The Journey Home Book - By Radhanath Swami
At the age of only nineteen, Radhanath Swami left his home in America seeking adventure and spiritual knowledge. After trekking across Europe for months, Radhanath Swami reached his long hoped for destination: India. After living there for many years as a sadhu or wandering monk, Radhanath Swami returned to America in order to share the sacred knowledge and wisdom he had learned from the many holy men and women he had met there. It was an extraordinary choice, given what Radhanath Swami had survived to get there: a journey filled with bizarre characters, mystical experiences, and dangerous adventures. The story is recounted in his recently published memoir The Journey Home - Autobiography of an American Swami. Reviewers have called Radhanath Swami's saga "at once an engaging yarn, a love story, and the evocation of a transcendent paradise in all its savagery, solitude, and splendor.
Radhanath Swami emerged from his years of travel wanting to explain for others the beauty and rewards of a life devoted to God, and therein lay a dilemma. Radhanath Swami's many followers and friends describe him as completely selfless and consequently unwilling to take credit for his work and restless when a spotlight is focused on him. By choosing A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami (1896-1977), a Bengali Vaishnava Saint, as his guru (after declining offers of initiation from several tyagis or renunciants in the Himalayas), Radhanath Swami cast his fate to the wind, cut his matted locks, and entered back into the society.
RadhanathMaharaj.net gives us a complete collection of the teaching of Radhanath Swami. Teachings consists of Transcriptions of lectures delivered by Radhanath Swami at various places. This website is to inspire the followers of Radhanath Swami to practice the philosophy of Vaishanavism.
Seeing Obstacles as Opportunities to Come Closer to Krishna Lecture by HH Radhanath Swami, in Southern California
Hare Krishna! We are very sorry to be late. But we were lost for long time because the directions we received were not the same streets as what were on the road.
Does that make sense? Material world does not always make sense.
My sincere gratitude to svavas prabhu because of his earnest sincerety he was struggling and striving to find this place and some how we are here by his great efforts. We only have a few minutes to speak. What is the subject you would like to speak this evening. Nirantara prabhu is not here to order me, so I am depending upon all of you. Yes?
Devotee: murmurs...(not audible)
I dont know so much about that. Except its the auspicious time for devotional
Rathayatra? Haribol. Haribol.
Rathayatra in puri draws 800 thousand to a million people every year. Few years ago when I was there they estimated 8-900 thousand people all on the same road at the same time. Kumbhamela is 12 million over a period of one month and its over a ground space of many many miles. Its like a city. For Rathayatra almost a million people on the same day on the same street, haribol, and the chariots, beautiful chariots, the chariots I believe in LA has 4 wheels. Lord Jagannath chariot has sixteen wheels. Very Big. Very Majestic. (laughs). And they make brand new chariots every year. They begin on ekadasi, about two months before ratha yatra and they inaugurate, many many workers. YOu have to be born in the family of carpenters to make the carts to actually make the chariots and they work for two months with fresh cut trees. and the amazing thing they dont use screws and bolts. Everything is fit together just by shaping. And it has to be strong enough some times there is a 100 people on the chariot with the deity and ropes are about this thick and very long. THousands of people are pulling the ropes at a time.
