After 8 years of being in the Hare Krishna movement I recently got initiated and it was a day I will never forget. Looking back in time, Krishna Consciousness was something quite intriguing to me, something I wanted to explore. Gradually that interest grew and I developed a taste, then strong attachment before obtaining a clear inner conviction that this was the path I would like to follow for the rest of my life.
For everyone who becomes a Krishna devotee, Prabhupada is the one who takes them to and leads them through the wonderful world of Krishna consciousness. With his books, lectures, talks and personal example he shows us how to live our lives in higher consciousness.
I still remember clearly the moment when Prabhupada got me on his side. I used to have a roommate who became a devotee at the time. I did not take her too seriously, thinking she was too strange. After a long time of paying her very little attention, about 2 years, I finally started asking her questions. It was a time of a lot of confusion in my life and I needed someone to tell me “Why” things were happening the way they were. I remember she gave me satisfying answers to all of my questions. Everything she said made complete sense. Then I asked her for a book to read. She offered me one but I struggled reading it. The concept of Krishna being the Absolute God, the One I knew from the Bible, was too foreign to me.
I picked another book. It was “Prabhupada. Your Ever Well-Wisher”. This was the moment when I met Srila Prabhupada for the first time. I started reading his story and what struck me at first was his sincerity. He genuinely wanted to save us, save all humanity. His devotion to Krishna was mind-blowing. The sacrifices he made to fulfil the higher cause he believed in, made my own problems and desires seem insignificant. I remember my consciousness was slowly shifting while I was reading the book. I started trusting this elderly man from India.
There was something else that was incredibly touching about Srila Prabhupada – his humanity. He always tried to give people higher knowledge and understanding… He was a loving father to his disciples, guiding them on the right path to Krishna. He would teach them and advise them wisely, make them proud of the way they dealt with difficult situations, or show them compassion when they needed it.
The stories of his pastimes in America were enchanting. I’ve always been fascinated by America in the 1960s, the incredible movements that started there, the culture and the fashion too… I remember reading about an incident where a man tried to challenge Prabhupada’s authority and asked him to do perform some miracles to prove he was a real guru. Prabhupada listed the achievements he had made in only 10 years – the temples, the books and the thousands of disciples and then he asked the man: Isn’t this a miracle? This made a strong impression in my mind – this guru wasn’t a stereotypical spiritualist sitting under a tree and meditating (that was my concept of a guru at the time), but a man of action and practical results. He built a legacy that would live for many years ahead. Srila Prabhupada used his spiritual potency not to seek some personal benefit but to build a movement that will truly save humanity.
By the end of the book, I had no doubts that Srila Prabhupada was someone worth following and since then it’s been an amazing journey.
Yadavi devi dasi