I was listening to H.H. Bhakti Dhira Damodar Swami’s classes on YouTube, and I really got attracted to his strictness. Govinda Prema Prabhu gave me Maharajas number so I could contact him personally. I was initially apprehensive to text Maharaja, but just to please Govinda prabhu I messaged Maharaja on whatsapp, and the next thing I know Maharaja replied. He is very personal.
I would listen to some of Maharajas lectures and then compile questions and ask Maharaja on whatsapp at the end of the week and Maharaja would reply.
At the start of 2018, the first call I received was from Maharaja, from Nigeria. I was thinking he has never met me, doesn’t know who I am or know anything about me but takes his time to call me. He said are you ok, is everything ok, then he said I just called to wish you a Krsna Conscious Year. It was really amazing, I didn’t know whether I should pay obeisances or do what. I sat there for some time thinking about the whole experience about talking to him directly.
From there on I knew he was the spiritual master I was looking for. Once he did a video call while I was at the H.K.T.C. library, and he gave me more than half hour personal class/lecture. This happened a few months after his first call. Maharaja, is very personal like this, he will often inquire if am chanting or what am I reading.
One thing that has kept me in ISKCON is the brotherhood of devotees, I have stronger relationships with devotees at the temple than I used to have outside.
When Maharaja came to Nairobi I wanted to take diksha from him. I got the opportunity to serve him in his room, and I told him that I wanted to take disksha from him. He said that’s ok, but wanted to know if Umapati prabhu would recommend me, which he did. Then Maharaja inquired if I had done the disciples course, which I had gone through online, but not done formally so Maharaja said he won’t initiate me until I did the course. I felt so heart broken, felt like I was abandoned again first by my Father now by Maharaja, and I left his room with so much pain and did not go back till the next day
Maharaja inquired why I did not go back as he was waiting for me, as I always had some discussion with him. I could not tell him how heartbroken I was. A few months later the plans to visit Mayapur came up and it was all Krsna’s arrangement that the trip and travel documents were arranged in time.
When I was in Vrindavana I messaged Maharaja that I was there and enquired what I should do to get the full experience of being in Vrindavana. Maharaja called and asked how I was finding Vrindavana and asked if I was going to Mayapur, and I said yes I was and his reply was that he was eagerly waiting for me in Mayapur.
Though I did not know that I was getting initiated at that time, upon my arrival in Mayapur, I gave my recommendation letter and the disciple course certificate to Maharaja. Still he did not confirm my initiation. I was feeling so much anxiety in my heart. I asked his personal secretary if he had spoken about initiation, and he said yes he might give. S
So three days before the initiation date Maharaja asked for my beads and finally my anxiety was over. He asked if there were 108 beads and luckily I had counted and I confirmed the same. Then he said these are very nice beads.
Prior to arriving in Mayapur, I had wanted to get some nice chanting beads, so Govinda Prem Prabhu took me to one of the shops where the vraja vasis make handmade beads. We shared so much philosophy with the vraja vasi and he treated us so nicely. We had lassi in his shop and I told him that I was hoping to get initiated from His Holiness, and he said choose the beads you want I will give you as a donation. So this is how I got these really nice beads from him as a gift.
My Harinaam diksha name is Visva Dakshina. It means skilled and efficient- your name is your instruction said my Guru Maharaja. I should always be engaged and should not be lazy or complacent. I should always strive and strive.
The Krsna Consciousness journey is very easy to start but to maintain it, is hard. It is a life time commitment. There isn’t anything better than Krsna Consciousness.
I have been asked the question… “What is the main barrier for local people to not come to the temple”… I think people have the perception that it’s an Indian temple, and they don’t see it as an International Society. So what should be done to remove this image? There is a concept of the lamp mentioned in the bible. The bible says that a city on a hill cannot be hidden. When you have a lamp in a room, you cannot put it under the table. You just put it where it can be seen and the rest will be lit. By our character, endeavor, engagement with other people, we show others that this is actually a lifestyle that can be practiced anywhere. But if we lock ourselves then we will be seen as a club and not a society. Each one of us has a role to play. Many times when we have been travelling with other devotees, while taking prasadam or doing kirtan people want to know what is this we are doing, by our character, by showing love and respect to others we attract them. But if we lock them out and show them that they are bad and sinful then that will not help the movement.