One devotee’s account of how he was inspired to donate to the TOVP
I came in touch with Krishna Consciousness in 2004 when I joined the Government Polytechnic College in Coimbatore. An ISKCON temple was near my college. I very much got inspiration from the lectures of HH Bhakti Vinode Swami Maharaj, who was at that time HG Sarveswara Prabhu, temple president of ISKCON, Coimbatore. I am always in debt to Maharaj and the Coimbatore devotees.
Around May 2010, I joined some college friends on a tour to Mayapur Dham for one spiritual camp from the VOICE (Student wing of Pune) program. At this time, I was completing my B.Tech and planned to do my MBA. My desire was to earn an MBA so I would be able to contribute to ISKCON a little more. The construction of the temple had started and when something is made gorgeously for God, it attracts me very much. I desired to take part in it. As far as I recall, that day was Bhisma Ekadasi. In May, by the mercy of the devotees, I was able to observe nirjala fasting. The next morning one devotee was describing the glories of Ekadasi. Prabhuji also informed us that if somebody asks something from the Lord after observing and before breaking the fast, the Lord fulfills his desire. So, before breaking the fast I prayed in the dham that I may take part in this wonderful project. At that time I didn’t know the glories of this magnanimous project (even now I also don’t know properly), I didn’t know that HG Ambarisha Prabhu was the chairman of this project.
I joined VIT in the same year. After few days of joining, I was walking on the footpath of our campus. Suddenly it came in my mind to invite HG Ambarish Prabhu for a visit. Fortunately I received Prabhuji’s mail id. One day I prayed to Prabhupada intensely before writing the letter. After sending the mail, I slept. I was almost sure I would not get any reply because it is easily understood that he is a very busy personality. After half an hour I woke up and wished to check the mail. When I opened the mail, there was a reply! I got an invitation to visit him on 1st November, 2010. The next day (another Ekadasi), we got his darshan during Mangal Aratik. Then I went to his office, from there one devotee showed me where he stays. Later I came to know that the devotee who showed us the way was our dear HG Sadbhuja Prabhu. I was feeling very nervous when I met Ambarisha Prabhu because I was aware that I am not qualified to meet him. We started communicating through mail after this meeting. HG Ambarish Prabhuji’s kind replies were so inspiring. It showed me that if there is love, duty automatically follows. He is so reserved I understood he would never glorify himself. When the time came for him to visit my university and I was preparing his bio data, I didn’t ask him anything. I came to know the struggle he tolerated for the TOVP as a service to Srila Prabhupada and for the welfare of humanity. His love and dedication to Srila Prabhupad are unbelievable. We can never repay him. I love him and honor him as my own father.
I had some laxmi in my hand before joining my company, Rs 60,000. One of my devotee friends from the Pune temple said they needed laxmi. I also heard that HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj desired to inaugurate the temple as early as possible. So, as we are in the shelter of Maharaj and Radheshyam prabhu, I felt it is my basic duty to serve the devotees and to fulfill Maharaja’s desire. I donated Rs.25,000 to the Pune temple and the remaining money I kept to offer Ambarisha Prabhu as my little service to Prabhupad and Prabhuji. I was very much interested to contribute from my first job and salary to the TOVP, but due to my salary limitation I was unable to do much. I use to get in hand Rs.13,000-14,000 per month max. My company timings were also hectic for my sadhana. I had to start at 11am at the office and use to return at nearly 11pm. And for mangal arati I used to get up at 3-3:30am. So, in average I used to sleep 3-4hours max. I wished to donate 1 lakh by October, the time when Prabhuji planned to visit India with his family. When I was leaving the company and got my last salary, altogether it just touched 1 lakh!! Krishna fulfilled my desire. Externally it may seem to be a little tedious but I felt great joy within and when I offered this little laxmi to Prabhuji, I felt so happy. So, if we can take Krishna consciousness and encourage others, it will be the real help to the needy. The secret of happiness is to offer to Krishna whatever we have to serve Him and His devotees rather than serve ourselves, ultimately we will only become happy and there is nothing to lose.
I wish rapid progress for the TOVP and beg blessings from all the Vaishnavas for my family and for me so that I may become eligible to serve and please HG Ambarisha Prabhu and all the Vaishnavas.
Thank you very much.
Your aspiring servant,