A Real Christian finds Krsna
At the Friday-night harinam in Auckland, I was lurking around the peripheries of the devotees and talking to passersby. I saw a respectable-looking Maori woman sitting on the steps of Aotea Square watching the harinam. I felt a bit intimidated to talk to her, as she held herself with gravity and had a look on her face which I grossly mistook to be fear or at the least distaste. I approached her anyway, and in response to my attempts at small talk, she reached into her handbag and pulled out “Journey of Self-Discovery”.
With wide, hopeful eyes she asked, “Are you the people who sell these books?”
It turns out that she has an amazing story. Patty was a dedicated Christian pastor, all set to be ordained. She decided, before making this commitment, that she wanted to broaden her knowledge about God by studying theology at a university. Meeting a book distributor on the street, she thought that the book could be useful in her thesis.
When I started making general comparisons between the Hare Krishna religion and other faiths, she looked me in the eye and said, “I am not concerned with the similarities. I know deep within me that this is different and that’s what I’m concerned with.”
We followed the harinam and continued to talk right up to the end. She was full of questions, admiration for the devotees, and also glorification of Prabhupada. She quoted him several times from the book and from YouTube lectures she had been watching.
With a big hug and tears in her eyes, she expressed gratitude that I approached her, and the following week she came to the Loft. Humbled by my own lack of sincerity I was so thankful that amongst the hustle and bustle of the busy Soul Feast, somehow Krsna sent Vraja Krsna her way, supremely more qualified to answer her deep, philosophical questions.
When I left NZ, Patty was coming to the Loft every week, chanting, dancing, and expressing enthusiastic desires to visit the temple, wear devotional clothes and buy Srimad Bhagavatam. She even told me how she’s been indirectly quoting Prabhupada’s teachings in her sermons in church! I’m so thankful that Krishna arranged for her to make contact and fulfil her desire to go deeper in her spiritual life. She is a real Christian, who is so earnest to know God that she sought and welcomed knowledge of Him from any source, even if it differed from the tradition she was familiar with.
Harinam sankirtan, ki, jaya! Srila Prabhupada, ki, jaya!
Your humble servant,