There is little time to write in. You have to stretch out. Visitors coming today, Visnu-Aradhanam, John Endler, Kirtana-Rasa and Alena. Plus others. The table will be crowded. Should we read C.c. or just have conversation? I’d rather have a scripture reading, but the guests might prefer conversation. That usually deterioriates to prajalpa. If we were advanced devotees, our conversation would be krsna-katha.
I saw in the index to a book, “Lord Balarama–His talk with Krsna.” Your conversation could be like that–somewhere near the end of prasadam I could pick out a word, “Vrndavana,” and add specific references:
–all the residents are devotees of Krsna
–Vrindavan on earth and in the spiritual world
That could be a kind of game for talking of Krsna at the dinner table.
—on earth and in the spiritual world
—on earth everyone is a devotee of Radharani
—and Gaudiya Vaisnavas
–marries 16,000 princesses
–lifts Govardhana Hill
–Neighboring women come to Mother Yasoda to complain of Krsna’s naughty activities
–defeats Kaliya —
–exiled at time of His coronation
–and the dharma for Kali-yuga
–and the Panca-Tattva
—as a combination of Radha and Krsna
The Universal Form
–Arjuna asked the Universal Form to withdraw and assume the two-armed form of Krsna
–asks her husband Kardama to have sex with her at an inauspicious time
We played the game
called “Index” which I
had invented that
morning. It was a
big hit at the lunch
table. No one there knew
more than I did, so I
added remarks to
what they said. It’s
a surefire-method to
But it may be
better to just read
the book and everyone
stays silent. But it
was a chance for me
to dominate like
Ravindra Svarupa does and not just
play the wallflower.
Today’s gathering seemed
to like it that way.
It depends on the
audience. I couldn’t
try it at Saci-suta’s
and Keli-lalita’s at
Christmas; they would not
swing with it.
But at Viraha Bhavan
when we have a few guests
I think it’s a nice
thing to do.
Prabhupada is living in the vani and his ISKCON. He lives in the hearts of his sincere devotees who serve him in separation. He is the Founder-Acarya of ISKCON. “Founder” means the original creator. There may be other acaryas in ISKCON–other teachers and leaders–but Prabhupada is the original Founder-Acarya of ISKCON. We accept him as the pre-eminent siksa-guru for all followers. In that sense also, he is the numero uno.
I love Srila Prabhupada. I write to serve his spiritual family members. In our ashrama we are reading his translation and commentary to Caitanya-caritamrta. He writes wonderful things! He wrote that in the Western countries the boys and girls mix freely, and he doesn’t attempt to change that custom. But, he says the women are equally as good as their Godbrothers in preaching the message of Krsna consciousness. Women who come to his Movement are equal to the men. There are many conservative men in ISKCON who do not think women should have equal rights with men. But that is in contradiction to Prabhupada’s purports in the Seventh Chapter of C.c. Adi-lila.
When they make their homages on Vyasa-puja, don’t keep the praise for yourself. Be like the Viceroy in the British rule in India. When the Viceroy went to a meeting he was offered jewels and contribution, but the Viceroy couldn’t keep anything for himself. All the gifts went to the royal treasury, to the king. Similarly, any homage offered to me, I don’t keep but offer to Srila Prabhupada and Krsna, the actual objects of admiration. In this way I remain humbler than a blade of grass even when the praises are addressed to me. An aspiring Vaisnava should not be proud. The day is coming near, and I want to prepare to offer the homages back to Srila Prabhupada and the parampara. That way I will do my duty as guru without creating a fiasco of self-admiration.
Today we heard in C.c. of Lord Caitanya’ attending the meeting with the Mayavadi sannyasis in Varanasi. Prakasananda Sarasvati challenges Him why He doesn’t associate with the other sannyasis and why instead He indulges in singing and dancing with “fanatics.” Lord Caitanya replies that His spiritual master had found Him a fool and told Him not to study Vedanta but simply to chant the Hare Krsna mantra. The Lord then offers many proofs from sastras about the superiority of the holy names. He said that by chanting He developed bodily symptoms of ecstasy and madness. He went to His spiritual master and inquired as to what kind of mantra He had been given. His spiritual master is pleased and says, “You are developing symptoms of love of God.” Then begins the discussion between Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Prakasananda in which Lord Caitanya explains the direct meanings of Vedanta-sutra, defeating Sankara’s impersonal interpretation.
