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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Failed parīkṣā

I suppose that going to Rādhākund is all about passing the test of tolerance - blasting loud music (Rām-nām, mayoral elections, Bollywood), pert kids, monkeys tearing your clean clothes off the line, no water due to a broken pump, ants pervading your (and Giridhārī's) meals, strangers passing stool in your toilet without even flushing, or stealing your precious water, mosquitos stealing your night's rest, the nicest guys turning out to be rip-offs, always having to lock the door against monkeys, rats and mosquitos, frequent power cuts , too hot to cook a meal (the gas-stove requiring the fan to be switched off), being sick without a nurse around - none of this I tolerated - so far for taror iva sahiṣṇunā. As for tṛṇād api sunīcena - during my whole trip I felt indignation about a bābājī (who are themselves not all famous for their high birth) telling me to sit separately from the others. That test I also failed. This isn't dhyāna-bhūmi (a land of meditation) either - how can you meditate when you are caught between two gangs of big monkeys, ready to tear each other apart? This country is just about tolerating the intolerable. I get the feeling Madangopāl and Sādhu Bābā will not be pleased with me unless and until I pass these tests - and not just for a few weeks but permanently.


  1. There is now a certain bulky lady wanting to be elected for the Govardhan-Radhakund Panchayat chairman. Her symbol for elections is "Tala-Chabi", "lock and key". Then, her election campaign features loudspeakers blasting out na-na-na-naaa, taa-laa-chaa-bii day and night. I'm glad I had the good sense to bring with me a pair of heavy duty ear protectors. When I shut the windows and put them on, I can hear hardly anything.

    As much as Niyama-seva is also fulfilling, I am eager to get back to a normal, peaceful routine where practice of smarana is a more feasible reality. Those who practiced and formed strong habits can take just about anything, but unfortunately just yet I'm a far cry from that.

  2. Hope you get better soon. Don't be disheartened. India is not an easy place. You are from the western-caste and that is where your body thrives best.
    And about the soul I don't know. We need the blessings of the devotees to be able to stay in the Holy Dhama forever.

    Personally, I was kicked out of Brindaban almost immediatelly with dissenteria. I didn't dear the challenge to force my body to stay there. I regained my physical health in Mayapur by the mercy of Mahaprabhu and the devotees who took care of me.
    One day I hope the devotees of the Lord will allow me on the soil of Vraja.

  3. Dear Advaitadas,

    Your account of life in the Dham made me remember my feelings when I am there. I must admit I find it hard to experience the transcendental things and instead I become very aware of the earthly things - this is my situation.

    One thing I cannot forget which I heard at Govardhana township - the sound of a pig screaming and screaming and screaming when men were slowly slaughtering it. Forgetting Krishna, I was aware only of the sound of the pig's pathetic cries. Nobody helped it. Not even me.

    You were right when you said we need to pass through these tests and learn our lessons. Oh, when will the day come when I find inner peace and freedom from disturbance!

  4. Madhava: Don't hope for peace after the elections. There will be some other noise. Back when I was staying at Subal's they had a mike in the fields blasting out Bollywood full blast from 10 p.m to 6 p.m., right at sleeping time. I was told they think that is western style, they want to imitate.
    Durga, sorry you are hurt. Who is Prem Baba?
    Anonymous, I wouldnt be disheartened if this was my first trip to India, but alas, I have been coming there for 26 years, the first 9 years nonstop. But still....
    Murali, right. Peace is within....

  5. Why was the pig being slaughtered? Were they Muslims?

  6. I lived in Mayapur 2 years and thought I knew India.

    It can be pleasant living inside a compound with fellow devotees, no malaria (in Mayapur), where westerners are respected, customs regulated according to western norms, western administration. Even Indians will prefer to live inside western-run compounds.

    But step outside that, and in any crowded pilgrimage place, not just Vraj (try Rishikesh or Varanasi), with cunning opportunists alongside the pious and innocent,

    And you too will experience *bara bara pariksha*, just like Advaitaji says.

    This is a timely warning for the inexperienced, Advaita. Keep strong.

  7. Durga -- we all say and do so many things that people blame us for long after our repentance. To err is human. So who is Prem Baba?
    Gaura -- Muslims dont eat pigs, that is Haram (untouchable) for them. It is the bhangis (sweepers, Hindus) that eat them after savagely slaughtering them.
    Brajamohan -- I hope I will never give up trying...

  8. From now on only positive criticism will be posted in the comments pages. Hostile and speculative ones that have been coming in in increasing numbers, especially here, will no longer be posted. I am all for freedom of speech but I dont like to be the target of cyber-lynching, thank you. Jay Radhe.

  9. Every writer distributes his own psychological profile to the broader public.
    Not by what he writes about, but where he chooses to not write about and his approach.
    Just like a child psychiatrist can make a rough sketch of a childs character just by looking at a few drawings.
    Not everybody can do it, but the more intelligent or the ones educated in psychology can. It is really interesting.
    Never reveal yourself to someone you don't trust fully. Don't through yourself out in the open. Don't do it if you can't bear the consequences. This is not only devotee-advice, but counts for everybody.
    I loved your blog and its comments called 'hidden motives'. Great stuff, you have got some high class intelligent commentators.
    Don't leave personal stuff on the internet, my unknown friend.

    P.S. I am not the real Dr. Phil. I just conveniently stole his identity. Get it

  10. And please don't take offense in my style of writing.
    I do understand you want to keep a certain standard in language on a blog where Holy Writings are discussed.

    In the same way I will say... Sorry, if I hurt your feelings. It wasn't meant that way.

    Let us glorify the Lord.