A few days ago i read that there are now more online bloggers in America making money at it than there are firefighters. That's difficult to believe, but it shows how pervasive and popular blogging has become.
I haven't made one cent here, but that was never my purpose. I started writing this blog two years ago. I had just returned to the West after seven years of traveling and living in India. My intention was to express my impressions on being back in the West. That gradually evolved into an airing of my grievances with Iskcon, sharing my opinions and realizations on being a "devotee," and giving voice to my feelings about my state of consciousness.
Now, around 200 posts later, and several stops and restarts, i am finally closing up shop. I revealed my thoughts and my heart here. I don't wish to be repetitious and I think i've said enough. I have no agenda to push other than to encourage honesty and self expression and to expose duplicity and corruption. I am not an expert or authority on anything but i guess the summary of my advice is this: never sell yourself short. You are eternally an individual. Don't let the world make you conform. Respect your deeper self and be mindful of your relationship with God.
I will keep this blog online so that anyone who wishes to can go thru the archives. The topics are not time-sensitive. Most of them deal with issues that will remain challenges for anyone interested in spiritual life. I have tried to convey my real life experiences as they relate to the great transcendental subject matter of Krishna consciousness.
Recently i reread Siddhartha, the 1922 novel by the Nobel prize winning author, Herman Hesse. I had read this book as a teenager in school and remember being fascinated by the twists and turns of a spiritual seeker. It was an exciting fairy tale to me then. Reading it again, after 40 years of treading myself on the spiritual path, Siddhartha had a new, more authentic meaning for me. It's an exceptional read. Hesse was not a devotee but a European intellectual who was deeply interested in India and had an intuitive understanding of human nature in its quest for perfection. The book is free to read online if you're interested:
Getting out of the material world is the most zigzag of roads. It requires constant attention and adjustment, causeless divine mercy, conscious suffering, sukriti (spiritual good fortune), child-like inquisitiveness, patience, obedience to truths that are often invisible, rules that are at times apparently counter-intuitive, and goals that are always beyond our tiny efforts. This road also demands rejection of group-think, personal sacrifice, tolerance of one's karma and the karma of one's friends, the ability to pick oneself up after countless stumbling, and many other qualities.
Anyone who thinks it's easy to drive down this road and become liberated will soon learn otherwise. Anyone who thinks that blind faith to a belief system or to an institution will suffice is in for a big surprise. Anyone who abuses vaisnavas or disturbs others on the road will need to remain in the material world to become aware of their mistakes and atone for them.
For old-time bhaktas who are readers, i offer my respects, obeisances and appreciation for all your past efforts on the path, and my encouragement. As dark as the day may seem (and it seems quite dark to me), the future is brighter than any of us can imagine. The sun can be checked by dense clouds only for some time. The nite lasts only so long. The morning sun eventually dissipates the fog. We can't say when or where, but every sincere follower of Srila Prabhupada (his regular disciples and the uninitiated who follow his instructions) will surely meet him again.
All glories to our eternal spiritual father, the spiritual sun of our universe, Srila Prabhupada.
Anyone who wishes to communicate with me, can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Om tat sat.