My question to all group members is how did you first learn of Krishna consciousness? What is your personal story line in becoming a devotee? What inner spiritual, philosophical leanings or yearnings first prompted you to take to the path of Bhakti Yoga and devotional service?
Where do you feel that you are in your journey today? Have you held onto you original inspiration?
Are you where you would like to be?
What and how do you feel Krishna truly wants you to serve Him?
I am new here
I have known about Iskon for a great many years growing up around Northren california. It was not until 1999 I meet a Devotee Distributing books bought a few and a Gita picked up a few more Krishna just Resonates with me more then anything i have read and i have read and studied many paths .Krishna consciousness just fits I now live though far from any temple never had to privalage to visit one. I just Chant and am Happy I read the gita and am happy I read books of His devine Grace and am Happy . I will keep on doing these things even if i still never get to a Temple meet other Devotees . so far Krishna has shown me things that my up bring never did
I remember i would stare into the ocean for hours.. sometimes if i stared too long it almost felt like i got baptised.
i felt like it would wash away my sins or something - it reminded me how small i am. i felt like i was in a trance, the view was so beautiful, it was the first time i thought of god.
Being raised in a traditional Hindu family, I had the opportunity to hear about the past times of Sri Krishna through my grand parents mostly when they used to read Srimad Bhagavatam at home. That was during my childhood, and the temple visits which was routine in Kerala (SouthIndia) house holds kept the religion in me alive. I still believe blessings from the elders and the prayers during the temple visits granted a chance to me by the Lord though the introduction to Krishna Consciousness (KC). Prior to KC I have heard lectures by travelling sannyasis in South India which sounded like dry philosophy to me.
One fine evening during 1981, Onam celebration (festival of Kerala) I saw a big crowd and heard some nice drum beats in a prominent street of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum). I was attracted to that in the first instance, saw the saffron clad youngsters with a few foreigners with sikha. That was a big surprise as I had never heard of such a movement. This was quite a long time ago and ISKCON had not come to Kerala. Me and my friend (later got initiated as SriKrishna Chaitanya Das) walked along with the devotees for a while and enjoyed the kirtan. The following week, we met them again in a book table and the devotee invited us to the local temple which was opened on a rented property. The visit was on a sunday and we attended the programme with all enthusiasm. The following week was Sri Krishna Janmashtami and we were invited to the function by Sriman Gouranga Das(western devotee) who was the temple president. There was also Sriman Acharya Das (Mayapur) who was a wonderful devotee. We assisted the kitchen for prasadam and heard the class. We decided to attend every sunday program and couple of years passed as we were in college and had to visit the temple whenever sunday comes up. The biggest change which happened to me then was that I became the first vegetarian in my household. I used to take up part time service like book table, arranging local programs, childrens/youth festivals etc. which gave me a lot of association and bliss with Srila Prabhupada through his books and devotees. In all these years only once I made an attempt to apply for initiation and it didnt go through since I wasnt prepared. During those years ISKCON was going through turbulent times and it affected the local management too!
This post is getting too long and boring, I'll take a short cut here. I chose to be a plain clothes devotee mainly because I am not fully prepared to keep all the vows. I remain so and take the opportunity to meet people in daily life to talk to people about KC whenever I can, and they don't have expectations of me like a full time devotee. This has helped meet people and be with them to speak about KC without a religious garb. My introduction to Srila Prabhupada's books at an early age of 16 has made me strong to hold on to this as Sanathana Dharma. I never took the instructions fanatically and therefore keep it as a life style. Married and having a son who is 11years old. Wife and son are also devotees by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's blessings. Have been in association of HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaj. Also fortunate to be associated with Sriman Atmatattva Prabhu and Malini Mataji as our Siksha Gurus.
I appreciate your honest answers. It seems to me that that is what is needed above all else, really. To honestly assess where you are in your Self Realization and spiritual development. We can only truly be who and what we are in this given moment. Ascending to certain truths is all well and good, but we all know where we are and where we fall short, and that's alright. This journey takes many lifetimes. We simply should just love Krishna, serve Krishna, remember Krishna, chant the Maha mantra, Love others, be compassionate towards others. Try to spread Krishna consciousness as much as it is within us, and let go and let God.
I truly thank you for your candor Prabhuji,
Sincerely, Sriman John Hari Bol!
Hi Prabhu Rashi,
We are where we are, and it's totally perfect to be who and what you are in this given moment. Krishna Consciousness is a joyful thing, not a drag. All that we have to do is to eat Prasadam, sing lovely songs to Krishna and Radhe, listen to what the Guru has to say. Try to learn and understand as much as is within us to. Love God and love each other. Have compassion, patience, be forgiving and open hearted. Everything comes in time. When I say time, I mean our entire life. Krishna will never abandon us or forsake us. He is our best friend and well wisher. So my only advice is to simply enjoy your walk with God and don't sweat or fret over anything.
Hari Bol, Ki Jai!
Your absolutely right, Manoj. It is prasadam and Srila Prabhupada's books that works the miracles. It's what did it for me. As for my traveling to Mayapour and or Vrindavana. No, I physically have never been to either place. However, spiritually, that's another story completely. ;) Let's just say that I've been around the block. lol Thank you Prabhu. Ki Jai!