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|Birth|| 05/31/1985 (33 yrs old)|
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|Mom & Pop, & Brother||Madhavi Dasi, Naveen Krsna Prabhu, Abhay Charan Khuran, Nimai Dasa|
|Top Tunes||Badahari Prabhu is still fantamazing. Goura, Jaggy, & Vish are balling out also|
|"So that is Krsna's favor. In the beginning, it appears to be very bitter. When I took sannyasa, when I was living alone, I was feeling very bitter. I, sometimes I was thinking, 'Whether I have done wrong by accepting?' So when I was publishing this Back to Godhead from Delhi, one day one bull thrashed me, and I fell down on the footpath and I got severe injury. I was alone. So I was thinking, 'What is this?' So I have very, days of very tribulations, but it was all meant for good.
So don't be afraid of tribulations. You see? Go farward. Krsna will give you protection. That is Krsna's promis in the Bhagavad-Gita.
Kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati:
"Kaunteya, My Dear son of Kunti, Arjuna, you can declare throughout the whole world that My devotees will never be vanquished. You can declare that."
And why He's asking Arjuna to declare? Why He does not declare Himself? There is meaning. Because if He promises, there are instances that He sometimes broke His promise. But if a devotee promises, it will never be broken. Krsna will give protection; therefore He says His devotee that "You declare." There is no chance of being broken.
Krsna is so kind that sometimes He breaks His promise, but if His devotees promises, He takes very careful attention that His devotee's promise may not be broken. That is Krsna's favor."
- Lecture, New York, April 17th, 1969
There is something strangely emphatic and comforting in these words. Not that everything devotional isn't meant and geared to be that way, but sometimes it can feel rote or repetitive, like things we are supposed to know and will hopefully come to know one day down the road, way down the road.
These words, from Srila Prabhupada's Lilamrta As It Is... it almost feels like He is personally talking to me, in His slow, very Indian, but very beautiful way. I just hope that I one day will be able to fully realize and act on some of the little inspirations I get here and there from the readings and the inspiring bhajans. One day...
Hmm. I think one of the key misconceptions within the masses of society is peoples' perceptions on how much happier everyone else is. Last night one of my friends was on the phone for hours, in tears, and almost entirely due to her mistakenly thinking that most all relationships work out, when in reality 99% of them fail & only one may last. If she had been able to keep that in mind instead of feeling like she was singled out in her relationship coming to a crashing halt, it wouldn't have made that particular relationship any better, but at least she wouldn't have felt so alone in the failure, like she had done something wrong and incredibly unusual. Within the span of our life in these particular bodies, none of your relationships are going to work out in the long run except one, unless you are Mormon and then it's except 3 but still... even then it's definitely not going to be without it's problems, you're gonna have to work at it, as with most everything in life there will be the ups and there will be downs. Not even just on the topic of relationship issues, it seems like allot of people have this misconception that everyone is happier; everyone else is a better devotee than me. And then at the other end of the spectrum there are surely those who think that no one is better than they are at most things in life, but I'm not even going to waste my time trying to explain those interesting individuals, the only people I care to want to help are the ones who feel and think that they are doing worse than they truly are. I mean sure, in comparison with Srila Prabhupada, I deserve to be dragged along the back of a Taxi in India by my left hand, but I don't think that's a proper assessment for someone like me. So I'm not as thin, or should I say anorexic as Courtney Love was, but at least I got 90% of you kids beat, so ha? That's not to say that you shouldn't have ambitions and goals to try your best, like to become half the devotee Srila Prabhupada was and is, but getting down on yourself about not being there yet, or even 50 years from now, is not going to help you come closer to that goal. One step at a time, do what you can, just never lose determination; just never lose sight of your goals; just never quit. Try your best to be a role model for others who had similar doubts and frustrations, just chill out and take a step back from it all if you need to. And when you run into the ones who think they are God's gift to mankind, just punch them in the mouth. I can't stand those kids.
Recently... I don't really know what I've been up to. India last summer was freaking awesome. Italy was cool too, but mainly just the buildings and art everywhere, the people were pretty much as obnoxious as here unless they were hitting on you. India the buildings weren't quite as grand except for the temples, but the people were all so nice and so giving, even despite what little they had they had no problem with the thought of giving it all away. Most of them anywayz. I think I hate everyone in Hydro Baud, where the biggest cow slaughterhouse in the world is located. It's like the difference between a small child and a man breaking a law. You freaking Hydro Baudians should know better, it's in your culture. The only thing that was missing from my whole trip was my friends. I got a lot of really inspiring ideas and I dunno, insights on life? But the seconds I got back they all vanished and I fell back into my regular rhythm. At least the ideas are there though I guess, waiting for the motivation and someone to help me carry them along into reality. Garba dancing last night was ridiculous. It was fun to do, but funner to watch other people do. And even funner still would have been to be up there banging on the drums all night long. Some girls tried to mess with about eating steak since I just look like any old white guy, but after I let them fall into their own trap I represented for the vegetarians... I guess? Financially this semester is going to kinda suck, but whatever, I'm making a fountain in my backyard and that's all that counts in the end, I'm not even joking.
