One evening I was invited to speak at a program in her home, which was well attended by many nice people.
I had been requested to offer a seminar on the holy name at the temple over the weekend - the entire Saturday and half the Sunday. It was well attended by many serious devotees, and Laxmimoni Mataji also participated and made valuable contributions. It is always uplifting to the atmosphere when senior devotees participate.
When facing death, the only thing which will be of value is our relationship with the Lord - nothing else will matter any further. We will receive a glimpse into eternal reality which is our connection with Krishna. All those things which we consider now to be so important to us - our bank balance, our work, our home and car, our position within ISKCON etc - will not have any significance whatsoever. Indeed, a sobering realization! Therefore, a wise person will direct their main endeavors towards investing into the eternal wealth of our loving relationship with the Lord. Everything else will be mercilessly pulled away from us.
Once a devotee told me the story of a man lying on his death-bed. His family members and friends were surrounding him and lamenting about his imminent departure. He did not have the strength to speak any longer. Yet, he wanted to give a message to his associates. So he wrote on a piece of paper "It's all an illusion!".
When facing death, we will receive insights into the illusory nature of this material and temporary reality, which is so flickering and non-permanent - like an illusory dream. It will be all gone - the curtain of the nonsensical stage performance of life in this material world will close. And the next act of this stage performance will begin - in yet another body at a different place.... We can again waste another life time, considering ourselves to be so busy with so many important things, taking it all very seriously and closely to our heart. In this way, we have been spending so many life times in this material world already!
We can put an end to this nonsensical stage performance by developing our relationship with Krishna, and the foremost way of doing so is by chanting His holy name. However, the secret is to chant while mindfully turning towards Him, appealing to Him with a deep and genuine longing in our heart - longing for this relationship, and longing to serve. Only such chanting which is filled with longing will develop our relationship with Him. Any other kind of chanting, where we are not even mindful of Krishna's presence, can be compared to an empty medicine capsule. It is empty - no medicine inside! Thus no effect!
Some time ago I heard the story of one mataji in Ukraine who was just about to leave her body. The devotee asked her: "So, you want to go back to Krishna?" And surprisingly, she answered, "No!". When devotees further inquired, she explained: "Actually, I have no relationship with Krishna!"
This can also be our fate, if we take empty medicine capsules and don't fill our chanting with genuine longing for Krishna.....
Offering the Sunday feast lecture in Toronto, I had an opportunity to meet the entire community of devotees and distributed 60 of my books on spiritual culture. I also met nice devotees from Russia and Ukraine, who are living now in Canada. One mataji was expressing how home-sick she is, missing the wonderful association and mood of friendship in Ukraine! And tears were running down her cheeks......
On the 19th of June I flew back to Ukraine.....
Your servant, Devaki dd