By Sruti Dharma Das
The last month has been a rollercoaster journey. For over 40 years I have spoken about the harsh reality of life in lectures, funeral sermons, congregational gatherings and personal meetings. Now I am facing those same realities in my own life. It is not an easy pill to swallow.
The Bhagavad-gita explains that we are spiritual beings on a material journey. This life is simply a chapter, and according to the spiritual consciousness we develop now, the rest of the story unfolds. Our current situation is a result of past activities, and the responses we generate now will determine our future. Having the bigger picture helps to put everything in perspective.
A loving father will nurture his child in different ways – sometimes with a sweet appreciation, and other times with a strict reminder. Both are equally necessary, and behind both is incredible love, care and concern. In the same way, God provides encouragement and challenges. This particular stage in my life may well be the greatest test I have faced so far. Pregnant within it, however, is the greatest opportunity. Peace is not an absence of anxiety, but the presence of God everywhere, at all times. This experience is definitely bringing me closer to God.
So I have mixed feelings. On one side there is a natural care, concern and affection for my spiritual friends and family who I have spent so much time with. We have served each other and been through so much. We have plans to do so much more, and the thought of separation is painful. On another side, there is anticipation, urgency, opportunity and excitement to deepen my own spirituality and use this test to come face to face with God. The prospect of death brings your spirituality alive!
One of the most touching things has been the messages of encouragement that have come my way. To know that sincere devotees of God are praying for you gives incredible inspiration and enthusiasm. As each day passes, I continue on and wait to see what will unfold. Whichever way it goes, I have no doubt that Krishna will be right there to help me through it.
(Editor’s Note: Sruti Dharma Prabhu is the Temple President of the Bhaktivedanta Manor in England. He was recently diagnosed with brain cancer. Please pray for this wonderful devotee to receive strength from Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna. Kindly pray for his family members as well as they go through this difficult time with him. Thank you!)