A Paradigm Shift

Posted on January 27, 2011 by Raghava No Comments

by Srimati Syamarani dasi

“Six or seven years ago some devotees arranged for Ananta prabhu’s Satvatove teacher, Dhira Govinda prabhu, to hold a Satvatove workshop. Interestingly, it would be held at the end of Kartika, just after our Kartika parikrama, at our Sri Sri Giridhari Gaudiya Matha in Govardhana where our sanga members would be residing for the parikrama.

“I had no intention to go, because I thought it would be maya. I thought I was transcendental to it all. ‘After all,’ I thought, ‘I already do bhakti, which gives the highest perfection. I already chant Hare Krsna.’ Of course, my relationships with some of my publication team members and other devotees wasn’t so great, but I figured it was all their fault.

Then, a couple of months before the workshop would be held, I was in Germany, and I had just given about a week of harikatha classes. I was staying at the home of Srila Gurudeva’s disciple, Hariballabha didi. On the last day, after hearing from several of the devotees there, she said to me, “You know, Syamarani didi, when you give classes, it seems you are not aware of whether or not your audience is receiving what you say. It seems you are not aware of what they need. It seems you just enjoy yourself speaking. If you take a Satvatove workshop, it will help you connect with your audience. If you agree to go, I will give you $100 to pay for the registration fee.”

Although I was surprised that anyone would think my classes weren’t perfect for my audiences, I tried to be humble and I accepted her critique. I agreed to attend, but I was still very fearful that it would be against bhakti. I was fearful up to the very day of the workshop. The workshop would begin at 9.am. So, right after mangala arati I went to Srila Gurudeva’s room to ask him what he thought. He had already given blessings to Vrnda devi, Brajanath prabhu’s good wife, who had helped organize the workshop, but I wanted to hear directly from Gurudeva. So, I told him what Hariballabha told me, and asked what I should do. He replied, “You should know that in and of itself it is not bhakti. But if it helps with your preaching, then it is good; it is favorable.”

You should know that in and of itself it is not bhakti. But if it helps with your preaching, then it is good; it is favorable. —Srila Gurudeva

“That was all I needed to hear. I went, and I am so happy I did. The workshop gave me so many good communication tools, for hearing from others and helping others, and it also gave me so many paradigm shifts.”

Syamarani dasi

Error, Ad (ID: 1) is expired or does not exist!