Seperating material from spiritual concerns

After my conclusion like post about my neighbor, I didn’t write anything more. I went through the same phases I have been through before. At first I was so disappointed with Krishna that saying “Krishna” was breathing disappointment. Then I was so angry that saying “Krishna” was equivalent to venting anger. The problem is, I have been there before and I have lost taste in the these emotional rollercoasters. I find them boring. This material world is rigged for unpleasantness from the start, so I can’t win. There is nothing remotely interesting about my neighbor. There is nothing interesting about being abused 24 hours a day (crazy people need very little sleep). My disappointment and anger is boring, even to me who is having it.

Legally, I have done everything I can and it’s still an ongoing process. I think my neighbor have/is paranoid psychosis (how do I properly write that sentence?). To deal with this situation, I’m currently employing two strategies. If I’m outside of my home (in other words, outside of the abusers reach) and my mind keeps on thinking of the abusive situation I think that “I can think of this tomorrow at 9 am”.

The second strategy is when I’m home and the abuser is creating a lot of disturbance. For every disturbance, I focus on something positive and do something positive. One knock on the floor might mean I take a bite of chocolate, put on some music, watch some tv etc.

What is slowly happening for me is that I don’t really care much about it. Not even when she wakes me up at night and I get only a few hours sleep, I don’t mind. I’m fine. It’s like I envision a person who has a mosquito. Now this mosquito is a big, huge one who is really insistent and is taking huge bites of the person. As a result, this person became ill, got a fever and became quite weak. As time passed, the mosquito continued his attacks, but somehow the person didn’t die. Then something slowly happened, the person became immune. Now, the bites are still big and the person is still sick. But slowly, ever so slowly the bites are having less of an effect and the insistent, annoying buzzing is negligible.

This is how I’m currently look at the situation I’m in, though I’m not sure if it will have that ending. This is my material way of dealing with this.

On the first day of my arrival at Krishna Balarama Mandira, Didi said to me: “Chant 16 rounds, do 15 minutes of seva to your Thakurjis and you will be happy”. I haven’t been able to remotely follow this after I came home. I have also stopped praying to Krishna about my situation. I blame Krishna for putting me in such an evil, abusive situation. What I’m experiencing is evil. Blaming Krishna for this and being angry at him is a dangerous situation for me. So what I have done is that I have separated this situation from my faith.

More specifically, I have separated these thoughts away from my faith. I’m unable to understand this situation in any spiritual context, so I have therefore put this situation in a box that does not touch upon my faith. I do not pray about this situation anymore. When I’m unable to understand this from a spiritual context (and growth), then I remove it from any spiritual considerations.

It’s the only way to keep my faith strong. If I do anything otherwise, it will be detrimental to my bhakti. It’s all about survival strategies at this point if I’m going to grow stronger.

Down to earth

Material life kicked me nicely after I came back from Vrindavin, so now I’m busy sound proofing my ceiling while being a single mom searching for jobs. Life is busy. I have never done any renovations in my life, so this is a big undertaking for me and I’m doing it alone.

The first row is up:

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My Lord, Your Lordship can easily be approached, but only by those who are materially exhausted. One who is on the path of [material] progress, trying to improve himself with respectable parentage, great opulence, high education and bodily beauty, cannot approach You with sincere feeling.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.26

Under guidance again

The smell of India came to me when they opened the plane doors and I immediately recognized it as familiar. It’s a bit of a stale odor, with subtle tones of spices. Or as I think of it – a subtle smell of spirituality. Behind that staleness is something attractive, something I like.

But India scares me. Everything was fine until I started walking towards customs, I knew that I was entering a place where I was totally out of my comfort zone. Fortunately, the taxi driver was waiting outside and from there everything was easy. I knew that when I arrived in Vrindavin, everything would be fine. I knew this place.

IMG_1806I arrived during the morning for the first time, and it was lovely to sit in a car and watch the life teeming outside. It’s scary as well, since the Indian traffic can best be described as a living organism that moves according to it’s own rules and not necessarily by any traffic lights (which don’t exist) and whatever markings on the roads is there just for arguments sake.

Whenever the car slowed down in busy streets I got nervous. It’s strange to be the only white face in an ocean of these beautiful golden skinned people. I really loved when the car was out in the countryside with little people around and I could watch the dirt and green fields. I came in December, which is the coldest time there.

Arriving in Vrindavin, meeting my friend which I haven’t seen since 2007 and seeing Yamuna just as I remembered it – lovely. When I entered the gates to Krishna Balarama Mandira in Seva Kunja, I was met by Didi. Krishna priya didi is Gurudevas first disciple. One of the first things she said to me was “You belong here.”

It became quickly clear that she was right about that. The devotees in the temple embraced me immediately and somehow I just effortlessly connected to them. We are family by heart. I have never experienced it with so many people before. Sometimes I meet a person here or there I connect to and manage to keep that connection somehow, but not many at the same time.

I was shown to my room and one of the devotees had put the booklet “One drop of Vraja-rasa” there, it was such a lovely gesture. I quickly blended in and took part of the aratis etc.

On the 18th December it was my birthday. Just waking up in Vrindavin made this the best birthday I ever have had during my 38 years of life. I had forgotten it was my birthday when devotees came and congratulated me. I had purchased some Fudge and brought with me from Norway just for this occasion. In vedic culture it’s custom is to give gifts on your birthday, so this was my attempt. I even managed to give Didi a couple of Fudges when she unaware had her hand out in my direction. It was a “Yes, Score!!” kind of moment 😀

My attempts at giving anything was miniscule if I compare it to the rest of the devotees. I got several books, warm socks and one devotee made a cake in the evening which was just exquisite.

I got one of the garlands from the Thakurjis and then Didi took me to the bookcase and asked me to pick a book I wanted. Didi told me “Stay alive, stay in line, and then the son will inherit the wealth of his Father”. My immediate reaction was relief, because if she said this it meant that I was still in line, I hadn’t deviated. Since I already had all the books from before I asked Didi if I could get the Bhagavad-gita with the commentaries of Bhaktivinode Thakura. Didi blessed the book by putting it to her head.

Me: “I really like the analytical and logical thinking of Bhaktivinode Thakura”.
Didi: “It’s transcendental logic. Don’t just keep it in you bookcase, read it”. Which is very true of my current situation where I seem unable to concentrate on anything.
Me: “I hope I will realize it as well”.
Didi: “Have realizations. When you have realizations you should spread it to many persons, everywhere”.

And this is how I received my seva.