Connecting disciples of His Holiness Jayapataka Swami
They won't let me in...
Many years ago prior to the inauguration of the "Big Temple" in Bangalore, now Bengaluru, I had a chance of attending Gurumaharaj's first ever seminar on "Bhakti Vriksha" program. During the seminar Gurumaharaj's vision for future preaching seemed to be very very clear. He stressed on the point "people tend to get lost in big temples", and how the "Bhakti Vriksha" can help bring devotees together. He made it very clear that big temples are necessary to help preach to people at large, and the temple authorities and devotees should treat anyone and everyone who walk into the temple as "Guests of Lord Krishna".
At that point of time though, I perhaps did not take his words very seriously, and almost even forgot the whole thing as time passed by, until recently my senior God-brother, his grace Subuddhi Krishna Prabhu sent me an e-mail, which again stressed the importance of treating the common man who walks into the temple as a "Guest of Lord Krishna".
It was a beautiful Sunday morning. People were filling the temple to its full capacity! As they entered, each were given a bulletin filled with announcements, archana rates, rates for different pujas, etc.
At the end of the line stood an older man. His clothes were filthy and you could tell that he had not bathed in days. His face was covered with whiskers, for he had not shaved for a very long time. When he reached the main door, he removed his tattered old cap in respect. His hair was long, dirty, and he was a total mess. He had no shoes on his feet, and wore only soiled black socks to cover the sores upon his feet.
The gatekeeper looked at him turning up his nose at the old man and said, "Uh, I'm sorry sir, but I'm afraid we can't let you in. You will distract the congregation and we don't allow anyone to disrupt our service. I'm afraid you'll have to leave."
The old man looked down at himself and with a puzzled look on his face, he placed his old brown hat back upon his head and turned to leave. He was sad as he loved to hear the devotees sing praises to the Lord. He carried in his pocket a small worn out "Bhagavad Gita As It Is" and loved to see if someone preached a passage from Bhagavad Gita that he had underlined.
But he was respectful, and didn't want to cause any commotion, so he hung down his head and walked back down the steps of the big temple He sat down on the brick wall near the edge and strained to listen through closed doors and windows to the mantras going on in the temple. Oh how he wished he could be inside with all the others.
A few minutes had passed by when all of a sudden a younger man came up behind him and sat down near him. He asked the old man what he was doing? He answered, "I was going to go to have darshan of the Lord today, but they thought I was too filthy, my clothes too old and worn, and they were afraid I would disrupt their service. Sorry, I didn't introduce myself. My name is Gangaram."
The two men shook hands, and Gangaram couldn't help but notice that this man had long hair. He was very handsome and had a different look. He could feel the smell of cows on him. like his. He had bare feet, now covered with dust and dirt. The stranger touched Gangaram's shoulder, and said: "Sir, don't feel bad because they won't let you in. My name is Krishna, and I've been trying to get into this same temple for years -- they won't let me in either." Sri Sri Vrindavan Chandra ki jaya!!
Let us not drive Krishna out of our temples. Krishna says that He does not live in a place where His devotees are treated badly or insulted.
All glories to our beloved Gurumaharaj!
I could only understand his words only after so many years. and many many thanks to my senior God-brothers and God-sisters for making me understand that every word Gurumaharaj speaks must be taken seriously and implemented too!!