Devotees' Experiences

Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimat Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj ki Jai !!

(July 2002)

By Nishakar Panda

After all, I am a man. Propensities of both the good and evil are present in me. There are both elements of vice and virtue, jealousy, enmity, lust, anger, deception, greed and desire which are up to their brim. Self conceit has almost devoured me. I am an addict. Various spirits have taken possession of me. Addiction to cigarettes, both sophisticated and country brand, addiction to movies, liquor and meat, addiction to hunting etc.

The excruciating pain of a deer shot with bullets has delighted me. I have also been caught in the intoxicating spell of love. I have got great joy and affliction. I have made some sacrifice. Pursuit of studies has also made me spell bound. Deep acquaintances with numerous books and gathering of adequate knowledge there-from, making solution of intricate mathematics has greatly delighted my inquisitive mind and broadened my sphere of intelligence.

I have not hesitated to commit theft and adultery. I have dreamt up burglary. I have been a poet and have also accepted the role of a cruel swordsman. I have committed many vices. I am a sinner.

At Your behest I came to this world. My physical body is not merely a pack of blood, bones and flesh. It carries the endowment of Your divine existence and grace. Some say 'Man is a born sinner". He is a sinner right from the moment of release from his mother's womb. I do not believe in that. My childhood memories do vouchsafe how innocent and simple I was. Illusions of worldly life, mundane desire and complexities of life had never overpowered me.

I wonder how could then vices took upper hand over me. Was it because of the inherent propensity of man or the impact of various impulses or the influence of environment or bad companionship or could it be attributed to juvenility? Often I think it is I who is responsible. My mind and sensory organs have just induced me to stoop into vices. I went on experiencing myriad tests in life and went acquiring them copiously. I was under the impression that not a leaf shakes without divine direction. Whatever He directs me I do that, whatever He advises I execute accordingly.

My youthful mind and physical prowess made me care a fig for this world. I went on experiencing all that the world could offer. I never paused to discriminate what was good and bad because of the impulsive liking of my mind while enjoying life. Then I totally forgot I would have to pay a heavy price for all my actions.

Afterwards a kind of fear seized me. While churning the ocean of pleasure in the world I thought I was sipping ambrosia. Along with ambrosia I also drank lethal poison, whereupon the poison ran through the veins of my whole body. I experienced its impact and writhed an excruciating pain. Consequently it made me benumbed. That was the end of my valor and chivalry. I blamed God “Oh God! my faith in you and devotion to you right from childhood! I have not indeed committed a crime, never have I inflicted torture on anyone. I have tried to ameliorate other's’ woes. I have simply been burnt many a time in the configuration of wanton desire and greed in life. It has pained me grievously. Why such hypocrisy? Why such injustice on your part? Redeem me from this agony. You are the ultimate shelter. O Lord I surrender myself to THEE.”

There appeared in my life a red robbed, sophisticated, aristocratic Holy person who was full of affection and love - a Divine personality. He blessed me, I followed him. He assured all protection and relief from trilaap.

I could see an unflickering radiance of light in the whirlpool of despair, agony and death. He took me out of the ailing body to the place of joy, bliss and happiness. I could realize there remains a world different than this where there is only joy. He sowed the seeds of devotion in me which grew with favorable weather. He with all seriousness or concern cited many examples from the sastras to make me understand the cycle of birth, life and death.

I followed him from place to place, being charmed by his words. I developed patience and tolerance. He transformed me to become stable in happiness and grief, pain and pleasure, desire and passion attachment and disgust He infused different a meaning in my life.

As it stands today I have nothing. I am an orphan. My parents are in the heaven. I have lost my dear wife. My son and daughters are far away from me playing their role in their situations. They do love me, feel for me, give presentations to make me happy, to attract me to hook myself to the earth.

They do not help me much in my journey towards Him. They contribute in an opposite way I do not like. I do not have possessiveness towards my house. It serves as a waiting room in my journey. Incidentally I am the caretaker. The car parked in the portico ready to take me from place to place has no attraction. The old Spanish double barrel gun fixed on the wall is a showpiece of my dead ego. The ancestral landed property stretched over an area belongs to mother earth. It has flowering plants, fruit bearing trees and rice producing greenery. Some stretch of it has turned to forests with bushy thorns making unapproachable for man but good shelter for snakes, squirrels, rabbits, mongoose and monkeys and also spirits. I enjoy the chirping of birds, howling of jackals, dancing of rabbits, screaming of monkeys. At dead of night I see ghosts moving. They are friendly to me. The land takes care of itself. Nothing belongs to me.

I feared some gossip from the waiting masses whose materialistic wishes have not been fulfilled. They have not realized how they have been benefited by this red robed pious man. I love him, respect him, enjoy him. I am after him for realization of God. He is after all my Gurudev. I have nothing to say. Who are you to say? I still do not know who I am. I am nothing.

All glory to Gurudev.