Kadamba Kanana Swami

When I was the temple president over a temple in Vrndavan, there were many boys who wanted to stay in the temple, they came from some village, simple boys. So they came and I asked them: ‘So what is your date of birth?’
I asked all this: ‘Name. Date of birth….’ you know writing it all down just in case we needed that……So ‘Date of birth..’ and they go like ‘Er, I don’t know..’
‘Date of Birth, please’ and ‘I don’t know!’
So it was just ‘Well, when’s your birthday…’
So I was asking them: ‘When is your birthday?’ ‘I don’t know!’ Um, ‘How old are you? 24, 25? Now look how old are you 24 or 25?’ ‘Hmm.. 24, 25? What is this 24, 25? Huh?’

It turns out, they didn’t know, they had no idea, they didn’t know when their birthday was, can you imagine?! I don’t know about you, but I know about me. My Birthday was the most important day in the world!

And on that day, I would decide what we would eat. Right? I would tell my mother what we will eat today! Haha! And all my friends would come, and we would have potato race or in sacks, you know, we jumped around, and the cake was hanging from the washing line, and without hands you could try and eat it, and all these wonderful things would happen on my birthday and I was getting lots of presents! Big ones, it was like, it was MY day! I lived the whole year waiting for that day. That was it, it was important can you imagine, growing up you know, the birthday.
Poor Indian children, the image, it’s too much. But they didn’t look depressed, they were quite satisfied although they didn’t know their own birthday ……………… but KRISHNA’S BIRTHDAY that they knew!

I never knew about that, whose birthday? Kru? Krishna? No, never heard
of Him. Huh? Never met him, but boys, they knew Krishna’s birthday very well, and they were making sure to bring him all kinds of presents, and therefore they had some satisfaction that I never had with all my presents.

Open the parcel, (Maharaja makes a let down sigh noise) (crowd laughter) Uh, it’s not exactly what I wrote on my list! This one’s smaller.. Yes those birthdays, huh? I’ve given up on these boring birthdays, you know, when all the people come, and later when you grow up birthdays are not much fun anymore and that’s when all your aunties come and wanna kiss you, and then I had one aunty with a moustache you know, she was shaving it, but it pricked when she kissed you uh! Did I hate that! …… So, like that, these birthdays weren’t as much fun anymore, as they used to be. But once I found out about birthdays of Krishna in Vrndavan: Then I realised that it’s very nice to bow down to Krishna and to think of Krishna, and to engage in His service. To cook for Him, to organise a beautiful nice festival for Him, and that day we are working so hard to make a very nice festival for Krishna.

The one who works the most, he is the most blissful at night, right?

Those who come to the festival and see the Krishna festival, ‘Okay, oh is it? It’s okay, nice. It’s nice.’ those who partake a little bit in the festival, do a little bit of service for Krishna they say: ‘Well quite nice…’
Those who are completely into the service on the festival they are saying ‘I was, it was ecstatic, it was completely fantastic, it was the most wonderful day of my life!’
Janmashtami, the Birthday of Krishna.
So everyone celebrates, and it is also for us to celebrate such festivals, because that is the Vrndavan consciousness.

(Kadamba Kanana Swami 06/06/1999)


1 Comment

  1. Yes, I think that working for the pleasure of Krsna must be the best thing in the world.