From The Temple Lobby Hostess

Hare Krishna! My name is Rita, and I am a new resident of New Vrindaban Dham. My service is to be the Temple Lobby Hostess. I enjoy this service very much. I greet guests when they arrive and give informal tours of the temple room. I point out some of the beautiful features of the temple room, such as the stained glass ceiling and hand-woven tapestries. I then introduce guests to the Deities, and tell some of the lilas that have taken place right here in New Vrindaban. My goal is to make the guests excited about and interested in Krishna Consciousness.

I also escort guests around the property, especially in the afternoon, when the altars are closed. I take guests to see the peacocks, Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold, etc.

I always try to get the guests to fill out a “Community Guest Book” form, so that they will be added to our mailing list. People on our mailing list receive regular e-mails regarding New Vrindaban news, festivals, and other events.

I also encourage guests to take home Prabhupada’s books. If guests promise to chant every day, I give them a free set of japa beads –- their promise is the payment.

When necessary, I also sweep the temple lobby and re-stock the temple book display.

I enjoy this service very much. I meet so many interesting people! I intend to write regular reports about who I am meeting. Here is the first edition.

I met a couple from Ohio this week, and the husband and wife were both absolutely delightful. He had met a devotee at his college in 1970. He made a small donation — fifty cents was all he had. In return, the devotee gave him a card with the Maha Mantra. He took the card home and chanted for about five minutes, but then started giggling and stopped.

He told me that although he never chanted again, it was always in the back of his mind. Recently, he decided to pursue Krishna Consciousness again. He purchased a copy of KRSNA Book. He said he had to read it three or four times to “get straight who is who and get all the relationships right. That was the hardest part.” During our conversations, I was very impressed with how much he had understood from KRSNA Book.

KRSNA Book awakened his interest in spirituality. By Krishna’s arrangement, he purchased and read multiple books by Prabhupada’s disciples, without realizing the authors are associated with Prabhupada’s movement. When I asked him what interested him about these books, he said confidently, “I am interested in transcendence.”

Recently, he purchased japa beads and has been chanting at home. His wife asked him how he knows the Maha Mantra works. He told her, “Because I can feel it working. The first time I chanted, it was very intense. It was like Krishna was welcoming me back — like if you take one step toward Krishna, he will take ten steps toward you. That is the only intense experience I have had. Now the chanting is more steady.” I felt very blessed by Krishna to hear this pastime.

His wife was absolutely wonderful. She is a devout Catholic, so I had the opportunity to share with her the non-sectarianism of Krishna consciousness. She was extremely respectful toward Krishna consciousness, even though she is very happily situated in the Catholic Church. In fact, she was wonderful.

I explained to them Vrindavan and New Vrindavan are non-different, and that all the spiritual benefits that can be gained from doing pilgrimage to Vrindavan can be gained from doing pilgrimage to New Vrindavan. The husband looked thoughtful. He said, “I hadn’t thought of this as a pilgrimage before.”

She chastised him mildly, saying, “You didn’t think of it as a pilgrimage? I thought of it that way.”

Thank you for reading this report. Hare Krishna!

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