In the spiritual heritage of the Hare Krishna (Vaishnava) tradition, the devotees of Lord Krishna sometimes travel to a holy city called Vrindavana in India, to offer prayers...
I live in the small town of Benoni, on the East Rand of Johannesburg South Africa, in a normal residential home. Unlike other residents who usually live alone, I am a blind person, and living alone was unbearable and painfully empty. My parents lived nearby, and although they are always good and kind to me, we do not share the same lifestyle of spirituality. We do however respect each other's differences.
But there was one problem. I was in need of like-minded company, someone to talk to, to share my dreams, to build a home with a normal life in a family who all share the same dream. But the big question loomed before me: Who was going to come to live with a blind husband? Was it ever going to happen, or would I be left with the dismal possibility of remaining lonely and empty till the very end?
A friend suggested that I travel with him to the holy city of Vrindavana in India, where for a few months, we can visit the temples, offer prayers, meet the local villages, and experience the traditional culture there, the home of the Hare Krishna heritage. At least this could for a while, take me out of my lonely life at home. I was convinced by his idea, and I decided to travel with him during the month of September 2006.
It was incredible. My friend Rathim Krishna Prabhu was great company, and the holiday was a fantastic experience. The people of Vrindavana were friendly, the culture of simplicity a marvel to observe and the holiday was a learning and enriching spiritual awakening for me. It was in fact so wonderful, that I kept a journal of my experiences there, and I made entries into it every few days. But... it was to last only for four months. After all, I had to return to Johannesburg, find a job and build my finances for my future. That future felt hopeless all alone with no personal association to share it with, and I was very unhappy at the prospects of again being alone in my little world.
My holiday was fast coming to an end. Then a very friendly and kind local resident of Govardhana Hill in Vrindavana convinced me to offer prayers to God as Lord Krishna in the spiritually potent city of Vrindavana, and to kindly request him to send someone to join me in my future. Being myself a little learned in the ethics of Vaishnava (Hare Krishna devotee) culture, I understood that it is not usually encouraged to ask God to satisfy our temporary imperfect material desires, but simply to offer service to him and develop our loving relationship with him, which would ultimately give us complete and eternal satisfaction. I expressed my doubts, and eventually he convinced me by explaining that in desperate situations, when material desires are so strong in our hearts, that they are actually disturbing our devotional attitude to God, then in such cases we can still approach God for his help.
In India I carried a laptop computer which has an electronic voice to read the computer display to me as a blind person. So, using this modern technology in the most rural part of the world, here I was sitting down to write a letter to the Lord with my request to find a loving companion to share my life. The letter was moving, filled with heart rendering prayers. I concluded by admitting, that as a blind person, it may not be too easy to expect a sighted person to make the plunge and join me all alone in Johannesburg, but I also boldly declared that God can do the impossible, so I depend on him alone for facilitating the impossible.
During the last days of my visit in Vrindavana, I visited a place of spiritual significance called Kamyavana, where it is said that the Lord's mercy is available, such that all his devotees desires are very soon fulfilled. Here, while doing a special offering of sweets and other simple food in sacrifice, I also offered another prayer in which I promised that if I do find a loving companion, then in appreciation I would return to this same holy city, and, requesting my wife to cook 108 food offerings, we would feed the local people with a sumptuous feast.
I returned home to Benoni, rejuvinated with hope, and enlivened by the visit to the spiritually surcharged village of Vrindavana. But I was again returning to my loneliness. Would my prayers be heard? Would something fantastic actually happen?
I waited in anticipation. Time passed slowly. I continued life at home, writing songs and producing them in my home studio, sharing and promoting them over the Internet with friends and wellwishers. And then suddenly...
While sharing my music with a newly made friend from Alachua America, Lilananda Prabhu, I discovered that not only was he well connected in the spiritual society, but he also was the administrator of an important Hare Krishna matrimonial service called Connect Hearts.
We discussed his vision in creating the Connect Hearts facility, where devotees with like minds in Krishna Consciousness could unite in sacred marriage with a vow to serve Lord Krishna together and to help each other make advancement in spiritual life. This was certainly commendable. I began to look more closely at this matrimonial service for myself as well, and before long I had signed up membership and began writing to member profiles which seemed to fit my character.
