My dear Lord Krishna… I want to praise You; O Govinda, the player of the flute, the lover of the gopis, I want to hear about You in those activities. I also like to hear about Your dealings with the Pandavas and how learned bhaktas of Yours like Narada Muni describe You in the scriptures. I like to hear of You in Your form of Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu. This hari-katha enhances my ability to think of You in a personal way. I also want to think of You as living with me in my room in quietude, where my body is living because of Your causeless mercy, the blood flowing, the breathing taking place, the heart beating. This is all You in another way. It is my personhood in You and I want to convey to others about You in everything I do. I would like to be God conscious. As You are never in touch with the material world, I would also like to be free of contact with matter and a liberated soul. But that requires great concentration, work and loving desire.
The devotees are not interested in liberation by any other process. Liberation is automatically attained by bhakti, just as food is digested by the fire in the belly. The devotees do not desire the pleasure of merging into the existence of the Lord because they derive a higher pleasure in planning ways to serve Him at all times, despite all material obstacles.
I desire to reach You by the writing endeavor. This is vandanam, offering prayers, and the Srimad-Bhagavatam is filled with the prayers of great devotees. Srila Prabhupada says even an ordinary devotee who is not well-versed in making beautiful prayers (uttama-sloka) in Sanskrit and theology can make prayers of his own composition, even if they are broken, provided he is sincere.
I wish to praise Your majesty and sweetness. I want to be open with You and please You by what I say. I want to evoke a favorable response. You know me better than I know myself. You know me beneath the cores of my conditioning. You also know my unfortunate conditioning and causeless lack of full devotion to You. Why am I not able to surrender to You? Please help me with this. Let me listen more closely and faithfully to the words of my spiritual master. Let me behold You in the pages of Srimad-Bhagavatam and in everyday life.
Let me describe You a little. You are Krishna, who creates and maintains and plays in the spiritual world. You bewilder all the thinkers in the material world, whose intelligence is stolen by Your material maya. Thus hardly anyone knows You. Only the pure devotees know You. In all the worlds, they are the greatest benefactors for distributing knowledge of You.
As for me, I cry out to You with a small voice. Whatever I know of You comes from You. I have some faith in Your utterances and the hope to come to You. I hold it as the highest goal of my life. But I don’t strive for it with all my might. I seem to have such little capacity to reach You. And You are so great, so seemingly far away. With these material eyes, I cannot see You, with these ears, I cannot hear You, with these hands, I cannot touch You. You are acintya. But You have provided means, like chanting and hearing, the arca-vigraha, maha-prasadam, to reach You with our senses. And the mind, the leader of the senses, can reach You by direct concentration in bhakti-yoga. So the path is not closed to You but open. Please let me move along that path, the bhakti-marga.
And please inspire me to help others to turn their attention to You. My spiritual master wants me to encourage them. All life’s pursuits should be aimed at pleasing You by one’s individual occupational duty. Please enable me to find pleasure in glorifying You every day. Let me see new lights and discover new ways to express my indebtedness to You and to find You in my words.
My dear Lord Krishna… I want to pray for closeness to You. I know You cannot be approached but through the spiritual master. This afternoon, I plan to write a poem called “All Those Years Ago,” in which I will recount the personal service I rendered to Prabhupada in ISKCON during the years he was on the planet up until 1977, and a summary of the years after that. I know my favorable connection to Srila Prabhupada is my only way to a favorable connection to You. But in this prayer, I want to explore the results of my training in Krishna consciousness by Prabhupada and pray that it bring me a sense of my union with You. After all, Prabhupada was training us to love You and to serve You. That is the whole thrust of his strong presentation of Bhagavad-gita As It Is. To familiarize us with Your activities, he wrote Krishna book early in his preaching career, before he even worked into the later cantos of Srimad-Bhagavatam. He came to us delivering the maha-mantra in his personal kirtanas and his giving us vows to chant at least sixteen rounds on beads daily. As his good students, we are meant to develop a relationship with You.
Sometimes I feel close to You. Yesterday after chanting my sixteen rounds, I took an afternoon walk, and I was deliberately chanting the maha-mantra off my beads. It felt very nice, and I felt an intimacy with You through the chanting. It is moments like this that I want to cultivate and intensify. Sometimes when I’m very calm and quiet, I think of Your presence with me. You are in my heart, and You are in my mind when I think of You. I know that when I am in a stressful or dangerous situation, I think of You more. That was the prayer of Queen Kunti: She asked for dangerous times because she said that You were with her more than in a normal situation. I am not so daring as to ask for times of crisis; I prefer to think of You in peace. But it is a fact that You come to our minds more when we are in danger.
I think of You as my friend and protector. I meditate on how You are maintaining the life in my body, and I try to think that You are my eternal Lord, who will be with me always. When I think of Your pastimes in Vraja, I become conscious of You as the most desirable person. Reading Ananda-vrndavana-campu has been very helpful in bringing You before me as a real personality. You are an all-attractive cowherd boy, and You wander in the forests of Vrndavana and the vrajasundaris, the gopis, possess the greatest love of You among all Your devotees.
I wish to come close to You by rendering service and by chanting Hare Krishna. I wish to relish Your pastimes. I want to think of You as involved in my personal life. I want to do as King Kulasekhara prayed, entangle my thoughts in You the way the swan entangles its neck in the roots of the lotus flower. King Kulasekhara prayed that he die while he was in a healthy state of mind and able to think of You in that way, because he feared that at death, he would be preoccupied with his dying, being choked up with mucus and incapacitated. I don’t wish for my death, but I pray to feel close to You at that time. I am praying to You now for closeness, and I wish to always pray for this. Please let thoughts of You always dwell in my mind and let me feel love for You. This is what Prabhupada wants me to do.