Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hare Krishna Spiritual Experiences

These experiences come from the How I Came to Krishna Consciousness website.  Thanks to a reader for the link!

"...the guitarist from my band invited me to the Hare Krsna feast... I instantly felt a strong sense of spiritual energy as the chanting hit my ears and we sat and chanted the mantra along with the devotees and other guests.
For some reason the name Rama struck me as something odd but I appreciated the strong vibration of the Holy names.
After we feasted I felt an incredible spiritual surge running straight to my soul, I was very convinced that what I had been looking for all my life has finally manifested in the most unexpected way.
...During my first kirtan I felt an incredible surge again...
...One day... I got an overwhelming spiritual surge again and right at the point I decided in my mind 'I don't need to do anything else in life except become a devotee of Krsna'. It was a very powerful realization and it affected me very strongly."

-from Rasa Rasika Dasa's conversion story

"...every night I was reading a few pages of 'Bhagavad Gita As It Is' and I continued doing that until I finished the book.  ...I found that my whole world view had been affected, unbeknownst to me. Everywhere I looked and everything I did, somehow those words that I had read in 'Bhagavad Gita As It Is' would resonate in my heart. And I found that I just could not see things the same way as I had previously seen them. And at one point I was thinking that I should just forget everything that I had read in that book completely, but it would not let me go. It was a power beyond my control. And it was unknown to me at that time, but it was Srila Prabhupada calling me, because, as I gradually came to realize, when one reads or hears something spoken by the lips of a pure devotee of the Lord, if one is generally searching for the truth, then he will also get confirmation within the heart that the words that he is hearing are true. When somebody gets confirmation within the heart about something which is absolutely true, it is very difficult to give it up. If Srila Prabhupada himself had not been a surrendered servant of Lord Krishna, then his commentaries would not have that potency. But we understand that because he was fully surrendered to the same teachings which were spoken by Krishna Himself, His words had potency. And therefore those words would act in such a way that entered into the ear and went into the heart and then one would get confirmation within the heart from the Supreme Lord. When a pure devotee’s message enters the heart, then what does it do? It creates a revelation in the heart of that person"

-from Naranjana Swami's conversion story

"My best experience during this Bhagavatam Saptha is that is the first time I participated in Harinaam Sankirtan.  I was chanting loudly attentively and I was getting tears from my eyes and I did not understand  why are they coming and thought for myself that probably Lord Krishna is washing away my previous sins I have commited and continued chanting. The same experience  was repeated when I started chanting during Narasimha Chaturdashi when the ISKCON president His Grace Vedantha Caitanya Prabhu was leading Harinaam Sankirtan."

-from Radha Shyamsundar Das' conversion story

"One day in the privacy of my room, I called out to God. 'My Lord, I'm in a world of distress! If You're really there, please give me shelter.'
The next afternoon I wandered into a museum, intent on forgetting myself by browsing through antiquities... As I surveyed the paintings and artifacts, my eyes fell upon the most beautiful painting, marked 'Krishna and His Milkmaids.' The scene captivated my attention, and I moved closer to read the text that went with it:  'This scene depicts heaven, where God enjoys eternal life.'
...I looked around for someone to explain the painting in more depth...  I walked out the main entrance and came upon a most amazing sight. Seated on the lawn before me were orange-robed monks with large staffs in their hands. They were speaking intently to a crowd around them.
I inched forward to hear better and was stunned when the tallest monk told the crowd about Krishna and the spiritual world.
'That's it!' I yelled out.
'That's what I'm looking for!  ...I prayed last night. Then I saw the painting in the museum … and now I've found you!'
...And so it began this new life, my life as a devotee of Krishna way back in 1971."

-from Indradyumna Swami's conversion story

"I was attracted, not simply by an unusual style of living, but by the real experience of coming closer to someone whom I knew intuitively to be the most significant person in my life, the eternal, all-attractive Lord. I saw that all materialistic paths would cheat me of this very deep happiness of intimate exchange with Him."

