Tuesday, February 5, 2008

My Lighthouse

I encourage you to read a previous blog entry titled "The Vrindavan Virus" for a fuller picture of Mother Tulasi.

I made my way through the trees to the softly glowing templeroom. The thought crossed my mind that tonight was Mother Tulasi's last night to dress Radhe Shyam before she would fly off to India.

I must bid her goodbye, I thought to myself.

When the curtains swished open, I sang to the Deities a lullaby. On the altar, Mother Tulasi performed the puja like a lullaby too, with her soft gestures and liquid eyes. 

When the curtains closed, I remembered that I needed to leave sooner than expected. But I had to bid Mother Tulasi goodbye.

I paced on the verandah and checked the clock every time I switched directions. Come ON Tulasi... what's taking so long? I need to go...!  

I considered popping my head in the templeroom to murmur to her through the curtains that I was waiting. I considered writing a short note. I considered just leaving.

And then I smiled. I realized the reason for her unusual delay: the care and devotion she was instilling in her puja tonight - her final night with Radhe Shyam - made her lose track of time.

Finally, I did peep my head in the templeroom and murmur, "Goodbye, Tulasi," But then she came off of the altar. 

When I greeted her, tears were in her eyes. She smiled and we embraced. I said, "I've been waiting for you to say goodbye. I know it's your last night here," 

"I was giving Shyam a hug," she laughed softly, wiping a tear from her eye. She breathed deep, "But I'll be going to His hometown soon, right?"

"Yes, you will, and you shall see Him everywhere there," I reassured her.

"You're right, I will," she paused. "But I won't be able to give Him a hug," and then she laughed. With one last embrace, I then hurried to my car.

As I drove away, I reflected that I want to serve and love Krishna as Mother Tulasi loves Krishna. She is my example, my lighthouse. In this dark ocean where I can barely tell left from light, her devotion shines. She guides me to the shore of Radhe Shyam.

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