I had never before in my life even heard of Krsna or Hare Krsna, nor had I ever seen a Krsna devotee, probably, because there weren’t too many temples back in 1969–about 11 only.
Anyway, this book I was reading, The Wisdom of God, turned out to be about Krsna and was the 12 cantos of the Srimad Bhagavatam, condensed. While Linda slept, I read from this book with rapt attention every night and one night I read that one must surrender to Krsna to be happy or to find peace, or whatever.
Somehow, this stuck in my mind. At this particular time in my life, I was really suffering mentally — all the drugs and dysfunctional turmoil in my life. I was crying and practically crawling the walls late at night because of extreme anxiety and distress in my life. Though I had a young and beautiful wife, a job and a few friends, I was extremely miserable.
This one particular night the pain and distress became so unbearable and I was completely at the “end on my rope.” My life was a huge mess and failure and I had nowhere to turn. I knew something was over for me and I couldn’t go on like this another moment. I was desperate.
Just when I though I was about to fall down forever into a deep dark hole, I remembered those words that I had read in that book and I prayed with all my heart for Krsna to take me. I thought “Krsna take me, I surrender, whatever that means, I’m yours. I cant go on.”
I soon fell asleep for the night and the next day I went downtown with Linda to work for Monkey Boutique, making leather sandals in a street fair on a main street in Detroit.
I probably had forgotten about the night before but apparently Krsna had not. Suddenly, I heard the name of Krsna being sung by Bhagavan das and his wife, coming down the street. He had on jeans, no shirt, held a guitar, and still had long hair because he was in Medical school at Wayne State University (besides having a Krsna program at his house).
This sound went straight to my soul, and my heart was immediately aroused. Bhagavan das’s wife pushed her stroller with her firstborn over in my direction and handed me an invitation to come to their apartment and find out more about this wonderful chanting of Hare Krishna.
The next day I went to their apartment/temple right after work and was peeking in the window when a girl named Sadanandini dd came out and dragged me inside. They sat me down and gave me some wonderful food and stuck the newly published blue Macmillan Bhagavad-Gita in my hand.
Everything seemed perfect. The philosophy was exhilarating. The people seemed like family, and the food–wow! I felt like I was home. They also realized that I belonged there, without a doubt, and told me to go home and get my stuff and come back and live forever at the lotus feet of Krsna.
Home I went to try to tell Linda that I was going to change my life drastically. I informed her that, though I loved her very much, I was going on Friday to live with these new people that I had found, and I hoped that she would come too. It was crazy. Until that week I had never heard of Krsna and here I was planning to give up everything and go live with them.
But I had no choice. There would never be anything for me in the world and besides, I had been at the brink of annihilation just a few nights before, and somehow, Krsna had actually saved me.
Somehow or other I persuaded her to go (or dragged her). But she agreed. So we crammed everything we could in the back of a U-Haul trailer and off we went down John Lodge Freeway, leaving everything else behind. Linda Lee had not even been to the temple yet or ever met any devotees or had ever heard of Krsna before a few days ago. But still she was going with me.
So there we were, 50 miles an hour, rushing towards our destiny. Suddenly, the back doors of the trailer flew open and everything we owned went flying out, distributed along two miles of expressway–beds, clothing, wedding albums, fishing rods, and everything. After that everything is a blank in my memory, but somehow we made it to the temple, and laid our lives in sacrifice at the feet of Srila Prabhupada…(.. to be cont’d…)your humble servant, Mahananda dasa ACBSP