Discover more from Tattva | S.B. Keshava Swami
You have to be careful what you write about, especially in Vrindavana. Last week I discussed “The City that Never Sleeps” and yesterday I found myself awake for most of the night – all because of barking dogs! Of the external disturbances in Vrindavana, dog fights are around the clock. Even vehicle horns trail off at a certain hour, but not our canine friends. They’re relentless. One confronts another, growling and howling, and before you know it there’s a crowd, fierce dispute, barking and commotion, all about nothing. After all is settled, it just needs another petty trigger, and everything is ignited again. Like this, all night long.
Awake in bed, I couldn’t help but think how many ‘dog fights’ I’ve had in my own life – needless arguments, petty squabbles, energy-sapping friction and conflict over nothing that significant. I am a self-confessed victim of the Age of Quarrel. Barking and howling, getting all worked up about relatively minor things – from road rage to family feuds, people’s idiosyncrasies to miscommunication, perceptions of situations to feelings of injustice. Of course, there are times when we have to stand up for what's right. We can’t just ignore everything that needs rectification. My sense, however, is that for most of us, nine out of ten disputes are uncalled for. Either they’re unimportant in the bigger picture or resolvable through other means. No need to fight, because even when we win an argument, generally we lose – we lose relationships, we lose perspective, we lose peace of mind, we lose focus, we lose energy. The winner is often the biggest loser.
Yesterday was a wake-up call (though I never fell asleep in the first place!). I can’t afford to waste time in unnecessary argumentation and conflict. Every disagreement doesn’t have to be an argument. When we mediate the relationships of this world nicely, we open up the opportunity to meditate on matters of the other world. Thank you Vrindavana, for reminding me not to lose any sleep over useless dog fights. Maybe if we quieten that noisy commotion, we’ll instead hear the enchanting and mystical vibration that pervades this spiritual land – the divine flute song that captures the mind, liberates the consciousness and conquers the heart. We have the choice over what will reverberate in our hearts and minds – the injustices of this world, or the grace and beauty of the other world.