More than a decade back on January 1st,2000; I had been to ISKCON Juhu, with Uncle and his family . It was too crowded so we could only manage a glance of the deities, and I vaguely remember instead of looking at the deities I was looking at the group of devotees dancing to the tune of Hare Krishna Mahamantra. I remember wondering what sort of worship that was. Then we came out of the temple and went to the snacks counter (since we had had nothing for the breakfast). While my uncle was purchasing some eatables I ran to the gift-stall that had attracted me. I was looking at the different types of beads when a man in saffron dhoti-kurta asked me, “Mala Karega?(would you like to do the beads?)” I gave him a confused look. (does he wants me to make these beads I wondered). He cleared again, “ Japa karega Japa? (would you like to chant?)” I asked him “ Why do we chant?” He gave a very sweet reply, “ Jaise chota bacha ka bar bar naam leta hai toh wo khush ho jata hai, waise Krishna bhi chota gopal hai, bar bar naam lega toh who khush ho jayega. (Just like little babies laugh when we repeatedly call their names, Krishna is also a small baby, if you repeat his names he will be very happy)” Listening to this at least I was delighted and went back to my uncle asking him to buy me the beads. He replied, “ Tera baap mujhe usi maala mein taang dega jaldi khao aur chalo. (Your father will hang me with the same beads, fnish your snack we have to leave.” I got very upset, and due to my over-sensitive nature on the verge of crying. Then my aunt promised, “Either you take his permission and then I will bring one for you, or wait till you grow big and then you chant” I considered the second option as I was too scared of my father and waited.
Then finally I managed to begin chanting on February 14th,2007. And while chanting I always remembered Krishna is getting happy, he is smiling and laughing and I enjoyed chanting the most.
But it didn’t last too long, and slowly the chanting was more mechanical, and then the image of laughing Krishna was replaced by the prayers that I can chant the same way as I did, until recently where concentrating on chanting and completing the rounds has become the biggest challenge where I completely forgot the face of that smiling Krishna. But Krishna comes right in time to help you. Recently my baby started responding to his name (Krishna-Kirtan) and he was laughing and laughing when I repeatedly calling his name (Krishna) again and again. And the same form of Krishna smiling as I saw while chanting appeared in my thoughts and has stayed there.
This incident has reinstated my faith in so many things,
- power of Krishna’s names
- the effects of good preaching and to any age group. I was 9 yr old when that prabhuji explained why we chant
- and that Krishna will never leave you, no matter what. He is there, right there, to hold you just when you are about to fall, or even if you fall he is there to pick you up. He will never even the lil spark of devotion in your heart blow off.