Free Write Journal #284


Free Write Journal #284

February 16, 2024

Satsvarupa Maharaja’s Weekly Health Report for February 16

“Hari Hari! Please accept my humble obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada.

“There was some activity on the “Richter scale” this week. Satsvarupa Maharaja went to the dentist for an adjustment of his dentures because they were still pinching and cutting both cheeks and causing swelling. Now he has to leave the dentures out (except for eating), then rinse them regularly with warm salt water.

 Finally the connection with an in-home physical therapist has been worked out. Joe came over yesterday afternoon to do the intake and evaluation questionnaire and begin exercises. By chance he is the same therapist that came four years ago and is suggesting most of the same exercises. I believe Satsvarupa Maharaja is uncomfortable and atrophied enough to actually take them more seriously for a certain amount of time every day, as long as he has the on-hand encouragement from his caretakers.


Japa Retreat Journal for February 16, 2024

Japa quotes from The Best Use of a Bad Bargain

I am usually willing to accept that I lack love, faith, conviction, and preaching spirit due to my own faults. I can’t see the way out of it except to keep practicing. I don’t find fault with the process. When Prabhupada says that chanting will soon bring me to pure love of Krsna, I can only conclude that it hasn’t happened to me because of my offenses to the holy name.


. . . . Pure love of God is far beyond all other goals. We shouldn’t imitate its symptoms. This made me think I shouldn’t complain that I still haven’t attained spontaneous chanting because it’s so rare. We have to go on working for it humbly. I wouldn’t want to imitate ecstatic symptoms, so what option do I have than to continue with as much enthusiasm as I can? At least I’m working toward the goal of life.

No point asking how badly I chant,
or, “Are the rounds good?” But surrender
to Nimai Prabhu, the holy name.
Fall at His feet
like the lost offender you are.
Beg Him to sprinkle a few drops
of His mercy on you so
that you may rise from
the pit of despair
where you are distracted by
a thousand mental mosquitoes.
Please give me the strength to work in
Your sankirtana movement
in this world.


Forget my mother, you say? Sure, if I could lose all traces of mundane personality as Dhruva Maharaja did. Still, he remembered his mother because she was his vartma-pradarsaka-guru. My mother is the source of my upadhis, my designations. Better to give those up and become a simple chanter. Better to break loose from old cultures and archetypes and call out to your protectors and the holy name.


Lord Krsna sent the holy names as the means of deliverance in this age. We may not fully appreciate it. (We do appreciate it when we realize that Krsna and His holy name are identical.) But we chant and chant even without full realization, and we are brought back into the realization that we are Krsna’s eternal servants. Chanting is service.


And we should chant in humility. Trnad api is open to us even now. When we don’t taste prema, but we chant anyway—chant through our constant failure to pay attention to the sound vibration Krsna—that persistence is a form of humility and tolerance. This is how we follow Lord Caitanya and try to chant Hare Krsna in the mood of the Siksastakam.


Praises to the chanting of the holy name. Follow the Six Gosvamis’ instructions if you wish to approach worship of Vrndavana and Radha-Krsna-seva. (Prabhupada describes all this in the Cc. Adi-lila.) Krsnadasa Kaviraja praises Vrndavana dasa Thakura’s Caitanya-bhagavata. Srila Prabhupada says books on Krsna’s pastimes can only be written by pure devotees. Even if a pure devotee’s language is faulty, we should still accept it because we can know that Krsna helped him from within (Bg. 10.10). A pure devotee sits near the Lord and writes his books (Cc. Adi 8.39, purport).


Follow what you read: don’t commit sin, chant and avoid the ten offenses, don’t imitate spiritual ecstasies to win acclaim. As the Bhagavad-gita purport states, by the “slow” process of bhakti we will proceed from sraddha to prema.


Now I’m ready to chant. I’m hopeful that I’ll chant better today—at least better than the rounds I had to chant silently yesterday because of the headache. O holy name, please forgive me.


Discuss Bhagavatam? Krsnadasa Kaviraja often quotes the Bhagavatam in the Caitanya-caritamrta. He just quoted the “steel-framed heart” verse from the Second Canto. If you chant Hare Krsna and feel no ecstasy, your heart must be made of iron. That is because you have committed so many offenses to the holy names. If we chant Gaura-Nitai’s mantra first, we will not commit offense. That is, worship Guru-Gauranga first to qualify for Radha-Krsna worship.


You folks who read this, why don’t you take up chanting? Oh, you already chant? Then why don’t you beg Lord Krsna for the nectar of the holy name? Oh, you already do that too?


Srila Prabhupada said we should remain on the spiritual platform even when we are ill. But what can we do when we have so much pain or if we are unable to move and think properly? We can do only what Krsna allows us to do. Srila Prabhupada writes:

Devotion does not depend on the body, and in spite of all difficulties, we can chant, so long we have got the tongue—and even we have got no tongue, we can chant in our mind … Therefore, do not think that because you are sometimes sick or weak that you are not making any advancement and that you are disappointing me, no … Simply if you are able to always chant Hare Krsna, that is the same as following all the other regulative principles.

—Letter, February 12, 1972


We have to be patient when we are ill. Our service may be just to wait and see what Krsna desires.


Depending on Krsna also means that although we should try to cure our illness by some standard medical practices, we should not be overly attached to the result. We should know that ultimately everything is under the control of Providence. We should not stop our practices of chanting and hearing. Neither should we become overly absorbed in health cures to the point where we may not be depending on Krsna for the result.


In a place like this, with so much emphasis on the body, you have to bring your own bhakti program and practice it. Nourish your Krsna consciousness. It’s up to you to draw yourself close to the fire in the heart just as someone who has been out in the cold draws near the fireplace. The fire of bhakti is kindled by the holy names. Try for it.


O Krsna, my wish is that I may hear your holy names. I wait for You to be pleased. I want genuine life in You.


Krsna is madhuram madhuram madhuram. Srila Rupa Gosvami writes, “I do not know how much nectar is in these two syllables krs-na.” Is there a connection between my addiction to sweets and my lack of taste for the transcendental honey of the holy name? Yamaraja tells his messengers to bring to him for punishment all those who have never sought the taste of the nectar of Krsna’s lotus feet. Dear Lord, I seek the nectar of Your holy names, the sweet taste of acting not on my own account but on Yours.


From My Letters from Srila Prabhupada, Volume 2: You Cannot Leave Boston

Los Angeles

July 17, 1969

My dear Satsvarupa,

Please accept my blessings. I thank you very much for the KRSNA Tape #13 along with your letter of July 12, 1969, and I am enclosing herewith Tape #16. Now I shall expedite work on the KRSNA book, as I have completed The Nectar of Devotion. Please let me know exactly how far you have finished the Bhagavatam thus far. I am glad that Giriraja is doing very nicely. Krsna has sent a good soul for pushing on this Krsna consciousness movement. Please keep him nicely. As of yet I have not received the money which you have mentioned in your letter. Regarding your nice sankirtana collections, this should be kept in a separate account so that it may help in some great emergency. You should become a little spendthrift. I know that you do this, but still I am reminding you. I am so pleased that you will be holding a grand scale Rathayatra Ceremony, and in London also they are planning a very glorious function with at least 5,000 guests participating.

I hope this will meet you in good health.

Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Prabhupada wrote this letter from a house near the Los Angeles temple in Beverly Hills, California. He had just finished The Nectar of Devotion. Purusottama typed that manuscript. Since he was living with Prabhupada as his secretary, it was easy for Purusottama to ask Prabhupada questions on the work and to get immediate responses. Unfortunately, Purusottama didn’t know much Sanskrit at that time and the book was printed with mistakes.

This was an extraordinary and productive period in Prabhupada’s writing. He was writing both the KRSNA book and The Nectar of Devotion simultaneously. This letter indicates that he had suspended his work on Srimad-Bhagavatam, but now he was ready to begin again.

While Prabhupada was writing these two books, the devotees saw him only on Sundays at the feast. He seemed to be in a retired mood, but these two books were actually his main preaching at the time. As he writes at the beginning of The Nectar of Devotion, “Persons engaged in the Krsna consciousness movement may take advantage of this great literature and be very solidly situated in Krsna consciousness.” (NOD, Preface, p. xii). He wrote something similar in the KRSNA book.

By the time I received this letter, Prabhupada was ready to resume work on the Bhagavatam. I love to think of Prabhupada as a writer. Most devotees probably never think of Prabhupada living a writer’s life, although we all understand that his writing was his most important contribution to the preaching. Prabhupada was always self-assured about his writing. He took on such monumental tasks—Srimad-Bhagavatam, Caitanya-caritamrta, all his summary studies—yet he didn’t seem to think of himself as a writer. Therefore, to hear the details of how he wrote his books, how he wanted them illustrated and designed, is to meditate on an important aspect of Prabhupada’s service to Krsna.

Although we could call his writing of The Nectar of Devotion and KRSNA book a peak period in his writing career, he never had to wonder what he would write on next. The Bhagavatam stood throughout his life as an ever-present work always awaiting his attention. The Bhagavatam fed his other writing. Because Prabhupada was worried that he might not finish the Bhagavatam before he left this world, for example, he wrote KRSNA book.

Prabhupada began traveling almost nonstop in 1970. Despite that fact, he managed to write 60 volumes of authoritative, translations and commentaries, along with several summary studies of sections of the Srimad-Bhagavatam and the Caitanya-caritamrta. How can someone simultaneously travel nonstop and write 60 volumes of Sanskrit translation with English commentary? Those two feats seem contradictory.

People sometimes doubt that Vyasadeva single-handedly composed millions of slokas, and they wrongly assume that Vyasadeva refers to many authors. However, Vyasadeva was the empowered literary incarnation of Krsna. Similarly, Prabhupada was empowered to simultaneously travel and write. He didn’t have a home base from which to write, but somehow he always found time and space to write. Prabhupada’s motto: “Little drops of water wear away the stone. In this way, I have written all these books.“

(To be continued)

From Narada-bhakti-sutra: The Secrets of Transcendental Love, by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami and His Disciples

pp. 22-23

Sutra Nine: The Value Of Devotion


Renunciation also means being exclusively dedicated to the Lord and indifferent to what stands in the way of His service.


The exclusive nature of devotional service has also been described by Srila Rupa Gosvami in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.1.11):

anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam
anukulyena krsnanu-silanam bhaktir uttama

When first-class devotional service develops, one must be devoid of all material desires, knowledge obtained by monistic philosophy, and fruitive action. The devotee must constantly serve Krsna favorably, as Krsna desires.

Pure devotees are so exclusive in their intent to serve the Supreme Lord without any reward that they do not accept any kind of liberation, even though it may be offered by the Supreme Lord. This is confirmed in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.29.13).

There is also something called “mixed bhakti,” which occurs before the stage of pure devotional service. It is sometimes called prakrta-bhakti, or devotional service mixed with material desires. Srila Prabhupada writes, “When one has even a tinge of personal interest, his devotion is mixed with the three modes of material nature” (Bhag. 3.29.9, purport). Thus mixed devotion can occur in various combinations within the modes of ignorance, passion, and goodness.

Srila Prabhupada elaborately explains mixed devotion as follows:

Devotional service in the modes of ignorance, passion, and goodness can be divided into eighty-one categories. There are different devotional activities, such as hearing, chanting, remembering, worshiping, offering prayers, rendering service, and surrendering everything, and each of them can be divided into three categories. There is hearing in the mode of passion, in the mode of ignorance, and in the mode of goodness. Similarly, there is chanting in the mode of ignorance, passion, and goodness, etc. . . . One has to transcend all such mixed materialistic devotional service in order to reach the standard of pure devotional service. [Bhag. 3.29.10, purport]

One kind of mixed devotional service is known as jnana-misra-bhakti, or devotional service mixed with empiric knowledge. Srila Prabhupada writes,

“People in general, who are under the influence of avidya-sakti, or maya, have neither knowledge nor devotion. But when a person who is a little advanced and is therefore called a jnani advances even more, he is in the category of a jnana-misra-bhakta, or a devotee whose love is mixed with empiric knowledge” (Bhag. 4.9.16, purport).

A pure devotee is akama, free of material desire. He is conscious of his actual position and derives satisfaction only from serving the Supreme Lord. Srila Prabhupada writes, “Srila Jiva Gosvami has explained this desirelessness . . . One should feel happy only by experiencing the happiness of the Supreme Lord” (Bhag. 2.3.10, purport).

In the present sutra Narada Muni states that a pure devotee is “indifferent toward what stands in the way of [the Lord’s] service.” If a devotee encounters some hindrance in his service to the Lord, he prays to the Lord to please remove it. A good example is Queen Kunti:

O Lord of the universe, soul of the universe, O personality of the form of the universe, please, therefore, sever my tie of affection for my kinsmen, the Pandavas and the Vrsnis. O Lord of Madhu, as the Ganges forever flows to the sea without hindrance, let my attraction be constantly drawn unto You without being diverted to anyone else (Bhag. 1.2.40-41).

The supreme examples of devotees who let nothing stand in the way of their service to Krsna are the gopis of Vrndavana. And among all the gopis, the best is Srimati Radharani. Her determination to serve Krsna is beautifully described in this verse from Srila Rupa Gosvami’s Vidagdha-madhava (3.9):

O Lord Krsna, You are just like an ocean. The river of Srimati Radharani has reached You from a long distance—leaving far behind the tree of Her husband, breaking through the bridge of social convention, and forcibly crossing the hills of elder relatives.

From Prabhupada Meditations, Volume Five

pp. 128-29

# 53. Searching the Purports

I have read the Bhaktivedanta Purports, all of them, quite a few times, but now I am going back over them, searching through them for my lost relationship with Krsna. Although I have understood something from my previous readings, I still haven’t learned how to surrender to Krsna. I get up early and sit under the desk lamp, reading and hoping to find the greatest treasure.

The Krsna consciousness I am hankering for stares me in the face in the form of the English characters in this BBT book. It’s Prabhupada’s book, and it was produced the way he wanted it. Krsna is there. I have come to meet Him and serve Him with attention.

What I’m discovering as I read is that no matter what the topic of the verse, Prabhupada teaches love of Krsna in His original form. We should never think that the sections on Prahlada Maharaja or Vidura and Maitreya are going to lead us to some other spiritual planet.

Right from the beginning, Prabhupada talks of Prahlada as a devotee of Krsna, Govinda. The ISKCON artists have even painted Krsna with a peacock feather, His body the color of fresh rain clouds, catching Prahlada as he falls from the mountain into the sea. In his purport, Prabhupada brings us to chanting Hare Krsna and serving the Lord.

Right from the early chapters of Bhagavad-gita, before Krsna has even begun to teach bhakti-yoga, Prabhupada informs us of Krsna’s purpose. Prabhupada doesn’t waste time. He kicks false commentators aside and we learn that Arjuna should give up his nonviolence and fight because Krsna wants him to. What may be considered good in the public’s estimation may not be what Krsna perceives. Krsna is beyond good and evil. Like Arjuna, we need a spiritual master who will teach us pure Krsna consciousness. That guru is Srila Prabhupada. He is available in his books.

Reading Prabhupada’s books is a reward for doing other services, yet it’s not something we have to save up to do in our retirement. We can take our reward now, even if we don’t deserve it. Serve and read, work and read, but learn to read.

#66 Begging for Memories

I have to learn to be satisfied that my memories of Prabhupada are usually only little blips across my mind’s radar screen. When such a small memory surfaces, I shouldn’t reject it. I want to always stay within the realm of thoughtful appreciation for Prabhupada.

Some of that appreciation may have literary value or may be worth sharing in one way or another, but Prabhupada is not just a vehicle for me to express myself as an orator or a writer. Prabhupada is not a vehicle for me to prove that I’m a great disciple. These are nauseating concepts, and I kick them away.

The real thing is to walk along in spiritual life like a down-and-out hobo, looking for a handout from my spiritual master. (Maybe that’s not a good metaphor.) Prabhupada wouldn’t want me to be an unseemly bum. (I’m trying not to be.) I keep my clothes clean and I try to keep my mind clean and stay busy in the preaching work he has assigned me. I try to be presentable. But what I mean is, inside there’s such poverty. I have to admit that I am, when compared to the bona fide acaryas and Vaisnavas, a hobo looking for entrance into the spiritual society.

From The Story of My Life, Volume 2

(pp. 268-69)

Writing Assignments from Natalie Goldberg’s The Practice of Writing Memoir:

QUESTION: “What did you know that you didn’t want to know?”

