I was home from the hospital and not having slept a total of 4 hours in the past 48 was able to fall asleep at my normal time in the evening. As kidney disease causes sleep cycle reversal, I had my regularly scheduled insomnia in the middle of the night.
Normally I chant 16-20 rounds (about 4 minutes a round) and am able to fall asleep again. This time I got to 12 and was fighting sleep already. Rather than struggle against it because I had been sleep deprived I surrendered to it.
The reason I would have normally pushed against it is that I can’t chant during the day. My mind becomes too active and even if I do manage to eke some out, they are poor quality. So part of my decision to sleep was the concession that I probably would only get those 12 rounds chanted that day.
By the time I awoke the next morning the sun was already up. I was sleeping on the couch in the living room and, as I have requested her, Vidya had opened the curtains, normally shut at night for heat retention.
Here is what I saw, a painting of Krishna , the Supreme personality of Godhead, acting as a cowherd boy:
Now this is the first time I have ever seen the sun shining on this painting. The next day was cloudy so it didn’t show, and the second day after the strip of sunlight that is showing on his head passed completely below the painting. This is because each day the sun rises a little farther in the North so at the time of day it aligned itself to shine towards that part of the wall it was coming in from a higher angle.
We have lived in this house for 17 autumns so that means there has only been 17 days this phenomenon would have manifest. Some of those days would have been cloudy and apparently the days that it would have been sunny, I never happened to be in the room at that time. It was there for only a matter of minutes. So this was the first time I ever saw it.
I was inspired by it and took it as a sign. It also enabled me to chant the other 4 rounds in a calm state of mind.
We got this painting from a devotee who was moving out of New Vrindaban. He said it was painted by Jadurani.
I talked to Kuladri about it and sent him a picture of it. He said it wasn’t typical of Jadurani’s style but that didn’t mean it wasn’t.
It is not painted on canvas. It is painted on something similar to Masonite. He wasn’t completely clear on the exact year but around 1971 he spent time working with the BBT artists. He said that during that time some of the artists were experimenting with painting on surfaces other than canvas, especially wood panels as a lot of the great Old Masters did so. He said it was almost certainly by an ISKCON artist.
So he felt reasonably confident that this painting would have been done during that time period.
That is the painting I see when I wake up. Above me on the wall is a picture of Srila Prabhupada.
This from his visit to New Vrindaban in 1974. It was taken by a maple tree he liked sitting under. That maple tree is still there.
Not to think that I am exempt from the mundane, here is the view to my right:
Note the prominence of the TV which I squander way too much of time watching. Side note, my wife did well in her craft shows this fall so she bought herself a new TV. This is an LED which uses substantially less energy than the old analog model we had. At some point we want to get a solar system for electricity and the first step is decreasing consumption and this was one more step towards that.
Out the window is a huge fir tree that has a 60 foot spread and maybe a 100 feet high. It is a nice meditation.
Behind the TV is a statue of Mary, Mother of Jesus. I am not a practicing Christian but why not hedge my bets, I still have faith in Jesus.
Next to her is an uninstalled Kartamarshi, a favorite of my wife.
On the wall behind is an original Puskar, probably more than 20 years old.
Anyway, new body, new dawn.