A friend is one who. . . .
There is a saying, “A friend is one who hears you sing your song, then sings it back to you when memory fails.” There are times when we become lost to ourselves, and at such times we’re so glad if a dear friend reminds us who we really are, what our natural qualities are, and so on. They do this by their love.
In one of the very few times I was fortunate enough to be in the presence of my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, I felt that he looked deep into my very self—in fact, although by the time I saw him, I was already chanting Hare Krishna for over a year, and living in his temple, practicing the basics of bhakti-yoga for the better part of that time—the glance I received from him made me more powerfully aware of myself as an eternal soul than I had ever experienced before. Yes, he also saw the many unwanted things in my heart—the pettiness, the tendency to cheat, small-mindedness—but he somehow helped me to see that these were superfluous to me, and, in comparison to the soul itself, inconsequential. It was as if, by his glance, I got to see my own self clearly, for the first time, in eternal relationship to the Lord and to His servants. It made me want to sing for joy!
Please don’t mind if I put here a link to myself singing for Krishna and Srila Prabhupada. Last week I was asked to lead the guru-puja kirtana in Alachua, and my friend Nandini-kishori, who normally records the morning’s classes, somehow recorded the kirtana that day as well. She sent me a link. It won’t be there for long, but I thought someone, somewhere (and for sure some of my old friends) might like to hear one grateful lady singing to her Lord and master. And if, in the whirlpool of this material world, I forget who I am, and what my life is meant for, you can sing it back to me, as a reminder.