A blog about cancer, spirituality, death, and guitars
DEATH – have no fear
My name is Chaitanya das, my other name is Charles Robinson. Chaitanya das is the name given to me by my spiritual teacher, my dear friend, Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda.
I have been dealing with advanced prostate cancer now for almost 15 years. In my blog I want to talk about how being diagnosed with cancer affected me, and how in the years since, I have come to not only understand but experience who I am through meditation and the philosophy behind it. This has also helped me understand my relationship with others, and also my relationship with the Supreme Soul, who is beside not only me, but all living beings, always.
With a diagnosis of advanced cancer comes fear. The fear of pain and suffering. The fear of death and dying. As well as being worried about dying we also worry, and are fearful, for our loved ones we will leave behind. We are attached to many things in this world and every one of these attachments accentuates our fear of leaving this world. But this fear can be overcome.
So from time-to-time in this blog, I’ll try to unpack as best I can some of the many lessons and insights from the Vedic literatures such as the Bhagavad Gita and the great sages of Vedic history that I have come to appreciate by hearing from my spiritual teacher Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda.
During my life one of my interests has been vintage guitars - guitars that were made pre 1940’s. I have undertaken a great deal of research into different makers of vintage American guitars, particularly H.A. Weymann and Son. This is an interesting label and I’d like to share some little known facts about them as well as some other early vintage ‘parlor’ guitars that have come my way.
Thank you and Namaste
(I welcome and encourage comments and questions on all blogs).
(I’d like to apologize to those that have subscribed to my blog that I have been inactive in posting for some months now. This was both forced [because of a reoccurring medical problem] and voluntary because my wife and I took an extended trip to spend time with our children and grandchildren . I hope to be more active on my blog in the coming months).
Some may know of an old groundbreaking TV show from the 1960’s called ‘The Twilight Zone’ presented by Rod Serling. The early episodes started with the words:
“There is a 5th dimension beyond that which is known to man, it is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge…..it is the area we call….The Twilight Zone!”
When his father died in 1888 and Frank Henry Martin took over the mantle as the head of C.F. Martin & Co, the company was dealing with a distribution problem. C.A. Zoebisch & Sons had exclusive distribution rights to all Martin instruments and Frank Martin did not think they were devoting sufficient effort to promote their guitars. At that time, H.A. Weymann & Son were retailers and had been purchasing Martin guitars from Zoebisch & Sons and selling them in their shop (see c.1890 Weymann retail catalogue).
Well, break time is over for me and I am working on some new posts. To kick things along I’ve always wanted to group all the cartoons together that my grandaughters have been doing for this blog. So this post is a big thank you to them for helping their crustly old PoPo!
Firstly those from my very talented observant 14yr old grandaughter, Lana, and then there’s one from my other 11yr old grandaughter Nityangi (I just love those fish eyes!).
I’ve been feeling run down lately (it’s now been 2 years on Enzalutamide) and I decided to take the self imposed pressure off from posting for a few weeks and just chill. Hopefully this will give me time to think about how to complete some of the many half finished posts I have been working on.
Every living being, and every person, has seated next to us, the Paramatma, an expansion of God, Krishna. It doesn’t matter how sinful I am, how low a life form my body is, the Lord’s there beside me. I am not alone. We are never alone.
I’ve mentioned before that with a serious disease I think we need to become active in the treatment of that disease. This is because not all doctors are created equal.
There are doctors that graduate at the top of the class and those that graduate at the bottom. And then there are those doctors no matter how smart they are scholastically will never make a good doctor.
Once when asked what Jesus meant by “He who beholds me beholds the One Who sent me”, Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda explained that the son of God, or the empowered agent of God, is the pure medium of God. Because they are without any desire to be lord or master and are fully surrendered, they are able to be used by God. As Jesus himself puts it “……I have not spoken on my own initiative, but the Father Himself Who sent me has commanded me what to say and what to speak.“
A DEEPER MEANING
Jagad Guru explains further: “When Jesus says “To see me is to see the Father” he is giving us the key to vision of God because vision of God begins with faith in His actual existence. When one looks into the eyes of Jesus, looks at his sacrifice, at his life, he sees present there, real love for someone. He sees that Jesus really is relating to someone.
To see the reality of someone’s love for another person is to simultaneously see the actual existence of the person being loved. To see the reality of a relationship is to see the reality of the personalities involved…..
Love for God can stand only on the secure platform of faith in and knowledge of His actual existence. So from time to time God will send His son or servant or come Himself just to inject faith and knowledge into the hearts of the pious, so they may come back to Him.”
Namaste and Merry Christmas 2016!
Chaitanya das/Charles Robinson
Since I started this blog 6 months ago I have received many heartfelt messages of encouragement and thanks from so many people in different countries around the world. It has been humbling. I have tried to document my personal spiritual journey and I did not know how it was going to be received. But I have not had one negative comment.
This can be a crazy time with business people and others trying to hijack a spiritual celebration and turn it into a commercial opportunity, endeavoring to turn Christmas into Xmas! I personally am trying to maintain the focus on Lord Jesus and his teachings at this time. I guess I’m one of the ‘politically incorrect’.
Whether you do or don’t believe in a higher power, the Supersoul, the Father, Krishna, Jehovah, Lord Buddha, Allah – we are all brothers and sisters.
So to all of you who find this blog, who share my life and spiritual journey, I thank you.
I hope you and your loved ones have a happy and safe Christmas 2016 and if the Lord is willing we meet again in the New Year!
Namaste and Happy Krishnamas!
Chaitanya das/Charles Robinson
*The above image was made by one of my very talented daughters, Yogananda dasi (that silhouette is suppose to be me btw!). She is always busy so I’m pleased she found time to do this. There is more of her art on her FB page: https://www.facebook.com/yoganandadasi/photos
(Inspired by talks by Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa)
Make your way through this impermanent, transitory life in whatever way you can, keeping the goal of worshiping the Lord foremost in your minds.
Don’t abandon this goal, even in the face of hundreds of dangers, insults, or persecutions.” Shrila Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Thakur 1874-1937