(HH JAS 10/2007)
My main work is in publishing. I do editorial work in spiritual publishing. I met my spiritual teacher in 1968 in New York city …. I was about your age, maybe some of you are little older, I was eighteen at that time , i’m a little older now! I spent some time after leaving high school (American system) at the university , pretty good university, and i saw that students were there for four reasons .
One reason at the time, it was 1960s, was to avoid the Vietnam draft, which was quite a good reason for being at university!
The other reason was that some were very career orientated and wanted to make their mark in the job market.
Third group had left high school and weren’t ready to go in the job market and mummy and daddy were going to pay for them for four years to be in this park with nice people, beautiful girls and boys…and they could have a bit of leisure for four years and just turn in a few test papers and have a good time!
And the fourth group was there because they were looking for knowledge and it seemed to me at the time that that was the group that was being the most cheated!
Because in my experience, if you asked a professor , you know, who are you and why are you here and what is the purpose of your life , why are we here in these universities , what is the ultimate point of it all ….their answers would be..dull! They wouldn’t have answers of that at depth. They could tell you what their scholarly enterprise was, they could tell you so many other things, but in terms of delivering meaning , ultimate meaning, it just wasn’t there and what is knowledge if it is disconnected from ultimate purpose……really it is illusion.
Knowledge without purpose, knowledge without deeper understanding of the most basic questions (who we are, what our life is for) is not knowledge. That thought I had at the time and that is why I left the university community and by good fortune, some time later I came across my spiritual teacher, His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, long name. I found on the contrary that if you asked him any questions he had very definite answers and he had a very definite train of thought ……. and that’s where my interest began and that’s where i still am.
Youth asks: How did you meet him?
I met him actually by joining his society, he had a small storefront in New York city. He had left New York and had gone to India for some time and it was in his absence that I met his student s in New York and then when he came back two months later …I met him.
(HH JAS 10/2007)