Sunday, December 6, 2015

Visit to the Temple

I am back in Hawaii with my parents for some time before I get married.

Hawaii is my monastery, a place of quiet, a place where I go deep within. It's just me and my parents here - temples and devotees and festivals are very far away. 

As a young teenager in Hawaii, my desire for Krishna consciousness became a blazing fire in the isolation of this island. I wanted only to move away to live in a community of likeminded devotees of Krishna. 

But I couldn't. I was underage! So for five years I lived here, burning to move away.

In those five years' time, though, I searched for God everywhere I could find Him. Nature became my temple. 

Whenever I beheld the beauty of nature that was so profound that it moved my soul, I would sing the song, "Mama Mana Mandire" - May You, my dear Lord, reside within the temple of my heart. This song became my anthem, long after I had moved away from Hawaii, even when I lived near a physical temple. I never wanted to take God for granted. Nature became the reminder that God is everywhere, including my own heart.  

I gradually lost my tradition to sing this song. Many years have passed since I have meditated in this way.

Tonight, I went to an old haunt of mine, a crest on a mountain where I watched the sun set over two oceans - an ocean of blue silk below and an ocean of orange and pink silk above. I was stunned that such vast beauty would be so silent and yet sing to the entire world - to the water, land, and sky. 

Unbidden, the words came to my lips, "Mama mana mandire..."

May You reside within the temple of my heart. 

I am realizing that God has always and always will reside within my heart. I need only sing to Him, acknowledge His presence, embrace Him.

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