Transforming into Yourself
They say you never return from Vrindavana the same person – the spiritual impressions created here run deep, transforming heart and mind in mysterious ways. It’s also clear that we don’t enter Vrindavana the same person – compared to previous visits, you can detect the change in perception, receptivity, absorption, and focus. Whether the short and powerful spiritual injection of a sacred pilgrimage, or the sustained and dedicated day-to-day practices in home base, both have their unique transformational effects. When consciousness transforms, it opens the doors to unchartered spiritual territory – not because we gain access to something new, but because we begin penetrating deeper into the same truths. The scholar-saints define the Supreme Spirit and the ancient literatures as “Purana,” which literally means ‘the oldest.’ They say Purana can also mean “Nava Pura,” or ‘filled with freshness.’ As we transform into our pure self, the ‘oldest’ is experienced in ‘ever-fresh’ ways!
Transformation is fascinating – whether it’s a blossoming plant producing fruits, simple ingredients morphing into a culinary delight, or a baby maturing into a unique grown-up. For me, however, witnessing the inner transformation from spiritual practice is most fascinating. It makes the path exciting, hope-giving and tangible – it makes everything real! Transformation takes us from ritual to experience, from following rules to finding reality. Transformation turns religion into spirituality. Transformation is crucial for our own faith – without it, we begin to doubt the value of our path. Transformation is the most powerful proof of spirituality. When someone challenged Bhaktivedanta Swami, thinking him one of India’s mystical Godmen, about what miracle he could perform, the Swami pointed at his disciples and said – “they are my miracle!” When a person’s faith, character, desires, aspirations and entire vision of life can transform, it proves the unparalleled power of spirituality.
But what if we don’t feel like we’re transforming? Well, consider, in the proportionately limited time we’ve given to spirituality, how much has changed. On estimate, we may only have given 5% of the effort and endeavour we invest in worldly pursuits. Think about the time, energy and sacrifice people put into bringing up a family, developing a career or securing a living space. People spend years on such things, losing track of time. Practically everyone, without exception, spends 15 years of life, 5 days a week, for a ‘material’ education. Imagine everyone dedicated 1.5 years of life (10% of that) for spiritual education. People are willing to turn their life upside-down to cash-in on a career prospect, but who would make similar sacrifices to avail of spiritual opportunities? If small investments have generated significant change, logic tells us significant investments will trigger massive transformation. What we put in, is what we’ll get out. Thank you Vrindavana, for reminding me of the most pressing question: what did I invest into my eternal transformation today?