Otherness

GurudevaWhen you receive Harinama (the maha mantra), you also receive a spiritual name. The spiritual name usually have several meanings which you dwell upon as the years go by. I received Harinama the first time I met Gurudeva, and he gave me the name Haridasi (devi dasi). Hari is one of the names of God. The speciality of Hari is that he steals, like butter from the Gopis. Dasi means servant, or in this case servant of the servant. My name really touched me because it was a way of Gurudeva to tell me that he knew my heart.

I once heard of a devotee in Vrindavin that the first time she saw Gurudeva, it was like she had met her best friend. So how come I felt fear of Gurudeva after I had met him, received Harinama and he knew my heart? It didn’t make any sense that I would fear him, but there it was. I was a bit scared of him.

I contemplated this for months and one day on a long walk, the answer struck me. I was afraid of Gurudeva, because I knew he could take away my material attachments, and I didn’t want him to.

The Personality of Godhead said: If I especially favor someone, I gradually deprive him of his wealth. Then the relatives and friends of such a poverty-stricken man abandon him. In this way he suffers one distress after another.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.88.8

My fear of Greed is just the same. I’m afraid of what I have to give up and what will be taken from me. I’m afraid it means giving up my independence. My independence which lets me take care of myself, tend to my needs.

I’m afraid of becoming even more isolated. My thinking and way of being is already so different from everybody else, so much so that there’s a huge part of me I never share with those close to me. They wouldn’t relate, they wouldn’t even know what it is because it’s not part of their personality or knowledge. I’m afraid that distance would get even bigger, and I’m the only one that knows of it and understand why. Greed seems to be just one more thing that will take something from me.

I don’t want to be so different from everybody else. I want to be normal.

2 thoughts on “Otherness

  1. In a vyasa puja offering I once wrote something to the effect of:

    Your sharp glance cuts off my ball and chain, but because it’s all I know, my security, I pick them up and hold them tightly to my chest.

    I know the feeling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *