Guru Maharaj


Want to know something? I love designing and creating Deity outfits. But my only downfall is the follow through. I get bored with  project and I dont finish it and move on to something else without finishing the first project. But its in my mind! I havent forgotten about my yellow Deity dress with silver designs. Its a work in progress that I will post in a few days.

Things have been hectic. Stuff going on in the temple and I am in a helpless position. I got to hang out a little with my Guru Maharja while he was here, he looked really tired.

Lately I’ve been thinking about moving to Alachua. I know I was super against ever moving there before. But, I dunno, when my husband and I were there on Sunday, he looked totally happy. And, maybe I’ll be happy too. I dont know many people. Correction- I know lots of people, none of them know me. I might be lonely, but its a feeling I’ve had my whole life. Maybe while Im there I’ll actually get seva to do instead of getting pushed aside all the time. Maybe people will see that I am “Prema-Rupa Devi Dasi” and not “Wife of Jagannath Das”, that I am an individual, not to be categorized into a group of “how a good woman must behave”.

*sigh* here’s to chasing the perfect life.

For some reason, my husband really liked the Deity dressing for this week so Im posting a few pics. I love them, they’re gorgeous. I feel like one of those parents that make you look at the 58764453 pictures of their kids watching tv. But I dont care. The last pics is of the Deities on Sunday, Sri-Sri Nitai Gauranataraj, and one of Nitai specifically so you can see how super captivating He is. You can totally see why I enjoy making jewelry stuff for them, with a sweet sweet face like that, how can you not?! I dont know why some pics are sideways so just turn your head to look at them.

Part 2 of my dressmaking tutorial is coming soon!

Oh, and Guru Maharaj is coming soon! Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!

Okay, I have lots to talk about.

First, my big secret from speaking with Guru Maharaj on Saturday! We talked about initiation and he was actually thinking about giving it to me on the Sunday after that Saturday! But as you may have noticed, Im still Praveen. He decided that having an initiation at the last minute wouldnt be so nice. He said he would prefer to have a well organized fire sacrifice with a qualified bramhin and all that jazz instead of just throwing something together. *sigh* When will that day be mine?

Second, I decided to skip out of class 15 minutes early on Wednesday to see Guru Maharaj. I didnt realize it would take me an hour to get there. By the time I arrived I heard him speak for five minutes and then the program was finished, normally it doesnt finish so early but I guess because there was hardly anyone he decided to finish. So I thought, okay, that sucks, but tomorrow I will get there on time. So on thursday I get all dolled-up and make my way over there. Im a couple minutes early but I can see through the door everyone is standing in the dinning room. Whats going on? I enter and Guru Maharaj is sitting at the dinning room table, he looks up at me, “You’re late”. I fumble and say something like, “Im sorry, I didnt know we were starting early, should I just go back home?” Then he chuckled and said that he kinda spaced-out today and accidentally did Damodarasktam an hour early. So imagine my luck. Two days of trying to meet Guru Maharaj, no avail.

I thought for sure I would meet him on Friday evening but they fortunately let me know that he was leaving that morning. So I decided that my husband and I can see him in the morning. We got there in the morning, and we got to see Guru Maharaj!!! Not just that but I think he kinda felt bad for me so he gave a Bhagavatam class and asked if I had any questons. I didnt, I was just so happy to finally see him for more than five mintues that I didnt think to have a question.

Normally I dont ask questions but when Im around him I just feel like asking. Dunno why. I never ever ask anything. But I guess he makes me feel safe, like whatever questions I have he’ll answer it without making me feel like an idiot.

After class and breakfast Guru Maharaj took a nap. I was told he naps for about 15 minutes but he ended up oversleeping and slept for to hours. He must have been exhausted! After he woke up my husband spoke with him quickly (which is when I found out about the initiation thing) and also my husband asked about giving me some service and Maharaj said that he will talk about it more in-depth with us after his weekend trip.

Third, at the last minute my husband and I decided to go to Alachua for Govardhan Puja. It was quite nice, the Deities were gorgeous, and Govardhan Hill was beautiful and perhaps the most delicious hill I’ve ever eaten in my life. I also got to meet a devotee that I’ve known on LiveJournal for years and she was super nice! It was a good good trip. I was also able to get over the little things that bother me about the devotees there (errm..chewing gum in the temple room is so not cool).

I saw Guru Maharaj for one last time on Tuesday. I saw him with my husband in the morning and he kinda yelled at me. It made me confused but I wasnt really angry. I wanted to clarify myself for sure. But I knew that his chastising me wasnt ordinary. Some sannyasis yell at everyone and anyone. But Guru Maharaj has a polite and patient disposition and doesnt really yell at anyone unless he knows them very well. So I felt blessed and instead of clarifying myself I decided to let it go. I love that our relationship has gone beyond plesantries.

The only thing I dont understand is why he doesnt say my name. I’ve heard him say other devotees names. I think he knows my name, he’s heard it and I sent him a letter so I know he’s read it. I think maybe he hates it. Or maybe he figures he doesnt need to remember it because he’s going to give me a different name really soon (like next month). Maybe he’s like me and just isnt good with names.

I skipped out on my Tuesday class (I know, Im terrible) and went to the program for Srila Prabhupada’s Disappearance Day. And it was totally awesome! There were four Srila Prabhupada disciples in attendance that gave class, Guru Maharaj, Trivikrama Maharaj, Gokula-Ranjana Prabhu and, I know you arent going to believe me, but Bhagavan Prabhu was there. Yes. THE Bhagavan. I wont go into too much detail about him in this blog, but I will in my other one. Or you can just ask me. But the program was great. Great realizations, funny things, sad things.

Prasadam was over and above amazing. And Guru Maharaj’s palak subji was so amazing that my husband and I dreamt of Srila Prabhupada all night. It was sooooooooo good.

I watched Guru Maharaj talk with devotees after the program. I know that some of it is private and perhaps the only meeting some devotees could get with him so I sat super far away and chanted quietly while they chatted and other devotees went about their business.

I really just enjoy watching Guru Maharaj. The way he sits, the way he talks, the way he walks. I’m not really sure if he knows that i watch him. Sometimes its blatantly obvious that I am and sometimes I hide. Im not sure why I do it really. I think I just get caught up in admiring him and I just sort of stare. I know he caught me once. I was watching him during the Govardhana Puja kirtan. He came a bit late but instead of making a big show of himself or pushing his way to the front, he stood quietly in the back and seemed satisfied to just attend the program. And so I was just standing there, outside of the temple and he was about 50 feet away inside the temple. I think he could feel me looking because he turned his head, leaned a bit forward and smiled at me. I grinned back and then felt embarassed and ran away. Im such a geek.

Anyway so back to the original pastime. I stopped watching them after some time and fell into focusing on my rounds. Thats what years of practice does. You focus without even realizing it. Suddenly I heard Maharaj’s voice, “So how are you?” I looked up and Guru Maharaj was looking down at me. I stood up quickly, “I am fine”.
“How many rounds have you completed?”
“Hmm..only 5 so far. I have eleven more to go. I’ll probably be awake until late tonight.”
“You put it off for the last minute?”
“We’ll I’ve been here since early morning trying to help out for today’s program and I’ve had to do a lot of running around so only now have I had a chance to sit down and chant.”
“Oh. Please dont neglect your chanting. Make it a priority.”
“I do Guru Maharaj. I will try harder.”

So if you know me (God I say that a lot), then you’ll know I always have some plan up my sleeve. Guru Maharaj is under the impression that chanting gets in the way of studies. I say, they can co-exist. So I’ve decided to create a kind-of japa journal. It has three columns. One for how many rounds chanted. The second for the time it was done and the last for any extra comments. And on the bottom there is room to write about any realizations I had that day. So from now until Guru Maharaj comes back, Im going to write in it every day. And when he arrives I’ll bind it nicely and present it to him as proof that it is possible to chant at least the minimum amount of rounds while going about daily stuff. Cool?!

Guru Maharaj left on Thursday. I really really miss him.

Im just posting to let y’all know that Im alive. I have LOTS to post about but Im keeping my writings on private for now so that I dont jinx myself!

But I will say this much. I went on harinam sankirtan and a nut from a tree hit me square on the head. It was hilarious!

I love Guru Maharaj so so so so so much. He’s just amazing. Like, way more amazing than when I saw him in North Carolina. He’s so merciful and understanding and humble. He makes me forget all my problems. I wish I could serve him. I think anyone that says anything bad about him is probably the greatest sinner in the world and will probably pay for it dearly. But thats just me.

I dont have much else to say, Ive just been surrounding myself with either school or seeing Guru Maharaj. Sometimes he says things and I wonder, “is he so kind to everyone or am I just getting some special mercy?”

I asked him a question on Sunday. I never ask questions! It was probably a dumb question and Im sure everyone thinks Im a hater but I dont care.

You know, in an earlier post I posed the question, “When does a person get mercy?” and talked about how I feel like Ive been struggling all my life and in the end I still struggle. If you didnt believe me- today will convince you.

As you know, I have been looking forward to Maharaj coming for the last two weeks, I think about it all day, dream about it at night- my husband can vouch for me and say that the first thing I tell him in the morning isnt “Good Morning” but “Prabhu, Maharaj is coming soon”. Today was the day that he came.

I woke up extra early, did everything I needed to do in the morning and as soon as the grocery store opened I drove there, bought yellow and red carnations and a dozen pink roses for the flower garland. Came home, did arati, then left for class. Came back, had a quick lunch, seperated the flowers and leaves from the stem them dropped my husband off at work. Came back home, finished opening all the flowers and made the garland, got myself all gussied up (I put on some make-up and a gopi dress), grabbed my kartals, my digital camcorder, garland (which, I had scented with rose water and offered to Krishna while I got dressed), bead bag, purse and bagpack and ran out the door. Was in class from 4:00-7:15. Ran to the car, drove like a maniac to the airport, arrived there at 8:05 on the dot, got to the bagagge claim all the while calling a certain devotee (who shall remain nameless (no one that I mentioned in the previous posts)) but he didnt answer. Finally, it might have been 8:15 (which is when Maharaj’s plane was supposed to arrive) and the devotee picked up, “Oh you just missed Maharaj by a few minutes, his flight came early and he left pretty quickly”.

I drove all the way home (which took me an hour) crying. I was looking forward to seeing him for two weeks and I missed him by “a few minutes”. I was more than angry, I was pissed. Not really at Maharaj, but, this devotee knew I was coming, he couldnt call me and say that Maharaj already left? I told him that I was definitely coming, he couldnt call me and say “dont bother wasting your time, Maharaj was really tired and just got in the car and left”. Is common courtesy that hard?! And like an idiot Im standing in the baggage claim with all my crap and he’s kinda chuckling and saying “Sorry Mataji”. Can you imagine how I felt?! Humiliated! Imagine yourself in my position. Devastating, isnt it?

I dont know if I can forgive him. I can, I think. In my mind I tell him that if a devotee cannot forgive you then you have no chance of ever entering Vaikuntha. However, though you have been selfish and inconsiderate toward me, I will still show you compassion and forgive you and I pray that it never happens again. But I doubt he would ever ask for forgiveness, he’s like a puri that way. You know- puffed-up on the outside with nothing on the inside? I know. Im completely miserable right now but somehow I still find time to crack a joke.

So instead of being on a “mercy high”. Im lying here on my bed popping Halloween chocolates into my mouth and my eyes burn from mascara and salt.

Bhaktin Praveen is the most unfortunate and fallen soul.
For no matter how hard she tries,
she cant seem to catch hold of the
lotus feet of the Vaishnava devotees.
But she tries. Oh, how she tries.
She begs for a little mercy
to quench her thirst for devotion
but not even one drop falls
from the sky of Krishna Prema.
When will this fallen soul become qualified?

Okay, I dont know if any of you heard me talk about this, but my Guru Maharaj is coming (that was me being sarcastic, thats all I ever talk about). And Im totally excited. Before I get on to my topic, I have a back story. To protect the identities involved, each character will be addressed by their initials (maybe, might be random letters). Its not a long story, but it has a point, promise.

