So during my junior year, I renounced the material world. I quit my sports team, I walked to school barefoot, I gave away all my possessions except a small Buddha statue, a few spiritual books, the most basic clothes, and a blanket for sleeping on the floor.
I distanced myself from my friends and dealt sparingly with my family at home. Understandably, my parents were alarmed by the abrupt change and they had to take me to a psychiatric evaluation. Outwardly I appeared misguided, but inwardly I felt a presence – One who truly understood me, and was nudging me along this spiritual path. It was an incredible relief.
I had decided to find the meaning of life, at any cost. Although I fancied myself a yogi living in the Himalaya, I was still a teen, living at home in suburbia with my parents. I was determined but I did not know exactly what to do next.
Then, one day, as I sat in my room, fasting, meditating on a candle flame and chanting a mantra I had extracted from a book, my high school friend, Richie Corsa, knocked on the bedroom door. I didn’t answer but he spoke through the door so that I could hear him.
“A monk sold me this magazine when I was downtown. It’s some spiritual thing. I am not interested in this stuff, but I know you are!”
He left the magazine outside my door. After a while, I went to see what kind of magazine he left me. It was propped against the wall next to my door. The shiny cover illustration of the Avatar, Caitanya, arms raised in the air, dancing through a tropical landscape, immediately caught my eye.
The masthead read, “Back to Godhead. Godhead is Light. Nescience is Darkness. Where There Is Godhead There Is No Nescience.” Richie was spot on. I was interested in this stuff. I carried it into my room to have a closer look.
Opening the magazine, my eyes locked onto a painting of a golden brown-complexioned guru. His head was cleanly shaven and he sat cross-legged on an ornate seat. He wore flowing saffron robes, and a flower garlands around his neck. His wise but compassionate gaze captured my heart.
Below the painting the caption read: “His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda.” Suddenly, a singular thought entered my mind: This is my teacher. Never before had I been gripped with such an absolute conviction. I stared at the portrait for several minutes, and it occurred to me that it was utterly mystical for this magazine to have appeared at my door.
I turned the pages with rapt attention. That was in the summer of 1973. After deep study of my guru’s writings and with my parents’ support, I became a monk at sixteen. For the next 13 years, my spiritual practice grew deeper and richer.
In 1986, friends introduced me to Nirakula Dasi – a fellow disciple of my guru, Srila Prabhupada. She had a pure heart and a radiant, beautiful smile. We felt an immediate connection and had similar goals. So we soon married and began building a life together. Living outside the monastery was a little awkward at first, but ultimately we learned how to integrate spiritual principles into a modern fast-paced life with its layers of pressing responsibilities.
As it turned out, being steeped in spiritual practice was tremendously beneficial. It provided steadfast joy even while dealing with the complexities of the modern world. Whatever challenges showed up, we could meet them with peacefulness, creativity and resolve.
Today, my work revolves around sharing with others the gems that I have received. It’s not practical for everyone to renounce the world and live in a monastery, but the most potent spiritual tools are available for everyone to use within normal daily life.
I appreciate the time you have taken to hear my story. Now I would love to hear your story. Please drop me a note. My contact information is below.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Four Questions provides practical tools for developing a robust spiritual practice in today’s modern world, where setbacks can naturally discourage us.
Who is this book for?
From the curious, to the philosophically-inclined, to the seekers who deeply ponder life’s biggest mysteries, The Four Questions leads the reader to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and other books by Srila Prabhupada.
How will this book change my life?
The Four Questions is your companion for a deeper more fulfilling life.
What will I learn in this book?
The book draws on the timeless wisdow of the Vedas to cut through the weeds of disttraction and empower your personal development. Use the tools in this book daily for consistent inner growth, peace of mind, and deeper relationships.
How much will this book cost?
Affordable wholesale pricing with a high-quality design.
Where will this book be shipped?
What other books are available?
The highly poplular book Our Family Business by Vaisesika Dasa
Are You Ready To Start Your Quest?
With so much flooding our daily feeds, it can be hard to focus; let alone feel encouraged enough to ask the right questions in pursuit of a deeper purpose.
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