Atlanta was amazing. As disgusting as the Fear Factor thing was while I was trying to eat my box of Dunkin' Donuts, it was great fun. Both seeing the fearful looks in the eyes of the contestants, like a deer in the headlights while they were waiting for the next event to be set up, and also the all too gleeful look in the eyes of most everyone watching. Shame on you all. Seeing Veda after so long was almost half the fun. He's hands down one of the coolest people in this world, and he knows I'm next on the list after him so he saved me extra ice cream. Soccer and Dadi-Bhanda (sp?) were way good too. Even though we argued more than we played, both pointlessly arguing as the devil's advocate and the actual competition were good fun. Undefeated O_o, tons of ties, but never a loss. The A-town band was way better than I had expected, although I'm sure the older generation had no idea what was going on, all the kids absolutely loved it. The Indian restaurant was pricy, but they probably just jacked the prices since they knew we were all just getting done fasting and did not care how much that crap cost. It was really good food too. The drive up also wasn't bad at all. Between the movies playing on the lap top, Amala Kirtan on the stereo, and Nimai to chill with when the little ones fell asleep... good times.
The beach today was way nice too. A pretty day at the beach, not too many old people in speedos, good friends, weird music, what more can you ask for? We buried Katrina in our 'shade cave' and laughed as she futilely tried to wiggle out of it for like half an hour. No skim board :(, but the water was nice enough to wallow in for the better part of the day when we weren't sleeping in the sun.
A-town gurukul reunion this weekend... my first one oddly enough after living here the last 13 years. Hope to see allot of old friends there, hope they remember seeing me the next morning, hope we get some good sporting going, hope too many random people don't end up in my tent at the end of the night O_o.
People in general kinda trip me out. There are two or three that I know that actually make sense, but besides that they are all basically retarded. Even as much time as I spend watching and thinking on everything and everyone, as much as I used to think I was a kinda smart kid, I'm never going to understand the world. At parties, everyone tells me how much they respect me for not drinking or smoking and still being able to hang out with everyone at the party and have a good time. Even people who have absolutely no reason to suck up to me or pretend to be nice, people who don't even really know me, they say they respect me so much for it, but for some reason never put 2 and 2 together and think maybe I'm onto something, maybe there is something more to life than today and the amount of fun we can have before we crash. Freaking pisses the hell out of me like nothing else can. One of my good friends, a kuli, someone I used to completely respect and look up to when I was younger. He was up there with Veda, someone I wanted to be just like when I got older, someone I alwayz looked forward to hearing stories from and playing cool games with. Well. He's on med's for depression, seeing a freaking shrink who's probably telling him just to take more him time and everything in the world will work out fine for him. At the same time, he's picked up drinking all the time and even habitually smoking to be cool I guess. I'm just like wtf are you kidding me? Who the hell would take meds for depression, simultaneously taking a depressant just for the social aspect of it, cause that crap does not taste good, and doesn't even feel good once it wears off. He went straight from being at the top of my list, one of the best people I knew, to just like everyone else, a freaking nobody. He used to be all involved with the kids, helping them so much. They loved him, and I know he loved working with him. Now it's all gone, he's just the next kid trying to find happiness in a world where happiness only comes to those who don't desire it, in a world of shadows and games where nothing is what it seems, and he was the one who used to be teaching me that in class. I just don't understand, nothing makes sense to me anymore.
I have a hard time judging myself. Not only that I'm too arrogant to be able to aptly find the flaws in my character, but it's just really hard for me to judge myself because I'm alwayz thinking about so much in the background. As far as others, I don't know what it is about people in general that make them assess their value or self worth by how suave they are with the opposite sex. As if it's hard to bring your A game when there is something in it for you, and you know they want the same thing. Really what we should use to define or judge our character is how we treat people who we have absolutely nothing to gain from. How nice we are in the everyday conversations with passing people, to the homeless guy who just wants someone to listen to his crazy and humorous stories about the upcoming alien invasion. Not just what we say to be nice or politically correct, because that just shows how sensitive you are to the peering eyes of the people around you, but how we feel at that exact point in time. That can show you more clearly than anything I can think of right now, what kind of person you really are. Even more so I need to work on how I act and feel towards people who have a problem with me, then I'll truly be the man I sometimes think I am, out.
"Please abide in the temple of my heart both day and night, O Krsna Murari, O Sri Krsna Murari!"
