Monday, May 26, 2008

Seeking the Essence

We park the bus at an outpost, locals staring at us curiously. We throw on our gamshas, chattering and laughing, and traipse into the jungle. We wind along the path... we're getting closer... I can hear the muted roar through the rich, dripping jungle. And at last we emerge onto a precipice... to overlook a thunderous, misty waterfall, the water eddying in deep blue/gray pools.

When I retire from my adventures of exploring the hot spring waterfalls, I join a crew of those in a special spot to allow the hot water to pound on their heads like a massage. As we lounge there, Mahajan Prabhu approaches us with a rock.

"Look, gold," he says. I lean forward, dubious but suddenly intensely curious. "See? When you turn it in the light..." he holds out one of his black rocks and I take it in my hands. My scientific brain kicks in as I turn it this way and that.

"No, I think the river has just pounded this rock in a certain way, in certain places to make it shine..." I say, but I'm entranced.

I return Mahajan his rock. "I think it's just some kind of fool's gold. Where did you find it?" I ask.

"Over here, in the rock bed," he gestures me over. I hop off my rock ledge (my spot immediately taken by Amal) and follow him across the stream.

Mahajan shows me how to look for the rocks with gold. "You pick the black ones up, turn them this way and that, let them catch the light..."

I settle into the rocky bank and begin my search. To my surprise, I find that nearly every rock shimmers with flecks and stripes of gold, if only I turn it in such a way to reflect the light.

Spellbound, I sit there for a long time, sifting through stones, searching for gold. Some fellow Bus Tourians pass by and inquire into my curious quest, and then continue on their way.

But a beautiful realization begins to blossom inside of me: saragrahi. Seek the essence. Right now, I am seeking the essence. And with the Vaishnavas, it's a bit like this. Everyone looks like a simple stone. But with a careful eye, I can search out the gold in everyone - not by direct glare, but rather a sideways tilt. It's the little things someone does, when no one's looking, that burnishes them gold, that gives a Vaishnava their subtle glory.

And my work, as a saragrahi Vaishnava, is to find that gold, and bring it into the light.

1 comment:

kushmanjali108 said...

i love this blog. i read it a while ago, but i always remember it. it stayed with me..

heres something that reminded me of it.

a bulleting by an inspiration friend, Madhumayi Radha - earlier Madhavi from ATL, also seeking the essence

Body: "A few things have been on my mind actually.

I have just read the most beautiful bulletin of nanda's
and I was thinking about inspiration.

My Gurudev is an inspiration to me.

He is amazing and strong and loves Mahaprabhu.

But I can never be like him.

So therefore I was thinking about who can be an inspiration to me
that I can actually be able to achieve their elated state.

And it came to me.

Every single one of my friends is an inspiration to me.

IF you dont inspire me than your not my friend.

Because I choose all my friends carefully.

But dont worry, If you are reading this and if you are
one of my friends on myspace...
jump around for joy because you are probably inspiring me at this very moment."
etc. etc. etc....

To write is to dare the soul. So write.