New Year, New Commitments
31st of December, 2006 - 12:27
New year calls for new commitments. Well, any auspicious, remarkable or blessed day serves for an excuse for that, really. The human mind is fond of dealing with entireties, and so being, one can harvest substantial benefits in the way of determination from making commitments conjointly with particular periods of time, and so forth. Of course, devotional commitments run from here to eternity, but from here to eternity is a very long concept for a small mind to cope with. Hence, commitments for a new year.
The Daily News
19th of December, 2006 - 8:59
The Fresh Seedling
9th of December, 2006 - 4:27

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The Fresh Seedling
Posted: 9th of December, 2006 - 4:27
Substantial devotional inspiration versus blurts of enthusiasm that come and go – a dichotomy often seen. A justified division into real and unreal? Sometimes we say, "Let it pass the test of time – if it lasts, it is real." A firm resolve for pursuing bhajana is called anurāga, a passion for attaining fulfillment in one's devotional aspirations.

Spiritual emotions are not a static reality. Not that there is a particular quantity and grade of greed and determination that awaken, and having awakened are sustained if they are for real. Rather, greed, determination and passion for bhajana are something that are received and nurtured, that grow by the day when duly taken care of in the company of saintly devotees sharing the same traits.

An example will illustrate.

Here was planted a seed, and here comes a fresh sprout, just barely breaking off the ground, its tender leaves reaching for the sun. Now, but wait a moment will you: Is the growth truly for real? If it is real, then surely it'll pass our mighty litmus test: Shield it from the sunlight, give it no more water! If the sprout is truly for real, it'll surely be there also after a year or two to grow afresh once again. With the burst of genius, the beautiful sprout withered away, the gift called the spark of life departed, leaving behind but a dry reminder of growth once prospered, a carcass of a creeper that reaches not for the sky nor blossoms, for it is earth-bound again, destined to wilt away and assume the qualities of earth once more.

The growth was real for as long as it lasted. Was the impetus for growth mixed? Possibly so, for no sadhaka is spotless in motives at the very beginning. Was there growth nonetheless? Endeavors in bhajana purge the hearts of all in due course. Akāmaḥ sarva-kamo vā yajetaḥ puruṣaṁ param, thought the sages of the yore.

The inner drive of the sadhaka withers in absence of nourishment. Then, seeking the company of the saintly is the prime occupation of every aspiring sadhaka. The path we traverse is sustained by the life-giving milk of grace, milked from the presence, the instructions and the good wishes of the kamadhenu-saints.

"Absence makes hearts grow fonder" says the old proverb, and rightly so. Fondness grows when nourished with a deep attachment binding together hearts, as if a rope were stretched across the universe. However, in absence of a deep attachment – and alas, how many flavors of competing attachments does one cultivate! – the passing of time nourishes nothing but forgetfulness.

Therefore, aspirants! Sustain your connections and seek the company in which your heart prospers! Re-discover the force that once brought your heart to surrender and worship and that moved your heart to tears, shield it in the chamber of the core of your heart as the greatest of treasures for that is the asset of all assets in this life and beyond.
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