A-ha moment: My offence

Exposed gnarly roots in Fall River Park

I have been wondering where my enthusiasm have gone, why it’s so difficult to get it. As I was reading reflections on Madhurya-Kadambini, it started to dawn on me.

Bhakti generates bhakti. Bhakti is self-manifest. It’s not something I can force forward. If I want enthusiasm, I have to fake it until I make it. But that was not the a-ha moment.

There have been times where I have been chanting, and it has felt like I would die if I stopped chanting. To not chant is like death. As I have contemplated this mood in my chanting, it slowly have waned away and then I desperatly try to hold on to it, but then it just dissipates even more quickly. Then I try to trace back my steps, what was I thinking that generated this experience and try to recreate it. It never works.

The a-ha moment was when I realized what the source of my inability to create this enthusiasm, this spiritual experience. My bhakti dissipates because I want to enjoy it. My search for enthusiasm is solely because I want to enjoy the spiritual feelings I get. My bhajana is self-motivated. I’m not motivated to do bhajana because of service to my Gurudeva – I’m motivated because I want the spiritual feelings that are generated by my actions.

I tried to figure out which offense this is, but I didn’t find it. And now I have to figure out how to remove this enjoyment as motivation. But this motivation runs deep, I have no idea how to start up-rooting this one. I have to transfer enjoyment to service.

Easy peacy right? Yeah… that’s done in a day…

Aparadha and Anarthas

“Sin is related to body and mind, but an offence is very much related to the soul.” http://bhaktabandhav.com/?p=27819

As I’m trying to enter the maha-mantra more, I’m struck by the importance of offences versus sin. By just uttering the maha-mantra once I consider all my sin to be gone. I don’t care about sin, sins performed in previous lifes or this life. I don’t even care much about the sin I’m performing now, because I know it’s of little consequence as long as I’m sincere in my efforts to improve spiritually.

It might sound like I’m taking the process and vanquishing of sin easily, but it’s not. I have just realized how fleeting and temporary sin is. I have also realized how potent the maha-mantra is in regards to sin. I have been reading the story of Ajamila, and it have been real instructive on just how potent the maha-mantra is.

I’m more interested in the part where the maha-mantra removes material desires, as this is more my problem. Though even that I find is of little consequence. The only method to vanquish material desires is devotional service. So really, all I’m left with is to continue working on my devotional practices and everything will fructify in time. Which I really find spiritual life about, vanquishing obstacles and letting spiritual realizations mature over time.

I can speed up the process though. I know reading about the different stories that are instructive on removing different obstacles is a huge help (just like the story of Ajamila have been in understanding the maha-mantra). When I encounter a problem, I can look up in Srimad-Bhagavatam on the instructions to remove it. The recent action of mine that really sped up my process was when I decided to stop reading material books, and just read devotional books. A flood gate opened up then and I receive more input that I’m able to process – and I love it, of course 🙂 It’s so inspirational.

Offences though are the grave ones. Offences is about the attitude in which you chant and live. Offences is the block in developing humility and service attitude. Offences blocks the development of love, for the mercy to get through to us.

But again I find me asking the same question: Are they really that important? Aren’t offences fleeting, just as sin? If one just keeps on chanting, working, and being sincere: Will not all offences dissolve over time?

Let’s say I commit an offence. Hopefully over time I will realize that I have committed an offence and then I will repent and ask for forgiveness. I know many people have trouble with asking forgiveness because of pride, but I have asked forgiveness many times more than I have received it. If pride is my issue, then I can read Srimad-Bhagavatam and the corresponding stories on how to vanquish pride.

Or let’s take an offense I commit now:

10. To not have complete faith in the chanting of the holy names, and to maintain material attachments, even after hearing many instructions on the matter It is also an offense to be inattentive while chanting.

The solution: To keep chanting.

I just find material life and all it’s components to be really fleeting. Thereby, even sin and offences just seem very fleeting to me.