Siddhesh Patankar

Siddhesh Patankar - How I Came

How I came, its little weird story of mine. I had no chance for spiritual advancement neither I get any transcendent knowledge from anyone, nor i’m born in a vaishnava family. But if Krishna wants, everything is possible.

A journey of an downright atheist to a Krishna conscious person. if you feel my experience inspires you even 0.01% to increase your devotion towards lord and to chant his holy names, than I feel blessed by lord himself. i won’t share any of my material life incidences, but only which eventually leads me to develop my Krishna consciousness. I humbly request you all, please be patient while reading it.

Material attachment

Since childhood I was a loner guy, whose mind always preoccupied in his own world. I used to get bullied, teased and taunted by my classmates, friends and family. I was slightly a dyslexic boy. Basically I had addictive nature towards my favorite things. For instance, In my childhood I used to draw cartoon characters so deliberately that I don’t even like do any single mistake while drawing it. Similarly I had many addictions like Singing, writing scripts, writing songs and reading history of india. In each of these hobbies i put my full dedication and try to enhance it like a professional, you know like inventing new things about it and keep thinking about it all time. Among these addictions music became my passion. Once in my school I sang a song infront of the whole class, Everybody started appreciating my voice and talent. I felt like this is the only ultimate goal of my life, i got too much emotionally attached with music that i was totally obsessed with it. I used to think ” because of my extraordinary talent, I will be famous in the future, everyone will respect me and glorify my success. Now at my present no one respect me but in the future when I’ll became huge star, they’ll repent about their ill-nature towards me”, So these thoughts of obsession used to ran in my mind, esp. in nights.

Constant depression due to material attachment

Soon I decided to join a group of rappers near my locality, they all were quite talented. I shown them my songs which I wrote down, they liked it and one of them ask me to sing a song that I wrote down, but I got choked because of nervousness that I couldn’t even utter a word which I wrote down passionately. I went away from there with a disappointed heart. Whole night I grief about it, I was talking to myself, “I was so confident with my talent, but when it comes to present it, I couldn’t even utter a single word from my mouth” I was considering myself ill-fated, it felt like the whole world is my enemy. Just like a fool I was blaming God for my failure that God always makes things pretty much difficult for me only.

(When we put our more than enough expections upon anything that cause us material happiness, but if that particular thing disappoints us than we became frustrated and ignorant. Only one thing haunts our mind, is failure and how to overcome it.) this attitude snatches our peace of mind and gives us constant depression.

Debate on religious views with some friends

Once when I was in 10th grade, some of my Muslims friends were rudely joking about Hindu conception of God, Since I am a born Hindu, me and my friend started arguing with them, in this debated they insulted many deities. Since I wasn’t having much knowledge about religions. I told them, “how could you insult our Gods, if you think your religion is superior than its good, but you can’t raise finger on us, does your religion teach you to offend other’s religious feelings?”, in returned they laughed on it and said “there’s no such deities of your religion exist, all your culture and books are myth, but Quran is only words of God”. this debate created many questions about God in my mind.

After a year when I started going to college(In India, a students college life starts from 11th grade). One of my friend started discussion on whom I believe or have faith, he was actually Christain converted hindu, Since I had atheist attitude I said him, “i’m a follower of king Shivaji,(due to my hobbies about reading history) i don’t believe in God.” then he raised a question, “how can you believe a human being?” we had long debate on this, while going home he invited me to a place which he’ll take me there in the evening, I agreed. At evening, he came my home and we went to a apartment, on few distance. there was a youth to whom he introduce me and explain him about our discussion, that boy asked me same question, again I said I’m a follower of king Shivaji, than he asked me a weird question,” What does king Shivaji did for me?” I got quite baffled with this question. Then I told him brief history about king Shivaji’s exploits. later he told a incidence of his life, that his grandpa was a devout hindu, when his grandpa was on deathbed, everyone from his family prayed to different deities to save his grandpa’s life. but no one came save his grandpa, then he asked me why none of them comes to save his grandpa? I prefer to keep quiet, instead of commenting on it, by looking at my confused face, he asks me to accept Jesus Christ as my saviour, So I will be saved from going to hell, I was surprised and asked him quickly, “if I didn’t accept Jesus Christ as my saviour but I have faith in any of my religion’s deities, can I go to heaven after death?”. Again he asked me a diplomatic question, “Suppose, if you die and stopped in the gates of heaven by Lord Jesus Christ and he ask you, why should I take you into the heaven, than what you will say to him?”. I didn’t like this question but not to hurt their feelings, I told him, “Well, I don’t have any grugde with your lord, but I have faith in king Shivaji, So I will surely go there where he is.” that boy must have figure it out, I don’t ! have any knowledge about spirirtuality.