Its very impressive festival. How many have been to Puri Ratha Yatra. And Jagannath ofcourse goes to GUndicha mandir and when he, stays in GUndicha mandir for some time and then there is the return ratha yatra which is also very big, but not as big, its in 10s and thousands rather than hundreds and thousands and then chariot returns to Jagannath temple. Cos its not so exciting in bringing him back to dwaraka lila. People like to bring him to Vrindavan lila. and then the chariot. Actually when it arrives in Gundicha mandir, he does not come right in, he stays a full day, usually a day and half. the chariots are just parked right in front of the gundicha and every one, even, us foriegners can have full darsan to their hearts content, Jagannath baladev Subhadra, just they park their chariots in a row right in front of gundicha temple and they wait until the sun set the next day. They stop, where ever they are at sunset they stop. The year I was there, they only went 3/4s the way and then they spent the night there, and next morning they arrived at noon. and then they stayed a day half till the next day sunset and everybody is still doing kirtans and darshan and they bring them inside. When they bring back, the ratha yatra return, thats a very famous darshan, actually many people come for that darshan from all over the world. Thats where Jagannth stays outside the Jagannath temple for 24 hours and they dress him in all of his ornaments are solid gold. solid gold hands and feet and folded arms..and Jagannath is carried by Daityapathis back into the temple and then they disassemble all the chariots and then, they take all that wood. It takes seven to eight hundred full grown trees to provide the wood each year for three chariots.haribol. and they take all that wood and bring it into kitchen for cooking for jagannath through out the year, it lasts about 3/4 year. then next year they cut down brand new trees and make brand new chariots. Haribol.
So LA is quite simple in comparison. When Chaitanya Maha Prabhu was dancing in ratha yatra He divided into seven parties, kirtan parties, each with lead and and a lead dancer, when Chaitanya Maha Prabhu was dancing, each party was thinking he is with me. But actually he was in all 7 parties simultaneously. inorder to fulfill the wish of each of his devotees.
And they he would become one form. and all the seven parties merged into one at that point all around Lord CHaitanya. And the whole Puri, all those, practicallys 100s, 1000s of million people were fixed, in the beauty of Chaitanya Maha Prabhus dance.
Chaitanya Maha Prabhu was very tall,and by his inconceivable miraculous powers, he could dance in such a way that every one could see him perfectly. Hows that possible? so many people..laughs...but he made it possible, his achintya sakti, and kaviraja goswami describes how all the pilgrims all the residents of puri, all the brahmins and priests of the temple, all govt. officials, all the curious people who just happened to be in that neighbourhood, every one who saw Chaitanya Maha Prabhu dance, was liberated from all material desires, and attained krishna prema. When the lord incarnates there is the special mercy he shows upon his devotees, and upon any one. That was the beauty of his dance. How is it that they were liberated of all miseries and they attained Krishna prema, because his dance was simply so beautiful. it was so extraordinarily enchanting that their krishna prema was immediately awakened. Now a days ratha yatra is a time when ofcourse we are giving the mercy of Chaitanya Maha Prabhu, but people have to accept it and sttrive to receive it. How do we strive to recieve his mercy, by our willingness to follow his teachings? There is a very famous, conversation with prabhupada where a devotee asked Prabhupada, if any one sees lord jagannath and his chariot, pulls the ratha yatra cart, and participates in the festival, do they become liberated? Prabhupada explained, so they become liberated but, if they again act in materialistic and egoistic way they become bound. In other words, in the ratha yatra, when they see Jagannath, when lord glances so mercifully upon them, they are given the chance, they are given all the facility and chance for supreme liberation by that experience, BUt their actual realization of liberation depends on how they take seriously the chance that they are given. So for the devotees, ratha yatra is one of the most spectacular festivals to give people that opportunity, to actually make a connection with Lord Jagannath. The spiritual benefits that one achieves is eternal.
Nehabhikramanasosti pratyavayo navidyate
Svalpamapyasya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat
Spiritual benefits are eternal, The seed of bhakti is going to their hearts but how they develop it, Prabhupada explained, that is dependent on our free will. So Ratha yatra is a festival of mercy. causeless mercy. and Lord chaitanya taught us the deepest, the highest and the most esoteric principles of what rathayatra means, which we discussed last night to some extent. and also on the most basic fundamental level it is a time to, to just throw the seeds of devotion to every one and anyone, who ever sees the chariot, who ever hears the devotees chanting will gain eternal benefit. But what is our responsibility to perform the festival in such a way that people appreciate. bcos thats when actually bhakti begins, that is when we appreciate anything in relationship to Krishna. If a devotee is seen by another, and that person, just ah...hare krishna..he gets some benefit bcos its in the name of Krishna. But the path of devotion really does nt begin by that. But if they appreciate the path begins. Bcos appreciation is an expression of love. Is it not? To appreciate some one is an act of love. MIght be very fundamental. Might be not very developed spiritual, but when you appreciate you are actually offering, an emotion of the heart with affection. So when some one appreciates, Krishna or anything in connection to Krishna, actually their spiritual growth on the path of devotional service, begins at that point, if some one tastes prasad, and likes it, that is why prabhupada says prasad is our secret weapon, its really../, swavas prabhu, there is a special sweet for you here,....,no its very cool, there is a fan right next to it. PLease please every one, wishes to see your moon like countenance.