-from Dvarakadhis Devi Dasi's conversion story

"I prayed to the Lord, 'I don’t know if you a person or if you are impersonal. I only know that chanting your holy name is the best means to attain you which is accepted by both personalists & impersonalists. O my Lord please show me the right path to your devotion.'
The Lord answered my call. No, I did not have a mystical vision or something.
...When I heard Bhagavad Gita 18.65 from him, a firm conviction arose in my heart that Bhakti is the ultimate path. This was a beacon of hope for me.
...Now I had the full satisfaction of knowing : the path I wanted to follow & the right spiritual guide. I felt the Lord had answered my prayers."

-from Ravikant Jagtap's conversion story

Testimonials from

“I first read the Bhagavad-gita six months ago, and it completely enlightened me and answered all of the questions that I have ever had throughout my life and my struggle with the Christian religion. I feel that everyone needs to experience Krishna consciousness and without it there is no possibility of true happiness...  Krishna Consciousness is the most valuable thing in the world, and I would never trade it for anything. I am trying my best to enlighten anyone around me and it is spreading like fire.
I am a Navy Seal deployed to [a current war zone]. I have two years left till I get out, and I can’t wait for the day, but it doesn’t matter because I just spend my time in Krishna consciousness, and everything is always perfect. Krishna has taken care of everything and I have no complaints. I just feel so fortunate to have been given this chance to hear about Krishna."

-from an anonymous user

"[’s 'Teachings'] were the first teachings I had in Krishna consciousness. It was like a light bulb being turned on in my soul. I’ve directed many a curious person to them. I was a born-again, but not practicing Christian when I discovered Krishna consciousness on your website in 2005...
Prabhupada gave us the Absolute Truth, and you are continuing in his effort to bring this information to everyone. Thank you."

-from Svayam Rasesvari Devi Dasi, Utah

 Spiritual experiences while chanting the Krishna Mantra:

"The first time I heard a studio recording of the Hare Krishna mantra with careful attention, I found myself crying. I didn’t know why. There’s a possibility that I was crying over something that was perhaps locked somewhere in my subconscious. But I remember feeling very overwhelmed and completely absorbed in the song. I listened to it and sang it many times after.
One of the most distinct memories I have of the power of the Hare Krishna mantra is this:
I woke up one morning, after having a really weird/bad dream...
I started to chant. Then I started to feel like Krishna was watching and he was enjoying it. I felt like he was playing his flute to my chanting. I started to dance. Like really dance...  My body was airy and I don’t know the proper dance (it is a traditional Indian dance) but I was feeling it, you know? Like really feeling it.
And it was the best feeling in the world.
Other times, while chanting, I have felt Krishna’s presence. I have felt Krishna and Radha looking at me, watching over me while I sang their names. Many times, I have anticipated Krishna’s moods. I have sensed him laughing and giggling in amusement...  Yeah, I do wonder if I concoct these things myself, sometimes. Like, I wonder if I’m just imagining it. Either way, Madhav is present so it’s more than enough.
...He really is the Father of the universe. He is the perfect Friend. He is the most adorable Son. The best part is, he is anything you want him to be. And he is that because he is Love."

-from "My Experiences with the Hare Krishna Mantra", on Blogging Up The Drainpipe

from the comments on the same blog post:

"I have been chanting Hare Krishna mantra for about a year and it has brought great changes and peace in my life. Initially when I started chanting I could feel the presence of something very positive and peaceful. It was like there was a void inside me which was getting filled up. It satisfied me greatly. Moreover my concentration increased, my grades shot up, I acquired more will power, confidence and many more things. After reading your post I feel so inspired and happy. Please do pray that I advance more in Krishna Consciousness. I will also pray for you that you continue to advance in your wonderful spiritual life and continue to motivate others."

-from commenter nikhil104ah4, Dec. 4, 2013

A young woman recounts her experience learning about and reading the Bhagavad Gita.  This is transcribed from video.  I highly recommend watching the video itself.

