Adventures in Humility

News, Views, and Chews on spiritual issues.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Guitar Pic

Some of you have been asking to see a picture of my guitar. It's an acoustic guitar, not an electric one. Here is a picture of it:

Friday, February 10, 2006

Nityananda Trayodashi!

One of my most favourite days of the year! I wanted to go to the temple and I knew that it would be a big occasion, the Deities dressed up nicely and all, probably in blue. By the time I got there the arati had already started. I sneaked all the way to the front so that I could take my long-coveted photos.

I hadn't taken a few snaps before the pujari plonked an arati tray right next to me on top of the money box. I couldn't believe it! Nobody seemed to be aware that it had been placed there and so nobody came forward to take it around! Usually whenever I go to the temple it's in the back of my mind that "I'll take the tray around if I get the chance". After all, I used to do it almost every Sunday if I don't do the throw-jala thing.

I couldn't believe my luck! This is what I call GRACE! I hadn't even thought about taking the tray around on this blessed day! The thought never even crossed my mind that I may get a chance to do so, because on an occasion like this there's always someone around to grab those opportunities. I couldn't believe that no one was coming forward to take it, so what can I do, I took it! :-)

You have to go to the back of the room to give it to Sri Prabhupada as part of the custom, and then take it throughout the crowd. So I snaked my way through the crowd offering it to everybody and then bringing it back to the deity kitchen in the corner when, it happened again! This time, the main arati tray had been plonked on the money box by the pujari and again, no one had come forward to collect it! I nearly laughed out loud in sheer joy and exhilaration before I grabbed that too and went through the whole thing again! :-)

I noticed an older devotee had taken the throw-jala thing and was busy doing that, oh well, you can't have it all! Best not to be too greedy! :-) When I brought back the tray, the flowers had been plonked on the box so what else was there to do but take the flowers around? :-)

It's quite amazing; I've found that whenever I've been at a low point in my life or been disillusioned about something enough to stop bottling it up and vocalising my feelings, something spiritual always happens that is inexplicably uplifting, like a little sign. So yesterday a friend wrote to me about something and in my reply I answered his question (I think!) but a whole load of other grievances and stuff came pouring out and afterwards I wasn't sure if I should have done that. So I was feeling a bit down-spirited about it but I didn't want to let it affect my devotionals for today. I still can't believe it even as I write this; how could I have got the chance to take around two arati trays and the flowers on a day like this? Wow! His GRACE is unbelievable! This tells (rather, shows!) me that no matter what I think and no matter what I go through, God has a way of letting me know His presence when it is necessary. Therefore I should have nothing to fear, for any from of anxiety is sooner or later shown to be nothing but an illusion.

The temple schoolkids were performing the kirtan! Unlike most children, they actually sing and play the instruments very well.

At the end of the day, I found that I had been so occupied with those services that I didn't take as many pictures as I might have liked, but so what! :-) Pic of Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai! It's a little poor quality as I snapped it in a rush before the pujaris closed the curtain. I managed to get only one pic of the Main Lords, but so what, 'tis better than nothing:

Here is a few of what I did take:

Now I can hardly wait for Gaura Purnima! If I wasn't already getting excited before, I am NOW! :-)

Friday, February 03, 2006

No More Mr. Air Guitar

I'm pleased to say that it's exactly a week since I finally got around to buying a guitar. I'm also impressed with the clarity of the instruction book I bought to help teach me, but the thing I need to learn is that learning to play it takes a lot of practice!

So far I've passed the first exercise; I can now play chords A, D and E! I've also experimented with playing E (minor) and G, but the first three I can play instantly. This qualifies me to play 'Kum bah yah'. Rock on, not!

I mean, come on, even the book says "rock on" in a half-sarcastic half-encouraging way, how lame is that? Your first song is probably one of the most cheesiest things I've ever heard. Though I should be glad in that this should be something of an auspicious start in that I get to play a hymn.

Maybe I can change the lyrics around to suit me; "Kri-i-shnaaa my Lord, Kri-i-shnaaaaaaa!"

Or, hahaha, this just occurred to me, the perfect three-syllabled name; "Chai-tan-yaaa my Lord, Chai-tan-yaaaaaaa!" Nice!

And so on...