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
Allot of times when we are hit with something sudden and monumental, our first reaction is to question everything. "Why did this happen? Why to him Lord, he was such a nice boy? Why now?" Even sometimes so far as to lash out in anger. "This is so unfair Krsna, I hate you." What we sometimes fail to realize, blinded by emotion, is how merciful the Lord actually is to His devotees. Sure the timing seems terrible, we lose his association, his incredibly nonchalant attitude, and his smile, but what about what Prthu gained? From the start he was incredibly blessed. To be born into a devotee family is something I tend to take for granted time and time again, but if the rest of the world is taken into consideration, we all are incredibly fortunate. Then factor in all the devotional service and spiritual traveling opportunities that Prthu had in his lifetime. His well earned good fortune continued even into the end. To leave this material world feeling no pain, surrounded by all the different beautiful forms of the Lord offering Their guidance in his transitioning, with tons of friends and family members alongside chanting and praying for his well-being. I can't imagine a better way to leave this wretched place. The Lord helped guide Prthu throughout his entire life, and that isn't about to change anytime soon. As dearly as we all will miss him, it is for certain that he resides in a better place, and all we can do is pray that we shall again see his smile one day soon.
"Yet there is another nature, which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated... For one who remembers Me without deviation, I am easy to obtain, O son of Prtha, because of his constant engagement in devotional service."
Lord Krsna, Bhagavad Gita Chapter 8
Towards the end of the first night of visiting Prthu, one of the senior devotees decided to form a circle of interlocked hands and pray to Lord Nsrimhadeva. It started off in a faint whisper, but gradually it rose, until it filled the entire hospital main lobby, as if it were a full temple room at the Sunday feast. There was obviously something different in this, but it wasn?t like we were trying to persuade the Lord, and only in our time of need. ?Kesava Dhrta Narahari-Rupa.? I?m not much for prophetic signs and miracles, believing more that what is supposed to happen due to karma and whatnot will occur, but I?d be lying if I said that at that instant I wasn?t acutely aware of an uncustomary feeling atop my chest. Maybe it was just that I was putting that much effort into my singing at that point in time, maybe it was just something that I subconsciously triggered in my body to make me feel that way in an effort to assure myself, but it was nonetheless powerfully withstanding. I do not know what Krsna has planned for His devotee in this situation, for what purpose or with what trying circumstances on Prthu?s friends and well-wishers. What I do know is that he has been both blessed and a blessing on many throughout his life, whether they knew so at the time or not, and I am 100% confident that the Lord will bend things a little to do what is best for Prthu spiritually, though it may be beyond our own conception at the present time. It never hurts to pray a little though, whether it be in front of a temple room full of devotees or on your own.
"Again and again the day comes, and this host of beings is active; and again the night falls, O Partha, and they are all helplessly dissolved.
Yet there is another nature, which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all in this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is."
Thursday night's Bhagavad-Gita verses, 8.19-20
Advantage to being an 'intellectual': it's incredibly hard to be surprised by anything, as you've already thought of all the possible scenarios in life. Any twists or turns that life throws your way, you've already seen coming from the implicatory signs, and are way ahead of the ball game.
Downside to overthinking everything: it's an impossibility fall asleep at a decent time, because you'd rather just lie there and think the world through, all the whys and what ifs. And then questions start arousing in your head... do I do my best to keep my gaze on the deities because that is what I truly wish to do, or is it because I want people to think it is what I truly wish to do? Am I a good person to people who can do me absolutely no good because that is my criteria for judging other's virtue and I want to be judged in a good way, or is it because it actually feels like the right thing to do for me?
Don't doubt yourself. Life is tricky and complex enough without having faith in your own actions. Also the effect sometimes can lead to purity in the cause, if that makes any sense. If someone starts going to the temple in an effort to try and get some girl to notice them or whatnot, even if their intentions aren't pure, the actions themselves are, and eventually the reason as to why won't matter. All that will be left is the kid, going to the temple regularly, and feeling so much a better person, even if he isn't sure as to why.
I'm totally growing my hair out again for the next couple months. A couple of my friends want me to bust out with a full on beard, but I think they just want me out of the competition altogether with meeting new ladies. Beards are way too gnarly for 19 year olds, in my opinion at least.
Damn it feels good to be a gansta!! Kicked the poo out of my exam a second ago. It was such a relief after starting the semester as slack as ever. It was like I had stopped breathing for the full length of the exam, I thought I had done mediocre at best. Busted a 96 to pull it off, walked out of the classroom all calm and composed, but the second I got out of the room I went crazy. Gave a little scream, did a groovy dance in the hallway, almost busted out a tap in the air, but then I realized only one 'guy' I know does that, my little brother, so there was no way I was going there... Kicking to some Agni-Deva with the windows down, bass up, I could finally breathe again, the air was rushing into my lungs to make up for time right before the exam. Life feels so much better with school out, the flowers are lusciously fuller, the beach is more serene and at the same time the waves are way more gansta, the economy goes up a couple points, the girls are all prettier. The decrease in stress affects all aspects of this world, and I just love it all so much.
