I was asked to deliver a class to a group of monks in yet another location. A five-minute walk from the actual birthplace of our guru, Srila Prabhupada, is a second ashram for men. We reflected on the power of prayer as emanating from the sincere heart and lips of saint Prahlad. “Streams of excellent words” are expressed to invoke the attention of the Supreme-- words that are compiled by yogis such as Brahma and the Kumaras, yet it seems that such appeals are not always instantaneously responded to.
Prahlad’s mood was “what effect can my prayers then have coming from the humble quarters like myself?” Even more unworthy, he expressed himself as being born in a family of trouble-makers, therefore how may the Creator give attention to what he had to pray for? Prahlad spoke from a meek platform.
It was with a prayerful mood that the group of us, our Canadian contingent, Ekalavya, and the dozen or more local brahmacharis, gingerly made our way through about three city blocks to arrive at the birthplace. According to Prabhupada’s nephew, Sankarshan, our guru was born in this middle-class home, shaded by a fairly young jackfruit tree. The house, secured by the Iskcon Society, is still intact. This was where he was born in 1896 and where he grew up. Here we sang the guru song called “Guru Vandanam.” I suggested to the monks that perhaps they can look into some tasteful cosmetics to give the place a face-lift.
Visitors to Kolkata mark it as a spiritual pilgrimage to take advantage of.
May the Source be with you!