The defense never rests. Sometimes “a good offense is the best defense,” and you mount a frontal attack. Oh well, at least I’m up. But I hear the gremlin’s voice calling me a fool. He thinks I’m Elmer Fudd.
The messages of Godhead are powerful antidotes to the atheistic charges made by mudhas in the age of Kali. Those who seek relief from the vices of this age will take shelter in this Bhagavata Purana. What I write is not Purana, but I can still give the Bhagavata on this page. I’m an authorized receiver and distributor of the philosophy of bhakti.
I decided not to use the prayers spoken by the priests of King Nabhi in my lecture because there was no possible way I could cover all the points in an hour. The priests prayed to Lord Vishnu to please help them remember Him:
“Dear Lord, we may not be able to remember Your name, form and qualities due to stumbling, hunger, falling down, yawning or being in a miserable diseased condition at the time of death when there is a high fever.”
(One might add, we also forget You even while we serve You on the guru’s order, or even while our tongue utters Your holy name.)
“We therefore pray unto You, O Lord, for You are very affectionate to Your devotees. Please help us remember You and utter Your holy names, attributes and activities, which can dispel all the reactions of our sinful lives.” (Bhag. 5.3.12)
Too many points. My audience might not be able to handle them all at once. All right, then I’ll speak on Srila Prabhupada.
Poets of old wrote on parchment or banana leaves, and they didn’t mince words.
Does this age permit levity? Used to be you had to be liberated to write.
Nowadays, who gets the inspiration? Or are we back to nine-tenths perspiration? Where’s the knowledge descending, the certainty that “God told me this”? It’s still available, still there for those who desire only to serve.
Because Krishna trusts His devotees. Behold! The reader cries for it; a writer strives to attain it. While waiting, he picks through his whims.
As I was saying,
poets of old
in the hold of a galleon
had to row the boats and
many great authors suffered.
Cervantes was a slave
and escaped to write his book.
In a time of war
they discover ore in unlikely places.
I’m one of them, I am,
also a son of God
but in miniature, dirtied
by my experience in the modes.
(Nothing a good dose of
Bhagavatam can’t cure.)
The priests and Nabhi were embarrassed that although they were praying for material boons, Lord Vishnu appeared. They were afraid they had disturbed Him by their petty requests.
“We have no other power than to offer our respectful obeisances and prayers unto You, the transcendental Person. The chanting of Your auspicious transcendental qualities will wipe out the sins of all mankind. That is the most auspicious activity for us, and we can thus partially understand Your supernatural position.” (Bhag. 5.3.5)
Simple prayers from the heart will satisfy the Lord. He doesn’t need paraphernalia or clever words. The priests regretted that they were not on the path of pure devotional service. I regret it too.
“By inviting You to this negligible sacrifice for some material motive, we have certainly committed a great offense at Your lotus feet. Therefore, 0 Lord of lords, please excuse our offense because of Your causeless mercy and equal mind.” (Bhag. 5.3.5)
“. . . although You are full in Yourself, please, out of Your causeless mercy, accept a little service from us, Your eternal servants.”
My place of worship is this desk. This pen is okay. Hand too. Heart is all I’ve got, plus some diminishing days. It’s all I have. I have to use it.
So, dear Lord, please accept a prayer from Your servitor who wants to bow down to You in lively, honest writing. May he offer this song.
May he leave the offering he wrote on Your altar. He wants to make up for his sins.
Wants to take part in
the preaching against atheism.
Proclaims You are great.
Fights atheists, demons who invade
but never feels the heart
of a pure devotee. No cry of pain,
only of false ego.
Put it aside
and cry anyway. Please
accept the praise coming through
the brass horn of the
player who was born
on this earth and has been through
Now at Your feet by guru’s order I
sing, but like the brahmana
at Rangaksetra, don’t know how
I have dared to bring my beastly face
into the hall
into the mall—
but won’t omit
krishna krishna krishna he /
krishna krishna krishna he /
krishna krishna pahi
mam! Sounds of glory
sounds of pain
sounds of holy name.
Yes, I can be assured it’s coming out
all right, although flawed.
May Lord Krishna see
a sincerity in me
and reject the chaff
of my offering.
I wanted to sing and write, but
the line wasn’t right.
It only proves I can’t force my way into His presence.
So chant Hare Krishna on His invitation.
This is His secret, powerful entrance
to love of God, given freely.
I do. I will.