(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 1 August 2020, Radhadesh, Belgium, Initiation Ceremony Lecture)

It is the Holy Name of the Lord that awakens our natural love for Krsna. So by hearing and chanting the Hare Krsna Mahamantra, we will awaken our pure love for Krsna. We have faith, somehow or other, to make this our desire. We have the good fortune that by the association of devotees we got faith because faith is the key to everything.

One time, I was in Mayapur and there was one person that arrived who looked like the twin brother of Salvadore Dali. He had a little pointed beard and a moustache. As soon as I saw him, I thought, “A painter!”, and sure enough, he was a painter. But this painter was not your average painter. I can tell you that because whenever I am in Mayapur, I do a special program of rising very early and chanting a lot of rounds and so on. So I was in that program and sometimes I would be walking around and I would bump into the painter who was also chanting. And then I saw that the painter was chanting the whole day and he was also attending all the aartis, all seven of them. So, I was looking at him day after day. He was just chanting and chanting. I was wondering how many rounds was he was chanting? He was there at every aarti. A few of us would do that.  I was just thinking, “Who is this person? Where does he get the strength? No ordinary person can just do that. No ordinary person can just be there and chant so much.” One day, I walked up to him and asked “Who are you? Are you a demigod?” He said, “maybe.”  A few days later, he gave me a poem that I will repeat as good as I remember.

“I saw that old man in 1967. I saw him with his followers. I saw how much they loved him. I saw how amazingly effulgent he was. So I decided to keep a safe distance.”

Well, it was clear what had happened there. This man kept a distance but it was not safe enough. He was close enough for a spark of faith to awaken within his heart. That spark of faith is actually what carried him. That faith had now matured to a point that the painter was able to chant so many rounds with great determination. He would rise so early (others might say at night since that was not early morning) to attend all the aartis throughout the day, all on the strength of that spark of faith. Each of us have also developed faith. That faith is what has brought us to this point. May that faith grow deeper and deeper!

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