Free Write Journal #288


Free Write Journal #288

March 15, 2024

Satsvarupa Maharaja’s Weekly Health Report for March 15

This week was filled with meetings as Satsvarupa Maharaja met with disciples who are key members of his GN Press team—his editor-in-chief, Krsna-bhajana dasa, his wife Satya Sara Mata and Nitai dasa, who heads GNP production and distribution in India. Although these meetings appeared to be very productive and many ideas were exchanged, Maharaja has been experiencing an average of two headaches per day. The press devotees will be visiting for another week. Under discussion is the publication of a ten-volume set Satsvarupa Maharaja wrote as an offering to Srila Prabhupada during his Centennial anniversary year in 1996. Everyone is looking forward to that.

“Hari Hari,”

Japa Retreat Journal for 3/15/24

Japa Quotes from Ista-gosthi: Topics for Vaisnava Discussion, Vol. 3

When we chant Hare Krsna in japa and kirtana, we can sometimes think of metaphors which Lord Caitanya has used. It is true that our heart is being cleaned of dirt. And the chanting produces a very nice rain which is putting out the fire of birth and death. Thus Lord Caitanya praises the chanting not in sentimental terms, but based on the actual work that the holy name performs on the conditioned soul. It cleans the dirt, it brings the downpour of rain—and it is a blessing.


Lord Caitanya begins, “All glories to the chanting of Hare Krsna!”—param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam. This first verse of Siksastakam states several reasons why sankirtana (congregational chanting of the holy names) should be glorified. The first reason is because it cleanses the heart of all the dust that’s been there for many years. This refers to an internal cleansing process. If we neglect to clean a room, soon dust will appear on the furniture and under the bed. But the dirt which the chanting of Hare Krsna cleans is the dirt of material desires within the heart.


The real self is comparable to a piece of valuable gold which is covered by a lump of dirt. Unless we wash away the dirt, we cannot enjoy the benefit of the original gold. So the chanting removes all the dirty coverings and reveals our original spiritual nature. That nature is full of bliss and eternity, and exists in a loving relationship with Lord Krsna.


Lord Caitanya also says that the chanting puts out a fire, maha-davagni. There is a large fire, like a forest fire, raging within us. This is the fire of birth and death. When we die, due to the dirty things in the heart, we have to take another material body. This process of dying and being born again is very painful to the living entity. We try to forget it, but actually we are always in anxiety, especially about our oncoming death.


Lord Caitanya says that the chanting of Hare Krsna is the best blessing because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. This refers to the phenomena of the waxing moon. At the beginning of a fortnight the moon starts very small and grows gradually to a full moon. Spiritual progress is like that. You begin from a little bit and it grows and grows— as long as you practice.


The waxing moon of spiritual life is not only one person’s private concern. When the chanting is widely distributed then the blessings go to everyone. Just as the blessing of the moon is appreciated by everyone in the world, so the chanting of Hare Krsna can spread in the same way. Therefore, sometimes a great acarya is compared to the moon, because he distributes the holy name all over the world.


Lord Caitanya further says that the chanting of Hare Krsna is the life of all transcendental knowledge. When a person is seeking spiritual information, he consults gurus, sometimes goes on spiritual pilgrimages and performs austerities. But the essence of all this is to love God. Some spiritual processes conclude with an impersonal understanding of the Absolute. But that is not the life of transcendental knowledge; that is the death of transcendental knowledge. However, if we chant Hare Krsna, then the name of the Lord is present. And then there is no question of impersonalism.


Lord Caitanya finally says that by chanting Hare Krsna you get a taste for the nectar for which we are always anxious. He is well aware that we are all looking for pleasure. Commercial advertisers are also aware everyone is seeking pleasure and so they play upon this desire, claiming “We have the taste,” “The taste is here.” But the tiny taste which sense gratification can give by stimulating the tongue or belly or genitals or ears, is not satisfying to the real self. The pleasure that the soul experiences is many times greater than any pleasure. It is the nectar for which we are always anxious.


Krsna has made it easy. All we have to do is chant Hare Krsna and follow principles which are not very austere compared to former ages. But we still have to do something difficult. We have to give up our false attachments. We are attached to the body and to family and to so many things. When that attachment is threatened, we feel pain. We are afraid to give up our material identity.


As for “short cut,” “an easy way,” and a special indication of God’s love for weak and fallen souls (especially in the age of Kali), we have our own “hurricane of glory” or “shower of flowers”—or to use Krsna conscious terms, Lord Caitanya’s shower of mercy as the most magnanimous incarnation—by the simple process of chanting the Holy Names of Krsna.


Although the Siksastaka verses are Lord Caitanya’s original composition, He has based His statements on authoritative Vedic scriptures. The Vedas teach many kinds of spiritual practices aside from sankirtana. But in this age of Kali, only the chanting is recommended. As stated in the Brhan-naradiya Purana, harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam / kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha. Lord Caitanya chanted the Hare Krsna mantra, and therefore we follow Him in that exact process.


In Kali-yuga we cannot do anything if it is difficult. Therefore it is foolish to take up practices of meditation and yoga, because to do them effectively is very difficult. Krsna has made Himself easily approachable by His holy names. But after describing all the benefits of chanting, the mercy of Krsna to come in such an accessible way, and the ease of chanting, Lord Caitanya concludes, “But I am so unfortunate, I have no attraction for the holy name.”


The reason one does not have a taste for the holy name is that he chants with offenses. There are ten offenses, as well as methods for avoiding them. For example, there is an offense of blaspheming devotees, and the offense of disobeying the order of the spiritual master, or minimizing the importance of chanting, or deliberately committing sinful activities and thinking you can offset it by chanting. Even if a person chants in an offensive way, he still makes progress, but it is very slow.


Lord Caitanya describes Himself as being unable to appreciate a taste for chanting. But we read in the Caitanya-caritamrta that when Lord Caitanya chanted, He would manifest all symptoms of devotional ecstasy. Sometimes He would cry, laugh, dance and speak in madness of separation from Krsna. He expresses Himself as unable to taste the chanting, as if He were a conditioned soul, for our benefit. If we chant and do not taste Hare Krsna, as the nectar that we are seeking, we should understand it is due to our incapacities.


As we study the Siksastakam and go on trying to chant in the mood as given by Lord Caitanya, then we can make progress. And that is the desire of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all the spiritual masters in disciplic succession. In whatever stage of life we are working, the Lord encourages us to chant Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.


By hearing these verses we should change our ways. In his purport, Prabhupada lists the ten offenses to chanting with a brief commentary. His conclusion is quite simple: If you carefully avoid the offenses, then you will make success in love of Godhead by your chanting. If I want more information than this, I can turn to Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Hari-nama-cintamani, where the ten offenses are analyzed minutely. The remedy to offensive chanting in Hari-nama-cintamani is not much different than what Prabhupada says—you have to associate with devo-tees who are chanting without offense, you have to be sorry for your offenses, and you have to humbly worship the Holy Name.


My dear Lord Krsna, don’t let me be lured away from the chanting of Hare Krsna. I know by now I can’t trick You or make believe that I am making lots of progress or think that I am following an esoteric cult of my own. I can’t fool anyone. Chanting has to be done humbly, in the “dark night of faith.” But let me find friends who will help me with this.


I place this prayer, “Alone I have no strength to chant the Holy Name of the Lord. Please give me a particle of Your mercy that I may chant the Holy Name and taste the liquid essence of the Holy Name. Please allow me to gain a humble heart so that I may propagate the Holy Name and taste the nectar of hari-nama.”


I promise not to complain so much, my Lord, but still I ask You to put up with my calling out to You. My Godbrother says it is especially good to ask for Your mercy so that we can chant the Holy Name properly. I think this is right but I find it very difficult to ask You, “Please have mercy! Please let me chant nicely.” I don’t know why I am so stubborn as to not call out to You. I find it easier to thank You for the chanting. I thank You for at least a little bit of pure chanting that comes down to me despite my offenses. I thank You for the great boon of chanting which has saved my life.


I know my chanting is poor and therefore I need Your help and I need to call out. Please therefore don’t take my calling out as complaining. But my dear Lord Krsna, and dear Srila Prabhupada, please help me to be convinced and to do it, to call, “Please help me to chant!”


“Alone I find I have no strength to chant the Holy Name of Lord Hari. I beg You, therefore, please be merciful and with a particle of faith, give me the great treasure of the Holy Name of Krsna. Krsna is Yours. You are able to give Him to me, for such is Your power. I am indeed wretched and simply run after You crying ‘Krsna! Krsna!’”

Ohe Vaisnava Thakura by Bhaktivinoda Thakura


My Lord, if I just cry, “Krsna! Krsna!”, You will know what I mean. I mean, “Please, Lord Krsna, help me to chant.” Everything is expressed in the one word, “Krsna,” my imploring to You. O Holy Name, O deliverer of the Holy Name, O benedictor to the sincere devotee, please give me faith in the Holy Name.

Prayer to Chant Well

On this Ekadasi I pray for the
of submissive aural reception
to the vibration of the Holy Name,
made by the tongue
of this body
which is useless and
detrimental to me, so long as
I use it mistakenly
for sense gratification—
and most foolishly when I mistake this
bag of mucus bile and air
for my dear self!
Oh Holy Name,
kindly appear here,
I can’t do it alone—
Give me the nectar of the Name.

Please make me a servant of
the sound
of the prayer,
Hare Krsna mantra.
And let me not think
“I am better than others because I
am chanting.”
But melt my heart for helping
others to give them the Name—
after I give it to myself and
become YOUR devotee.


I want to leave the world and for that I know I have to give up the self in all its false, temporary designations—ahamkara—and enter pure self. Pure self means love for You and fully engaged in Your service. As Bhaktivinoda Thakura prays, “O Gopinatha, You are the wisest person. Please find a way to bring me to You. Don’t consider this servant an outsider.” I am a devotee of Srila Prabhupada, recruited by him from a very fallen state and given the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. Please engage me in Your service. What should I do?


From Churning the Milk Ocean

pp. 215-17

Introducing Bhakta Bob

One main criterion in writing this story is to be able to come back to it later and enjoy it. I want it to be like Krsna consciousness itself— inexhaustible and eternal. In the spiritual world, everything is like that. If you pick flowers for Lord Krsna’s garland, the flowers don’t die. Seeing their freshness and original flavor, the bees follow the flowers on His garland. Those bees don’t sting. The Lord has a swarthy blue complexion and wears a yellow dhoti on His hips, and He is loved by all the pure devotees, who can’t bear it if He goes out of their sight for even a moment. The idea that the Absolute Truth is impersonal is atheistic and not even sensible. The Absolute Truth is the controller. Therefore He must have a brain. And if He has a brain, then He has other bodily parts as well.


I know a sensitive proofreader of my books who doesn’t like it when I print the names of devotees and their faults, and even if I withhold the names but say things like, “I received a letter from a temple president whose wife was unfaithful . . .” My proofreader thinks this is heartless. Her point is, “Be confidential. Don’t expose people, even indirectly.”

But Bob, you boob, if you enter rightly this interior castle of the Hare Krsna center, you’ll never be the same. So warned the Sukracarya part of Bob, advising that Visnu might take away everything that he owned, even his Wellington boots.

It’s true. The Hare Krsna people might say later, “Hey, Bob, give us your boots for the Lord’s service.”

Bob might reply, “Them’s my only pair. Why don’t I just use them in the Lord’s service?”

Anyway, heedless to the inner warning of the protective, materialistic guru, Bob opens the door and enters.

There was a bunch of fellows sitting around doing kirtana nice and simple: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare. There was a full-sized murti of Srila Prabhupada dressed authentically. There was prasadam being prepared, soon to be offered at a scheduled arati, according to the order of the Founder-Acarya for all ISKCON centers. This was morning, and the prasadam was breakfast. It consisted of almonds and Chyavan Prash. The Chyavan Prash could be picked up and eaten with banana slices. There was also fresh hot milk with honey and hot oatmeal. Of course, this sounds appetizing, and the danger is that we may lust after this before it is offered to Krsna. So let’s not talk about the food or smell it, and certainly not taste it, before it is offered. And when you offer it, put your head on the floor and say, “Dear Srila Prabhupada, they have prepared this for the devotees. I offer this to you because if we eat it before you do, it will be lumps of sin. We know that you are close to Krsna and that you will offer this prasadam to Him, although we may not know how that offering is done. We simply offer it to you, and we pray to be allowed to eat your remnants. Please accept our offering, and let us never forget to offer food to you before eating.”

Bob can partake of this delicious prasadam if he sticks around. And we all know what will happen to a jiva who eats prasadam. It happened long, long ago to Narada when he was only five years old:

“Once only, by their permission, I took the remnants of their food, and by so doing all my sins were at once eradicated. Thus being engaged, I became purified in heart, and at that time the very nature of the transcendentalist became attractive to me.” (Bhag. 1.5.25)

I hope that Bob will stay and eat. He looked around in the temple room and saw books on the shelves. Beads available here too. He smelled incense. He saw himself reflected in the mirror. A confident man, perhaps in his forties, approached Bob and said, “Hare Krsna. We’re just about to serve breakfast. Would you like to join us?”

“Yes,” Bob answered, and then he heard himself chanting, “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/ Hare Rams Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare.”

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

pp. 21-23

“There is no need any of my disciples to read any books besides my books. In fact, such reading may be detrimental to their advancement in Krsna consciousness—except in certain authorized cases, for example, to read some philosopher like Plato to make an essay comparing his philosophy with Krsna’s philosophy. But otherwise, all such outside reading should be stopped immediately. It is simply another botheration. If my students cannot even read my own books thoroughly, why should they read others? I have given you TLC, what need is there to read Caitanya-caritamrta translated by someone else? You are right to stop reading.” (Letter to Sri Govinda)


One does not have to look outside of Prabhupada’s books to become Krsna conscious, and it can be very dangerous to read other books. Lord Caitanya said that even a maha-bhagavata can fall down after reading the Mayavada philosophy of Sankara’s Sariraka-bhasya, and atheistic philosophers are sometimes empowered by maya to create dangerous traps for the mind. Sastra states that even books about Krsna are dangerous if they are not received through parampara. Avaisnava-mukhodgirnam: “One should not hear topics of Krsna from the lips of nondevotees, just as one should avoid milk which has been touched by the lips of a serpent.”

One of the early editors of Back to Godhead magazine would regularly publish reviews of books by Hermann Hesse, Martin Buber, Eric Hoffer and others, but Prabhupada did not like giving attention to these rascals. A devotee gains nothing by reading non-Krsna conscious literature, and a devotee should read such literature only on the authority of the parampara. Although devotees occasionally read and compare different philosophies for the purpose of writing Krsna conscious articles, such reading should always be authorized for preaching purposes.


“Regarding preaching work: if you simply reproduce verbatim the purports which I have given in the Srimad-Bhagavatam and chant Hare Krsna with ecstasy, that will be sufficient for your preaching work, and as you do sincerely, Krsna gives you more and more strength for this noble missionary work.

“There is no need of my sending the Kalyan books… Just read Srimad-Bhagavatam, our three volumes, regularly and repeatedly. It is no use reading many books; it is better to assimilate one book, and that is sufficient. “(Letter to Brahmananda, September 17, 1968)


Sri Rama-carita-manasa by Gosvami Tulasidasa is not very authorized, and Ramayana is authorized. One thing is, though, you have got enough other books to study. Did you appear in the examination held on Janmastami day? Why should you go to Ramayana when you have got Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and Teachings of Lord Caitanya? Don’t divert your attention in that way . . . Gosvami Tulasidasa has a tint of Mayavadi philosophy. He belongs to the Ramananda sampradaya. They are a mixed combination of personalist and impersonalist. Therefore, the author is not considered as pure Vaisnava.”) Letter to Raktaka, September 6, 1969)


“The pure Vaisnava,” Prabhupada continues in the letter quoted above, “is simply purely disposed to transcendental loving service to Krsna. The pure Vaisnava rejects anything which has no idea of serving the Personality of Godhead.” Prabhupada’s books always deliver pure Vaisnavism. But when we read the writings of others, can we really be sure that we are not becoming tainted with impure philosophy?

From Kaleidoscope

pp. 186-88

Solar Eclipse

Use up your last ink
we were lost in the
Way Welfare Forest

we were moanin’
didn’t know if a dream
had become true.

