A Weed is a Flower in the Wrong Pot

by Rukmini Walker

~Part 2 of a series on Gardening of the Soul~

Click here to listen to the audio recording of this blog, read by the author:

Blog text begins here…..

To cultivate bhakti, is to cultivate the inner garden of your heart. This cultivation is compared to a tender, wish – fulfilling creeper – a vine that leans in, to wind around our Source, Sri Krsna, the tree of all life.

What does it mean to cultivate a sustainable internal garden in your heart? What qualities are you trying to harvest to grow in your heart?

A connected leaf is green, is full of chlorophyll, but one disconnected from the branch turns brown and dry.

A fruit that’s fallen to the ground, being disconnected from its source of life, shrivels and dries up.

When we are separated from our Source, when we are isolated, we feel existential loneliness and often alienation.

In Bhakti, we use the metaphor of planting a seed of devotion within our heart. The tender creeper of devotion is described as a wish – fulfilling creeper that grows in the field of our hearts. It’s a vine, it leans in – on what?

Sri Radha, the sacred feminine, is the vine that wraps around the Tree of Life, Sri Krsna, the original divine masculine…

Bhakti Devi, the goddess of devotion, is expanded from Sri Radha…

In Bhakti, our hearts are meant to bloom, to fructify in joy into delicious tasty fruits and fragrant flowers — the cultivation of Bhakti is the greening or awakening of the soul.

Giving pleasure to our Source, Sri Krsna, but also feeling the pleasure of that connectedness, and interconnectedness to all other living beings, experiencing that joy ourselves.

When we are separated from our Source, when we are isolated, we feel existential loneliness and often alienation.

According to the Bhakti tradition, as jiva souls, eternal sparks or parts, we lean in… we are the leaves and flowers of that Bhakti creeper of devotion, that lovingly wraps around our Source, the tree of life, Who is Sri Krsna.

What does it mean to cultivate a sustainable internal garden in our hearts?

First of all, let’s look at weeds. A weed is a flower in the wrong pot. If you are trying to grow zucchini, then something else in that zucchini patch is a weed. What is your ultimate goal?

What qualities are you trying to grow in your heart? What is your ultimate goal?

If we want a successful harvest, best to begin with a clear vision of the end in mind. 

If I’m trying to grow zucchini, then if something else is growing there, I may want to pull it up as a weed… but it might have value in a different place, a different season, a different time – a different context…

Remember the story of the Ugly Duckling? She was a misfit. She was being judged as ugly. But actually, she was a swan. She was meant for a much higher life, a higher destiny that others couldn’t see.

What are you hoping to grow in your heart?

Do you have a purpose that others may not see? Is it love, compassion? Selfless service to Lord Krsna?

Do you aspire to be the change you wish to see in the world? Are you wishing for more authentic relationships?

Do you want to teach, maybe teach yoga? Do you seek realizations in knowledge?

But if you don’t know, maybe just by the practice of cultivating this garden of the heart – you’ll get a sweet surprise!

Even on the high path of Bhakti our ultimate goals may vary…What inspires me – even in the realm of devotion – might be very different from what inspires you…

Each of us is as unique as a snowflake. We are all individuals, with our own sacred individuality…

As seeds, we have different potentials, different gifts, different capabilities in our hearts.

But all of our many thirsts can be quenched by the sweet taste of the fruits of Bhakti.

Like pebbles thrown into the center of a garden pond create harmonious concentric circles generating outward.

Being centered on the actual center of all existence, we can find harmony in the many circles of our lives that generate out from that center.

As we look off into the future of our lives, as we look off at the distant horizon – we can aspire to see the material and spiritual tracks of our lives coming together and meeting at the horizon like two sides of a railroad track. Harmonized at the horizon. Harmonized in Bhakti.

All the best,

Rukmini Walker