"When I was 17 or 16, I was searching for the meaning of my life- searching for the truths, why, what, where.  All these questions arose.  One person, who was my chess teacher, he told that I have a secret book which can answer to all your questions.  I said, Oh, my God, give me that book!  I want that book!  He said no.  Why?  Because you have to become purified.  What should I do?  He
said, I have to follow... principles, and chant sixteen rounds of Hare Krishna mantra.  I said, OK, I will do.  Please give me everything, I will do.  So, for six months I had to chant and follow [the] principles.  The chanting was very tough, I couldn't understand what I'm doing, but I said, no, I have to do it because I want that secret book.
One day, after six months, teacher brought one book...  When I saw this book, I said, oh, my God, how I've waited for you!  And I took this book and embraced my heart.  I didn't know what was inside, but I knew that this book would solve all my problems.  This book, which I have waited for so long time. I started to read and suddenly, Arjuna, warrior, war, elephants, horses, some kind of guns- what is going on?  It is war!  It is war-filled!  It is not about religion.  It is not about the meaning of my life.  What is this?  I think my aged teacher, maybe he made a mistake.  I went to him.  I said, what is this?  I cannot understand.  It's about war, and there's no anything... which is philosophical, which will answer my questions.  He said, you just continue.  Just continue.  Then I was reading, reading, reading, but I couldn't put this knowledge into my heart.  I couldn't digest this knowledge... because I was not understanding anything.  I was reading, what is this.  Just reading.  I felt very dry. I couldn't understand, and it was very painful.
I read nearly sixteen chapters, but still I couldn't understand.  And I went to him.  I'm sorry, I could not understand.  What's going on?  I want to understand, but I cannot understand.  I am not satisfied.  I am losing my time.  I wasting my time.  So my teacher told, please open the image of Srila Prabhupada and pray to him very nicely.  We have to cry, and beg, and I told you that you have to become purified.  So now you are following the ...principles and chanting the holy names, and now you have to pray for him so that only by his mercy can you understand.
So I said, OK, then I went, and before reading seventeenth chapter, I opened Srila Prabhupada's photo, and I started to say, please, Srila Prabhupada, I don't know who you are, but my chess teacher told me to pray to you, because by your mercy I can understand this book.  I am so, so much disturbed and my heart is paining.  I am wasting my time, because I don't understand what I am reading.  Please be merciful to me.  And, I remember my teacher told me to cry.  But I tried to cry, it was not happening.  Tears were not coming.  And I started my heart, still tears are not coming.  And I started to pray, prayers went on, said, please, I don't have any shelter, please, help.  Where I will go if this book won't answer my questions?  Please, Prabhupada, please!
And in that moment, these tears fell off and I felt that prayers, power, and Srila Prabhupada's mercy... Something happened that I prayed nicely and I was satisfied.  These tears were coming and I started to read.  My teacher said you have to read it prayerfully and you have to be very humble.
And I was reading seventeenth chapter.  Something happened.  I was alone in the home.  And I was sitting down on the floor and book was on the bed, I was... reading, and suddenly something happened that- light was there, was in my heart or outside of my heart, I don't understand.  But that moment of light, that realization, that, time stopped.  And whatever I read runs through, or before my
eyes or before my heart, I was reading.  I was looking up, and I said, Oh my God, it is my way.  Oh, my God, I understood.  And I said, Oh, my God, what knowledge!  Everyone should know about it!  No time!  People are suffering because they don't have this knowledge of Bhagavad Gita.  That very moment that realization came.  All of whatever I read- what is karma, what is next life, why I took births and peace at death, and birth, old age- whatever I read in the Bhagavad Gita in that moment appeared before my mind, before my heart.  So, that was the mercy of Srila Prabhupada.  And I said, yes, now I will chant my sixteen rounds very properly.
Now it is my way...  I have to share it with my parents, I have to share it with my sisters, brothers, and everyone.  So, this was the power of Srila Prabhupada's mercy.
...There are so many people who are searching for the truth. So, they need Bhagavad Gita, and Bhagavad Gita will solve their problems."

-Bhaktin Moral, "My personal Experience of Reading Bhagavad Gita".  Transcribed from Youtube video.

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