Serving Krishna even when we struggle in (or) for life- PART-2
Simran Garg and a male devotee requesting anonymity had asked me to write about my experience of observing devotion in spite of barriers with the special subtle mercy of Krishna.
I have self restricted myself in writing my own experiences with devotional services so that it may give an impression that I am giving importance for myself.
However, when our beloved devotees are asking about it, it is my duty to use our experience to show how the devotees are managing the devotional services in this cruel kaliyuga.
I am considering myself as an insignificant person because I strongly believe that I do not do anything, but act as an instrument of Krishna. All the things I am preaching to all of you are because of the blessings of my Harinam Diksha Guru in ISKCON, Acharya Srila Prabhupada and also my guru by birth Kanchi Sankaracharya Sri Chandrasekarendra Sarasvathi and of course my parents.
See, being a guy who do not forget the gratitude, I always have praised all those who taught me to be a caring devotee either directly or indirectly. A devotee can not grow on his own. If anyone says so, he is a selfish person.
Before I joined ISKCON, I was guided by my Guru by Birth Kanchi Sankaracharya Sri Chandrasekarendra Sarasvathi’s direct darshan and his 10 volumes of preaching. Then, after his leaving this world in his age 100, Srila Prabhupada’s writings introduced me how to love Krishna selflessly and his writings taught me how Krishna is the Supreme Lord. His tireless travel to establish Harinam worldwide taught me how a sanyasi too can be this much vibrant in his devotional service.
Then, my Guru maharaja’s dedication to his guru in fulfilling his mission after his leaving this world taught me how we can serve Krishna in spite of all the barriers.
Then, my disciplined and innocent parents who gave me freedom to do whatever I want in my life trusting that their son will do only the best thing though he faces failure in the middle. Their silent cooperation to my diverting my path from material achievement to the devotional service is also worth to mention.
So, taking inspiration from all these great people, I reformed myself as a SERVANT OF THE VAISHNAVAS & KRISHNA.
My first rank in school and college did not satisfy me this much. My business promotion did not satisfy this much. Because, they are the services to satisfy the senses. But, when I reformed myself as the preacher of Krishna’s messages, it fully satisfied me. Because, THIS IS THE SERVICE THAT SATISFIES KRISHNA WHO IS OUR REAL MASTER.
But, Krishna does not give a credit to a person easily. He tests us in many ways. If we come out of those tests successfully, we are given facilities to achieve in His service.
For me too, it happened. Krishna tested me severely that I only can feel because I have faced the heat of those tests.
When many others dedicated their life for their wives and children and showed themselves as big achievers, I dedicated my life for Krishna and gave up my desires to add sense satisfying relations.
From the books by Srila Prabhupada and many of the gurus in ISKCON, I fully understood the real nature of the material relations. So, I could daringly give up my desires of material enjoyments. That is why, I could run this counselling and preaching media without even a single remarks of indiscipline though the devotees share their personal and spiritual problems to get counselling.
When I was oscillating between material business for my basic living and devotional service, Krishna gave me unbearable problems to show the real nature of this material world that is very selfish.
Let me give a few examples:
(1) First when I finished my class ten with free education in a government school, I did not have money to pay for my Class 11 admission in another school. I took tuition classes to the students, got the fees for that and paid to the school. The beauty is that I took classes for class 11 students when I was studying Class 11. Krishna gave that knowledge to satisfy the children though I was also a child of age 15.
Thus, I finished till my college studies using my hard earned money in the age of 15 itself since my father had died in my age 15.
The degree that I have is my own hard earned degree that has great value.
(2) Then, I stopped classes and started applying for job. Since I was poor in English, my job delayed. Again I became zero in finance. To apply for the job, I had no money. I did not lose my hope. I went to a blood bank and sold my blood. Since my blood group is A1+, it had no big value. The blood bank offered Rs.40 and some fruits as the cost of my blood. I got that money and applied for jobs by taking my photographs. That much of poverty I faced at that time.
Finally, I got a marketing job for the salary of Rs.800 P.M. Then, I shifted to three companies for the salary of a few hundreds more.
At a point, I realized that I can not achieve in life by working somewhere and hence I decided to start a venture by borrowing Rs.11 lakhs. I borrowed for interest and invested.
(3) Though I worked showing my full dedication in my business, my karma made me caught by the loan of more than 24 lakhs of rupees (Capital 11 lakhs and interest 13 lakhs!!!) in the year 1996-2000. That was the very big money at that time, that too for a person from a lower middle class family background. I understood how even the beloved people will behave if we delay the repayments to them. For those four years, I almost lost my reputation in my relatives circle as if a failed person in my material life. But, I did not stop chanting and serving to Krishna and I did not disturb Krishna with my silly prayers to clear my loans. But, I have thought that if Krishna makes me financially free, I can serve Him still better comfortably.
