Japa, Our Only Hope

November 20, 2006 at 7:12 pm Leave a comment


Dear Mind,

This morning during japa you were again complaining about the apparent futility of this routine, about the seeming lack of reciprocation from Krsna. I understand and sympathize with your frustration (although I’m not sure what exactly your expectations are). But please recall this anecdote that you once heard:

Several students were living and practicing spiritual discipline under their Guru in an ashram. A time came one day when several of those students reached a stage of mystic attainment (yoga-siddhi) where they could read the ‘Book of Eternal Life’ embedded in the Akasha. There were two columns – those souls who were to be liberated, and those who were to be damned once again. The contents shocked them: Their own Guru’s name was listed in the category of the unredeemed. Seeing this, many of these students left the ashram without a word, in dismay. Even some students who didn’t have that vision left when their more advanced godbrothers told them about this common vision that many of them had.

After a couple of days, this old Guru noticed that the attendance to his classes had dropped and wondered aloud where all the students had gone. Very few had stayed back: A tiny section of those who had that vision stayed back because they felt sympathy and love for their Teacher, and a sense of indebtedness to him. After all, it was only under his instruction that they had even managed to reach this stage of mystic perception. There were also a couple of other students who hadn’t had that vision, but decided to stay back merely because of some human affection for this elderly man they called Guru.

One of the mystically endowed students spoke up, and told the Guru what had happened, and how most of his brightest and most advanced students had decided to quietly leave. On hearing this, tears welled up in their teacher’s eyes, and in a humble voice choked with repentance he confided: “For 40 years I have been staring at that page of the Book of Life, in despair. But what else can I do except repeatedly knock at the Door of God? Is there anywhere else in the universe I can go? So everyday I continue to knock at my Master’s door, repeatedly, with hope.”

At that very moment, those students saw in their mind’s eye that their Guru’s name was lifted from the column of the Damned and moved to the column of the Chosen. It was the greatest lesson they had learned in all their student years in the ashram.

yam evaisa vrnute tena labhyas tasyaisa atma vivrnute tanum svam: “He (God) is obtained only by one to whom He chooses to reveal Himself. To such a person He manifests His own form (tanum svam).” (Mundaka Upanisad 3.2.3)

Krsna is the Transcendental Autocrat and the Reservoir of real Pleasure. So dear Mind, even if japa seems repetitive and fruitless, what other options do you have? Do you have anything better to offer? Honestly, I don’t think so. Even the hope of attracting the attention of Krsna is worth more than the temporary gratifications that anything else has to offer. This world is made of empty shells of name and form (nama-rupa). Their sole purpose in creation was to resonate with the hope of rejoining Krsna in Vrindavan.

Again, Krsna is the Transcendental Autocrat and the reservoir of real Pleasure. On your own, you are a nobody, a void. Stopping japa is not an option; japa is hope itself. Everything else is futile monkey-tricks.


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