Jaya Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar!
My parents are not technically savvy and have asked for for my assistance in putting together this site. I do this with pleasure and as a service to them.
I was born into ISKCON and have had the fortune to meet Srila Prabhupada which is the seed for my bhakti. My parents have nurtured that seed and it is because of their example and dedication that I have continued to chant and worship since I was 4 years old. I have seen their unwavering faith in Srila Prabhupada through thick and thin in ISKCON including the difficult period after Srila Prabhupada's physical departure and into the 80's.
I have seen them continuously do their rounds, maintain deity worship and overall sadhana while also fulfilling their grahasta duties towards me and my sister and now our children and extended family. I also witnessed my dad serve with vigor when he was younger and making personal and financial sacrifices to serve the movement including leaving his job and uprooting the family to serve Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON. 40 years later my dad has difficulty walking and standing for extended period of times and many forget what early devotees had to go trough when "Hare Krishna's" were not readily accepted, only a few Indians stepped up to the plate to actually assist Srila Prabhupada in his movement, and devotees attending the daily morning program and doing daily service in the temple was the norm.
We did our gurukula stints, my sis in Dallas and me in New Vrindavan. In Chicago they sent us to a school right across from the temple, which made for interesting school yard "discussions". Overall, they provided us a good education and basis for success in the material world while grounding us in Gaudiya-Vaishnvaism. They are now busy instilling the same values into their seven grandchildren and hopefully raising a 3rd generation of devotees.
I hope to follow their footsteps in the grahasta ashram. We stay away from the management of ISKCON and rather focus on the nectar Srila Prabhupada has provided. In Vrindavan I fell asleep in Srila Prabhupada's lap and he did not let my parents take me from his room telling them that I was his grandson, and Srila Prabhupada, holding my hand, personally brought me to them once I woke up. In a letter to Minakshi, Srila Prabhupada wrote "I am always thinking of you and your brother, what nice devotees you are" and I am trying to live up to that standard by following in the footsteps of my parents including doing deity worship to Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar.
I am glad I can be of service to my parents as they share their recollections.
Then and now...
A recent Vyaspuja at ISKCON Toronto
I have aged and my hair is now grey and my stamina is not what it used to be but I am glad that I am still trying to be Srila Prabhupada's insignificant servant. He has blessed me with the ability to wake up every morning and serve Sri Radha Shyamasundar. Both of our kids were raised in ISKCON and they both met Srila Prabhupada. They became attached to Srila Prabhupada and grew up Krishna Conscious and thier children (my grandchildren) are now chanting and will hopefully represent the 3rd generation of ISKCON devotees.
In reflection, I had to witness many godbrothers face difficulty as the years passed and I realized that it is crucial that sadhana needs to be maintained first and foremost. In addition, the taking responsibility for the famiy's needs, both materially and spirtually allows us to set an example of grahasta life and its importance within a thriving ISKCON. Too often responsabilities and children were neglected which does not make sense, since this is not what Srila Prabhupada wanted and we also need to cultivate future generations to carry on Srila Prabhupada's mission.
With that said, every Prabhupada disciple, grand-disciple and ISKCON well-wisher should be happy that Srila Prabhupada's movement in being carried forward and expanding with increases in temples, centers, devotees and book distribution. Srila Prabhupada emphasized the "Purity is the Force" and if we all do our part in carrying out his mission and coperating with each other as he desired, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's message that Srila Prabhupada has so eloquently delivered will reach the masses. I am just happy to be a servant in His movement and like when Sri Ram built the bridge there were many heavy lifters, I realize that I am just like an ant moving a pebble but happy to be of service to Guru & Gauranga.
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