Diary of a spiritual journey 15
May 15, 2007
I spent a week in a room on a farm, “working” on a book based on the Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, which I would like to write. Somehow or other I have never been so much in to writing, I am more a thinker and then a public speaker who likes to be spontaneous. I always felt that writing was a bit slow for me, but this time I really want to do it. Why? First of all for my personal benefit, I’ve wanted to go deeper in meditation on the Sri Caitanya Caritamrta and writing about it forces me to deeply think about Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, His pastimes, His teachings, His associates and especially the extent of His mercy. Just a few days back it was ten years ago that I took sannyasa. During the last ten years I have very much been a public person, involved in so many public programs and have traveled extensively to many countries, living a life for the satisfaction of others. I have met and maintained relationships with many wonderful people, and many of them may read this, so you are all very dear to me and I could of course never stay away too long. Still sometimes I developed a desire to go to one of those islands in the middle of the ocean with just a palm tree on it and bring only a box of books. I also feel the need to communicate, especially to all the devotees who are dear to me and also to a more general audience on a deeper level. Something more lasting than a lecture, something more solid, something more respectable. I am even thinking of posterity, at age fifty-four, I would like to leave something behind in this world, at least for a while, until the worms will eat my book and I will be forgotten. I don’t expect to make a great mark in history, but hopefully by the mercy of all the vaisnavas I can write something useful.
Recently someone asked me for my credentials, to do what I am doing. So here they are!
I was borne in sinful Holland and didn’t know what a regulative principle was, but I was not happy. My desire to live a life of unconditional happiness was strong and I was ready to make a sacrifice and gave up the nice material life my family had prepared for me and went to India. It was a holy land, I knew it, I loved it and I was there for purification. It brought me to Prabhupada’s books and then to his lotus feet. Later I served for a long time in Vrndavana and Mayapur, the mercy of Krsna in the Dhama was amazing, there He is so naturally part of life. There I met many senior vaisnavas and I learned from them and my faith in Prabhupada grew deeper. I was allowed to do a lot of devotional service, and take responsibility and learned in the school of hard knocks. My spiritual master was most kind and generous with me. He preached about giving up one’s personal agenda and surrender to Krsna, he touched my heart and I followed him. He gave me sannyasa. Whatever I am today, I have no qualification, I am not a devotee of Krsna, but I can’t forget Him, because I am simply made of mercy.
I would like to write a book that describes that mercy, ultimately the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Krsnadasa Kavariaja Gosvami has given us an open invitation;
sri-krsna-caitanya-daya karaha vicara
vicara karite citte pabe camatkara
“If you are indeed interested in logic and argument, kindly apply it to the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. If you do so, you will find it to be strikingly wonderful.” CC Adi 8.15