Last night I decided to walk to Moe's for some grub instead of driving. Not like it was much of a hike, .7 miles each way, and I'm not pretending it's at all serene alongside Archer, but I liked it. Sitting there, watching all those cars flash by, hearing elusive bits of conversations and all different sorts of music, I get to pretend that I'm not like that, all caught up in my life thinking I'm so important and whatnot, rushing here and there. If everyone could just stop for an hour a week to take the time to appreciate the beauty everywhere around us, maybe English would be a prettier language. Whatever that has to do with anything? I guess that is what vacationing is all about though. We all stretch as thin as humanly possible, trying to get as much money with as little effort, to be the best at as many sports as possible, do good in school, get as many girls as you can without too much interference, please our parents, keep our self-respect, all the while remaining cool to all our peers. I never stop thinking, even whilst I lie there trying to fall asleep, and it's rare that I stop moving. Vacation is the much needed elastic rebound from all the stretching out to accommodate as much as we can, trying to get all the material in one hand and all the spiritual in the other hand? Is there ever a point where you realize enough is enough, and you've had your share of everything material and thereby inevitably temporary? I guess there is only one way to find out for people like me...
?It is difficult to realize that you cannot win every battle for every friend. It is difficult to understand and accept your own limitations, and with them, the recognition that while you try to do the best you can, it will often prove inadequate? What I understand now, as never before, is that guilt is not the driving force behind responsibility. If we act in a goodly way because we are afraid of how we will feel if we do not, then we have not truly come to separate the concept of right and wrong. For there is a level above that, an understanding of community, friendship, and loyalty. I do not choose to stand beside Bruenor or any other friend to alleviate guilt. I do so because in that, and in their reciprocal friendship, we are both the stronger and the better. Our lives become worth so much more.?
This is definitely the nicest time of the year in Florida, besides my birthday of course... It's cool, but not cold enough to keep me inside and away from my stars or the beach. Any other time in the year you go outside too long and you'll come back with malaria, try to make a bon-fire to chill by and your parents will send you to the infirmity ward. These last few nights have been absolutely perfect though, pull up a chair and get toasty by the fire, talk about the good old days or just lay there dreaming away. Ice-cream is still just as tasty, you just have to eat it quick before the spoon freezes to the bowl. I still can't wait to get out of here though, just for a little bit... one day.
I used to think that the main advantage to having your own crib was being able to run all through the place naked, just because you could. I think I've found something a little more satisfying though. I know, I was shocked as well, more satisfying than running around naked? However, there is nothing more soothing than playing mrdanga to the latest Amala Kirtan or Bada Hari at two in the morning, and just playing your heart out. There is something strangely comforting about it, like with no one else around there is no chance that you are playing for anyone besides the Lord. That and no one can tell how off beat I am, right? Singing with a harmonium works to the exact same effect. I know it sounds pretty bad when I hit them high notes, but it just feels so good, like I'm sitting there one on one with the Lord of the Universe. Now I just have to find myself a girl who can put up with that crap every night, and play tennis like nobody's business, and I'm set with a soulmate for life.
The bare necessities can make a bear rest at ease according to my long time idol and role model Baloo the bear, but I don?t think they would do it for me. With each dawning day there is something new that I never needed before, but now all of a sudden is absolutely essential. It seems so small and hardly detrimental to my spiritual life, and having it would probably put me in better spirits overall, which would make me nicer towards everyone I encounter and make me chant more, right? Then why do I hanker for it so? This girl in front of me is such a nice person by material standards, it's not her fault she wasn't born into a devotee family and doesn't know any better, maybe if I just went along with our desires, I could eventually get her to see everything from a higher perspective, and at least change her eating habits if nothing else. Wouldn't that 'self-sacrifice' be worth it in the end then, making her a better person. But that's not the real reason why my mind is telling me to get with her of course, that's not really what my thoughts will be circling around. The detriment to my current spiritual life would be far greater than whatever little I could help to change her habits that are so set in stone by society and her parents. Now if all that elaborate reasoning was just a ruse by my mind, trying to entangle me more than I already am, who am I to trust if I can't even trust myself?
I never realized how much good can come from something as simple as going to India. Spiritually I'm sure there is something beneficial as well, but dude, my parents went for a couple weeks, and the parties were off the heezy four sheezy. Trashed the place, made my brother do all my dirty clothes, tortured my cat, then when they got back, they had tons of presents to reward me for my good behavior. Tablas, harmonium, India-smelling clothing, more sweets than I could have imagined. All you kids now have a reason to try and motivate your parents to take advantage of the spiritual opportunity afforded to them just a short 10,000 miles away... I didn't really torture my cat just to spare the hateful emails from animal rights activists and others who don't know me, and my little brother enjoys doing my laundry, just ask him... hah! It's on little kid, lets see what you got to say about me in your profile now! Enough goofiness, I'm out,
I freaking love the cold weather. Not only do I get to bust out with my amazingly stylish winterly wardrobe, but I purposely make it super cold so that I can dive into my array of down comforters and pillows. Of course it makes it all that much harder to get up in the morning for school when it's 30 degrees colder out from under your fortress of bedding, but I am willing to make the sacrifice of possibly skipping school for the feeling I get.