Once, three lenders fixed a deadline of a week for the repayment of about Rs.4.5 lakhs. It was impossible for me to generate that amount within less than a week.
I tried all the extreme options to clear my accrued loans. I even went to Chennai’s Popular hospital to sell one of my kidneys for a few lakhs if any rich person needs it in that hospital, but after enquiring at the reception of the hospital, I changed the mind in a fear.
Then, getting mentally strained for my inability to repay that money, fearing for my image, I myself got admitted in a small hospital telling that I wanted to take rest for three days to come out of the stress. But after admitting, I thought why I should waste three days in hospital and why can’t I try for money somewhere.
So, I myself got discharged within hours and returned office and went to the ISKCON temple and shed tears seeing the deities of Gaur Nitai and Krishna Balaram. Since it was my policy decision not to demand anything from Krishna, I was just chanting there with tears.
Then I returned. Then, I went to a shop for taking photo copies. That owner wanted a firm for sale. I immediately offered him one of my two firms that I did not require at that time. He accepted and he himself fixed the rate of Rs.5 lakhs.
When I got money from him in his Puja room, I could see a Big Krishna Picture in his Puja room.
I understood that it was the arrangement of Krishna to save my image because I had purchased and kept ready 40 sleeping pills to consume and die if my image goes down beyond a limit.
Thus Krishna did unimaginable action by sending that person to me because, he was also a Krishna devotee(Not with ISKCON).
My body shivered seeing this incident and I realized that Krishna exists and He is watching His devotees from within their hearts.
At that point, I decided to dedicate my life for Krishna. Then, I took more practice from the devotees of Krishna and developed good interest in devotional preaching.
I decided to live for serving Krishna.
(4) At that time, internet became very popular. One GB data cost more than Rs.300 at that time (Jio had not come at that time who slashed the prices of data in India to Rs.140 per 45 GBs with free calling and free SMS. Ha Ha).
In the year 2011, I subscribed for one GB data paying Rs.300 and started writing about Krishna in Facebook. I used One GB for one week very sparingly (!!!).
Since I wrote frankly from my heart both the positives and negatives without following any formalities, many liked it and hence Krishna made our facebook page popular within a few months. The audience grew from one to ten, then hundred, then thousand and then lakh. The number of content-rich posts increased beyond 2000. When the devotees asked questions, I could not search the piece of topic wrote by myself in FB. So, I decided to start a dedicated blog website.
I was not a technical guy at that time. Since Jio had slashed the data cost, I got the courage that I can spend for data from my business earnings to promote a website. I decided to spend many thousands from my business earnings for domains, hosting, security, SEO, etc, for the service of Krishna.
Here, I put faith in Krishna that he will not let His devotees down if their intention is selfless and straightforward.
Though I was not technologically sound, Krishna gave me courage and knowledge to start the site. I myself did A to Z everything. I still do not understand how I did everything. I honestly tell that I felt some force was pushing me to do everything by giving sufficient knowledge and inputs to create a beautiful site. That force was no doubt, Krishna.
When Srila Prabhupada sincerely wished to fulfil his guru’s order and went to the USA with just Rs.40, Krishna gave him all the facilities to establish ISKCON movement.
Krishna did that for the insignificant soul like me too. Since I started this service in the year 2011 with no crooked intentions, but to do something for Krishna in this birth, Krishna who is sitting within the heart knew and gave all the inputs from my business earning.
Since I had served Krishna from my business earning for seven years, when I started the website, I had to devote more than double the time for the media. When I was serving thru FB, I had no work of site management and security follow up and no expenses except data pack and a Laptop. But, in the own website, I had to focus on site creation, design, adding the features, security, spending for domains, host, apps, SEO, etc, etc.
(5) I was doing till a certain point. Krishna tested me here also.
My mother died in her age 90 on an Ekadasi day peacefully. The last activity she did was reading Bhagavad Gita.
Krishna tested whether I stop this service for a day or two. But, I was posting sitting near the dead body of my mother. That day’s Post was made punctually as usual and I had announced the demise of my mother’s death to the devotees along with that day’s Post.
This service did not stop even a single day even during the demise of my mother and the 13 days rituals.
When I heard the news of the death of my mother, I said: “All for Good”
Why? Because, I have done my duty till she survived, as a son. She has lived for 90 years. She has died on ekadasi like my father who also died on ekadasi. Why should I cry?
Her time is over. All for Good.
(6) In the year 2019, Krishna gave me a severe test in the form of Cardiomyopathy (Heart failure) and I was admitted to ICU. The doctors had declared that I am dying and my heart will stop at any time in a few days. All my relatives were informed and they shed tears.