Prbhuji: Is it really necessary?
I will leave it to the assembled devotees.
It is really necessary. laughs...
ALl of you happy with him back there? NO...
WIll you be happy if he sits in the hotseat? Yes...
Is there some one else?...Haribol...Laughs
It was the will of providence. Haribol...thank you prabhu.
If we give some one prasad, if we cook nice prasad, if they eat prasad and they dont like it, they will get some purification.No doubt. But if they east prasad and they like it. They appreciate it. if they think this tastes good, or even if it tastes good and they say oh this is very nice, then they are glorifying Krishna, they have affection for Krishna and they are glorifying Krishna. thats a major step forward on the spiritual path for some one. If there is harinam devotees chanting and dancing, if they hear and think, oh! hare krishnas. thats alright. they are making great spiritual progress. BUt if they appreciate, they singing so nice, they are dancing so nice, their sarees are pretty, or their saffron is a nice, good color.any way if they just appreciate actually their path back home back to godhead is set. They cannot turn back from that point. THey cannot turn back. Once they appreciate anything regarding Krishna. They appreciate deity, they appreciate a devotee, if a devotee is just a nice person. if they dont know too much they make spiritual progress.
Should i tell you a story that happend to me just a couple of weeks ago? Its not directly ratha yatra. But the principle of..., well, we will go back. then I will tell you the story. What is really important as far as trying to spread this message is that devotees present KC in such a way that people can appreciate it, our prasad, our decorations, the devotees themselves, their behavior, the sankirtan of holynames, cos that little bit of appreciations is beginning of great things for the conditioned soul. At this particular time they appreciate. Krishna is pleased with their appreciation. Krishna will guide that person to the association of devotees and make them receptive and open hearted to receive the mercy of the vaishnavas.
In due course of time that will definitely happen on some one who just appreciates Krishna. That person will definitely be brought to the association of the devotees and will have a receptive consciousness to hear from the devotees.
They gradually become devotee, They gradually through the process of bhakti,
and higher levels of bhakit may attain the perfection and go back home back to godhead. But when Lord chaitanya was here it was instant. Just like in navadveep, Lord Chaitanya was dancing and there was mlecha yavana who did the laundry for srivas thakur, he was just a washerman, yes, and he happened to see, lord chaitanya dancing and he just, he appreciated the beautiful dance, he said i have seen, and immediately he entered into extatic love of god, which ordinarily takes many many births of sadhana to even come near,.immediately how wonderful.
