Prayer for Gratitude for the Boon of the Holy Name

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Considering my childhood history (which I know was arranged from my previous life's unfinished spirituality), becoming a devotee was the natural course of my life. In a sense, there was no other appealing option, so I embraced the life of a devotee as my highest prospect, which included chanting the holy name. In those days we used to do loud street sankirtana (group chanting) for 8-10 hours or more a day and this practice transported me to another world of bliss and intensity--the likes of which I had never know or imagined before.

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My Dear Harinam Prabhu:

Falling down at the feet of Shrila Prabhupada and my shiksha [instructing] gurus, I offer you my deepest respects, begging for your blessings as I pray for your mercy and empowerment in my spiritual practices, speaking, teaching, writing and healing work to help others stay the course in bhakti in faith and enthusiasm.

Considering my childhood history (which I know was arranged from my previous life's unfinished spirituality), becoming a devotee was the natural course of my life. In a sense, there was no other appealing option, so I embraced the life of a devotee as my highest prospect, which included chanting the holy name. In those days we used to do loud street sankirtana (group chanting) for 8-10 hours or more a day and this practice transported me to another world of bliss and intensity--the likes of which I had never know or imagined before. How strange that from a life of almost no prayer my life was completely dedicated to chanting Hare Krishna in kirtana and on beads. I was carried along by living as a Temple devotee where my life was simple and structured.

After 10 years the struggles came when I moved into the surrounding community, married and worked to support my family. As you know I had many ups and downs, yet the "ups" were no where near the devotional consciousness I experienced as a temple devotee---actually it is hard to compare the two since the life of a householder was a necessary time of transition where I was able to become a more introspective and balanced human being. This greatly helped my long term devotional practices enabling me to go much deeper into Krishna consciousness.

It took many years to find myself and to develop desires and a lifestyle that fostered my spiritual practices. They five years ago we were able to sell our home in Baltimore and move to a rural devotee community in North Carolina. This move coupled with less overhead has given us plentiful opportunities for service, sadhana (spiritual practice), and sadhu sanga (saintly association).

I do appreciate the facilities and opportunities I have been given, yet I pray to you, dear Harinam (the holy name), for true heartfelt, realized gratitude at my incredible good fortune in taking up the path of Divine loving service [bhakti] to my Gurus, Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda, and Shri Shri Radha-Gopinatha (Krishna the lover of the gopis).

Please allow me to see the naked form of material nature so I will give up my false exploitive mentality. Let me thus realize that I am not a part of this world and can find no happiness here, being separated from the Lords of my heart.

Please allow me to permanently taste the nectarean bliss of chanting this holy name form of yours, and serving the Vaishnava devotees and our most cherished and merciful Lords.

Please bless me to be your empowered instrument to preach, teach, write and heal the devotees in whatever way you desire. The main thing is that your will is manifest in my heart and desires and that I will happily embrace my service to you and your agents!

Begging to become your humble servant,

dasanudas Karnamrita

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