How Krishna Called Me Back
When we sincerely try to tune in with Krishna consciousness, Krishna orchestrates incidents that guide us in our devotional journey. Each devotional journey is unique and so are spiritual incidents. The Supreme intelligent Krishna speaks to us in the language and symbols which each of us understands the best. Once a devotee said that Krishna is a personal God, so His leela with each of us is also personal.
I can’t say when the plan of my devotional journey was prepared. However, it is being revealed to me in phases. Events take place one by one, and with the each event I feel closer to Krishna than I ever was. The first sign appeared sometime in the 3rd or 4th quarter of the year 2010, but I couldn’t understand the message. After a hiatus of few months, the message was sent more clearly and loudly, and through two different people.
You must be curious what the message was and how I am so sure that the message was from Krishna. Let me summarize the events for your curiosity.
I’ve been interested in the sciences of divination like astrology, numerology, iChing, Tarot etc for a very long time. So, it’s natural for me to notice events, texts, and numbers which repeatedly come across my path. Sometime in the year 2010 the owner of a cosmetic shop—who didn’t even know about my mystic interests—asked me what the number 66 meant. She had been seeing that number since her husband was hospitalized and even at the time when she was travelling to Haridwar to submerge his ashes in Ganges. She asked this question when I had already stopped taking interest in the matters of divination. Moreover, each number has a different meaning and message for each soul, based on what a soul is seeking and what Krishna has planned for it. So, I advised her to consult a numerologist. I never visited that shop again due to my relocation to Dwarka, New Delhi. However, one day I would like to visit her and tell her how her question changed my life.
From May/June 2011, I, myself, started seeing the number 66 too often: on registration plates, on some T-shirts and Jeans my younger nephew wanted to buy. I even stopped him from buying that stuff twice. But he brought a T-shirt with the number 66 on its pocket and even told his mom about my resistance (fear is the word!) to this number. What you resist persists!
It was October 2011 when the message began to reveal. Krishna decided to bestow His mercy. In September 2011, I felt a strong desire to visit the respected astrologer K.N. Rao (he is my spiritual guide too), not for an astrology reading but just to seek his blessings. I got an appointment for the first week of October. It was indeed great meeting him after a gap of three years, but now I know why Krishna planned that meeting. Rao sir advised me to read chapter 12 of the Bhagavad Gita everyday for two months. And, when I was about to take his leave, he said something, which I remember more than any other part of our conversation. His words to me were “You are intellectual, but you should take the path of Bhakti or life will become difficult.” I started reading chapter 12 of the Bhagavad Gita.
On a Saturday night, when I finished reading the chapter 12, I thought of checking another translation of the Bhagavad Gita I had. When I opened Geoffrey Parrinder’s translation of the Gita, a page opened randomly. On the top of this page was sholka 18.66. (Note: Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad Gita As It Is explains this verse correctly and fully and after reading Srila Prabhupada’s translations and purports, I don’t wish to read any other version of the Gita.).
Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me.I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.
My fear evaporated.
Krishna gave me another assurance the very next day. I was window-shopping in Connaught Place when at a bookstand I noticed Robert E. Svoboda’s “Aghora – III: The Law of Karma”. I brought this book home, and started reading this book later that night. On page 35, the author says: “He advises Arjuna to waive his attachment to all potential results of every karma and to focus on Him only: “ Abandon all other duties, and come to me alone for refuge. Be not sorrowful, for I shall give you liberation from all sins. (Bhagavad Gita XVIII.66).
A week before these two events took place, an ex-colleague had visited me in the office. We were meeting after a gap of 12 years. Although we exchanged our phone numbers about 2 years ago when we had bumped into each other in the Radisson lobby in Noida, for some reason, we could never meet before October, 2011. When my ex-colleague learned about my spiritual inclinations, he told me about his own. He spoke about the Gita and how it changed his life. On hearing this, I told him how I started reading the 12th chapter of the Gita every night only a few days before, All my ex-colleague said to me was that he loved the last verse of the Gita in which Krishna asks Arjuna to let go of everything and just come to Him; just love Him. What he didn’t tell was that he was talking about the 66th verse in the chapter 18 of the Gita. This occurred to me only later when I was narrating this series of incidents to a friend.
After a year, on Oct 7, 2012 (Celebrated by ISKCON as Vishv Harinam Diwas), when I was reading The Speaking Tree supplement, I read something which seemed to be a message directly from Lord Hari. In Bejan Daruwalla’s sun sign predictions section for Leo, there was this sentence: “Bhakti or devotion is your shortcut to God or salvation. Otherwise, you will have to take the long and painful route. The choice is yours.” I am not into ‘sun sign’ astrology and find it skin-deep when compared with proper Vedic astrology, and therefore, I rarely read these columns. But on 7th October 2012, Krishna guided me to read it. Observe that I had received this advice from K.N.Rao exactly a year before.
On the same day, I read on an A-4 size posture on the gate of the adjacent society that ISKCON is celebrating Vishv Harinam Diwas in Sector 13, Dwarka, New Delhi. To this I thought does ISKCON have a temple in Dwarka? I visited ISKCON Dwarka’s land on Vishv Harinam Diwas and found out that the temple work had already begun. How merciful Krishna is! I began to think maybe this temple was reason I moved to Dwarka in 2011. I also learned about the Sunday Love Feast programs which would be held at the same place. In November 2012, I made my first visit to the Sunday Love Feast program in Dwarka ISKCON and since then I have been a regular visitor here. Actually, now I am a devotee!
In the last 8-9 months, my life has changed completely. I have found the long-desired spiritual direction. My spiritual quest is 10 years old. Before finding Krishna Consciousness, I took a stab at learning astrology, tarot, past life regression, Pranic healing, quantum healing, crystal healing, Surdharshan Kriya, and what not, but I couldn’t find the answers, peace, joy, and assurance I had been looking for.
Before Krishna and His devotees put me on the devotional path, intellectual knowledge was making me starve for mystical experiences. But, when ‘spiritual’ glimpses couldn’t satiate me any longer, I developed ‘intellectual anorexia’. Dependence on intellect was making me frustrated and unhappy, and that’s when He intervened.
With devotees’ mercy and Krishna’s grace I chant 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mahamantra everyday. Since I have been part of the ISKCON family, I read only scriptures translated by Srila Prabhupada. Honestly, there is no desire to read anything else. I am so happy to be on the freeway of devotion!
I already feel I am an eternal member of the Krishna Consciousness family. No words can convey my gratitude to Srila Prabhupada and other devotees without whose mercy I would remain lost in the world of maya.
Like Srila Prabhupada says “chant Hare Krishna and be happy.”