Most people have come to regard religious aspects and similarities as humanity's way of coping with the unknown. Having something to fear and at the same time admire, a figure that is all powerful and righteous and at the same time loving of us helps keep us in our place when the rest of the world isn't watching. Kind of like an extension of the fatherly figure whom most kids put so much faith in and helps keep us in line, except infallible and so many times more imposing. Especially traditions such as fasting, and all the similarities in ancient scriptural stories and Greek myths, are all thought of as just stories fed to the commoners to serve a purpose.
Even if this truly was the case, as morally corrupt and self serving as most of society is, it definitely would help to keep this notion alive within yourself, that at least there is the possibility of a higher being that will mediate and adjudicate in the end. But for me, it seems equally as logically reasonable that the reason most all forms of religion believe in similar concepts is not that a select few wanted to better society and so made up stories to encourage these similar characteristics, but that it is truly what God initially intended for us as human beings, and so therefore it is naturally for the betterment of society. And following, as our real place is eternally with God, or more commonly by name Krsna, we all carry with us these seemingly intrinsic characteristics which He wished of us and which hopefully will inevitably lead us towards Him. And judging from all the other facts and scientific impossibilities from the perfection of creation and nature to the specific and everyday miracles in each and every one of our lives, it is many times over more logical, strictly keeping with reason as opposed to feelings, to regard all the little amazingly well timed 'coincidences' as purposeful acts of a higher being. There are just some things we will not be able to understand, no matter how hard we strive or how advanced our science becomes, and instead of trying so hard to breakdown everything in religion in an attempt not to be one of the flock, if we can accept that, given the fact we were granted free choice, there naturally is seemingly logical outs for people who are intent on denying God's existence, then everything starts to make more sense in life. If God affirmed his existence in this world without the ability for any reasonable doubts, then the notions of free choice and love would be a complete hoax. And free choice is indeed the key in this entire mess of a situation. The choice to have faith as opposed to 'intelligent' scientific theoretical doubts, even using the positive results of organized religion and morality as proof that you are doing the right thing, and stop trying so hard to be the enjoyer and doer of our actions. If I can ever finally truly achieve that state, it will make my life so much more fulfilling. This is the prayer constantly in the back of my mind.
?The soul is only able to view existence through the bars of a prison, and not in her own nature; she is wallowing in the mire of all ignorance; and philosophy? pointing out to her that the eye is full of deceit, and also the ear and the other senses, and persuading her to retire from them in all but the necessary use of them and to be gathered up and collected into herself, and to trust only herself and her own intuitions of absolute existence, and mistrust that which comes to her through others and is subject to vicissitude.
And the soul of the true philosopher thinks that she ought not to resist this deliverance, and therefore abstains from pleasures and desires and pains and fears, as far as she is able; reflecting that when a man has great joys or sorrows or fears or desires, he suffers from them, not the sort of evil that which might be anticipated-as, for example, the loss of his health or property, which he has sacrificed to his lusts-but he has suffered an evil greater far, which is the greatest and worst of all evils, and one of which he never thinks.?
This whole Iskcon split is still pissing me off. Both sides seems to have their flaws and sketchy accusations that easily border aparadhs, and all in all I don't really see any good coming of it all. No matter which side ends up dominating, there will be a huge loss of potential devotees from the opposing side, what to speak of all the effort and resources spent on fighting about the issue. There has to be a balance where we can get the most from the leaders, while not letting the power corrupt to the point where we have to start losing our trust because of all the fall-downs and false enunciates. I feel absolutely awful trying to judge a Maharaj and assess his character when I meet one face to face, but at the same time I feel compelled to in order to be safe. Seeing an ex-maharaj walking down the streets of Gainesville in plain clothes with a bottle of booze will never leave you the same. And that was just one that I barely knew by name, what to speak of if I had placed a good deal or respect and admiration in that maharaj beforehand. Srila Prabhupada alwayz talked about cooperation among the devotees, and now more and more I've come to see how pivotally important that is. Without cooperating, this movement will never grow, especially not in the direction it was meant to, it will spiral side-ways instead of conjoining upwards. The only cooperation I have seen is in the Gurukulis coming together to try and make themselves blend in as much as possible to the ever-increasingly disgusting world around us. When the entire world has gone insane and astray, only the seemingly crazy are truly sane. But as downheartening as it is to be around Gurukulis that act like they want nothing more than to be just like my karmi friends, I have to continue believing they are in the end better association for what they were brought up learning, for what is truly in their hearts.
