Searching for Meaning

I want to know the real meaning of my life.
Krutagn Patel
Via the Internet

Reply: Human intelligence should be used to ask this most important question. The Lord Himself gives the answer to help us make the best use of our lives. Our body is temporary, limited, and often miserable, but we, the soul, are part of God and are meant to discover our real self, now covered due to our misidentification with the body. Our real home is with Krishna in the spiritual world, where we, as spirit souls, are satisfied and fulfilled in His service. When we misuse our little independence and choose not to serve Him but to enjoy independently of Him, then we suffer. But Krishna has kindly sent His representatives to bring His messages to help us, and sometimes He comes Himself. We can study Krishna’s instructions and take help from His purified representatives to gain His service.

The art of bhakti, or devotional service to the Lord, begins by hearing and chanting His glories. We learn to offer Him the results of everything we do, to please Him with our talents, and to tell others about His glories. Devotional service is meant to be everyone’s business in human life. ISKCON has centers all over the world for this training and good association. Please take advantage of them, as well as online classes, live webcams, wonderful books, kirtanas, and bhajanas

Joining ISKCON

I’ve always been fascinated by ISKCON. I am from Tanzania, and we have a very small ISKCON group there. I used to attend some of the festivals around there. Absolutely beautiful. A few years ago, an incident happened which I was very shaken by. I felt so lost I turned to Krishna, and I felt so blissful. There was a sense of peacefulness I never experienced before.

I then had to move to the UK for university, and everything caught me up and I felt very wrong for not devoting as much time to Krishna as I used to. I am very interested in joining ISKCON. I am very shy, but once I get to know my surroundings, I am comfortable. How and where do I even start? I am very confused. I really want to change my lifestyle, and I need help with that. There isn’t any temple around me. I am very lost.
Kriya
Via the Internet

Reply: It’s nice to hear of your enthusiasm to join this movement. The pandemic restrictions have been rough on our temples lately, with the programs often less accessible. If there is any chance you could make it to Bhaktivedanta Manor outside London, the devotees there might know of some devotee get-togethers close to you.

There are many ISKCON online features, classes, daily services on web cams, and much more. You can visit iskcondesiretree.com for an ocean of transcendental topics and activities. Also, look at krishna.com/communities and iskcondisciplecourse.com.

Are you chanting daily and reading Krishna conscious books? Be assured that Krishna is fully aware of your desire and will help you get under His shelter very soon.

Encouragement Needed

I always feel alone and am not getting respected in my family, which makes me feel very bad. Nobody is there to understand my feelings. I daily chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, but I need some encouragement.
Sumit
Via the Internet

Reply: It seems that your living arrangement may not be favorable for your devotional service. We must be sensitive to each others’ beliefs and not push ours on anyone and also be tolerant of the differences. It is a challenge, as you are experiencing. If you are uncomfortable and have to compromise your service to Krishna, that is not good. But it is difficult to advise you without knowing your situation better. It is good that you are chanting. Have faith that Krishna will arrange for your advancement toward Him. If you are able to attend one of our temples, you could ask for a mentor to help you during these tough times.

Initiation in ISKCON

I have been following a devotee who is not affiliated with ISKCON, but I want to know how to take initiation in ISKCON. Please guide me and let me know.
Radhika
Via the Internet

Reply: The best thing for you at this point would be to take the disciple course that ISKCON requires before initiation. You can find it here: iskcondisciplecourse.com. The course will answer many important questions you may have regarding finding the right guru, the qualifications of the guru and disciple, and so on. It may also clear up some points on other Vaishnava groups.