After hearing this my answer that boy explained me about How Jesus got crucified and how he died for ours sins and only those will get heaven after death who accept him as only saviour. In the end, he came on the conclusion “Jesus is only way to the heaven” and all those who don’t accept him as saviour or son of God, will certainly go to the hell.

This thing remind me about same debate which I had in my 10th grade with my muslims friends. I was thinking in my mind, “just because I don’t believe in God, even if i’m a good human being but still God will drag me into hell for not believing him.” It seems to be so ridiculous for me.

I told that boy and my friend that I don’t want to get converted into christainty, by saying this I get away from there and came back home.

Seeking for absolute truth

After such religious debates, i came to known about bigotry and proselytism in Human’s faith. I used to think, ” how can be God so partial, Certainly God is not like this, Religions are made by humans not by God, but if really God is so partial than I’m happy to be an atheist”. At that period my perception about God was, ” Okay, i’m an atheist but I don’t hate God, I just couldn’t understand him and there’s no one who can make me realize about God, according to my mindset, If God really exist than he’ll make me to believe him.” (May be lord Krishna must have listen to this my indirect prayers)

I became quite revengeful about bigots people, so I started comparative research between religions on internet and websites. I came on a conclusion that every religion teach same things but we human always fight with each other, because of bigotry and forgotfulness about actual teachings of God. but still I was obsessed with these topics, All such negative things through religious debate made me a downright atheist, but my curiosity to know supreme truth didn’t diminished.

Material love

Since I’m a youth, nowadays if you may notice every person is looking for love, because of movies and music. Today’s youths are highly influence by that to have true love in their life, just like its the most important part of our daily life .Only message conveys from movies and songs is to have true love in life and to have sense gratification. No message to inspire a youth for spiritual advancement.(May be to maintain, So called “Communal harmony”)

Naturally man wants a girl who can understand him, care for him and one who is crazy for him. So they can enjoy and have sense gratification, but today’s generation is weird. Like always, A boy meets a girl, he gets attracted towards her, they both gets into a relationship, for few months they stay sweet with each other ,get physically intimated, spend time together and later with a conflict or disagreement have break up or divorce if they are married. In the Material world to suffer a heartbreak in a relationship is consider to be the biggest pain than anything else, that person almost bears intense pain of heartbroke and probably gets attracted towards alcohol, drugs and so on, in some cases few person attempt suicide.

Hence, i was getting aware about such things of material love. Personally I didn’t had any relationship with a girl but under influence of Maya I often desired to have one . May be this was also lord’s wish.

Dropout from college

In today’s Competative world, Survival of middle class people is really horrible. Only chances to make themselves materially developed, through Hard work and studies for better placement. Parent says “Come on, study hard, earn top grades, so you can get fine job, we have so many expections from you”. Likewise Nowadays, Professors of universities also instilled fear of competion among students, So they can study hard for their better future, instead of encouraging students.

I was in Second year of my course which I was pursuing. My one of the biggest fear to get dropout from college, after getting frequently pressurize by Parents and professors. Since I was probably obsessed with such useless things like Chasing dreams, religious debate and material relationships. I became negligent about studies. As a result, I got dropout from college.

This was a big blow for me, when I got exams result I was totally shattered due to being dropout from college. I literally cried that whole day, I was thinking, ” My career is ruined now, I dont see any gleam of hope that I will ever overcome with this dropout.”
After few days my mom suggested me to find a job, just for work experience, until I again re-appear for exams and clear that drop, so I could move to the final year of my course, I agreed. but Got failed in the interview, due to lack of confidence.

