He’s a humble, shy, 9 year old boy from Hungary, the son of Citravasini devi dasi and Devadeva dasa, studying in 4th Grade at TKG Academy. I find myself fortunate to be his teacher.
This morning, we began our Shurley English lesson of “Writing a Friendly Letter”. Students need to identify the Heading, Salutation, Body, Closing and Signature of writing a friendly letter. They learn the proper punctuation and indentation for each part.
Their task today? Think of a friend. Write a friendly letter. No parts missing.
Padi has decided he will write to his friend Shyamasundar. He says, “I really miss him. I used to see him all the time in the temple in Hungary.” I picture another European, blond-haired, blue-eyed boy, like Padi and wonder if I can find an address to actually mail the letter.
Padi comes up to my desk 15 minutes later. His letter is finished. His eyes are brimming with tears. As I am reading quietly, my little Padi starts completely bawling, tears pouring. A worried hush hits the class. What has happened to make Padi cry?
“I just really really miss him,” Padi whimpers. Now, I want to cry too.
Who is this Shyamasundar? Read the letter! You will be just as amazed as I was.
Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar are the presiding Deities of ISKCON Hungary, New Vraja Dham. Their worship is one of the most opulent in the entire international ISKCON community. Under His Holiness Sivarama Swami’s direction, devotees have constructed a beautiful Vrindavan village and community.
Padi continues to tell the class all about his Dearmost Friend, Shyamasundar. “His altar is soooo beautiful! Every single day we would walk and find roses to bring for the Deities. He wore a Santa hat on Christmas! And the Chota Deities were on a sleigh. I really want to go back and see Him. I really miss Him.” As Padi begins to choke back his words, I change the subject as to not make him cry again.
His love for Krishna amazes me. When will I learn to see Krishna as my friend, and when will I want to write friendly letters to Him? Today I have become the student, and Padi is my teacher.