Got Broadband? Plant Bhakti Creepers Via Live Chat
Posted September 25, 2007
Govinda Prabhu, one of our live help volunteers from India, shares the following:
"When I read the various questions we get on live help I can get a better understanding of how large the preaching field is, and how much more we could do if we had the resources."
"So often aspiring devotees write to us, needing help with devotional service. They don't live near a temple and they have very little understanding about how to perform devotional service. It is so hard for people like this to make spiritual advancement. They don't have devotee association, they can't take part in kirtana, and there is no prasadam for them to consume. The only guidance they have is Prabhupada's books. But what if they have questions? What if they need encouragment? That's where we, the live helpers, are so important. We can give those devotees the guidance they need."
"Even in India, where Vaisnava culture is recognised and many temples are thriving, still due to the size of the country, there are still so many devotees that live far away from an Iskcon temple. Often their family situation provides obstacles to their advancment. Family members are unfavourable or the family meals contain garlic, onion and meat. Sometimes devotees are under pressure from family members to marry non-devotees. Or, they so much desire to spend time on cultivating bhakti but due to material circumstances they are too busy earning a living or studying."
"If we take time to help these devotees the results are significant. Even if we are unable to solve their problems, and that is often the case to be honest, still they are so much appreciative of our help. That in itself is enough for them to continue the path with enthusiasm, and that is why our service as live helpers really makes a difference. --Your servant, Govinda dasa."
And here, an excerpt from a recent Live Help chat that made my day.
Matthew (03:16:30 pm) : I want to find and serve Krsna, but I don't know where to start and I am afraid of doing it wrong.
You are now speaking with Krishna Kripa of General Inquiries. (03:16:42 pm)
Matthew (03:17:35 pm) : I am probably speaking with the wrong person considering my inquiry. I just needed to voice my concern.
Krishna Kripa (03:17:44 pm) : Hare Krishna. Don't worry.
Matthew (03:23:36 pm) : I've looked at materials but I find myself confused. My mind and my heart are getting mixed up. Maybe my desire to find God is wrong? I've read the Bhagavad Gita but I still have questions. There's no one in my immediate area with whom I can discuss these questions and so I worry. I'm sorry if I am burdening you; I'm sure you're busy.
Krishna Kripa (03:32:11 pm) : The search for God is the most important thing. That is what human life is all about.
Krishna Kripa (03:32:25 pm) : It separates us from the animals.
Matthew (03:41:32 pm) : I was raised very Christian--Roman Catholic. But I have found more joy in Krishna than in many other ways/places. But I have also found confusion. I don't know Sanskrit and I feel alienated.
Matthew (03:41:50 pm) : I'm not very religious nowadays, but I am very mindful of spirituality and the spiritual world around me.
Krishna Kripa (03:43:23 pm) : The Sanskrit is not important. Some people just aren't good in languages. Don't worry about it. Krishna appreciates offerings of devotion and the endeavor to praise His name.
Matthew (03:43:48 pm) : I chant the Mahamantra. Is that enough?
Matthew (03:45:59 pm) : I suppose what I am trying to say is that I am lonely in my devotion.
Matthew (03:46:06 pm) : My friends poke fun at it.
Matthew (03:48:03 pm) : I am lacking a sense of community. Is Krishna an avatar of Vishnu or is Vishnu an aspect of Krishna? Is Krishna present in our lives?
Krishna Kripa (03:48:32 pm) : You have to make new friends.
Krishna Kripa (03:48:56 pm) : According to Srimad-Bhagavatam, Vishnu is an avatar of Krishna.
Krishna Kripa (03:49:27 pm) : Krishna is avatari, or the source of all the Vishnu forms.
Matthew (03:51:14 pm) : So, should I just read more and more? But what about when I am confused? I don't know to whom I can turn. And I am afraid that going to the nearest ISKCON center will be too overwhelming.
Krishna Kripa (03:58:17 pm) : Well you can write us. Maybe you can find out if there are home programs near you. This is less scary for a new person than going to a temple.
Matthew (03:58:55 pm) : Yes, I would like that.
Krishna Kripa (04:00:14 pm) : Call someone at the local temple and ask if they have congregational programs at people's houses and say you would be interested in going because you aren't ready to go to a temple yet.
Matthew (04:11:23 pm) : Do you think they'll be receptive to that? I am worried that they will not accept me.
Krishna Kripa (04:12:46 pm) : I wouldn't worry. Just keep trying. That is the secret. If we keep approaching Krishna, someday He will accept us. He will see, "This preson is very sincere. He doesn't give up."
Matthew (04:13:15 pm) : I so want that. So, would you suggest just chanting His name?
