I was temple president in Vrndavana and one day one of the pujaris, an Australian pujari, came into my office and he put his watch on his desk, he put his tape recorder on the desk and he said:
“You take this. It’s not going to do me any good where I’m going.”
I said: “You’re going? Going!? What?”
And he walked out of the office, and I didn’t see him again for years. Many many years later in Sydney I saw him in the subway. His teeth had all disappeared and he was living there like a bum in the in the underground tunnels of the subway. Obviously he had been deeply involved with drugs, that was quite clear, but as soon as he saw me he came. At first I didn’t recognize him because he looked different to when he was a pujari and then to how he looked there in the tunnels – but when he saw me, he was right back in Vrndavana.
He was there… for a moment, he was the pujari again!
He was remembering how he was dressing and he was saying; “Remember?”… ”You know, this and this, that time, when I dressed the Deities and everyone was like this” ”Remember that time?”
I didn’t, but anyway! – but he remembered. Right!
He remembered how he dressed the deities and on one occasion it was especially appreciated by all the devotees… and he was back. He was back! – completely back – and it is in the same way that at the end of life, everything falls away.
Everything falls away. What will stand is the service we have done.
Yes, the reactions to sinful activities may be a little bit burdening us, but it is easy to leave these things if one becomes absorbed in remembering the service, because that’s the only thing that’s meaningful in life.
So that’s on the other side of the coin – that whatever service we have done, that is so effulgent, so bright, if we would leave spiritual life, then the memories of our life would be all just black and white pictures, just dark, gloomy black and white pictures, and then suddenly these full color beautiful pictures of our spiritual life would be there.
Therefore we cannot allow ourselves to become distracted.
Transcribed by Fredrick Prabhu
(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Melbourne, 9th October 2010)