Intense suffering followed by new hope

On Thursday (Sept. 20th) I was walking around the center city of Hamilton (Waikato, New Zealand), I came across a man sitting alone on a bench. I said hello and introduced myself as a volunteer for the Mantra Lounge, a meditation centre on Hood Street.

He then asked me something like, “What does life mean to you?”

I sat down next to him, and we started talking. Turns out that Jean had just finished a night shift. And instead of going home to bed, he had come into town, had two coffees, and was sitting there trying to make sense of his life.

His heart was broken by a girl he had asked to marry him. She had been somewhat unfaithful. He was searching for spiritual answers to life. He said, “I don’t even know you, but I guess I just need someone to talk to.”

We talked about many things, and at one point I said, “You know I’ve also had this experience of a girl being unfaithful, and I know how it breaks your heart. It is probably one of the worst things a girl can do to a guy’s ego. Some guys even try to commit suicide.”

At this point Jean revealed to me that he tried just that. But it failed. He got home one day and went to the garage. He had tied a rope to a high beam in the garage, determined to end his life. He woke up in hospital. The beam broke, and his brother had found him unconscious on the garage floor.

Jean cried as he told me, “This is very hard for me to talk about. Besides my brother, you’re the only other person who knows.”

In the end he walked to the ATM and happily gave me a donation for a set of books. He hoped the books will give him some answers to his questions.

My hope is in the future Jean makes his way to Mantra Lounge and the sanga of Vaisnavas.

We hear about how people are suffering intensely, but nonetheless, there is nothing like a first-hand example to really drive the reality home.

Thank Srila Prabhupada for devotional service and the sanga of Vaisnavas.

Your servant,
Damodara Krsna Dasa.

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