Vrindavan, 2017.05.17 (Kuladananda Brahmachari): I have heard that all conditions such as good or bad, pleasure or pain, are always changing. I do not know how long this rare state of realizing Thakur’s grace is going to last in my fate. Who knows when or why it may go away. Therefore, let me engage myself heart and soul in worshipping as long as Thakur kindly keeps me in this condition.
Driven by anxiety, lest the auspicious moment pass me by, I kept myself engaged wholeheartedly in ardent spiritual practice day and night. With the extraordinary inﬂuence of the land of yogis, my desire for intense spiritual practice kept growing day by day.
I resorted to severe austerities. I started having one meal a day without taking even a palmful of water from sunrise to sunset. I have so far taken boiled pulses with their husks, and at other times I ate the fresh juicy ends of known and unknown creepers, along with fifty grams of wheat flour with salt. This gave good strength and freshness to my body at the time. I experienced enthusiasm, zeal, vigour and spiritedness. And now, kneading less than fifty grams of wheat flour in my hand and pressing it between my palms, I drop it into the dhuni, press it into the ash and cover it with hot charcoal, I find it to have swollen into a beautiful ’kachuri’ when I pick it up after half an hour.
I take prasad after offering it to Thakur along with salt and chilli. Be it for acute hunger or by Thakur’s grace, I eat with great satisfaction. Yet I am still not satisfied with this austerity.
After some days, I become very weak. I am unable to get up from my asan on time and complete my ablutions, bath and other rituals. I pant for breath on fetching one pitcher full of water from the Ganga, which is at a distance of one minute. I need to rest twice or thrice on the way.
I cannot sit on the asan for a long time. At times I spend time lying down; my stomach burns with hunger. On the other hand, I find it difficult even to move my limbs due to tiredness. I feel like crying loudly.
My tendency for tapasya, desire for austerity is not abetting even in this condition. Thakur had said, “The health must first be protected before all religious actions.” Days and nights are spent just lamenting when the health is unwell. I find that I cannot ignore physical pain at all. How am I to engage in spiritual practice?
I had thought of getting rid of physical morbidity by stopping the intake of all sorts of tasteful things. But I now find myself in danger due to my extreme audacity. Seeing my miserable state, the sadhus are saying to me — ‘You know very well what is bad for your health, yet you are doing those very things! This is tantamount to committing suicide’.
I am now lamenting the fact that I would have been immersed in Thakur’s naam day and night, had there been no physical suffering. Being plunged into this crisis, I realise this clearly that in order to attain dharma, I had arrived exactly at that state where those sheltered by Guru arrive at when they travel in the direction of their own stubborn desires.
Thakur! Have mercy on me. Even performance of supreme dharma becomes adharma, when it is done without your order or without understanding your wish.
I will eat dal and vegetables and satiate my hunger. I will get some milk also from Atmananda. My core dharma at this moment seems to be to keep my body fit and well. I resolve to give up extra austerity and follow Thakur’s instructions from tomorrow.
From Sri Sri Sadguru Sanga by Kuladananda Brahmachari, disciple of Shri Vijay Krishna Goswami
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