Hearing with Heart
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could wake up everyone morning to that feeling of Magic? Well, this morning I found a little piece of Magic again and here’s how it all happened.
I was not longing for anything, I was happy to see the sun and I smiled to have the beautiful gift of life. Another day another wonderful opportunity to serve and a strong desire to live. When I woke up I felt cured of my material anxieties. At the Manor, this magical feeling was my constant companion, every morning was an adventure, every morning was a day to belong to Krishna. I felt such happiness and enthusiasm to be up by 3 a.m. and chant a few rounds before mangal aarti. There is no other high in the world than that which comes from complete absorption in Krishna Consciousness. I am not saying I am up there, with symptoms of a pure devotee or anything like it. I have no elevated sense of feelings, with all due respect I am nothing, and I have no understanding of deeper states of consciousness. All I am saying, is that I had something in my hands which gave me greater inspiration and faith to conquer the world. I was ready to jump start my day with an invincible morning spirit. It was pure Magic, and this reminded me of my time at the Manor, to live in humble circumstances in an ashram, to do simple services and the most wonderful of it all to get the opportunity to wake up Srila Prabhupada before mangal aarti. This feeling of Magic, travelled with me through my long day. To start my day by greeting Prabhupada first, was not a priority it was a pleasure and a privilege. It was a manor magic, that seemed to be as intoxifying as an elixir which takes over your blood and drowns you in a sweet slumber like any dead body sleeps alive under an induced anesthetic. Just like sleeping beauty awakened by the thoughts of Prince charming, in my case touched by the wonders of our sweet Krsna.
Honestly speaking, some days are not magical, they are rather dull, tough and unexciting. Pulling myself off the bed seems to be a very difficult task on those days, and my body fails me at times. But some special days, like today are Magic, they feel amazing, and my level of energy is transcendental. I jump straight out of the bed looking forward to sing like a bird and give the world all the love sitting speechlessly in my heart. The soul is set free on these magical moods. I crave for this feeling everyday and I want this every single day of my life. It’s like falling in love, in the initial stages you are in a honeymoon phase, flying in the sky, and the world seems like a place of hope and optimism. I want to wake up to that time when I can fall in love with Krishna every morning, every day, every minute and every second. I know it sounds utopian and a far away goal. But there is nothing wrong with trying and praying for such a dream. The real question to ask is, can this honeymoon phase last forever?
I think it can, if we understand what it means to love and be loved, than the honeymoon phase can be eternally experienced. It all depends on how deep we want to dive and how much we want to persevere to keep this magic alive. Sometimes while swimming when we want to go underground and seek the sands of the unknown, we have let ourselves drown in order to sink in deeper waters. Those deeper trenches that test our faith and put us at greater risk to seek the unseen. To become a true deep diver we have to swallow in a few breaths. To grow a thicker skin we have to become breathless and to survive under water we sometimes have to stop breathing. Similarly to increase our immunity, sometimes we have to experiment with death, we have to infect ourselves with a weaker virus of materialism to develop a stronger spiritual antibody. A single antibody that will help spark several antibodies of spiritual strength and commitment. We have to surrender ourselves, and put everything at risk. Then only can the magic, Krishna’s magic truly awaken, when we entrust everything to His lotus feet. We have to put it all at stake and forget about hearing the horrors of our own mind, taking shelter of the instructions of His pure devotees. In the beautiful song of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura we hear a similar tale of this magic, “emona durmati, saṁsāra bhitore, poḍiyā āchinu āmi tava nija-jana, kono mahājane, pāṭhāiyā dile tumi,” A wicked mind brought me into this world, O Lord, but one of Your pure and elevated devotees has come to bring me out. He saw me so fallen and wretched, took pity, and came to me saying, “O humbled soul, please listen to this good tiding, for it will gladden your heart.”
In order to to unleash this wonderful magic we have to stop the knots of pleasure that the luxury of material life blesses us with and we have to start to see beyond the obliviousness to actually understand the value of it all, “The struggle of today, is not altogether for today – it is for a vast future also.” A good struggle for the greater good starts by letting loose of all matter we hold on to so tightly. The sun shines from our soul, what is within will reflect outside, and if you are on a honeymoon phase inside it will be lived outside as well. Falling in love with Krishna everyday is not easy, yet we have to keep trying and trying to please Him. Surely some good day the magic will be all around you and everyday will be a day in love. The honeymoon phase is nothing more than hearing everything with heart, it is a constant pursuit of love, selflessness, humility and most of all tolerance. From the people around you to the things you do, if we hear deep and we will feel deep and understand this magic. The practice of this consciousness decides the destination we will lead, if we can understand how subtle cultivation of our own mood is in every action and reaction, then we are one step closer to unleashing the tricks and traits of magic.
When you are in a honeymoon phase of a relationship, your mind is always thinking, always fixated and always absorbed in the thoughts of your beloved. Everything you hear, you hear not with the instruments of your mind, but you hear with the heart. You grow blind to the darkness around you and you become the beacon of hope that lights the world under the power of true love. This state is what we as devotees aspire to achieve one fine day “man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru mam evaisyasi satyam te pratijane priyo ‘si me.” Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend (B.G. 18.65). This magic is not far from our reach, it is right in front of us, yet we are afraid of taking action. If we try to make an attempt to utilize all the tools Srila Prabhupada gave us in our inheritance, from association of senior vaishnavas, to his books, diet, chanting and service we will develop this magic soon enough for it to become our second nature, “When transcendental devotional service, by which love for Krishna is attained, is executed by the senses, it is called Sadhana Bhakti, or the regulative discharge of devotional service. Such devotion eternally exists within the heart of every living entity. The awakening of this eternal devotion is the potentiality of devotional service in practice” (CC.22.105, Madhya Leela).
Awakening the practice of Hearing with Heart surely will allow us to dance in His magic, always in a honeymoon phase with our Hari.