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Are you connected?

“Everything that is in the heavens, on earth, and under the earth is penetrated with connectedness, penetrated with relatedness” – Hildegard of Bingen (German Christian mystic of the 10th century AD)

“I feel lost; who am I?” said a devotee whom I had known for years.

I chuckled, in an attempt to ease the tension. “You have conducted sessions on the Bhagavad Gita and I am sure you know who you are”, I was referring to a popular session called ‘Who am I’ that my friend conducts masterfully.

“Of course I know who I am” he got a little impatient, “I am also happy, but the sheer pressure of work and services sometimes just drains me out. I am exhausted and wonder where am I heading to?”

“Maybe you need to get connected”

“Yes”, he exclaimed as if he’d just discovered the ‘aha’ moment of his life.

I recalled a similar experience when after a hectic travel and teaching schedule, I had collapsed and was irritable and restless.

We all need a break, and it’s all right to feel weak and tired. To know you are not a superman is to be humble, and to accept you need care is being human.

Connecting to self

We stand a good chance of being rejuvenated when we seek connection to self.

The busy bees often wonder if what they are doing is worth all the effort and time. That means it’s time to take a break. Go for a walk, a date with yourself. Only you and no one else! Sit beside a river or a forest or go for a walk early morning and enjoy the sunrise or sunset and bathe in the refreshing freedom the association with your true self brings. Slowly collect the broken pieces of your consciousness, and feel recharged.

The American Physicist Brian Greene said it beautifully, “I have long thought that anyone who does not regularly or ever gaze up and see the wonder and glory of a dark night sky filled with countless stars loses a sense of their fundamental connectedness to the universe”

Try journal writing; just write anything, but from your heart, not the head. Let your feelings, insecurities, aspirations, fears and hopes, joys and sorrows, strengths and weaknesses, let all contradictory emotions dance on the pages of your journals. A great tool that could immensely help you is ‘The Artist’s way’ by Julia Cameron. Get your copy today, and you will never regret it. The book has been a life saver for many.

Connecting to God, Krishna

Attentive and mindful prayers and chanting of God’s Holy Names, especially

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

This sixteen words mantra can instantly help the soul feel loved.

Hearing scriptures and especially if these activities are performed in the early hours, connection to God is easy and pleasurable.

For this to work, know and feel a connection deeper than what Face Book or your smart phone would promise. Stephen Hawking quipped, “We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain”. Release all hang ups for the time being, and enter a world within that’s deeper than the mind and ego.

Prayers and meditation helps us go within and connect to ourselves. That’s when we realize we are actually connected to the universe and also to all living beings. Advanced Bhakti Yoga practitioners realize we all are children of the same one God.

Connecting to others

We are social animals and since we live in an interdependent society, we do need each other for our physical and emotional well-being. And to sustain healthy relationships, we need to connect to them.

Next time while talking to your spouse, keep your whatsapp aside, switch off the mobile phone and throw away the newspaper. Just be there and try to connect to her/his feelings and needs. This sincere attempt releases a gush of positive energy. You may surprisingly discover that sharing a loving silence with your partner often has far more power to heal and connect than the most well-intentioned words. Each person has a child within seeking approval and love. If we chose to give the approval and love to others first- having already sought ours through connecting to self and God- we stand a good chance of receiving it abundantly from them. The world after all is an echo; what we give, comes back to us.

Life essentially is a journey of connection- connection to self, others and God.

To the extent we harmonize these three identities we stand a good chance of leading a wholesome, happy and a fulfilling life.

 

Comments (6)

  1. Virendra says:

    Hare Krsna Prabhuji,
    V touching and true msg! Thanks a lot for writing. It helps sooo much.
    Prabhuji you wrote “Each person has a child within seeking approval and love. If we chose to give the approval and love to others first- having already sought ours through connecting to self and God- we stand a good chance of receiving it abundantly from them”.
    This is absolutely correct. We are all humans at core, needing acceptance and love, or a feeling of valued… Sometimes we become “devotees” and start seeing others as “non-devotees” and even “demons” sometimes. How to avoid that?
    Second, you wrote about giving love and approval to others first. Could you please elaborate an inch more on that point. I am bit confused, because even God doesn’t approve everything of us. I mean, there are dos and donts in scriptures like Bhagavad gita etc. So what exactly are you trying to convey by this point of giving approval to others?
    Heartfelt gratitude once again.

    • vraja bihari dasa says:

      thanks prabhu for your kind words.
      regarding your two questions
      i see it as follows:

      we should be careful calling non devotees as demons. they are spirit souls and deserve a chance to come closer to krishna.
      how to avoid that? by cultivating a mood of service and attentive chanting, we develop love in our hearts. then giving love to others also becomes easy.
      regarding krishna not approving of us, i am hopeful krishna approves of us. he may disapprove certain actions but that is only because it is harmful to us. krishna loves us infinitely more than we love him. so we should also love others.
      approval here means loving and accepting the innate humanness of all and the principle of life and justice. we may hate the sin but not the sinner. actions of people may be condemnable but they are all children of same krishna. so we love them all.
      ys
      vraja bihari dasa

  2. Charudeshna Radhika Dasi says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu

    Your article is pure nourishment for the heart. A montage of spirituality and contemporary culture that is masterful . . . It captures beautifully the power—and poignancy—of connecting. I especially like the positive tone of the article.

    You have a gift for discussing your personal experiences in straightforward way. It seems I can always identify my struggles and experiences with those you describe.

    Your articles help me realize the many constructive ways in which one can approach problems in life.

    I particularly like the effective usage of quotes in all your articles! They lend a voice and perspective to your writing.

    Connection seems to be the buzz word these days! With technological advancement our “connections” are far and wide but so very superficial.
    HH Bhakti Rasamrita Swami Maharaj calls mobiles “weapons of mass DISTRACTION” since they distract us from establishing deep wholesome and meaningful connections and relationships.

    HG Chaitanya Charan Prabhu during his Sydney visit spoke about horizontal and vertical relationships/connections, which you have so succinctly summarised as
    “Life essentially is a journey of connection- connection to self, others and God”! What a perfect symbiotic connection!

    Our vertical relationship is with Krishna and horizontal relationship is with those around us.
    Whilst our primary focus is to develop our vertical relationship since as spirit souls we can be truly happy only when we learn to love Krishna; we cannot reject horizontal relationships. The more we harmonize the two the happier we will be!

    Thanks again for such an uplifting article.

    YAS

    Charu

    • vraja bihari dasa says:

      thank you for your kind and encouraging words.
      yes, i have heard that from Chaitanya Charan prabhu. i missed him. he was at sydney and i was at Perth. wish i could have met him there.
      thanks for sharing your realizations too.
      ys
      vraja bihari dasa

  3. Charudeshna Radhika Dasi says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu

    Please accept my humble obesiences! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    Are you in Perth? Wish we had known this. Sydney would have invited you. Feel sad that we missed this opportunity.
    Can we know when you r planning to visit next ? Would like to extend the invite here. We will be so very happy to meet you.
    In fact I was going to ask you if you travel to this part of the world.
    How do we communicate with you?
    Regards
    Charu

  4. Nisha says:

    Pamho , prabhuji my friend and I have bought the artist way. Thank you so much, your articles help us to read good books. Hopefully slowly and steadily we will learn to implement them also.
    Ys

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