Spiritual Director’s Message

Old and NewDear Devotees, Students, and Friends:
   Having just returned from a first-time pilgrimage to Nepal, and within a week turning around and coming stateside for classes and Durga Puja, I am called upon to send a message in the forthcoming Munda Mala for the purposes of inspiration and encouragement.

   As I have seen again on this recent sojourn, the world is a strange enough place, made more odd by the circumstances of modern times.  Far from being healed, bettered, or even improved by the onslaught of modern science, its “advances,” and the glut of resources (soon to expire at the present rate of consumerism,) available to the more “fortunate” beings who have ready access, the infrastructures of the present world culture are crumbling fast, just like the ancient ones, now long gone, that I noted with regard to the old palaces and temple compounds crumbling away in Nepal.

 Brotherhood Day  But the doomsday sayers can go on with their prophesies; the devotees should pay little mind to them.  What is important, in the precious time allotted by the Divine Mother of the Universe, is that we use this time to build up our character based upon sadhana, spiritual self-effort.  All that points towards and leads to the Atman, to Brahman – the Eternal, the Changeless – that we are to secure, leaving the rest to the incessant whirlpool of mayic flux, which is, also eternally, moving in counteractive fashion in cyclic sequences while ever going nowhere.

   “Grant unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, but take unto thyself what is the Lord’s” — it is an ancient law of dharma inscribed in
the bedrock of the Spirit, throughout ages.  Finding the static, blissful, and limitless State within, and regardless of the unsettling changes wrought in samsara, there, on that platform of the Purusha, we are to build the Eternal House of Peace, hewn from stone, not fashioned carelessly on shifting mounds of sand.

   For remember the dharma drops in the bucket of self-effort. Any little effort one can put forward towards a spiritual end, no
matter if it seems small and insignificant or void of apparent and immediate fruits, such exertion will mount up and eventually unsettle the plans of the unsettling maya.  In this way, and as my guru used to call forth from the discourse podium, as if by challenge, “We must put sleep to sleep, make fear afraid of itself, cause doubt to doubt itself, and put death in its own grave.”

   Are all these words inspiration enough?  No, not unless they are taken to heart, acted upon, and shaped into realization of the type that removes every shred of dependence on anything and everything lying here in this unreal world.  Vedanta cannot be left in books and churches, as Vivekananda said, and since his 150th anniversary is fast approaching we should redouble our efforts towards enlightenment in this very life, leaving no chance for a mere post-mortem emancipation to take effect.

Thus is the prayer of the enlightened ones — not that all beings get their suffering removed, for suffering helps spiritual growth and transcendence, and is a part of the awakening process; and not that all sentient beings are saved out of compassion, for they will awaken in their own time based upon the divinity within them; and not that all beings get fulfilled and satisfied, for there is no satiation in maya.  A swift death to ignorance via higher knowledge leading to the upsurge of love of and devotion to Reality — now there is a worthy prayer.  And we may as well add the maturation of the art of Karma Yoga in all beings, selfless service to God in mankind, to the quotient, so that obstacles can be removed from the path in order that the footfalls of all beings may be placed upon the sure and certain road to spiritual awakening.

   Om Peace, Peace, Peace,

   Babaji Bob Kindler
   Spiritual Director
   SRV Associations