This little caterpillar exhibits the beauty in just being itself. It doesn’t try to be more beautiful, and maybe it doesn’t even recognize its own beauty. One of the main offenses in Bhakti is Kautilya, or crookedness, defined as not being who you really are, you put on a show on the outside but are not that way on the inside. In a humble state we can realize that all other animals have no problem with this Satya, or Truth, practice, they just are who they are and act honestly.
Begin to recognize the comfort you have around those who practice Satya. Also, recognize ways or times that you might fall into kautilya, or exhibiting a false self to others.
My prayer for this lifetime: Please help me learn to take no offense, to become as tolerant as a plant. Please help me see how divinity is working through this person or situation to help me grow into my higher self.
To the degree that I am offended, I commit myself to suffering. Sometimes I feel offended and that I need to teach the other person what they did wrong. This usually ends up multiplying problems because that individual digs their heels in. And then they are offended too and the suffering multiplies. If we see each other as ordinary, we can easily fall into a feeling of superiority and that we need to teach, but can we see the divine in each person and especially in those that offended us so that we soften this sense of “I need to teach them.” Instead, I will be in a place of humility and tolerance and perhaps invite the situation to teach me.
I’d love for this to be a dialogue, please comment below if you have anything to add.
I saw this posted in the storefront of where Srila Prabhupada set up shop in NYC to share prashad and kirtan.
The root of all problems is our ignorance of who we really are. We aren’t solely the body, or the mind, we aren’t our thoughts, jobs, hobbies, liked or dislikes, but we are spirits connected to all sprits. If we can recognize our underlying unity, we would no longer need borders, no longer need to compete with each other for resources, but instead we’d do everything in support of everything.
Avidya, or ignorance, is the root of the ego, attractions, aversions, and clinging to life, these are the obstacles on the path. Once we realize our connection and yoke to it, we attain vidya, or knowledge, and then we will find harmony, fairness, and peace.
Link to a meditative Maha Mantra on YouTube: Maha Mantra
According to the Bhagavad Gita, translated by Swami Prabhupada, in the Age of Kali, there is no process that allows one to realize the Supreme other than chanting ‘Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.’
The world is an external manifestation of what is inside. What we see is a perception through the lens we created through thoughts, ideas, and values. We can choose to see the divine behind everything or not. The results of that decision is either to feel entirely supported or completely alone.
Why don’t we choose to live simply in the support of the Highest? The horse above, and your pets and all the wildlife, are not bound to the dramatic news everyday, and even if they are feeling the effects of climate chaos, they don’t choose to suffer over it, but rather embrace and respond to each present moment.
I challenge you to stand where your feet are. To exist just in awareness for a few minutes, or many, each day. Allow whatever is there to be there with an acceptance as if the experience, whether pleasant or not, is a gift to pull you closer to your Source. Yoga is this connection to the Source.
This is what I practice while working with horses. Each act is an attempt to pull the horse into a deeper and more trusting relationship with me, whether the act is rewarding good behavior or redirecting something a little less desirable. I aspire to learn from horses the humbleness of collaborating with what horses consider predators and the ability to not take offense at those less-desired behaviors, because horses, like all beings, only do what they think they have to do to survive.
You know how Genesis says God gave humanity dominion over the earth? I read in Igniting a Revolution that most of us misinterpreted that to mean we can use or abuse the land and animals however we deem most efficient, when in fact God used the word ‘dominion’ to actually mean ‘keep’ Earth as a gardener keeps their garden or has dominion of the garden. When we treat the myriad of miracles the divine gave us with respect, compassion, love, and protection, we act in gratitude and in accordance with how God intended for us to treat the Earth that he hired us as caretakers of. The way a gardener lovingly cares for each plant is the intention behind setting us up as caretakers. Through loving service to all of creation we serve the divine, our Source, the Source each meal, each breath, and we really begin to understand what yoga, or communion with the divine, is.