Enjoying the pleasant evening breeze on the terrace of our ancestral house, we sat in silence. Occasionally my mother spoke about a squirrel that rushed through the trunk of a tree or her eyes lit up seeing a peacock. But otherwise she seemed to have nothing more to say. Again a few minutes later, she mentioned about a neighbour and seconds later, fell silent. She radiated a strange peace. We spent an hour and she left, leaving me with a calmness of mother-son bonding.
Today I met another mother.
Sharing silence with my mother yesterday revealed to me my own relationship with scriptures, which is also compared, by our vaishnava acharyas, to a mother. Just now, after reading for an hour, the first 15 verses of the 4th chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam, I felt the same experience.
I am ‘rested’ or ‘safe’ or ‘sheltered’ or in other words i feel a sense of ‘belongingness’. I have nothing to say or share except that i feel peaceful, happy and ‘at home.’ Srimad Bhagavatam connects the child within us to the Supreme parent- Krishna.
Reading each verse and Srila Prabhupada’s purport to them was shelter. Like a famished man relishes with gratitude, hot food, I am starved of temple association, and now find Srimad Bhagavatam a source of nourishment. And therefore today’s reading session was just pure ‘shelter ‘ – it was like a mother feeding her hungry child, with her own hands!
After the reading session, there was nothing to say and nothing to think or speculate – there was satisfaction of a good meal! It was real succour! Nothing more nothing less.
We needn’t always rack our brains to screw out different meanings from scriptures. Often we think we are clever if we can derive some fancy concept or idea from our study. And we also find it intellectually stimulating to skew out an acronym or a fantastic analogy from our readings. All of this is not the goal of scriptures study. The purpose is to connect to Krishna and feel His shelter!
And you can know you have connected to God if the study gives you – ‘at home’ or ‘safe’ experience.
This phenomenon is beyond the titillating sensual experiences or the dopamine rush we get when we hear some stimulating stuff. It’s also not the adrenaline pumping when someone motivates you to perform a herculean service.
It’s the silent reassurances in a relationship -that’s essentially centred on service – that proves the depth of the bonding. Can I silently spend time with scriptures- in a mood of service- and reflect and enter the space of the transcendental sound? Am I ready to ‘receive’ what the scriptures are willing to reveal or am I a control freak who wants to ‘achieve’ and enjoy what the scriptures contain? And am I ‘sheltered at home’ when I hear or study scriptures? If yes, my relationship with scriptures is safe.
I pray and hope I can read/hear scriptures daily, with sincerity and a desire to serve. I wish to be ‘home’ with my mother, who will then surely connect me to our ‘Supreme Father – Krishna’.