I still remember chanting the names of various demigods before going to sleep as a child. I was told to do so by my mother, who is a worshipper of the goddess durga. I was lucky enough to be born in a family that was religious. Everyday the family gathered during the evening to offer aarati to the lord. I also remember witnessing many pooja’s at our place since we were Brahmins. This continued for a long time. I never asked any questions as to why we were supposed to do this and just followed the instructions given by my mother. She made it sure that I memorised the Hanuman Chalisa and told me to chant the name of Lord everytime, it was scared. She told me pastimes of the Lord every night before going to bed which developed faith for the Lord in me. We had made it a point to visit ISKCON Hill temple at least once a month and gradually we became members there. When I was in 6th grade my parents enrolled me for summer camp in ISKCON. I learnt to play some bhajans on the keyboard and most importantly I learnt how and why we were supposed to worship the Lord. It was my best summer camp till now. I came and taught my parents the various things I was told. Now we had a better understanding of God but not completely since after the camp there was no one to guide anymore.
But then by the Lord’s mercy we came into the association of devotees who have guided us and brought us where we are supposed to be. It was a Sunday evening , as usual our family was watching television, and the doorbell rang. There were two respectable ladies who invited us for the damodar program. We did not know them. One of them had organised a Kartik month programme and since the kirtan team had not yet arrived they decided to invite some neighbours. Before coming to our place they had been to our neighbours house and she sent them to our place saying that the people here are religious, so they might join you. We did join them and it was a wonderful experience.
My mother always had an intense desire to have classes or Sankirtana in our house, so this was the right time. She asked Prema Mai mataji to have such a programme at our place and with the mercy of Vaishnava’s and Lord Krishna it so happened. The kartik month of 2012 was the time my family and I got fortunate to enter into Krishna Consciousness. We started coming to the temple, chanting, and infact the Bhakti Vriksha class was being held every Saturday in our house. My mother’s desire was fulfilled.
That month not only was my mother’s desire fulfilled but we also got a great family. A family that makes us feel loved and cared for more than the blood relatives. Getting involved in temple services is the best part. The Bhakti Vriksha classes have given a new definition to the way Bhagavad-gita is learnt and understood. I have always loved the interactive sessions, the wonderful kirtans and not to forget that the Prasadam has been an icing on the cake. Coming to Krishna Consciousness has helped me in innumerably various ways. Through this process I have learnt to be patient, calm, and the right way to live life. These classes are like weekly pills for our spiritual growth and hence it is very important for us to attend them regularly. Being in constant association with devotees is a necessity . Devotees teach us many things that no one else can do.
– Deeksha Sharma