31 Dec 2013, Ujjain, 8.30pm.
As the year 2013 comes to an end at midnight tonight I look back at what all happened in my spiritual life.
1. In my wildest imagination I could not have dreamt that I will be at Ujjain on new year eve and attending a wonderful retreat by Guru Maharaj.
2. That I am in the association of devotees is the cherry on the cake. Of course in the company of Shyamal Prabhu, Atma Prabhu, Radhapad Prabhu I am like a crow staring at a group of swans. Still by some good fortune I am here in their midst.
3. Guru Maharaj showered his complete mercy by visiting our home so many times and ensuring that as a family we remain steadfast on way to start our devotional journey.
4. The trip to Surat with devotees was a wonderful experience for me. It was trailer of what are happy devotee families and what is preaching with passion and care.
5. I had one of the best Kartika months ever and never been in Dhama for so many days.
6. I somehow gathered courage and started a weekly Bhagavad Gita study group at my home. The suport l received from my family, my devotee friends and the local centre was very humbling experience for me.
7. This group gave me a focus and also meaning to my devotional life.
8. I realised that grow to in devotional life I need to cultivate relationships, a most difficult part for me.
9. I attended many seminars and each one enriched me.
10. I got some inclination on what is chanting and what is meant by devotional service.
11. The visit of HH Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj would remain a highlight for the whole life.
12. I got a little taste for hearing and could hear lectures daily.
13. I fell in love with HH Radha Govind Maharaj and could take his Darshan for the first time.
14. It seems somehow by Krishna’s mercy I am getting a taste and longing to remain in the association of devotees. It’s a different matter that except for few devotees like Sumeet Prabhu, Karuna Prabhu, most of them, rightly, stay away for me. A crow among swans.
15. My wife made a very nice altar and then very nice presence of Srila Prabhupada in our new home, Guru Maharaj named it Krishna Kunj.
16. I could somehow feel the presence of mercy in all aspects of my devotional life , be it from devotees, Srila Prabhupada, Guru Maharaj or Krishna. I could appreciate a little the word causeless mercy.
17. I started reading Chaitanaya Charitamrita and found its teachings most profound.
18. I got some faith in Gaur Nitai and the six Goswamis.
18. Guru Maharaj strong teachings have converted me to become a strong supporter of ISKCON and Srila Prabhupada.
19. Guru Maharaj taught about Yukta Vairagaya today morning and I hope to imbibe it inside me.
20. I feel more peaceful, contended and happy than at the start of the year.
21. I could carry the Deity of Srila Prabhupada to all the 6 Goswami temples of Vrindavan.
22. Went to Mayapur Dham for the first time after my initiation.
23. Got initiated by never ending causeless mercy of HG Rukmini Prabhuji and Guru Maharaj.
24. I found a wonderful and most merciful brother in Sumeet Prabhu, except for the wrong habit glorifying me for no purpose he is near perfect. He guides me affectionately like a younger brother and keep my enthusiasm running. Being myself a zero in both my material and spiritual journey I can’t reciprocate nor return his feelings and gestures. I can only pray to Krishna for his spiritual and material well being.
25. I never felt alone for a moment ; there were devotees who took pity on me , Guru Maharaj who showered his causeless mercy on me, Srila Prabhupada who listened to my prayers , developed relationship with Gaur Nitai and reciprocation of love happened with Sri Sri Radha and Shyamsunder
I am looking forward to the promise I made to a Devotee today to reach the temple before Mangal Arti tomorrow morning and chant our rounds early on the first day of the year.
As I sit alone in my room in the temple guest house, ready to sleep early, I have my bead bag next to me and only Krishna and His devotee in my thoughts. I have no interest in the celebrations going in the temple nor in my dinner, I only hope to chant at least one japa round with love for Krishna before I wake up next year.
I pray at the lotus feet of all the devotees to please bless me with their association in the coming year.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.