Dogged Devotion

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Most mornings I walk for a bit whilst doing my meditation chanting on beads. At any given time, I cross paths with a multitude of dog walkers.

This morning as I rounded a corner into one of the nearby wheat fields, a lady coming towards me was almost yanked off her feet as her puppy¬†went wild, yapping and straining on its leash. ‘Sorry! So sorry!’, she shouted above the barking, ‘He’s getting excited – he’s looking for your dog – you don’t see many people out here just walking around without one.’ She tugged him away, still barking and leaping, and I continued on. Looking down at my hand, stretched a little in front of me, holding my chanting beads, I realised that I was on a dog walk too. Only I am the dog, and I’m being walked by my master, who takes the form of divine sound just for my benefit.

Every day I see how I am given a fresh opportunity to understand this. I am not the seer, I am the seen. I am not the enjoyer, I am the enjoyed. I am not the leader, I am the led. This world is a place which encourages us to invert this principle, yet so much frustration comes directly from trying to swim upstream – thinking that we are the masters of our own fortune, youth and success.

There’s a beautiful and well known song along these lines by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, called ‘Sarvasva Tomar’.

1) Now that I have surrendered all I possess, I fall prostrate before Your house. You are the Supreme Lord. Kindly consider me Your household dog.

2) Chain me nearby and maintain me as You will. I shall remain at the doorstep and allow no enemies to enter Your house. I will keep them at the bounds of the moat surrounding Your home.

3) Whatever remnants Your devotees leave behind after honouring Your prasada will be my daily sustenance. I will feast on those remnants with great ecstasy.

4) While sitting up, while lying down, I will constantly meditate on Your lotus feet. Whenever You call, I will immediately run to You and dance in rapture.

5) I will never think of my own maintenance but rather remain transported by a multitude of ecstasies. Bhaktivinoda accepts You as his only support.


One Comment

  1. Thanks Jahnavi for sharing your insights. This is so true.

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