So GGD used to employ some devotees- Namely SDB and GPD. There was a big fight between them and GGD and they either quit or got fired. Im not too fond of SDB or GPD- I dont hate them and I no longer hold a grudge against them for how they treated me- though I think GPD still dislikes me, SDB got over himself and now he’s okay. So Guru Maharaj is visiting and will be staying at the home of GGD and having programs there. But, because the programs will be there, SDB and GPD refuse to attend any of the programs to see their Guru Maharaj. I thought it was sad because Guru Maharaj loves them so much, in fact if you watch Abhay Charan, you can see them in the background of many many scenes. And I can imagine Maharaj asking at the airport, “where is SDB? Where is GPD?” and when he realizes they arent coming, he’ll be disappointed.

Thats it. So, at first I was really happy they werent coming. If you know me, Im all about personal association. When we visited Maharaj, they got all of Maharaj’s attention. They sang for him, served him, talked to him. And I want to serve him so much! So I was feeling really greedy, like, “Yes, now Maharaj is all mine, let SDP and GPD have their false ego and not go to GGD’s home. Ha ha ha!” And I went on and on to my husband, telling him that I was happy they were not coming due to a problem they had years ago and they still cant get over themselves.

And then suddenly I stopped talking. What I was saying was very very bad. Not at all the behavior of a devotee. I remembered the 26 qualities of a devotee (you can totally google this- Im so not putting a link up). The ones that particularly came to mind were:

1.Merciful, kind to everyone- This quality consists in the empathy one feels at seeing the sufferance of other people. The devotee is merciful because he is the well-wishing friend of all living entities. The best help to others is to teach them what the cause of suffering is, and encourage them to get out of their state of ignorance.

19. Respectful- A devotee offers respect to others without expecting anything in return. He respects everyone as part of Krishna and treats them accordingly. Always kind and polite, especially towards senior persons or advanced souls, everybody feels well in his company.

23. Friendly- A devotee leads everyone to Krsna, who is the best friend of all living entities. He encourages everyone; putting aside elitism and party spirit that divides society due to generalised divisions which disregard the qualities of the individual.

After I realized this I felt really bad. Sure, Im not their biggest fans. But they retain some good qualities, and I shoud be better than they are, though they are senior to me. Instead of cursing them, I should be praying for them. I should be praying to Krishna to give them a change of heart and not disappoint Guru Maharaj. And who am I really compared to them? Maharaj hardly knows who I am, and my singing is like a croaking frog compared to them- I cant please Maharaj as much as they would. If my aim is to please Maharaj then I should pray that they decide to come. This is the behavior of a devotee.

Though I do enjoy personal association, especially with my Guru Maharaj, I know it will come, I dont have to push it or wish ill of others. It just requires some patience. Besides, personal or impersonal- I love seeing him and hearing him talk, and watching him do his sannyasi thing. So I’ll be okay

On Saturday I went to the vegfest. I had my doubts about it at first- mostly whether or not people will acutally be there. But the turnout was really good and books were so easy to distribute, even Bhagavad-Gitas! It was great. Unfortunately it didnt last very long, it started to rain heavily and we had to pack up and leave.

The highlight of it all was when a man and, I think, his wife approached our table and told us that his guru said that Srila Prabhupada is the only person in the whole world to have created so many vegetarians. So it seems pretty evident to me, Srila Prabhupada is the greatest person to have every walked this earth. Because he has convinced so many people, maybe not of Krishna Consciousness as a whole, but to take steps toward it, convincing them of vegetarianism, reincarnation, a personal God etc. To me, Srila Prabhupada is the only person in this world to have made pure devotees. A lot of people talk about Vivekananda bringing Hinduism to the west, but did he build 108 temples worldwide or publish 40+ books in eleven years? Um. I think not. So yeah. Srila Prabhupada rocks my socks off.

Guru Maharaj is coming on Wednesday and Im so excited its ridiculous. Aaaaaaand…….I GET TO MAKE HIS FLOWER GARLAND!!!!! Yipeee!!!!! I cant wait to meet him at the airport.

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