10 reasons why I am so happy and so grateful to be a part of the Krishna conscious movement:
1)The devotees(other ISKCON members)- They really love you, they are so concerned about you, nobody wants to compete with you or bring you down in anyway. They are so amazing!
2)The prasad- Most of the time we are only feasting. Puris, Kacchoris, rice, dal, 2-3 types of vegetables, 2-3 sweets is actually standard fare in any ISKCON program. More importantly it is prepared with so much love and since it is offered to Krishna it tastes nectarean.
3)The festivals- Life is one big celebration for us. A typical year begins with flower festival, gaur poornima and nityanand trayodashi, continues with the sandalwood festival,ram navami, narsimha chaturdashi, jhulan yatra, janmashtami,nandotsav, balram jayanti, radhashtami, kojagiri and ends with govardhan pooja and damodar month. Festivals are all about fasting, decorating the deities and the temple, discussing pastimes of the Lord and then of course the feasting!
4)The kirtans- When the holy names of the Lord are sung with the accompanying of the Mridang and the kartal(cymbals), the harmonium and the jambo and everyone dances together its an out-of-this-world experience.
5)The social life- Between festivals, we are attending someones engagement, another's wedding, somebody's baby's naming ceremony, someone's deity welcoming and another's house warming. I am pretty sure any ISKCON member attends at least 2 social functions a month. Its crazy but its fun!
6) The logic- Everything is so logical. I mean all the 'big mysteries' are explained so sensibly. Everything makes sense when seen from the eyes of the scriptures.
7)The personality development- I think we end up doing everything. We participate in dramas, sing, dance, play musical instruments, cook, make flower garlands, jewelery, deity dresses, make presentations and public speaking, learn Sanskrit and Bengali songs and shlokas, learn proper rituals for deity worship, tend tulasi and grow flowers, develop marketing skills during book distribution and fund collection and develop people skills. Its gonna be hard to believe but trust me every ISKCON member is doing 90% of above list on regular basis.
8)The sense of purpose it gives to life- The whole feeling of being a part of Srila Prabhupada's mission, a global movement that is bringing about a revolution in the world cannot really be expressed.
9)Home is everywhere- No matter where you go- any other country, state, city, town or village- you can go to an ISKCON center and meet devotees who'll help you settle down and make you feel at home. Everyone is so like-minded- even if you dont really know them- you still know them. Everything you are used to is being done. You are at home.
10)The equality- There is no division whatsoever. Nobody is bothered about how much you earn, which caste/community/religion/nation you belong to, where you live, what you have studied, which car you drive or which mobile you possess. Everyone appreciates everybody. You get to interact with people from all strata of society and it really changes the way you look at the world.
All this, along with peace of mind and as much happiness as it is possible to get in the material world and a great chance to go back to Krishna at the end-WOW!
My thinking is as follows- assuming there is no next life, no hell, no God, nothing then I have led a very happy and fruitful life and not missed out on anything in this life.
And if everything the scriptures say is true..... then I have been saved!!!
Thank-you Srila Prabhupada, Thank-you gurudev, Thank-you devotees.
I so dont deserve any of this.
"Vancha kalpa taru bhyashcha
vaishnavabhyo namo namah."