One of the boons of traveling is to meet people who inspire one to better oneself.
In Sydney Pratapana and his wife Jayshree hosted us. They are both long time practitioners of the Hare Krishna culture and successful businessmen. Their life’s goal is spreading that art. Besides owning and managing 4 boutiques and a Govinda’s restaurant with a public cinema and yoga room in the center of Sydney, they also facilitate newcomers to spiritual life by financing both a men’s and a women’s ashram. Yet at home they live frugally and when we stayed with them, Jayshree moved into her daughter’s room while her husband slept on the sofa in the living room. They had graciously given us the master’s bedroom. There, time is trivial as they live everyday engaged in spiritual work.
Moving on to Gold Coast where Jamal and his wife Subhangi fund a bhakti center housing Jagganath, Baladeva and Subhadra, forms of Godworshiped since centuries in India. Other members of their family run a Govinda’s restaurant that operates from lunchtime till night. A constant flow of visitors comes for delicious sanctified food throughout the day. They are givers in this family. Taking pity on our intense schedule in Oz, they house us in hotels, beachfront, where the unending sound of the surf soothes one to restful sleep.
It is hard to give up prestige, especially when it is the successful payoff of one’s hard work. Yet, using the fruits of hard labor in activities that may or may not yield visible results transcend the limited mundane plane.
These two families motivate us with faith in the sublime and selfless dedication to spiritual aims.