12:30 Brahmacari Class, ISKCON Chowpatty, Mumbai, 13 April 2002

‘The Spiritual Master is the eternal father because the Spiritual Master has the resposibility to lead the disciple to spiritual salvation, or the ultimate goal of life’ – A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Srimad Bhagavatam 3.5.7 Purport

Govind Prabhu discussed a little from Bhagavad-gita before Radhanath Maharaja addressed the brahmcaris.  Maharaja spoke some nice words about some of the senior brahmacaris.  He spoke about Krsnanda prabhu.  He mentioned how Krsnand prabhu could have held a chair at MIT, but chose the simple life of brahmacarya instead.  Maharaja glorified his disciple, ‘Krsnand prabhu has been seasoned to perfection.  He almost took sannyasa ten years ago.  But the world is not ready for Krsnand to become a sannyasi‘.  The brahmacaris from Pune and Chowpatty huddled around Maharaja, soaking in his words.  Maharaja carried on, ‘Brahmacarya means renunciation, knowledge and engagement in all aspects of devotional service.  Prabhupada taught us that disciple means “discipline”.  Discipline in how to control the demands of sex desire.  Young people are most agitated between the ages of 15 and 25.  In Vedic tradition, brahmacaris were not allowed to associate with women – except for urgent devotional service’.

Maharaja turned to Govind Prabhu and said, ‘What’s the next auspicious day?’  One devotee said, ‘Rama Navami’.  Maharaja said, ‘No.  Within the next two days’.  Another devotee said, ‘Radha-Gopinath Prabhu’s Appearance Day.  It is also Salagrama Worship’.  Maharaja then announced, ‘Tomorrow I will be giving harinama-diksha to Bhakta Michael from South Africa.  There will be a short, five minute ceremony after Bhagavatam class’.  Maharaja looked at me and said, ‘Is that alright?’  I said, ‘Thank you’.   ‘There will be no yajna.  Today there is another kind of yajna.  I don’t think you want to go downstairs?’  There was a wedding taking place in the downstairs foyer.

All the devotees are supportive.  Govind prabhu says, ‘That’s so sweet’.  Gour-Govind, Sivarama and Hanuman all approach me and say, ‘Congratulations!’  But nothing has happened yet.

Next morning, the devotees make me dance during mangala-arati.  I don’t want any special attention.  I lower my head and try to leave the circle, but the circle expands and closes around me.  Different brahmacaris step forward to dance with me, to make me dance.  I move, to find a gap, but the wall of brahmacaris throws me back into the circle.  Finally, I let go.  I surrender.  Dance with abandon.  I feel so safe here.  I know that this is the safest place in the entire universe.  My skin prickles with goose-bumps and I am overwhelmed with emotion.  The whole Temple room is full of devotees.  All the devotees from Pune and Chowpatty are here.