So I would like to tell you a simple story, you have heard the story,I was in alachua and after about six days there, i left early sunday morning,at 6 o clock to the Jacksonville airport where i had an 8 30 flight to ...no it was 9 o clock flight to hartford Connecticut, where I was supposed to give a sunday feast lecture, It was sunday morning. I was sitting in the gate, just before you board the plane. and 9 came and the lady at the desk said, there will be indefinite delay because the air conditioning system is broken. An hour later, they lady said it is still delayed. its a fact that air conditioner is so broken that we have to put a whole new unit in the plane. It make take several hours. Its a small little plane with about 30 seats. There was a lady in so much distress. Just picture distress personified.(laughs) That was this lady. She was really in disstress. Her face, her body language, oh she was miserable and did not want to hide it from any one. THis poor lady at the desk, she is just trying to take the tickets at the gate, she was literally attacked by this woman, she was in mid 50s and she was just shouting. Why is this plane late? Do you know how much suffering you are causing me? DO you know how much you are making me miserable? YOu dont understand how much pain this is causing me. I need to catch a connecting flight at Washington DC, to Sandiego and if I miss that flight, my life is going to be so miserable. I am suffering. YOu have to get me to Sandiego immediately. and the lady said, you know I am sorry the air conditioner is broken. Well you have to do something for me. SHe was really in anxiety. Oh. I was almost crying looking at her. and after that pouring out sufferings of her heart to this poor lady, at the desk was helpless. Finally she walked away and every one was watching. ANd i was just very peacefully in a kind of a secluded corner of the waiting lounge, no body on that row of seats, cos that it was little way, and she saw me and marched right upto me. POinted her finger at me and said " Are you a monk?" I was dressed like this. I said some thing like that mam. ANd she said, then you must tell me, why is this plane late? do you know how much i am suffering. Its causing so much misery,you will never be able to comprehend. no body will be able to understand. I am suffering. Its causing me so much torture by this ordeal. Why? Mam please have a seat.We will try to discuss this ok. (Laughs).I was trying to tell her that, YOu have to try to be +ve. and opportunities in this situation. YOu are talking about +ve opportunities? DO you know what happened to my life? GOd. I was afraid to ask what? (laughs) I said, I am the kind of person, if you just tell me a brief summary, I will be able to catch the essence. (laughs) So she just started to cry. SHe was practically trembling. SHe was so much in distress . She said I am suffering from a terminal disease, where i could die at any moment. BUt I dont have much time that is for sure. SHe said for practically my whole life, I have been an upper middle class housewife. but in the last couple of months, I lost my husband, and i lost all my children. and I am dying. I can hardly walk more than a few feet without a wheel chair. I lost everything. my family was gone, my home was taken away from me. I have no relatives, I have no one. THis is the first time in my entire life, I don have home and i don have a place to go. ALl my posessions are in my hand luggage. I am just trying to get out the united states and go to mexico. I donno where I am going. I donno whats going to happen, I am a lost soul.
She said I am trying to find a place in mexico which will be able to cure my incurable disease. but i donno where i am going. WHy is this happening to me?
and how to deal with it. So I explained her, some of the basic principles of karma and i tried to explain her really how you are an eternal soul and soul is not subject to death and the body,our home, our relations in due course of time, they are going to be taken away.we cannot really hold on to any of it. But the great beauty of life is we have a chance to go close to god in the various situations we go through and actually real happiness is in coming close to God. Are you not looking for love in your life? The propensity for love comes from the soul, the relationship with God. ANd she looked at me really confused. And she said you are talking about GOd, Just recently a person from a new age religion, was preaching to me. and said do you know why you are suffering so bad? you are suffering so miserably bcos, God wants to experience the sufferings of this world through you.
(Laughs) you are just His instrument. AND she turned and asked me what kind of God is that? If God is all knowing, he should know what is suffering in the material world. WHy does he have to make me suffer?do it through me?
