Please do not leave!
By Yamuna Devi
Please do not leave. We have the best philosophy. You won’t find any other kind of nourishment like this Krishna Consciousness.
One of the difficulties facing Yamuna in going to India was her reluctance to leave her sister, Janaki. In the absence of Yamuna and Guru das, Srila Prabhupada wanted Mukunda and Janaki to take charge of the London temple, and the thought of Janaki in that position was dismaying to Yamuna. Janaki, always a sensitive and fragile soul, had become more intransigent and increasingly disengaged from Krishna Consciousness over the sister in the months prior to her departure for India, and she feared that management responsibilities would be too much for Janaki to endure.
When Janaki had last seen Srila Prabhupada at his Baker Street apartment, to Yamuna’s and everyone else’s surprise, she had appeared before him in non-devotee attire. At that time, she frankly expressed her desire to leave. Yamuna never forgot the overwhelming love and compassion Srila Prabhupada demonstrated to Janaki on that day.
Yamuna: So my sister bluntly expressed to Srila Prabhupada that she wanted to leave. She told him that “When you are here, everything is fine; but when you leave, everything becomes harder to deal with, especially the men, and I don’t want to do it.” I looked at Srila Prabhupada, whose eyes glistened with tears of love. I was also crying—we all were.
With a combination of deep love and gravity, he said: Please do not leave. We have the best philosophy. You will not find a better philosophy in this world. There is nothing like the knowledge that we have in Krishna Consciousness. We have the best scriptures, like Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, The Nectar of Devotion and Caitanya-caritamrta.
And there is nothing like our food—prasadam. Not only does it taste wonderful, but just by eating it, you become spiritually advanced. You won’t find any other kind of nourishment like this Krishna Consciousness. And best of all, we have the Holy Names—the mahamantra which is the perfect and most blissful way to reach the highest goal. And we have the best association. Please don’t go.
And all this time tears were pouring from his eyes. Yamuna told this story to a group of young students at the Govardhan Academy in Saranagati in 2010. She used the example of Srila Prabhupada’s mercy toward her sister to show how false ego can make us lose our ability to appreciate even something as powerful as the Guru’s compassion and love for us.
Yamuna: When the false ego comes in, we can quickly become covered over by not following the process. Forgetting Krishna can happen really quickly—we know it in a day. And if you look at yourself in a twenty-four-hour day, where your mind goes—it’s amazing; it can go all kinds of places. Can’t it? In twenty-four hours. What to speak of twenty-four hours; in five minutes it can go all kinds of places! So when we don’t follow the process of Krishna Consciousness that Prabhupada gave us, then we become a little dull, and our ideas become very prominent, and our personal opinions become very prominent; and we become a little weak, and then we forget Krishna.
So Srila Prabhupada gave us this process, and he said, “It is glorious. Please take it. Make it your life.” This life goes by so quickly. I know if you are teenagers, it seems like forever between one year and the next. But those who are in your mid-thirties now; you see how fast the years go by. They really do. I am almost seventy years old. And all I can say is that this life went so fast. It seems like just a few days ago I was twenty-five. It just shoots by. But we want to commit. We want to get to the big “commit” word. How do we get to the big “commit” word?
Try to associate with people who are more advanced than you are. Put time into the process of self-realization. Look at how you are doing. Look at where you can improve—where you can be better. What do you need to make yourselves stronger? And you know if you do this, then just baby step by baby step you start to crawl, and then you walk, and then you run. It will happen, and you will feel the magic—the Krishna Magic. It is the peace formula. It is the path of freedom. We are all looking for freedom, aren’t we?
In the material world, they have a song that says, “Let freedom ring.” So we want that freedom, but actually we are bound up, almost in shackles—almost as if we are shackled down by material consciousness. There is no freedom better than the freedom of Krishna Consciousness. And sometimes when a devotee so-called leaves, or they get weak, they are almost always looking for some kind of freedom separate from Krishna. But this is a very wonderful process.
We have the most wonderful guides; we have support systems everywhere, if we just know where to look for them. And Krishna, our Gurus and the Vaishnavas are holding the rope out to us. We just need to grab onto it—and that means to commit.
Yamuna Devi: A Life of Unalloyed Devotion: Part 1: Preparing an Offering of Love.