Whew! It's been a long time since I've had a spare moment to write. :( Although so many things have been happening, so many things to be grateful for, most of my reflections have not had the chance to make it to written word. That being said, despite all the things I could share, today I choose to write about a very precious gift Lord Nitayanada gave to me. He is just so magnanimous. Even though it is HIS appearance day, he gave me the greatest gift of all.
Yesterday evening, I accompanied my friend Tanya to a costume shop where she was picking up a costume for the drama she's going to be in tonight. :) Meeting up at her work place, she was still finishing off and so I took the opportunity to chant a few rounds. Upon her arrival, we head to the metro to go to the shop. Chatting and sharing realizations, we arrived at the shop and what a shop it is! It's a mish mash of anything and everything you could possibly think of in terms of clothes, shoes, jewelry, jeans, hats, costumes etc... You name it and most likely it's there.
As we went up the stairs to check out some wigs for an upcoming play, we started discussing what kind of wig would be best for the part. As we started to go through all of them, unfortunately nothing seemed suitable. Heading back down the stairs she rented her costume. Filling out the paper work and other odds and ends, I lounged on a chair and for a fleeting moment thought, "Maybe I should take this opportunity to chant." Thinking that it might be better to chant later, I instead took in the surroundings. Upon finishing everything up, we once again got onto the metro in the direction of the temple. Upon arrival, I took the opportunity to catch up on e-mails.
Having finished my e-mails, I thought, "It's still relatively early, I should finish my last few rounds." Looking into my schoolbag I stuck my hand in expecting to find my bead bag. NOTHING. Stunned, I slowly started turning everything inside out. "Ok, be calm," I coached myself. Turning to my laptop bag, I desperately prayed. NOTHING.
Surprisingly enough I didn't freak out, which normally would be my reaction. Borrowing some beads from a friend, I finished my rounds and all the while prayed and prayed and prayed. It was then I realized something. Everything that facilitated my chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra was in that bead bag and I was desperately lost without it.
In the asrama, my eyes happened to fall upon a calendar with Prabhupada quotes. Reading the quote for January 27, I was stunned:
"Some, something has dropped in the water, in the river, you cannot see the things dropped within the water by agitating the water. Just stand still for sometimes. As soon as the water is settled up, you'll see the things as they are. So as soon as our enthusiasm is agitated, it is better to sit down in any temple suitable and chant Hare Krsna. There is no question of being disappointed. After all, we commit so many mistakes. That is human nature. To err is human. That is not fault. But try to rectify with cool head. That is required." NOD Lectures, Calcutta, January 27, 1973
WOW! I felt an instant sensation of reciprocation. Krsna was reassuring me, calm was the way to go. Keep a cool head. It is only possible to rectify with a cool head.
That night before going to sleep I meditated about my lost bead bag. I could see and even feel everything so clearly Inside were my most cherished beads that had been chanted on by my beloved spiritual master. Those beads had also been dipped in the Ganga, Yamuna, Radha Kunda, Shyama Kunda, Vrnda Kunda and countless other holy places. In fact, tied around the eight bead was a small piece of thread from the brahmana thread Adwaita Acarya wore which I had received last year in Mayapur during Adwaita Acarya's appearance day. Along with these precious gems, my bead bag contains a nose ring from Srimati Radharani from Mayapur and a Ganja mala necklace that Chota Madhava wore. The bead bag itself was from Mayapur.
I mentally offered respects to my bead bag and told myself I would retrace my steps the following day.
This morning I woke up still meditating on my lost bead bag. During deity greetings I prayed to Lord Nityananda to please help ensure the safe return of my bead bag for it is a representation of his great mercy. The mercy of guru and the holy name.
As I made my way back to the shop, I kept visualizing my bead bag. As I pushed open the doors, I explained my predicament to the shop owners and made my way up the stairs. As I walked through the maze of clothing and nooks and crannys, I came to the dark corner where the boxes of wigs were kept. There, lying solitary in the darkness was my bead bag! I can't even begin to explain how happy I was to see it. I was reunited!
This event served to remind me of something very important. We never appreciate the most important things until we get a glimpse of how it would be if we didn't have them. The lesson is to cherish and be aware of everything. In fact Krsna had given me a hint. The thought to chant in the shop had come to my mind. If I had actually entertained it as opposed to just shoving it off to the side, I would have realized that I was missing my beads then and there. Krsna is always trying to help, the problem is we just don't listen.
It also made me realize that I am genuinely attached to my beads. For once, I can be proud of an attachment!
Wishing everyone a most ecstatic Nityananda Trayodasi! Nityananda Rama ki JAI!