The race against time – Part 3
A higher desire – a case study from the Bhakti school
Instead of racing against time, let’s work on our aims and aspirations. Instead of contemplating on how we could enjoy better in this world, a more pertinent question to ask would be: why does everything deteriorate with time and is there a plane of existence where time doesn’t influence?
The Bhakti tradition reveals the potency of spiritual activities where men and women, as they get older, relish the process of hearing and chanting more. Amongst many case studies, one that prominently stands out is John and Roy, twin brothers from England, who went out in search of God in the late 1960’s. They were in their mid-twenties then. After an earnest prayer at the splendid Blue Mosque in Istanbul, John was guided by forces beyond himself, to dedicate himself to Bhakti Yoga practices.
Jon and his brother joined ISKCON, the worldwide mission founded by Srila Prabhupada.
Over the last forty-eight years, they have quietly and happily served at a rural setting in Mayapur, hundred twenty-five kilometers from Kolkatta, India. Mayapur was unknown to the world then, and besides extreme summer, harsh winters, unnatural floods, they had to also contend with hostile villagers and dacoits who often attacked the temple complex where the brothers resided with other monks and members. Since the last over forty-five years, Jon is serving with untiring dedication, never leaving Mayapur even in the most trying circumstances. Today he is known as Jananivas das, and his brother is Pankajanghri dasa- their initiated, spiritual names in the Bhakti community. At an advanced age of seventy-four, both dance in the melodious kirtans- musical chants- like young sixteen-year-olds. They seem timeless.
The Srimad Bhagavatam, a scripture written over five thousand years ago, confirms this is for real: “Both by rising and by setting, the sun decreases the duration of life of everyone, except one who utilizes the time by discussing topics of the all-good Personality of Godhead.” (2.3.17)
To be continued…