Silent Thunder

By Srila Jiva Goswami dasa

A few months after taking Second Initiation, I was very earnestly and regularly chanting Gayatri. I did not yet feel any particular impact, as I did by chanting Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Still, I knew that chanting on The Thread was good, right and proper.

I believed what I’d heard; after First Initiation, it is understood that I took The Process seriously, but after Second Initiation, the process took me seriously.

So, I chanted what was for me, a new Mantra. I went about my business of following the Regulative Principles and executing my Service, but I was not looking for miracles. I was very happy to be where I was, with the most excellent companions and association I’d ever dare dream of, great Prasadama, fine shelter, a tip top environment and wonderful education for my daughter. Yes, when it came to the miracle department, I was not expecting it but instead, to me, I was soaking in it.

The Gayatri Mantra was different enough to me to cause me to think about it a lot. That is, it did not come naturally, like the Maha Mantra, or the Pancha Tattva. Those Mantras we hear all about The Farm, at all times of day. The Gayatri Mantra is silent and secret. I looked forward to those times when I chanted it because I wanted to get it better each time.

One night, in a state of half sleep, I dreamt about chanting Gayatri the next time, in the morning. I planned to count carefully, and get each syllable right. In my sleep, I was thinking of the way it went, and I even ran the ball of my thumb across the ten finger segments, by way of practice.

I knew that the whole thing had very much to do with my Guru. I envisioned Him, as we are capable of envisioning anyone or anything we care to. There is a picture of Him, chanting Gayatri, and I imagined Him like that. I focused my mind on the silent sound of the Gayatri Verses.

Very soon, the image of my Guru faded in my mind’s eye, and I saw, in my sleep, Srila Prabhupada. It was as if I’d been brought forward. As if I was being presented. This was a shock to me, and I chanted more fervently, earnestly and carefully than ever. It seemed that the better my chanting became, the more in focus Srila Prabhupada’s manifestation appeared. At last, He looked directly at me. I continued with the Gayatri. “Yes,” he said slowly, as only Srila Prabhupada is known to impart that word of affirmation. It comes across drawn out, with an evaluation flavor if you will. It sounds like, “Yeeesssss.”

At that, I sat bolt upright and I called out loud, “Prabhupada!” My heart was shocked but singing. Certainly then I was no longer asleep. There was no one around but the night, the stars, and the vigorous chanting of those country crickets we hear in the Woods of New Vrindabana.

I fell back to a dreamless sleep and forgot all about it, just as we all forget most of our sundry drams.

That morning, in the Temple, as usual, I took the chance to offer incense to my Guru, the Deities, and the Assembled Devotees. I did this every morning. I liked to feel a part of the procedures. I had completely and totally forgotten all about the Gayatri Dream.

Then, a personal miracle: As I offered the incense to my Guru’s Feet, the dream came back like a hurricane. It was like a black hole, but it was all light. I was not asleep, I did not see any visions, but I was inundated with a sudden burst of The Vision: The Sampradaya. It wasn’t like seeing The Succession; it was “just” a sudden overcoming by the Absolute Truth of The Connection which is always there, in silent thunder.

In that moment, the sincere offering I was privileged to submit was going eternal, and I knew it. I was internally overcome with the rush that comes for me with the quiet flash of a glimpse of True Perspective. I am infinitesimal as a grain of sand, but bright as a star. I am nearly nothing, but part of Everything. In that rare moment, the embarrassment wrought by the preposterous nature of my various selfish whims is shattering, but outweighed and far exceeded by the Total and Absolute Causeless Mercy of The Supreme Lord.

For a bright flash of a second then, a second which lasts forever, I got It.

My Guru did this and He did that, but to me and with me, He only ever enabled that Connection. “Will you introduce me to Krsna?” I asked Him once.

“Will you give up your material desires?” he shot back rightly. That is all and ever the interaction flavor I ever had with Guru, Sadhu and Shastra at Old New Vrindabana. Sure, I had lapses, but those fall-downs were of my own doing, never in anyway shape or form a result of any bad counsel by anyone.

For me, communication with Transcendental Authorities at the Holy Dhama have been always official, always right on the money, and always in accordance with the instructions of my Guru’s Guru, His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

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