Guru in Krishna Consciousness
I understand that Guru once handed out a special photograph to all the people involved in Vasudeva Server. The photograph was taken many years ago while Guru was on a boat ride around the statue of liberty. Vasudeva of course refers to Sri Krishna and Guru said that at that moment, when the photograph was taken, he was in Krishna consciousness. Guru said once that spiritual Masters of a certain order embody the consciousness, light and wisdom of the Masters who preceded them. Therefore, Guru has access to the divinity of the greater than the greatest Masters of the past, like the Lord Krishna, the Savior Christ and others. I enjoy this photograph very much. From the photograph I can deduce that the Krishna consciousness is supremely regal, and flooded with poise.
Interestingly, in the summer of 2007, I was walking from the old Greek deli on Parsons and 84th avenue, heading in the direction of 164th street. It was early in the afternoon. At that moment, Pulak's car passed by, and I saw Guru in the passenger seat, and he had the exact same expression and demeanor as in the "Vasudeva Server" photograph. He was absolutely radiating Krishna consciousness. I even saw or felt a deep blue light around the car.
To this day, I wonder at the concept of my friend Pulak driving this elderly Bengali man around the not-very-heavenly streets of Queens, while this physically old man could not care less, being in full and complete communion with Krishna consciousness. Certainly that is a sight I do not expect to see again.
In my recent post, where I talked about seeing Guru in Krishna consciousness, I want to emphasize that that was only my impression. In other words, I did not verify that experience with the Master. I did not feel I had to.
If someone were to ask me how I know he was in communion with the consciousness of Sri Krishna, my answer would be this: I don't. It is just the expression he had at that moment was reminiscent of his "Vasudeva" photograph, where he expressly said he was in Krishna consciousness. Also, I feel a God-realised soul of his calibre radiates an infinitely wide spectrum of spirtual light; therefore, I might pick up on a few beams of that vast, radiating consciousness. What I am seeing is not everything, obviously, but might be true, at least for me.
Aside from that, there is a kind of soulful imagination which is connected with aspiration. What if Guru was not in Krishna consciousness at all at that moment, but was perhaps thinking of his beloved sister Lily, or was trying to resolve someone's inner turmoil through his concentrated concern? But, at that moment, I still got a lot of joy and inspiration by thinking of him in communion with Lord Krishna. I saw my Master as part and parcel with the all-giving universal soul. What is wrong with that? Even if my perception was wrong, even if the experience was based on imagination, I still got joy and spiritual benefit from it. It is like what Guru says in "Man and God", one of his earliest books, published in 1971, "Even imagined experiences have some power of their own. They enrich the mind with the idea of God's Omnipresence."
I like what Guru says in Sri Chinmoy Answers part 9,"There is one disciple whose name I do not want to say, but she is an elderly lady. O God! She says that wherever I go, or wherever she moves, from this room to that room and another room, always she sees me, she feels me. Now, where is her city, and where is New York? She is not in New York. Perhaps I will never in this lifetime see that person on the physical plane. Never, never! But it is not her mental hallucination. Only on the strength of imagination, everywhere she sees me right in front of her, beside her — everywhere."
Guru makes it quite clear that imagination is not mental hallucination. It can be just another way of broadening and deepening our perception of reality. How many countless times does Guru ask us to do just that in his poetry! I mean, there are so many of Guru's poems which we cannot begin to fathom or to appreciate if we do not exercise our imagination-power. Take this poem from Ten Thousand Flower-Flames:
When death invades you,
Do you not see
New sparks of wonder,
In that experience?
If we do not use our imagination, this poem will make no sense. It will seem like 'new sparks of wonder' is just doggerel. But, stretch out your imagination towards the inner meaning of this poem- and you see that for a true seeker, the arrival of death can be something thrilling, full of wonder and illumining inner experiences.
Or take this poem, from Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants:
Each time I meditate
Soulfully and unconditionally,
My Beloved Supreme invites me
To come to His Backyard
And enjoy the precious panorama
Of His Vision-Light.
Wow! I never thought of God as having a backyard before, or that we can only enjoy the precious panorama of the cosmic game from His backyard. It's an interesting idea. On warm, clear summer nights, people who live remote from urban light pollution can sit around on lawn chairs and watch the splendor of the stars and galaxies emerge from the dark sky. They look up in wonder. So, God Himself, in the highest Heaven does the same thing- He sits in a chair in His backyard and looks up at what? We look up at the night sky. He looks up at the "precious panorama of His Vision-Light." So, as the cosmos fascinates and enthrals us, in the same way, God is enthralled by His ever-new and ever-revealing Vision-Light. Through meditation we become intimate with God and can see the conscious joy in the universe.
It reminds me of how I was working on the Philadelphia World Harmony concert in 2006. I was staying in a nice hotel suite with a panoramic view of the city. But mostly I just saw highways and dark urban parks and the lights from occasional passing planes. I didn't see anything special in the view. But one evening, my roommate told me he did not want to go flyering with me. He said he'd prefer to just look out at the view and meditate for the inner evolution of America. I went out and postered and flyered and came back quite late. My roommate, who has been a disciple for longer than I have been alive, and who is an extremely soulful seeker, was still meditating. I sat beside him at the window and began meditating with him.
For the first time, I was enthralled with the view! I saw the lights of distant skyscrapers, the passing multi-hued cars, the tree-covered parks fronted by gracious museums, and I felt joy from the soles of my feet to the crown of my head. By meditating and offering good will to America, my friend showed me the beauty and divinity I had not seen before. Kermit the Frog sang about "the lovers, the dreamers, and me;" the "me" refers to children and children's natural vision of beauty. My friend taught me to try to use my imagination to see the light in America, for by seeing its positive qualities we can help to speed up its development. That's spirituality 101, but how often do I try to see good things even in my spiritual sisters and brothers? Very rarely!
An elderly lady who used to frequent The Oneness-Fountain-Heart, once put together a chapbook for Guru. In it, she hand-illustrated various scenes from Guru's life and his current quest for world peace and human understanding. She also included a photograph of herself, a head shot. Then she mailed it to Guru. Guru mailed it back to her and inscribed on the photograph, on her forehead, the word, "Supreme." Then, on the back of the chapbook, he wrote, "My soul's infinite blessings, my heart's infinite gratitude, my life's infinite pride." I may not be remembering the exact words, but it was very much like that. The old woman was thrilled that Guru would write back to her. From her soulful imagination, she attracted the Master's loving and blessingful attention.
Here's a poem from My Flute that I like very much:
Imagination, O Imagination!
You are my life's adoration.
You I shall not keep afar.
Imagination, O Imagination!
In false, binding lies I shall not cry;
I shall not welcome the life of impurity's ugliness.
With paltry victory I shall not smile and rejoice.
Imagination, O imagination!
To death's call I shall not respond.
The soul am I; no death have I.
No more, never, shall I walk along the wrong path.
Imagination, O imagination!
My gratitude to Guru for reminding me to value imagination- for by imagining, hoping and dreaming, I can keep my aspiration flame ever-climbing, healthy and vibrant.