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He Speaks the Language of the Heart

In 2013, we spent a couple months with Srila Gurudeva in Goalpara. There weren't any other westerners for the first month or so there. I was feeling lonely because unfortunately I only speak English and others there generally didn't. People were trying to talk to me, but I felt awkward because I couldn't understand much. I felt sad due to emotions that arose in me relating to feeling isolated.

One evening during darshan, there were some local young ladies there that he addressed while motioning towards me. "You should love her from the core of your heart," he told them. "She does not speak your language," he continued. "She doesn't know anyone, and she is far from home. She left everything! Doesn't anyone here speak English? You talk with her!" he told them.

I looked at those girls and they seemed a little embarrassed. I was astounded to see him ordering them on my behalf. I felt ashamed that the object of my worship was concerned with my selfish problems, but at the same time, it made me feel very loved. None of those girls listened to Guruji and talked to me anyway, but Gurudeva's attention made me stop feeling like I wanted anything else.

There was another incident during that time when I was about to leave Goalpara as I had booked a train to Jagannath Puri Dham for Ratha Yatra. I kept going back and forth and was unable to make up my mind if I would stay or go. I didn't really speak to anyone about it.

Finally, that day I got out my ticket, looked at it, and I thought, OK, I will go. I packed my bags, but when I was ready to head out from there, I got gripped with a feeling that I could not leave. I simply could not go. I thought I must be going crazy. These sudden shifts inside me made no sense.

Later that same day at the guest house, Srila Gurudeva was walking back from overseeing the nearby construction. He paused when he saw me standing at a distance. He looked directly at me and said, "Oh! You stayed!" I couldn't believe it. I believed then that he was directly responsible for putting that feeling in my heart not to go earlier.

When Gurudeva left Goalpara that time, I felt devastated inside. They announced he was going and in only one hour he was riding away. In the short time I had with Srila Gurudeva in his externally interactive pastimes, this was the most cherishable lila of all. I didn't want to see those pastimes come to an end.

I stood near his pathway when he was walking to his car. He had a curious kind of smile on his face as if he were bemused. I heard him say, "Kaha Jayega?" I think it means, where are we going?" That look on his face, those innocent words, and seeing his slow walk towards me are all eternal. I pray I never forget them.

One calf had been hanging around the guest house during Guruji's stay. Sometimes he'd get inside the gate and come inside even though the brahmacaris were chasing him out. That little cow was very loud at times and he would cry and cry. Prahlad Prabhu mentioned to me that Srila Gurudeva heard the calf's utterances from inside his room and expressed concern, asking if something was wrong with him.

As I was standing there when Gurudeva left, to my great surprise, I felt a small push bump into my leg and looked over to see that calf had come to stand next to me and see Guruji off. Gurudeva paused when he saw him and waved his hands a bit as if caressing the air and calling his own little one forward. I saw the calf approach Guruji with his head down and then Guruji briefly caressed him. Somehow I felt the same satisfaction as if Guruji had touched my own head. I remember how that little cow allowed me to hug him around the neck after Guruji drove away. I thought now I will also cry with him.

—Mahalakshmi dasi, Kolkata

Photos taken during that time:

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