I was recently looking at new property for our ladies’ ashram in Wellington. We moved out of a large house and needed to store our things before moving into our next location, so we needed a storage facility fast!

That’s when I was introduced to an Indian man named Raj. Gokula-lila recounted how Raj had spent some time at The Loft in Auckland around 2010. His brother and father also often spend time at the The Loft and Bhakti Lounge in Wellington.

Owing to the encouragement and persistence of Madhava Mohini, Raj let us use one of his storage spaces for free, which turned out to be exceedingly helpful and perfect timing.

On my second meeting with Raj, he showed me the storage space. I felt a bit awkward as I didn’t know him very well. As we finished viewing the storage space, he offered to drive me back to Bhakti Lounge, as it would have been a long walk in the cold Wellington wind. I noticed he had a baby seat in the back of his car so I asked him about his children. He explained to me that
he has two sons, one named Bharat and a baby named Vardon. He told me how much he loved Krishna and how his whole family grew up in a small village, but how later they all left to become entrepreneurs. He kept saying that the Bhakti Lounge devotees were like an extension of his family.

A week after we stored our things, we invited Raj for dinner at Bhakti Lounge to thank him for the service he was doing for us. He talked a lot, but it was mostly about Krishna and his experiences in childhood and adult life in relation to Krishna. He kept saying “I’m blessed. We are so blessed.”

Near the end of dinner, Krishnaloka started talking to Raj about Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.3 and the purport while Raj listened attentively. When he was about to leave, he went over to the bookshelf where we display Srila Prabhupada’s books. Krishnaloka followed him and asked if he liked to read, and he said that he reads a lot. She showed him the Srimad Bhagavatam along with the verse she had told him about and some other verses from the same chapter. He eagerly agreed to a take a set, and we asked whether he would like us to install it at his house along with prasada and kirtan. He was super keen, and we made the date for the 27th of April.

A small group of devotees, including Mandraghosh Prabhu, Balarama Acarya Prabhu, Madhava Mohini Mataji, Krishnaloka Mataji, and me, arrived at his house around 5 p.m. with prasada, a Srimad Bhagavatam set, kirtan instruments, and an arati tray. He lives on the waterfront along the side of a steep hill, so he had a lift to avoid the strenuous climb up the stairs to his house. As we were piling into the lift, everyone was jolly including Raj.

When we entered the house, Renna, Raj’s wife, welcomed us by offering a small ghee lamp to each of us – first time we ever experienced that! We met his two boys: Bharat who is 13, quite shy, and uninterested (at the beginning); and a ten-month-old baby Vardon, the little “gift of God”, who was crawling on the floor.

Balarama Acarya started a kirtan and Krishnaloka Mataji set up the arati tray. We had a nectar kirtan as Krishnaloka offered arati to the literary incarnation of the Lord. After the arati, she gave a short talk explaining the glories of Srimad Bhagavatam. The whole family was completely captured. Surprisingly, Bharata and even little Vardon sat absorbed, hearing about Srimad Bhagavatam.

We finished the evening with prasada and Krishna-katha. Everyone, both our devotees and the family, were so happy and enlivened. It was hard to leave our new dear friends. Raj was excited to start reading the Bhagavatam that very night. Raj told us that Bharat usually would disappear when visitors came, but that he really liked us. Bharat even walked us out to the gate
when we left.

Raj attended our Soul Feast program on Sunday, and as I sat with him over dinner he told me that he is already 150 pages into the First Canto and that he reads at least 5 pages before he goes to work in the morning and before taking rest at night. He also mentioned that the prasada we left for them lasted for 3 days. Bharat had it for breakfast everyday.

A picture is attached.

Your servant,
Madhupana-lila Devi Dasi

Source: https://www.iskconbookdistribution.com/rajs-timely-help-and-interest-in-the-bhagavatam/

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