When I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer I was already doing some meditation and I was also reading Vedic scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita. So I understood in principle that I am not the body, but spirit in essence. This is opposed to what many think, that is, that we ARE our material bodies and we HAVE a spirit. NO!… I AM spirit soul and at this moment I HAVE this material body.
(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!”
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:
(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
(I have had requests to write more about my spiritual teacher and my relationship with him so I have added more to this post on November 2016 – Chaitanya das)
These days it’s sometimes seen as ‘uncool’ to talk about a guru, or a spiritual teacher.
For many the word ‘guru’ evokes the unfortunate idea of a relationship where there is lack of individual thought, of giving up one’s own free will. I’d like to dispel that emphatically as far as my spiritual teacher is concerned!
If I’m honest with myself, I had very little attraction for any spiritual process when I first met Siddhaswarupananda over 40 years ago, but he challenged me to think carefully about spirituality. Not only to think, but check what he was telling me and what we talked about.
At some point in our lives we ask the questions: what am I doing with my life and what am I looking for in life?
We are all seeking something. Something that will make us happy. A deep enriching enduring happiness that reaches our very core.
A happiness that satisfies me, the eternal spirit soul inside this body made up of temporary matter.
All of the revealed scriptures give the same answer. The way to achieve this spiritual happiness is by reviving our loving relationship with the Supreme, with Krishna, with God.
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”.
And in the Bhagavad Gita, the Supreme Lord says: “To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me”. (BG 10:10)
But how do we love God? How is this possible?
I watched a lot of movies when I was younger. Many with my father who was a big fan of the old western movies. I always remember a line from a western from the 1960’s by director Sam Peckinpah. The movie is RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY which was about 2 aging cowboys played by Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea towards the end of their acting careers.
I describe myself as a Vaishnava Hindu but emphasize that this is not a sectarian term. Sectarian being defined as excessive devotion to a particular religion. Vaishnava Hinduism is not like this, in fact, Vaishnavism is the polar opposite of sectarianism.
Recently I saw a YouTube message from Tulsi Gabbard, the first practicing Hindu elected to The US Congress. She expressed in this video more eloquently than I can why Vaishnava Hinduism embraces all faiths:
According to Vaishnava Hinduism, there’s one Supreme Being who is called many names by different people around the world at different times. It’s not that there is a Christian god, a Buddhist god, a Hindu god, or a Muslim god, all competing with each other. There is only one God although we may call Him by different names.
“It is the loving exchange one has with God that is true spirituality. And one who is experiencing such love for God is able to see beyond our external differences and designations, and recognize that we are all relatives in the deepest sense. We are all children of the same Supreme Lord. This is the message of Bhagavad-gita, the message of love, of how we can achieve real harmony with others, no matter the different backgrounds we come from.”
Here is a link to Tulsi Gabbards full message:
During the 1970’s and 1980’s Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda traveled extensively in the USA, South America, New Zealand, Australia, different Pacific Islands, the Philippines, and Hong Kong to name a few places.
Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda in the 1970’s
Everywhere he went Siddhaswarupananda spoke and held kirtans, sometimes with just a few people, sometimes with many more. He was influential everywhere he went and many of the people he spoke to in those days are now his students. Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa’s message has not changed in all that time.
To paraphrase his words:
By hearing and chanting God’s Names a person’s mind and attention gradually becomes immersed in the spiritual world. In this way, even though living in this temporary world, one actually begins to taste the nectar of what it’s like to be in the spiritual dimension.
Hearing and chanting God’s names is a very easy method for anyone no matter what their religion. All Names of God have potency so it doesn’t even matter if a person is a little sectarian and fearful of certain names of God, thinking ‘But I’m a Moslem’ , ‘I’m a Hindu’ or ‘I’m a Christian’. No problem – they can simply sing the names of God as given in their scripture. That will have a purifying effect and their attention will be drawn more and more to the eternal”.
When I was young I would often lie in bed and before sleep overcame me, I thought a lot about my existence and wondered who I was. Often the walls of my bedroom seemed to close in on me and I felt imprisoned, or I felt very small and the walls were miles away. We lived in the country, and sometimes I would go out at night, lie on the grass, and look at the vastness of the universe – how insignificant I felt!
At such times I would contemplate about death: what would happen when I died or, as I know more correctly now, when my body died?
It seemed to me that there were 2 possibilities: when I died there was either nothingness; or as Lord Jesus taught, if we love Him, we can go to the Supreme Father. Any another possibility I did not want to contemplate!