Bhagavad Gita ‘as it is’ and commencement of Krishna Consciousness

After getting failed in few more interviews, I almost lose all my confidence and considering myself as a biggest loser like no one else. I denied to work and stayed idle in my house for few months, doing nothing.

I was just like a drowning man into these material ocean of nescience. No one seems to be there to lift me up from this material nescience. Once I saw it in a movie that bhagavad gita have every answers of our whole life, I was wishing to read it once. lord krishna, Who is ocean of mercy, he might felt pity on my condition and gave me a chance to know about him.

Suddenly after few days on date of 29/12/12, my dad brought bhagavad gita ‘as it is’ from his office(b.e.s.t depot)
Iskcon devotees of juhu must have distributed that.
I was very happy by receiving Gita. Although I had habit reading, but it took me few days to have habit of reading Gita daily. I made up with my mind, that I will read this full book, bhagavad gita “as it is”.

Bhagavad Gita “answers for every questions of our life”

Due to dropout I had one big benefit that I was able to give my full time to read bhagavad Gita nicely and properly.

When I completed reading first chapter “Arjunavishadyog” I felt like same situation as Lord krishna kept Arjuna during kurukshetra war. As he was avoiding war with his evil cousins kauravas due to material affection towards them. likewise I was also avoiding to work due to my lack of confidence and grief.

Just like Arjuna every materialistic person of this world are in the same dilemma according to their tough situation. Of course it happens when we consider body as ourself and forgot about soul, Second chapter gives me knowledge about soul is eternal, it can’t be killed, it has no birth or death, even if body dies, soul lives eternal. Third chapter makes me realize that we should perform our particular duties only to please lord krishna.

Chapter by chapter my all useless obsessions and material nescience got wash away due to mercy of lord Krishna and his divine grace Srila Prabhupad. 10th and 11th chapters mesmerized me with lord’s opulence. 12th chapter make me realized about “bhaktiyog” is bestest way to know lord and to make him our only ultimate goal of our life.

When I was reading 14th chapter, I get to know about three modes of material nature, esp. Rajjo guna(passionate) which make me realize about problems of material life relationships. As it is Said in gita No one will be free from cycle of birth, death, happiness and sadness neither in earth nor in highest abode of material manifestation, unless he/she surrender upto supreme lord’s lotus feet with pure devotion and goes back to Godhead. Krishna, the supreme personality of Godhead.

Finally when I completed reading all 18th chapters of bhagavad gita, I felt liberated from this material nescience. All that depression and obsession turned into constant Hari-chintan. Srila Prabhupad explain every verses so superbly that one who read bhagavad gita ‘as it is’ with full devotion in their heart towards Krishna, he surely became Krishna conscious very soon, this is my opinion.

Further advancement in Krishna Consciousness

Just when I completed reading Gita. I again started reading it from beginning, after few days I went to iskcon, juhu with one of my friends to buy more books. Just recently again I visited iskcon with same friend to buy more books, he also now by Mercy of lord Krishna developing his Krishna consciousness. Currently for the third time I’m reading bhagavad gita, and also started reading krsna, the supreme personality of Godhead. I’m trying to increase my chanting rounds, everyday I chant four rounds, I hope soon I’ll make it till 16 rounds.I have accepted Srila Prabhupad as my spiritual guru. but Still I’m looking for My spiritual guru, I’ll leave it on Krishna’s wish.

There’s a hindi song which I daily listen, feels like to share it with you all. I try to translate it in english:-

“Just like a burning body due to heat of the sun gets Shades of cool place, this much pleasure I got to my soul, Since when I surrender upto you my Ram(Krishna)”

“My mind was keep wandering, and it wasn’t getting any shelter, Like a ship continuously struggling against heavy waves but not getting shore, My Lord you shown shore to that struggling ship”

“On the path, where I can get reunited with you. On that way I’ll always step forward, In happiness or sadness, bad times or Good times, I will never get misleaded, I was just thirsty for water, but My lord you drank me, Nectar of your devotion”

Hare Krishna

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