How I came to Krishna Consciousness
It was the early 'Eighties' and I was shoppin with a friend, we usually shopped every Saturday after the end of the working week then had a meal in the evening.
So here we where in the middle of Liverpool City Centre when a yound man in orange robes approached us he gave us a leaflet and invited us to a festival they where holding in the local theatre. I was not too keen on going to this featival that evening, but my friend was! So after much deliberation I was won over by my friend who said "If its really not our thing then we will just leave, its that simple."
We went that evening, I was so scared and nervous, I did not know what to expect! But I was to be pleasantly surprised indeed.
I/we had a fantastic evening of bhajan/kirtan and play and a brilliant lecture by H.H. Sivarama Swami, and at the end of the evening all the devotees were on the stage dancing and singing, and no one sat down!!! We were all up dancing and singing ecstatically!!! I purchased one book called, Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers a dialogue between Bob Cohen a peace corps worker and H. D. G. Srila Prabhupada, I read the book from cover to cover in 'one night!' That was it I wanted to find these devotees and meet this Prabhupada. I could not stop telling everyone about these wonderful people and their philosophy which was the key to allieviating all their sufferings. Friend thought I was nuts, but I did not care. I joined the local temple attending regularly. I met my future husband there and we served happily for many years. I did the Bhaktin course 'twice' because I simple loved it!
And the rest is history so to speak.
unless you were born in India....the only way you found out about the Hare Krsna Mantra (such an amazing thing that it is) is because Srila Prabhupada brought it here....gee, when i think of him traveling all that way to america....and he was an old man already....
....i love thinking of Him as a little boy pulling the Ratha Yatra Cart.... When I was a little girl around ten years old....I used to have a little wooden Jaganatha Diety...
But thanks to my Mata Ji.... I found out about Srila Prabhupadas message when i was even younger.
My Mom brought me to Los Angeles Temple when i was so little maybe five...Srila Prabhupada was there.... she said He was going to give his lecture and they said all the little kids had to go outside....My Mata said i was sound asleep in her lap ....so they let me stay..... and my subconsious really soaked in the love Prabhupada had for all....
and ...the coolest part is i got to give him a flower and get a cookie...and i actually do remember it....
krsna was always a part of our life as i grew up no meat fish or eggs but we went to public school and to the temple in pb on sundays....... there was a few incidents where karmis really took notice of the fact that we didnt eat meat. ... i dont know how many times in elementary school i was asked ....if you dont eat meat....what do you eat...i would always say...everything except meat...hee hee.........
anyway maybe i will fill in more details later...but ....when i was thirteen i had the great honor to be in gurukula.....for one whole year.....it was ....a landmark experience in my life. a grounding of my spiritual experience into something solid that no matter where i strayed ....the mantra was instantly on the tip of my tongue at any time....thus the alpha state so readily accessed the Holy vibration mine.....
when i was little we went to the pb temple and the temple president gave me a woodent statue of Krsna....i loved it so much and would read to it and everything....Krsna and I have been friends ever since.
does anyone have any uptma......i love the way they used to make that for us girls in the ashram....we used to clean the kitchen once a week ...we almost fell into the giant pots....and we also cleaned the chandeliers that are in the la temple ....we had to be high above the marble floors on scaffolding....gee that was cool...well glad to be here .....i need contact with other devotees but i dont have a car so this is my link to you all......Hare Bol...jai Sri Chaitanya........
i hope i meet some people here that i can relate to
My love for Sri Krishna grew from a seed planted over 11 years ago by a devotee who prayed with me in LAX. I was only 16 and was being rushed by my group to catch our flight. I did not really give it much thought. Fast forward 4 years. I heard My Sweet Lord and fell in love with the only part I couldn't understand. I listened to it hundreds of times in a matter of days. After searching on the internet for the lyrics and then the meaning of the lyrics, I stumbled across an image of the Lord and I instantly felt whole. I did not realize how broken I was until that moment. I listened to more music and looked at more pictures. A few months later I was perusing the clearance shelves of the bookstore. I found a copy of the Bhagavad-Gita and said "That's HIM!" I carried that book with me everywhere. I stopped eating meat. About six months after that, I was picking my son up from day care. It was naptime and the care giver had quiet music playing in the background. As I was gathering his things I heard, "Hare Krishna". I thought to myself, "There HE is again!" I asked her so many questions. I was so happy to find a real person that I could converse with about my experiences. She got me connected with the temple (which was literally 3 straight miles from my house) and wonderful people who helped me learn.
