One Summer’s day earlier this year, I was exhausted.
Having worked hard to serve Krishna and His dear ones in the Vaishnava Sanga Festival, in the kitchen, but not being expert in that kind of service, I was exhausted.
I set out to be alone, walk around, “do nothing”. My elderly father, visiting us from India, who doesn’t see me much, was so glad to be with me at last. He tried to strike up a conversation but quickly found out that I needed to be alone.
So I set about exploring the beautiful trails, with no aim in mind. I chanted Hare Krishna half-heartedly with my beads, taking in the soothing natural beauty, but felt a little aimless, restless, going here-and-there, searching for fulfillment.
There is a lake on the property, and there were some canoes there. So I decided to take one out. It was beautiful, everything was very nice, but I was still restless.
Then I spotted one, it was beautiful bright yellow, suddenly the thought came to my mind “let me get one for Krishna, to take back”.
So I paddled over near one. I’m not an expert, so I missed it. Of course, when you’re in a canoe, it is easy to fall in, and I almost fell in. But I didn’t. I got one.
Then I saw another one, and paddled to the next one.
And the next one.
And the next one.
All of a sudden, it was exciting, I was on a mission, for Krishna, I had a worthy purpose, and I didn’t care for myself so much. I paddled around and with an expertise I didn’t know I had, I scooped up one Water Lily after another, taking care to leave most behind.
What started as an aimless and restless outing “to be alone”, suddenly turned to be a most enjoyable adventure, and the turning point was the moment I thought about doing something for Krishna.
“Being alone”, “Doing nothing” and “relaxing in the great outdoors”, “being on the lake” for my own sake were all just OK, not fully satisfying. But the nicest, most fulfilling experience was collecting those beautiful yellow water lilies for Krishna, doing something for Krishna – the all-attractive One.
Just like that.
We can transform any moment, any day, and any life into a mission.
And once I had successfully offered those hard-earned lilies to Krishna, I felt very satisfied, and afterwards, everyone else, including my father, felt very satisfied with me too.