Giving Thanks in Santa Rosa

Citta Hari Dasa - November 27, 2004 10:59 pm

This year Ratna-cintamani and Agnideva held a Thanksgiving celebration at their home in Santa Rosa.


It was an informal gathering, with Agnideva leading kirtana as the guests gradually arrived. This went on for about 30 minutes or so, after which Guru Maharaja spoke on the essence of Thanksgiving: gratitude. He began by explaining that gratitude is the basis of spiritual life, that we must acknowledge that our lives are dependent on many factors that make life possible (the sun to see, for example) and that we should be grateful for them.


He then mentioned that he had just finished writing the commentary for the 4th verse of the Siksastakam (na dhanam, na janam. . . ) and that Mahaprabhu is expressing in this verse his lack of desire for 'becoming' something in relation to the world due to his being satisfied with 'being' who he really is. Guru Maharaja spent considerable time developing this point, which was incredibly profound and simple at the same time. It went something like this: we move in the world through the force of the gunas. Tamas influences us to become gratified sensually. Rajas influences us to become powerful. And sattva influences us to become virtuous (or knowldegeable). We seek to become because we are not acquainted with our being--our self. But the pursuits undertaken by the conditioned soul and influenced by the gunas actually arise from the soul itself: we seek power because the soul is powerful--it cannot be killed. This is its sat aspect. We seek virtue and knowledge because the soul is a unit of knowing capacity. This is its cit aspect. And we seek pleasure because the soul is a unit of bliss, pleasure, and beauty, which is of course its ananda aspect. Coming to know one's self will allow us to cease the struggle of trying to become and just 'be ourself'. And this is only truly possible in relation to Krsna. Thus we see that the three aspects of the soul have their corresponding aspects in Krsna's internal energy: sat corresponds to sandhini, cit to samvit, and ananda to hladini. Thus 'being ourself' in the fullest sense means that we exist in Krsna, true virtue lies in knowing him, and our joy lies in surrendering to and serving him. I highly recommend listening to the CD of this talk when it is made available, since I hardly did it justice here.


After the discourse everyone feasted on traditional Thanksgiving fare prepared by the many able cooks in Santa Rosa, followed by a sneak video peek at Narasingha Maharaja's new DevaVision release titled "Himalayan Pilgrimage" as a bit of spiritual entertainment.


We would like to thank everyone who attended for their efforts in helping to make the celebration a very pleasant one.


Nitai Gaura Haribol!

Bijaya Kumara Das - April 22, 2005 11:50 am

Thank you for the blissful discription.