taror api sahishnuna
kirtaniyah sada harih
Krisnadas Kaviraj Goswami has written these lines in the Siksaastakam. Originally these lines have been composed by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It is not so easy. To reduce the I and me and just serve is no mean feat.
For me the journey towards a more humbler existence has been a massive journey of unlearning and learning.
I had this massive sense of independence which did not allow me to take the help of others and so suddenly when I faced darkness, it was difficult to accept help. Yes, even to take help from family was a problem and then financial dependence was the second thing which was difficult to accept.
Coming into spirituality and then discovering how ego clings on and how to return back to our true abode; one has to serve others, is something which I had to unlearn and learn, you may say why unlearn……as a child I refused to cheat or to let anyone see my notes. I do feel ashamed of my behaviour now but then my sole purpose then was that my friends should not take short cuts rather should try to be self-sufficient. Well that applies in spirituality too. You may guide someone to a particular path but then he/she has to take the rest of the steps by herself/himself.
You may say why these thoughts now. Well you see that the past few days have been a revelation.
I fell sick very badly. And though usually I stretch myself trying to make breakfast and then relax. This time I didn’t. I just woke up the better half and went back to sleep. You may say that I was selfish and where did my ‘seva bhav’ go? But I just couldn’t and for once decided to spare the others. Well what happens if I force myself I become grumpy and irritable. So instead I decided to be a little inconvenient but not spoil the atmosphere at home.
I also faced someones ire. I mean someone was jealous of me. Maybe still is. And the jealousy was written all over the face and it shook me. I also met someone who is autocratic and working with such a person is hell.
You may say that so what, you meet such people all the time. But there is a difference these are my godbrothers/ godsisters and we all are in the same path of bhakti.
It is not easy to be humbler than a straw in the street.
Our ego, our insecurities, weaknesses, all keep on raising their head and it is oh so difficult to strive on. How do you respect someone whose jealousy shines through. How do you respect someone who is so dominating that you feel stifled?? Not easy is it?
In the twelfth chapter of the Bhagvad gita from shlokas 13 to the 19th the Lord has listed some qualitites of a devotee like :
nirmama 9free from proprietorship)
free from false ego
And none of them are easy
I don’t even know whether I will be able to have at least one quality about the numerous listed but try….yes, I have to, not just to be a better person but also to be more beloved to the Lord.
How will I do that;
Again the ABCDs
Associate, Books (read), chant and do as much as devotional service as possible.
Hare Krishna to that.
The shlokas from 13th to 19th are
maitrah karuna eva ca
santustah satatam yogi
yo mad-bhaktah sa me priyah
One who is not envious but who is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor, who is free from false ego and equal both in happiness and distress, who is always satisfied and engaged in devotional service with determination and whose mind and intelligence are in agreement with Me–he is very dear to Me.
yasman nodvijate loko
lokan nodvijate ca yah
mukto yah sa ca me priyah
He for whom no one is put into difficulty and who is not disturbed by anxiety, who is steady in happiness and distress, is very dear to Me.
anapeksah sucir daksa
yo mad-bhaktah sa me priyah
A devotee who is not dependent on the ordinary course of activities, who is pure, expert, without cares, free from all pains, and who does not strive for some result, is very dear to Me.
yo na hrsyati na dvesti
na socati na kanksati
bhaktiman yah sa me priyah
One who neither grasps pleasure or grief, who neither laments nor desires, and who renounces both auspicious and inauspicious things, is very dear to Me.
samah satrau ca mitre ca
santusto yena kenacit
bhaktiman me priyo narah
One who is equal to friends and enemies, who is equipoised in honor and dishonor, heat and cold, happiness and distress, fame and infamy, who is always free from contamination, always silent and satisfied with anything, who doesn’t care for any residence, who is fixed in knowledge and engaged in devotional service, is very dear to Me.