Writing has always been personal for me…though a favorite and theraputic source of inspiration, I have always kept it to myself. In trying to find ways to make this website more personal, I have decide to try sharing a bit more through this medium.
Today is the 6th day of Shyamdas’s departure…there are 12 days in which we celebrate after the departure, and I wanted to invoke his glory and inspiration (especially his writing and katha) to bless this website and its new beginnings.
Shyamdas was a dear friend, a mentor, a guru without letting you know it, a true Brijbasi and a servant to all that he met. He picked me up from the moment he met me and never stopped inspiring me! Unlike most in his position, he truly listened before giving the prescribed medicine of advice, which for me always came in the form of particular mantras to chant and finally initiation through his Guru into his lineage of Bhakti.
In 2011 we went to celebrate Holi together in Nathdwar with a group of his close friends. There we were immersed in the true Braj culture of old Holi…throwing the powder of roses and sandalwood, the air was filled with aromas and pure essences. The temples were filled with the sounds of the old Braj music from the temples, the cloth of all the people was that of old traditional kadhi cotton, and the feet bare, while the lips of almost everyone from the streets to the vendors, greeting you constantly with the words Jai Sri Krishna.
Shyamdas, on this morning told me to prepare for my initiation. As usual, there was very little direction, preparation or ideas of how it would take place. I was sitting in my room since early morning, awake, freshly showered and dressed and waiting. Shyam never let you know when he was going to come, his only words were, when I come BE READY!
And finally around 11am I heard his words at my door…Jai Sri Krishna. I hardly had time to get up and the door was open, and he was saying…lets go, now..lets go.
I had only time to grab my shawl which did not even match my kurta, and wrap myself in some form of respect. We quickly ran down the hall to Goswami’s room where my ceremony began and where I received not only my deepest initiation, but my true understanding of how much Shyamdas tried in every way he could to inspire me to stay close to Krsna. This photo is one taken just a couple hours after my initiation and Shyam sits behind me as if my strength depends on him. He was just like that, like a backbone of encouragement for my bhakti growth.
He took it upon himself in numerous occasions to collect me from Brindaban and bring me to Gokul and Jatipura to stay for some time at his house so that I might immerse deeper and deeper in the fresh mood of Braj. Every night at sunset he would collect us for his regular japa walk, we would walk around Govardhan in the light of sunset, barefoot, unspoken respects and mantra chanting as our regular form of communication. Speaking was not what we were out walking for.