I did it! I called into the sanga.
It was not an easy task. I saw the obstacles mounting late this afternoon as I got back from running errands and both kids fell asleep in the car. They never nap. Yet today, they were out.
I brought groceries into the house, had a bite to eat, loaded up the woodstove and consequently melted a honeycomb of holes on the right sleeve cuff of my brand new Calvin Klein hand-me-down goosedown jacket.
Out to the car, in with the kids, I put them down on the couch. In an unprecedented slumber, both children remained asleep. Sewing kit in hand, I found a swatch of cloth I was going to use to make bean bags for the kids and stitched a fashionably unfashionable patch job on my hand-me-down goosedown Calvin Klein jacket. With optional zipper functionality.
The clock ticked. The wood burned. The kids slept. I brought in more wood. They made little “eh” sounds. They continued sleeping. Two and a half hours later, at 5:30 pm, they awoke. I keow I was in for it. I knew they would be up late. No little red suit. No looking cute. Just two kids, with energy, up past their bedtime. And a mata with an agenda.
Usually we snuggle cuddle up in bed by 7 to read books. It was 5 past 9 by the time we got there tonite. I started reading Rikki Tikki Tavi and then my husband called. Bored, the kids began using my hip as a diving platform. After finishing up our ration of four books, I grabbed the phone and the sanga number and dialed in. Pressing ‘6’ I was muted and ready to go.
Squirms and tosses I ignored as I settled into hearing Maharaja speak some much needed Krishna katha. Despite my untranscendental physical company, I imagined his words surrounding me like overgrown chickweed, tall and green smelling. Completely edible. This was the nourishment I needed.
Briefly Maharaja said something about renunciation…that it was the giving up of attachments that cause one pain. I thought this was an interesting comment, open to interpretation. That cause one pain. Would this be false renunciation? Or is the pain that which is felt by separation from Krishna? I made a mental note and intended to ask him about this at the end of the class.
But in the end I didn’t even have to ask. While it is nite here, for Maharaja it was morning (ahhh, what is day for the devotee is night for the demon). Therefore, he spoke briefly about Bhaktisiddhanta Maharaja in honor of his Disapp. Day.
Maharaja spoke about Bimala Prasada, at the age of 5, eating Radha-Krishna’s unoffered mango and how Bhaktivinode Thakur chastised him. So upset with himself that he had eaten the Lord’s bhoga, this 5 year old Bengali boy renounced mangoes for the rest of his life. Thus giving up that attachment which was the source of so much pain.
Hearing Maharja’s words made me want to just hop on a plane to India and make my home in Vrindavan, where everyday is a festival and every word is spoken for the Lord’s pleasure. And this, I realized, would be an example of false renunciation. Stay and fight, Arjuna. Do your duty. Give up all plans.
But pray for a Vrindavan retirement.