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The Age of Saints and Wonders

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<b>The Age of Saints and Wonders</b>


<img src="http://www.sadhanadiary.com/images/saints/rupasanatana.jpg" style="float:right; margin-left: 5px" alt="" />The age of saints and wonders, the time when devotion flooded hearts, when the sadhakas were enrapt in intense bhajan and attained direct visions of their worshiped deities; when were these blessed days?


Was it the days when the legends of the Puranas were inscribed, when the sage Narada held his vina and flied across the skies? Was it the decades following Sri Caitanya, the years when Rupa and Sanatana discovered the sacred Vrindavan and Raghunatha Das wept on the bank of Radha-kunda? Was it during the days when Visvanatha Cakravarti sat amidst the rain writing the Bhagavata commentary without a drop touching this divine literary work?


<img src="http://www.sadhanadiary.com/images/saints/narottamadas.jpg" style="float:left; margin-right: 5px" alt="" />Or was it the century initiated by Narottama Das, Srinivasa and Syamananda, the love-imbued sadhakas, as they roamed about and munificently bestowed the gift of prema to one and all? Or, perhaps it was the era of the vairagi-mahatmas of Vraja in the 18th and 19th centuries, led by Siddha Krishna Das Babaji of Govardhana, the blessed teacher of smarana? Was it at the dawn of the 20th century as Manohara Das sat in his cave, entranced, counting his fifth daily lakh of names?


"But those are eras bygone, they are with us no more," say the folks at the village square. "One great holy man there was some decades back, my uncle used to tell, but is there another in sight? The Age of Kali has come, you see, and the saints are truly but a relic etched in the dusty pages of the history books. Brother, they are no more, your fantastic days."


<img src="http://www.sadhanadiary.com/images/saints/manoharadas.jpg" style="float:right; margin-left: 5px" alt="" />Alas, be silent – you fool! I'll not hear such talks, 'tis blatter not a farthing's worth! Has the goddess of devotion forsaken the world for good? Does svarupa-sakti no longer imbue the entire being of a sadhaka cast in the fire of bhajana? Has the world lost its last worth, become meaningless in the grand cosmic plan?


No, it cannot be! Do you not see the saints? Do you not have faith in the soul's potential to transform, in the power of devotion to cause wonders? Look in the mirror, friend! It is you and I; it is we, who are the saints and the seers of the modern age! It is nothing but time and will that separate you from the mahatmas of yore!


<img src="http://www.sadhanadiary.com/images/saints/jiva.jpg" style="float: left; margin-right: 5px" alt="" />Quit squandering your days. Walk that narrow path! What has the world ever given you but joys and sorrows that come and go? What will you have gained when the final scene closes and the curtains of time ruthlessly fall? Set your priorities straight! Lay out your life again, be bold and walk the path of the holy! Easy it is not, that path, but it is the path of truth, the one and only path to reality sacred, to fulfilled love divine.


Set aside that worthless waste of time! Take your mala, take it now and chant like there was no tomorrow! Cast yourself on the path of sadhana, forsake your vanity and be established in the true character of selfless devotion! It is of sacrifices that the stairway of love is built, one step after another towards the cherished goal – each righteous call a source of great strength and fortitude, each retreat a mishap calling one mishap more, each choice a barrel of fuel for a future choice of its kind. Be firm in character, claim what is rightfully yours!


<img src="http://www.sadhanadiary.com/images/saints/visnudas.jpg" style="float:right; margin-left: 5px" alt="" />Seek this always. Leave for pilgrimage, fall at the feet of the Lord, and at the devotees' sacred feet. With tear-filled eyes, cry for the darshan that shall set you free of weakness, that shall fill you with divine power for conquering all obstacles, that shall have you find solace in acala-bhakti alone, in devotion that never wavers or falls! Verily, may that become your one and only nature, for that is the character of a devotee.


<img src="http://www.sadhanadiary.com/images/saints/raghunathadas.jpg" style="float: left; margin-right: 5px" alt="" />"I shall take it under advisement. Perhaps in my old age I shall commit to a devotional life." Bah! In your old age you'll be crippled and diseased, suffering from a thousand ailments and burdened by a lifetime of indulgence. You are a sad product of your life, bound by habits formed over the years. In that condition, how will you suddenly engage in acts of devotion? Even a young man needs time to transform, and the condition will only worsen over time, year by year, month by month and day by day. Therefore, seize the opportunity now and make the best of what you have!


It is not phantasmagoria, the wonders that wholehearted devotion yields. The divine name shall seize your heart, wet your eyes with tears and make your body shake, and the poet's words shall capture your mind's swan and have it frolic in a divine lake of rasa. It is real, give up that doubt! I know you must have it. Had you not, why would you still be reluctant, holding back your life from the one to whom it belongs? A hungry man, seeing the delicious foods and knowing their certain goodness, would undoubtedly eat in an instant, would he not?


Or is it that you’ve lost your hunger? Aha! How unfortunate a situation, that a man should find himself withering away in want of nutrition and still be averse to eating! Please reflect carefully on this and make yourself available for healing, have your heart's fire burning ablaze once again. Rare is a doctor who will forcibly cure a hiding patient; be alert and aware, seek for the healing of your heart. Have the age of saints and wonders unfolding before your eyes; make yourself a living proof of the power of devotion! If you'll not do this, what will you do?



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Hey, it's been a while since you've been at this corner of the world! Thank you for the comments!


It's curious this write-up has solicited feedback everywhere but at Vilasa Kunja... I guess no-one is a prophet in their own forum! :P

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