Which Krishna conscious practice reminds you of
your relationship with Krishna the most?
REMAINING IN ISKCON and going to the ISKCON temple reminds me strongly of my relationship with Krishna. I take my Laddu Gopala with me whenever I leave home, as He can’t be left alone. So, taking care of Him and carrying Him in my arms makes me feel like I am His elder sister. I will continue to take care of Him in the same way till the doomsday!
(Shubhangi Singh, New Delhi)
I AM A SUCCESS FREAK since my school days. I used to read lot of books dealing with success, and listen to interviews of celebrities (silver screen icons, Nobel laureates, business barons). Few years back I started reading the Bhagavad-gita with much attention. I was amazed by the treasure of knowledge stored in it. With full assurance I can now declare that it is a perfect success book.
Whenever I read the Gita, I migrate to a paradigm where I see myself as a student and Lord Krishna as my teacher. Therefore reading Bhagavad-gita is the service that takes me closer to Krishna. With pride and joy I declare that my teacher is the BEST!
(Mukesh Ranganathan, Bangalore)
IN THE WORDS of Shakespeare, “Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered.” A boat loaded with treasure came to my shores when I got the opportunity to assist Bhakta Pramod, a devotee at our local center, in dressing the Deities of Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra. I got so interested that I started assisting him every week. Few months later Pramod moved on to some other seva, and I got to do the seva in his place with my limited capacities. I spent lot of time in last fourteen months planning and designing dresses, jewelry and other paraphernalia for their Lordships. But during the same time, I saw real tough times both in bhakti and in my career. At a moment I even decided to walk away from everything, but I couldn’t as the thought of missing an opportunity to bathe Krishna, massage His lotus feet, wash His towels, iron His clothes, and make His turban pulled me back. It is joyful to be a servant of Krishna.
(Manish Goel, Mumbai)
In my experience, chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and admiring the Deity helps in bringing us closer Krishna. Chanting Krishna’s names mechanically without seeing His face is meaningless even a tape recorder can mechanically repeat them. Then what is the difference between us and the non-living object? It is too difficult to control the mind if we simply chant and pray without worshiping His glorious form. Why then do we have so many temples and the age-old method of Deity worship? Our ancestors had followed everything with a meaning. Therefore, in my opinion, admiring Lord Shyamasundara’s merciful face, meditating on His form, and chanting His holy names are the best practices everyone can follow to get us closer to Lord Krishna. Jaya Radhe Shyama.
It is the service to Vaishnavas that reminds of my relationship with Krishna the most. This utmost service makes me to feel strongly we all belong to Krishna’s family. Krishna is satisfied if his devotees are served properly with full attention. Devotee always remind Krishna by their mere presence. Vaishnava-seva brings deep intimate attachment to Krishna and to His family of devotees.
(Jivana Gaurahari Dasa, Chennai)
I have found that deity worship and glorifying the Supreme Lord are of special significance in having relationship with Him. Being a household devotee and staying far away from the temple, my family members and I worship the Lord at home in His picture form along with Laddu Gopala brought from Mayapur Dhama. Cleaning and decorating the altar, dressing and garlanding the Lord, offering arati, singing prayers of great acharyas and glorifying Him, cooking bhoga and offering it with love, and then honoring the prasada these are all simply ecstatic. Deity worship is not just a ritual, but highly spiritual. It is a spiritual session where I express my gratitude to Krishna everyday.
(C V V Bhadram, Hyderabad)