I found two more boxes of CDs, and I am sending them to my jazz-guitarist disciple Sankirtana dasa. He said he is especially appreciative to receive John Coltrane and Bill Evans. He wants to take up a collection to cover the shipping expenses I paid. I will tell him there is no need to reimburse me. The CDs are like puppies or kittens, and as their former owner, I am just grateful to have found a new, loving home for them. If Sankirtana manages to sell a few, I would accept that as a donation. (This all stems from the vow I took last summer to renounce listening to jazz. Now I listen only to Prabhupada bhajanas and kirtanas led by his devotees.)
Bala has undergone major surgery and is gradually recovering. He cannot do his former services. We are down to a skeletal crew of just Baladeva and an occasional visitor. Baladeva is burdened with the strain and in his bipolar manifestation (manic-depression) he is experiencing the depressed side. When he is “manic,” he has supercharged energy and performs the work of three men [although that is slowing down with health issues and age; he is now 67]. He is determined to carry out his duties.
The Panca-Tattva: Lord Caitanya is the maha-vadan yavatara; Lord Nityananda is Lord Caitanya’s direct expansion and the original spiritual master; Advaita Acarya is the one whose loud cries caused Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to descend. Because Advaita is old enough to be Lord Caitanya’s father, the Lord bows down before Him and offers Him respect. But Advaita Acarya considers Caitanya Mahaprabhu His superior and worships Him. These three Persons of the Panca-Tattva are in the Visnu category. The other two are subordinate. Gadadhara Pandita is the internal energy of Lord Caitanya. Thus he is a shadow of Radharani. Srivasa Thakura is a representative of a pure devotee. Lord Caitanya held nightly sankirtana at Srivasa Thakura’s house with His confidential devotees. One should chant the Panca-Tattva mantra before chanting Hare Krsna. Thus: sri-krsna–caitanya prabhu-nityananda sri–advaita gadadhara srivasadi–gaura–bhakta–vrnda / hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare
I dreamt I wanted my vocation
as a poet. I wrote down some of the
details of the dream and here I am with my pen.
They should be spiritual but not propaganda
pieces. I thought it would be difficult to
start because I am long out of practice
except for my daily website poem, which
has a “newsy” format. In the dream I
thought of Rilke, for whom writing poetry
was his religion. On awaking I thought of
William Carlos Williams. I will consult
with both of them. In the dream
I was lying alone in an empty apartment
when I received the message for vocation,
but people came in and disturbed me. Later they left and I got up from bed and was surrounded by
ghost-like men who said, “We are your
brothers.” I took this to mean my poetry
would be a solitary thing without ghost-
brothers or intruders but I’d be
interested in consulting the Dead Poets
Society, those kindred spirits from
the past. Above all, I must get the approval of my spiritual master,
Srila Prabhupada. Even though the poems may be indirect
by the end of the day I will praise Radha-Krishna
and Gaura-Nitai and tell you who They are.
Ars Poetica means the art
of one’s poetry. Mine is informal
verse, short lines. I measure
by my breath. I put down my thoughts and sometimes free write.
“ ’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves,
did gyre and gambol by the wabe.”
–is one of my favorite lines. Lewis
Carroll’s book, Alice In Wonderland,
(with John Tenniel’s illustrations)
is a masterpiece. For spiritual knowledge
I read Bhagavad-gita As It Is, by A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada. Therein we learn from Lord Krsna,
the Personality of Godhead, that we are spirit-souls and
do not die with the demise of the body
but transmigrate to another body according to our karma.
The purpose of human life is to break
the cycle of birth and death and transfer to the spiritual world.
