Episode 15: Reactionary Response From My Mind: Cynicism
“In the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, the word dainya (humility) is explained as follows: "When unhappiness, fearfulness and the sense of having offended combine, one feels condemned. This sense of condemnation is described as dinata, humility. When one is subjected to such humility, he feels physically inactive, he apologizes, and his consciousness is disturbed. His mind is also restless, and many other symptoms are visible." The word nirveda is also explained in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu: "One may feel unhappiness and separation, as well as jealousy and lamentation, due to not discharging one's duties. The despondency that results is called nirveda. When one is captured by this despondency, thoughts, tears, loss of bodily luster, humility and heavy breathing result." Visada is also explained in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu: "When one fails to achieve his desired goal of life and repents for all his offenses, there is a state of regret called visada." The symptoms of avasada are also explained: "One hankers to revive his original condition and inquires how to do so. There are also deep thought, heavy breathing, crying and lamentation, as well as a changing of the bodily color and drying up of the tongue." - Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, Madhya Lila, Chapter 2, The Ecstatic Manifestations of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Text 35.
I had watched the destruction done in less than two minutes with astonishment and disbelief and I simply had no idea what to do next. I felt like a complete failure and was so traumatized with what had just occurred, I started telling all those who were asking me what to do: “Tell everyone to go home. There isn’t going to be a parade!” I began to work my way through the crowd and eventually got back into the temple and headed straight back to the roof, which was the only place where I knew I could get some privacy and cry. I had let everyone down. Lord Jagannatha wasn’t going anywhere, and it seemed quite obvious that I was worse than a useless disciple to Srila Prabhupada because I really messed things up this time. I also felt like I had personally let down Jayananda prabhu, as well as Jayapataka Maharaja, all the currently assembled devotees as well as all three million native residents to the city of Calcutta. I mechanically put my hand in my bead bag hoping for relieve and then laid back down on the roof of the temple to try and get the world to stop spinning, but I already knew it would be an impossible task.
I don’t know quite how long I lay there but it felt like eternity and eventually a stream of embassies started seeking me out from the rest of the world down in the temple and streets below. Everyone wanted to get my opinion on what we should do next which was really upsetting because I didn’t have any magic fairy dust or special mantras and I did not see any happy story ending to this completely unanticipated dilemma! So I kept saying the same line I had been saying all along: “The cart is no longer capable of bringing the deities to the reception and Ratha-yatra was now officially declared over for Calcutta 1978. Tell everyone to go home and chew some betel nut!” This got rid of the first few messengers but eventually it was clear that Jayapataka Maharaja had been asking for me and I simply could not continue to hide on the roof like a coward. So I reluctantly went back down and virtually collapsed at his feet in shame and exhaustion. He told me to pull it together and reminded me that: “Every endeavor is covered by some type of fault” so stand up and put my thinking cap back on. He made it clear that I was now in Bengal and that one time in Jagannatha Puri the people had to wait three days for the parade to start. He emphasized that the Bengal people simply would not go home until Lord Jagannatha completed his trip through the city of Calcutta and arrived successfully at Shyam Park all the way on the other side of town. Failure was simply NOT an option.
I was still trying to wrap my head around everything that continued to go on with even greater intensity as time crept forward. “So” I wondered… “What did Jayapataka Maharaja expect me to do? I am just a sudra brahmacari who never went to the evening program and felt completely unqualified to give class or lead a kirtan and I most certainly did not have any powers to chant some powerful mystical mantra and make everything right at a moment like this.”
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