Escape Manual

In one of my first posts, we explored souls in the material realm . Somehow or other, we are here. In this realm, every action causes reactions, some direct, some indirect. And most actions have consequences, even if the action was “unavoidable”. The consequences of action and reaction is so mind-boggling complex that the best minds are way too feeble to track and comprehend.

If I sow one seed, and that seed gives rise to 10,000 seeds every year, and just a fraction of them, say 1,000 sprout and give rise to 10,000 seeds every year. In just 100 years, how many seeds will this one initial seed produce?

aprarabdha-phalam papam
kutam bijam phalonmukham
kramenaiva praliyeta
visnu-bhakti-ratatmanam

There are different stages of dormant reactions to sinful activities to be observed in a sinful life. Sinful reactions may be just waiting to take effect [phalonmukha], reactions may be still further dormant [kuta], or the reactions may be in a seedlike state [bija]. In any case, all types of sinful reactions are vanquished one after another if a person engages in the devotional service of Lord Visnu.”

Padma Purana

We have been here a long long time, and every moment here, just by the simple act of breathing, prolongs our cycle of reactions.

To live, I need to breathe, I need to eat.

अहस्तानि सहस्तानामपदानि चतुष्पदाम् ।
फल्गूनि तत्र महतां जीवो जीवस्य जीवनम् ॥ ४७ ॥
ahastāni sahastānām
apadāni catuṣ-padām
phalgūni tatra mahatāṁ
jīvo jīvasya jīvanam
Those who are devoid of hands are prey for those who have hands; those devoid of legs are prey for the four-legged. The weak are the subsistence of the strong, and the general rule holds that one living being is food for another.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/13/47/

So how can a being trapped in this endless cycle of action, reaction, birth and death ever escape?

Here is the Escape Manual!

Anyone who reads and strives to apply the principles of the Bhagavad Gita “The Song of God” gets on the trajectory of escape from the material realm. And anyone who begins that journey gains ever-increasing momentum, even if progress may be imperceptible at first.

If you need a copy, let me know!

Surf’s Up!

In my recent travels, I’ve been to the coastal regions of Southern California quite a bit. There, I had a chance to witness surfers in action. My personal experience with them, (when they’re not far out on the water) is that they’re insightful. I feel a connection with surfer dudes and dudettes. They’re certainly out there seriously looking to catch the next big wave, and so are all of us.

There are different types of oceans to surf on. There are the traders who surf the waves of the markets, and the emergency medical staff who surf the waves of calm, accidents, and disasters, there are the surfers of corporate politics, and of course, among the most skillful surfers in the material world, politicians of various kinds… But all these oceans are material in nature.

Eventually one becomes too weak to be able to surf materially at all (old age, death, and disease), and then one has to eventually give up this body, and give up all the assets, relationships, privileges, and all identity associated with the present body left behind. The ocean of material existence is ultimately exhausting, all that effort and we go nowhere. And once all the waves I’ve earned are “caught”, there are no more left, until I strive hard to earn more, start from scratch. Such a waste. A bad deal.

I do have to surf a few different waves of material nature yet, but for the last couple of decades, had the great good fortune to first dip my toes, and then dive headlong into, the unlimited ocean of spiritual nectar. Those waves are sweet and refreshing, never-endingly adventurous, and one never tires of them. And one can go on surfing for all of eternity. These waves of spiritual bliss take one higher and higher, and there is no hankering, each wave is simply delicious!

It’s a matter of my previous actions and resulting reactions that I still have anything to do with the waves of material nature, but there will surely be a day when I will never leave the ocean of spiritual bliss.

While I do not yet have a personal experience of what Rupa Goswami writes below, I pray to never leave the waves of the oceans of nectar generated by the vibration of the syllables “krish-na”. Spiritual assets, relationships, privileges, and identity are guaranteed, I do take them all with me to any new destination.

tuṇḍe tāṇḍavinī ratiṁ vitanute tuṇḍāvalī-labdhaye
karṇa-kroḍa-kaḍambinī ghaṭayate karṇārbudebhyaḥ spṛhām
cetaḥ-prāṅgaṇa-saṅginī vijayate sarvendriyāṇāṁ kṛtiṁ
no jāne janitā kiyadbhir amṛtaiḥ kṛṣṇeti varṇa-dvayī

“I do not know how much nectar the two syllables ‘Kṛṣ-ṇa’ have produced. When the holy name of Kṛṣṇa is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert.” https://www.vedabase.com/cc/antya/1/99

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