Tuesday, December 25, 2012

my inspiration for today

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Marianne Williamson

I remember the way I felt the first time I heard this, "Wow, that's totally applicable to me and everyone I know!" Years later, I've realized it's not only beautiful and inspirational but more importantly, it's a call to action for all of us. Krsna has given all of us unique abilities and talents and it is our service to culture, nourish them and offer it back in His service. om tat sat. :D

Sunday, December 23, 2012

in honour of gita jayanti: a new blog

Today, Sunday December 23, 2012 marks Gita Jayanti- the anniversary of when the Bhagavad gita was spoken over 5000 years ago on the sacred grounds of Kurukshetra.

The Bhagavad gita - as it is, is one of my favourite books. In fact, I often comment that it's "my hand book for life". If I have a question, a problem, am frustrated or am in need of some inspiration, the Gita is always there for me. I never need to worry that it's too busy or doesn't have time for me. In short, the Gita never lets me down.

I wanted to do something to commemorate this significant day and so for the first time in my life I consecutively read all 700+ verses - in English. I've recited all the sanskirt verses before and it was a wonderful experience. However, since my understanding of sanskrit is minimal at best, I could only appreciate the beautiful sound vibration of the mantras and not the essence it contained within them.

That's why I challenged myself to read the English translation of all 700+ verses. At some point in time between Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 an idea came to me. Well...it was more like a challenge: write something about every single verse in the Gita. A verse a day on the importance of the topic discussed, the way it makes me feel reading it or perhaps even a question that comes to mind.

And so here I am at the start. Today marks the beginning of diving into THE greatest yoga text. I invite you to join me... www.gita-asitis.blogspot.com

Sunday, December 9, 2012

At Every Moment

In an age where the expectation is instant, whether it be in attaining gratification, results or service, it's no wonder that the path of Bhakti may seem difficult for some. And when I say some, I mean me!

This type of inculcation by modern society results in the mind becoming weak and susceptible to the notion that surrender to Krsna is next to impossible. Why? Because surrender is an active process that requires strength, faith in Krsna and most of all the realization that it is not a one time deal. Surrender to Krsna is something we must practice at every moment.

I remember when I first heard this. It instantly sat right with me. But then as time went on and the actual work needed to get started, I wasn't so keen anymore. Surrendering at every moment starts with becoming more conscious of Krsna. Specifically it means being able to see the Krsna conscious perspective of a situation and learning to let go of what "I think is right" and seeing through the eyes of sastra (i.e. seeing through the lens of what Krsna and his authorized representatives have told us).

Surrender is also difficult because it involves our free will, which is something some of us are not very good at utilizing. Normally we use our free will to protect the ego and defend our actions. Surrendering at every moment means we now have to choose between what's best according to Krsna, guru, sadhu and sastra and choosing to act according to what our mind thinks is best (which is normally the easy and "instant" way out).

Old habits are hard to overcome. After lifetimes of choosing "my" way, is it any surprise that we now grapple with utilizing our free will properly? But as I often have to tell my mind, it's not an excuse to give up. Like anything, this struggle can only help us become stronger if in conjunction we are practicing a strong regimen of chanting, serving the devotees and eating food offered with love to Krsna.

It's like lifting weights. I remember when I first started a year ago; it was embarrassing how weak I was! But when I made a commitment to go regularly, eat better and rest properly, I was surprised to see that I was making progress. In fact, the time soon came where I felt the need to increase the weight since it was getting easy.

I'm no expert on surrender, in fact I'm probably in the pre-school class, but it only makes sense that the proper diet and lifestyle change would need to be accompanied in the "Surrender program".

We always need a challenge, whether we realize it or not. So what better way to challenge oneself than increase the frequency by which we surrender to Krsna! Krsna says He helps those who help themselves, so what are we waiting for? Let's go grab that help!