By Kesava Gokulananda Das
We had gone for a picnic to Richmond Park in London with our Bhakti Vriksha sanga group on a Sunday and had decided to do a Harinama through the park. The park is considerably huge and covers a few acres. With absorption in Harinama we managed to trek quite a distance into the park and on our way back to the car park I led the devotees down the wrong path and so we lost our way back. All the devotees were now looking at me and saying, “Kesava you led us to the wrong path!”
I replied saying not to worry and to keep following the path and we would soon reach the car park again. As we approached the main road running through the park all the while doing Harinama, there was this couple standing by the side of the road and as we passed, this elderly lady started praising Srila Prabhupada very loudly. “Jai Srila Prabhupada! Jai Srila Prabhupada! Jai Srila Prabhupada!…” she repeatedly continued loudly.
Wow! We all stopped and thought who this is? Praising Srila Prabhupada with so much faith and conviction. So we inquired and she replied:
“I first met Srila Prabhupada when I was living in London. I originally come from Brazil. We used to go and meet him at the airport when he used to arrive in London”
She then told us that she took the Maha Mantra back to her village in Brazil and gave it to all there. She also narrated a story about this one snake that came into their house where they lived and in the morning when they woke up, the snake was all coiled around a picture of Srila Prabhupada she had. Only the face of Srila Prabhupada was exposed in the picture. The snake was never seen again since. So we can say that this mataji could have been one of the early pioneers in the early days that took Srila Prabhupada and the Maha Mantra back to her village in Brazil.
What initially led to a lost path turned into a blessing in disguise by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada and Guru for us to meet one of the early devotees of the movement who had developed so much faith and conviction in the Hare Krishna movement through the association of His Divine grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada.
That day a realization came across me. There are many pioneers in ISKCON and there will be many more in the years to come. Ones that worked very hard and helped built many temples and programs and some became Spiritual masters and there are also many more out there who helped Srila Prabhupada in their own little way like this mataji who took the Mantra and Prabhupada back to her village in Brazil.
Krishna and Prabhupada are always aware of every little endeavour made in propagating the mission of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and so everyone is required in this great paradigm shift that the whole world is coming under. The Krishna Consciousness movement that will sooner or later inundate the whole world with Krishna Prema.
Jay Srila Prabhupada.
Kesava Gokulananda Das