The Blind Monkey
6th of November, 2005 - 14:07

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The Blind Monkey
Posted: 6th of November, 2005 - 14:07
On our way to attend Kunja-bhanga kirtan and mangalaratik, we frequently come across a group of monkeys spending their early morning hours in the bazaar. A few days back, a certain young and enthusiastic monkey had pulled a bag over his head and was swinging on a rope, trying hard to orient himself to the situation. I have no idea how the bag ended on his head. However, it did remind me in a rather vivid manner of a certain very important topic.

A family of monkeys on a wall
The sadhaka of an impure heart, one whose svarupa is yet to awaken, is much akin to our monkey in his attempts to participate in and serve the daily pastimes of Radha and Krishna. Such endeavors, while certainly creating a favorable samskara in the heart, are all so ephemeral, as if one were gazing a beautiful scenery through thick, inpenetrable fog. The occasional moment of clarity is then all the more a cause of joy and inspiration, however minute it may be.

Regardless, adhikara proper for serving in the lila comes with the awakening of the svarupa, as the consciousness fills with the self-conception of a dear maidservant of Radha, and as the heart melts with the first tangible appearance of the various flavors of service in manjari-bhava. This stage, I believe, is what Jiva Goswami speaks of when he describes the jata-ruchi sadhaka. "Raga-bhakti is ruchi," as I've witnessed Babaji Maharaj often saying.

Three beautiful manjaris
With the awakening of the self proper, the unfolding charm of the world of the lila takes the sadhaka by the hand and leads him through the kingdom of sadhana to the gates of bhava, attaining which the self attains full unity with the svarupa. On the platform of this astonishing self-conception, one that charms even Krishna, the charmer of all worlds himself, bhakti-rasa is tasted as the last impediments from the heart vanish through the power of love.

Today, I saw a group of six to ten monkeys all cuddled together, keeping warm in the already chilly mornings of Radha-kunda. The heart-warming sight reminded me of a group of sadhakas taking shelter of each other in their pursuit of the divine treasure of prema, protecting each other from the cold and cruel world surrounding them in all directions. This world is not a good place to be in; it is a world of himsa, violence, and matsarya, or envy. It is a world of inflated egos, a world of countless evils. In his heart of hearts, the sadhaka seeks to always live in the beautiful land of Vraja, where the environment is wholly suited for the loving service of Radha and Krishna, and where even the contrary elements exist for the sole purpose of enhancing rasa. If there is a good thing in the external world, then certainly we are to take advantage of it and to utilize it in the service of our beloveds; yet, we are to shun the cultivation of a permanent relationship with anything but the abode of our true identity.
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