Thursday, September 1, 2011

Indradyumna Swami - my inspiration

I recently rediscovered one of the treasures of ISKCON - Indradyumna Maharaj's 'Diary of a travelling monk'. Indradyumna Maharaj, is one of the leaders of the Krishna Conscious movement. He has been spreading the word of God in remote corners of the globe -  Kazakhistan, Poland, Checkoslovakia, in the amazon forests and numerous other such exotic places. His diaries have been around since 1995 - but I never quite got around to reading them.
Recently, they published the Indian edition of his diaries - 2 books - 5 diaries each - chronicling Maharaj's experiences from 1995 - 2010. These books aren't very big - Maharaj writes approximately 15-20 entries every year. I finally managed to lay my hands on a copy and got around to reading them.
I am so grateful to Maharaj that he has given us a glimpse into his mind and heart, through those diaries. On the mundane level, the diary reads like an exotic adventure. He talks about conducting harinam sankirtan on war - torn streets, car rides at midnight in a city under curfew,  discussing God consciousness with soldiers and prisoners and giving lectures in mosques and churches. Every page is a spiritual joyride, describing a new experience in the life of a travelling missionary.
Many of these entries made me feel grateful that I live in a country like India, where the government, the climate and the people are such that the situation is very favorable for me to practice my Krishna Consciousness. The freedom of religion and spirituality I have is indeed a blessing. The whole diary inspires me to become more sincere in my spiritual practices.
But more than that, the diaries reveal the consciousness of an individual who has given his life completely in the service of God. Maharaj shows us a glimpse of his vast knowledge of  vedic literature and text. But the book is not at all scholarly - in fact the language is very simple, straightforward and humble. Maharaj always gives credit for all his successes to his spiritual master - Srila Prabhupada. The diary also contains a lot of appreciation of his disciples, other ISKCON leaders and other devotees he meets during his travel. It shows his mood, - Srila Prabhupada had instructed him, "Be bold. Preach everywhere" - the diary is a glimpse of his untiring efforts to follow that instruction and the total happiness that he derives in doing the same. The diaries are testimony to the fact that Krishna Consciousness is such an active, thrilling, joyous and enlivening process - a process that is universal and can bring eternal happiness to anyone who simply takes up chanting
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare Hare

Thank-you Indradyumna Maharaj, for your wonderful diaries. You are my hero :)
The entire diaries are freely available on travelingmonk/diaries
As and when he writes a new entry - he publishes it online - 2011 has been equally wonderful :)

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