Please accept my humble obeisances.
It is stated that one gets service due to causeless mercy of the devotees. In my case, I think this is so apt, with no qualification and struggling with Maya everyday, for me it was a divine intervention when HH Janananda Maharaj and HG Bhurijana Prabhu and HG Jaggitarini Mataji came to our house and gave their sublime association.
HH Janananda Maharaj – I have been serving Maharaj for past few years but he could not come last year and I missed him so much. Finally, he told me he shall come twice – Feb 26th and March 17th-19th and I was over the moon. On Feb 26th, he just had prasadam at our place and then we left for Vrindavan. During the journey, Maharaj read Srimad Bhagwatam on his kindle, did kirtan and discussed about welfare of Gurgaon devotees. When we reached Vrindavan, he did prostrated Dandavats to Dham and the moment he entered Goshala at 9:30pm, he was so happy to see all the cows. He was literally dancing. Then he slowly approached his room, strangely everybody came to know Maharaj has come and suddenly everybody started doing Kirtan and welcomed Maharaj with garlands and flowers strewn his walking path. As Maharaj settled down, he called me and asked, “How do you think it went today”…Like a jabberman, I started thanking him for giving me an opportunity to serve him and giving his association. He just ignored and said with a serious face “what we saw outside was pure love”. They need not have come out of their room at 10pm. But as soon as I walked towards my room, they heard my footsteps and started doing kirtan. Gopis had natural attraction for the Lord. They just knew he is there and they would start dancing. These devotees are pure, their heart is pure. They have real attachment to Krishna. I am not Gopi, just Prabhupad’s menial servant…Prabhupad is Pure and they are all genuinely attached; If they can recognize Prabhupad servant, they have real attachment with Prabhupad too. Then he said, “Shyam Sunder Prabhu, this should be our bhava in Love. Guru just teaches. The devotee heart should just be filled with joy and start serving and dancing when he sees his master or supreme lord. This feeling should be resident naturally, no effort and this comes with developing attachment to Krishna. So you must try doing this…” Its amazing how Maharaj picks pearls from small incidents and bring that into realizations. I drove back home, complete in awe and reverence of Maharaj.
Then Maharaj came on 17th March. It was wonderful. We served Maharaj with all enthusiasm. After Maharaj finished his prasadam, we sat down for Prasadam. Then Maharaj came and started reading Krishna Book loudly. Just for our sake, Maharaj started explaining the meanings to my kids. At times he would ask me to explain kids and then he would further explain it. I felt so guilty. I should have been the one reading for him when he was having Prasadam however I ended up taking service from Maharaj. He is like an epitomy of compassion and mercy. Once we finished prasadam, I begged at his lotus feet and thanked him for mercy. However, he asked me to sit and said, “Krishna asks us to surrender and be attached to him. You should think of Krishna all the time – eating, drinking talking etc. It is very good for kids if you discuss Krishna at lunch/dinner table. That’s your dharma of father as well as way to satisfy your own desire to be attached to Krishna”. This is the way Maharaj taught me how to spend time with kids and I have never seen anyone with so much love and compassion.
Maharaj gave a wonderful lecture on “Prabhupad – our founder acharya” the next day at Dwarka Temple, leaving all devotees spell-bound with his wits. He left for Australia on 19th March however we really miss him – his association and unique way of teaching us. All Glories to HH Janananda Maharaj. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.
