a conversation that changed my perception
After the wisdom class, I and my uncle went to the living room. I asked him to say more about Srila Prabhupada. He said, “We address our spiritual master as Srila Prabhupada because he is the representative of Lord Krishna”.
“But I knew someone else as Srila Prabhupada,” I asked.
“Yes, we call him Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He is the founder Acharya of ISKCON, and Srila Prabhupada is one of his disciples” Sumay-uncle said.
“What is his name?” I asked.
“His yoga name is Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa,” he said.
I started thinking, “So, who is greater?”
After a pause, he said on his own, “There is no difference between his teachings and his spiritual master’s teachings. Both represent Krishna and talk about the same philosophy. Like father and son. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has left this world. Now, Srila Prabhupada is the representative of him, and Krishna. So, you should not be confused about his authority. He is a bonafide spiritual master who teaches Krishna Consciousness.”
“How did he know what was going on in my mind? That means he can read my mind. Maybe he has the same thought process as mine.” I kept thinking for a while.
Knowing about the spiritual relationship between Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada – was a bit heavy for me at that point of time. So, I just nodded my head. Then, he smiled and asked me, “What do you want to do in your life?”. I had no clue what to say. So, I just said that I wanted to earn a lot of money and live a luxurious life.
He laughed and said, “Yes that is all right. But this cannot be the goal of your life. Persons who are living such a lifestyle also have goals in their lives. So, what is your goal.”
“I have no goals. I don’t know how to choose a goal” I replied.
“Hmm, so this is a sign of danger,” he said.
“What is your goal in life?” I asked him.
“I want to do something which could benefit people spiritually,” he said.
I put my face down on a pillow and said, “Okay, I will think about my goal”. I used to think of myself as a very mature and good decision-maker. But when I sat in front of him, I started feeling very low about myself, as if I was a fool.
sumay-uncle asked about my girlfriend
Suddenly he asked me something which I had not even expected.
“Do you have any girlfriends?” he asked.
I thought for a while, “Should I tell him the truth?”
“Yes, I do have a girlfriend,” I replied.
Okay then show me her photo. I opened my gallery and showed him one photo of Pranshi.
“Oh! This girl looks such a dumbo.” He said.
“Huh? Dumbo?” I asked.
He said, “It’s okay to have a girlfriend, but you should help each other to live a spiritual life. Having a girlfriend is not a license to enjoy her body. You must be concerned about her material as well as spiritual well-being.
“What do you mean by spiritual well-being?” I asked.
“Spiritual well-being means, helping other people to walk on the path of spirituality.” He replied.
“Is it about chanting on beads and doing Kirtan?” I asked him with curiosity.
“Yeah, you can say. But that is one part of spiritual life. What will I say to you now? You are a fool number one. You must walk on this path first, then you can help her. Otherwise, it will be like a blind leading another blind.” He said.
Although I didn’t like him criticizing me, but deep down inside, I knew that he was right. So, I replied, “Yes I will practice it. Please give me some chants to hear.”
“Okay, I will send you some chants,” he said.
I was looking down and he was gazing at me like he was reading what I was thinking in my mind. Suddenly my aunt came and said, “Let’s go downstairs. Dinner is ready.”
“Okay, let’s go,” said my uncle. While going downstairs my aunt was leading, Sumay-uncle was in the middle, and I was at last thinking about uncle’s words. Then my uncle turned around and said, “You are a lazy guy.” He laughed out loudly. I could understand he wanted to lighten my mood since the conversation was a bit heavy and I was quite young to grasp them.
We went downstairs and sat at the dining table. While having lunch, my grandma asked me, “So, are you having a good time?
“Yes, I am loving it” I replied and smiled.
“So, you should come once a month,” she said.
“No, you know my parents. They won’t allow me for that. I can come once every six months.” I said.
“No, don’t blame parents. If you have a strong desire to come here, they will allow you.” Sumay-uncle replied.
At that time, I couldn’t understand the depth of this statement. But I realized this after 7 years of this incident. I will narrate them in the upcoming chapters.
I had already stayed for 4 days at his place. My mom called me up and asked me to return home the next day. My father never liked our staying at any relative’s home for more than three days. The next day I packed my bags and took permission from my grandma and Sumay-uncle’s to leave.
