Monday, December 7, 2015

Soul Surfer

Dear Radhanath Swami,

Please accept my heartfelt respects. All glories to our beloved Srila Prabhupad.

Surfing is one of those rare sports where the conditions are left up to the mysterious ways of Mother Earth. One needs a clean, solid wave to surf, and this is dependent upon so many factors such as the wind, floor depth, the moon's position, and so on. So when the surf is up in Hawaii, it is not uncommon for locals to call out from work and head out to the ocean with their surfboards. Hardcore surfers are always searching for the perfect wave, simply because it’s so unpredictable.

There is a term “soul surfer,” which means that although these surfers may enter competitions, they do not only aim to win. Soul surfing suggests that there is a deeper motive and even spirituality to waiting for the perfect wave and riding an energy that is beyond one’s power.

Today, on your Vyasa Puja, I am meditating how the ocean is the Lord, the waves are His grace, and you are a soul surfer. I experience you as a rare soul who has left behind what you “should” do and answered the call of the Lord, wherever His call has lead you. You have crisscrossed the world countless times, often suffering so much physically. I believe I speak for everyone here that when we hear that you are sick and in pain, our hearts break. And yet your soul calls you on, the Lord calls you on. Your eyes are trained to your own heart, to Sri Radha Gopinath, to Srila Prabhupad, always waiting, always waiting for the moment that the surf is up, the moment that They call you. And when the time comes, you answer. I sense that They trust you so deeply to answer Their call that They have begun to call you more and more, in service of Truth and Love.

Today I am deeply inspired by your example, the way in which you live your life with surrender, both waiting for grace as well as responding to the call. I once saw a father teaching his son how to surf – the little boy was on the board, and when a gentle wave would come, the father would maneuver the board into place, stand up, and pull the little boy up with him. In this way, I feel that you have brought me along this path of grace, pulling me up when I have no strength and no idea what I’m doing. Ever kind, ever patient, you are teaching me through your love, strength, and example how to answer the call of the Lord.

May this year be filled with many, many waves of grace.

With love, respect, and gratitude,

Bhakti lata dasi

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