Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Enthusiasms - Ekadasi Thoughts

If everything goes as planned (do I hear Krishna laughing ;) His Holiness Niranjana Maharaja will officially accept me as his disciple in a few months by giving me Harinama initiation. After almost ten years (on and, yes, off) "in the movement" it's hard to believe that I will finally be getting initiated. Recently, I have been thinking more and more about what I need to do in the next few months to be better prepared for this big step, and I've been spending a lot of time wondering if I'm really qualified for such a serious commitment.

What I've got going for me...

Although I get much less devotee association these days, since moving out of the Hartford temple and into my "bachelor-daddy" pad, I still get to see my spiritual Mom&Pop a couple times a week. I am extremely fortunate to have such fantastic devotees (Prabhupada disciples, no less) as my well-wishers and guides.

I am also extremely fortunate to have become fairly regulated in spiritual life over the last year or so. Sticking to my "daily routine" in Krishna consciousness keeps me going on the spiritual and the material planes. I don't always look forward to rising early and chanting my rounds, but I never regret starting my day with a heavy dose of transcendental sound vibration.

Despite the positive, there are certainly some other things that I could improve in my sadhana and my general spiritual situation (a lot less time spent on the internet ;) or watching movies, for instance), but there's one thing in particular that keeps coming to mind.

Niranjana Maharaja's mood is quite distinctly one of active preaching, especially book distribution. I enjoy giving classes and telling others about Krishna. I love going out on Harinama. I want to distribute books, but truth is, I'm a coward. The story I tell myself is that book distribution is just contrary to my temparament (Guru-Maharaja told me a wonderful story about this... maybe I'll share it later). I'm also a little concerned about the general tendency in the often "thoughtlessly-liberal" northeast towards distrust of all religion and distaste for "preaching" of all sorts. Honestly, I'm scared of people and scared of confrontation. I am too attached to the bodily concept to just hit the streets with a bag of books without being concerned about what other people think of me.

Dear devotees! What can I do? I suppose the simple answer is to just get out there and do it, depend on Krishna and see what happens, but does anyone have some good advice in this regard?

Help me get fired up to go out and distribute Srila Prabhupada's books!

Survey Says...

Not enough "me".

If I've learned anything so far in the 'sphere, it's that a little bit of the "personal" touch goes a long way, and I am almost totally absent from this blog so far. What do I like in other Krishna conscious blogs? A little personality. Anything that gives me the impression that "this is a devotee I would like to know".

Here's a couple excerpts from my favorites. First, from Visnu-Maya Waxes Lyrical:
It is fortunate that devotees serve out of love and are satisfied with a dishing of halava at the end of the day as payment. Unless you are vegan of course, then well, you contemplate on compromising just this once, but decide against it, because you’re too fanatical.
And second, from Eric Tries To Sit Properly:
To be honest, at first I wasn't very into it. About half of it is Jiva Goswami proving through other scriptures that Srimad Bhagavatam is higher than the Vedas and is the highest purana. It was some great reading, but a little dry and I have a hard time reading things that I can't put into practice or practically relate to. It's my own shortcoming. I've never been in the situation where anyone has argued that the Bhagavatam isn't the highest. But then, I'm a white boy living in Pennsylvania
(Also, check out this hilarious hand-knitted-Hare-Krishna-zombie-doll. Yeah, that's right. I have no idea.)

Updated Links

I just added a slew of new links (at right) in anticipation of some more regular posting here. If you know of a blog or site that you think I should add, please get in touch.

For those of you that drop in from time to time, but don't comment (as of yet ;) I'm curious what you think of the blog thus far... What do you like? What do you dislike? What do you look for in a Krishna conscious blog? Why do you read the KC blogs you read?

As I waork out a tone and style for this thing I will continue to try new ideas.styles/tones. It's not that I'm intending to change my style to solicit more readers, I'm just eager to build community and get some association here on the web. Any contact/feedback is greatly appreciated.

Hare Krishna!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

All Set For The "Holiday Season"

From "Krishna Valley" ISKCON Hungary. More pictures here.
Also look at the beautiful frescoes in the photo gallery.

Krishna Or Snow

"If Krishna desires there may be ample supplies. In America, for example, there is an ample supply of everything needed, although in other countries that is not so. For instance, when I went to Switzerland I saw that everything there is imported. The only thing supplied locally is snow. This is all under Krishna's control. If one becomes a devotee, one will be amply supplied with food, and if one does not become a devotee one will be covered with snow. Everything is under Krishna's control, so actually there is no scarcity. The only scarcity is scarcity of Krishna consciousness."

-Srila Prabhupada, Teachings of Queen Kunti, Ch. 6: Master of the Senses

Monday, December 12, 2005

Well, You Can't Eat Him...

Here's an interesting gift idea. I'm not sure what a Vaishnava is supposed to do with a dozen 2.5 inch dark chocolate Nathajis. I suppose you could eat the white chocolate ones if you wanted. Do you start with His lotus feet, or His head? Maybe you should just nibble around the outside of His transcendental body... Maybe He's better kept in a refrigerated display case?

In related weirdness, Tom Waits has a fantastic song called "Chocolate Jesus" on his album Mule Variations. It goes a little something like this...
Don’t go to church on sunday
Don’t get on my knees to pray
Don’t memorize the books of the bible
I got my own special way
But I know jesus loves me
Maybe just a little bit more

I fall on my knees every sunday
At zerelda lee’s candy store
Thanks to Bhaktin Jenn for the link.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Jagannatha Swami Nayana-Patha-Gami Bhavatu Me!

There may be some good news in the near future for devotees unfortunate enough not to have taken birth in Bharat-Varsa. Nilacala Jagannatha-Puri Dhama ki Jaya!

Here's a nice article about Lord Jagannatha, Jagannatha Puri, Ratha-Yatra, and the Brits.

For those of us in the west, what can we say? The Lord is very merciful. He follows in the footseps of His pure devotees.