“It would have been better if you had stayed for 2 more days. I am planning to go to Puri. But it’s your choice.” My uncle said.
“Wow, I would love to go there. But my parents are not happy with my long stay. So, I got to go.” I replied.
“Okay, it’s nice to have you here. Next time, do come for a longer period,” he said.
travelling & listening mantras, an amazing experience
It was time to say goodbye to all of them. I found that my uncle had already sent me some mantra chants on my phone. So, when I boarded the bus, I plugged in my earphones and started listening to them. It was an amazing experience. Before that, I used to hear Hindi Bollywood movie songs. But for the very first time in my life, I was hearing the sacred mantras while traveling. The chants were like modern Bhajans where many western musical instruments were played. Altogether the melody was enchanting, and I was getting immersed in them. A sense of excitement was running through my heart.
Suddenly, Pranshi’s face came into my mind. I thought, “I am enjoying these beautiful chants, I will also share them with Pranshi. She might like them as well.” Then Sumay-uncle’s words echoed in my mind regarding my relationship with Pranshi.
Then I mused, “I think Sumay-uncle is right. It’s been more than a year and I am still trying to make our relationship stronger. Sometimes she is getting angry with me, and sometimes someone else is captivating her mind. What will happen, if I share my experiences with her of what I learned from my uncle? Will she accept this, and we could make our relationship successful? I will talk to her and see her reaction.”
I reached home after 3 hours of the bus journey. After reaching home, I called up Pranshi to talk. She asked me about my small vacation at Sumay-uncle’s home. I shared some of my experiences with her.
i tried to convince her to adopt spiritual life
I said, “You know, I think we should begin our spiritual journey together.”
She asked surprisingly, “What? What do you mean by that?”
I was excited to share about my visit to Uncle’s house – I said, “I saw many spiritual activities happening throughout the day. It was very new to me, but it was exciting… I liked them. I also saw how my uncle and aunty are so happy living a spiritual life. They chant the sacred mantras together in the evening, they talk about spiritual philosophy, their spiritual identity, Krishna, and they teach their child the same. And I think this is the only thing that has bound them together with happiness.”
She said, “Oh! Really? Okay, so what shall I do then? You tell me.”
At that time, I was blank since I had no idea what to tell her.
After a pause, I said, “I am sending you a chant. You start hearing it. Then slowly we might walk together on the path.”
She said, “Okay, send it, and I will hear.”
I sent her on WhatsApp. “Let me know how you liked it after you hear,” I said.
I thought I had done a very good job and there would be no hindrance in our relationship. But factually, I was in complete ignorance. I was asking her to do something which I was not doing myself. I behaved like a fanatic, but I was not even aware of it.
After two days, I asked her, “So, did you hear the chant?”
“Yes, I did. I also liked that” she said.
“Really! How many times did you hear that?” I asked.
“I heard it 3 times,” she said.
I took a pause. Then I said, “Do you know how many species there in this world are?”
“No, I don’t know,” she said.
“There are 8.4 million species in the world. And out of them, there are 400 thousand human species only.” I said.
“Wow! I didn’t know that” she exclaimed.
“Yes, and out of those 400 thousand types of human beings, those who are born in India are the most fortunate,” I said.
“How?”, She asked.
“Because we hear about Lord Krishna from the beginning of our birth. Our parents also take us to the temples. Many species of human beings stay in forests and roam naked, and they are not civilized. They hunt innocent animals and eat them. They don’t even know about God.” I said.
“Yes, that’s true,” she said.
“So, even after knowing all these things, will you continue to eat non-veg? I think you should stop eating non-veg. There is so much cruelty done to these innocent animals, and you are taking pleasure in eating them. If you want to live with me in the future, then you must abandon eating non-veg.” I said.
She became quiet. After some seconds, she replied, “Hmm… okay I will try”.
“Very good. I am glad that you appreciated my thoughts.” I said with joy.
I became very happy, that Pranshi agreed to live the way I wanted. But that was not true at all. She was doing something else behind my back which I discovered after a month and my love for her was completely demolished. I took a big decision by being carried away with that incident which later made my life worse.
Stay tuned to know what happened…
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