A life-altering experience

By Matthew Learning - 30.5 2022

Through divine providence, in the autumn of 2020, a man named John Griesser sent me a message on Facebook asking me to be friends because of our common interests. I accepted and then received an invitation to view the trailer for his new film, Hare Krishna! He mentioned that he and his wife directed the film and if I enjoyed the trailer, that I watch the full-length film on Amazon Prime.

A few days passed before I actually saw the trailer. After viewing the trailer about a man who travels to America in the 60s and starts a worldwide spiritual movement, I thought, “How could I not watch that movie!”

That same night my girlfriend of three years and I sat together with a bowl of popcorn and enjoyed the film. I cried, three times at least, during Hare Krishna!

The following day I wrote back to John, telling him, “I watched the full-length film. That movie changed my life. What’s next? What do I do now!?”

His response was kind and intelligent. He said I should purchase the bona-fide version of the Gita, Bhagavad Gita As It Is and study it.

This I did.

Fast forward a few months. After reading the entire text and becoming completely enthralled, I wrote to John, telling him I completed the book. He then directed me to the ISKCON Vancouver website, where I then began to tune into evening lectures on zoom approximately three to five nights per week, learning more and more about Krishna and the Lord through ISKCON. It was life-altering and helpful. I also began telling others about Krishna, the chanting and the wisdom of the Vedas.

One of my favorite parts of the teachings is that the best way to serve Krishna is not to try and serve Krishna directly but instead be a servant, of the servant, of the servant, of the servant of Krishna.

After about a 15 more months of tuning into ISKCON teachings, ordering a full set of the Srimad Bhagavatam, meeting other devotees, eating only vegetarian food, refraining from elicit sex, refraining from all alcohol and other intoxicants, sharing the Hare Krishna film with dozens of others, building the habit of offering food to Krishna at meals, chanting the holy mantra with beads, reading and rereading the Srimad Bhagavatam, subscribing to the Back To Godhead Magazine, registering in the MBA program offered at the Alfred Ford School of Management, making a plan to go to Mayapur with a fellow devotee in the spring of 2023, starting a Friday morning temple event in my backyard for my good friends to come learn about God, listening to over a hundred hours of Prabhupada’s teachings via online recordings, studying the Science of Self Realization journals from the 1970s, putting together an IPod with thousands of hours of Prabhupada’s teaching to be listened to forever, and making my core purpose of life to serve and celebrate Krishna and Krishna Consciousness … I now write this letter, to you, the reader, so that you may feel just as compelled as I, if not more, towards this movement and towards the movie Hare Krishna and what it can do for the world.

My background is that I have been learning wisdom principles for over 15 years (I am currently 33 years old, and live in Vancouver BC, Canada), and I have been teaching wisdom in online and live groups for approximately 4 years. This wisdom is God centered. However, the Hare Krishna movement brought a new level of truth, power, validation and personalization to God that I had never known nor believed before.

Presently, we have groups growing in California, Canada, all across the USA and even internationally where the wisdom is being taught alongside the Krishna Consciousness philosophy. We have a bold team, and we are excited for Prabhupada’s and Sri Chaitanya’s mission to continue to be shared around the world.

My spiritual adventure in Krishna consciousness was, and still is, life-altering and life-enhancing. It showed me that God is very, very real. I attribute it all to the Hare Krishna mantra, Krishna’s blessings, following the precepts and principles, studying the language of Nature, God and the Vedas—and by being humble to the pure path of Bhakti. So much of this was made available to me in the past 18 months thanks to John Griesser, his spontaneous Facebook message, and my watching his brilliant film.

Sincerely,

Matthew Learning,

May 11, 2022