From Oblivion to Bliss: Another "Thank You" for H. H. Bhakti Tirtha Swami
Posted May 15, 2005
About a year ago, my wife and I were living in Iowa. I was working full-time with little time or motivation for spiritual practice. We had moved there two years prior in an attempt to start a preaching center (which would have been the only one in the state). However, due to a lack of devotee association and a loss of confidence, our enthusiasm gradually waned and doubts about the whole endeavor arose. This was fed partly by pre-existing doubts about our initiating guru who had been suspended from initiating within ISKCON.
At any rate, we were drying up. We were spiritually independent and we were, for the most part, alone in Krishna Consciousness. Though our sadhana had slackened, our overall faith in Krishna remained but where were we to go from there?
A year and many small miracles later, we find ourselves in Boulder, Colorado with steady sadhana and much devotee association, both at the main temple in Denver and at the Boulder Krishna House which happened to be located one floor above our apartment. Most of all, we find ourselves fully inspired to participate in ISKCON. We are taking our realizations and experiences (both positive and negative) from our time as "full-time" devotees and from our time watching ISKCON "from the outside" and using this to set the foundation for a sanga-based preaching effort focused on mindfulness in Krishna consciousness (www.SriNamaSanga.com).
Not only have we found inspiration to preach again, but we have both found inspiration to give up our "limited independence" in favor of surrendering to instructing spiritual masters. We have also found it possible to let go of the hurt and pain that has haunted our practice and held us back from spiritual growth/health for so many years. We have found it not only possible, but joyful, to forgive those who have seemingly harmed us.
Spring is blossoming here in Boulder, an ideal location for spiritual practice. We can also see Krishna consciousness blossoming in the lives of the people around us, in our community, and in our own lives as well. When we first moved here last August, we became aware of the sacrifice that H. H. Bhakti Tirtha Swami was performing for the sake of the devotees. As I reflect on all that has happened to us in the last year, coming from oblivion to bliss, I can only say this:
We are so very thankful to all of the devotees who remained, giving us something to come back to. We are so thankful to all of the devotees who, throughout the years, gave us their association and mercy. We are also thankful to all of the devotees who have doubts and questions; because when we allow Krishna to answer these questions and resolve our doubts it makes for great spiritual growth, both individually and as a movement.
In closing, I would like to thank H. H. Bhakti Tirtha Maharaja. I don't know if I'll ever fully understand what you have done, or why, or how it has affected the worldwide body of Vaishnavas, but whatever you are doing Maharaja, it is working and we are thankful; we are indebted and will spend the rest of our days attempting to repay this debt.