The Medical report of my heart at that time has been attached with THIS POST. See there and Read that article.
I made a condition to the doctors that I can not stop the service to Krishna even a single day and if I stop, that means, I have died, and hence they should allow me to take my laptop to the ICU and work from there.
In the history of multi speciality hospitals, allowing Laptop in the ICU happened for me. Since one of my relative was a doctor there, I was allowed.
I was posting for this site daily and answering the queries from the ICU with oxygen support at the nose, and medications entering thru the vein of my hand. Can you imagine such a situation in which a devotee is serving for Vaishnavas when his life has been given a deadline of a few days? I got this inspiration from H.H.Jayapataka Swami who was/is serving with all kinds of pains in his body.
To the surprise of the doctors, my heart started to recover from the fourth day onwards and even after two years, I am still living. I am taking maintenance tablets regularly and doing this service now.
I was reciting Sri Narasimha Kavacha and chanting Hare Krishna and serving through the site while being in the ICU and later in the ward room.
(7) After this incident, I decided that I should not delay even a single day in dedicating fully for this service. Meantime, My business had already started to come down as I did not care it, as I was spending my whole time in this service.
All my savings got drained and a day came when I had to sell the jewels of my deceased mother for my living. Those jewels were gifted by me to her decade ago. Since she was no more, I sold them.
I decided that I should not wait hereafter because I was becoming bankrupt. A critical stage of selling my mother’s jewels for my living. Yes, Even by selling my mother’s jewels, I was spending for our site service and my simple living.
Some devotees voluntarily helped me by sending some money for treatment expenses. It was very useful for my treatment at that time.
So, I decided to focus only in one activity – either business or devotional service. In thorough review of all the happenings, I understood that Krishna does not want me to dig into the business again and again and waste my birth, when He has given me sufficient knowledge and good Guru parampara.
So, I decided to stop the business as it is and focus only on devotional service – whatever happens – though Krishna throws me roadside as another test.
Had Krishna thrown me at roadside to test me, I would have begged and spent for this service. I started this as an independent service without the monetary backing of any organization or sathsangha because I can not write what I feel correct and I may not have independence to write both the pros and cons of any issue. If you notice my writings, I would have accepted a few flaws and mistakes happening, but I would have explained why such things happen in an acceptable tone. I did not hide any flaws from the devotees as we are living in a technology world and everyone knows everything. We should not bluff. So, I follow a balanced approach without spoiling the image of any forum. I never criticize any path or religion or system because flaws will be there in every system in kaliyuga. I have advised the devotees to take only good from any source and keep the flaws aside.
This honesty is the reason for Krishna to make our media very successful. Krishna gave many severe tests and this service has survived from all those tests. So, Krishna must be happy and hence He has now made our media a success.
So, to survive, I started to offer horoscope guidance for the devotees using the knowledge I learnt from my father who was a good astrologer in those days. Hundreds of devotees have got benefitted with that service and have gained confidence to face the life. I am using even that horoscope service to encourage the devotees to practice devotion sincerely without any expectations.
Now, Krishna has made our preaching service a success with about million users. I am working for 16 hours a day for the devotees – 10 hours for horoscope service and 6 hours for preaching service.
For your information, when I write this reply on 05.11.2021, because of the non stop service by taking just 4 hours of sleep every day, I am facing joint pains on my leg and I am using a herbal tablet and oils as advertised in television channels. I type even this reply after applying the oil to bear the pain.
These pains can not stop my motivation. Because, taking pains for the vaishnavas is a pleasant experience for me. Because, Krishna has given me a service what I desired. I am very fortunate for having been given this opportunity to serve the devotees. With the earnings from the horoscope service, small ad revenues and some voluntary support of devotees, I am surviving in this world serving the devotees without much financial difficulty.
Krishna made my business to die to make me available for all of you whole day. It is Krishna’s way of showing mercy to His devotees.
If Krishna makes me die while serving the vaishnavas like this even when I am mobile without bed ridden stage, what else can be the fortune for the servants like me?
All of you, do not cry if you face problems and setbacks and failures. Just continue to do your duties keeping Krishna in mind. Final success will be yours.
Krishna will definitely delay any lesssings to make you prepared, matured and qualified to receive His mercy.
But, He will not deny His mercy.
This insignificant soul is a living example for this fact.
Sorry for writing about myself considering me as if a valuable person. I have written these FACTS just for encouraging the suffering devotees, not to add glories to me.
If you find any worthy glory in this article, let it go to my Guru, Srila Prabhupada and Krishna.
Hare Krishna. Prayers for all.
(Though hundreds of incidents have happened, I have just given some outline. Other small incidents may be seen in future wherever necessary.)
(Serving Krishna even when we struggle in (or) for life – My Own Experience – PART – 1! READ HERE!)