ANSWER: After my freshman year at junior college, I knew that once I graduated I would have to spend two years in the U.S. Navy as an enlisted man. When I was 17 years old, my naval reservist lieutenant-commander father convinced me to sign up for a reserve officer candidate program that required two six-week training sessions. After graduating from this training you would become a commissioned naval officer and spend four years in active service. My father told me that if I didn’t do this, I would be drafted into the U.S. Army. (This wasn’t exactly correct. If I had stayed in college and then gone on to pursue a Master’s degree after earning my Bachelor of Arts, I would have been exempt from the draft. But my father had a very strong influence over me. I did what he said.)

After my first year in college, I went for my first six weeks of officer training at Newport, Rhode Island. The program was largely academic but included boot camp training. I hated it, and I didn’t like the idea of becoming a naval officer either. I successfully completed the first six weeks but decided I didn’t want to go back for the second half of the training. This meant that when I graduated from college I would have to enter the Navy as a sailor with an E-2 rating and serve for two years.

Meanwhile, college life had transformed me. I had an affair with a secret mistress who lived in Greenwich Village and was 16 years older than me. At Brooklyn College I got in with the poet crowd on a literary magazine called Landscapes. They were intellectual Jews. I hung out with them and learned to smoke marijuana. On weekends I would meet with my friends from Staten Island and drink beer and play jazz records. I was a lefty, anti-military, aspiring intellectual. The thought of going into the Navy after college haunted me, hanging over my head like a sword of Damocles. It was something I knew that I didn’t want to know. I hated attending the weekly naval reserve meetings. I was ashamed to wear the uniform and to have to salute whenever I attended the various classes on naval affairs. I even had to go on a two-week cruise during the summer. I carried Rilke’s Notebook of Malte Laurids Brigge in my pocket and felt alienated from the sailors on the ship. Once when I discussed my fate with my sensitive friends on Staten Island, one of them said I would probably succumb to the low association in the Navy and become like one of them. He compared it to carrying a candy bar you inevitably have to eat. I told him how much I disliked the lowbrow sailors and their cursing, and I assured him I would never become like one of them. During this time, I tried my best to live in the present and put the thought of entering the Navy out of my mind.

Eventually, I was assigned to an aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Saratoga, which was at that time in the Mediterranean. I had to fly with six other sailors to Florida, where we boarded the U.S.S. Shangri-la, an old aircraft carrier that took us to the U.S.S. Saratoga in Italy. Fortunately, because of my college degree in English, I was assigned to the public information office, which meant a job in journalism and public relations. It was a soft berth compared to the gunnery department or the boiler room or the flight deck, but it was still a two-year prison sentence that I had to draw on my inner resources to tolerate and endure.

From Gurudeva and Nimai: Struggling for Survival (The Nimai Series, Volume 3)

Chapter 6

I Discover My Doubts

After one week, we had eaten half of the cache. We had also used up the lamp kerosene and our tape recorder batteries. The firewood was unlimited as long as the hatchet held out, and I counted five hundred matches. But we realized that we very seriously had to ration out things like food and matches and learn as soon as possible how to do things in alternative ways. The weather changed. It was very cold at night but above freezing in the day. We were not so worried. We told each other we would just depend upon Krsna.

Since talking with Gurudeva about fear, I was no longer always in a state of near-panic. I noticed that my continual consciousness was less frivolous. I didn’t allow myself to fully relax and enjoy different moments, but instead I kept awareness that danger could come at any moment. Any little “heaven on earth” I might create could be destroyed in an instant. This thinking helped me to remember to chant more, not just when I was chanting my sixteen prescribed rounds. I thought, “When bad times come, then all you’ll have is Krsna. And whatever else you have is illusion.”

Being in the woods in that condition brought me moments of better clarity and depth than I was used to. Usually I seem to run around confused and influenced by different people too much. But now many irrelevant things became cleared away. For example, I saw that my relationship with Gurudeva was natural. I was his brahmacari assistant. I did my chores without resentment and looked to him as my spiritual guide. So then what was all that stuff I was confused about in Victoria? It didn’t seem to matter anymore. In fact, I had to think about it just to remember what it was. One of the issues was whether I had a direct relationship with Srila Prabhupada, or whether anyone was stopping me from that. I could see that my relationship with Prabhupada was clear and open, and my Gurudeva was always inviting me to take it up. No one was in the way between Prabhupada and me.

