From cult to mainstream

hare-krishna-returns-leadA great article on about the Hare Krishnas evolution in the West.

The Return of a Cult Classic—Hare Krishnas are Back
The much-maligned Hindu sect has shed its freak-show status and, behind its yuppie-friendly pillars of yoga, meditation, and clean living, is transforming America into a postmodern ashram. Robes not required.

The best books on Japa

A friend of mine, Kantimati, invited Caru Chandrika Dasi to Norway for about a week and I attended for a couple of days. It was nice to talk to somebody who understands my values and perspectives. The good thing is that it’s so easy to make a lot of jokes when you have the same understanding. I laughed and goofed around a lot.

During my stay, Caru didi kind of made me and Kantimati to make a vow to do a certain amount of Japa each day. Let’s just say things were a bit crazy when I got home, but I have at least been able to catch up on all my rounds after a while.

During my search for good books on Japa, I found one gem that is truly a cintamani. The book Japa by Bhurijana Dasa. This is a book I’m already on reading for the second time and I will read it again and again. I cannot praise this book enough.

This is not a book with a lot of high-minded quotes that are supposed to be inspirational (though there is many of those there as well). This book is about how to practice chanting, using the Siksastaka for guidance. I can’t imagine me ever putting this book aside, instead it’s always on my bed table or on the table next to my computer. It’s always near.

I can also recommend Japa Walks, Japa Talks. Not because it’s such a great book, but because sometimes it comes upon questions and subjects I have never even thought about. Getting introduced to new ideas is always refreshing.

These are the best books I have found so far on my quest for Japa inspiration.

Karmic reactions

I’ve been silent for a while now. I’m going through one of my usual down periods. I’m kind of tired of the up and downs in my spiritual and material life. Too much are happening, too little is happening. Things are too tough and have been for a long time and exhaustion is my usual companion.

I’m even tired of my own ups and downs. People used to ask Gurudeva about troubles they had in their lifes, boy/girlfriend problems and the likes. Gurudeva used to answer: Just chant and it will resolve itself.

I’m angry at my Gurudeva because I need more than just help in the spiritual department, I need help materially as well. It seems like I have to burn through five lifetimes of bad karma in just this life. Sure there is a logical answer to this statement, but I’m not at a place where I’m willing to listen to logic anymore. This is about my life and there’s a lot of feelings involved. I don’t need to think that it’s in my karma, because I refuse karma now. I don’t accept having to go through so much, all the time. I have dealt with more changes and instability than most people deal with in several lifetimes.

I feel I’m being punished and that being a devotee is a punishment. Since I know about this process all my sins are being punished five folds. I’m working so hard on doing the right thing all the time, and I’m not given the same courtesy.

Enough now. I’m done. I need some honey coming my way.