The following article was written by my wife Shefali Jandial in June,2013 which talks about her experience of Krishna Consciousness through Kirtan/Kirtan Mela and an incident which strengthened her faith in Krishna. She recently left her body in an unfortunate accident.
Where is the joy?
Oh! Just around the corner.
I turn the corner-
Where is the joy?
Oh! Up there & yonder.
Closer I wander…
I hear Krishna’s heartbeat,
Radha Rani’s anklets
I hear vibrating mridangas
& tinkling kartalas
Oh yes! Now I find my joy!
Amongst the many gifts of marriage, Krishna Consciousness was perhaps the most important. However, when I peel the layers, I realize that I was welcomed into Krishna consciousness only by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada. I would cry out to him whenever I was in distress- I still do! And every time I felt peaceful. I would somehow recognize the insignificance of whatever I was going through & feel, if not joyful, as if a great weight had been lifted.
Last year (2012), I had accompanied my husband to Germany. This was where I first felt the bliss of attending some vibrant kirtans. I loved listening to European/American trance/electronic music since childhood. The Kirtan Mela 2012 in Germany, came as a delightful burst of rhapsody for me. For the first time in my life now, whenever I thumbed through my cell phone to listen to some music, it would automatically be a kirtan I had recorded! The kind of music I listened to earlier just didn’t seem as interesting. HH Kadamba Kanana Swami & his ability to transform the kirtan into a kaleidoscope of melodies had me awestruck. I was so enamored by this world of kirtans that I chose to attend five whole days of pure kirtan all alone. Another battle I won. As a child in India, I was always the protected younger one. Being by myself scared me. Traveling alone was something I never had the courage to do.
However, the magnetic influence of the Kirtan Mela, helped me overcome one of my biggest fears- being all alone, in a country I had never stepped in before, without even knowing the local language. Krishna takes a hundred steps towards you, if you have the courage to take just one towards Him. This was something my husband used to say and I could actually feel the truth of the statement now.
It was during this Kirtan Mela that I experienced magical moments… I fondly recall one such moment. One day, I was making garlands for the Rath Yatra in Leipzig. My garland looked very simple. I yearned for a purple flower that a devotee was expertly threading into her beautiful garland. The next day, the Rath Yatra started and the majestic cart was being pulled onto the streets of Leipzig. The Pujari was throwing various hued flowers offered to Lord Jagannath from the cart, and to my surprise, the very Purple Flower I had wanted the other day, fell right on top of my head. I felt blessed!
This Purple Flower gave me a glimpse into the joyful feeling that I wasn’t alone. And, even today I relish this precious feeling. I pray that Krsna protects my remembrance of this Purple Flower forever.
Author : Shefali Jandial (Sep-1984 ~ Feb-2019)