On a Silver Platter

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I was very young when I started wondering what kind of life I wanted to lead. Among my friends there were those who wanted to be politicians, some astronauts, some physicists. I wanted to be a writer, but the idea to write what journalists were writing in the newspapers did not attract me at all. I did not want to write what somebody else wanted me to write. I wanted to write only what I liked.

 

I liked to tell stories, but I didn’t see anything around me that was worth telling.

So, at the very young age of eight, while most of my friends didn’t even know how to write, I began to take notes and put them in a notebook. I began to write about myself, what was going on within me. I was feeling that there was something wonderful inside me, that was powerful and full of anything I could have wanted. But not outside me. There was nothing interesting outside me. I began writing incessantly, every day, filling up many copybooks.

What was inside of me that was so wonderful that I couldn’t stop thinking about it? It was a mystery, but I became convinced that it was something worth the dedication of my youth, nay, my entire life.

Of course, at that time I knew nothing about atma[1] or Paramatma[2] or antaranga[3], bahiranga[4] or tatastha sakti[5]. I just felt it was something wonderful, full of happiness, as opposed to my nonsensical worldly life.

 

Over the years this search became so violent against myself, the rejection of my life became so radical that my mind began to give in. Sometimes I became so estranged to my life that probably somebody could have thought I was a little crazy.

Who or what was abiding inside me?

 

I went to look in the religion of the country where I was born, Christianity, but found nothing, no answers. The concept of faith, and that I had to believe in someone or something in the absence of any description or evidence, was way too much for me. It bordered on ridiculousness and stupidity. What does it even mean to have faith and what real impact could it have made on my life? That was the humiliation of intelligence. Why did God give me an intelligence if I did not need to use it to understand Him?

I understood that it was impossible to find God, or the Absolute Truth, as I called it at that time. I had to find a spiritual master.

 

During my youth, “gurus” from India began to arrive in my country in search of disciples to lighten their wallets. India had been in my mind and visions since the earliest years of life. I had visions of India and its wise men, the real ones. I tried to hang out with a couple of these “gurus”, but even when I was very young and desperate for truth, I could not accept something so obviously fake. They were as false as Judas.

At one point I felt resigned to never finding my spiritual teacher.

 

But one day a ray of light entered in my darkened room.

I met Srila Prabhupada and his disciples in a truly magical way because, even though Italy is so big and its capital, Rome, is so big, the devotees had rented a small building a few hundred meters from my house. So it was not difficult to notice them in their Indian clothes and their shaved heads. If they had not had that type of external appearance, I would have never noticed them. Some say that dressing like that is not important or even counterproductive. Very wrong. My life would have been ruined if I hadn’t seen devotees dressed like that.

 

When I entered the temple, I immediately had the sensation of having entered a sacred place, but the many disappointments received in the past made me reject their philosophy. I used to go every day, and every day I went home repeating to myself:

“I’ve been looking for so long, it’s not possible that now they come and offer me the Absolute Truth on a ‘silver platter’”.

It was my way of saying that if you seek something so intensely and for so long, it seems impossible to you that suddenly someone comes along and offers it to you in this easy-to-take way.

 

I had found my spiritual master, who revealed the secrets I was looking for. I felt elated. Not only did he answer all my questions, but he also offered me a life to live with what he taught me. Not just ideals. A life to live them! How wonderful! How profoundly noble!

 

As I finish writing this chapter of this book, 48 years have passed. I do not regret a single second lived in Krishna consciousness, except of course the time wasted in something less than perfect.

My spiritual master and his disciples, my godbrothers, have given me the best of lives, presented in a simple way “on a silver platter”.

Thanks.

[1] The individual soul

[2] Supreme Soul

[3] Spiritual world

[4] Material world

[5] Souls that can fall

 

This is a section of the book “On a Silver Platter”.

To buy the complete book, click above

 

 

 

 

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