Becoming a disciple of His Divine Grace. Krishna Kirtan Devi…

Becoming a disciple of His Divine Grace.
Krishna Kirtan Devi dasi, at 15, an active Christian, first met the devotees in a public park in Paris called Jardin du Luxembourg in July 1972. She thought they were Buddhist monks and was impressed by them, although she didn’t know anything about them. The devotees told her things like, “Disciple means discipline” and “If you want fraternity and equality, join this movement!” Then it started to rain, so she cut short the conversation and left.
I felt awkward and miserable in the world, but my life changed completely once I saw the devotees chanting in the street, and I started practicing yoga and meditation and became interested in India. I felt reconnected with my soul and moved from curious to inquisitive. I also visited Buddhist centers to find the devotees again, but never experienced at those centers the same mood the devotees had. Everything felt dead in those places. I was looking for spiritual shelter. At a place called the American Center, some weird people gave me pieces of apple and a stick of incense, but I couldn’t relate to them. I joined the Transcendental Meditation TM group under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, became vegetarian, and read Bhagavad-gita. I found that even though I couldn’t understand the Gita, I loved it. Finally, a few years later, when I was at teacher training college, a friend took me to the Paris Hare Krishna temple on Rue Le Sueur.
I was 18 in 1976 and was climbing the temple stairs when I saw a large photo of Prabhupada. He looked at me through that picture. I recognized him and immediately offered obeisances. I felt he was my authority and could speak to my heart. I stayed overnight in the temple library and started reading “Questions of the Sages” from the First Canto of the Bhagavatam. I read all night, and at 3 a.m. I found myself in the shower and then at mangala-arati. Locanananda sang and I cried. I felt, “Now I’m secure; this environment is good for me.” I was where I should be and felt sheltered.
My service was to clean the bathrooms, toilets, stairs, and entryway, and when I had free moments I’d sit by Prabhupada’s vyasasana and sing the mahā-mantra. I was initiated by Prabhupada in 1977. He gave me the name Krishna Kirtana, and I felt, “O Prabhupada, you could hear me singing for you and that’s why you’ve given me this name.”
Then I started distributing Prabhupada’s books. Those books were my life and, although book distribution was intense and austere, I was inspired to know that book distribution pleased him. My whole devotional life was served in separation from Prabhupada – studying his books, preaching from his books, and traveling to distribute his books.
After Prabhupada left us, I went on with my service and knew Prabhupada was still here. Each time I had a problem, I shared it with Prabhupada and he encouraged me. Each time it got too difficult, Prabhupada made arrangements so I could continue. Prabhupada took care of me, and for this I am eternally grateful. In the Christian religion I was preparing to go to the heavenly planets, but Prabhupada hijacked my trip and gave me the great treasure of transcendental knowledge through his books, his strong disciples, his seva, Deity seva, and sankirtana. He transcendentalized my life. Now I’m safe. Whatever happens, if I just keep following his instructions, Prabhupada will be there for me. I don’t have to worry about anything. I can concentrate on sharing Krishna consciousness with others and Prabhupada will take care of the rest.
Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!

Govardhan Puja 2016 at ISKCON Ujjain (Album with photos) Srila…

Govardhan Puja 2016 at ISKCON Ujjain (Album with photos)
Srila Prabhupada: The Supreme Lord, Krsna, He’s maintaining everyone: yoga-ksemam vahamy aham [Bg. 9.22]. And He’ll not maintain a person who has fully surrendered to Him? No. How it can be. Suppose a gentleman is maintaining so many other children. And he does not maintain his own children? Surely he does. Therefore our principle should be we should not think about our personal maintenance. We should dedicate our life for Krsna, and Krsna will take care. That should be the principle. Don’t be harassed, thinking always “How I shall be maintained?” That is not the problem. Maintenance is no problem. Real problem is “How we shall be fully surrendered to Krsna?” That is wanted. >>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.2.5 – New York, March 5, 1975
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A Unique Experience in Sri Dham Mayapur! I am Kruti Beesam. I…