So I explained no, God is not suffering this world for you. GOd is eternally transcendentally blissful. We are spirit souls, we have the choice of enjoying eternally with GOd, or rebelling againts gods love,to try to enjoy selfishly independently, that is why we are suffering. God is eternally blissful and is inviting us to his eternal abode, his eternal past times,its we who choose to suffer, by enguaging in various activities which have reactions miserable. So then she was very intelligent lady. She said If thats true, if we were with god, why did we come to a world where there is so much pain? You have heard that question before?Laughs. So I was explaining princple of free will, cos without free will there cannot really be true spiritual, and perfect love and that is Gods arrangement, that love is perfect because, it is based on the principle of free will. we have to have the free will to choose. If some one puts a gun to your head and says do what i say. You will do it. BUt its not going to be extatic. For you or the person with a gun, but if you could serve or please any one else, in the world by your own free will you spontaneously want to do everything for one other person, thats satisfying the heart. Small. Love is selfless. Its not selfish. and its perfection, once it is directed towards the supreme lord. SO yes, everything is going to die away from us today or tomorrow,but you have such a blessed opportunity. what ever happened has happened. Just turn to God. Just cry for the mercy of God. Take gods name. Then I asked her if i can write a mantra. No I did nt say. I said, If you like I can teach you a mantra. If you chant this mantra,you will experience god within your heart and feel great relief. She said please teach me. I said repeat after me. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. She looked at me and said I will never remeber that. Laughs.SHe said will you write it down for me. I said do you have paper. SHe looked in her purse, she just got some nice little scrap of paper and gave me a pen and I write maha mantra. SHe said I will only be able to concentrate on it, If i know the meaning of each word. She said Can you write the meaning of Hare Krishna and Rama. SHe was listening. So I wrote translation and gave it to her. She did not even look at it. SHe folded it up and put it in her purse. and she said I still cant understand what purpose this delayed flight has. SHe said where are you going? YOu are a monk? YOu are a man of GOd? Why is he doing this to you? Where are you going? I said I have a connecting flight to go to Hartford, CT, where i am supposed to give a lecture..very soon. She said, how many people are waiting for you? 100 people. A 100 people are waiting for you to give a lecture?
Yes I think so. Well. where else do you give lectures? So I live in India. How many people come to hear your lectures there? On sundays usually about a 1000+500.
A 1500 people?!! Do you give any bigger lectures? I said upto 7000 people come in India. 7000 people? So althose people would probably give you anything to have a one to one conversation with you! I said ,I donno about that but may be. SHe said there is 1000s of people would give you anything to talk to you one to one. And I am here talking to you for one hour, one to one. Laughs. She said, now I can understand there is a higher purpose for this flight being late. CLAPS. and then i felt, we talked more than an hour, I said a lot to her about philosophy, and she was listening and then I thought there is no use talking any more. Better i go away and let her think about it. So I said I will have to call the people in Hartford because, there are all going to be waiting in the airport for me. They are supposed to meet me in the airport at 1pm. There is a two hour flight to washington DC from ALachua. and Then there is 2 hr flight to Hartford. and It was already 12 30pm. We did not even leave Alachua yet. I mean Jacksonville. So I said I have to make a call. SO I went and I was really happy to get away from her..laughs.. I tried my best to serve her. and there were these phones which did not work without coins, and even long distance. I had no coins. SO I could nt make a call. I tried to look for another phone. NO other phones. SO I came back to her. Her name was DOrothy. So I said, Dorothy, do you have a cell phone? Laughs..SHe says yes. Yes. BY this time she was lil happy. She gave me a cell phone and smiled a little. and then I called pyare mohan prabhu, our godbrother and he said we were just about to leave the temple and said we are coming to the airport to pick you up. I said dont leave the temple. I am still in FLorida. I donno when its gonna be, But some how or other there is a lady named dorothy who is listening the philosophy. I said I will call you later when we take off. So 7.5 hrs passed, we were still in the waiting room. It was 4pm finally. FInally they say, its time to board the flight. For those of you who want to board this flight, you could come on the gate to board. and these passengers have been waiting for 7 hrs in the waiting room.and what do you mean. If you would like to..
We are waiting for 7 hours. why would we not like to..SHe said there is a reason why. this is all over microphone..there is a reason why, because in the process of fixing the air conditioner, we broke the lights and the toilets. There will be no lights and toilets. So we strongly recommend, use toilet now, and if you need a toilet in two hours, dont come on this flight. Laughs...Every one went to the toilet. Every one came running out of the toilet to get on the flight and some how we get on. And we are sitting, there was big sign on the toilet, out of order, they put some barricade. it was kind of dark. no lights. They were some kind of light from the daylight. We were sitting there, AC did not work either. 7 hrs we were waiting for them to fix the AC, the toilet broke and lights broke in the process. ANd we come in and they announce, sorry AC is not working either. It was summer in FLorida. They said we were hoping to get to high altitudes then it might start working. so they take off. and really the people were not happy in that aeroplane, really not happy, Because the airlines, they did not give, people were complaining, you did not give us any food, we sat there for 7 hrs, and its hot, its dark, we have to go to bathroom, laughs.