Krishna Kripa (04:14:18 pm) : Yes. Always just every day. Try to attain the standard of the initiated devotees, 16 times around the beads.
Matthew (04:15:08 pm) : I have beads and I use them. Can I chant all the time? How are devotees initiated? I know people around me will feel like I am joining a cult, but I know that Krishna consciousness is not a cult.
Krishna Kripa (04:17:03 pm) : Yes. It is not a cult. It is a culture, a spiritual culture. A cluture that was once spread around the globe, and which is spreading around the globe again.
Krishna Kripa (04:22:22 pm) : You can chant as much as you want. There are no bad side effects.
Krishna Kripa (04:23:05 pm) : First one gains faith in a guru and follows him for a while, then comes initiation.
Matthew (04:23:21 pm) : Will I ever find a guru or do some devotees not have gurus?
Matthew (04:23:32 pm) : Are there bad gurus who harm devotee faith?
Matthew (04:24:04 pm) : I am worried. And suppose my guru is not a member of ISKCON but a similar faith?
Krishna Kripa (04:29:12 pm) : By Krishna's grace, you encounter a guru, when you a sufficiently enthusiastic about spiritual life.
Krishna Kripa (04:29:31 pm) : If you choose a guru outside ISKCON you probably could not play a leadership role in ISKCON, although you could attend functions.
Matthew (04:41:00 pm) : RIGHT.
Matthew (04:41:12 pm) : Sorry! Right. Yes. Hm.
Matthew (04:41:26 pm) : I will seek Krishna's grace then.
Krishna Kripa (04:43:43 pm) : Yes and try to associate with His devotees at a congregational program.
Matthew (04:44:25 pm) : I was going to go on a Krishna youth bus tour this summer (as I am only 23) but I thought maybe I wouldn't know enough to do such a thing.
Matthew (04:44:30 pm) : Also, I am working full time.
Matthew (04:44:46 pm) : So, I am trying to perform my duty, as Krishna instructs in the Gita.
Matthew (04:45:00 pm) : But I feel like I am neglecting Him to do it.
Krishna Kripa (04:48:48 pm) : Try to chant and read Bhagavad-gita every day and you will not feel like you are neglecting Him.
Krishna Kripa (04:49:46 pm) : The bus tour in America? I spend a week or two on that. I think going to a congregational program would be better for you at first.
Matthew (04:51:18 pm) : I will try the congregational program.
Matthew (04:51:24 pm) : Will there be something nearby?
Krishna Kripa (04:52:07 pm) : Possibly. Where are you?
Matthew (04:53:04 pm) : Near New York City.
Krishna Kripa (04:53:35 pm) : I am sure they must have programs near there.
Matthew (04:54:22 pm) : Very good. I will look.
Matthew (04:54:29 pm) : I tried calling the other day but I didn't get through to anybody.
Krishna Kripa (04:54:52 pm) : If you go to directory.krishna.com and search New York
Krishna Kripa (04:55:14 pm) : You will find places and people there you can call.
Matthew (04:56:21 pm) : I will look.
Krishna Kripa (04:57:59 pm) : I am thinking I should go soon as it is approaching 11:00 p.m., and I generally rise at 4:30 a.m. and chant.
Matthew (05:00:14 pm) : All right. Thank you!
Matthew (05:00:15 pm) : Sorry to have kept you.
Matthew (05:00:21 pm) : What time zone are you in?
Matthew (05:00:27 pm) : I mean--where do they have you located?
Krishna Kripa (05:00:34 pm) : I am in Poland.
Krishna Kripa (05:00:44 pm) : It is six hours ahead of Eastern time.
Matthew (05:00:54 pm) : Thank you for staying and talking with me. I appreciate it so very much.
Matthew (05:01:06 pm) : Goodnight!
Krishna Kripa (05:01:09 pm) : You're welcome.
Krishna Kripa (05:01:18 pm) : Hare Krishna. Good night!
Matthew (05:01:30 pm) : Hare Krishna.
So, do you have broadband Internet at home or work? Would you like to give Live Help a try? Log in whenever you feel the need to get inspired (sharing Krishna consciousness with others is definitely inspiring.) For ten minutes during your lunch break. For an hour in the evening before going to bed. Or, in the middle of the night when you're suffering from insomnia and need a KC reason to surf the web.
There are sooooo many souls out there who are inquisitive about Krishna. Please make yourself available to answer their questions via Live Help chat. They're coming to you. You don't need to find them. You don't need to stop them in the street. Just log onto Live Help and connect with them - pray to Krishna within your heart to help you answer their questions in such a way as to increase their love for Him.