Meanwhile, in another corner of the globe, other events were unfolding...
Kalindi Devi Dasi lived a spiritually surcharged life, in a family home rich with traditional Hare Krishna culture and values, far removed from the normal Western circumstances around them. Kalindi was beautiful. Her elegant appearance and her gentle and chaste cultured manners proved attractive to young suitors, and so often the family were approached for her marriage.
Unfortunately, the Hare Krishna spiritual culture to which they subscribed were not well attended in the village, and so in all cases, Kalindi found herself being pursued by young men who did not live the lifestyle she always dreamed of, in line with her spiritual values.
In traditional Vedic cultured homes, it is not well received when a girl is well into adolescence and remains without a husband. Would she be forced by circumstances to marry someone outside her rich spiritual values and culture? In desperation she turned to God. Her prayers were heart felt, sincere and simple
During December of 2007, While browsing the Internet for devotional music, she chanced upon the Hare Krishna matrimonial service administered by Lilananda Prabhu. She decided to write to him.
Kalindi recalls her interaction with Lilananda Prabhu: He was a well mannered saintly man, always interested in the welfare of people around him. He heard Kalindi's case, but perhaps he had a solution. She might want to consider signing up to this Connect Hearts matrimonial service, wherein similar minded Hare Krishna people are looking for companionship with the purpose of marriage, and who, like her, are more interested in spiritual life than in sense gratificatory living.
While browsing through the profiles on Connect Hearts, I found the profile of Kalindi Devi Dasi. Like me, she described herself as a simple person, someone who is more inclined to living peacefully at home instead of an out-door life. She too was interested in marriage, and was ready to start a family in Krishna Consciousness. But I became doubtful. Would it be at all possible that this young girl out of her parents protective home, living in a natural, serene village half way round the world, would venture out to a foreign land, to the home of a blind man? After thinking about it hard throughout the day, I logged onto my computer and sent her my first E-mail on 19 December.
Through our first few E-mail exchanges, I gradually revealed my disability to her. Kalindi decided that in order for anything positive to happen, she would have to ask her mother. But would her mother agree?
We continued writing, and she continued contemplating how to inform her mother. She would not even send me her phone number until her mother was informed. I was becoming reluctant. A few days passed. I had already shared my music with her, even written a short song for her and sent it to her over the Internet. We were getting along very well. Something special was happening. She had to tell her mother...
One afternoon, Kalindi's mother noticed that something was going on. She was becoming very quiet at home, almost reluctant to tell her something, and sometimes she would sit at the computer without much need to do so. As soon as her mother aproached her, Kalindi broke down in tears, and told her mother the whole situation. Her mother, having heard the story, hugged her daughter and also broke down in tears. "This is Lord Krishna's arrangement. He is also a devotee of Lord Krishna. I give you my blessings", she said to her daughter. Kalindi was dumb struck, but great happiness filled her heart.
Her next E-mail to me began with her phone number, and a request for me to call her at home, and it was on the morning of around 29th December or so that I received this E-mail only to learn that her mother had given her blessings. Now we could communicate openly. I helped her set up the Skype telephony application on her computer, and in no time we were able to live chat.
Kalindi and I got on so well, that in a matter of days we knew we would be married. Only six months later, her ticket to Johannesburg was arranged, and on 3 June 2008 she arrived at O.R Tambo airport in Johannesburg.
My parents assisted me in quickly arranging the marriage, and only five days later, on 8 June 2008, a gorgeous wedding was performed outside the local Hare Krishna temple in Lenasia.
Two years later, in 2010, I wrote this personal account of our matrimonial miracle story to share with the world. We have two handsome sons bearing witness to love centered around God, brought together by the will of God upon two souls seeking his blessings.
I offer this story to the world in testimony of the power of God's love. Across all religious and cultural diversity, if one remains true to a Godly life, God himself takes care and brings to his devotees all happiness. Of this, I can say boldly, there is no doubt. My life bears witness to this most divine truth.
Yamuna Jivana dasa
Link to Connect Hearts Home page
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