This is done by surrender to Krsna in devotional service.
As I write these lines I am visiting
with relatives in New Jersey. I fell asleep in my chair and
was paralyzed. I cried out, “Mother!” and “Help!”
but no one answered. I thought while asleep
of writing these lines: I am distant
from my friends and of course
I have no relations with
women because I am a
sannyasi.” Now I realize
it was all a dream. I never went to New Jersey
and my mother is dead. I fell asleep in my chair
alone in my room in Viraha Bhavan.
I was chanting Hare Krsna mantra
and a group of about fifteen
Godbrothers were following
behind me singing the
response in the kirtana.
We were walking up a hill
in the darkness. Then it
was a larger group and women’s
voices were included. We sang for a long time.
Finally, I wanted to go
inside and write the experience down. I went to touch the person beside me, and realized I was
alone. It had all been a pleasant dream of
A poem comes from the heart.
You write what’s in your mind.
A poem should be useful,
one-to-one with the reader,
in his or her lonely hour.
Arjuna asked Krsna, “What
happens to a yogi who
doesn’t reach perfection?
Is he like a riven cloud in the sky?” Krsna replied,
“One who does good
never meets with evil.
He is born next life
in a righteous family
or a rich aristocracy
for making better progress.
The one who deviates after long
practice is born in the family
of transcendentalists who are great in wisdom.
Such a birth is very rare.”
Srila Prabhupada writes that both his spiritual master and
he were born into such
families, “and later we
met by the transcendental system.”
I dreamt I was staying
up all night chanting Hare Krsna mantra on big beads.
It was at Inis Rath, North Ireland, and there were
many devotees and nondevotees present.
I was doing japa nonstop without taking time for talking.
Everyone around me was chanting.
Sometimes we were walking together
and it was very blissful. Two lady
guests stopped me and asked what place this was.
I told them, “The whole island is Hare Krsna.”
A man showed me a cover of a
magazine he was illustrating and
getting paid $400 for.
I didn’t reply to him but
went on chanting. I should
have told him to illustrate for
Krsna. Two elderly nudists
showed up and I told them, “Get away!”As they ran
off, a few other nudists joined them
and we laughed at their awkward
ways. I was happy and transcendental.
I wanted to write a letter to Srila Prabhupada
and tell him of my state of high
consciousness. I planned to phone
Los Angeles to find out his address.
I feared he might say I was
not practical. But I wanted to tell
the truth. I thought he would ask me
whether I slept in the day.
It was a wonderful
on beads for the entire night, and yet it seems
quite possible to do.
Krsna is always the winner. He rescued 16,000 princesses who were kept in captivity by a demon. They were overjoyed to see the Lord and asked Him if He would marry them. He magnanimously agreed to accept them, expanded Himself into 16,000 forms and provided that many palaces for His queens. Narada visited Krsna in Dvaraka and was astounded to see Krsna engaged in thousands of ways in His palaces. Krsna always wins and displays His opulences.
We read about Sankara appearing to defeat the Buddhists when they were dominant in India due to the patronage of Maharaja Ashoka. The Puranas are quoted where Siva tells his wife that he will appear as a brahmana in Kali-yuga, teach impersonalism and bewilder the Buddhists and other atheists by teaching it. Reinstating the authority of the Vedas, Sankara drove the Buddhists out of India. But because of the position of the people, all he was able to teach was a “second edition of Buddhism.” He recognized the existence of Brahman but claimed Brahman was formless and without personality. His impersonal teaching brought about a disastrous effect, altering the direct meaning of the Vedas. This literature (Vedanta-sutra, the Upanisads, Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, etc.) clearly teaches that Lord Visnu or Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead possessing spiritual form and qualities. When Vaisnava acaryas such as Ramanuja and Madhva appeared in later centuries, they thoroughly defeated Sankara in their commentaries on Vedanta-sutra. Lord Caitanya, in His lifetime, converted the most influential logicians, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya and Prakasananda, from staunch impersonalists into Vaisnavas surrendered to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.