08-01-2018

Happy New Year!

On 1st Jan, I woke up, went to the temple and began this year with blessings from the Lord.
Yesterday, 7th Jan, Sunday marked the end of the first week for me.
I know Sunday is the first day of the week in a lot of people’s calenders but for me, it’s the last day of the week. And I like to have a lazy but mildly productive Sunday to mark the weekend’s closure.
A typical Sunday involves the morning program at the temple with Harinama Sankirtana. I’m always hyped for that.
But yesterday I attended the evening program as well.
Usually, my hands are in painful condition after playing mrdanga in the cold morning. So I tend to attend either morning or evening program in one day.
Then I apply some cream to activate my sweat pores. Sweating keeps my hands smooth and soft.
In the cold winter, my hands are very dry in the morning. If I don’t sweat after playing mrdanga, I get painful cuts all over my hands. Those take approximately 3 days to heal.

I’m a sweaty person in general.
I know a lot of people would find that disgusting. “Eww!”
But I like it. There’s a medical term for that; hyperhydrosis.
My hands are generally damp to the touch.
My feet too.
But my armpits usually drip with sweat. When I play mrdanga or karatalas, I sweat even more. From everywhere! It’s embarrassing. If I wear dhoti, and I own thick dhotis that are good for the winter, it gets soaked too.
I always wear socks when I go out. If I stand in one spot for too long, my feet would leave a damp spot on the floor.
When I’m just seated and inactive, only my palms, feet and armpits sweat. But once I get active, the sweat is more pronounced everywhere.

I sweat even in the cold winter.
Right now, I’m seated typing this. I didn’t apply cream. It’s 22 degrees. But quite windy; I’m feeling cold. And I’m sweating.
The cold sweat isn’t helpful. It makes my t-shirt damp and makes me feel even more cold instead.

I knew a girl who sweated just like me in school. Our hands were always damp.

I don’t wear shoes for that reason. Only sandals. If I wear shoes for more than an hour, my socks would clear the room.
I don’t like writing for the same reason. My hands make the paper damp. And it looks weird.

I don’t shake people’s hands. Unless they offer first.

My facial skin tends to be oily. And it sweats when I’m active.
So I’ve put off shaving any facial hair until now. I don’t want the facial hair to grow fast and bushy or it would be difficult maintainance.

We did nice kirtana both on the harinama and after Gaura aarti.
It occurred to me that I should record it but it seemed like a disrespectful thing to do.
So I’ve participated in a lot of fantastic kirtanas and have nothing to show for it.
It’s all in the moment. If you were present, you get to enjoy it.
Makes it even more special.
But, there are others who have recorded me. They may even have posted it online. Privacy infringement!

I didn’t plan to go in the evening. But I had this feeling inside that I’d been slacking on the kirtana.
Like every other craft, if you slack in the kirtana, you won’t have an edge. And I like to maintain mine even though I’m not very regular.

It brings me peace. And I feel content. Like I’ve accomplished something useful that day.
Nothing else can bring that kind of satisfaction. Because it’s spiritual. You’re singing the Lord’s names and prayers.
You have to understand that, at the end of the day, no material activities will save you when you die. It’s the reason I’ve always read the Bible, B.G., S.B., and participated in kirtana.
I don’t go to the temple everyday. But when I’m at home, I’m always humming some mahamantra tunes to myself.

Like I’ve said before, I’m not a representative of the Hare Krsna. I’m not one of their officials. I’m not initiated either. There are guys who joined after me and got initiated first. They have a higher spiritual dedication and commitment.
I’m just a normal random guy. And I dress up as such. If you didn’t see me in dhoti and tilaka, you couldn’t tell much difference.

The goal is to remember God when I die.
I can die at any moment. So the best thing to do is practice thinking about God. If you want to think about God, you’ll have to do activities that favor that. Service, generally speaking. They say everything you do for Krsna is bhakti, devotional. So eating prasadam, chanting, singing, dancing, preaching, reading his books, going to the temple, attending aarti, and doing all sorts of services is Bhakti.
I hardly do any services for the temple. For that, you need time and I use mine for my personal stuff.
That’s not a good example for others.
Krsna Consciousness, is all about serving and being humble. And I don’t do that very well.
Service is mandatory. If you don’t serve God, you’ll be serving yourself, other people, animals, the country etc.
I think all of us have some level of egos. There’s some stuff we’ll be willing to do and some we won’t.
Well, I’m not walking some dog on a leash and picking up his poop so I think I’m on the right track.

I haven’t gone to the temple today.
Giving my hands time to recover.

I was busy all morning. Until lunch time.
Then I ate, watched some YouTube videos and took a nap.

Today is the disappearance day of Locana Das Thakura. He is an important Vaisnava who wrote Sri Caitanya Mangala.
There are 3 principle books about Lord Caitanya’s pastimes. Sri Caitanya Bhagavata, Sri Caitanya Mangala, and Sri Caitanya Caritamrta.
Lord Caitanya is the Lord’s incarnation in the mood of service. He is the initial propagator of the Harinama Sankirtana movement. He took the scriptures and said, “Haribol! These verses say Harinama is the only way to achieve Godhead in this life!” And so all his followers began preaching and spreading the Harinama across the world.
So studying the scriptures is required. But if you miss the point or conclusion, you’ve wasted your time. Lord Caitanya got straight to the point.

Okay. Have a good year!