A Unique Experience in Sri Dham Mayapur!
I am Kruti Beesam. I work as a proofreader for a reputed software firm company in Hyderabad. I have Cerebral Palsy, which confines me to a wheelchair and makes me dependent on physical assistance even for my basic day-to-day needs. At the age of 13 years my disability gave me an opportunity to meet Dr. Laxma Reddy, a physio at a clinic in Hyderabad. Later, due to my condition, he agreed to pay home visits.
Dr Laxma was a simple person who knew his job well and was very friendly with his patients. With his help, my condition improved to an extent. With time, I started observing some changes in Dr Reddy. He started speaking more and more about God. To him, Krishna is the only God. One day, he came in saffron robes and told us that he had joined the Hare Krishna movement and left physiotherapy for good.
I could not understand how a person could leave everything behind and simply live to serve God. I had only seen that in movies. Dr Laxma was now Rama Lakshman das.
He shifted to a place called Mayapur in West Bengal, a holy place greatly revered by the followers of the Chaitanya tradition from which the modern Hare Krishna movement originated.
Rama Lakshman Prabhu now visited us whenever he came to our city and helped us to understand a little bit about the Bhagavad-Gita. My confusion about his decision slowly turned to admiration, and I found myself wanting to lead a life similar to that which he had opted for.
My limitations don’t allow me to do everything that I’d like to but I hope I will be able to do so someday.
In school, I dreaded maths. My mom tried various methods to improve my performance in the subject. Rama Lakshman Prabhu promised that he would take me to Mayapur if I passed the exam with a good score.
The promise of such an incentive motivated me to put all my efforts into the upcoming exam.
To my great delight, I passed! My family and I consider it nothing less than a miracle that I got through the exam. He saved me from failing into arrears that could have brought my confidence down.
But due to the difficulties associated with travelling and various other reasons, we didn’t get a chance to visit any place for years.
Eight years later, when we finally got an opportunity to go to Mayapur, I had an overwhelming experience. It is a beautiful place where the purity of nature is well-preserved. It was as if I was reading a beautiful description in a book or watching a good movie –the greenery, the cows, and the simplicity of the place are things that we cannot find in the din and bustle of cities like Hyderabad.
In Mayapur, I witnessed the perfect implementation of the concept of simple living and high thinking. We stayed there only for three days but had the opportunity to participate in the karthika festival, which was so wonderful that it was nothing like anything I had ever seen.When I saw the Deities in the temple for the first time, I had tears in my eyes. I wondered if I was the only one in that state of mind. Later, I was told that a friend who had accompanied us also had the same experience. She said that it was as if the Lord had appeared there just to allow us to have a glimpse of Him. I used to think that this is an experience of people who completely dedicate their lives to Krishna; but I after the tear-inducing profound experience my friend and I have had, I think that any devotee who sees the Lord with a pure heart also experiences similar feelings.
I had already started feeling the magic of Mayapur. I saw that people from different faiths had come together to celebrate Krishna. It is amazing to see how Sri Sri Radha Madhava attracts and inspires people from every part of the world to come to Mayapur and take shelter at Their lotus feet. Two pious souls who have been so attracted are Indulekha mataji and Vishnurata prabhu. They are from Russia and Indonesia respectively and are now living in Sridham Mayapur. Along with Rama Lakshman prabhu, they took us around to many places and narrated pastimes of the Lord associated with each place. Among other places, I also had the opportunity to visit and offer my prayers to the holy Ganges. It is said that the river washes away all our sins. I felt the purity of the river when I went there. I had only seen the Ganges on TV. I never thought that I would be touching the holy water. This has been possible because of all the people who came with me. I thank all of them from the bottom of my heart. As a part of preserving and promoting Indian culture, both Vishnurata prabhu and Indulekha mataji were dressed traditionally. And they willingly performed the rituals of the traditional Hindu society. For instance, Indulekha mataji insisted on serving us all lunch before sitting down herself to eat. None of them would eat without making an offering to the Lord first. It was strange to see people from different corners of the world reminding us of the customs and traditions that we have forgotten.
I also met Chaitanya, who was also a devotee of the Lord like so many others in Mayapur. But there’s something special about him. What makes him special is his enthusiasm to celebrate life despite his disability. His unshakable faith in Krishna surprised me. As we spoke, he motivated me to chant more rounds of the Hare Krishna maha mantra and gave me a couple of books that can further inspire me. It was amazing to realize the fact that God has blessed these people by allowing them to live in Mayapur and offer their services to Him. It felt like I was in a different world altogether. Neither the travel fatigue nor the humid weather could affect me while I meditated on the Lord in that beautiful heaven called Sri Dham Mayapur. I hope I get another chance to have that experience of beauty.
Hare Krishna!

New Vrindaban 24 Hour Kirtan (Kartik 2016) (Album with 113…

New Vrindaban 24 Hour Kirtan (Kartik 2016) (Album with 113 photos)
Srila Prabhupada: …transcendental pleasure means feeling of pleasure through Krsna. Just like the gopis and Krsna. Gopis, when they saw Krsna is pleased, they became happy, and Krsna, when He saw that the gopis are happy, He become happier. Again the gopis sees that Krsna is happier, they, again they become more happy. In this way, there is competition of happiness. The gopis sees Krsna happier; they feel happiness, and Krsna sees gopis happier; Krsna feels happiness. This word is described in the Caitanya-caritamrta: dui lagi hura huri. This is spiritual competition. >>> Ref. VedaBase => The Nectar of Devotion – Vrndavana, November 3, 1972
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