“Satsvarupa Maharaja came through the Vyasa-puja with flying colors. Portions of the program were shortened, and that ultimately made everything end on time, so he didn’t even get a headache ’til the late afternoon. Sunday he was still strong enough to have a meeting with his editor, proofreader and typist before they go on a three-week vacation without computers. He’s using the time for health recovery and a japa retreat. Now he’s feeling a little fragile, but upbeat about improving the quality of his japa.
The “News Items” section of Free Write Journal has been temporarily suspended while Guru Maharaja recuperates.
My dear Lord Krsna… will You let me speak to You? I understand that only out of fear of You does the sun burn and the wind blow. May I realize better my relationship with You. Will You allow me to come close? Will You give me the courage for austerity to become a lover of Your Lordship? Please flood my being with Your omnipresence. Let me rise up to think of You within and without. Save me from distractions from Your service. Let all your devotees work out their problems and come to satisfactory service. Let them preach according to their capacities and set good examples in their lives.
I am not finished yet. I want to place a garland of pleasing words around Your neck and sprinkle flowers at Your feet. I want to build a meditational garden for You to walk on. I want to worship Radha-Krsna. I want to be in Vrndavana in my mind. I want to think of arranging for Your pastimes with Your intimate devotees. I want to sing of Your glories.
But these will all be unfulfilled desires unless I can serve You daily with a steady mind. I am not a concentrated person. I rest too much. I’m not always engaged in the five most powerful forms of devotional service, such as hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam, associating with the devotees, visiting the holy places, chanting the holy names, etc. But I desire to improve in these and hope You see this in me and encourage me in my little progress and maintenance of service.
Narada Muni speaks to King Barhisat,
“O best of kings, one who is faithful, who is always hearing the glories of the Surpeme Personality of Godhead, who is always engaged in the culture of Krsna consciousness and in hearing of the Lord’s activities very soon becomes eligible to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face” (Bhag. 4.29.38).
Srila Prabhupada writes,
“Constant engagement in the transcendental loving service of Vasudeva means constantly hearing the glories of the Lord. The principles of bhakti-yoga—sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam—are the only means by which perfection can be attained. Simply by hearing of the glories of the Lord, one is elevated to the transcendental position” (Bhag. 4.29.38, purport).
That is why I make my prayers to You, O Lord. If a pure devotee sees Lord Krsna, he has no other desires. Of course, a pure devotee does not demand to see the Lord. He is satisfied in his attempt to please the Lord and share his realizations with others. I praise You in the company of other devotees. We read Srimad-Bhagavatam together and inquire from each other about its meaning. And I also come alone and beg for mercy. In Bhagavad-gita, You say, “To those who are devoted to Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.” What is that love? It is to render the ninefold process of devotional service, beginning with chanting, hearing and remembering. You are the Supersoul in my heart, and You are waiting for me to express my dormant love for You. You have linked me to Your pure devotee, Srila Prabhupada, and You want me to follow his instructions. Then You will bestow Your bounty on me. Only when I please him will You be pleased with me.
The ancient monks didn’t receive or write letters. They prayed from morning until night, but some worked a little during the day to finance themselves. Weaved baskets. Baked bread. Literature of their discourses is preserved, questions and answers. No useless talk. Better to practice. Don’t talk if you don’t have anything to say. Stay in your cell, and your cell will teach you what you need to know.
A scarecrow in the field near the entrance: “NO VISITORS. Trespassers will be shot.”
What do you plan to do today? No plans. Just plan to sit around. Maybe try to write or chant more japa in the wheelchair. Breathe deeply. It’s hard to do. You are bored by the man who comes and reads to you while you eat. Would rather eat in silence, but it is an etiquette that has developed. Recall back to the last swami’s visit with sting and burden.
What about the idealistic plans for the future? If not, you can stay here. Bittersweet doesn’t paint anymore, lost his swing and confidence to approach the blank canvas and make shapes. Too many critics, inner and outer, benumb him. At least this locomotive is still running on the tracks.
It’s about being alone daily with a few family members and the enjoyment of a slow life, mostly going progressive in northern California, with big talk of moving to Mexico. But if we don’t move, that’s fine. Slow trails, tired health, slow-down sadhana, slow improvement.
Bittersweet was reading the story in the New York Times about the troubles NASA is having with its shuttle flights in outer space. The current troubles were making them postpone their projected flights for more robotic landings on the planet Mars to sometime in the future, past 2006. In fact, the president was going to retire space discovery if they continue to have more and more fumbles in their space programs, and concentrate his spending elsewhere.
Sitting at his desk looking out at the evergreens, Bittersweet Swami began to daydream. He imagined that the Americans actually did have a manned landing on the planet Mars, and that—much to their surprise—they found advanced living beings there. They were met by these tall Martians, who spoke in English as well as many other languages. The Martians told them that the human beings with their expensive suits could not really live on Mars because the atmosphere was unsuitable for them, so they would have to go back soon. But the Martians were friendly to them and showed them a little of their advanced technology there. They said that they planned a visit to the earth soon, just to show their goodwill and show that they would never intend to have any kind of interplanetary wars.
The American space shuttle returned with this sensational news and spread it around the media for a few weeks in a most sensational way. After a few weeks, a Martian spacecraft landed in the river Yamuna. The humans detected its landing, but not before the Martians had time to bathe privately in the Yamuna and make their religious offerings there in private and in ecstasy. They then went and saw some sadhus and had exchanges with them before the politicians got to them. In other words, they had not come to become contaminated with the exchanges with the politicians but to see genuine holy men, which they did in the area of the jungles and holy places of the Yamuna, where Krsna is worshiped.
The demeanor of the Martians was very pleasant but firm, and they gave a message of peace and Godliness wherever they went, telling the earthlings that they had all the religion and goodwill they needed on their own planet. They just had to develop it and give up their materialism. There was nothing that they needed to get from Mars or from their outer space program. They needed to develop their inner space and their purity, which they had in abundance on their own planet in their own holy places.
It left NASA very sober about the Martians’ message not to make any outer space travels. Should they take that message seriously, or go on trying to travel to Mars or elsewhere? Don’t visit, was the message of the Martians. Stay at home and develop your inner knowledge.
A Godbrother recommended a book on the theme of total obedience to the bona fide representative of God. It was The Cost of Discipleship by Deitrich Bonhoeffer, the Protestant theologian who was executed for his faith by the Nazis. The thing that had interested my Godbrother was Bonhoeffer’s discussion of the unity of faith and obedience. God and His representative (Jesus Christ, or the bona fide spiritual master) calls us to become His followers, and we must respond by obedience. Reflecting on this, my Godbrother wrote, “We may object and say that we don’t have the necessary faith yet to take the step of following the representative of God. Thus our lack of faith justifies our lack of obedience. This is nonsense—we will lack faith as long as we are disobedient. Krsna asks us to surrender to guru and if we don’t, we are disobedient, and thus there can be no question of faith.”
After reading a chapter of The Cost of Discipleship, I wrote to my Godbrother as follows:
“What I would like to discuss is my own experience of loss in the quality of absolute obedience towards any living authority in the Krsna consciousness movement. The question has been in the back of my mind for some time, but it came up more clearly while reading the first chapter of Bonhoeffer.
“Bonhoeffer describes how Jesus Christ called his first disciples to him. He says the important thing is not so much the disciples’ contemplation about joining the Master, or the quality of faith, or the voluntary submission of the disciple—but the main thing is that Jesus has the authority to call and to demand obedience, and so the disciples are simply responding to the call by obedience.
“This reminded me how I and others joined Prabhupada in the beginning. Certainly the real thing was Prabhupada himself. Our obedience to him came before we had really developed faith or knowledge. And also, because of Prabhupada’s being who he was (comparable to Jesus Christ for us) we were prepared to leave whatever we were doing and follow him. So at least during Prabhupada’s presence, many of us seemed to be genuine disciples—the important thing was not so much our voluntary following, but Prabhupada’s force or authority, which we obeyed.
“It occurs to me that something of that authority left when Prabhupada left the planet. . . . I am not saying anything here that any careful observer has failed to notice when I say that authority has waned. I am just making a personal expression of it to you. For example, I find myself now more and more not demanding absolute obedience from others. I try to avoid directing my disciples’ lives too much; I mostly tell them to chant Hare Krsna and follow the rules, and I set the example myself.
“Furthermore, I don’t see an absolute authority that I can follow. Being a submissive, agreeable person, and wanting to follow Prabhupada’s vani, I follow the directions of the GBC, but even when I follow, it is not with heart and soul and with the feeling of following the Absolute. Even my following of Prabhupada lacks the submission that I used to have when in his presence he could tell me to do anything he liked.
“ . . . I suppose my question might be framed, ‘Is genuine discipleship possible now in ISKCON since the disappearance of Prabhupada? Is anyone actually qualified in the name of spiritual master to force his disciples as did Jesus and Srila Prabhupada? And if no one is qualified, then what do we have in place of genuine discipleship and what have we actually lost?”
When we first arrived in town, beggars and salesmen approached us and we were the usual passive Westerners. But I knew that today would be different because within a few moments we would have the dominant energy—the chanting of Hare Krsna. As soon as we began kirtana (five men, one mrdanga. one gong, two pairs of kartalas), a respectful crowd gathered. And for the most part that was the main impression—a pious, curious audience. Of course, most people went about their usual business and paid slight attention to our presence. This happens to be true whether you are in New York or London or Jagannatha Puri. Yet we held a steady crowd of about thirty to forty. It was inspiring to chant out loud directly before the Simha-dvara gate. From where we were chanting we could see into the entrance where the Jagannatha Deity known as Patita-pavana gives His merciful darsana. We could also see the two gate lions and Jaya and Vijaya, and many other temple figures. And, looking in the other direction down the road, we saw the red sandstone domes of the Gaudiya Math temple.
We had stationed ourselves somewhat close to an intersection.
Two policemen wearing white suits and white helmets with a red stripe came near our party to direct the extra traffic due to our kirtana. They did not approach us with a complaint, but we sensed the inconvenience we were causing and moved out of the way.
Even in an off-season the area in front of Jagannatha temple is very noisy, and so we had to raise our voices loudly. There were the usual very small children standing in the front rows of our audience, their schoolbooks covered with newspaper, holding on to battered tin lunch pails., Most of the people appeared very simple, and I guessed they were Puri residents, quietly listening to the foreigners’ performance of harinama.
Occasionally someone who looked like a local brahmin or member of the priestly intelligentsia, with a slight stubble of beard and refined intelligent features, came to look us over and then walked away. A couple of gentlemen, after watching us, made some demonstrative remarks to the nearby crowd, appearing to mock us. I thought to myself that anything they may be saying about our foolishness is correct, and that’s all right. We should not think that we are great because we are chanting the holy name. The wonderful thing is the holy name itself. By chanting the holy name, we expose the fact that all these people are not chanting. Why don’t they chant with us? Or why aren’t they chanting on their own? The loud chanting of the holy name is praised in all the scriptures as the panacea for this age. It is glorious when some persons, no matter who they may be, gather to vibrate the holy name. Let them make fun of us because of our appearance. At the same time, we chanters should be as respectable as possible in our behavior, so that the chanting will be most effective.
A challenge occured when one man, dressed like a clerk, approached and began pointing toward the mrdanga with an angry look. At first I didn’t know what he was saying, but then he began making the same gestures toward Madhumangala’s sandals. I guess he was accusing us of bringing leather into Puri on the pretext of chanting the holy name. Since this could have become a big disturbance, I fervently hoped that Madhu’s sandals were not leather. The accusing man stated his case out loud so that others would get involved. He was obviously an agitator, the same breed that appears in streets all over the world whenever there is harinama. He walked over to Madhu and bent down to examine his feet. I noticed that this man himself had a pair of sandals that looked leatherlike, although most people were barefoot or wore rubber flip-flops. I then noticed that quite a few people were looking at our shoes and dress. It’s a fact—that as modest as we may think we appear in our sadhu attire, we appear outlandish to the people in Puri just by a few Western additions—an inexpensive wristwatch, a sweater with holes in it, an ordinary sweatshirt or pair of socks. Standing in public on harinama is like going naked, not in the physical sense, but spiritually and mentally.
One could say that our harinama performance was just a token, a symbolic act. But any sincere service has great value. So why minimize it? We admit that we are not bold chanters and that we don’t chant for many hours and days, but at least we performed harinama as a regulative duty. As stated in Caitanya-caritamrita, “Anyone who worships Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu by congregational chanting should be understood to be very intelligent. One who does not do so must be considered a victim of this age and bereft of all intelligence.” (Madhya-lila 11.99)
“Only those who render unreserved, uninterrupted, favorable service unto the lotus feet of the Lord, who carries the wheel of the chariot in His hand, can know the creator of the universe in His full glory, power and transcendence.”
It seems I have heard this verse before. Is it etched in stone somewhere on an archway over a temple entrance? Is it etched in my heart, covered with dust? In my book of favorite quotations?
It asserts the need for exclusive devotion: only those who render uninterrupted, unmotivated devotional service to the Lord according to His pleasure can understand Him.
Of course, this is similar to Rupa Gosvami’s famous verse in Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu: anyabhilasita-sunyam. Both verses describe the highest culture of bhakti. Pure bhakti is not mixed with karma or jnana. Only favorable, unalloyed devotional service is considered pure bhakti. No sense gratification, no false self-abnegation, no interruption.
Srila Prabhupada states that all living beings serve Lord Krsna, even those who do so under the force of material nature. There are two similar words in Sanskrit, sastra and shastra. Sastra means scripture or directions for religious life. Those who are pious and intelligent follow the Lord by obeying sastra. The word shastra means weapon. Those foolish rascals who refuse to obey the scriptures will be forced to obey Krsna’s “weapons.” In both ways, we are governed by sastra.
In the previous purport, Srila Prabhupada said that nondevotee speculators “are unable to penetrate into the mysterious region of transcendence.” Here he writes of the pure devotees as those who “can enter into the mysterious region of transcendence by the mercy of the Lord.” Lord Krsna is in everyone’s heart. When He sees us sincerely attempting to serve Him, He provides the intelligence by which we can approach Him.
Unfavorable service is when we are forced to obey the Lord under the pressure of the material energy. It is like the service rendered by a prisoner. When we practice bhakti, we engage in seva. Seva is voluntary. But that doesn’t mean that those who are not practicing Krsna consciousness are not serving Krsna. Like animals, they are so tightly bound by the laws of material nature that they have no choice but to serve the Lord’s purposes. ‘The rascal nondevotee may say, “I will never serve God!” but he must serve; it is his eternal nature to do so.
One example of a person who was unfavorably Krsna conscious is Kamsa. He heard that he would be killed by Devaki’s eighth son, and later he learned from Narada that that son would be Visnu. Kamsa then thought of Krsna day and night, but in an unfavorable way, hoping to kill Him. This is an example of intense but unfavorable Krsna consciousness.
If we want to become voluntary servants, we can’t be complacent when we see signs of unfavorable meditation or indifference to Krsna’s desires. When we recognize these corruptions of our natural, constitutional mood, we should feel regret for them. They are a sickness of spirit. They have to be transformed into positive remembrance and dependence if they are to become purified. Feel the raw pain of the corruption.
Dear Lord, I pray You will give me the health to continue my active service of reading and writing, writing and reading for some years to come, but You know what is best for me in my coming back to You. I’m a weak and delicate link, I know, but Srila Prabhup&da gave me mercy and somehow I am linked to him. All his followers are linked to him, and most of us have some problem or other. Mine is that I can’t interface with them so much, so I try to do it in writing.
Let me be humble in relation to others.
Sadhu said the best thing I can do is read Srila Prabhupada’s books and hear his tapes. He and Nanda-kisora were talking about how faith is rare and needs to be protected. My disciples have faith in me. The best I can do for them, and also for myself, is to give them a link to Srila Prabhupada. That’s what they want and what they come to ISKCON for. They need to get it through a guru (as well as directly from Prabhupada). Therefore, the guru needs to be linked to Srila Prabhupada—not just in the history of his past services, but in the present. Otherwise, what could he give them?
I plan to keep up my two hours a day reading his books. I pray the Lord will let me do it without undue drowsiness, although I won’t defy nature and will try to get enough rest in a day.
Don’t get self-conscious about free-writing. Simply write. That’s part of the reason why I like to write a certain quota of pages. I won’t be judged for my daydreams about writing, but for what I actually wrote.
Writing sessions are a writing act in themselves, but they are also meant to lend their strength to other kinds of writing. The stories are a direct off-shoot of the sessions. I can produce plenty of material by two sessions of storywriting a day, just as I did in South Italy. That brings me down to a one full-hour writing session in the early morning, maybe a half-hour later, and another half-hour at night. Perhaps a little more. It depends on overcoming drowsiness from the travel and how I manage to balance writing with reading Srlla Prabhupada’s books. Here I haven’t experienced much drowsiness.
