Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Beginning of a Journey

The Vedas say,
srnvantu visve amrtasya putrah: “O, you sons of nectar, sons of
the nectarine ocean sea: please listen to me. You were born in nectar; you were born to taste nectar, and you must not allow yourselves to be satisfied byanything but nectar. So, however misguided you may be for the time being, awake! Arise! Search for that nectar, that satisfaction.”
That excerpt comes from a book I just began reading, “The Search for Sri Krishna: Reality the Beautiful”, by Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Deva Goswami Maharaja.

When I read the above excerpt it seemed clear to me that searching out Sri Krishna is our soul’s quest to reconnect with the original taste of infinite bliss and love in which our souls were first conceived. Upon further reflection I am reminded, though, that we have no beginning and will see no end; that our jivas, our individual souls have always existed. So perhaps a better way of viewing the above is that we are searching out for the peace and bliss that can only be found when we find that which our souls originally associated with. The very source of Godhead, Sri Krishna. When we find Krishna we find the source that will satiate all the desires of our soul’s innermost longings. Our souls will find rest in their true home.

Thirst has overcome my soul bringing with it a sense of desperation as I have longed to satiate this seemingly endless desire to pursue truth unto the very end. To discover the great pearl of infinite value. For nearly fourteen years I had thought I found it within the borders of Christianity but I eventually found the borders to be more like prison walls. What lay within was no longer satisfying nor made much sense or appealed to my inner intuition of what was true. The gardens bore fruit that no longer quelled my spiritual hunger.I had no choice but to leap over the walls into what felt like an unknown and foreign land of wilderness with no path in site, only my own conscience to guide me towards the truth.
This verse from the Bible comes to mind:
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” (Matthew 13:44)
What could possibly be worth more than discovering God? Nothing to me is more dear. Therefore, I forsook a spiritual community and belief system that I once valued above anything else when I recognized it to be false.  It felt almost like shaking off heavy coats after a long winter only to feel the warm and promising winds of Spring brush up against the exposed linings of my soul. The idea of real spiritual advancement towards truth reinvigorated me and I eagerly set out in search of it.

It was then that I gravitated to the only sources that could provide any sense of direction for me. Throughout the thick forest dim lights offering theories and speculations spawned from minds of intelligent men whispered and beckoned me forth. I was lured away from any notion of a personal God and trekked through my mind’s interior assimilating notions of impersonalism, believing that I had been originally deceived that God’s nature was personal. I began meditating and experienced realizations of oneness with Brahman that were so intense that they confirmed in me the reality that we were all one. God was all and all was God. There was no need to go further. All that was needed now was to cultivate knowledge and experience of Brahman at this point and someday, when my impermanent body drew its last breath, I would merge into oneness with the infinite void that was God. What I didn’t realize at that time was, though Brahman is God, God is more than just Brahman. Brahman is one of three aspects of God and I had arrived at accepting a partial truth as the whole truth.

Through His divine grace and mercy Krishna did not give up on me and through fate I was lead rather  circuitously to knowledge of the maha-mantra. I had originally wanted to practice chanting with japa beads using my primary mantra at the time: om namah shivaya, but then was introduced to the maha-mantra and became intrigued by it when I first heard it spoken. After purchasing japa beads to practice with I began using the maha-mantra with them exclusively. I began this spiritual discipline with the mindset that it was merely a  spiritual tool to center myself in the present. I did not think too much about the words I was chanting but concentrated fully on each one  while I chanted, feeling and hearing the vibrations.

What I didn’t expect was to have instances of unexpected peace flood through me. A love that seemed to penetrate through any barriers of mental speculation plunged directly in the depths of my soul, like an arrow, shattering barriers of maya that had built themselves around the eyes of my soul. Instantly, during one chanting session I was struck with the realization that only the most profound and truest reality of love can be found in God and love is personal. How could God not be but a personal God if He encompasses the very qualities that we associate with sentience? A seed of faith had been planted in my heart and each time I took up my beads to chant the seed began to sprout roots until instinctively, while chanting, I began to lift my heart up to a God who I did not understand but knew was there, offering my heart to Him and appealing to Him that He bless me with knowledge of His nature and give me an opportunity to serve Him. Not only had the mahamantra led me to believe in a personal God but it directed me towards the path I knew I must now take in order to find true realization and spiritual fulfillment. The path of bhakti yoga.

I came into correspondence with Srila Giri Maharaja who, through his benevolence, initiated me and is now my guru. I feel so new and inadequate when it comes to my chosen path. There is so much I don’t understand in terms of formalities that correspond with being a devotee and there is an infinite amount of knowledge to learn.  The formalities, I must admit, intimidate me as they are all so foreign to  me. The knowledge that there is to learn excites me. As his Divine Grace Swami Sridhar mentions in his book Sri Guru and His Grace, we are all students and with joy I accept the position of being a student of Krishna consciousness for the rest of my days here on earth.

