All Glories to Guru & Gauranga
All Glories to Srila Prabhupad
This discussion I had with GuruMaharaj is the turning point of my life and I'm always learning from it every time I recollect it. May this also help other devotees who face the same situation in either their own lives or their peers!!!
This incident took place some years ago (1996 - 1997), at Bahrain (Balaramdesh), Middle East, Gulf.
It needs a little bit of prelude for one to understand the situation I was going through.
I was in my 8th grade and by the mercy of "Guru and Gauranga" was able to somehow concentrate and absorb more in the nectar of Krishna consciousness. I was brought up in a Krishna conscious environment from my childhood. By then I started liking kirtans a lot, other than playing with all the other devotee friends that gather at the temple! The lectures given at the local center used to stay in my memory for days and I used to relish them a lot. Somehow I was gaining more and more taste in doing devotional service and I came to a point were I started thinking of leaving school and joining the Gurukul at Sri Mayapur Dham!!!
This thought also has something to do with one of my senior mates, who I was with from the time I was in Krishna consciousness, joining the Gurukul at a very young age. My parents decided to send me to school while his parents send him to Gurukul. It was just devastating for me and I still regret it!
In the Bhagavad-Gita and Bhagvatam classes we always get to hear about the criticisms of the material world and the present education. It was fresh in my mind. I was really convinced and determined that this material knowledge is not going to lead me anywhere in life, as compared to the transcendental happiness of Krishna consciousness. I did not disclose my thoughts to my parents as they would dismiss it by saying that I'm not old enough to take decisions.
Normally GuruMaharaj comes for a 2 or 3 day visit to Balaramdesh. In this short span of time GuruMaharaj is always busy with either initiation ceremonies and interviews or hearing the problems of disciples and giving them confidence. He hardly sleeps sometime and although each time he leaves without proper rest(to the satisfaction of our hearts!), the temple committee decides that the next time GuruMaharaj comes he is only going to rest and not much other work, which GuruMaharaj always makes in vain!!! It is always a celebration and a festive mood when GuruMaharaj arrives as it is our only real source of water in the mirage of the middle east.
This time though I wanted to express my thoughts directly to GuruMaharaj. No one understands better than him. But I could not approach GuruMaharaj directly as there were lot of devotees around. So I put the matter to the Temple President pr (they are always the closest to GuruMaharaj!). After hearing me and seeing that I was really wanting to join Gurukul, he told me that may be we should ask GuruMaharaj directly. I was pretty sure that GuruMaharaj would encourage me to join the Gurukul, thereby saving a soul from the clutches of Maya!
...GuruMaharaj's direct instruction...
It was the second day of GuruMaharaj's visit, if I recall correctly, and GuruMaharaj was briefed about my situation by the Temple President. I was confident and patiently waiting outside His Holiness's room. One of the devotees summoned me in. I paid my dandavats and I do not know what happened that I began to cry from the core of my heart. Even before GuruMaharaj could speak anything about it I was fully in tears. Just like how a child cries to his mother. I really felt helpless and had no other thought than to listen to GuruMaharaj's instruction.
GuruMaharaj asked me this one question, "Why are you studying?".
To my surprise(even now), as a parrot I replied,"To help my parents!!!"
Then GuruMaharaj instructed, "You do your studies and help your parents and also practice Krishna Consciousness very nicely. That is enough."
At that time I felt so convinced and so satisfied and all I could do is nod my head and agree to GuruMaharaj's instruction and leave the room! After leaving the room, I did not have the slightest of doubts about my further studies and I have still no idea how all my determination to join the Gurukul was transformed into strong conviction to work for the Lord!!!
GuruMaharaj is so merciful and so caring to all his disciples that he wants every single person to be happy and at the same time practice Krishna Consciousness. At present, as I'm working for a descent firm and I'm able to give some contribution to the temple, I feel deeply indebted to GuruMaharaj for guiding me and giving me a chance to serve the movement in what ever way possible. Also due to his instruction my parents were really happy and still quote this example to other devotees when ever some one looses their interest in doing their studies, job etc and Krishna consciousness.
1. Work done for the pleasure of the Lord and his devotees is real Krishna consciousness.
2. The difference is we think about our Krishna consciousness and GuruMaharaj thinks of everyone else's(saving all the souls) !!!
We are indebted to GuruMaharaj for eternity!!!
humbly trying to serve
Mayadhisa Chaitanya das