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Prayer and Pills
Mary: Dear James, I was just reading a detective novel and feeling rotten on account of certain rubbish vasanas, which I know is not spiritually correct, so I got out my credit card and went right to ShiningWorld. Time to shop!!!!!! I also decided to stop warring with the goddamn vasanas, nay, the super-sized samskaras. Why should I spend so much time sorting them out when they are not real anyway? As I was shopping for your words of wisdom, I went back on my antidepressants, and hey, presto-chango, no more suicidal thinking and no more more “me,” thanks be to the Isvara in those little pills. I am so light and glowing it is great. And if I happen to return to my miserable old self, that’s great too!
Plus, mine and my mother’s stuff have cleared up completely, so double celebrations. I want to go and visit her. This was unheard of previously. My dad always said, “Your mum is your best friend.” How true is that? But her dementia is increasing and she was recently diagnosed with cancer. I asked if I could feel the lump in her breast, which I did, so now I know what a lump in a breast feels like. Last weekend she had an operation. I sat with her the whole day because she was last on the list, such are the joys of our vaunted health care system. Yes, I know, the joy is in me, so don’t scold me. When we were waiting, one of the medics asked if she had any allergies, and she replied, “Only work.” She is happily demented, but not with me, because I cut up her credit card. She has finally stopped threatening to call the police. She forgets that she makes multiple trips to the store and spends $50 a day on food.
Now she is coming to live with me, which I never wanted. But in fact it is a nice juicy carrot that I and my brother giver her 24/7 care. She is now the child and I am the adult. It is so sweet when I give her a meal, on a tray, like she did when I was young. She was a good mum and true to herself and fearless, and totally gave unconditional parenting. A positive arises out of a negative. You couldn’t make it up.
You are so erudite, I cringe when I write to you. You use lots of big words in your satsangs, like “querulous,” which I had to look up. James, I would like you to pray for my mum. I have got the great god Ganesh on the case, but I recall you saying previously to me, when I was not in a good place owing to my brain injury, that you had prayed for me. Well, I felt that action and I did for a while feel improved, but it did not last. So do your magic! I have one small request of Isvara but as usual I always accept what comes. I will not say what it is. I could tell you if it should happen.
James: Yes, sad to say, prayer is in the mithya world where things decay, so even the good doesn’t last. I love you, Mary. You are seriously the coolest person I know, short-term memory loss (I know about it first-hand myself) included. Keep the faith.
Mary: I sent you a lovely photo of me and my mum. If it’s a repeat, you’ll have forgotten. Are memory lapses just Isvara switching chitta off and on? Get me, using Vedanta words like I know what I am saying!
James: Yes, indeed. Isvara says in the Gita, “I remember and forget.” So no need to worry about what you can’t remember. Anyway, does your mom know who I am? You do know that you’re saying something when you say it even if you don’t know what it means, which is fine insofar as nothing we say ultimately means anything – except when it does.
Mary: Not really, James. My mum may have heard me mention Vedanta a few years ago before the brain injury. I do recall some time this year that I shouted at her when she was vexed about not having control over her money anymore. I said something to the effect that she was not in control of her money anyway, and she did look at me silently, and maybe her Self heard it.
James: I just asked because if a person knows who I am, my prayers have a bigger impact because the thought of me invokes Isvara in them and Isvara responds according to their spiritual needs. Otherwise, the prayer goes out and has its impact, no doubt, but who knows where it lands? There is a satsang on the topic of prayer at the bottom of the home page.
Mary: Anyway, I have started to listen to my new satsangs, and first one out the bag is the BG 2018 from Carbondale, hence my writing this pesky email to exclaim, save the best till last, Ramji!! (And I hope you are not dying on me as well!)
James: Sad to say, we are all dying by the will, some say grace, of Isvara. But I will do my level best to keep on living, so you needn’t worry. And when this body is gone I will live on eternally as your own sweet Self.
Mary: So I am off to my mum’s to be there for her because she is leaving us. Will she stay for Christmas and see both her children together, which is something she wanted, i.e. for me and my estranged brother to “make up”? Or will she just float away with my blessing and much love and friendship and joy that we are good. I prefer the former, but I take whatever comes as prasad. (And I have not shed one tear, which the pre-brain-damaged “old me” would have done for sure.)
James: Tears may be very wonderful or miserable as the case may be, but they don’t change reality. Her karma stream goes on to God-knows-where, and you cherish her wherever she lands. Anyway, it seems to me that you needn’t settle for either option: you and your brother can make up and she can float off to the next stop on her soul’s long journey home, have her cake and eat it too, as it were.
Mary: I will let you know what happens! My brother, Oliver, has said she seems better the last few days. Well, hey ho! I bet that is because of prayers for my mum. “The power of love”: you can’t whack it!