A Table of the Modes: The Remedy for Cluelessness

Clueless? Indeed.

As the bard of my generation once lamented:

You’ve been with the professors
And they’ve all liked your looks
With great lawyers you have
Discussed lepers and crooks
You’ve been through all of
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s books
You’re very well read
It’s well known

Because something is happening here
But you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

The real remedy for cluelessness is to become a person who can see things through the “eyes of knowledge” (jñāna-cakṣuṣaḥ). This blog (whose very title owes something to Dylan’s  “something is happening here”) aims to promote seeing through the eyes of knowledge.

The science of the three modes of nature is essential to the education of our vision. I’ve recently offered three postings concerning the three modes of nature. As an addition to them, this table provides a systematic overview compiled by Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad Bhāgavatam.

Click here to view PDF.

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A Short Letter to Śrīla Prabhupāda

Prabhupada mrdanga

My dear Śrīla Prabhupāda,

Please accept my most fallen dandavats at your feet.

For twelve extraordinary years you crossed and re-crossed the world, sowing the seeds of love of Krishna. Who can actually know the extent of your work? Wherever you went, you broadcast the seeds of bhakti—by your footfall, by your speech, by your glance. And wherever in the nooks and crannies of this earth your various energies came to alight, the seeds of bhakti scattered and spread—carried by your books, your recorded voice, your followers. To this day no one knows the breath and depth of your work.

One day it will be known. Your greatness will become manifest. You sowed the seeds, and I labor joyfully with your followers in the fields you planted to nurse the huge harvest of love to fruition; I work so that your glories can be known. Each day we uncover new fields, discover growing testimony to your great work. Each day we mark the indomitable growth. We get a hint of the dimensions of what is to come.

I am the most fortunate person in all the worlds to have had your association and to be able even now to keep your association by following your order and doing your work. I undertake these things for your glorification. Pleading to remain forever at your lotus feet,

Your unworthy servant,
Ravindra Svarupa dasa

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Texas Retreat

How did this happen? Two weeks in Montgomery, Texas, alleged “birthplace of the Texas flag!”

Montgomery, TX

In June! How did I end up here!

Yet not untypical, somehow, of the crowd of unexpected events that render the adventure of spiritual life so endlessly fascinating . . . .

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Puruṣa Sukta Prabhu, of Bhagavat Life, found the place: a retreat center run by the White Eagle Lodge, located on their seventy-acre wildlife refuge.

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In this place, the director of Bhagavat Life scheduled a pair of back-to-back five-day japa retreats (Level I followed by Level II) in the St. John Retreat Center. Most retreatants were devotees from Houston, Dallas, and Austin.

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Required personnel for a retreat: One Facilitator: Arcana-siddhī dāsī (Level I) and Mahātma dāsa (Level II); Two “Sadhus:” Girirāja Swami and Ravīndra Svarūpa dāsa (both for both levels), Kīrtana leader: Baḍa Haridāsa (both levels); Cooks: Apūrva dāsa and Sarvabhauma dāsa (both levels).

Apūrva added more stars to his reputation, as the increasingly haggard-looking cooks cooked tirelessly:

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We set up a comfy meeting room for our chanting and other spiritual activities:

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Girirāja Swami placed on our altar an extraordinary mūrti of Namācārya Haridāsa Ṭhākura:

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This mūrti was carved from wood of a branch of the ancient Siddha Bakul tree, where Haridāsa used to sit and chant. The branch had been torn off by wind:

Siddha Bakul Tree

Evenings, Baḍahari reliably induced out-of-body experiences in me as he lead kīrtana on the harmonium:

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Girirāja Swami guided and enlightened us:

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His assistant, Bhakta Richie, a native of El Paso, Texas, soon became celebrated as the “Del Norte Kid.” He worked hard:

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All the while, as we air-conditioned retreatants explored the internal potency through the holy name, southeast Texas suffered miserably through a drought as well as record high temperatures—as high as 104° F (40° C). Outdoors,  it was as if every atom were on fire (bhavamahādāvāgni). We ventured into our surroundings only during the beginnings and ends of the blazing days.

Everywhere we saw the drought-stricken thirsty earth opening her parched lips to pray for rain:

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As the sun reddened the western horizon, we meandered though the wildlife refuge, on paths adorned with edifying messages:

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I was tempted to become one with nature:

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The followers of the lodge, committed vegetarians, showed their loved for animals inside the retreat center:

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As well as out:

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Next door, some lodge members maintained a sanctuary for wolves (most of them abused or abandoned):

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Girirāja Maharāja and I went to see the wolves and their caretakers. Jean, the sanctuary director, told us that  hunting or fishing is not allowed on their land. Neighbors were upset because their lakes and ponds teemed with protected fish:

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Among ourselves, we observed the end of the retreat with prayers and commitments, solemnized by the tying of a “saṁkalpa thread” around the wrist:

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Listen to recordings of the Texas Retreat here.

(retreat photos: Sraddha devi)

Great State of Texas: Farewell!

Texas Farewell

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