Hare Krishna Dear Guru Maharaja
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! All glories to you!
Thank you very much for your instructions in the previous letter regarding dealing with devotees. It was very practical and useful. I hope that I can apply it properly in the future.
You had asked me to write about my parents and family in the previous letter. Since it is a wide topic, I will try to say a few sentences and you can ask me if you want to know something specific.
You met my parents and my younger brother during your visit to Chennai this year. I was born in a very pious smartha brahmin family. Technically our mother tongue is telugu, but since my father's side have been in Tamil Nadu for many years, no one knows proper Telugu except my mother. She was born and brought up in Andhra Pradesh. I consider Tamil my first language.
My mother accepted Krishna Consciousness instantly and stopped doing all the pujas for demigods, when my brother and I told her about it. She has been chanting 16 rounds for some time now.
HpS - ASA - Wow!
When we were young, she used to drag us to sloka classes to teach Vishnu Sahasranamam, Rudram, Chamakam, Sri Suktam, Purusha Suktam. She also made us memorize several chapters of Bhagavad Gita. I used to know all of these by memory, but it has been a long time since I recited them.
Initially my father was not very receptive to Krishna Consciousness, but over time he has become receptive. He likes Prabhupada except for when he uses the word Rascal! :-). It was especially shocking to my father when I told him that I was getting initiated. Then when I told him that you were giving me initiation, he mellowed down. He has been looking for a girl for me to get married. I told him I wanted to marry only a devotee and he wants me to marry a girl born in a brahmin family. It is unthinkable for him to see me get married to a girl not born in a brahmin family.
HpS - ASA -- In USA we are attached to chocolate ice cream and video games. You come from a more elevated Maya!
But later when he spoke with Radhika Ramana prabhu, he said he was very happy that I got initated by you. He sometimes even asks me if I am chanting my 16 rounds. Hopefully by your mercy he will also start chanting.
Our cricket coach, Sriram Sir, in India, introduced both my brother and me to Krishna Consciousness. You also met him in Chennai.
HpS - He was waiting by the side of the road with Prasada for us?
He has known us from when I was 10 yrs and my brother was 7 yrs old. He initally made us chant Vishnu Sahasranamam for 5 year every saturday in the Krishna temple near our house before introducing us to ISKCON. It was so gradual and organic, that we don't know when we came to Krishna Consciousness. My brother is now in Connecticut. he is starting his Masters in Computer Engineering this fall. Our extended family is a big one. My father has 6 siblings and my mother has 3. Among my grand paternts, only my paternal grand mother is alive.
Janmashtami this year in Salt Lake City was amazing. We had about 600 guests on a weekday! The highest till date. I did my first nirjal fasting for Janmastami this time. I got my H1B (work visa) approved on Janmashtami. We also had a nice vyasa puja celebration for Srila Prabhupada.
It was so wonderful to talk to you from Boise last Saturday. Please let me know if I could serve you in any way possible.
Srinatha Krsna dasa
HpS - Thank you for the nice information. Many auspicious things happening in your life. Like home schooling, Janmastami has been a big success in ISKCON. Do you, devotees, live in the center in SLC?