I truly can't remember why I stopped going to temple. It was one excuse after another. I kept everything I had safely up so it could not be harmed.
Two nights ago I had a frightening dream that I was a small boy and I was being sacrificed to a beast. I broke away and hid. While I was hiding I heard screaming and then everything fell silent. I had my eyes closed out of fear, but I felt someone pick me up and carry me away. When I opened my eyes I saw it was HIM!!!
I awoke deeply in love.
How is it viewed? There are questions, but the words do not seem to formulate. I feel that I am coming closer and closer to a place I've known before. Dreams from years ago are becoming realities. I like to think of this journey as a boat or canoe ride on a river. There are times when the water level drops and for that period of time I have come to rest at particular points which I see as villages. Having brought with me gifts from previous villages. There is a sharing and an excange of gifts. Then the rains come and the canoe is floating again.
There was a time when almost each day was spent praying at a place called Cedar Butte. It was during that time that my grandfather's ceremonial pipe came to me. A sarong had been gifted to me also during that time. My days on Cedar Butte was a learning time, well, a portion of a learning time, the learning hasn't stopped. On one particular day, the things I thought I had packed to take to the hill were not in the pack when I got there. In their place was the sarong. It was worn that day and it seemed that I was being told that it should be worn for all of the ceremonies. A few years later the sarong gave way to use.
This past summer a feeling to find another sarong became so strong. I was in an area where there is a large Hindu community. Finding what I was loking for should not be a problem. A few searches and a store was found. I clicked on the site address and there was a glitch with the computer. I found KRISHNA.COM. Oh well, not entirely what I was looking for, but hey, they have a store. Now how cool is this? Hmmmm. No sarongs but here's something from one of the dreams a long time ago. It's called a dhoti. Okay, I'll give it a try. It's an awesome word, dhoti. It has a meaning from the Dakota dialect, to be clothed in blue, or the sky, or as god. I like that. And WOW, here's other things very similar to a few of the ceremonial things. Being Wazhazhe, there is a ceremony of going to a place of flowing water at sunrise and again at sunset. There is the bathing and the taking of the water to be shared in the ceremony because ipujapi--they thirst. There is the lighting of the fire and the prayers and offerings made because where there is fire there is warmth and where there is warmth there is love.
One thing leads to another. The rains come and the canoe floats a little further to find something so sacred called tilak, again from the Dakota dialect, to be clothed or to dwell in love. Now my mornings find me greeting the rising sun, bathing by the fire where it's warmer, wrapping and tying the dhoti, putting on the tilak while chanting the twelve vasadevas. The day has begun. Then there comes the special hour which the ceremonial bundle is opened and the pipe is taken out. Prayers are chanted over the tobacco, the pipe is filled and offered to the earth which provides for all of our needs, to the sky where the sun and moon travel and the rains come to fill the streams and rivers. It is offered to the Creator, thanking him for the opportunity to make this offering. The Gayatri Mantra is chanted and a calm comes. The maha mantra is chanted and the sensation of warmth comes. The knowing of true fogiveness to others for past offenses, seeing their actions as having been through their own hurts and disappointments. I feel love and compassion towards them. I feel at peace.
On the occassions where I do go to town, I don't wash or wipe off the tilak. It has multiple meanings to me. I have not been initiated as a Vishnava or devotee of Lord Krishna. I did read that there is such a belief of initiation through intent and practice. It has become like seeing the world through the eyes of a child, everything in wonder and true admiration. Yes, I think that's the best descriptive term, becoming like a little child again. But there is in the returned feeling of innocence the deepest desire to not offend those who are true devotees. Please, how is this viewed? I will add that for the first time in a very long time, I know how it feels to be happy.