The treetops rustle and I can hear birds chirping all around me. As I sit in what we’ve all fondly come to call the Krishna Grove, I come to terms with the past two months.

I look up into Bhagvan Krishna’s dark stone eyes and thank Him for the Guru he has placed in my life.

My eyes trail to his lean, innocent flute, and I contemplate on all the Scripture we have studied. The hours of wondrous lectures, peaceful readings, and passionate discussions that resulted. And to think that we barely even scratched at the surface of all the texts we read, having to cover them in just 60 days! That thought makes me excited to fly home tomorrow and begin reading at my own pace, to attempt to wring out every drop of wisdom that I can from the treasure of knowledge that is the Vedas.

At the base of the flute, I see the soft, graceful hands. I think of all the people here that molded me into the different person I am now… Bhagvan Krishna in the form of Gurus, peers, sevakis, visiting parents, siblings, and the ashram caretakers.

From His hands, my eyes go down to his feet. Looking at the sweetly curled toes, I contemplate on myself. It’s almost comical to think about the gapingly large difference in mindset with which I arrived here, and the mindset with which I’ll leave tomorrow morning. I was so excited to learn, serve, and grow after being immersed in Vedanta for two months. The learning, serving, and growing definitely took place, and will continue to take place, but what I never foresaw coming was the realignment process.

The realignment process began as soon we stepped off the bus at this auspicious place known as Krishnalaya. It was fast and subtle. Going through each day brought physical, emotional, and intellectual changes which I was not aware of. Only at the end now, looking back at the beginning, I realize how much of a different person I am.

I raise my eyes back up to Bhagvan Krishna’s and think about how I will continue learning, serving, and growing. Though I had the most remarkable time while I was here, I welcome all the changes tomorrow will bring. The possibilities that exist keep me looking ahead. I sincerely set out on this path with this internal compass I now have, with Bhagvan Krishna leading the way.

-Padmavathy Mana, Yuvaveer Batch #1