Every living being, and every person, has seated next to us, seated next to us in our heart, 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.
Because we are in this human form, and we reside in this body in the area of the heart, we often refer to the Paramatma as the ‘Lord in the heart’, sitting next to us.
Because I have been away from God for so long often it is hard for me to hear what the Paramatma is telling me.
The more I hear, sing and say God’s/Krishna’s names, the more my consciousness becomes clear and I am increasingly able to hear my Lord in my heart. God is there in my heart with me, acting as witness to whatever I do. He is waiting for me to turn to Him, waiting for me to start the process of chanting and cleansing, and waiting for me to want to hear His instruction.
Of course, we must learn the difference between our mind and the Lord in our heart. God speaks through the heart.
The mind can come through with all kinds of voices, all kinds of ever-changing and constant chatter. Too much damage has been done by people who really believed they heard the voice of God ever so clearly, telling them to go burn down a church or something similarly crazy. No. That’s all imagination and hallucinations.
God speaks to us from the very core of our heart, our very being, and hearing Him within is a ‘knowing’ that something is right or not right. And we can know for certain that what we are hearing is truly God guiding us because it will always be consistent with revealed scriptures and the message of the acharyas, the pure lovers of God.
If I can learn to live my life tuned into, and having that internal relationship with God, my Lord in my heart, I’ll find that my life will be so much more peaceful. There will not be anxiety about whether I am doing the right thing or not; I won’t be so caught up in the highs and lows of everyday life. I’ll increasing know from within what to do, and what not to do.
A DUMB DECISION!
But ‘hearing’ the Lord in my heart and ‘knowing’ I should do something, and actually doing it is sometimes difficult. With that in mind I give you this true story:
One day not so long ago I was in the inner city picking up a vintage guitar I had repaired by a friend of mine, John Davies. When you walk into his ‘The Guitar Repairers’ workshop, you could be stepping into a shop of 100 years ago. A great experience with sawdust and vintage guitars everywhere!
‘The Guitars Repairers’ shop/workshop in Brisbane Australia. A must see if you are a guitar enthusiast and visit Brisbane
I’d collected my vintage guitar and was putting it into its case when the double swing doors opened and in came this guy who had a heavy aura surrounding him. The room temperature dropped a few degrees as he looked around with bloodshot eyes. Besides the owner John, there were two other customers in the shop and myself.
The guy was tall and solidly built, with crudely tattooed knuckles and 2 teardrops tattooed just under his left eye. He sat on a stool next to me where I was putting my guitar in its case and started playing and singing quietly with a guitar he had picked off the wall.
He was quite a good musician, and, trying to breakthrough his dark disposition, I asked him if what he was singing was his own material. He said it was, and that he composed it in prison. He volunteered that he just got out yesterday! With that I interrupted John’s conversation with his customers, bid him goodbye, and went out the door. I looked around and the guy had put down the guitar and was following me.
We were just outside the shop door when he said “Can you give me a lift mate?” I was caught unawares and said “I don’t know, I’m going back towards town”. He said “Well, I need to go see my sister, just a few kilometers down the road, can you give me a lift mate?”
Now my heart started pounding and the message from the Lord in my heart was as clear as day, “DO NOT GET INTO THE CAR WITH THIS GUY!” And here was the problem – in that moment I thought that this guy had probably been knocked back his whole life – the school of hard knocks as they call it. My head overruled my hammering heart and I said “OK”.
My car was parked out the back of the shop and I was later told by John, the shop owner, that he watched as we went to my car and he was saying to himself “Don’t get in the car with him Charlie, don’t get into the car with him Charlie!” over and over again. But I did, all the time knowing this was the wrong decision.
He sat in the passenger’s seat next to me, which was pushed back further than mine. Because I did not want him to be sitting that little bit behind me I pushed my seat back further. He followed suit and pushed his back even further.
I drove off in the direction he wanted to go, thinking to myself “Now look at the situation I have myself in, this is a really dumb thing I’ve done!” Then I thought “Well, this is my own doing and I suppose if I am shot or stabbed it is probably going to be faster and overall less painful than dying from metastasized prostate cancer, so Krishna if this is the way I end this body, so be it”. In one way, it was quite reassuring that I was not that worried about dying.
My dark friend in the seat beside me started asking questions “So is your guitar valuable? And what do you do for a living?” I decided to try and build up a rapport and talked about how the guitar I had was an old one and not worth much, and that I had six children and I was the breadwinner. Then I asked him about his guitar playing, saying I thought it was very good and had he thought about cutting a CD. We talked like this for a time as we were getting further and further from the city.
Finally, I said “How much further to your sister’s place?” He looked at me slowly and quietly, as if coming to a decision, and said “This will do here, pull over”. So I did. I did not know what to expect, but he sat for a few moments and then opened his door. He put one leg out, and as he did so a large kitchen knife fell from his jacket and clattered onto the sealed roadway. He stopped, picked up the knife with its 8” pointed blade, and looked over his shoulder at me with a look as cold as ice. I felt he was saying “You were lucky!”
With that he got out of the car, closed the door and with a slight laugh, walked away.
I said “Thank you Krishna!” I did a U turn and drove back towards the guitar shop. I knew John would be concerned so I stopped in to see him. He was pacing up and down and when I came through the door he said “What the f***! I cannot believe you got in the car with that guy! I called up your wife to see if you had a phone in the car to see if you were OK and I was just about to call the police!” Then I told him what happened he was even more stunned.
I have no doubt that that person went into the guitar shop with the intention of committing a crime, but found too many people there, so I was the next target. Why he changed his mind in the car is anyone’s guess, but I like to think it was the Lord in his heart telling him “No!”
And the two tattooed teardrops under his left eye? I found out later they symbolized that he’d killed two people! My only mark on this world could have been a third teardrop on that guy’s cold-hearted face.
The lesson of the story: listen for, and act on, instructions from the Lord in your heart.
My dear Lord residing beside me in my heart
For many lifetimes You have been patient with this unappreciative soul
Even though You are sitting right there beside me
I have ignored Your calls, ignored your guidance constantly
For some reason You have now directed me to Your humble servant
Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda
And he has opened my heart
Opened my heart so that I can begin faintly to hear Your sweet voice
Whether in this body or another, whether in this world or another
I need not fear, You are always there with me
Please let me chant and sing Your Names
with sincerity and enthusiasm, and place my heart and my hands in Yours
Please may I never again leave Your warm embrace
My dear Lord in my heart
Please let me forever remain in Your service
and in the service of Your dear friend
that Vaishnava giant, that illustrious yogi, my eternal Gurudev
Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa Prabhupad
Thank you and Namaste
Chaitanya das/Charles Robinson