Hare Krsna Gurumaharaja
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
I hope you are in very good health, I do not deny that we were a little concerned when you posted that you had severe stomach cramps a few days ago. I hope you are eating well and that the heat is not a problem.
HpS - Often the problem is getting a regular, simple diet with so many people desiring to cook special items for you, the Sannyasi. Don't be worried about our health. You, all of us, may die within a short time from disease. Haladhara Das left his body just a short time ago in Lima. He was maybe ten years younger than us. We knew him for many years. Actually he was very similar to you in character and nature - nice, intelligent, sincere, creative, practical person.
Let the waves of distortion (pain?) come. We see them all around us in nature. It is without in the withered pear on the tree and so it will also be within. Death is necessary for creation. How can we serve Krsna confidentially as Brajavasis during all this.
I send you a personal report Gurumaharaja, writing it has helped me a lot to understand some aspects of my spiritual practice. I will order it differently for a better understanding (especially on my part).
- Śravaṇam: I persevere in reading systematically, I am following the course of Bhakti sastri and in parallel studying a MIHE manual on the Bhagavad gita. I am summarizing it with insertions of different devotees and I hope to be able to schematize in conceptual maps the different chapters with the purpose of being able to teach at some future time. I have finished reading the First Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam once more. I have not advanced beyond the second because I had not had the confidence to control my senses, but this time I am sure to achieve it. I am working on the way to be more receptive to my environment, my mind betrays my servant consciousness permanently to always wanting to say things before listening to what others have to say to me, this is probably one of the main symptoms of the evil in the world. My japa improves because I concentrate more on hearing.
HpS - Jaya! Are you doing these studies with others? Partners? Are you learning to teach?
- Kīrtanam: I preach to the people around me, I have not formally had many opportunities to do so in the temple because it is not part of their policy to form new preachers, but if Krsna wants, that will come eventually. Krsna katha with Indira Sakti is often sweet and frequent. I meet with some interested people to talk about universal issues such as happiness, health and love. For now we do it once a month.
Immediate answer to half of our question!
- Smaraṇam: I try to understand Govinda's action in everything that happens around me, I try to improve my prayers and the internal dialogue that sometimes occurs. Attention to our deities make things easier in that sense, the relationship I have with them throughout the day allows me a better meditation.
- Śraddhā: my faith improves because I see that the process works, because what was important a few years ago has ceased to be so and because it is clear to me that Krishna is directly involved in my life. I must work on my renunciation. In the depths of my being, I still trust that things will be achieved by my own effort and I still have some doubts of how to dedicate the last third of my life (I am 50 years old) with full confidence that Indira Sakti and I will be well into the future without having to consume my life in the attempt. We want to dedicate ourselves 100% to devotional service.
HpS - You may not "be well in the future". She may end up on the street living like the most miserable person you can see in Lima, and you also, and me also and... Or we may become masters of fabulous riches. Donald Trump may catalyze a limited nuclear war that will plunge the world into great chaos. In every case we can just chant Hare Krsna and be happy. If we don't abandon trying to be useful to Krsna, then why should He abandon trying to engage us in His mad plans. He is so strange.
- Sadhu-sanga: This aspect has cost me because I am not very intelligent to relate to others. For now I try to relate to the authorities and be trustworthy. Communication with my wife is better but pride is my main enemy.
HpS - ASA -- Just try to see how you can help other people in their service, efforts to go up! It will open up gradually. You will have nice circle of competent friends.
- Bhajana-kriyā: I think I have a good saddhana, with some ups and downs because my work schedule sometimes do not allow me to go to bed early. My gross conscience gradually lightens and I try to understand what an instruction is and how to merge it into my actions, words and thoughts.
- Anārtha-nivṛttiḥ: the struggle continues. I am envious, very envious, and that is the source of all my problems. This process is the most difficult thing I have done in my life, by far, but it is also the most important and the only thing that has really excited me. That's why the painful process of transformation is worth it. I pray Krsna to keep me in the fight, always, even though I discover the ugly face of my false identity every day. I appreciate the enormous mercy that people give me that allow me to be close to them every day.
I appreciate the huge influence you have in my life, maybe you don't know how meaningful is your presence in your instructions Gurudeva. Thank you so much for accepting me as your weak and mediocre disciple.
Your servant, Gandharva dasa
HpS - Being weak and mediocre "gurus" we offer our obeisances to you. Pray to Krsna, Pray to Krsna, Pray to Krsna to keep you in the association of devotees at the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada, a world where his books, thoughts, attitudes are everything.