By Vrndavana Vinodini Devi Dasi
Hearing good news about others affects people in different ways. Personally, the feelings it evokes within me serves as a barometer of how emotionally healthy I am and my relationship with the individual. Feelings of joy and “they totally deserve it” are what I aim for. However, in instances where it dredges up not so pleasant emotions, I realize I have internal work to do.
Just as pain serves as an indication that something is wrong with the body, similarly, negative emotions can serve as an indicator that we need to pay closer attention to an unfulfilled need or issue. That something can vary from person to person, but it’s important to identify it and work to see what is needed to heal it. The importance of this topic was highlighted again by something that recently happened.
I have been extremely fortunate to be surrounded by practitioners of bhakti yoga my entire life. In order to invoke the blessings and share in the good news that I am to be married soon, my dear parents have been personally inviting well-wishers and friends for the occasion. Today I’d like to share with one reaction that melted my heart.
Although I wasn’t physically present to witness the reaction, my parents later narrated that upon hearing the news and receiving an invitation, one well-wisher, who is an extremely deep and advanced bhakti yoga practitioner, immediately started to inquire as to my parents’ assessment of my future husband’s character. Satisfied with their responses, he expressed his heart-felt congratulations. That in itself totally melted my heart. An uncle-like figure in my life, I don’t often get to see this well-wisher, but his genuine concern and care for my well being was palpable even through my parents voices.
Not soon after, he came back and immediately pressed a small gift in my father’s hand. This was totally above and beyond the realm of anything any of us expected as his sincere well-wishes were all that we were seeking.
Although this may seem quite simple and ordinary, I assure you, it was anything but. The sense of reciprocation and gratitude to have such an exemplary well-wisher in my life was and is still overwhelming. In fact, while meditating on the incident a few days later, it was all I could do to restrain the tears filling my eyes.
As an aspiring practitioner of bhakti this is what I too long to be: the happy well-wisher to others, especially in their time of success and joy.