We are getting ready to celebrate Janmastami. The devotees at Viraha Bhavan are preparing a menu. We are making up a guest list, but we can’t handle an unlimited number of people. We’ll try to keep it at twenty. This is perhaps the most important Vaisnava holiday of the year. The big temples get huge crowds. I have been preparing a lecture with a surprise in it. Devotees who are not vaccinated or who don’t want to be crammed into the house can sit outside under the two tents and hear on the speaker that we will set up. We expect Ravindra Svarupa and his group to attend and speak.
As of August 18, the day before Janmastami, if you were to go downstairs from my room to the first floor, you would find the place buzzing with activity in preparation for the festival. Baladeva was cooking all morning and then went shopping. Manohara and Lalita-kaisora are in the kitchen cooking now. Hari dasa from Schenectady is dressing large Gaura-Nitai. Hari dasa’s associate Ishvara Rishi is making a holly branch backdrop for Radha-Govinda. Krsna dasi is rushing around getting jewelry and clothing together for the Deities, hoping that the new outfit arrives. This afternoon Atindra will come and set up the tents and sound system. And I’m up here with last minute preparations for my lecture. Personally I feel it’s important to prepare for a talk like this rather than be spontaneous. I am putting time in and doing extra research for my lecture. I want it to be all parampara and not put the devotees into any confusion. Krsna’s birth is actually a mystery.
In my lecture I will tell the pastimes of Krsna’s appearance to Devaki, His advent and birth. I will make it condensed. Then I will present new material. I will read Prabhupada’s rare purport in the Tenth Canto of the Bhagavatam, Third Chapter, where he describes how Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura discusses that Krsna was born to Mother Yasoda. Manohara, who has been visiting me for several weeks, has done research for me on the Internet, and I will read a couple of commentaries from the previous acaryas that give evidence that Krsna was born simultaneously from Devaki (to whom He appeared as Visnu) and then to Mother Yasoda in Gokula (where He appeared in His original two-armed form.) I will read a couple more commentaries about Krsna being born to Yasoda. Then I will read the Cambridge dictionary definitions of “exoteric” and “esoteric.” “Exoteric” means information that is literally understood by everyone, and “esoteric” means information that is not widely known or of interest to all. I am mixing both exoteric and esoteric information in my talk, and I’m hoping that it will be all right.I will say that the information that Krsna is born from Yasoda is esoteric, and the information that He is born from Devaki is exoteric. Then with all this information about Mother Yasoda giving birth to Krsna, I will read a statement by Srila Rupa Gosvami in his Laghu-bhagavatamrta that this is very confidential about Yasoda, and it is not mentioned at all in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Then I will describe about Prabhupada’s stating that Nanda Maharaja is the foster parent of Krsna. We researched and found that Prabhupada described Nanda Maharaja as such two dozen times in his writing, and two dozen times in his speaking. When I was a young sannyasi and staying at the Guesthouse of the Krishna Balaram Mandir, an elderly Gaudiya Math sannyasi visited me. He came for the specific purpose of telling me that Prabhupada was mistaken in writing that Nanda Maharaja is the foster father of Krsna. At that time I ignored the man, but now I can explain it a little. Ostensibly Krsna was born to Mother Devaki, and He was raised by Nanda and Yasoda as their own son. There are many descriptions of Krsna addressing His mother and father as Nanda and Yasoda. But Prabhupada followed the Bhagavatam tradition and kept it a secret that Yasoda was the mother of Krsna. Prabhupada was writing to a new audience, and he did not want to focus on the esoteric meaning, since it is also not mentioned in the Bhagavatam. With all respects to the elderly Gaudiya Math sannyasi, Prabhupada was perfectly correct in his presentation.
I will end by describing that Nanda and Yasoda woke and saw that Krsna was their newborn son. They celebrated his birthday on Nandotsava. Krsna was therefore safely hidden in Gokula, unknown to Kamsa. Gradually Kamsa found out Krsna’s location and sent many ferocious demons there to kill Him. But Krsna killed them all from His very babyhood, starting with the demon Putana. I am very pleased to present this information to the audience, giving them a peek at the esoteric meaning, but staying true to Prabhupada’s presentation in his writings and talks.
Devotees can observe the festival by tuning in to Zoom starting at 11:00 A.M. ( Zoom ID: 617 108 1206 Password: 108)
Here’s the Janmastami schedule at Viraha Bhavan:
10:30-11:00 AM Kirtana (while devotees are gathering)
11:00 AM-12:00 Noon Speaking by Satsvarupa Goswami and Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu (and maybe Saudamani devi dasi )
12:00-12:45 PM Kirtana, offering and arati
12:45-1:00 PM Set up for prasadam
1:00 PM Honor Janmastami prasadam feast
Jayadvaita Maharaja is the head of the Tributes book, and his disciple Pradyumna is the manager. This year I received my copy of the book on August 2, three weeks before the actual Vyasa-puja day. In the introduction this year the publisher wrote that every disciple should read the book before Vyasa-puja and gain inspirations for speaking and meditating on Prabhupada on his Vyasa-puja day. I am happy that they sent the book out so early. In previous years the Tributes book used to arrive a day or two before Vyasa-puja, or days or a week after Vyasa-puja, or not at all. Receiving the book early is a great improvement, and I am grateful to the workers of the Tributes book for delivering it so early this year. I have been reading the homages. I especially like homages by devotees who were initiated many years ago. Sivarama Swami wrote this year that his favorite days are the early years with Prabhupada. He is now a very influential GBC member, leader of the yatra in Hungary, and the author of many books of advanced Krsna consciousness. But still he prefers the early years. At the end of his homage, he wrote, “I miss you.” That is my attitude also. I have not yet read all the homages, but I intend to do so.
We are having trouble getting enough raw milk for the festival. Last time, when we went to the dairy farmer to get milk, there was no milk left. But that morning the cow had had her calf. That meant that within a few days the cow would be back online, giving full production for her needy calf. Many people had also missed out on their milk last week, so there is a high demand for this week. We are asking for twelve gallons for the festivals. Since we are good regular customers, the woman said, “All right, but we can’t give it all at once.” So we’re going late today to pick up six gallons, and late tomorrow to pick up another six gallons, because we start cooking different preps on Thursday such as sweet rice and paneer.
Today we read in Krsna book about the kidnapping by Krsna of Rukmini. Rukmini’s father wanted to marry her to Krsna, but out of affectionate attachment to his eldest son Rukmi, he deferred to him, who wanted his sister to marry Sisupala, who was inimical to Krsna. Rukmini was very sorry about the proposed marriage to Sisupala. She was the king’s daughter and knew diplomacy, so she boldly wrote a letter to Krsna, whom she had never met but heard about from Narada and other sages who came to her palace. She begged Krsna to please come and kidnap her and make her His wife. She said if He didn’t come she would perform austerities until some time in a future life Krsna would marry her. She sent this confidential letter with a brahmana, and he brought it to Krsna in Dvaraka. Krsna heard the letter and told the brahmana that He also knew of Rukmini and wanted to marry her. The brahmana said, “If You want to marry her, You’ll have to act immediately. The marriage is tomorrow.” So Krsna harnessed His horses and drove quickly to the place of Rukmini.
Meanwhile Sisupala had gathered a huge military force and brought it to Rukmini’s palace. He was suspecting that Krsna might cause some disturbance, and had heard rumors of His coming there. Aware of Sisupala’s military strength, Balarama arranged for strong military forces from the Yadus and sped to Videha just in time before the marriage. Rukmini had advised Krsna to kidnap her without killing a lot of people. She said that she would be walking to the temple of Durga before the marriage, and He should come and get her just while she was leaving the temple so as not to harm a lot of people. Krsna took this advice and easily caught the hand of Rukmini when she was leaving the temple. All the princes of Sisupala were aghast, and Krsna slipped away without any trouble. When Sisupala’s forces finally regrouped themselves, they were fought off by the army of Balarama. We are just at the point of hearing that Sisupala and his forces give up chasing Krsna. But Rukmi, the older brother of Rukmini, goes by himself and chases after Krsna. We will hear tomorrow how Krsna deals with him.
King Yudhisthira wanted to perform the Rajasuya sacrifice. But Uddhava advised Krsna that first all the kings of India had to submit to Yudhisthira and pay taxes. Most kings submitted, but the very powerful King Jarasandha refused. So Uddhava advised that they first had to kill Jarasandha before they could perform the Rajasuya sacrifice. He also advised that to avoid killing many, many soldiers, they should go to Jarasandha disguised as brahmanas and Bhima should challenge him to a fight. Bhima should be accompanied by Krsna and Arjuna. Jarasandha was very charitable towards brahmanas, so they knew he would accept their asking charity from him. Dressing as brahmanas, the three went to his place at Magadha. Jarasandha suspected that the three so-called brahmanas were actually ksatriyas because of their strong builds and their commanding voices. Krsna spoke up and asked in charity for a duel with Jarasandha. Then Krsna revealed who they actually were. On hearing this Jarasandha laughed loudly. He told Krsna, “I won’t fight with You because You are a coward.” He told Arjuna, “I won’t fight with you because you’re younger than me and you’re not an equal fighter. But I will fight with Bhima.” So they went out of the city and began fighting with clubs. They were so equally matched that neither could come out victorious. The clubs were smashed to pieces as they fought day after day. They then began to fight smashing fists against each other. After twenty-seven days Bhima said to Krsna, “I frankly don’t think I can defeat Jarasandha.” Krsna then told him the secret of Jarasandha’s birth. He was born in two pieces and thrown into the forest. A she-demon found him and put the two pieces together again. They happily accepted the newborn child in one piece, and the demon named Jara asked that they name the baby Jarasandha. He was a great enemy of Krsna’s, and Krsna had defeated him seventeen times.
When Bhima told Krsna that he didn’t think he could defeat Jarasandha, Krsna revealed the secret of Jarasandha’s birth. Then with a twig, Krsna bifurcated it, and Bhima got the idea. He then threw Jarasandha down to the ground and completely bifurcated his body and killed him. With Jarasandha out of the way, Yudhisthira could perform the Rajasuya sacrifice. All kings and princes were invited to Hastinapura. The first function of the Rajasuya sacrifice was to elect the best person present to receive the first worship. There were different opinions, but then the Pandava Sahadeva spoke up and made a great speech recommending Krsna as the best person, since He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead who has no equal or no one greater than Him. The audience applauded after Sahadeva’s speech, and they all accepted his choice. But there was one person in the audience who did not like the choice of Krsna. That was Sisupala. Sisupala had been envious of Krsna since his birth, and he always blasphemed Him. He stood up, and in the hearing of Krsna and all the audience, he began to criticize Krsna in many ways. He said He was not the best qualified person to receive the first worship. Many persons who favored Krsna blocked their ears and ran away from the assembly because they knew it wasn’t right to tolerate hearing blasphemy. But other, bolder kings took out their swords and were prepared to kill Sisupala. Seeing the likelihood of great violence, Krsna decided to kill Sisupala Himself. He released the Sudarsana cakra and beheaded Sisupala, who fell down dead. Then King Yudhisthira was able to perform the Rajasuya sacrifice freely, worshiping Krsna first as the best person. The yajna was a great success, and Yudhisthira satisfied all the brahmanas by gifts of charity. Then Krsna returned to His home in Dvaraka.
Our bo0k team met on Zoom. Attending were Krsna Bhajana, Satyasara dasi, Lal Krishna, Baladeva Vidyabhusana, and myself. Krsna Bhajana had submitted an agenda for the meeting. We first discussed the progress of the remaining books about Prabhupada, which are to be printed and ready for distribution at Vyasa-puja in December. Progress is going well on the remaining books, and Krsna Bhajana predicts we’ll have them on time. John Endler could not attend because he had a meeting at his church, but he submitted a paper on his projects. He is enthusiastic to read my books and to work on projects. He submitted a paper with some of his progress on projects. He has completed his edits to Sanatorium and sent them to me. He is prepared for editing work on California Search for Gold. He suggested to me that he could write an introduction to California Search for Gold and an introduction to Sanatorium. He has deeply read these books and is dedicated to them, so I am seriously considering his proposal. He is also working on the unpublished volumes of Every Day, Just Write. Before we stopped publishing them, we had printed up to Volume 50. I told him EJW is his “baby,” and he was happy to hear that.
We have eight books remaining to be printed of the books I wrote about Srila Prabhupada. We want to get these completely finished on time for my Vyasa-puja in early December. They are: 1.) Calling Out to Srila Prabhupada; 2.) Srila Prabhupada Samadhi Diary; 3.) Remembering Srila Prabhupada; 4.) He Lives Forever; 5.) Prabhupada Meditations 6.) Here Is Srila Prabhupada; 7.) My Letters from Srila Prabhupada, Volume 3: “I Am Never Displeased with Any Member”; 8.) Prabhupada Appreciation.
We also discussed books to be worked on after the Prabhupada set is completed. There are essay compilations to be done from BTG essays. The Nimai and the Mouse series is projected in the future to be printed as one single volume. We discussed “GN Press into the Future.” What is current legal structure of GN Press? Are there trustees? How does it work? Should we get young devotees on board who will manage it going forward after we have all left these bodies?
It was nice gathering together and seeing each other’s faces on Zoom. We scheduled a next meeting for September 17th.
I received a letter from a disciple who told me he prefers reading the first edition of the Bhagavad-gita edited by Hayagriva. He thinks there are too many changes in the second edition edited by Jayadvaita. But I do not agree with this point of view. Jayadvaita and Dravida published a booklet, Responsible Publishing. There they demonstrated the many omissions Hayagriva made from Prabhupada’s original manuscripts. Jayadvaita restored the original material by Prabhupada and did responsible editing of his English. Prabhupada had implicit faith in Jayadvaita Maharaja and kept him as his editor for Srimad-Bhagavatam. He said that Jayadvaita’s editing should not be changed. Now Garuda Prabhu has written an entire book championing the editing version of Hayagriva and criticizing the second edition edited by Jayadvaita. I do not agree with Garuda Prabhu on this topic. My followers should feel confident to read the second edition published by the BBT, edited by Jayadvaita Maharaja, and not the earlier edition done by Hayagriva.
My doctor is pushing me to submit to blood work and then a CAT scan with contrast. That means I have to drink a radioactive cocktail before going to the CAT scan. The drink is ill-tasting. I’ve already been through the preliminaries, but then the CAT scan was cancelled when the machine broke down at the hospital. The doctor recently pushed the right side of my abdomen and I felt pain. He said it’s possible that it might be some constipation, but he wants to check it out for sure. So we’re going on Monday after Janmastami and Vyasa-puja for the blood work and Thursday for the CAT scan.
Baladeva went to the cardiologist for his annual checkup. Dr. Clinton said that everything was fine, although he noted that B. had gained some weight. B. blamed it on our Italian chef and said he had been gaining one pound a week since he had come. The cardiologist replied, “When the Italian chef leaves, you better seriously consider losing that extra weight.”
In recent weeks we have been experiencing 90 degree weather. Tomorrow it is predicted to be 100 degrees. There are different ways to deal with this. The family next door has purchased a large four-foot deep above ground pool to stay cool. We are not going to go into their pool. We have AC, and I have fans. We think that we are not suffering much, and we think of Vrndavana. Our heat wave is nothing compared to Vrndavana dhama, where the temperatures go up to 120°. You can think of the heat here as miserable, or you can think of it as a way to meditate on Vrndavana, where it’s really hot and transcendental.
We are still in the glow of yesterday’s Balarama Appearance Day. Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu and his wife Saudamani were especially good company, reminiscing about the old days in the Philadelphia temple, where they both joined and where Ravindra became the temple president and Saudamani was in charge of Deity worship. Ravindra says Saudamani has an especially keen memory of incidences from the old days, and yesterday she was very talkative about many instances of those times. (Perhaps she was affected by a glass of Varuni prasadam.)
Yesterday’s feast was especially heavy, so today Manohara made simple kitri, and it was a relief.
I just spoke with my spiritual grandson, Abhishek Singh. His wife Sarvani just gave birth to a baby girl named Ishana. When Abhishek first met her, she was crying. But after he chanted Hare Krsna to her for a few moments, she calmed down and was all right. She is healthy and happy. I offered him my congratulations, and he was very grateful. I am very much attached to the Singh family. Abhishek’s family are my disciples, Dr. Nitai Gaurasundara and Matsya devi dasi.
I have watched all the children in the family since birth and watched them grow up as devotees. They are very jolly, and meeting them all together is like a sitcom. Matsya and Nitai Gaurasundara have done a great job raising their three children to become nice Vaisnavas and nice persons.
“(SDG Note to Readers: “If Krsna wills, I will post this poem in installments.”)
1) Overcome with yearnings, and crying in the middle of Vrndavana forest, I shall now reveal the deep mark burning tears have made in my heart.
2) O Vrndavana forest, who among your devoted servants has not already attained the path of supreme transcendental bliss? I humbly beg you: please reveal in my heart the best way to attain my King and Queen. Please be kind to me.
3) O Queen Vrnda, both sruti and smrti proclaim that Lord Murari eternally enjoys pastimes with His Beloved in your forest. Knowing this, I bow down before your feet. Please be merciful to me. Please make the tree of my desires quickly bear fruit.
4) O virtuous Queen Vrnda, this person begs your permission to present his appeal before your King and Queen, whose lotus feet he has long yearned in his heart to attain. Please cast your merciful glance on me. Please be kind.
5) O King whose transcendental form is more splendid than the blossoming blue lotus flower, O Queen whose splendid beauty has stolen the glory of gold ….
6) O King dressed in silk garments as splendid as lightning, O Queen dressed in beautiful garments as splendid as musk ….
7) O King whose splendid sweetness surpasses Lord Narayana, O Queen who fills both the goddess of fortune and the sweet, beautiful girls of Vraja with wonder ….
8) O King who is an expanding mountain of the jewels of eternal virtues unattainable by outsiders, O Queen who possesses a treasure of transcendental virtues that stun with wonder the hearts of all virtuous girls ….
9) O King who is the regal sapphire crown of the peerless youths of Vraja, O Queen who is the jasmine crown of the splendid girls of Gokula in this world ….
10) O King whose heart is an ocean where the makara fish of Sri Radha swims, O Queen whose heart is a moon that contains the deer of Lord Krsna, O King whose mind is maddened by the fragrance of Your beloved, O Queen whose senses are captured by the fragrance of your beloved ….
11) O King whose flute is very eager to sing the glories of Sri Radha, the Deity of pure love, O Queen whose tongue tastes the sweetness of chanting the glories of Lord Mukunda, the joy of the world…
12) O King the sweetness of whose lotus eyes traps the swan of the heart of She who is the crown of Vraja’s girls, O Queen the net of whose sidelong glance expertly catches the regal fish of the Prince of Vraja’s heart ….
13) O King whose flute music is a cup for drinking the ocean of the eternal patience of the daughter of the gopa king’s friend, O Queen whose very graceful songs enchant the deer of the heart of He who enchants the world ….
14) O King who, when You hear the name ‘Radhika,’ forget all playful arts, O Queen who, when You hear the two syllables ‘Krsna’ become stunned and motionless ….
15) O son of the King of the gopas, O daughter of the best man in Gokula, bowing down and placing folded hands above his head, this unfortunate person begs You for a certain gift.”
(to be continued)
“Prabhupada meditation may be considered as a type of mental Deity worship. For worshiping the arca-vigraha of Krsna, one may form a murti from various materials such as metal, wood, marble—mind is also one of the authorized forms. Similarly, one may meditate on the pure devotee, and this is an acceptable worship or service.
“The word ‘meditation’ is often interpreted to mean an impersonal or void contemplation. But according to Vedic literature, meditation is always on the form of Lord Visnu or one of His incarnations. In the Nrsimha Purana it is stated, ‘Meditation focusing on the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead has been accepted as transcendental and beyond the experience of material pain and pleasure. By such meditation, even one who is grossly miscreant can be delivered from the sinful reactions of his life.’ This means that the meditation on the Lord, when properly performed, actually purifies one of sinful life. As stated in the Padma Purana, ‘A person who is always engaged in meditation on the sweet pastimes and wonderful activities of the Lord surely becomes freed from all material contamination.’ (Nectar of Devotion, p. 92)
“Devotees who render service to the Lord within their minds are often persons who are not able to render service externally or with their bodies. In the famous case of the brahmana in South India, he was a poor man and lacked sufficient money for opulent Deity worship. Therefore, when he heard from a Vaisnava that activities could be performed even by meditation, he became very enlivened. Prabhupada writes in the Nectar of Devotion, ‘If a person is unable to actually perform Vaisnava activities physically, he can meditate upon the Vaisnava activities, and thereby acquire all the same results.’ Another case of a devotee who was restricted was Krsna’s father, Vasudeva. Vasudeva was imprisoned by Kamsa, but nevertheless, upon the birth of Lord Krsna, Vasudeva performed acts of mental charity and distributed millions of cows to the brahmanas. We are also restricted, in an external sense, from going back in time and being with Srila Prabhupada. Therefore, when we remember or meditate upon those times, it can be just as good as any external service for the spiritual master.”
“In reverence, we accepted the fact that Srila Prabhupada’s devotion to Krsna was beyond us. And we were also happy that Srila Prabhupada was with us, as our venerable and lovable spiritual master But there were other aspects of his personality which were dear to us, although they didn’t quite fit in with standard conceptions we may have had of a ‘pure devotee’ or a ‘spiritual master.’ One example is Prabhupada’s childlike nature.
“One time I accompanied Srila Prabhupada and Rayarama on a visit to the lawyer to see about Swamiji’s immigration status. We were in the waiting room discussing the legal case when Swamiji became absorbed in playing with a lamp that was in the office. This lamp was in the shape of a ship’s stern, and it had a small propeller. While we were speaking of immigration legalities, Swamiji reached over and began spinning the propeller on the boat. It was as if he reserved the right, at any time, to drop out of the reality which others were taking so seriously. It reminded you of liberated souls you’d read about, like the Kumaras. And it indicated that we don’t know the mind of the acarya.
“Another time, Swamiji and several devotees were on a tour of a building in Manhattan, with the idea to purchase it. The real estate agent led Swamiji through the rooms, explaining everything. But at one point we noticed that Swamiji wasn’t with us. He had been left behind somewhere, and when we found him he was in a remote part of a room playing with a foot pedal of an old-fashioned sewing machine. He was standing by himself and operating it with his foot, exempting himself, for the time being, from the heavy real estate talks.
“I’ve also seen Prabhupada sit in the back seat of a car and crank the window up and down repeatedly, and I have seen him move his finger across a fogged window pane and make playful marks. In a detached way, Prabhupada liked to hum and sing to himself. Whatever Prabhupada did, it was an answer to the question made by Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita, ‘How does a transcendentalist walk, how does he sit and how does he speak?’ Sometimes the paramahamsas or swanlike persons float on the water of the material world and appear to be like children. Sometimes they act like madmen and don’t communicate at all, although Srila Prabhupada never did that. And most often, they are teachers with their finger raised in the jnana-mudra pose, instructing the conditioned souls.”
“When he came to America, Srila Prabhupada explained nicely how Lord Caitanya’s movement was a great boon for all people of the world. He explained it without criticizing the good that was being done by existing religions in the West. As Prabhupada’s followers, we should not be arrogant that we have taken up Krsna consciousness, but let us not doubt that Krsna consciousness belongs everywhere. We are not foreigners to Prabhupada and Krsna. Now that Srila Prabhupada has given us Srimad-Bhagavatam (no easy task for him), we must beg for the taste of the fruit, and beg for service to Srila Prabhupada which will enable us to appreciate his message.
“Let us worship Prabhupada’s Lord Krsna. Don’t think of Him as Indian or a myth. Our birthright in the West is skepticism, voidism and impersonalism. (And not just the West—India is also a repository of bad religion.) We pray to be spared from the legacy of materialism. Prabhupada has given strong arguments against atheism in its many forms (such as materialistic science, reductionistic psychology and philosophical speculation), and his learned followers are helping us to overcome all prejudices against pure theism. Many sincere souls are working on Prabhupada’s account, helping us to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam.
“As we hear krsna-katha and contemplate the brilliant future for the Krsna consciousness movement, we remain in Prabhupada’s presence. From this viewpoint we can see the quarrels and failures within the Krsna consciousness movement as temporary. The opposition to Krsna consciousness will come and go, like fame and infamy in this world. but Krsna consciousness worldwide will not go away. And Srila Prabhupada will always be with us.”
“Dealing with their doubts may strengthen me; I don’t have to be afraid of them. If I want to represent my spiritual master, then I will have to represent him against opposition. Prabhupada has said that the more we meet opposition, the stronger we become. I welcome opposition that comes in the form of doubts in order to become strengthened and to remain peaceful. I should not feel puffed-up that I am better than those who are having the doubts; but still, I have to serve my guru.
“When I hear these challenges, and when I respond by defending Prabhupada, at those moments I stop dwelling on my own inadequacies. There is no time for it. Then you have to become a defender. With your intelligent faculties you defend Prabhupada. One might say that when one is fighting or preaching on behalf of Prabhupada, he gives up the ‘luxury’ of keeping in tune with all one’s inner emotions. But that fighting is itself a kind of Prabhupada meditation.
“This also makes me more grateful to the loving connections that I have with Prabhupada. I do not see him only as a speaker of the parampara from Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. I do not see him merely as what some people call ‘a conservative Vaisnava teacher’ as opposed to a ‘liberal Vaisnava teacher’—But I see him as Swamiji, as Prabhupada. And I must continue to see him that way, as the one who saved me. Lord Krsna arranged that I should meet Srila Prabhupada, and therefore I must never see the coming together of myself and others with Prabhupada as mundane. At the same time, let us refine and strengthen our relationship with him, and that may have to sometimes include confronting the doubts of others, and doubts of our own, with satisfactory replies.
“But one may object, ‘You have predetermined that you are going to always agree with him.’ In one sense, my answer to that is yes. I surrender to him as spiritual master, and I personally accept the Vaisnava method of surrendering to the guru. If in any way my guru’s presentation appears open to criticism by the world, then it is my job to try to make his teachings more presentable, as a service to him. The example is given that if the guru sits for a portrait and his button is undone, it’s not wrong to go forward and adjust his clothing so that it looks nicer in the picture. Or if there is no garland on, add the garland; or if in his purport some editing is required, then edit it. This is all done as service.
“I do not predetermine that I’m not going to use my critical faculties. When I cannot understand something that Prabhupada says, or even if I cannot agree with it yet, I regard that as a problem to work on in my spiritual life. I try to see in the right way that I am a fool; I am a disciple of my spiritual master—I’m not more intelligent than him.
“I take this position eagerly. It is a very exalted position. We are dealing ultimately with the inconceivable Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He says that He is pleased if you please His pure devotee. It is not a game to see who is the smartest wit, neither is it a test of logic. But it is a test of service, and these are some of the ways the test may come. He who remains faithful to the guru, and at the same time uses his intelligence to always help present his guru’s teachings to wider audiences, and who meets criticisms with argument and reason, will be a good disciple.”
“ . . . Airport arrivals—
Do not say they were false, even if the same chanters
no longer serve him.
They served him then.
You were happy to see us dancing down corridors,
leading the way for the pure devotee.
Not caring for outsiders.
They are outsiders—
who can’t appreciate the pure devotee.
What is the matter with them?
Why doesn’t everyone bow down to see your form and pure aura?
At least we won’t let them
stop our loving.
It is too rare
to receive you.
He appears to be just a small man from India,
but not ordinary, very elderly.
But see how he is dressed
without Western compromise,
and how these young men and women are running before and after him.
It is no magic or bluff.
It is Krsna the Supreme,
the source of all bliss,
our release from birth and death.
He carried the keys,
he’s the Vaisnava guru par excellence.
If you will just listen and obey.
Prabhupada, remember me?
Any one of us can say that.
As we stand apart from the crowd for
a moment and with longing
eyes, meet his gaze,
he shows that he knows each one.
He lives for that,
every ounce of his life is for that—
to recommend us,
to the Lord in Goloka.
Will you take me?
“Some forgetting is good. Prabhupada says, “We have to forgive and forget, or how can we live?” Forget grudges and forgive minor offenses that people may commit against us. We should never forget Krsna, however, and we should always shoot arrows at our forgetfulness of Prabhupada. According to the scriptures, even a moment’s forgetfulness of the Lord and His pure devotee is the greatest loss.
“How do I remember Prabhupada? First of all, I remember that there was (and is) such a person as Prabhupada. Descartes said, ‘I think, therefore I am.’ That was his bottom line of truth. Our bottom line is, ‘I remember Prabhupada, therefore I am.’ I am now in spiritual life because my spiritual master delivered me from darkness. I do not forget that. I remember him and follow him.
“Our remembrance of Srila Prabhupada is more than nostalgia for a wonderful person who was here but who is now gone. Remembering Prabhupada is the cutting edge of our life at every moment. Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Thakura said that when one forgets his guru, then all one thinks of is, ‘I run in a hurry for my bath. I become busy for preventing a cold. I run after other occupations different from the service of Shri Gurudeva.’
“Basic remembrance of Prabhupada refers to the promises we made him at our initiation—the four rules and sixteen rounds and other obligations. We aspire to be Krsna conscious and to read Bhagavad-gita and his other books. We aspire to serve among his devotees.
“When we remember him in personal ways, that is the sweetness which makes life worth living. We may say duty is enough, but who does not crave joy, ‘the nectar for which we are always anxious?’
“I remember the soft saffron on Prabhupada’s body. I sense his stature. He was not tall or fat, but neither do we think of him as gaunt. None of these words seem to apply. We met him in his seventieth year, yet we remember his graceful form. The movements of his fingers, hands, wrists never lost grace, never slowed down or showed signs of palsy. He extended his pinky in a delicate way when putting on tilaka, and his fingers did their ‘dance’ of spontaneous mudras while he lectured.
“The rest of Prabhupada’s body was also graceful. Grace is not possessed only by a youngster on a trampoline or by a ballet dancer leaping. Prabhupada was graceful in the way he used his cane and the way he put his feet forward when he walked briskly. He was graceful in the way he turned to someone who called his name. He opened and closed books and picked up objects from his desk in the same flowing way.”
“Prabhupada, you are definitely here in Mayapur. I especially feel your presence in the old building that was the first structure built here. As I walk up the first steps to the gate, there are two benches for people to sit. Tonight I sit here with Subhaga Swami. He, too, was there in the beginning days of Mayapur with you, Prabhupada. Tonight he is preaching to some guests. We are in the same Mayapur. The same Hare Krsrta kirtana is swelling out from the temple room and filling the evening air. The same sound of the crickets is here. And at this time of the year, there is the same threat of flood, the same possibility that the Muslims might attack just as they did so many years ago.
“As I sit on the bench, I think of all the devotees who were here with Prabhupada in the old days. So many of them are gone now, scattered by time, changed in so many ways. The past haunts me for a minute, and then I feel Prabhupada’s presence. Prabhupada is still here despite the changing times.
“But I am left with the awareness that I will change too, that I have already changed in so many ways. The whole arch of time is passing right over me. Soon it will be time for me to leave my body. Mayapur will go on without me, as will the rest of ISKCON. Prabhupada will still be here in his room, sitting and looking at the bas- relief sculpture of Radha-Krsna. Devotees will still be carrying out their routines in the coming years. People will still be remembering Prabhupada in authorized, official ways, but he will be the beacon in their hearts, too. New realizations, new problems, new faces. Prabhupada’s work will never be erased over time. He will not be forgotten.
“I wander up to his room. Many of his books in different languages have been arranged on the shelves. Prabhupada was so happy to see his books in the different languages. The translation work is still expanding by the hard work of his devotees. I remember sitting in his rooms when he was here, the devotees all gathered together to hear his instructions and to have their mistakes corrected only by him. He kept his hand strongly on the rudder of the ISKCON ship, even though it was so uncontrollable, all those hundreds and thousands of people all over the world permanently afflicted by sex attraction and competition.
“An evening in Mayapur to remember Prabhupada while the drums and karatalas beat out the rhythm of the twenty-four hour kirtana. Generals may fall, new people come and then make the same mistakes. Still, his movement goes on. It is Lord Caitanya’s movement, His desire, and Prabhupada remains His extraordinary representative and dear to all of us. We can only cling to his feet or to the dust where he walked or to a piece of his dhoti. We can only ask Prabhupada, ‘Please accept us. Please accept the work we are doing to maintain your movement.’
“Although we may misuse Prabhupada’s authority in so many ways, or we are imperfect in what we do, Prabhupada’s purity keeps going ahead like the prow of a ship. Nothing can stop him. Nothing will stop him for the next ten thousand years. What do we know of Prabhupada?
“Prabhupada, please help us. Don’t let us be washed away by time. Please allow us to cling to you in our eternal relationship. Please preserve our faith and our status as your disciples so that Krsna will recognize us. Please bring us to you in Mayapur.”
“When I read Conversations With Srila Prabhupada, I find that although one can come close to Prabhupada by reading them, they give a very stripped down picture of him. We don’t see how he looks as he speaks, how he moves, what his non-verbal language is. We see only his words printed in black and white. We could get the wrong idea about Prabhupada by seeing only the words. But it’s also true that, as we read one conversation after another, Prabhupada’s presence seems to accumulate in our minds, and we begin to see all the nonspoken gestures too.
“It takes faith to hear from Prabhupada. Don’t think that Prabhupada’s presence can be gained without faith. Don’t think it is wrong to be faithful or to feel favorable toward Prabhupada. Don’t think feeling these things is in competition with anything else in your life. You want your love to be revived. There is no logical calculation involved, no other persons to please, no prerequisite emotional objectivity. You simply have to satisfy your own sense of service and inquiry at his lotus feet. You have to satisfy your own sense of truthfulness by engaging your intelligence and your heart in understanding what he is saying to you. Krsnadasa Kaviraja tells us to use our intelligence dynamically to study the qualities and character of Lord Caitanya. Don’t argue with yourself (or with your spiritual master). And don’t find fault.
“This is remembrance of Prabhupada in a favorable mood. There is work to be done—we have to throw aside everything unfavorable to our remembrance. Therefore, we have to understand the science of Krsna consciousness, the nature of the work to be done. If we don’t know the difference between weeds and flowers, how can we expect our garden to produce fruit? If we don’t know the difference between unfavorable meditation and favorable meditation, how can we expect our spiritual life to increase?
“Selecting between favorable and unfavorable can sometimes be painful. Again, we have to approach this process with faith. Prabhupada will help us; he wants to help us clear our hearts. We have failed him many times, but he is still accepting us. Let us serve him with full faith and consciousness, and study his character and qualities with dynamic intelligence. Let us pray to him to reveal to us the difference between the flowers and the weeds.”
“Dear Lord, I can’t remember everything I wrote today, but I tried to understand better my relationship with You. You are so great that even the greatest minds and demigods cannot speak to You. Lord Brahma had to meditate on the shore of the Ksirodakasayi Ocean when he wanted to inquire from You, and You replied in his thoughts. I should not presume to talk with You. Yet You invite us to be open with You. Surely the best course is to follow the mahajanas and the scriptures in the way they describe You and Your relationship with the jivas. I am doing that, reading about You, hearing about You, and perhaps there is not much I need to add; but I have embarked on this writing and I feel I have embarked on an important topic. Even though I’m not fit to speak on it, I can’t let it go.
“I want to find You as my friend and master. I am daring also to get a glimpse of why I am afraid to go further in my relationship with You. What is holding me back? I’m aware that I’m reluctant to surrender completely, but I’m also reluctant to understand why I don’t surrender. There are areas of my life that I wish to restrict even God from entering. I know this is foolish. Lack of surrender means opening myself for more suffering. The world is not a fit place for a gentleman, and only You can deliver us from this place. Why should I hide out here and say there are some things I would rather keep private, even from You? Why should I say to You, ‘You can have everything except this’?
“As I write, bit by bit I hope to learn something. And I wish to praise You.”
“Japa Reform Notebook is an example of my writing not being appreciated but being right all the same. At the time it was published, it was visionary. It was banned in several GBC zones because they were shocked to hear that a guru was admitting he was challenged in his practice of chanting japa and was paying so much attention to it. But, 30 years later, intense japa retreats and attempts at improving japa have become an established popular movement. Well-attended and expensive retreats are supervised by leaders who teach techniques in chanting by different creative methods and inspirational means. This is what I was doing 30 years ago in my own simple way. But I am not now considered one of the leaders of japa reform.
“Even though only relatively few devotees now read my books, and even though I may be rejected by others, having fallen from grace by my mistakes, all that may change in the future, just as the opinion of the Japa Reform Notebook changed over time. I don’t really know what will happen. It’s possible my books may become more widely accepted, but perhaps they won’t. They may remain always ‘outsider’ publications.
“I don’t appreciate the fact that by my one mistake, my infamous falldown, some take the opportunity to blow off all that I have done and relegate me to a ‘retired’ preacher ‘no longer on the front lines.’ I don’t appreciate that estimation of my writing, with the attitude of censorship or the air of condescension that they take toward me. I think my books are important, as a supplement to Prabhupada’s books. I wish they were read more often and taken more seriously.
It’s one of the occupational hazards of a writer that he may not be appreciated in his own time and is instead appreciated later, even after his death. I think about this and wonder what will happen. But I don’t know for sure; I can’t read the future. I hope my close disciples will keep my books in print, and that those books will be an alternative voice that will go on expressing itself in the Krishna consciousness movement. I hope that, at least in retrospect, people will see that I was doing a good thing.
“Writing is the work of a spiritual master. The burden is on the disciples to appreciate that work. The disciples have to come up to the standard of being trained and being instructed by what the spiritual master writes. Even though I write flailingly, it is my method of instruction, and they should take it that way.
Take, for example, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He wrote at a very high level, using very difficult English prose that was very intellectually demanding. His readers, even his own disciples, had to come up to that standard to be able to understand. Perhaps many of them could not do it, but he didn’t compromise.
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was definitely shooting for a special audience – the high-class brahminical Indians and Britishers.”
“Srila Prabhupada once wrote an essay, ‘No Time,’ and stated that it was the disease of modern men and women that they cannot find any time to chant and hear about Krsna. This problem persists, even after one develops a desire for spiritual life. We have so many things to do just to survive, and sometimes we think we have to sacrifice japa and prayer as mere luxuries. Here again a balance is required, but we owe it to ourselves not to be forced into a situation where we find ‘no time’ for basic daily devotions.
“One may claim, ‘I never took a vow to pray. I vowed to chant sixteen rounds and follow the four rules, that’s all.’ And yet the scriptures state that all the regulative principles are meant to serve the one basic principle—always remember Krsna. Prayer means a spiritual state of consciousness—Krsna consciousness. How can you do without it? We are always conscious, no matter how busy we are with duties for survival. Lord Krsna doesn’t ask us to.abandon all duties, but to think of Him. ‘Think of Me and fight.’ And that ‘think of Me’ means prayerful consciousness: ‘Krsna, please help me.’ As long as we are alive, we have time—although our time is running out. It is up to us to find the ways and means to think of Krsna and not claim there is no time.”
“I have read the philosophy of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and I know many of Your pastimes from Krsna Book, but I do not know You sufficiently in my life. I do not know You in my heart. I do not think of You enough as my well-wisher and the one whose orders I must obey. I am not close enough to You as my master and friend. How can I increase my intimacy with You? I think I know the answers theoretically. I should chant Your names with devotion, I should go on hearing about You in the sacred literature, and I should serve in Your sankirtana mission. Then You will be pleased with me and will reveal Yourself to me.
“But I don’t do these things with enough eagerness. How to increase the eagerness? Ah, that is difficult to do. I can associate with devotees more. But I find that difficult. By my nature, I crave privacy. I do associate some with devotees, but not a great deal. I will have to find more eagerness without that. I can find it in myself. Increase my personal bhajana and quality of my practices. That I can do, and I will try for it. Be a better friend to yourself. Do yourself a favor and chant better. Listen to a lecture, read a book. Don’t waste your time when your head is clear. I pray that You help me improve my personal practices.
“When I write to You, I reach out to You. It is not a mere writing exercise but an attempt to face You and express myself openly. You are the Supreme Great, yet You invite me to communicate with You. I write a sentence assuming You will actually read it and appreciate that I am trying to be with You. My prayers are love letters addressed to the one who loves me most, who knows me best, and who maintains my very life. I should be intimate with You because You are the closest person in my life. It is a great wonder that You are responsible for all the control of universal creation, maintenance, and destruction, the provider and judge of all living entities, and yet You have a special place in Your heart for me. I have confidence in this and rely on it. I wish I could know it more and invest my love in reciprocation with Yours for me. You are personally caring for me now, and when I die in this body, You will come forward and personally handle me and place me in my next life.
“I look forward to knowing You better. I would like to personally worship You and serve You in the spiritual world. That is a great ambition, but I’ve been trained to aspire for it. My spiritual master has told me that all that is required to see You is great eagerness. I need to increase my eagerness until it is my sole desire and until I have no attachment for things of this world. If I have greed to serve You and see You, I will not be afraid of anything, and I’ll be patient for the time I can attain You, knowing that if I have to wait lifetimes, I should still maintain the flame like desire to be with You.
“Please make my desire to serve You sincere. Let it increase in time, even as I grow older and apparently feebler. Let my eagerness grow strong and youthful, even as the body dwindles. I do not want to dwindle with the body; I do not want to be handicapped by headaches. I want to finish my remaining years with increasing devotion and eagerness to serve You. Spiritual life does not depend on the bodily condition. So I know it is possible, and I pray to You for spiritual strength. You are kind, and I know You will help me. Just give me the blessing to do my part.”
“To say, ‘I tried hard—I almost made it’ is not perfection. If you chant with offenses, then your chanting will be offensive. Still, that doesn’t mean that you stop the chanting or stop the preaching. We should be encouraged just by our trying, even though imperfect. Just go on. Maybe we won’t attain Krsna for some time by our devotional service, but we have to keep trying, being satisfied by the japa and the nectar we obtain by that trying. The higher stage of chanting is love, and at that point there is no more trying. It is spontaneous.
“But not that the best chanter of the names of Krsna has developed his chanting like some great weightlifter. ‘Oh, he is a very famous chanter. He tried day after day for many years, and now he has perfected his chanting. He can control his mind!’ I remember talking to one professor practicing Buddhist meditation. He was explaining how to keep all different thoughts out of the mind. When some thought enters like an intruder, then with great prowess you push it out; when another thought enters you push that thought out. In this way you meditate—very strenuously. We may think, ‘Now I’m avoiding the first offense, now I’m avoiding the second offense, now I’m avoiding all ten offenses —I’m awake, I’m attentive,’ etc. But we are not like the juggler who puts another spinning plate on top, then another, then another, and then he is perfect. In other words, the holy name is Krsna, who when fully pleased appears on the tongue of an ideal chanter. He is not created by the chanter. Ultimately only loving service pleases Him, and that is done by linking with one who is already known to Krsna. Of course, Krsna knows everyone, but in terms of devotional service it is different. I may say I have been a big rascal and now I am letting out a great crying of love, ‘O Krsna! O Krsna! Krsna!’ He’ll say ‘Oh? Who is this with all these protestations of love for Me? Who is this upstart?’ But, if He is informed by one of His intimate associates like Radharani, ‘This person chanting is actually a very good devotee. I recommend him,’ then He will say ‘Oh, then all right.’ He won’t take you without a recommendation; this is mercy.”
“The Vaisnava preacher sees God in nature, and he makes analogies between the phenomena of nature and the precepts of Vedic knowledge. The twentieth chapter of the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam comprises such analogies. For example, in that chapter (entitled, ‘Description of Autumn’), the limitlessly expansive sky is compared to the Absolute Truth, and a cloud covering a small portion of the sky is compared to the living being’s ignorance of his real nature. In his essay Light of the Bhagavata, Srila Prabhupada presented forty-eight of these analogies from nature. He wished to have the essay illustrated in Japan with a painting for each analogy. (The book has recently been published with illustrations by the Hong Kong branch of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.)
