A story as being told by a celibate monk (who happens to be my siksha guru) of Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Ashram.
“Here is a nice story of a devotee whom I met in Ratnagiri. His name is Abhijeet Rane and he is studying in FAMT college of Engg, Ratnagiri. He gradually got introduced to Krsna consciousness and started chanting holy names but Sri Krsna decided to test him immediately. The test was in form of severe opposition from parents in home who were not only upset with him accepting the path of devotion but were strongly against chanting, being vegetarian, etc. He was many times literally forced to eat meat and beads taken away etc.
I just told him that Krsna is testing our faith and steadiness and we have to patiently execute the process not getting bewildered by opposition. He just did that up till Krsna helped him miraculously.
Once he went to home which is at Kankawali ( few hours from Ratnagiri(where his college is)). In his village there was a local maharaj as are present in many Indian villages. Some times these persons are mystics and some times they are outright cheats.
This time when he was at home his parents decided to call this local maharajto home. As he came home, all offered their respects. After formalities his mother started complaining to the maharaj that her son Abhijeet has been completely spoiled as he is now into ISKCON and always chants Hare Krsna mahamantra. She was hoping the maharaj to echo the same sentiments.
But this maharaj surprisingly gave a very surprising reply. He said,”You all do not know that he and I were devotees in Mayapur in our last life. He is continuing the right path this life which I am not able to. Why are you all obstructing him?”
All, especially his mother, was surprised by this answer but she now sobered a little and in a changed tone said,” It’s ok if he does Hare Krsna but he doesn’t do anything else now. He doesn’t do demigod worship, no this no that”. She was hoping to get support from that man at least now.
But he replied, ” I told you once. He is at head office. He is at Krsna. Now he doesn’t need to go to any other branches or zonal offices. Don’t trouble him.”
The final nail in the coffin of obstructions was placed nicely by the Lord through this ex-life devotee. For this devotee his opposition at home became almost nil and for me I made two important conclusions based on sastra.
First: As Krsna promises in 6th Chapter of Bhagavad Gita and at other places that a devotee continues his devotional service in next life if he could not finish in this life. Also Sri Krsna helps such a devotee to carry on in next life. So we get faith that what ever devotional service we will perform will be to our credit eternally and will never go in vain.
So all of us should carry on our devotional service with great faith and determination knowing that Sri Krsna is observing and will certainly help us and revive our Krsna consciousness in next life if some how we cannot finish the process in this life.
Second: Maya is very strong. As the local maharaj was knowing that Krsna consciousness is topmost and that he was also a devotee in past life still he was entrapped by mystic powers, followers etc. Certainly his devotional service performed will also not go in vain. He is uselessly taking a diversion in his path of Krsna consciousness.
So we all should be careful to resist the temptations of Bhukti, Siddhi, Mukti which will surely come our way as maya will be testing us by alluring with these facilities. We should be one pointedly determined to be focused in our resolve to serve only Their Lordships Sri Radha Krsna.
I think this incidence will also inspire all of you and reinforce your faith and determination to continue on this path.”