Tomorrow after Srimad-Bhagavatam class, we move to an apartment about a half hour away from the dentist in Brescia, if Krsna desires. I will start a new notebook series. I was thinking of calling it, “Brescia Notebooks,” but it isn’t Brescia.
Writing busily on the surface. Things on my mind. News items.
This is a sorry world I’m in, Srlla Prabhupada. Madhu and I have been appreciating Srlla Prabhupada’s preaching to his disciples through letters. We’re going over my letters from Prabhupada and making a second volume to that book I did years ago, With Srila Prabhupada In The Early Days. It’s a worthy project, certainly. I don’t want to put it off. I don’t want to put off anything important because I’m almost fifty-five years old. If I was worried before what people might think, I have to overcome that or I’ll never get my boldest dreams up in the air.
If a child touches fire, he gets burned. The example can be used for the efficacy of chanting the Hare Krsna mantra. It also applies to our contact with maya. We are in the cycle of birth and death (kala-cakra) and can’t get out so easily. Face the fact that I may not go back to Godhead in this lifetime. Yearn to go wherever Krsna wants to send you for Srlla Prabhupada’s service. We don’t live for sense gratification, but to serve our spiritual master. Serve him in any capacity or department, but with your whole life.
It’s time for me to think about the next life. My subtle body may still be attached to matter at the time of death and I may not be feeling love of God. I need my strength, then, to make the best use of a bad bargain in the next life. Go to sadhus as soon as possible and follow the path of the mahajanas by prac- ticing and spreading Krsna consciousness. I want to pursue service to Lord Krsna, the Lord of the gopis and gopas of Vrndavana, my Lord.
When I began Staten Island Community College, I was still attending Sunday Mass; I was a Catholic. But two years later, when I graduated from community college, I no longer attended Mass and did not consider myself a Catholic. I never received training in theology or theism, so I was a pushover for the atheistic argument. All it took was a few atheistic jokes. The professors whom I admired so much, and who represented the intellectual world to me, chuckled at religion, and so did many of the authors that we read. They made me think that being a Catholic or religionist was on a par with reading the New York Daily News.
At this time, I also read Bertrand Russell’s, “Why I Am Not a Christian.” His arguments were strong, I thought, and he was an attractive figure, an old man, with indomitable spirit, “the greatest living British philosopher.”
Around this time, I also started subscribing to a journal, The Free Thinker. It was American-based, telling the history of American atheism. One of my favorite writers in the Free Thinker was Thomas Paine. He was a respected patriot—”Common Sense” is his famous pamphlet. He had the talent of a rhetorician and propagandist, and could write an essay to work people’s emotions up, as he did in “Common Sense.” He was also an atheist, and in the same spirit, he wrote anti-religious propaganda.
The Free Thinker held the conception that atheism means free thinking. Who wouldn’t want to be a free thinker? Who wants to be an unfree thinker? Dare to be an atheist! I still had a little religion in me, a little fear that if I abandoned God, I might be sorry at the time of death. But I dared to give up my faith. Partly I did it to defy my father, to show him that I could read what I wanted.
I was mostly a closet atheist, but on a few occasions, I came out and showed my stuff. I wrote Voltaire’s motto, “Ecrasez l’infamie” on a flat rock and kept it in a prominent place in my room. I could not openly defy my mother’s order to go to Sunday Mass, so I left the house to go to Mass, but then spent my time sitting in the train station. One night, after getting drunk in some of the local bars, I wrote the words, “God is dead,” on a piece of paper, and slipped it under the door of St. Clare’s church for the priest to see in the morning. Then I steathily backed away and trotted home.
My atheism was not very rigorous, and sometimes I revised it. After reading Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, in which he gave long lists of everything holy—the typewriter is holy, the cockroach is holy, holy, holy, holy—I decided that I was actually a pantheist. A drunken pantheist.
My religious life was of the lowest order, and therefore it was easily toppled. But my atheism was also not unassailable, and when I met Srila Prabhupada, he easily crushed it.
I am no longer an atheist. I have a long way to go to realize God, but I am in His Krsna consciousness movement. I beg to remain in it, and I don’t want to fall. I am begging to stay to prove my love and serve with the devotees.