HG Bhurijana Prabhu and HG Jaggitarini Mataji – I had been wanting to serve Prabhuji and Mataji for past 3 yrs however every attempt I made at Vrindavan failed. This time I prayed humbly to Gaur Nitai and wrote them an email (Ajay Pr gave me his email id). In few days, I received his email confirming Mataji shall come on 6th March and he shall come on 9th March. Instead of being happy, I panicked as my kids exams were finishing on 15th March and thought my wife Shilpi may not agree. However, when I requested, she readily agreed and said, “How can kids exams be more important than Mahabhagvat. I will manage kids and prasadam and you serve them. You had been wanting to serve him for so long, we cant let this opportunity slip else you will be disheartened” I was so relieved and a bit surprised at her unusual response. First Mataji arrived on 6th March. After taking rest and doing her morning sadhana (She would listen to Srila Prabhupad lectures everyday…this was wonderful), she was out and went straight to kitchen. She spoke to Shilpi at length as if Mother instructing her daughter. She advised how kids should be exposed to Krishna Consciousness (bring books they can understand, hold class once a week at home that myself or Shilpi should discuss that they can understand. Just instill Krishna is Supreme and our duty is to obey his instructions. He is the father; just like I am your father and you need to listen to me; similarly, Krishna is foremost father as he is the one who has created whole universe. On 8th March evening, she caught me scolding my kids. Mataji called me and said, “scolding helps, but why are you getting angry? You are scolding for their good but if anger starts seeping you; it would hardly help your kids, rather harm you. They will end up only being scared of you, not correcting themselves. And if you teach them Krishna Consciousness they would wonder how can one preach and not follow about controlling the anger.” Then came Golden words: “Give your kids what is best for them; but also at times give them what they want. Let them compare. Don’t worry even if they choose the wrong option. They will come around. Don’t be worried that they didn’t choose the option you think its best for them. Its not about you…You…what YOU think…its about what THEY chose. Make them learn the art of discrimination, make them analytical to think whats good for them…and then pray to Lord. Mothers can only pray for their children well-being; You make all efforts and then pray and leave it to HIM.”
Giving such exhaustive guidance to a person whom she has never met before really speaks highly of her – how merciful and compassionate she is. Then came 9th March. Prabhuji was supposed to come by 12pm. It was 3pm but we kept waiting. Mataji didn’t have anything since morning as she wanted to have with Prabhuji. She was busy arranging everything to ensure Prabhuji feels comfortable and satisfied. She was literally running around to ensure everything is perfect. When my wife looked at her surprisingly, Mataji answered, “Prabhuji in the house is a master, In today’s world, Matajis are trying to become master and prabhujis go round and round. However, vedic system is clear. Matajis should only serve prabhuji to his satisfaction and Prabhujis should serve the lord and give opportunity to matajis to serve him. “
Finally, Prabhuji arrived at 4:30pm. It was like a feast. He got prasadam for everyone and was particularly compassionate towards kids. He then stated he is a teacher so he must ask queries from kids. He did 15mins of interaction with them and my son fell in love with him. After having his prasadam, he then sat down and asked us if there is any query. I started with a statement, “Maharaj, there is a stupid question….” He stopped me there. He said, “If its stupid, why are you asking me ? Do you think I am stupid and answer your stupid queries.” I was taken aback. Seeing my expressions probably, he said, “If I really think it was a stupid question, I would have never asked and made a fool out of myself as nobody likes to make fool of themselves but devotees still do it because its their way of expressing false humility. And in extreme situation if you really and genuinely think it’s a stupid question, pls ask your devotee friends who should be able to answer them. If you think Krishna is supreme and spiritual masters – diksha or shiksha are his representatives, make them feel you respect them. Its not nice etiquette to ask them stupid queries.” I fell to his lotus feet asking for his forgiveness. He lovingly embraced me and said, “I am a teacher, its my duty to tell you whats right and wrong. I may be harsh but its for your good. I am not offended but I was concerned that you may offend someone and carry apradha”. It made me wonder where in this world would one get such compassionate souls who are so realized and think so far. He continued and gave 15mins lecture on importance of Srimad Bhagwatam and why one should read this important scripture. It was an amazing 15minute injection. He then looked around my house and saw photos of Krishna in each room. He asked me, “how many times do you see these photos in your room.” I answered may be once a day but go to altar thrice a day. He then beckoned me to sit,”Shyam Sunder, we keep photos to remind ourselves. Whenever you come to your room, you should always look at them as deities and understand its their room; its their home, not yours. It is to remind us the power and glory of the lord.” What a powerful learning! Next morning, I dropped Maharaj and Mataji to the airport as they were heading to mangalore for ayurvedic treatment. I was filled with heavy heart and immense gratitude. All Glories to HG Jaggitarini Mataji and HG Bhurijana Prabhu.
Without any doubt, I can say with confidence of all the years, this has been the best year of serving such senior bhagvats and getting such amazing realizations, learnings and mercy. I pray to Gaur Nitai that I get such nectar every year….
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada
All Glories to Sri Sri Gauranga!!
Very fallen servant,
Shyam Sunder Krishna Das