Kevin Wu, a Youtube star with over 300 million views on his “KevJumba” channel, has been left feeling spiritually uplifted after following and filming sankirtan devotee Madhava Puri Das on book distribution.
Wu met Madhava Puri while staying at the ISKCON Los Angeles ashram, looking for spiritual answers during a difficult period in his life.
“I was seeking a sage or guru who could impart wisdom to me,” Wu says. “Madhava seemed so focused on Krishna consciousness; I think what attracted me was his dedication to Prabhupada.”
Despite Madhava Puri being a young man like himself and a devotee for just six years, Wu was so inspired by him that he decided to follow him on sankirtana to experience his traveling book distributor lifestyle.
Wu filmed Madhava for six days, for seven or eight hours each day to make his short film. He captured the austerity of living on the road, and attached a mic to Madhava Puri’s shirt to pick up his interactions with people on the street.
Wu was inspired by Madhava’s explanation of the two types of monk: the bhajananandi, who renounces society and performs his worship in isolation; and the ghosti-anandi, who goes into society and braves disturbances to his worship so that he can teach others and guide them on the spiritual path.
“As a ghosti-anandi, Madhava’s form of renunciation is service to humanity,” Wu says. “My relationship with him inspires me because it challenges me to look at my own renunciation as service, not just focusing on my own meditation and happiness, but really going out there.”
Wu was particularly fascinated by the austerities of traveling sankirtan, including Madhava Puri’s ability to spend so much time alone – he distributes books by himself.
“You need to have a lot of faith in your spiritual master, and in your service, to be able to spend long periods of time by yourself and not fall into loneliness,” Wu says. “What kind of meditation must that take? That’s something that really attracts me.”
He adds: “It lifts me up spiritually to see someone like Madhava who has such a deep relationship with the teachings, and with the chanting; and to see how that can sustain someone emotionally and spiritually.”
Kevin Wu ends the film with a shot of Madhava Puri bowing down to Srila Prabhupada, with his voiceover saying, “If someone is sincere, then Krishna will send that guru to him.” The film is then dedicated to Srila Prabhupada.
Like thousands of other young people, Prabhupada’s teachings have touched Wu’s heart. “My family and community is Buddhist, and Prabhupada’s philosophy about Buddhism is so deep that I use it as the foundation to my approach to Buddhism,” he says. “The philosophy of God having different names and different forms in Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam – but a singular purpose to liberate people in a society of irreligiousity – I think that gives the foundation for spiritual life.”
Watch the video here: https://iskconnews.org/video/madhava-puri-a-traveling-monk,1439/[ book-distribution ] [ kevin ] [ sankirtana ] [ wu ]