Once upon a time, I was travelling around the world and I came to a particular town where the City was located on the coast. I went to the local temple and the temple president wasn’t there, so I asked where he was. They said:
“Oh, he went to the beach”
I said, “Okay”.
They said, “ Three days ago?”
“Three days ago?”
“Yes – three days ago, and he never returned.”
So, being from the Netherlands and having a thing with the sea, I naturally took advantage of the situation, to go to the beach. I went there, and yes I saw him, and he was sitting in front of the ocean – staring out over the water. Well, I sat down next to him and didn’t say anything. After about fifteen or twenty minutes, I said to him:
“Nice view isnt it?”
Well, you know from one thing gradually another and we wound up with a whole conversation. Then he started to reveal his heart – and what it was…what it really was – there were was a question that hit him which was:
“Who am I? Reeeaaally?”
That question had come into his mind and that question remained in his mind for three days now. So you could say it was an acute identity crisis, which happens in this world. Some people indeed suffer from an identity crisis, and it also happens to devotees who at one point just after years of practise of actually following devotional standards of going through the sashtras, as outlined by Srila Rupa Goswami, and seriously engaging in hearing, chanting and cultivating devotional service – some people get this identity crisis: ‘Why? What is it?’ Because, all along they were in a Shakespearian production. They were somewhere on stage acting out a role, but somehow or another it didn’t really hit home – it didn’t really connect to their feelings. Yes that can happen. This particular case was a little extreme. I do not think that there are many such stories of people going to the beach from Krishna Consciousness – not that, but others are showing the same symptoms but through another degree, but still wondering: “Who am I really?”
So with Krishna Consciousness, if we really want it to happen for us, then we have to make it meaningful. Meaningful – first of all for Krishna, because we are doing everything for Krishna, and Krishna also means the spiritual master – because he is the representative of Krishna!
(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Stockholm, February 2011)