for ISKCON News on Nov. 20, 2010
On the occasion of the auspicious Hindu Diwali festival, from the 30th of October till the 5th of November, Shaunaka Rishi Das the Director of the Oxford Center for Hindu Studies offered daily contemplations and meditations on UK`s prestigious BBC Radio 4 Channel. This program is usually being followed by millions of listeners.
Shaunaka Rishi is famous for combining his great sense of humor with a deep love of God. One of the prayers he offered was entitled as ‘God in the Cistern’:
'Last week the cistern in the men’s room at our office decided that forty years of service was enough. So, we colonized the ladies room. Then, and what are the odds here, the cistern in the ladies room also decided to stop working.
All the plumbers we rang made everything sound so difficult, and so expensive that my colleague Lal Krishna and I thought maybe we could tackle one of the toilets ourselves. I mean, how hard can it be?
We acquired the parts easily and cheaply, and arrived with a wonderful array of tools. First we tried, unsuccessfully, to turn off the water supply. We turned the tap every way we could and the flow did not stop. We then thought that maybe we could try to quickly loosen the washers and just as quickly replace the parts.
Thus Lal tackled a washer with our spanner and we were swiftly greeted by very powerful and merciless jets of water which, hit us full in the face and threw us to the far wall. The jets bounced off the ceiling – drenching our backs, and began to rapidly flood the floor.
We were just able to phone a local handyman who guided us in turning off the mains. It seems the final turn of the mains tap cannot be done by hand but needs the help of a tool. In my Hindu tradition we like to see the presence of God everywhere in our lives, and in this case even in the cistern.
Therefore Lord, Even though I think I have all the tools I need to succeed in my spiritual life, I always seem to be a turn of the tap short of success. It’s not something I can do alone and ask for your strength to stop the flow of selfish desire and to start the flow of selfless service. Hare Krishna’
To read the transcripts of all the prayers offered by Shaunaka Rishi Das please log on to the BBC`s website: