is the Alive. Matter is a dead thing. Consciousness on the other hand is ever-expanding, filled with possibility, with choice. There is a happiness that comes from living from your soul – your true identity. Soul is really another name for that which in you is alive and aware. Become intimate friends with this aspect of your being. Consciousness is worth exploring. There’s a door that takes you there and it’s inside of you: your own beating heart. Look into it. Get conscious about love. Exercise your heart.


I can tell you this much: By looking at myself and my life through the lens of consciousness and by exercising my heart’s capacity to love something unexpected has happened in my own life: joy has happened. Almost by accident. As a side product of connecting with my heart through bhakti yoga. I mean: it used to be freezing cold in my heart. Such deep coldness that I could hardly breathe sometimes. Yet slowly, somehow, I can feel myself thawing after a long, long winter. My heart is starting to come alive.


Without love, all of us are freezing cold. Without consciousness, we become like ice. Yet we all sense that we were made to be like water and the relief of returning closer to our original state is enormous; there we can breathe easily. Love really has the warmth of a thousand suns and in the end it will melt you. And it can soothe you like a millions of moons. So, when you hope against hope and send you wishes to shooting stars, look for this kind of love. It excists.


Even amidst all of the stress and sorrow and struggle of life, I am starting to notice how the light is there, always, somehow. How we are held in the hands of life that knows the way. And none of us walks around here ”orphaned”. We are so loved and we have such capacity to love in return. And to answer the call of love, is the returning of the soul to it’s native realm. No longer are you the fish on dry land: there you are in your element, having become like water. Consciousness is the ocean: dive deep, swim freely.


Living in joy with the Joyful


The subtle joy I have started to sense in my soul is barely there somedays but deepens when I give myself to it more and more. It grows when I give more of myself to the practices of love and loving (bhakti). This joy seems to have landed out of nowhere. At first I had a hard time trusting it. I wondered: How did I ever deserve this? I did nothing to deserve it! I have a million reasons not to feel this joy. Yet there it was and is. Undeniable.


It is unlike any joy I have experienced before: It is subtle and it can co-exist with other feelings. It’s like a deep, underlying layer of feeling that is starting to become a solid foundation for me. It’s a hopeful feeling that’s strong enough to hold me steady, come what may. This is the kind of joy that I am used to feeling when I am with my teacher, my Guru. I’m happy to find out that it’s something that’s always there, even when I am not physically with my teacher. And that it can truly sustain me and my bhakti when I give it room in my life.


The light of Sri Guru is so powerful that like the sun, it’s rays can touch me from miles away. His joy so spacious that even when just a reflection of it touches me; I can feel it expanding in my own heart. Such is living with the conscious ones: they know no bounds and they live in joy with the Joyful. Such is loving the servants of love: without knowing love, you will know love.


As I keep connecting with this subtle sense of joy, things have started to shift in me: I have had to question many of my old assumptions about love, grace and God. Really, the sum it up: the world is a much more magical place than I had thought and, yes, there is such a thing as mercy – i.e. we are given abundantly something of true value without having to first ”deserve” it. Grace, by nature, is gracious.


With these realizations, an unexpected sense of lightness and space and possibility have started to permeate my daily life. I don’t quite know how this happened. Except that I have kept hoping, often despite myself, in all the things that make life meaningful: that happiness is a possibility, that joy can be experienced and that my heart is made for love and loving (bhakti) even if at times it has felt more like a lump of dead meat inside my chest. I have also kept to my belief, despite my moments of disbelief, that consciousness is real, and life is so much more than what meets the eye. That, in fact, it is only through the heart that we see things and ourselves correctly.


Have Hope: The Sun Rises Everyday


Everyday, I am able to give just a little bit more of me to bhakti. This is the generous light of Krishna: it comes to us in so many ways and practically surrounds us from all directions! See how much he wants to love us! Everyday, as the sun rises, I am reminded of this light. There it comes, filling my heart with a warmth that feels like an embrace from an old friend. It can make me smile from ear-to-ear for no reason. Some days, just the fact that I have a heart and it can beat for love, for this kind of love, is enough of a hope for me to go on with conviction.


The rhythm of life itself echoes this beautiful reality of the soul. Just see how the sun rises every day. The light of God is like this, too: it rises up to meet us where we are. It is in the reflection of this light that your soul can blossom. How do you then find God’s light? Look not for the light itself, look rather for it’s shine. There are people who shine in this world. People with hearts that have become like the sun. They are like lighthouses for lost souls. These are the people we call gurus in the bhakti tradition. Seek their company and see how the right path appears under your feet. When you look for people like that – the lighthouses – find the ones in who’s presence you can feel yourself becoming lighter. Feel how their joy can lift even the heaviest burdens from you heart, just like that. People like this are God’s compassion in action (Bhagavad-gita 10.11).


When you lose sight of this benevolent reality, look again no further than outside your own window. See how the seasons come and go, and the sun keeps giving. After winter, comes spring. The whole natural world speaks the language of love: it keeps pointing out the deepest truths of life to you. You already know them. But it is not enough to know. We must become what we know, to experience it. The gurus are the experiencers, therefore they can point you in the right direction. Let me tell you: Having a guru is the most hopeful experience. Suddenly, your soul has a friend forever.


