[Excerpt from Srila Gurudeva: Around the World, U.K. 1996 (Radlett, 16 May), the second book in a series of volumes on Srila Gurudeva’s world preaching tours.]

A person may be very sinful, he may be a drunkard, and he may be very fallen; but if he has the desire, “I must serve Krishna, I have so much faith in Guru, Vaisnavas, and sastra,” then this person is shraddalu, faithful. Guru doesn’t initiate this person, rather, he sows the seed of devotion in this person and speaks harikatha again. By this harikatha, the seed of devotion is nourished. Harikatha is like water that propels the growth of the seed of devotion. We should nourish the seed of devotion and it will gradually sprout. But this seed of devotion will not sprout in a day or two, you will have to wait. You may sow a seed, but being impatient, if you remove the seed from the earth within a day or two to see if it has sprouted, then what will be the result? The seed will wither and dry itself out. We should have the faith that in time, the seed will sprout and grow into a very good tree that will bear many fruits and flowers. These fruits will mature and ripen, and on being eaten, they will produce a beautiful, sweet taste. But the seed will grow into a tree and produce succulent fruits at an appropriate time.

We know that Ajamila was a bad person. At first, he was a good person. He was the son of a Brahmin, and of good character. He diligently served his parents, his wife was very chaste and good. His children were educated. But despite having a good family, he fell in the trap of a prostitute and he could not change his mind. He started living with the prostitute, and bore many sons from her. He named his last son as Narayana. Srila Vishvanatha Cakravarthi Thakura tells us that the first time Ajamila called his son, “Narayana,” he got out of maya’s influence. But, he was unaware of this fact. He would often call his son and say, “Narayana, Narayana, come and sit on my lap.” By repeatedly calling for his son, Ajamila practiced chanting harinama. But, he was oblivious of this unintended chanting. When death came for Ajamila represented by Yamadutas, the messengers of Yama Maharaja, who tried to separate him from his body; then he naturally called out for his youngest son and cried out, “Narayana! Narayana!”

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