I took the bus today, to a well-known location for an aptitude test in order to gauge whether I had enough basic skills to join a more formal music training course.
She sat next to me. Long hair, ‘open’ face and a couple of bags to which she held on to. She seemed interested when she heard me telling the bus ‘ticket person’ which bus station I would be getting down at. And she did not hesitate to strike up a conversation.
Not about the weather, ongoing political drama or what not. No, no small talk. We talked about our interest in what we were doing for a living and as a hobby. The importance of self-care above all else. How keeping ‘me’ happy is the key to keeping everyone else around happy. Was I happy?, she asked with wide, warm eyes. We talked about detachment in order to find oneself. She had been a young widow, she shared, and teaching her three kids to find themselves had been her mission.
‘Be happy’ she blessed me when she reached her stop.
How I love ‘stranger talk’, and how blessed I feel when He sends my way an old soul with warm eyes and an understanding heart.
It’s been six months since I joined this place, and, despite all my optimism, I’m not sure whether I’ll be back. Although I said goodbye to that same environment a few miles across the sea sometime last year, here I found myself. Absolutely no reason to give up the faith and belief now, right?
It’s usually the type of environment which people hope to get away from, pray not to come back to and rejoice in closing the door after. I don’t. Not because I love it here, but because this is one of the few places where there is a thirst for selfless Seva. It is one of the rare places in our material society whereby the only choice is to find and mould selfless service in oneself else you lose yourself, where you have to train yourself to wipe the tears of the darkness of humanity, in the hope of finding a ray of sunshine beneath. How do find it, if you don’t believe it is there in the first place?
To all the souls who keep helping me fix a small part of the Me puzzle in order to understand how You and I are Him – thank you.
18 Feb 2015, 2.36pm
23 Jan 2012
I can now understand the fascination some have for road trips ~ 6 hours on the road with a group of strangers, only a 20-min break in between, rumbling of the engine and thunder if you are lucky; with munchies, music, a book and your thoughts as the only thing to occupy your mind ~ can be strangely liberating. Amazing.
I should do that again.
That inexplicable joy and peace I always experience when I think of you guides me through thunderstorms and burning sunbeams.How veiled by Maya am I, that I so often become depressed when contemplating “those things which go wrong in my life, around me, because of my decisions” – the identification with the Self never fails to bring us sorrow.
Let me always remember that I am indeed your Bansuri, through which but a dash of your all-powerful energy strives to produce enchanting music through word, thought and deed. Hare Krishna!
I know I have posted this song before, but such is my love for it. This must be a live recording if I am not mistaken, even more beautiful than I remember:
Lyrics & translation from here.
Hey Govind Hey Gopaal Hey Dayaal Laal.
Paraan Naath Anaath Sakhay Deen Darad Nivaar.
He Samrath Agam Pooran Mohi Mayaa Dhaar.
Andh Koop Mahaa Bhayaan Naanak Paar Utaar.
O Lord of the Universe, O Lord of the World, O Dear Merciful Beloved.
You are the Master of the breath of life, the Companion of the lost and forsaken, the Destroyer of the pains of the poor.
O All-powerful, Inaccessible, Perfect Lord, please shower me with Your Mercy.
Please, carry Nanak across the terrible, deep dark pit of the world to the other side.
Nothing beats the beauty of simple diyas, ever.
There was love and care, laughter and careless banter. The feel of the familiar, the excitement and slight anxiety about the future. The trips down memory lane. Kissing the cutest feet of the future with hope and prayers.
She looked up at the sky and she knew, from the bottom of her heart, that this was where she needed to be. The bouquet of stars against the velvet sky was like a beautiful work of art which made her heart skip a beat.
Yet, something was missing. If only she knew what, she could have added it to the tapestry above.
I’ve been “working” a lot on values recently, even more than usual, and I got to thinking: if a choice had to be made, which value could be worthy of ruling all? Although I concur that the choice could be highly subjective, I would personally lobby for “Caring”.
Caring means nursing newborn puppies despite crappy weather and a horrible throat infection.
It means gracefully giving up what you believe to be priceless (read: sleeping in) to attend to the needs of the small person you gave life to.
Caring is making countless trips to the hospital regardless of the time, just to make sure the sick person feels safe.
It means cooking food for people in need.
Caring is holding the hand of a person who hurt you before, knowing that the person needs to be held presently.
Caring is when you miss your bus to help someone find her way.
It is opening your house to others on Divali despite interpersonal conflicts going on, knowing that not everyone has a family to celebrate with.
Caring is sleeping in a truck outside prison, knowing your son is sleeping alone inside.
It is a smile and a thank you, to the cleaner who is in her twelfth hour shift.
It is a prayer, for the many people who are in pain.
Caring is seeing love in anger, worry and anxiety.
Caring is sharing of knowledge whole-heartedly.
Care is a behaviour of the pure soul, which knows that others are simply extensions of the self. Look at the caring acts around you, they are all manifestations of Him!
And. Just to share:
“I come from Vrindavan. Sri Krishna sent me here”
:) The sweetest thing I’ve heard for a long time now. I pray that innocence never fades.