There is endless encouragament available within love. Love says: Come to me, come to me – no matter how long you have resisted the call or turned away from it. Again and again, love welcomes us. Life welcomes us. ”Forget being perfect or someone who gets it right every time (dharma) – Come to me, come to me!” Krishna has this kind of love for us. He is the kind of God that says: ”Sin and come to me!” (Bhagavad-gita 18.66)


Coming to love is a daily practice. Learning to love a lifelong practice (some would go as far as to say it takes lifetimes ) Commit to it. You might not be ready to adopt a formal practice. So begin just by trying to be. Sit down and be with yourself. Peek inside your heart, knock on the door and wait. Ask yourself the real questions of life. Life responds to sincerity: Urgent questions beget an urgent reply. Real questions bring real answers.


Enlightenment is not just chop wood and carry the water. It’s more than that. In the bhakti context, it’s carry the water and grow a garden. Become a gardener of your own heart. Keep pulling the weeds: uproot everything that comes between you and love. Water the flowers of loving (bhakti). Kneel down, get your hands dirty. Make sure you stay in the sunlight but remain down to earth and root yourself deeply into the land of love, bhakti. Then: practice, practice, practice.


While you’re at it: Forget perfection. Bhakti is perfect. So, we don’t have to be. Keep instead the promise of leaves in your heart, have hope. Know that the real green will come.


Dismiss Whatever Insults Your Soul


Embracing bhakti can be as simple as ”dismissing whatever insults your soul”, like the poet Whalt Whitman so eloquently put it. Bhakti is not a restriction that you place upon yourself. It’s about the infinite possibilities of the soul and a joyful statement about the nature of love. How love wins, always and forever, and how we thrive and blossom when we keep this kind of love close because the truth is: we were made for this kind of loving. We are tiny, but love is huge. With love, in loving, we are free to become who we were meant to be.


I am so incredibly grateful for this practice. For the promise of blossoming that’s inside my heart nowadays. For the warmth of the sun, the soothing light of the moon, and for the generosity of that light as it keeps appearing and rising within my darkness: vande sri-krishna-caitanya-, nityanandau sahoditau gaudodaye pushpavantau, citrau san-dau tamo-nudau. No matter what’s going on, I can always hold onto the hopeful reality of this and it’s an incredibly spacious space to be in! Bhakti is the sun and the moon of my universe: I try and make my life revolve around this.


I have practiced this long enough to know this one little thing: My soul is what’s alive in me. My heart is the space where the Real takes me by the hand and starts to rearrange my life and priorities little by little. Our hearts – given into love – are so big, so accomodating, spacious and free, truly free. Filled with such an amazing capacity for joy that it really is a crime against your own soul to go through life without exploring the depth of love. Don’t become a murderer of your own soul. Give, instead, life to it. Ask yourself: How big can my love become? How alive can I feel?


Feel the answers. Trust the answers. Give your whole heart to the answers. You have a heart for a reason: exercise it. You have a soul, identify with it. Reason, only for this reason.


The Blossoms of Bhakti


In every beat of my heart, there is promise for spring, for joy now. Newfound trust in the possibility of it. Something starting to come alive in me. Sure, I am not there yet, not completely. Part of me, somedays almost all of me, is still in the winter of my own making but little patches of fertile land and little buds and blossoms of joy have appeared in the terrain of my heart. Spring is definitely on the air! The sun keeps appearing on the horizon of my heart.


And that has made all the difference: when you have seen the sun, experienced it’s warmth on your very skin, no amount of darkness can ever erase your memory of it. Sadhu-sanga is like this: om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya cakshur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah. In the company of sadhus, frozen eyes are bound to melt.


If it’s still very cold where your heart is and your love has become like ice, cold and hard. Have hope: Freezing people will look for the sun with an immediacy that has the power to light that very sun within their own hearts and souls. There is a guiding force within us all that can take us by the hand and bring us in touch with the ones that carry this light. And in this light, your future looks bright.


Coming in touch with this kind of light is an experience of being so deeply loved that you become ashamed of having a heart that’s not being used in the active service of that love. You become humbled that life has afforded you with this kind of a possibility – and yet you have not taken it. Or you have taken it only half-heartedly.


Become Like Milk: Serve The Dear Ones


On this path, we are not only to become like water (conscious) but to become like milk (loving)! And not just any kind of milk: not store-bought, watered down milk, but like the special, full fat milk from Krishna’s cows. To become this kind of whole milk, requires we give the whole of us.


Serving love means serving the loving. Serving the ones that have given themselves to love so completely that they have become love in action: fully loving. The ones that have loved God so deeply that they embody love of God. This is tadiya-seva: serving those who are dear to Krishna. My Guru gave me a name that relates to this kind of service: He called me Tadiya dasi. So, this kind of service is something I am eager to learn and be engaged in.


My deepest hope is that by sharing my heart in this way, all of you devotees will be compelled to help me, to teach me how . May bhakti forever blossom in the hearts of all.

Prema-bhakti - November 30, 2013 10:21 pm

Tadiya, thank you for sharing this. Im so excited for your blog. And I am also fan of Anne Sexton. :Hug:

Karnamrita Das - July 12, 2015 8:02 pm

Tadiya. I am so late to your post, as I have been hanging on FB, and still am, but have now come from the FB TV. This site is much easier to use, and we have been encouraged to come here to discussi how the sanga may create support systems and involve more in helping steer the various projects. Personal sharing as you do, and I also attempt to do, and Brighu and others, is also part of building relationships and giving support to one another. I have a sense of urgency, due to recent events, to share what I think devotees can use to stay on the path their whole life. We need many kinds of sincere, authentic sharing from devotees living life either as a monk, or living outside, but surviving by their inner life and fed by spiritual practices and seva. I appreciate your sharing your heart and realizations. All the best to you in every aspect of your life. :Rose: :Rose: :Rose: :Rose: :Rose: