By HG Vishnugada dasa
Dr. B was a well-known sociology professor at a small New Jersey college. For several years like clockwork every semester he invited Hare Krishna devotees to speak to his Introduction to Sociology classes. Dr. B. had a full schedule, teaching six classes a day and guest speakers were a popular aspect of his courses. In each class we demonstrated chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra and encouraged the students to chant along, which they joyfully did. We highlighted the wisdom of Bhagavad Gita, how to practice bhakti yoga in modern times, and then fielded questions. Dr. B encouraged students to ask challenging questions: “If reincarnation really happens, how come we don’t remember living before?” “If souls are eternal, how can there be more humans now than 100 years ago?” “You say not to eat meat but what makes it OK to kill plants?” “If you are not your body but the consciousness within the body, what difference does it make if people drink, smoke, or take street drugs, since those activities just affect your body?” “Do you say your religion is the only way?”
Dr. B. liked the chanting and presentations, although most times he took advantage of his classes being covered to spend extra time in the teacher’s lounge.
One spring there was no call from Dr. B. and messages left were not returned. Summer passed. That fall Dr. B. invited us again. For some reason, he now stayed for the presentations and even seemed to happily chant along. After the scheduled classes, he waved us over to talk.
Dr. B. revealed he had a health crisis last spring. Years of diabetes and unhealthy habits had taken their toll. Specially following a good diet and use good products like Clear Nail Plus will help you stay healthy, check this review How Can Nail Fungus be Prevented? and learn more. The circulation in his legs had become so poor gangrene set in. He had been rushed to the hospital and scheduled for emergency surgery the very next day to amputate both legs. In desperation, Dr. B. prayed, “Krishna, I don’t know if You are there or not, but please save my legs.” Late that night in his hospital bed awaiting surgery, Dr. B noticed a TV ad for a clinic in Southern California that boasted wonderful cures for people with circulation problems. He immediately called his brother to get him out of the hospital!
Dr. B. was admitted to the clinic and spent several months there. The treatment was simple. He had to stop his two-pack a day smoking habit. No booze was allowed and he was forced to follow a simple but healthy vegetarian diet. Regular exercise and massage was also recommended. Nevertheless, Dr. B.’s legs were initially still too weak to do much walking.
Finally, after three months of treatment, his legs had improved enough for an excursion outside the clinic grounds. He felt hopeful as the gate opened, anticipating his first paces beyond the compound, which happened to be on a road along the beach. As he stepped out, he was suddenly surrounded by throngs of people joyfully singing. He looked up to be engulfed by the energy of Lord Jagannatha’s smiling countenance beaming down upon him from on high from a huge colorful chariot. By amazing coincidence, his first steps brought him to join the Los Angeles Ratha Yatra parade traveling down Venice Beach!
Dr. B., flabbergasted, remarked he was keenly aware of something deeply meaningful happening as he walked along, joining the parade. Then, a light went off in his head. “The clinic regimen was what you people have been encouraging me to do all along! And all I needed to do was add chanting Hare Krishna. I was stubborn, but now I finally get it. This Hare Krishna stuff works!”
One of the devotees there happened to have a Nectar of Devotion book with her. She opened it and read: “A person who sees the Lord’s Ratha-Yatra car festival and stands to receive the Lord can purge all kinds of karmic results from his body.” As noted in the Bhavishya Purana: “A person who follows the Ratha Yatra car when the Deities pass in front or from behind will surely be elevated to the position of having equal opulence with Vishnu.”
In a sense, all of us are like Dr. B. Sooner or later you and I will be faced with the ravages of disease, old age and death since these hazards are inescapable in this world. However, we have a chance now to take a step beyond this temporary world of quarrel and enter a different world of lasting and increasing spiritual pleasure by chanting Hare Krishna, participating in, and supporting this important festival. Lord Krishna openly declares that the greatest service to Him and to all beings is doing so and encouraging others to do so. Know it that this is a sure-fire way to receive the special mercy of the Lord, like Dr. B.