3 lessons from cicadas


Those of us who live on the east coast of the US are nearing the end of the cicada season. They are curious creatures who teach us a few helpful things for our spiritual practice:


1. Life is Short: although cicadas keep themselves underground for 17 years, when they emerge it’s just a month or so that they are busy in being, mating, and dying. Ours too is a short life - whether 17 or 70 years, we keep busy eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. Cicadas can’t ask, what the hell is it all for? But we can, and must. This is actually the unique opportunity in holding a human body. There is a purpose to the material universe and all the varieties of life within it. Life is short, so don’t forget to ask.

2. Make Noise: Cicadas make very loud sounds while they live their short life above ground. We too need to make noise, but with good sound, sacred sound. Call out to Krishna, daily and throughout the day. Express your love for Him through sound. This practice is what we will depend on at the time of death. Sing and chant sacred mantras now - sound that is good for you and good for all who hear it.

3. Leave your Body: soon after they come up from underground, Cicadas emerge from their outer skin and leave it behind, fully intact, on tree barks and other places. Just a few weeks later they leave their new body behind - dead cicadas litter the ground everywhere. We too leave our body behind - from boyhood, to youth, to old age, and then the soul moves on to another body at death. The soul that animates a cicada is of the same spiritual nature that animates other bodies, including mine. Individual, conscious, and eternal - that is who we are beyond our material body.

I’m grateful to the cicadas, but more grateful to the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is that helps me see, understand, and live my life with spiritual vision.

Want to know more about Krishna Bhakti? Email me at ananda@iskconofdc.org or catch me at the Temple on the weekends










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