People were pretty miserable. I was impressed people were nt more miserable. They were holding it in. It was 2 hour flight, when it got very high AC started working a little bit. and we land in DC 2 hours later. and then they announce, for those of you who have connecting flights you are going to find them on your own bcos we donno anything about it. Laughs. ans this was united airlines..Laughs...United express. our recommendation is united express. Laughs...I told the hostess, i think you should rename your airlines disunited distress,Laughs, and she looked at me and said, in this case i think you are right.Cos it was disunited and pretty distressful, THey said, all you can do is, go at the monitor to know when next flight is to your next destination and just run there, try to get on, you might get on, and hopefully ...Laughs..That was there announcement. People are not happy. No body was smiling. Nobody was happy and I hear some one calling from behind and its Dorothy. Laughs..She is beaming with smile, she is effulgent, smiling and her eyes were glistening. and she was standing in aisle with that mantra in her hand. and she looked at me and said, a few feet behind and said, i have been chanting this mantra ever since we boarded the line for 2 hours continuously and it releived me of ally anxieties of my life. She said I have been chanting as you have instructed me to take the shelter of the holy name of the lord and I feel so mch releif. I feel happy, I feel satisfied in life. Thank you. Can I ask you one more question. I said what it is your question? SHe said, Can you write your name on this paper where the mantra is? I want to remeber you. She said from the time she boarded the plane I was chanting the mantra and remembering you. So I wanto know your name. I wrote my name and she asked me to pronounce it.I got off the plane and here was a wheel chair, cos its outside, they had a wheel chair waiting for her. I was watching every one, every one was hot and eager to go to the bathroom. Laughs. and every one was late by hours and hours and missed their connecting flights. and nobody was happy. but she was just smiling. and then she got on her wheel chair and she is just waving to every body and i went over to her and I went over to her and she just grabbed my hand and said thank you. she said, you gave me a reason to live and a reason to die. Thank you for this mantra. this changed my life. I said good bye she was smiling and smiling. and then I saw next flight to connecticut was in a different terminal and it was leaving in five minutes. and next flight to CT was at 9 o clock in the night. Laughs....So I actually ran, I was running, and I had to go all the way to this train and catch one of those trains to the next terminal and I had to go all the way across the terminal to get to the gate and we were just, just boarding the plane. they were in the middle of boarding and I came and I said you know I have this flight to hartford, CT and they said that flight left 5 hours ago. Laughs..I know but our flight was 7 hrs late. Oh ok. Wait if here we will see if you can get you on. SO
I waited and I waited and looked like it was a real full flight. But there was one seat.It was full flight. BUt by Krishnas grace one person did not show up and they put me on the flight. By Krishnas grace there was one of those telephone in the flight. I am on the flight and called pyare mohan, I am on the flight. He came with few devotees and actually we got there at 7 o clock that night and they had the arthi and kirtan first and just in time to give a lecture...haribol...and guess what story i told every one. the same story i just told you. Are you wondering why I am so late. Todays class will be entitled why I was so late. Yes..Laughs...SO devotees liked it and then, one devotee, quite learned fellow, he walked to me, do you know what the name DOrothy means, one who is blessed by god. Hari Hari...Moral to the story that I believe is valuble, is even obstacles and distress and hardships and difficulties, we should never see them by their face value. There may be a wonderful treasure of a gift of opportunities, purification devotional service in every situation and I was in one place in sarangati i told a few people this story just at dinner table, this one person who was there, really suffering, said, that just hearing the story i feel like DOrothy, Laughs..So please know that every moment of life is an opporunity to do something wonderful for Krishna. Never judge any obstacles or sufferings by their face value. Bcos there might be a very very deep significant reason why things are not going our way. THe false ego expects things to go according to our plan, Yes.If you want to suffer please know for sure, if you expect things, to happen according to your plan or desire bcos they dont always work like that. we have expectations from others. I have seen in marriages, husbands have expectations for their wives, wives have expectations from their husbands, not what you can do, but what you want them to do. There is serious problem there. And I have never had a girlfriend or anything but has been watching carefully. Laughs...and what I have seen good marriages are where you give up all expectations of each other...Laughs..you just accept the person for what they are and just tolerate them and try to encourage them, but if you are expecting them to be, what you want them to be, you are doomed to suffer, Laughs... cos no one can fulfill your expectation, becuase they are egoistic. yes..does that make sense.