After that evening when Gurudeva talked to me about fear and we had a kirtana, I felt more inclined to approach him with things on my mind. He also seemed to welcome it. After all, what else did we have to do except survive together and do our own thinking? But you can only think so much on your own, and then you want to talk with someone else. Although I’m sure I wasn’t very elevated company for Gurudeva, yet he still didn’t mind my talking, as long as it was Krsna conscious.

So after a few days I told him that I didn’t have any more problems about my relationship with him and with Prabhupada. The reason I brought it up to him was not because I wanted to talk so much about it, but I just wanted him to know that I felt all right. But Gurudeva seemed to have been thinking about it himself, because he began saying humble things about how he wasn’t qualified. He said that he personally could not bring me back to Godhead, but Prabhupada could. And so he wanted to help me and help himself by depending on the pure devotee. When he spoke like that, I liked him even more and wanted to serve him. Although he was saying that he was unqualified, he wasn’t being morbid or depressing about it. He wasn’t artificial. He said, “When there are no big trees, then a castor tree is considered big.” That’s a saying by Srila Prabhupada. It means that if there is no longer a maha-bhagavata like Srila Prabhupada present, even an “ordinary” devotee will serve as sufficient.

“You are more than sufficient for me,” I said.

From Reading Reform: Srila Prabhupada’s Plan for the Daily Reading of His Books

(pp. 75-76)

Questions and Answers

QUESTION: Often I finish reading a long purport only to find I was thinking about something else the whole time. How can I keep my mind from wandering when I read?

A.: We have to be humble and submissive and want to hear. Krsna imparted the Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna only after Arjuna approached Krshna in helpless humility. “Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure, because of miserly weakness,“ he said. Prabhupada explains in the Srimad-Bhagavatam that to hear with rapt attention one’s consciousness must be pure, and that requires purity in eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. The purer we are, the more we will feel an urgent need to hear. This will make us more attentive.

As long as we do not have a higher taste, and are therefore open to distractions, we will be in attentive. Krsna says, “Wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the self.”(Bg. 6.26). When you notice that you are reading without paying attention, either reread the verse and purport, or just read the next but with attention.

Sometimes we will read with startling receptivity, and we will immediately feel alive and enthusiastic, and in that way receive so much benefit. This often occurs when we read in the early morning hours. The sages at Naimisaranya would gather early in the morning to hear about Krsna, and in a purport, Prabhupada states that morning is the best time to hold spiritual services. Whenever you find yourself reading receptively, examine how it came about and then practice reading like that.

For some, the pressure of a heavy workload creates difficulties for reading. One devotee I know, works so hard physically that whenever he sits down to read, he falls asleep. And some devotees may work in ways that agitate their minds and cause them to become distracted when reading. Devotees who have experienced and solved such problems as these should share their knowledge and realizations with others, and in this way encourage them. We should not be complacent and think, “Well, that’s the way it is. I always fall asleep,” or, “I am too agitated to ever read.“ We must fight to overcome these conditions.

We should not read all day, but whatever reading time we do have should not be wasted. Rather, we should read only the most important Vaisnava literature. Prabhupada advised against being a “bookworm” by reading, many proof books unnecessarily. A bookworm is also one who reads the books but who does not live as an active servant of Krsna and the spiritual master in accordance with the Vaisnava conclusion. What good is the learning of such a person?”


<< Free Write Journal #283

Free Write Journal #285 >>


Essays Volume 1: A Handbook for Krishna Consciousness

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.

Read more »



Essays Volume 2: Notes From the Editor: Back to Godhead 1978–1989

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.

Read more »


Essays Volume 3: Lessons from the Road

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.

Read more »


Forgetting the Audience

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…

Read more »



Last Days of the Year

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…

Read more »



Daily Compositions

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…

Read more »


Meditations & Poems

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.

Read more »




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 »




A narrative poem. challenging and profound, about the journey of an itinerant monk who pursues new means of self-Seeking New Land

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.

Read more »