"On taking such a birth again, he revives the divine consciousness of his previous life, and he tries to make further progress in order to achieve complete success, O son of Kuru... to them I carry what they lack and preserve what they have." - Lord Krsna, BG.
It's funny how I've practically lived my whole life thinking only a few things would change and make me happy, I could be such a better devotee. Like if I had a car that I wasn't constantly working on, if I had enough money to hardly have to work, or if I ever found the perfect woman, I'd have more time and be so more ready to dedicate the rest of my life to Krsna. Unfortunately for me the real world works in an entirely opposite fashion. If you try and base your spiritual life on material and ultimately temporary premises, inevitably they will crumble along with your spiritual tendencies. At the same time, none of us are or ever could be Prahlad Maharaj v2, so what are we to do? It's so hard to try and give your life to Krsna when you are unsatisfied in so many aspects and have no motivation for charitably donating your time. Out.
If anyone has any input, questions or comments regarding the following or anything at all for that matter, I would love to hear what all the rest of my peers have come to think on these matters. Also, my father was thinking about putting together some kind of informatory seminar strictly for gurukulis. I don't know how much of a realistic possibility it is being so near, but if you are interested in something to have your questions answered near the time of the reunion, I'll talk to him, haribol. Nila@ufl.edu.
Ritviks vs. Physical Initiates: I guess you could say that finding out to a certainty whether or not Srila Prabhupada has been poisoned was pretty important to my father, and so he dedicated this last decade of his life to investigating. Very nearly associated with this investigation is what has become the battle of the powers. A divulging split in Iskcon between those trying to push physical initiation by the present day authorities and those for the initiation solely in the name of Srila Prabhupada.
On the one hand we've all seen plenty of instances where false renunciation has lead to the downfall and degradation of individuals beyond even the average sinner. Power undeniably corrupts, and in my opinion the only ones fit to have it are the ones who do not want it, knowing this fact. On the other hand, I do not want to be misled by the callings of family ties and pride. No matter how much you respect or trust someone, be it friends, teachers, or family, this world has degraded to a level that has affected all manners of society, clergy and respectables included. Even if a person is trustworthy, chief among the four propensities is the tendency to make mistakes, and I do not want to try and firmly take a stance on something this pivotal without first having taken seen an open and unbiased account, and trying to get my own personal feelings on it all. As faulty as it may be, my heart has been my guide throughout most of my life, and it has yet to steer me wrong from what I can tell.
When I showed up three hours late for bhajans tonight because of work, Navayogendra Maharaj asked me how many rounds I chant daily. I replied five, and he showed appreciation considering you would think a bum kid like me wouldn't remember the whole mantra, but then he said, "this is good, but tomorrow you chant more." What, was I gonna be like no Maharaj, I'm fine with five, thanks though? So, now I'm chanting eight rounds daily I guess. All of a sudden my life seemed to have more of a purpose, not just in the sense of stepping up to the plate and fulfilling his request, but every aspect of it seemed to have more of a reason and good ending goal. Reading Srila Prabhupada's books has most definitely gave me the amazing ability to keep on the path when it comes to drugs or alcohol or anything of that nature, and more or less lead a good life, but the ambition was mediocre at best. I had gone from chanting two rounds to chanting five within five months, but there is nothing as powerful as directly being told to chant more. And not that I haven't been urged to chant more my whole life by others, but it's just allot easier to respect a maharaj if you take the name for what it is supposed to represent, and even though I respect my parents more than anyone in the world, they are afterall my parents, and I slack off way as much as I can with most anything they ask of me.
So, even if you do come to hold back and be cautious with the 'authorities' in Iskcon with all you have seen and heard, offenses against the Lord's devotees are the most grievous, so we have to be very careful with our accusations and even misjudging thoughts. If you don't focus on all the negative possibilities and carry too many thoughts as to the other darker sides that an authority may have, and instead focus on the bhajans being performed or good-natured instructions given, they can definitely be used as positive motivation to do the right thing, because you respect them and therefore hopefully have the good sense to improve your life at their request. It is my opinion that if someone asks you do something beneficial like chant more, even if he or she may not have the best intentions or be the purest of devotees, the nature of the instruction is such that it cannot be anything but good. This doesn't necessarily mean that if someone gives good instructions some of the time he is fit to be a guru, because the responsibilities and thereby qualifications to be a guru are overwhelming. It gets tricky because then you have to define what is the right thing when it comes to instructions on initiation and other things of that nature, but there is always inevitably a calling within your heart if you listen and can separate it from the desires of your mind, and things as basic as chanting your rounds, keeping to the four regs, and temple worship are never a question as good or bad.
