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Reflections

LII: INTO THE UNKNOWN

Diary entry dated 13th March 2020:

About three years ago, there came a point when I thought to myself, “I know what Kṛṣṇa wants me to do, but I don’t have the courage to do it.” A few months later, however, I finally followed the direction of my inner voice and quit my job to take part in the Sabbatical residential programme at the Manor.

During those months of deliberation, my mind was in turmoil, but as soon as I made the decision to quit, I felt completely at peace. I took this as a sign that I had indeed made the right decision. The experience taught me that if we fight against Kṛṣṇa’s plan for us, we will be miserable, but if we accept His plan, we will feel at peace.

I mention this because I’m now in a very similar position. After some discussion with my seniors and a lot of thinking on my part, I have decided to move out of the Manor ashram.

Since I moved to the Manor two and a half years ago, I have experienced various health-related issues. My health, diet and sleep requirements can’t realistically be met in the ashram, so living outside will be more suitable for me.

But perhaps more importantly, my desire for companionship, which was very strong before I moved to the Manor, has not decreased at all. Externally, I may appear to be a brahmacārī, but my thoughts paint a different picture. I could try to stick it out in the ashram for a bit longer, but it is best for me to be realistic – even if I stay for another couple of years, I will still be in the same position.

So, rather than wasting valuable time, I thought it would be better for me to move outside, where I will be better situated. The idea of being a lifelong brahmacārī still appeals to me, but I don’t think that is my destiny.

The last few months in the ashram have been a struggle for me, and my mind has been very disturbed, but now that I have made the decision to leave, I feel at peace. I don’t regret my time at the Manor for a second – I was exactly where I was meant to be – but now it’s time for me to move on. Over the last two and a half years, I have received invaluable spiritual training, and this will help me greatly in household life.

I pray that my fellow Manor residents will be kind to me and forgive me for the countless offences that I have committed during my time here. I know that I have taken their association for granted, but I’m confident that living outside will make me realise how fortunate I have been.

And to Their Lordships Śrī Śrī Rādhā Gokulānanda, I offer the following prayer:

My dear Rādhā Gokulānanda, You are so kind! When I jumped into the unknown two and a half years ago, You caught me and brought me to the shelter of Your lotus feet. Thank you for allowing me to live in Your home.

Now, I am venturing into the unknown once again, and I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t afraid. I therefore beg You to guide me in the right direction and inspire me to make the right decisions.

And finally, I pray that my impending separation from Your Lordships will increase my attachment to Your lotus feet. Service to those feet is the goal of life.

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