Thursday, December 4, 2014

Journey of Service

Last year when I was living in the holy village of Mayapur, I would visit Srila Prabhupad's samadhi and pray, pray to be of service. I passed many evenings of prayer in that great marble hall surrounded by the glory of Srila Prabhupad's life. The whisperings of my heart crystallized: go to New York.

When I moved to New York City last summer, I was on fire with so many services! One service offered to me was to teach Kirtan Connection, which I formulated into an 8-week course on how to lead kirtan. 5 students enrolled.

Teaching Kirtan Connection was profound. After every class I taught last year, I kept sensing that "this is why I came. This is why I came." Whether the class was a trial or a triumph, that sense of unconditional service persisted. Four students graduated by leading a full Hare Krishna kirtan in the templeroom, in front of Sri Radha Murlidhara and Srila Prabhupad.

This year, I taught Kirtan Connection once again. The class size tripled. So did the triumphs, so did the trials. Every single day when I chanted my morning japa meditation, I would be flooded with insecurities. As a teacher am I being too controlling? Unclear? Inconsistent? I kept returning to the thought: I have no qualification to teach kirtan, what am I doing?? There are others way more qualified. 

I wrote about it, talked about it, I appealed to mentors for counsel. Solace came in trickles, soothing the burning in my heart.

When graduation came, students lead their individual kirtans, bhajans, and group kirtans. Each kirtan was a gem. Chills raced up my spine with every person who lead. When kirtans had concluded, completeness settled into my heart. Everything I felt that I had been missing through teaching, all my insecurities, everything just filled or vanished and all was quiet and joyful.

In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, there is no other way, no other way, no other way for deliverance than chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name.  

I pray that I may continue to be of service with humility and love.

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