Hey There Bhagvan,

Where are You?

I feel myself, day after day, calling out to You with an increased yearning. I can’t put it into words, this inexplicable longing to make myself a part of You, to look at humankind and see only You, my Divine, to open my mouth and utter only Your name and Your words that are my gospel.

You are in nearly every thought (only nearly because well, dissecting Netflix shows takes up the remainder :)), every breath, every movement.

I feel like a fraud sometimes because I have decidedly unholy thoughts – I feel resentful, envious, irritated, judgmental. And then, with the same mind that has these thoughts, I sit to sing Your glories. How will You ever accept my devotion when it is so tainted, so impure?

Yes yes, we are all complete and pure and one part of the Whole. I get it. But don’t You see that I also don’t? If I did, I wouldn’t be sitting here, typing away madly on this keyboard with a wry smile on my face and a tickling in my throat that tells me I’m about to cry. I really wouldn’t be here. I would have dissolved.

I wrote a poem once. I still remember these lines:

So, take me then. And do with me what You will.
Only promise me this.
When You are done,
the only thing left will be
You.

It’s been a while since these lines.

I’m still here. You are there but it’s kind of half and half at this point. I’m not at the stage yet where Ardhanareeswarar makes an appearance, so, clearly, it’s just me, my ego and You.

And that’s kind of the problem, You see. The ego is a pesky little thing. And You raise its insidious hood at the most inconvenient times.

Let’s take this morning, for instance. I was just out and about in seva, minding my own business. Out of nowhere, You throw this situation at me. Someone questioned a certain decision I had made. Worse, someone who was supposed to listen to me without question questioned me. The audacity! Imagine! How dare they. Free speech is a thing of the past. It’s not allowed in my little world where I’m the Queen of Sheba and I rule all.

Now, I know what You’re going to say. You didn’t “throw” any situation at me. The situation just appeared and I chose to take the bait it presented and get worked up. But I can’t help it. If you are in my almost-every thought, You must also have obviously cunningly slid this situation in no?

It’s all the more interesting because of the circumstances I find myself in. On the one hand, I’m supposed to oversee the seva I’ve been assigned which technically makes me the ‘supervisor’. On the other hand, in another avenue separate from the seva, I’m working under a team. The role reverses itself.

Aha. The cleverness of Your ploys never fail to amaze me.

So, You see then the conflict the ego is facing? It’s getting a massive boost by recognizing that people listen to the ‘supervisor’ because it’s clearly the greatest, most intelligent entity after sliced bread. It’s then also getting crushed because as part of a team, the work I’m doing is sometimes modified or changed or maybe it’s just because I’m the one having to listen this time.

Now, what to do with this swinging of the pendulum?

Fine, fine. I know the answer. Be mindful. Simply be the witness. This too shall pass. None of it is real. They’re all the patterns of the mind. Keep calm and carry on.

I’ve heard it, I know it, I get it. But not tonight, okay? Tonight, I’m just the petulant child who’s sulking because everything sucks and she may be PMSing and she’s had too many Lay’s Chips over the past few days which do nothing to help her guilt about not exercising. (Interesting side fact: did You know Lay’s actually has an apostrophe? It’s not Lays but Lay’s. Amazing!)

Imagine, I haven’t even been writing as often as I was. What’s that about then? Why have You taken away my creative outlet and plugged it with a new Netflix show instead?

But it’s okay. I forgive You because I know You’re watching with me and enjoying it with me 🙂 Just remember though that I don’t want to be President of the United States like the guy in the show. I just want to be president of my own life.

I don’t think that’s hard. It’s only going to take time and discipline and persistence and a prolonged effort. That’s all. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

And people say You make things challenging. Pfft. Nonsense.

I’ve been told that all the years of walking the path prepare us for that one singular moment – that moment when every tiny little pore and atom and cell of our being calls for You. That’s when You appear. Because that’s when we have truly surrendered. In that moment, there’s no ‘us’ left. All that’s left in our body and mind and spirit is You.

So, complete surrender never occurs until the moment You appear then, isn’t it? Everything we do until then is mere preparation.

Well, let me backtrack. It’s not ‘mere’ preparation. It’s grueling. It’s transformational. It’s exhausting and daunting. But it’s also thrilling and exhilarating. You are readying us for the instant that You come.

I know that’s a while away. But until that moment comes, I want You to know that I love You, okay? I don’t know what surrender is. Hell, I don’t think I even know how to love You.

I just know I do. And I’ll be waiting.

It’s all my life is now, You see. You.

Great. Now I’m crying. This seems to be a curious side-effect that You forgot to mention in the Side Effects of Meditation post that You wrote:

13. You cry at the drop of a hat and at every heartfelt mention of Bhagvan.

It’s mildly disconcerting because I never know when it’s going to happen – in the temple, while washing my plate after lunch, even in the loo when I’m listening to some of Your bhajans. (I’m sorry, that may be TMI, I know. But it’s not like You don’t know.)

Anyway, I think I’m going to go now. I’ve been trying to diligently follow the no-electronics-before-bed rule and the reading-before-bed rule. So far, I’ve failed 7 days out of 10. It’s not a strong start, I’ll admit. And right now, seeing that it’s just about 11:00 PM, let’s make that 8 days out of 10.

But no worries. I’ll keep trying. That’s the important part, right? 🙂

Let me sign off with a poem because it’s kind of tradition for me now. This is the only offering I can make You because these words I write, they are Your gift. Your gift is the only pure part of me.

 

I know
I make the job harder for You
but please
Do it anyway.

I know
I don’t follow what I’m supposed to
but please
Stay by me anyway.

I know
I call out to You hundreds of times more than I should
but please
Come anyway.

I know
having children is a pain
but please
Parent me anyway.

I know
You are present every single second
but please
Keep showing me anyway.

Because

I really think
I would die
otherwise.

And if I did die,
I would die
a thousand deaths
if it meant that
I would come back to Your feet
in every lifetime.

Because
I also know
the way You love me
is beyond human comprehension.

I don’t get it now
but the day will soon come
when I will.

Until then,
hold my hand
even when I forget
because it is the only Light
I know.

 

I Love You. (and yes, I do. Not the HR-love kind but the love-love kind :))

Yours.

 

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Divya Manoharan

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