Updated: Apr 25, 2021
Hello, my name is Ramananda, and for some years now I have been aspiring to become a devotee of Govinda, Gopal, Rama, Krishna...the Person who has as many names as He has interests; unlimited.
But the truth is this. When I go on walks around the local area, I notice an abundance of dog walkers. And I find that phrase to be true; the dog is walking the human. And there’s something fascinating about the humble dog. They come in all shapes, sizes and temperaments, but there is one thing they all have in common. I am anxious to use the term ‘loyal,’ as I cannot claim to know why a dog acts as it does. Nevertheless, what I observe is that all dogs eventually go running back to their master. Some take one extra sniff of the lamppost after hearing the whistle or holler, and others seem to exude a confidence that says to me,
‘I’m in control; she wouldn’t leave without me. And even if she leaves, see if I care; this hedgerow is worth the risk.’
But even these overly-confident dogs have their limit, and they seem to know where that is, and off they bolt, as if to signal to their master that,
‘I have been running this fast for miles; it has taken me so long to get back to you. What a good dog I am...do I get a treat?!’
Whereas, in reality the dog was checking out the bush in the next field along, out of view of their master and friend.
Krishna, I feel in my heart that I am envious of such dogs. Part of me considers them to be pathetic, because of how dependent they are. But on a deeper level I sense that I am sad. This sadness is around the fact that I see how simple the dog is, and how happy it is. And I mean simple of heart, not of intellect. Before the human children are born, the dog is the proud centrepiece of the family. During the baby’s early years it takes on the role of protector, walking slightly ahead of the pushchair, and taking great care to growl or bark, should it be deemed necessary. In the ‘terrible twos,’ the once proud family pooch becomes a punching bag; it’s eyes gouged and ears not so delicately played with. And through all this is a tolerance and cheerful acceptance that, when I really allow myself to reflect on it, makes me want to cry.
Why am I such a deviant, Krishna? Why do I not know my limits? You have been calling me home for so long, but still I resist. No, it’s not resistance; it’s an all-out war. But it’s a war with myself. When it boils down to it, I know that You love me more than I can comprehend, but I don’t want to, or can’t believe it because I am like a cauldron filled to the brim with fear and anger. And sometimes the volcano erupts. And so I pray to You my Lord, please have mercy on me and soothe the pain inside of me, just enough so that I can accept that You love me. And then perhaps I will have a chance to realise that it is in my best interest right now to get my head out of the hedge and bolt back home with a toy in my mouth.