Vrindaban I called Raghunatha, the

February 3rd, 2001

Vrindaban

I called Raghunatha, the director of the Bhaktivedanta Hospital, to confirm a date for a minor surgery I require. Raghunatha told me that he had just returned from Bhuj, the epicenter of the huge earthquake that had devastated Gujurat, where the Bhaktivedanta Hospital team rushed a team of doctors to assist in the medical relief, distribute prasadam, hold kirtana, and provide counseling.

These doctors have their jobs, families, and are strict in their spiritual practices. They also diligent in the various devotional services they have, so already every spare moment is being utilized in Krishna?s service. This emergency relief work must be a great sacrifice for them. I worked hard for most of my life for Srila Prabhupada’s mission and now Krishna has given me time for my spiritual practices, but their surrender and selflessness makes me feel almost guilty about staying longer in Vrindaban to personally enjoy my spiritual life.

Raghunatha described to me the devastation and fear he saw in Gujarat. He asked one taxi driver who picked him up at the airport what it was like in his town during the earthquake. The driver described how his simple dwelling suddenly began to shake violently and how he quickly grabbed his wife and child and ran out to the road. He then described seeing a large greenish brown cloud hover over the whole village like the aftermath of an explosion, and how when it settled minutes later, there was absolutely nothing left of his village?only rubble.

While speaking to Raghunatha, I recalled Srila Prabhupada’s words in his last days to his young sannyasis. “Don’t think this won’t happen to you.” I am now enjoying Vrindaban life, but I shouldn’t forget the inherent suffering nature of material existence, and how I also will inevitably face material devastation, in one form or another, unless by advancement in Krishna consciousness, I transcend the dualities of the world.

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