I know the pros and cons of the atheists’ debate, but they don’t seem particularly threatening or even relevant. Even the classic “proofs” of God’s existence according to Western philosophy, seem to be separate from the real point. I know that I live in Krsna’s energies, and I seek each day to speak to Him and hear from Him; I chant His names; I mold my life according to the instructions of His pure devotee.
If we cannot suddenly respond to Krsna’s request to surrender to Him, then we should take to chanting the holy names.
“In our Krsna consciousness movement we are teaching our followers to chant the Hare Krsna mantra continuously on beads. Even those who are not accustomed to this practice are advised to chant at least sixteen rounds on their beads so that they may be trained. Otherwise, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu recommended: trnad api sunicena. . . Sada means ‘always.’ Haridasa Thakura says nirantara nama lao: ‘Chant the Hare Krsna mantra without stopping.’“ (Cc. Antya 3.137, purport)
The contemplative makes himself silent in order to understand God, and the more he is this silence, the more he receives God. He wholly makes himself a total receptivity, an ear strained for the word.
This method of straining for the word in total silence seems too strenuous for my reading program. I’m not that austere or single-minded. I’m content to at least read along throughout the day and to pleasantly get through the book while taking a few notes. At least I realize that the monk’s reading was a more intense endeavor to hear God speaking through scripture. I’m not opposed to that idea on principle. Rather, I’m attracted to meeting Krsna through Srimad-Bhagavatam and Caitanya-caritamrta. Still, my capacities are limited by attention that is neither prolonged nor deep. May Lord Caitanya sprinkle His mercy upon me as I go on reading, even though imperfectly, sporadically, and casually, and may I sometimes remember this deeper mood and silently call to Krsna within: “My dear Lord, I’m exposing myself to You directly by reading the scriptures. Please come to me in this form. Please let me hear You through the sound vibration of the holy book.”
“This Bhagavata Purana is as brilliant as the sun, and it has arisen just after the departure of Lord Krsna to His own abode, accompanied by religion, knowledge, etc. Persons who have lost their vision due to the dense darkness of ignorance in the age of Kali shall get light from this Purana.”
Srila Prabhupada states that Krsna’s devotees
“ . . . go to great pains to engage the possessions of prostitutes, or persons who are more or less like prostitutes, in the service of the Lord and thus free them from sinful reactions. . . . A pure Vaisnava thinks himself unfit to help free even one person from the reactions of sinful life, but he engages one’s hard-earned money in the service of the Lord and thus frees one from sinful reactions.” (Cc. Antya 3.139, purport)
I used to quote this purport at meetings of our sankirtana parties to those who were selling paintings on behalf of Gita-nagari. There was imperfection in those days. We pushed the devotees too hard and denied them the full morning spiritual practices. Those were passionate times. The general principle, however, is that taking people’s money and using it for Krsna is actually a way to free them from sinful reactions. It’s obvious, then, that it’s important that we spend the money on Krsna consciousness and that it not be used by the devotees for their own sense gratification. “Misspending” also includes mismanaging the funds, being negligent with money or properties, or simply building Kona conscious projects in a foolish way. This purport doesn’t give the impression that we should stay away from money or that we should not be interested in taking contributions from nondevotees. If we spend the money properly in Krsna consciousness, then we are actually working to purify others. In fact, the purport states that the Vaisnava guru does not think that he can personally free others from their karma, but when he takes their money, then they become purified. In the case of the prostitute who came to Haridasa, her giving money was incidental. The main thing was that she became a pure devotee by hearing the holy names from a pure Vaisnava.
This collection of Satsvarūpa dāsa Goswami’s writings is comprised of essays that were originally published in Back to Godhead magazine between 1966 and 1978, and compiled in 1979 by Gita Nagari Press as the volume A Handbook for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness.
This second volume of Satsvarūpa dāsa Goswami’s Back to Godhead essays encompasses the last 11 years of his 20-year tenure as Editor-in-Chief of Back to Godhead magazine. The essays in this book consist mostly of SDG’s ‘Notes from the Editor’ column, which was typically featured towards the end of each issue starting in 1978 and running until Mahārāja retired from his duties as editor in 1989.
This collection of Satsvarupa dasa Goswami’s writings is comprised of essays that were originally published in Back to Godhead magazine between 1991 and 2002, picking up where Volume 2 leaves off. The volume is supplemented by essays about devotional service from issues of Satsvarupa dasa Goswami’s magazine, Among Friends, published in the 1990s.
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.
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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.