Friday, April 18, 2008

Politics of Inspiration

But then even within a certain religion, people will say, "My certain branch is the best," and even within that branch, people will say, "My teacher is the best." But really, it's just an extension of our own ego - that anything is relation with me must be the best. But it is an illusion! - Radhanath Swami

Narayan Maharaj is coming to Alachua next week and almost half a dozen people have approached me - including my unofficial siksa guru, Indradyumna Swami - and have expressed concern that I want to go to his festival or that I casually encourage others to do so as well.

But I have a different perspective. I grew up spiritually in Hawaii with no "ISKCON" temple. Narayan Maharaj, Bodhayan Maharaj, Paramadvaiti Swami (my brother's guru), and other visiting saints were my source of inspiration in a land of very little Krishna conscious resources. I never encountered an "ISKCON" guru when I lived in Hawaii. So I believe that spiritually, I grew up around my cousins. I feel a great appreciation for their perspectives and branches.

Where I receive inspiration is completely personal. No one can tell me where to find it. I have gone to a Buddhist service, a mosque, a Baptist church, a Catholic service... and for each one I gleaned some beautiful wisdom and the essence of religion: love and service. 

And yet sometimes I find that the most heated arguments and debates occur amongst people of the same religion with simply different branches. Amazing!

So I offer my respects unto all the vaishnava devotees of the Lord, those who specifically love to serve Krishna and His devotees. A vaishnava is a rare and precious person to find in this world. Personally, I pray to somehow transcend all these politics of inspiration.

Paramadvaiti Swami, my brother's guru

Puri Maharaj, a godbrother of Srila Prabhupad

Bodhayan Maharaj; he often visited Hawaii and is the disciple of Puri Maharaj

Narayan Maharaj

Indradyumna Swami, an inspiration

Radhanath Swami, my spiritual master and life and soul

Srila Prabhupad, the ultimate inspiration

1 comment:

Gaurangi-priya said...

Bhakti, thanks for this beautiful post. It really hit home for me, and I so appreciate your maturity.

To write is to dare the soul. So write.