Inspired to Subscribe
I just wanted to drop a note to say how much I enjoyed the July/August issue of BTG. Urmila Devi Dasi's article on humility was honest and thoughtful and made me want to practice that same honesty and thoughtfulness on myself. I also enjoyed the article on deity worship. The picture of the New Delhi deities is beautiful and helped me to understand the spiritual significance of the arati ceremony. I actually got a subscription after reading this issue!
Via the Internet
The first edition of BTG we received was the July/August 2001 issue, with the most beautiful painting of Radharani on the cover. All the articles were very good and interesting. But I was particularly inspired with one article by Urmila Devi Dasi titled "Real Humility." Before I received that BTG, like many others I had spent considerable thought on humility. It was so important, yet I did not have a clear understanding of what it meant. I tried various ways to "become humble" by denying even the genuine compliments I got, refusing to admit that I had made any progress at all, trying to be meek and submissive but all the while I knew that something was wrong in my idea of humility because my consciousness remained as rebellious and proud as always. Urmila Devi Dasi's article cleared all my misconceptions. It is indeed a joy to be humble or even try to become humble. Thank you very much and keep up the good work.
Seeing Krsna's Mercy
[To Urmila Devi Dasi:] The article you wrote in BTG, March/April 2001, about karma helped me through my sufferings of the last three years. I never understood what was happening to me. After reading your article, I accepted that everything was the mercy of Lord Krsna. I felt very relieved. Through your words I finally came to the conclusion that my only shelter in this material world is Srila Prabhupada and the devotees of Lord Krsna. You gave me so much, I don't have the words to thank you. The only thing I'm begging for is to love Lord Krsna, Srimati Radharani, and the Vaisnavas with my whole heart. I'm forever indebted to you.
The Hague, Holland
All of the articles are just great. They have helped me when I've felt weak or lonely. The latest issue [July/August] is stupendous. I have a co-worker who believed we are sexist. So I copied the article "Radharani: The Feminine Side of God" and gave it to her. Now she views the movement differently. Thank you. I came to Krsna almost two years ago. He has definitely changed my life.
Now I chant every day, read, and try to remember Him at all times. I still have to fight maya at every turn. But I'm trying my best.
A Small Miracle
I wanted to share a small miracle that occurred in my life today, all thanks to Lord Krsna's mercy and Lord Caitanya's sankirtana movement.
Like many new devotees, I am sure, I have been trying to go clean up past wreckage of my life. Two years ago, before becoming a devotee, I had a run-in with the law and was placed on two years probation, and the main terms were to keep up on my fine payments, which were really steep. Since becoming a devotee, I have had a hard time trying to figure out what I would like to do for work, as my experience is in food service and I no longer want to work with meat, fish, or eggs. I fell behind in my court payments and got a one-month extension, hoping to find work by then. That was last month.
The whole time I was struggling to do what I could to fix the situation and not leaving it up to Krsna. I could not focus while I chanted, and I began to isolate myself from devotees, wallowing in my depression. Last Thursday I exclaimed utter defeat to Krsna. I told Him I was tired of trying and spent the day chanting as best I could.
The next day I got a call from a devotee's friend who owns a business making vegetarian salads and sandwiches. I was to interview Monday. But on Saturday I received a notice that my probation was to be revoked and that I faced thirty days in jail.
Well, I could see that Krsna did fine with the job, and I had to trust and keep my faith in Him. I got the job, and my grandmother-in-law offered to pay off the rest of my fines and told me I could pay her back when I could. Amazing because she is usually a stickler when it comes to money.
Today I went to court and faced the same judge I had two years ago. Before going in I promised Krsna I would give the judge a Bhagavad-gita As It Is as a thank-you gift if things worked out in my favor.
Despite my having paid everything, the judge still wanted to revoke my probation and send me to jail for thirty days. Before it was final, I spoke up and told him that due to the court's intervention two years back, and due to having God in my life now, I have been able to turn my life completely around. I am not even close to the person I was back then. I told him about my job, my new wife, and my new friends in fellowship in the spiritual organization I belong to.
He paused, asked for a few details, paused again, and then dismissed the case and ended my probation, calling it successfully completed!
I kept my promise and wrote a quick thank-you note and gave the book to the clerks for Judge Ackerman. I hope he reads it and gets as much out of it as I do.
Via the Internet
Right on Time
I have noticed that this kind of thing has happened to me many times over the years: I will be feeling the pangs of material life, and then Krsna will get my attention somehow or another, and most always I will then receive my latest issue of BTG in the mail right on time. Krsna knows and cares enough to send me the ways and means to get me out of maya's grip.
Staten Island, New York
Please write to us at: BTG, P.O. Box 430, Alachua, FL 32616, USA. Or: BTG, 33 Janki Kutir, Next to State Bank of Hyderabad, Juhu, Mumbai 400 049, India. [Phone: (022) 618-1718.] E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We failed to mention that the article about Sriman Jayananda Dasa ("A Modern Saint," May/June) relied heavily on the book Radha-Damodar Vilasa, by Vaiyasaki Dasa. We apologize to Vaiyasaki Dasa for the omission. Radha- Damodara Vilasa is an exciting, thoroughly researched work on Jayananda Dasa, Visnujana Swami, ISKCON's Radha-Damodara Deities, and the early days of ISKCON. It is available from the Hare Krsna Bazaar (http://www.krishna.com).
In the article "Temple of the Supreme Enchanter" (July/August), the deity Madana-Mohana was said to have been taken from the home of Purushottama Chobey. The devotee's name was actually Damodar Chobey.