(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 28 March 2015, Lenasia, South Africa, Rama Naumi Lecture)

When I first went to India, Lord Ramachandra was the first deity I ever saw because the first temple I went to was of Lord Ramachandra and that was my temple! It was a small round temple and later on, they renovated and made it into a big marble temple. Oh, I miss my small round temple; it was so nice; the deities were really close but now they are high up and far away.

Then, when I went to Benares, I picked up the “Sri Rama Jaya Rama” mantra from a temple. It was playing twenty-four hours a day at the temple and after a while, it gets into your head. When I was back in Europe, that mantra was still playing in my head, “Sri Rama Jaya Rama, Jaya Jaya Rama; Sri Rama Jaya Rama, Jaya Jaya Rama!”

Then when I mother was in her final days, I did not know what to do! What do you do!? She was dying of cancer. I was alone with her in the room and thought, “What do I do! I have to do something sacred. Let me sing that holy temple song – Sri Rama Jaya Rama, Jaya Jaya Rama!”And I sang it for her as she left this world.

So I got the mercy of Lord Ramachandra although I was covered by ignorance, and somehow or other, I was able to bless my mother with his holy name! So I am grateful and indebted to Lord Ramachandra. How can I ever forget the name of Lord Ramachandra? I was chanting the name of Lord Rama every day for four years before I started chanting Hare Krsna, “Sri Rama Jaya Rama, Jaya Jaya Rama; Sri Rama Jaya Rama, Jaya Jaya Rama!”

On this day, my attraction to Lord Ramachandra has been reawakened. But the end of the Ramayana is too much, just too much (Lord Ramachandra banishing Sita devi)! No, I will be a Krsna bhakta! I will worship Lord Krsna. Yes, kecit kevalaya bhaktya vasudeva-parayanah (SB 6.1.15), Vasudeva Krsna, the original Supreme Personality of Godhead who says that my devotee will never perish, na me bhaktah pranasyati (BG 9.31). Ultimately, the full mercy of the Lord is manifested in Krsna. It goes beyond dharma; it goes to the platform of love. When love transcends dharma, that is what we see in Krsna. Therefore we are serving Krsna as our isthadev, our worshipable deity!

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