Name / Initiated name
Daily number of rounds of Hare Krishna mahamantra.
at least 16
When, where and how did you come into contact with the Hare Krishna Movement?
my grandma was quite mad about Krishna - she never spoke about anything else, so far as I remember!!
(When I first met her [Penang 1970] I was 5, and she showed me her Krsna deity - "This is Krishna, He is God. So you bow down at His lotus feet." <- End of lecture!)
(When I was10, she stayed a few days with us (S'pore). She spent at least 30mins2teach me2recite 'om namo bhagavate vaasudevaaya' - something I used2do off & on subsequently...)
Then when I was in college (S'pore '83) she gave us our first transcendental book - it was Srila Prabhupada's Krsna Book, the2vol ed. in a blue box - she'd bought a carton foll of these books to distribute! No one at home ever read the books.. they just lay in my parents room....
A few years later disciples of SP set up a preaching centre on the same street where we live! My parents met them and took up krsna consciousness very spontaneously. But I avoided it... never once stepped in to that centre!!
5 years later ('88), when I was a university student in London, by my dad's insistence and forcing [he used to call me every day and beg me to read it!!!!!], I read the Bhagavad Gita As It Is and my heart changed after reading just one page, my entire life changed! That was on 11th Feb 1988, in London... This was quite amazing, esp. considering that I was reading it under great duress.. ha ha ha! Actually my flat-mates, other boys from Singapore, began to call me 'Baby' because my father was calling me every day!!! So just to get him off my case and to get my friends to stop teasing me (something which i simply could not tolerate) I promised my father, 'i'll read for 30 mins every night if you promise to STOP CALLING ME and harassing me every day.' He agreed to the deal, then he said, "And will you go to the hare krsna temple this sunday?" but i snapped, 'Now don't ask for too much' and i hung up the telephone!!!
And a few hrs later, keeping my promise to read for 30 mins before sleeping, there i was, reading the Gita, expecting it 2b a most boring and irrelevant book... yet the first line i read (16:1) captured my heart.... every word i read i could feel it resounding in my heart... and i just could not put down the book... i kept flipping from one part to another, but everywhere, every line was beautiful truth - logical, scientific, devoted yet never fanatic nor condemning.... I had to force myself to stop reading it at about 2 or 3 am!!
Immediately i started chanting the mahamantra....everyday, while cycling, while studying, while walking, even while hearing my lectures in college, and boy o boy did my life begin to change!! So that's the story of how this fallen wretch came in contact with Srila Prabhupada's movement - by the mercy of my grand ma and my father! -------------- (actually, remembering grandma... when i was 18, she once told me, 'When you grow up you have to teach the Bhagavad Gita all over the world.'
And i looked at her like she was crazy! I had never ever seen the book - only heard of it once from one of my school friends, but had no inclination to read it... She then said, 'All my children are in maya. I have been praying2Krishna for 40 years that 1 of them should preach His message for everyone's benefit, but now i think 1 of my grandchildren will do it, & i think it will be you.' Strangely, I forgot this completely... & it was only a year or two after i made the decision, with my parents' blessings, to become a full time devotee, that the memory of that conversation suddenly came back to me - I was reading in the Gita or Bhagavatam how we can only come to the path of Krsna Consciousness by the grace of a devotee, no other way.. so i started thinking back... & all those events with my grandma described above came back one by one..... so i quickly packed my bags&rushed to malaysia 2c her.... I found her home & was surprised2see she had taken sannyas (she was a disciple of Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh fame). I bowed at her feet, & she aske.. no more typing space!!)
Name the nearest or most frequently Visited ISKCON temple/ centre and name few of the devotees whom you know.
devotees in singapore, malaysia, manipur, bhubaneswar, auckland, brisbane
Please describe yourself so that other like minded devotees can find you.
humble dog of srila gurudev HH Srila Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Swami Sripad Maharaj (a.k.a. Dr T D Singh), trying to be of any little service to him and his mission. I have interest in BI work, singing gita slokas (see www.gitajayanti.org), university preaching, and conducting short courses on krsna conscious aspects of personality development (eg. anger management www.fb.com/angermgt conflict resolution www.fb.com/isitmutual)
What are your expectations from this community?
If this site can help us strengthen Srila Prabhupada's family through spiritual friendship and networking for preaching endeavours, sharing resources etc.
Describe any specific service you would love to offer to Lord Krishna & His devotees?
I love sharing my discoveries in Sanskrit pronunciation with devotees - it's a short 2hrs x 4 lessons course - i just did one for devotees in Iskcon Brisbane and it was well received. I also have a special interest in trying to improve japa, and i'd like to share the resources at my site www.mangalarati.welcome.to with devotees, if it may help them or enthuse them in their practice of krsna consciousness, especially if they are home-based devotees. Here's another thing - pls see the video on this page of mine - this project has taken off in a wonderful way and hundreds of homes in Auckland NZ and Brisbane Aust now have Happy Dolls installed!! website www.bit.ly/HAPPYDOLLS [UPPERcase please] Hare Krishna!