I offered everywhere a one-day seminar, with the morning session being on the topic of death, and the afternoon session on chanting the holy name. These two topics fit perfectly together: Death is always a most powerful topic to shake us up from our illusory dream-world, imagining ourselves to be here forever - simply in order to enjoy life.....
Once we understand more deeply what exactly happens in this very moment of death, we can experience a stronger urgency to develop our Krishna consciousness as a preparation to meet this final challenge. And the practice of chanting the holy name is one of the most important aspects to establish our relationship with Krishna - our only wealth at this moment of death....
We have all heard the analogy that Srila Prabhupada gives us in regards to chanting the holy name: We should cry out to Krishna like a helpless child calling out in desperation for his mother. It is a simple yet profound analogy.
A child crying in helplessness does not have the problem of a wandering mind. The child will not say: “Whenever I cry for my mother, my mind is thinking of so many things: where to play, whom to play with, what to play...!” No, there is no room in a child’s mind for any other thought except, “Where is my mother? I need her right now!”
This is what it means to cry out in helplessness and desperation.
We can therefore understand that simply engaging in a boxing match with the mind will not bring us to deeper levels of chanting; instead the holy name will remain on the level of our mind and intelligence. We have to bring Krishna’s holy name to the level of the heart.
If our heart is actually involved when crying out to Krishna, then our mind will be drawn to the heart and will not be distracted any longer. Our problem is that we don’t feel desperate for Krishna. We have ignored and neglected Him for so many lifetimes! We continue thinking that we can be happy without Krishna being part of our life. Therefore, we are lacking the feeling of helplessness and desperation.
We also lack the humility to feel truly helpless. Our pride gives us the confidence that we are fine without Krishna, thinking we have everything perfectly under control.
As people in Australia commonly exclaim, “No worries, mate”! With a ‘no-worries-mate’ attitude to life we will not feel helpless enough to call out to the Lord.
Some of the temples had rented a big hall for this program, and between 700 and 1,000 practicing devotees had assembled for the event. In this part of the world, the number of participants is so much higher than anywhere else!
And everywhere I concluded the program by distributing Srila Prabhupada's books - my most blissful moments! On each program between 100 and 160 books were flying out into the hands of eager devotees, and I had to sign most of them, which kept me busy for some time....!
Another special feature of the programs was the showing of Yadubara Prabhu's film about Srila Prabhupada - with Bengali dubbing. It brought Srila Prabhupada closer to them and visibly moved everyone's hearts!
I concluded my tour around Bangladesh with a two-day seminar at the newly constructed Gaur Nitai Training Center in Chittagong on "Seeking Sheltering Relationships." The narrow 8-storey building is still under construction, and the small temple room was unfinished and dusty - yet packed with more than one hundred enthusiastic devotees.
On the 8th of December I flew to Kolkata, where I met my two assistants Julia and Iva and some devotees from Kharkov/Ukraine. It was a happy re-union, and we traveled out to Mayapur all together.....
Your servant, Devaki dd