At the same time, thinking back to some of the authorities who were totally fallen and impious in the background while giving seemingly spiritually beneficial commands up front... It's not possible that they were pure devotees except for the sex with little kids, drugs, and monetary scheming, so even some of the seemingly better instructions very possibly were traced with venom. And with the enormous numbers that have been misled by falsely proclaimed pure devotees, of which there remains three of the original 11 I believe ("There is no possibility that a first class devotee will fall down." Srila Prabhupada, Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 22.71, purport). Logically there must be 'gurus' today who will eventually and inevitably fall down, belittling the faith in Krsna that lies within all their firm disciples? hearts. If the fact that a good chunk of Iskcons resources are diverted to a court case for abusing children and voting for initiating candidates doesn't strike you as odd enough, the track record of all the blooping gurus who couldn't handle the power and the austerity should make you a little weary. What's next? 4 year terms and televised campaigning? Modernization is the worst possible thing that we could be doing to the system, because the more modern things are the more degraded. Gurus are supposed to be appointed by their spiritual masters, and hesitantly but dutifully accepting the post. Anyways, even though there probably are some who are truly good natured at heart, I find no other option but to remain watching on the sideline, just trying to keep leading a semi-good life. But at the same time, I don't want to miss out on all the motivation and beneficial association out there in the world. Man oh man is it a hard-knock life for us.
If you just do one more thing before you go to sleep tonight you're probably going to want to brush your teeth or something. But if you do two things, go to www.chantandbehappy.com, the HK Real Audio section, Bhajans, download Hari He Doyal Mor by Amala Kirtan Prabhu, cause it's going to cost some serious money pretty soon. As far as the pic is concerned... I know. Typical guy thing, me with a picture of my car and all. I'm selling her really soon so I wanted at least one picture with me and her, for old times sake. I guess you could say I am the typical guy in the sense that speeding down the road in the middle of the night makes me feel really good, but I'd at least like to think I differ from the traditional stereotype in the sense that I hope, hope being the key word, that I don't do it in an effort to feel superior to the rest of the world. For me, my ride is my vent when everything hits me too hard all at once, and my ride gives me the sense that I'm away flying above and away from everything that was pissing me off, like I'm going too fast to give my mind a second to analyze everything and tear myself apart. Of course the second I snap back to reality it's all there again, more than likely ever the worse with the lapse in time, just like our good old friend alcohol. Maybe I'm a coward for not facing my fears straight up everytime, but confrontation usually makes things worse from experience. I don't know. I really need to stop running though, I'm tired. I hope to see some long-lost buds as well as some future exs at the Alachua Reunion this year. If not, it'll just be the same old crowd hanging out at the springs all weekend, which is just fine by me. Haribolo.
Italy. It's the happening place. Way hotter than Simons and 238 on the weekends, trust me. Actually I have no idea what I'm in store for, but I guess I'm just at one of those points in my life where I just need something to happen, something drastic and, I don't know, inspiring maybe? I just hope it's not like America, cause America is starting to get pretty lame. I kind of want to phase back to wheeling carts into town to pick up the weeks worth of supplies for the little group of incest families that I lived with. The good old days. No. I'm sure they have cars in Italy, hot ones at that, I just need a change in scenery. I've already tapped all the local sources of inspiration, and there's not much left to motivate me. It's not that I couldn't be happy with what I have available to me or anything like that, because that'd just make me suck at life in the long run and never even come close to being 'happy' or content rather. But there's allot holding me down, cause I've been around so long and seen too much, and too many people who know how I should run my life better than me. I just need to go away for a couple months and see some pretty lakes, camp out near the mountains, even if it's not all that different from America all the girls in Italy are hot... it's going to be great. It'll help get me moving too, just like a walk around town late at night or on the beach, but different and so better than Gainesville could ever be. I'm going to take Italian for the next two semesters, then spend the summer there. Presuming I do make the flight back, this summer friends, family, road trips, work, and tennis are my life, hopefully all the while keeping up with my morals and self respect, my devotional mentality. Possibly the tour for a couple weeks, who knows though? Later,
Alachua isn't your everyday, typical west coast, but a west coast-ish nonetheless... if you look at it right. It's all about perspective.
Just a neat fact to think about - the devotee population of Alachua has decreased from 700ish to about 35 within a span of two weeks with all this India business lately. The upside: my vote counts 20 times what it used to. The downside: my vote never counted for anything to begin with... I'm a gurukuli. That was rough, and I'm kinda kidding, I'm sure we'd play more of a role in the 'movement' if we had something to say. That just goes for my immediate generation and locale at least. I'm sure some people have their ways to make things run better, but the only people I catch up with philosophically or even managerially debating much of anything are the older kids. I guess it can be kinda dangerous because who really knows what they are talking about anyway? Just because one person's better at arguing doesn't make their point even remotely valid. But it's still fun nonetheless ain't it, and there is definitely some good stuff out there that you can learn from or let take you down, as per your ultimate and sometimes ulterior desire. Anywayz I like talking but I hate writing, and this stuff is way too general to be meaningful or any fun. I hope all my friends are doing wonderfully, and everyone else can rot in h... j/k. Goodness begets good, I hope everyone is doing wonderfully, honestly. Out.
