If we were to ask people to describe the life of youth today, they might say that today’s youth are eager to go out and explore the world, eager to grow up so that they can have access to freedoms that adults experience. In an attempt to be supportive, they may say that this is not a bad thing, because it keeps them motivated and optimistic about their future. After all, young people are known for their limitless imagination, which enables them to see the world in a different light and also keeps them from getting bored. They look to the future and create scenarios in their heads, and hope to make that reality.
This sounds wonderful, but as a teenage girl myself, I am close to the actual reality.
Look around you. What are most young people doing today? Along with exploring the world, they are exploring the Internet and polluting their mind with thoughts that don’t uplift their consciousness. In their race to achieve their dreams, they are burdened with great competitiveness, as well as their own and their dear ones’ high expectations.. The rage of suicide, depression and social dysfunction is increasing day by day.
I am a young girl whose life is totally different, and I am sharing my experience. ISKCON, the International Society for Krsna Consciousness, is a movement started by Srila Prabhupada. In his seventies, in just a few years, he spread Krsna consciousness throughout the world . He did not personally need anything from anyone, yet he was always making requests of others. What requests? He only ever asked them to serve Krsna. He won the loyalty of his disciples by this. His loving requests were soley for their own benefit.
By his mercy, forty-four years after his divine departure from this world, people like me are still receiving his guidance in day to day life.
I start my day at 4:00 a.m, and with a peaceful mind, I chant for a while. I read something from Srila Prabhupada’s books, and then Starting with my college, currently online due to covid, followed by sumptuous prasadam. I often visit the temple and the peaceful atmosphere is so pleasing to my heart. The Deities are so beautifully dressed, always smiling and indicating that we, also, can be happy and joyful by serving Them. Admiring Them gives complete satisfaction to my heart. Srila Prabhupad said of the deity form of the Lord, “He is not a dead stone, He is the Supreme Person.” I have had personal experience of Him reciprocating in each and every situation.
In this Kali-yuga, trustworthy people are very rare to find., Krsna is the only one I trust blindly. He won’t ever cheat me. I share my heart with Him and I feel so proctected under His shelter. When I hear the ecstatic kirtana, my heart is overwhelmed by love.
The nectarean Bhagavad-gita and Bhagavatam lectures are a very important part of Krsna conscious life, as by hearing them, all my doubts are cleared. Seminars are given by doctors, scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers etc who are expert in their professions but still practising Krsna consciousness.
A point that I would like to share from one of the sessions is this: “We should not just go through life, we should grow through life.” I am getting an experience of debates, performances, and various competitions, all of which have helped me develop my personality,a good character and high values. I have a good circle of friends who all share the motto “keep Krsna in the center.” This helps my determination in spiritual life and as it also helps me keep the right focus in my material life.
“Accept Krsna as your friend and you will be happy.” This is so true. Friends and people around us keep changing, but Krsna is with us lifetime after lifetime.
Everyone perceives Krsna and Krsna consciousness in a different way. That is the specialty of this wonderful path of bhakti. Krsna is special to everyone and loves everyone in different ways. This is my understanding. Krsna has a special unique personal and private relationship with everyone.
I have seen a lot of improvement in my life by practicing Krsna consciousness. For example, by chanting, my concentration has improved. I started reading more. Some of my favourites are Sri Isopanisad, Journey home, The Diary of a Travelling Monk, and Life’s Amazing Secret. Srila Prabhupada’s books are all time favourites. They give me so much knowledge and make me grateful for everything in my life. I am able to relate everything to KRSNA, as everything belongs to Him . Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita, “aham bija pratah pita – I am the source of everything.”
I am fortunate to be always guided by senior devotees in my life who are learned and experienced. I get an opportunity to perform various services such as cooking, making garlands, cleaning the Deities’ clothes, dressing Them etc.
My life is stress free and full of the festival, of chanting , dancing and feasting in Krsna consciousness.