Dear Friends and supporters,
Happy new year and best wishes for an inspiring 2020.
2019 came to a grand finale with the annual Sanga Mela, one of our most frequented festivals of the year. With the assistance and great dedication of many devotees from the Goloka Dhama community, we were able to have a memorable celebration under the care and guidance of H.H. Sacinandana Swami. A huge thank you to all the devotees who were assisting by way of service and with loving intention.
In this newsletter we would like to take you on an inner journey.
(part of an article written by H.H. Sacinandana Swami)
People have commented that the new year heralds the arrival of a new decade. And many have asked, “What will it bring?”
Many people make incredibly inspiring new year’s resolutions only to find that they can’t maintain what they have set out to do. However, when you learn to touch the essence, then there is immediate nourishment!
I am convinced that our next revolution will be a spiritual one. Many, many people will begin to look for answers inside, trying to re-discover their inner selves, and to establish a connection with the Divine, the unknown Lord and master of all. My conviction is that this will be true not only for spiritual people, but also for those who see themselves as secular.
The journey of introspection
In some recent studies of the Srimad Bhagavatam on the topic of introspection, I came across some very relevant information connected to the essence or discovering the inner self. Very often, Srila Prabhupada used the word introspection in the sense that the living entity should introspect about his/her real identity and thus come to a feeling or realisation of one’s eternal nature. According to the Vedic scriptures, the living entity is described as being one ten-thousandth part of the tip of a hair. That is really small! In comparison, the size of our material body is really gigantic. In the same way Lord Krsna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita that the soul is seated as in a carriage, made of the material energy. What a meditation!
Being aware of the carriage we are driving, we should certainly take good care of it and also know the direction in which we want to go! In the Srimad Bhagavatam 7.6.5, Srila Prabhupada explains:
The highest goal of life can be achieved as long as one’s body is stout and strong. We should therefore live in such a way that we keep ourselves always healthy and strong in mind and intelligence so that we can distinguish the goal of life from a life full of problems. A thoughtful man must act in this way, learning to distinguish right from wrong, and thus attain the goal of life.
Introspection means questioning ourselves about deep issues: “Am I using the property of God in His service? Am I praying sufficiently? Am I seeing everything that happens as perfect and under the Lord’s control? etc…”
In his recent seminar during the Sanga Mela festival, H.H. Sacinandana Swami inspired us to be honest and look deep into ourselves. It is from this position that we can genuinely pray to the Lord.
This step of honestly looking into our hearts is not an easy step. Bhakti Vijnana Goswami wrote in his commentary of Manah Siksa: “As a result of deception (dishonesty), we lose the ability for introspection. People lose their ability for introspection and self-analysis, so they start telling themselves that everything is fine, when it is not. Sometimes you see that people are lying to themselves, but their defence is so compact that it is impossible to give them the opportunity to look at themselves from a different angle. This is why it is the duty of a devotee to be constantly introspective and to ask: “How sincere am I? What are my motives? What drives me?”
Finally we would like to share with you some very profound statements by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura (Discourse in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1935) which have inspired us to introspect. Some of them could be ideal resolutions for 2020!
6th to 9th February – Nityananda Trayodasi and H.H. Sacinandana Swami’s Vyasa Puja
16th March to 17th May – Bhakta course – Full introduction to devotional practices and philosophy
With all our gratitude for your support.
On behalf of the entire team serving in Goloka Dhama,