I'm not going to say Alachua is the best place in the world to live just cause I'm here, but it's definitely as good a place to live as any, besides Beverly Hills at least... that'd be fun. It kinda seems that the kids around here are flavored by the generation, almost as if we could label the age brackets all as different peoples. Everything changes in time, that's just a principle of life, but at the same time it seems that the kids you associate with really do have a bigger affect on the person you become than I used to think and argue with my parents about. Besides just having cool cats to look up to and others to show you what not to do, there is like a common thread of thought that pervades all that you befriend, as general a thread as it may be. Chicken or the egg question, is it the friends that bring you to think as you do gradually over time, or is it the commonality that makes them become your friends?
That was just my lame excuse for the overbearing inability to sort. I probably would have made more enemies than people feel good anywayz, so it wouldn't have been worth it. Truly blessed though, truly; some people I've looked up to and learned along-side my whole life; others I've learned what not to do from, which is just as important to have so thumbs up to you too. I don't feel like writing about everything that's happened recently, as if I could even put everything into words, but life's a peach, and they are most usually good. Ups and downs of course, as usual and expected, but as long as you learn from your downs and at least make it less likely for the same ones to hit you, you're better off than you originally were, right? I guess I'm still trying to find that delicate 'harmonic' balance of life, but... my friends just showed up so I'm out for now, later. Hope everyone has a great new years and all that. Peace.
This is some stuff I wrote for my last profile, just feel like keeping it, for treasurous memories' sake: Lets see, where to start?... Well most of you probably don't remember who I am all too well, at least I know half of you tripped on that Cala Chandra, I didn't even know about it till my teachers over at SFHS took a stab at my 'legal name' and ended up murdering it all over the place. For all those of you who kinda remember, I'm that little Indian drummer boy probably from your past, as I'm southside, westcoast, and eastcoast all in one, lived in Dallas, San Diego, and Alachua all. I've kinda been blessed, having the good fortune of getting to know a whole bunch of people worldwide pretty well, you all know who you are, but lately.... I'm not manic depressive or nothing, kinda shy but that's no reason not to stop hanging out with everyone you used to. I don't really have a reason for why I kinda faded away, nothing on anyone, sorta just to keep from all the trouble, keep my status of no enemies. Even though younger and more innocent, it seems that throughout a good part of my young days as a lad in gurukula I was getting rowdy with plenty of people, there alwayz was allot of competition among everyone. Maybe that's just cause I think I was kinda arrogant earlier on in life... now of course I'm the humblest pure devotee you ever did meet :), or maybe not really. For some reason I can alwayz pick at my past, but never seem to realize whatever is wrong with me in the present, even though it should be way more apparent as I'm probably right smack in the middle of it. Nowadayz I'm just taking it easy, kinda getting sucked in with all the cars and music and chilling with my friends and all, but I'm pretty sure it's not permanent, or maybe that's just what I want to believe and what my mind is telling me, I could never know for sure. I've alwayz stuck true to myself though, and that's more than I could say for a few others I think. Chanting has kinda slipped, even though reading has picked up a little, and it isn't just that hurry through stuff so I can get to play something or get a ride somewhere reading. I'm not a pure liberated soul yet, but despite what I'm sure allot of you have come to think, I'm still me. Yeah I'm at parties where they are sippin on some syrup, and hanging with out with karmi's allot of the time, but I've never drank, never smoked, never ate meat intentionally, I'm still that little drummer boy you used to know, and I'd like to think it's alwayz gonna be like that long after I'm done as 'Nila'. I don't get to go to the temple all that much, but at least when I am there, I'm there for the deities, and not to see whoever, or do whatever to impress whoever. Not saying anyone is like that at all, but that's just the feeling I get from time to time with some. I'm still cool with people who drink and all, although I'm sure I do, I at least try not to judge all that much, everyone does their own thing, surely I do. For some reason I've just alwayz held devotees to higher standards, probably cause I alwayz think they should know better. I mean, everyone, every single person has their faults, their defects, whatever, it's just the difference between the people who choose to look at the ups or the downs, but all the karmi's I hang out with are honest, open to things, and at least true to what they were raised on and taught was right. I'm honestly not thinking of initiation anytime in the near future, but that's just cause with all the stuff my dad's going through about Prabhupada's poisoning and everything, I just have no clue what to do with all the double-sidedness and deception around today besides my own thing, reading Srila Prabhupada's books from time to time and just trying to be a good person, but I know that's not enough in the way of liberation, so I'm just counting on my future, even though I know that's not the best thing to do from all Pralahd Maharaja's teachings.
|Hit Count: 5116|
|Creation Date: 07/28/2002|
|Last Updated: 01/19/2014|
|Profile ID: 1032|
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