shhh. listen.

the other day I sent my astrologer this rambling question - one that I have asked him before, I think...

"do you have time to look at my charts at all? I'm really struggling with what the heck to do with myself and I just really don't understand why I'm so depressed/manic/sad/crazy all of the time. like is it ever going to end? is there anything I can do to alleviate some of the suffering? like, I know suffering is the status quo in the material world... but is it going to get any better for me?"

even reading it now makes me kind of chuckle to myself. anyway, later that night I was listening to a recent class that my guru gave on his phone sanga and as soon as he started talking, I knew he was answering my question. or at least I felt like I could hear some kind of answer in it. I decided to transcribe the part I'm referring to - it's a bit long, but I really feel like it's worth sharing... I hope paramatma speaks to you the way I feel like he's speaking to me...

"[…] We all have a kind of destiny. God moves the world around us to bring us closer to Him - that’s all. And we really can’t say exactly how God will do it because we’re not intelligent enough to figure out how the world should move around us to give us what we need to take the next step to get prema-bhakti. It would be presumptuous. Why did god do this to me? You’re assuming so much. You’re assuming you know the complexity of your karma, the complexity of your consciousness, and what you need to get to the next step in the elevation of your consciousness. We are entangled by our own actions and the consciousness that we created. But we will be untangled by the experiences we have by God, who is the only one who can understand what it takes to untangle us. […] It’s fun to watch your destiny, if you are determined to respond in a way in which you can learn the lessons that destiny has to offer you. We should extract ourselves a little bit and study the world around us and ask the question, “What does god want?” – in terms of how I respond […] Somehow or other there is God’s nature and He is offering us an opportunity to grow. And it is really difficult sometimes to understand why. And again it is presumptuous to think we can grasp that because of the complexity of an individual’s psychology. Plus it’s also asking that people get the same reaction – and the answer is no. nehābhikrama-nāśo 'sti pratyavāyo na vidyate sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt- even a little endeavor in Krishna consciousness saves you from the greatest type of fear – and that’s using your independence to change yourself for the better – it means to use your human form of life. The reaction is certainly not the same. Although there will be reaction. In other words when one becomes a devotee one raises the question does the person still get karma – karmāi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājām– there’s a verse in the Brahma-samhita that a devotee gets no karma. The first question is what does it mean to get no karma? Who is that devotee? Devotee means what? One who wants to please Krishna. And that means a person who is surrendered to the will of Krishna. And you can act on two platforms: the platform to please God or the platform to please yourself independent of God. Now if you’re on the platform to please god  - if you’re really on that platform then you’re calling out from your heart, “God, what you want I will do.” But really, are we doing what God wants? Are we fully surrendered? Because when one is fully surrendered to guru, who is representing God and the will of God, then there is no more karma. Where is the karma? Where is the karma? The karma is based on ego – fruitive activities. Certainly one doesn’t create any more karma. But if we act independent of God, even if we are a devotee – then there will be some reaction. Now, we may say the reaction comes from karma or the reaction comes from God. But we see that there is very little difference, because God’s law of karma is His perfect agent to give us reactions to activities - to purify ourselves of the fruitive consciousness that caused those activities. So generally, even if it is directly under god – because now you’ve taken shelter whether you made a mistake  - still reactions will be very similar. Although, they may be reduced because of the devotee’s understanding or purification. Even as devotees we see so many things come to us – just like it’s karma. Just like it’s karma to learn our lessons. So the reactions are not the same because they are coming from Krishna and can be reduced. But there will be reactions to help purify us.”

you can download/listen to this class in its entirety here

the first verse quoted is from Bhagavad-gita, chapter 2, verse 40. the second verse is from Brahma-samhita 5.54.

I'm also not sure where that picture of maharaj came from... so I'm sorry if I stole your photo!


what I wore: sunday morning program at the bhakti center, nyc

it seems like the deepest I can go on this blog these days are posts about what I wear. sigh.

yesterday I hitched a ride with my friend kisori to the bhakti center's sunday morning program. I decided to not wear a sari because I was potentially going to dance (hahaha!) during a free introductory bharatnatyam class given by the very lovely and talented komala kumari. I got out of the dancing part by volunteering to take photos of the class instead. it was a fun day out and about... here's what I wore...

dress: anokhi in "vintage" print. purchased in the u.s. via raga rags

it was really cold out yesterday so I didn't take my sweater off. I wish I had so you could get the full experience. here is a pic I took when I first got the dress...

I'm so in love with this dress it hurts. lurv it.