I am so spiritually  hungry I wish to devour as much knowledge of Krishna as is possible! I feel an overwhelming amount of gratitude to have Srila Giri Maharaja there to guide me. I no longer feel like I’m in the middle of an overgrown and dark forest with only dim lights to guide me, which only served in the past to lead me deeper into illusion. Instead, now, I feel like I am on an open path with gentle grasses bending on other side, reminding me of the truth in which Srila Prabhupada expressed-that we should all be humble as blades of grass. And with the spirit of humility and devotion I proceed with, as radiant and transcendent as the sun,  the light of my guru to guide me and make my path clear so that I might run unhindered into the full embrace of Sri Krishna.

I often write in my journal and will now use this blog to post my entries with the intention of sharing my journey with others while receiving their insights into some of my reflections and some of the topics which are introduced and thus enter into meaningful and edifying dialogue.


  1. Hi,
    It seems to me that the title "In Search of the Supreme Personality" is an oxymoron, since personality is a social construct,or a "false self." I have recently experienced my own divinity and there is no "personality" big enough to contain the unlimitless of all that I AM. I realize that words can not describe the perfection that is reality.
    I was raised in the Episcopal faith and taught that "God" existed "out there." I spent the next 40 plus years looking outside myself for my relationship with God. It was only after the disinigration of all "false God's"(death of parents, divorce, job loss, etc.) that I began to question my lack of relationship with who I really am. Initially, this journey brought me to Eastern philosophy and meditation where I still reside;however, I have found my way back to the Christ that resides in me through not only studying "A Course in Miracles" but also doing the daily workbook for students which undoes the false personality/self thereby giving rise to the experience of my true identity. For the first time that I can recall, I am not feeling a sense of guilt and responsibility for "all of life's problems" because I have come to see that there are no problems, only self-limiting beliefs that hide the truth. Thank you my friend for sharing your truth. Kimberly


  2. Hi Kimberly.

    Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your reflections and experiences towards your pursuit of spiritual truths concerning God and reality. I have come to realize that God not only manifests Himself in all that is around us by means of his lower energies but also does, indeed, encompass a personality of His own. Being God, His personality can be described as the Supreme Personality for while our own spiritual bodies (souls) are individual and unique..they are infinitesimal while God's is infinite and His personality is all-attractive, thus Supreme. Through a lot of spiritual seeking I have come to know God through His Holy names by chanting the mahamantra-Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krisha Krishna Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare. So, that is the reason behind the name for this blog. It is the pursuit to get to know the Supreme Personality, God, more intimately as I devote myself more fully to Him and sharing my experiences and insights along the way with others, while receiving feedback and personal reflections from readers.

    I believe that we can find our true identity when we come to find our soul's true constitutional position. When we come to devote ourselves fully to knowing and loving God, the Supreme Personality.

    "I was raised in the Episcopal faith and taught that "God" existed "out there.""

    I can sympathize with the view that you were once taught as I was once preached a similar gospel. However, I'd like to share that one thing that I have learned by reading the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, is that, yes God does reside in another spiritual reality in a perfect spiritual form but at the same time He also resides intimately within the centers of our hearts, right beside our souls, in the form of the Paramatma, which is one aspect of His reality. So, we needn't look for God "out there"..but by chanting His Holy Names, within us can blossom forward a peace and joy that truly transforms our spiritual outlook and perception of reality, allowing our souls to become aware of God's love that is without depth and is beyond measure.

    God does not have to be "sought after" as if He is far away but instead we only need to seek within ourselves to find Him. He knows us more intimately than we even know ourselves as He can see past all maya (illusion) and perceives clearly our true identity.

    " The Lord is the constant companion of the living entity as Paramatma, or the Supersoul, and therefore He can understand the desires of the individual soul, as we can smell the flavor of a flower by being near it." That is a quote from Srila Prabhupada in his purport of the Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5 verse 15.

    The only "false selves" we have are those that we allow ourselves to believe by being prey to our own illusions. By coming to know God and chanting His names, He helps us to clearly understand and perceive our true selves, removing the layers of material contamination that dim our view of the Divine. It is said that by "Chanting Krishna's holy name one removes all the dust from the mirror of one's consciousness."

    "I have recently experienced my own divinity and there is no "personality" big enough to contain the unlimitless of all that I AM. I realize that words can not describe the perfection that is reality."

    The Bhagavad Gita would not disagree that our individual souls are Divine..they are part and parcel of God...We are made of the same "stuff" but just in an infinitesimal quantity...While God's is limitless, thus making Him Supreme..we are not limitless.

    That is my current understanding of things that I have learned through my reading so far in my pursuit of the Supreme Personality, Sri Krishna. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and beliefs.

    ~ All the best,

    Jadunari devi dasi