Diary of a spiritual journey 17
August 28, 2007
Today I am in Oxford sampling different books, here is a little taste for you.
From Chinese Culture;
Once Zhuang Zhou dreamed he was a butterfly, a fluttering butterfly. What fun he had, doing as he pleased! He did not know he was Zhou. Suddenly he woke up and found himself to be Zhou. He did not know whether Zhou had dreamed he was a butterfly or a butterfly had dreamed he was Zhou.
( Zhuangzi, Basic Writings )
Srila Prabhupada on the same point
“At night, when we dream, we have got a different body. We go elsewhere; we’re working differently, forgetting this body, and again, daytime, we forget our body which was seen in the dream. That is also dream; this is also dream. This is daydream, and that is night dream. But the seer, the soul, is permanent. He is in the daytime and he is also nighttime. So this is our position. We are changing our body.
( SP Lect. Bombay April 6,1974 )
Let’s reflect for a moment
How serious are we taking this present material condition? We are neither the human being nor the butterfly.
Maybe it is good to be useless
There was a large Shu tree, branches all twisted, made of a kind of wood, that rots very quickly and doesn’t burn well and thus is of no use to anyone. This tree grew to be large in the forest, where other trees had long been cut down. The art is to be useless and no one will consume our time, maybe then we can achieve something useful.
( Zhuangzi, Basic Writings )
I looked at Victor Hugo’s, Les Miserables
One of the characters in the book made the statement that man is basically sinful or inclined towards sin and that religions are trying to regulate that sinful bahaviour. But sin for man is inevitable. Sinlessness is for the divine, celestial beings. This is indeed a “miserable” point of view, because of its spirit of defaitism. There is no hope that man can ever overcome his inherent weakness. Srila Prabhupada mentioned that this movement is very nice, because it can transform crows in to swans!
Pilgrimage is a prominent feature in Indian religious traditions. The pervasiveness of pilgrimage, whether in honor of a natural siet, a founder figure, or a god, has prompted many to consider it a pan-Indian phenomenon; for example Stella Kramrisch asserts that “the sacred geography of India recognizes the whole country as a field of more than human activity.”
( The Embodiment of Bhakti, Prentis, pg.47 )
Yes we see like that. Holy waters like the Ganga descending via heavenly planets from the Causal Ocean. Sacred stones, Saligrama and Govardhana Silas. Holy Dhamas such as Mayapur and Vrndavana which are replicas of eternal spiritual abodes. Everything full of divine meaning and presence. What a nice way to look at the world!
I think I should end with a quote from Srila Prabhupada
“These Krsna conscious boys and girls, in sixty centers, just see how they are materially opulent. They’re living in the best house. They’re eating best food. They’re in best consciousness. They have got the best hope. Everything best. Their feature of body is best. What you want material happiness more than this? They have got wife, children, happiness, home—everything—full. So material happiness is nothing to a Krsna conscious person. He gets automatically by the grace of Krsna. There is no need of asking for it. Simply be steady to ask Krsna, “Please engage me in Your service.” Anukulyena krsnanusilanam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. How Krsna will be satisfied? Then your satisfaction will automatically come. Don’t bother for material happiness.”
( New York July 27,’71 )