I've found myself keeping strange hours these days...I stay awake almost all night, going to bed the next morning at around 3 a.m. No matter how hard I try I can't go to sleep at around 10 p.m or later.
It has been a blessing in disguise. At around 1 a.m I start to chant my japa, which takes me up to around 3 a.m, when I finally find myself tired enough to go to sleep.
Initially it was just practical - if I did my rounds at this time, it gave me more time to do other things, like study, plan a wedding, cook for the deities, read...But now, it has become more than just practical. Its so peaceful in these early hours (its 2 a.m right now); my mind is quieter and the urge to chant the holy name is stronger. Its my quiet time with Krsna, and I've come to value it very much.
I've come to see how chanting good japa (or at least making an effort to do so) is the key to establishing and maintaining a relationship with Krsna - and the spiritual master.
I've never lived out of South Africa before and so my Guru Maharaj was always easily accessible - to serve, talk to or hear classes. But now, all I have is e-mail, which has been quite a change. The distance has felt physical and spiritual. But since I've been putting more effort into my japa (and as sentimental as this sounds) I've felt closer to my Guru Maharaj. It is only through his kindness and mercy that I am chanting the holy names of the Lord. "Through Krsna one gets Guru, and through Guru one gets Krsna."
I pray that the holy name will forgive my offenses and bring me closer to the lotus feet of Radha Shyamasundar.
"O holy name, you are manifested in two forms:1. the supreme person described by the Holy Name, and2. the sound vibration of the Holy Name. We know thatthe second form is more merciful than the first. Even a person who commits many offenses to the first form may become always plunged into an ocean of bliss by serving the second with his voice."
Sri Namastaka, Raghunath das Goswami
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