“Prabhupada sometimes became very enthusiastic about the wealth of such Krsna conscious analogies that could be seen in nature, and he encouraged his disciples not to be dull-headed but to see how Krsna is constantly before our eyes. In the Bhagavad-gita, for example, Lord Krsna compares a self-controlled yogi, to a tortoise. Just as the tortoise extends or withdraws his limbs for his own purposes, so a devotee uses his own senses only for the service of Krsna. The Srimad-Bhagavatam even compares the lowly spider’s web-building abilities to the creative potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As a spider first creates a web from its own body and later winds up the web when its purpose has been fulfilled, so the Supreme Lord creates the entire material existence out of Himself, sustains it for some time, and then absorbs it back into Himself. A preacher well-acquainted with the many natural analogies in the Vedic literatures and alert to see new analogies around him can make Vedic knowledge very interesting, especially for persons not inclined to extensive philosophical discussion.
“A devotee who sees around him the lessons of the Bhagavad-gita and Bhagavatam is said to be sastra-caksuh, or one who sees through the eyes of the scriptures. Not only in primordial nature but also in the worldly life of the city, in family life, in politics or business, an intelligent person can see the eternal precepts of Vedic knowledge constantly being confirmed before his eyes.
“Since the Vedic literatures provide so many useful Krsna conscious analogies from nature, one might ask why I want to describe my own fledgling attempts to see Krsna through nature. My hope is that the genuine attempt of an aspiring devotee to perceive the world with his own senses in a Krsna conscious way will be helpful and inspiring to others, especially to those who are also striving to come to the stage of spontaneous Krsna conscious vision. Yes, we should always recite the examples given in sastra. We should memorize them and aptly apply them to situations in our own life and in our lecturing and writing. But we should also realize the analogies for ourselves, as deeply and as spontaneously as possible. We should strive to be Krsna conscious at all times, in all places, so that there are no odd spaces in our lives in which we are forgetful or out of touch with the Truth.”
“Once at a lecture in the temple room in Los Angeles in 1970, just after moving into the building, Srila Prabhupada asked the assembled devotees, ‘Is anyone not chanting sixteen rounds?’ Only one boy raised his hand. It was Bhakta dasa. Prabhupada said, ‘You are not finishing sixteen rounds?’
“‘Well, Srila Prabhupada,’ he said, ‘I’ve been working until late at night and only sleeping four hours, so I haven’t had time to finish.’
“Srila Prabhupada replied strongly, ‘Then sleep only two hours, but you must finish sixteen rounds a day.’
“While staying in Sydney, Srila Prabhupada held an initiation and sacrifice in the backyard. The devotees then brought Srila Prabhupada the Deities’ maha-prasadam. He looked at the plate and picked out one puri. He smelled it, poked it with his fingers, and then tasted it. ‘This puri is the best puri,’ he said. ‘It is perfect. Bring me the man who has cooked this puri.’
“The devotees ran off and found the fortunate cook, Kurma dasa. They brought him before Prabhupada, who said, ‘Thank you very much for following the rules and regulations. I can understand that to cook such a puri you are following all the rules nicely.’ Prabhupada explained that that was the way to do things properly—to follow, to be strict.
“‘I don’t like second-class things,’ he said. ‘I like first-class puris.’ Every day while in Sydney, Prabhupada used to have Kurma’s first-class puris, and he liked them very much indeed.”
“He played it so cool
changing the tune so
it was inside out
and the time was poetically
lazily delayed and I say it
was for Krsna. Abhaya was
traveling for Him all those
years singing ‘Radhe-Syama!’
and readying himself to serve his guru. You
said please deliver me the stiff pallet was held up, and he burned to death (or after death) just as the stiff lecturer had warned.
So, the dancing skeleton bones were also right in their way
—‘Have a good time while you can, it’s brief.’
We breathed and cooed
I don’t believe it can
be so drastically beautiful in nature, the mist coming down those low hills right into our eyes in Tuscarora or Wicklow nearly the same. Krsna, my old man, never taught me this, so I’m grateful to you for giving it so sweet. Hare Krsna. Here goes.
He is avant-garde/KC
can give you all
Lord Visvambara said to
Haridasa take any benediction
I just want the remnants of the devotees’ meals
the Lord blessed him to
remain at his standard
perfection, something like that
I can’t recall.
Oh solace, oh wonder
oh amazing, oh please
I can’t trust my own
But I’ll give you Krsna consciousness.
Don’t apologize so much
a hair has gotten
fouled up in my pen
I painted the secret
for how the tallest
religious building in the world
may be upheld.
No, you didn’t you just made
that up like a fuzzy
wuzzy was a bear
Those are real bears
at Yellowstone. They
eat people if they’re
angry enough and hungry.
Don’t identify with your body,
if Jaya Gaura is still on that hill, he won’t answer
my mail. So what. He doesn’t
need you and you can go
on pouring water on your head
in your own bath.
That was long ago. She
wrote me and said they chain
her to the bed in the forensic
ward and ‘Is Nimai
a fictional character?’ I
replied by rote chant
Hare Krsna and you’re free anywhere
and all of us are in
prison. But you don’t
believe that much you really
want the freedom of the
to be able to walk outdoors without
ID papers or some boss
Writing Sessions at Castlegregory, Ireland, 1993Start slowly, start fastly, offer your obeisances to your spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. You just drew his picture with your pencils. He appears carved out of wood…
I found I had hit a stride in my search for theme in writing, then began to feel the structure limiting me. After all, I had given myself precious time to write full-time; I wanted to enter the experience as fully as possible. For me, this means free-writing—writing sessions with no predetermined shape, theme, or topic…
This volume is comprised of three parts: prose meditations, free-writes, and poems each of which will be discussed in turn. As an introduction, a brief essay by the author, On Genre, has also been included to provide contextual coordinates for the writing which follows…
A comprehensive retrospective of poetic achievement and prose meditations, using a new trajectory described as “free-writing”. This volume will offer to readers an experience of the creativity versatility which is a hallmark of this author’s writing.
Stream of consciousness poetry that moves with the shifting shapes and colors characteristic of a kaleidoscope itself around the themes of authenticity. This is a book will transport you to the far reaches of the author’s heart and soul in daring ways and will move you to experience your own inner kaleidoscope.
Read more »
expression.The reader is invited to discover his or her own spiritual pilgrimage within these pages as the author pushes every literary boundary to boldly create something wholly new and inspiring.