A very long time ago, while perusing a used book store, I came across an interesting looking book called “The Krsna Book”. Being forever interested in all things India, I snatched it up. And, like so many things in life where we have every good intention of diving right in, the book landed upon one of many shelves with many other books holding ranks in the “next to read” pile, there it sat for many, many years.
While living in Los Angeles, my husband and I would visit the Venice Beach area often, being draw to the Bohemian vibe. There I ran into a Hindu monk. He was dressed in saffron and sported a shaven head with a little pony tail in the back and a curious looking bag around his neck. He was working a booth that was stationed along the board walk there with a lot of other similar vendors. While securing the purchase of a Hindu Calendar we struck up a conversation. I was telling him how I was very interested in converting to Hinduism and inquiring how to go about getting into that belief system and philosophy, when he asked me what was the religion that my family traditionally followed. After revealing to him that the majority of my family had practiced various degrees of Christianity over the years – from active to fallen away – he advised me to follow my family’s religiosity first and then if I was still not feeling fulfilled by that to then look further into Hinduism. So, I took his advice. From that point in time I explored Christianity, Judaism, Wicca and other New Age systems getting heavily involved in all of them, only to be left feeling like I had hit a wall on each respective path. And even though the paths taken merely led me around in circles back to my original starting point, I can see the wisdom of doing it that way. No stone left unturned, as they say.
That was 25 years ago. I have come a very long way, baby…
It was a little over 3 years ago that I was going through my book shelves looking to see if there were any books that I had maybe outgrown or moved past, so that I could possibly donate them to charity so as to clear up some badly needed space on the dusty old shelves. There it was. “The Krsna Book”. Huh. I had forgotten all about that book. Taking it down off the shelf, I headed into the living room where I love to sit and get lost in reading. I opened it and there was a photo of a little Indian man, very regal in stature but kind of eye. His name was A.C. Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada. A mouthful, but one I would become very accustomed to and then even attached to over the following weeks and months. Opening that book literally changed my life forever and for the better to say the least.
As I read, I remembered the Hindu monk that I had chatted with all those years ago. No doubt he was a Sanniyasi. As I became more engrossed in the Krsna Book, I began to research the author, the philosophy that he taught, the religion that he stood by and everything else that went with his teachings…for I had quite literally stumbled upon the Mother Lode and every word was another stepping stone that was approaching the very answers that I had been in search of for so, so long. And to think that those answers had been sitting right there upon my shelf all along. I was astounded at how that book had followed me from the City of Angels, Los Angeles to San Francisco, home of the Golden Gate Bridge to the chilly shores of Lake Michigan to the Oldest City Saint Augustine, Florida then finally to the home of the World’s Most Popular Beach in Daytona Beach, Florida. Life is simply astounding, wouldn’t you agree?
The book was the best I had ever read. I just couldn’t get enough. I wondered who this Srila Prabhupada was. I wanted to know more about him…where is he now? Where does he live? How has it been for him and the movement since this wonderful book was published? I just had to know more. So…I took to the interwebz and YouTube.
It wasn’t long until I discovered the horrible truth…sweet and wonderful Srila Prabhupada had died under very suspicious circumstances. All evidence pointed to his demise being perpetrated by the very people whom he entrusted the most…his closest devotees and right hand men. I was shocked. I was horrified. I was incredibly sad upon learning all of this information. But for some strange reason, I was not at all surprised by these events. It also made me very determined to learn as much as I could from and about this beautiful Holy Soul who was showing me the path to True Enlightenment. I then declared in my heart and to the world that Srila Prabhupada would be my true Spiritual Master.
So my journey began and is still on-going. Please stay tuned to this tiny place in cyber space if you would like to see what happens next on this, my very own exciting spiritual adventure
…until next time…