by "an ordinary person"
Posted December 19, 2002
As temple devotees, we basically do the same thing day in, day out. Rise
early, bathe, attend the morning program, and then go on to our daily
We even eat basically the same foods every day; Rice, dal, subji. Rice,
subji. Rice, dal, subji.
Having lived in the temple many years myself, I speak from my own
This routine can be heaven or it can be hell. At times I've experienced
happiness unlike anything available in the material world. At other times
wanted to run screaming from the temple room pulling my hair out. All the
while, nothing's changed. It's the same old routine.
I remember one morning program in New Vrindavan. It was a special
unlike any other, yet quite like any other. The guruvastakam prayers were
led by Jayadwaita Swami. His voice was pleasant, yet at the same time,
extraordinary. There wasn't anything special about the way the mrdanga or
kartalas were being played. Same old ching-ching-ching. Ching-ching-ching.
do I remember it to this day and wish that all mangala aratis could be
It's not because he is a swami, a highly respected person. It's not
was having any divine realization or communion with
It's not because it was a special festival day with throngs of devotees
guests. It was just an ordinary day.
I remember that mangala arati to this day for one reason. Simply put,
Jayadwaita Swami was singing the prayers with full concentration and
to his spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada. The energy of his devotion was
tangible and perceptible as the fragrance of the incense that had been
to the lotus feet of Radha-Vrindavan-chandra.
Usualy my mind is all over the place. My distracted mind is the primary
of my feelings of boredom and dissatisfaction with the daily routine. That
something remarkable happened. I somehow understood the ecstasy and
Jayadwaita was experiencing simply by devoting his whole being to the
for his spiritual master. My mind became peaceful, I also began to listen
what the prayers were saying. Even if just for a few minutes, I was able
experience that devotion and ecstasy also.
If you have experienced the same thing, then you will be able to
what I am saying. If not -- How can you describe honey to one who has
tasted it and make them understand? Yet, for devotees living in the
would imagine they've felt it too, whether it's the relatively new
singing the prayers, or their own spiritual master. Something special
when a devotee puts their whole heart and mind into glorification of Guru
Krsna. The effect is contagious.
This experience has shown me how a devotee can continue with their
year after year, experiencing ever-new satisfaction and realization from
same old routine; by preforming their service with their whole heart, and
fully present and dedicated to the satisfaction of Guru and Krsna. I
anyone who encounters a devotee thus engaged will be positively benefited.
Written by some ordinary person who prefers to remain anonymous.