Vanity thought #63. Perfect combo.

One day I happened to chant a few rounds in the vicinity of Buddhist monks chanting some of their ceremonial hymns. The sound was mighty annoying and distracting but it was, in a sense, a perfect combo. Buddhist chants are supposed to empty one’s mind of all material desires while Hare Krishna mahamantra is supposed to fill one’s emptiness with spiritual purpose. I wouldn’t wish it on anybody, though, it doesn’t seem to work that way.

Still, it made me think about another important Buddhist point – one should live in the present moment. We sort of know that as devotees we should put our faith in Krishna and don’t make any plans ourselves but it is certainly not at the forefront of our consciousness. Buddhists, on the other hand, elevated living in the present to the art form and the ultimate goal of their mind work.

If you really cut your mind from lamenting about the past and from worrying about the future you are supposed to see the futility of it all. You should be able to see the world as it is – an illusion different from our real nature. Participating in this illusion, or identifying with our role in it, is the source of all suffering and the only thing that prevents us from realizing our true nature.

As devotees we certainly disagree on what our true nature is but deep understanding of the illusion of this world is still a big big step forward. Our path to perfection still starts with “aham brahmasmi” and “athato brahma jijnasa” and if Buddhist can show us that it is achievable for them, what’s stopping us?

I suppose this realization can lead us to the treasured simplicity – our worries about what happened yesterday or what is going to happen tomorrow are illusory, all we need to know is that Krishna will take care of everything, always have, always will. Unlike my father He can fulfill any desire if it comes from an innocent devotee, and innocence comes from not thinking about past and future and fully trusting Krishna instead.

If Buddhists can develop this without relying on God at all, how easy it should be for me? Pretty easy, I suppose. The problem is with karma – if I’m destined to worry about every little thing, I will have to worry. If I’m supposed to be happy about every little thing, I will have to leave through happiness, too. Maybe I should take a few lessons from that tradition on how to ignore these feeling and see them as different from my real self.

For one thing, that would be very very helpful when doing japa.

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