Its got some reality to it? Thank you. So when we expect things on any level to go our way then we are setting ourselves up for potential suffering. THere is a saying, Hope for the best and expect the worst. Haribol...Laughs..Hope against the hope we will always be hoping. But if we expect the worst, we will be content and we will be ready to deal with it and make the best out of it and a devotee has to.
Prabhupada was the most shining example of that. I mean what ever happened, to him, as far as, people tried to kill him, people were throwing him out of houses and heart braking experiences and heart attacks. He just saw that as Krishnas mercy. He just saw that as opportunity to render service to Krishna and to do something wonderful. and always looking and looking for an opportunity to serve guru no matter what came up on him. Yes. He was always enthusiastic and always blissful. Becuase he was so perfectly Krishna conscious. He was seeing Krishnas hand.
I have often told the story of my god sister kunti devi. Beautiful story.
One example of that story, she was dying, she was in horrible pain. Cancer spread in all her body, disintegrated her spinal bone, disintegrated, she was paralyed,her waist down on a wheel chair, wrecked with pain, doctor gave her only a few months to live, she is in Idaho, and she is telling everybody how wonderful life is. how wonderful Krishna is? How loving Krishna is? It made such an impact on people. that local TV station came to do a program on her. and she is just talking about she is chanting japa, smile on her face, laughs..she is initiated, she is dying and doctor says pain is all over. and she is just smiling and whats it called the person who interview. It was a documentary type thing. It was feature show. This lady was practically appreciating Kunti. SHe is just remarkable woman making every one happy when she is dying and she showed kunti doing kirtan and Japa and talking to people and interviewing her and she was saying how loving God is, Krishna is, and this is not a curse this is a blessing. Hundreds and thousands of people watch that show, I saw the video. She came to New Vrindaban and she cant eat the devotee prasad and she just got on her wheel chair and said any body who needs a special diet i will cook for them. and she was there cooking lunch prasad and most of the community liked her prasad better than the temple prasad. She was cooking like for dozens of devotees blissfully and serving it. And then she became very,,,as time went on,, she became incapacitated she was bed ridden and she could nt even lift a book, So devotees brought her a computer with Prabhupadas folio and Prabhupads books on it and she can move her fingers, so she would just chant and she would just be reading on screen big letters, cos her eye sight was going down, and was reading and reading hours per day. COs i remember one of my godbrothers, Sravananda prahu came to cheer her up. His business was going bad, He was not the happiest person in the world but he was coming to cheer her up and she cheered him up. She was just telling him how life is so wonderful, and how Krishna mercy is so good.we should nt be concerned with little things, you know all small things and...; death coming any minute..do you know why should we bother with these things we have Krishna, we have prabhupada, we have devotees, we have the holyname, He was like God, Life is not so bad, you know and he..Laughs..
He came out and told me, she made me blissful. I came her to make her happy and she made me blissful. Thats why if we have devotees around for all day reading Krishna book and reading, kirtan, discussing harikatha, and I went in once she was reading, and she said to me Maharaj, people are coming in and asking, and feeling sorry for me, she said but thats the farthest thing from reality. She said I have read Prabhupada books several times through, since i have been a devotee, but these last couple of weeks, when i read prabhupada books i hear Prabhupada personally speaking to me. The power of his words is penetrating my heart. I have never felt Prabhupada so close to my heart, Now, I have never heard Prabhupada's voice or understood,his teachings as deeply as i do now. She said I am not on my death bed. I am on the bank of the ganges. Just like maharaj Parikshit, hearing from my guru Prabhupada,as he heard from SUkadeva goswami. She said I am telling you this in complete honesty. SHe said, the situation i am in, I will not trade to any one in the entire world.
