22          Service to Krsna is Reality

Service to Krsna is Reality
An interview with Pankajanghri Prabhu

Could you please tell us how you joined ISKCON?

In  1967  Jananivasa  and  I  came  to  India together,  searching  for  truth .  We  travelled all  around  India  for  3  years,  and  I  had  2  gurus  before  meeting  the  devotees,  although they  were  Mäyävädé  gurus.  [Pankajanghri Prabhu  chuckles]  Jananivasa  had  a  couple of  paper  Bhagavad-gétäs,  however  they were  not  Prabhupäda’s  Bhagavad-gétä .  At that  time  we  knew  just  a  little  about  the Hare  Kåñëas  from  the  record,  we  had  once seen  devotees  in  a  night  club  performing, but  at  that  time  we  didn’t  know  anything about ISKCON .
Then  in  the  beginning  of  1970,  Jananivasa  went  to  Jagannätha  Puré  during the  Ratha-yäträ  festival .  There  he  met  some  devotees,  so  he  stopped  and  asked them  what  they  were  doing,  “Why  are  you  chanting  Kåñëa’s  Name,  and  not Brahmä, Viñëu, Çiva (the Hindi trinity)?”
The  devotees  said,  “Because  Kåñëa  is  the  Supreme  Personality  of  Godhead .” Nobody had ever said who God was before, although we had met so many sädhus . The  devotees  at  that  time  didn’t  have  any  literature,  so  they  said,  “If  you  come to our temple in Kolkata, you can get some .”
So then he went to the Kolkata temple to get some of Prabhupäda’s Gétäs . Every- thing  immediately  made  sense,  and  Jananivasa  never  came  out  of  the  temple after that .  He went in there to buy some books and he never came out .
He  has  never  left  India  since  that  time,  since  1970 .  In  those  days  you  didn’t require  a  visa  for  India  if  you  had  a  Commonwealth  passport .  In  the  meantime  they’ve  changed  the  laws,  but  they  made  an  exception  for  him  until  now, but  now  they  say,  “No,  no .  You  need  visa” .  So  this  is  the  first  time  he’s  been out of India since 1970 .
After  he  went  to  buy  books  in  the  Kolkata  temple,  I  was  waiting  for  him  in Benares,  and  when  he  came  to  meet  me  there,  he  was  already  shaved  up  as  a devotee .  So,  I  came  to  see  him  here  in  Mäyäpur  again  in  March  ‘72 .  I  went  to Kolkata,  but  he  was  already  in  Mäyäpur .  Within  a  few  months  he  had  moved down  to  Mäyäpur .  I  guess,  it  must  have  been  at  the  end  of  ‘71,  because  I  came in March ‘72, and he was already here.

Read more: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=95138

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