Pulling Weeds in our Secret Garden part 1
I’m finally back in the garden working to repair it from months of my neglect from my 2 month adventure with my Mom. If only the weeds I pulled out were usable plants for cooking I would have enough for the whole neighborhood. Naturally pulling the weeds in the garden reminds me how chanting Hare Krishna is meant to not only awaken our love for Krishna, but to also help us uncover our weed-like selfish desires to be permanently extricated from our heart and consciousness. This type of heart weed pulling is sure but very slow, as we are often attached to things that are not good for us spiritually. Alas!
After finishing the first raised bed two more remain which I will tackle later this afternoon. As I was working I was thinking that: “Those who don’t like sweating shouldn’t move to North Carolina or in general the deep South in the US, and those who don’t like pulling weeds had better forget having a garden unless they can afford a gardener, and to me, what is the point of that. Well, some help could be used, but not for doing everything since working outside in the earth is so healthy and revealing.
After hours of working I am completely soaked in sweat. If I could I wouldn’t wear a shirt, but then the bugs would feast on my blood. I wear natural bug repellent which works OK until it drips off and the bugs come happily back. Noting the shortcomings of material life without consciousness of God we have to tolerate the natural difficulties that arise in the accomplishment of any task—for Krishna or otherwise. Material life is the vain pursuit of enjoyment with quite a bit of inconvenience or pain in the process as we try to overcome discomfort, or at least postpone or keep it at bay. I am tired, sore and itchy, but happy to be finally getting the weeds out before they take over everything. Some mosquitoes are happy, others dead.
I am certainly not a Jada Bharata who was careful not to even step on any ants or the enlightened leper Vasudeva who would return a worm that fell from his sores to its place in his body! This level of spirituality inspires me, though it can’t be imitated. Though I hate killing anything—even pulling weeds—it has to be done to maintain a garden and obtain fruits, flowers and vegetables to offer Krishna. Otherwise we are punishable. This is one reason why we should dedicate our life and all our endeavors to the Lord (the ultimate reason is to please Krishna!—to avoid incurring reactions due to our separatist mentality.
Some Vedic philosophers refrain from all [fruitive or material] activity in other to be free from sinful or karmic reactions. They primarily study the scriptures and meditate on the impersonal aspect of God. However the Bhagavad-gita 3.4 teaches us that, “Not by merely abstaining from work can one achieve freedom from reaction, nor by renunciation alone can one attain perfection.” We all have to do something in order to maintain our body, even if it is asking for donations, as do some saintly persons. Everyone lives in God’s world at the cost of someone or something. If we have a home in the modern world then we are familiar that to have electricity, water, or garbage pick up we must pay for it. It is the same in the world as we don’t own anything but still take advantage of the light of the sun, water from streams or food from the land—either vegetable or meat.
There is an unspoken choice we all have which revealed in the world's scriptures. We can imagine living a life independent of any supreme God and take responsibility for what comes to us as a result, or to we can see everything as owned and controlled by the Lord and offer our hearts and souls in gratitude to our supreme sustainer and maintainer. Service and sacrifice make the world go around—either to our selfishness or to Krishna.
Though everyone will accept that we have to kill to feed our bodies, most people don’t acknowledge that we are always killing even on a microscopic or tiny level through just breathing or cooking, sweeping, getting water or simply walking. Every living being killed or disrupted is noted down and must be compensated. Some people laugh at this idea and consider it simply backward or strangely anal, but this is because they don’t believe the basis of all life is the soul, or that everything and everyone belongs to God.
Every soul in the unlimited bodies we observe in Nature is working there way toward human life which affords us the opportunity to become conscious of God, our spiritual nature, relationship to the world, other living beings and to God--our Source. We have to realize our absolute dependence on God to accomplish anything. Though we generally believe we achieve our goals by the sweat of our brow or our cunning intelligence according to the Gita’s 18th chapter this is only one of 5 causes of action—the most important being Providence or the sanction or really allowing of Krishna. He let us screw up our life and the world, or come to him. It is our choice, though he keeps trying to get our attention life after life.
We’re getting a metal carport instilled in a few days and I need to prepare the space. I have a stack of wood from last years projects that needs to be moved which is covered with what I discover is a leaky tarp. As I remove the tarp and begin the slow process of moving the 50 or so pieces of wood to their new resting place I discover a whole world or mini ecosystem of living beings.
First I discover the ants who are here by the thousands along with their white eggs, and winged brethren getting ready to fly off to the next nest. “O no” I say knowing I will have to disrupt their home. Unfortunately it has to be done so I do my best to shake them off and brush away the dirt they have brought without killing them. So many pieces of the wood are wet that I have to stand them straight up by leaning them against a tree branch which creates an interesting apparent structure. The few dry pieces I set out on a new tarp under the trees. Our neighborhood dogs watches and loosing interest, decides to take a nap.
About half way through my work I discover a small garden snake who has also taken shelter in this temporary world (sounds like us!). Perhaps he has come to eat some of the many bugs that I keep discovering. He sticks out his tongue at me to check me out. There are pill bugs, some spiders, and on the wet bottom, many wood roaches, a few salamanders and a centipede. I finally finish this part of the project and it is time to weed, which I do armed with the straight claws of my hammer. As this is completed I pray to Krishna for all the living beings I have either displaced or killed in this task.