20 years of krishna consciousness

Krishna bull

In Vrindavan 2002, before I met my Gurudeva. This bull used to pull large parikrama parties, and he had the most gentle eyes. His appearance was so huge and frightning, but his eyes was something completely different, so kind.

It’s 20 years since I first went to a lecture about reincarnation by Caitanya Mission (official name is Science of Identity ). It’s soon twenty years since I got a hold of Srimad Bhagavad-gita and couldn’t put it down. It’s twenty years since I immediately knew I had finally found my religion.

I had been searching for many years before I found Krishna Consciousness as a 17 year old. My best friend had also been searching and had been trying on Buddhism and krishna consciousness before she stopped searching when she found Catholisism. Now she is more in the camp of “She is open, but doesn’t know if God exist”. I didn’t try on anything until I found Krishna Consciousness, but I have always believed in God.

Last summer I met a devotee friend of mine who was in Stavanger for just one evening. I was starving for any association, so I was asking him about how to endure when you have no association.

He told me of something that stuck with me. He told me of devotees who had been chanting for twenty years got to a place where they “found peace” (in lack for a better word and not remembering his phrasing). They got to a place where they kind of “knew” that everything would be okey. I would love to know exactly what is meant by that statement.

I haven’t chanted for twenty years, but I think I know what is meant by it. Because I think I’m experiencing something close to it. Sometimes you have experiences that removes all doubt you have. There really is no room for doubt, you just know from the core of your being. I know that I’m being taken care of spiritually. I have nothing to worry about – in this life or the next. Despite all my sins, mistakes and lackings – I’m still being taken care of.

I know that I just have to keep on going like I’m going. Slowly building my life into a temple for my Gurudeva and my beautiful deities. One of the signs of advanced devotees is that they are able to chant 24/7 mentally. I hope I’m being prepared for that more and more. It’s so comforting waking up in the morning, getting in the shower and suddenly realize that my mind is chanting the maha-mantra or singing Guruvastakam. It’s like there is two separate processes in my mind, one that chants and the other that takes care of my material business. For the most part the material process is the one active and suddenly I notice that the spiritual process is in the background, doing its duty and I’m mostly unconscious about it.

My real spiritual life started the first time I met my Gurudeva. Or – actually, it begun the first time I met a couple of his Sannyasis. I had been going to an ISCKON temple in Melbourne, Australia for a year before I moved back to Norway. I was thirsting for deeper knowledge, but I didn’t get it. When I came back to Norway I contacted the Caitanya Mission people again, but they never moved past the “You are not this body” message. They had really made an art form of stating the same thing in a thousand different ways. I was really thirsting for a Guru, one evening I sat down and prayed sincerely: “If the Guru of Caitanya mission is the right one, then I want to be his disciple. But only if he is a pure devotee. Dear Krishna, please lead me to a pure devotee. I really want and need a pure devotee”.

A couple of months later some other devotees invited me to a feast with two sannyasis. The first time I sat during their lecture I understood nothing. They were using so many words I had never heard before and I just sat there not understanding a thing. I was so blissful and happy. Finally, I had found somebody who seemed to penetrate the deep philosophy I knew was there but I had been unable to find and penetrate. Finally I had found somebody who could take me even deeper and further. I went to every lecture I could, sitting there for hours listening to something I didn’t understand a word of.

I purchased some books of (my now) Gurudeva, and a new world opened up to me. I met Gurudeva some months later in 2003 for the first time in Germany. He was very early to the venue and there was only a few devotees there. So he was sitting on his dais and I was sitting only a few metres away. For some reason tears was flowing from my eyes. So many tears and I didn’t understand a thing. I wasn’t feeling anything special, I had no idea where these tears were coming from, but they were pouring out of me. Gurudeva noticed this at some point and he started to really scrutinize me. I was embarrassed about this so I was really trying to hide my tears. He understood my embarrassment and looked very pointedly not at me afterwards.

That was the beginning of my spiritual life. My real spiritual life begun in 2003 when I received Harinama. In 2005 I received diksa.

May I never live without Krishna Consciousness again.




Same old, same old

Ah, things doesn’t change much, does it? People change so very, very slowly.

So it’s back on track. On the same day, two different communiqués are published. One is on Bhaktabhandav and is about Sri Premananda Prabhu’s relation to Srila Gurudeva and the sorry state of Gurudeva’s samadhi. On backtobhakti there’s an article about how we all should just get a long, but not any reference on what this is about or how to actually resolve issues.

I’m so sick of this. It’s like a rerun of how isckon crashed after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance, just much less ugly – which shows some progress after all to get on the bright side of things. Here’s the problem in a nut shell:

Our whole religion and organization is built upon the Guru system. You have one all powerful guy that pretty much runs the show. When that person disappears, everything breaks down. Why?

Since there is no organizational structure, no leaders and no recognition of leadership, it comes down to small chiefs who runs and bullies whatever they want. We follow those we believe are the most “spiritual”, which is a pretty subjective thing depending on the vision of each individual. So we have a lot of individuals running around, trying to gather up as much followers and power (money) and do some backstabbing if necessary. Small kings on small kingdoms.

To try to create some unification ipbsys have created an advisory board, but of course: Small chiefs don’t care much about advisory boards if it goes against their wishes. I have no idea if the advisory board itself works.

It takes maturity to deal with so much problems. It takes mature people guiding and working with people the whole time to be able to work itself through things.

Now, I can talk about how to deal with conflicts because there seem to be little knowledge on how to deal with it. First you confront a problem, have it clearly defined by the people having the problem and then you work through it. More articles of the type “you should not criticize” and the reference to the Harmony booklet is of no use. But of course, small kings don’t want to deal with problems unless it brings an advantage to them.

But most importantly, it only takes one individual to create a whole lot of good. Our whole parampara consists of one person who was enlightened and achieved so, so much. Our society is built around people and organizations, but our parampara is build on one person. There’s this mismatch there.

The veda’s clearly define that we need to approach an uttama-bhagavata. But it seems like what to do after an uttama.bhagavats disappearance is broken when there still is a sanga is in place, a resemblance of an organization. Or more to the point; it shows how broken we people are. Sure, the problems were there while Gurudeva was here, he just kept it in check. Sure, it’s not the first time Gaudiya Matha splits apart, it happened after the disappearance of Srila Kesava Maharaja as well. And Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, so there is certainly precedence.

I just don’t see a divine plan in it. It just seem broken to me.

And all the while, there is no proper samadhi for Gurudeva when all it takes is *one* person taking charge.