Bcos this whole disease and imminent death, its worth it all, to feel Prabhupada presence and hear his voice in this way. This is a blessing. THis is not something that happened in satyuga. Laughs..this is something just happened a few years ago. amongst our own devotees and there are so many stories like that. KC means to look for Krishna in what ever situation, comes upon us. and dont try to see Krishna, try to reciprocate and serve Krishna, so he is happy to see you. In what ever situation if a devotee tries to see what is Krishna doing and what is the opportunity I have to serve. What can we gain by feeling sorry for ourselves?
This is one of the things Kunti told me, just days before we left, She said worst thing people can do is blame others for their faults, even if its true, what good does it do? and its a fact, when we feel sorry for ourselves, when we blame others for our problems, even if we are right, in court of law we can prove if its some one elses problem. But how does it uplift us? How does it help us come closer to Krishna. THat is what life is all about. coming closer to Krishna. To see the chance, Dorothy was just a person who never met a devotee in her life. GOd was she suffering. She might come to one of your temples one of these days. Laughs.. But she saw the opportunity. and just by seeing the opportunity she became blissful and came closer to Krishna, Its a great lesson, thats what life is about. Thats what Ratha yatra is about. Giving people an opportunity to come closer to Krishna. Thank you very much!!!
So why were we so late tonight? THats actually what impelled me to tell this story.
I donno why were we so late. I know we got lost. Why did Krishna get lost? THe direction said, Barcelona road or something like that. BUt there was no such thing as barcelone road. and we were driving all over the place. FInally we found out it was albatross road and after couple of blocks it turns to barcelona road. We might have gone to Barcelona, and swavas prabhu was sincerely, so humble and so dedicated, he is you know we were driving and finally we found this alabatross road, and we get on this barcelona road and we were driving and driving...and we end up in road we started on. laughs..and being the temple president of LA temple, he is an expert at management, naturally he had no telephone numbers, laughs...
I mean, he is most manager, in all temples of NA. ANy where you go in NA, the best temple president is Swavas prabhu...haribol...that is unanimously agreed on by every devotee. Now why did Krishna cause him to forget his telephone numbers. THis is not his fault. THis is Krishna. LAughs...and it was actually wonderful..i was quite ecstatic through the whole experience. He was just trying so hard and ..go all the way around and he says dont have any telephone numbers and i donno where we were going. because of all of a sudden barcelona, turned into madrid, Laughs... literally,..barcelona turns to madrid and we are not even on barcelona, we just turned around and we said we will try again. and we more or less resigned we are not going to come here. and I was just about to say swavas prabhu lets just go back to the temple and then but i dint say that. Because we were expecting the worst and hoping for the best and all of a sudden there was this street. right..
the street,,, we asked all these people...they said we donno..its up there..and then he looked at his girlfriend and then he said up there. then we were thinking, he does nt really know and he doesnt want his girlfriend to know that he really doesnt know. Laughs...So by inconceivable arrangement of the lord we were lost. and BY the inconceivable arrangment of the lord we were found. and we are here and we are late and thats the reason i guess Krishna wants every one to be extra hungry to enjoy prasad to extra extent. BUt always be cheerful and happy in KC as long as we know we are trying to do the right thing Krishna will protect us. THank you very much! Srila Prbhupada ki Jai. And Please give your very loud appreciation to swavas prabhuji...so we will have few minutes of Kirtan.. it is 9:30pm; should we have kirtan or not have kirtan, how many people would not like to have kirtan and have prasad immediately. how many people would like to have kirtan before prasad?
I was hoping you would nt say that...
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