Friday, October 21, 2011

Finders Keepers

I've been feeling incredibly fatigued and lacking energy since I started my cycle. Heating pads, massage and yoga have been the purgative methods that brought about a sense of well-being and progress today and last night .I have been juicing nicely, in general everything is looking up. My mood is easier to control, mind is soft and pliable and I have more energy, less pain and everything else than before. So my general consensus is that I have some relief from material suffering, maybe I've exhausted some bodily karma which was holding me back.
Today I had an unpleasant experience with money, though, one could say most of my experiences with money are unpleasant. I found some lakshmi at the gurukul so I picked it up and immediately thought to myself, "Just keep it, why bother looking around for an ungrateful owner? Or better yet, do what Chandaneswar does, just throw it in the hundi or use it for the Deities. Hmmm... I do need to buy more Deity stuff, notions, fabric, sequins and lace, oh my!!!"
Anyway, my conscience got at me and I ended up walking around asking everyone if they had lost any money. nobody seemed to be worried or panicked about lost cash so I walked toward the restaurant and found a couple other devotees. No lost money. Finally I wandered into the prasadam hall and asked the devotees there if they had lost any cash. "How much?" asked Gopi with a smile. "I'm not telling you. If you can tell me, I'll return it." The two matajis checked their bags then Gopi asked me, "Did you find two twenties?? I had at least fifty dollars in here and there is only ten." I relented, some part of me was upset, easily I could have walked away with fifty bucks in my pocket and nobody would be the wiser. I didn't have to go out of my way to find the 'owner' and I'm not obligated to give the money to the Deity either, the choice was at my discretion.
It's strange how we think the body, that which emanates from the body or byproducts of our bodies are our rightful property. My body, my stuff, my family, my offspring, my friends, my community etc.
That's when I realised why Chandaneswar never returns money, you don't get pleasure out of returning the money because everyone is wrapped up in bodily consciousness. Usually the owner believes the money to be rightfully theirs so they are entitled to it but in reality, everything belongs to Krishna. The rightful master of Lakshmi devi is always the Lord so why should I waste my precious time looking for someone who simply thinks, "I'm the owner, it's mine, it is my property etc."  There is no incentive or reward or pleasure from returning money to the so-called owner, you have integrity but nobody cares about stuff like character. I simply walked away from the money as detached as if I had given away stool. That is when I realised I was not satisfied by returning the money, I was hoping the money would go un-claimed so I could give it to the Deity. Whenever I find money, Chandaneswar immediately tells me to put it in Kalachandji's hundi, even if it is a large amount. If I promise to spend the money on Deity worship paraphernalia, I am allowed to keep it, usually I buy fabric or supplies. Sometimes Chandaneswar prabhu gets large sums of money in gratuities from criminals or other questionable people, sometimes they're intoxicated and throw hundred dollar notes at him and he gives it to Kalachandji. I always ask him why he does it as it is money earned from work but he says, "Though they gave it to me for my hospitality, still, that money is attained by illegal or immoral work so all karma attached to it is sinful and I'll accept that karma to some extent-- I'd rather rid myself of the money altogether and live with a peaceful mind." Plus, I noticed that whenever we give lakshmi to the Deity, regardless of whether it was earned, found or given to us, we still feel great pleasure and pride by giving it to the Deity. I know now from realisation that Krishna is the real owner and master of everything otherwise I would not have felt so vacant when I returned it as opposed to when I engage it for Krishna and feel immense pleasure. Next time, lakshmi is going straight to the hundi because I know Krishna appreciate everything, even though the money isn't 'mine' I still get credit for returning it to Him.

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