By Ananda Vrinavana Devi Dasi
In spiritual parlance there are ‘thin’ places in the world. These are holy places, sacred spaces, where the line between the spiritual and materials worlds is very thin and the ability to feel and perceive our relationship with Krishna is heightened. It’s easier to chant there, to call Krishna deeply from the heart, and thus to call ourselves to experience our spiritual selves.
There are also thin days (and even thin times in the day). Janmastami is one such day. Although Krishna is unborn and eternal, he ‘takes birth’ in this world to share Himself with us and remind us of our relationship with Him. On this day He is extra-present.
So, on Janmastami try to consciously seek a sense of Krishna. Make an effort to spend time with Him in a mood of appreciation and love. Whatever we do for an ordinary loved one’s birthday – buy a gift, write a card, spend some time – do for Krishna. Treat Him as a person, as an individual, because that’s ultimately what He is – the supreme personality of godhead.
If we make the journey to the Temple on Janmastami lets leave behind our petty material desires. They are like asking for pebbles instead of seeking gold. Remember it’s a thin day – that means that we can sense Krishna’s presence more easily. What do we want to be thinking when we stand before the Deities?
The great teachers, “acharyas”, say that we should pray for everything spiritual and nothing material. Material will come and go as it’s ordained, but spiritual we have to dig out, uncover, nurture, build, and grow. Pray for that – for enthusiasm to revive our lost relationship with Krishna, for service to deepen that relationship, and for strength to honor, treasure and protect our sometimes fragile link between ourselves and Krishna.
A sign in one temple in India reads “Leave your shoes and your ego at the door”. On this sacred day of Janmastami lets put our material ego in a box and keep it under the bed. Today, understand your true ego, your true self – as a servant of Krishna. Bring that with you and place it before the Lord. ‘Today I am your servant, I am yours. Kindly accept me.”
That is the best prayer and the best gift of all.