Sister, please help me.
Get me out of muck and
field, find a place
I can hide in

and change clothes and
rest and wash and eat
and write and eat

you do your
worship here?

He went to Brooklyn or s
one vastness like that
with telephone poles
uncles, aunts, demitasse,
cigarette, Chesterfield,
Lucky Strikes, crumpled up
in ashtray and me so little
and uncle wants to
embrace you

walnuts, tangerines…

eat more, no I just
can’t wait I want to
go home to our clean
American home.

Drive forward you are
doing fine don’t seek
more than that
improvise spirit taught
by the Bird and others

in the sky see see
here comes the eclipse–

the wives of Krsna
the cowherds people and
their milk products
the sages . . .

say good-bye to summer,
sell your desk,
give away your microphone,
shout it you have to

now say dad soul God
Krishna Radha paint say
music say pens
personality official loyalty
you won’t forget / say at death a
soul remembers / calls out
Eighth Chapter Gita.

God’s Eclipse

Eeney mini
death opens a door
a jaw

tell us ‘bout the
eclipse more.
Those shades I
wore: “Someone
invented a way to
make money.”

You couldn’t see.
You’d blind yourself.

In France it was all
dark where they have
branded ISKCON a
dangerous cult.

Rarely does the
moon go in front of
the fabulous sun.

I don’t know how it
works. Dear Lord,
allow me to pray to
You for personal
You are my friend
and all-mighty.

The Time

go out and see your
God in the heavens if
you look close enough
you’ll see

he worked so hard he learned

I want to see God too
I learned almost nothing.

Krsna help me speak
truth not hollow

I want to be inspired to admit
“I am scum”
or “I’m okay” and
“I don’t know.”

He was far away from the
microphone so we didn’t
hear whatever he just
said and anyway it got

And chips from the ceiling fresco
fell down, down
“Now’s the time” he
introduced his piece,
as if…anybody knew.

Krishna You’ll be the best
man at Balarama’s wedding,
I’m just kidding,
I saw it in the KRSNA book
something about He is
white and You are dark,
corresponding to this world
black and white both are
God-sent and in
Your own case You are
more beautiful than
except Radha.

All those Vaishnava
occasions coming up
fast in August into
Now it’s close enough to six
so you better go downstairs
where the shoes are kept and
since it’s not raining lace on
the walkers,

and since your ankle hurts,
carry your cane and
Dictaphone and give us some
drops of nectar from
Krishna’s great outdoors and
offload if it helps, your
anxious mind.

From Increasing the Presence of Prabhupada: The Journals of Satsvarupa dasa Goswami, Volume Four

pp. 44-46

June 24, 2023

4:30 A.M.

Distraction from Writing #2: My Bodily Aches and Pains

I am in need of serious treatment by a chiropractor. My lower back, left hip and stiff neck give me sharp pains when I turn them the wrong way. I also have laryngitis. For this I spray my throat, swallow honey, and I have canceled answering mail. I also have considerable trouble servicing my body. I feel an urge to go, but when I make it to the bathroom, nothing happens fifty percent of the time. But I am going to the urologist, who will perform a procedure which may be painful but should make things easier. The evacuation process is another area which has become troublesome for me.

These distractions break my concentration for writing in a continuous way.


Two Short Videos of Śrīla Prabhupāda

(It was hard to understand the soundtrack. People were talking over Prabhupāda , and he was talking over them. So the points each of them were making weren’t clear. But I have snatches of phrases that Prabhupāda made and that the interviewers made. Just snatches.)

First Short Interview

Prabhupāda says, “I am always servant of God.” (The interviewer had asked, “Are you a special servant of God?”)

(They asked about how he was getting money.) Prabhupāda said, “We get money by selling our books.” Then he gave exact figures of how much money they spent in a week, in a month, and in a longer period. Someone used the word “begging?” but it wasn’t answered. Prabhupāda emphasized work. He said, “We work harder than you do.” They asked his age, and he said, “Seventy-nine.”

A reporter asked, “Doesn’t your philosophy teach asceticism? Then why did you get driven in a Rolls Royce?” Prabhupāda answered something that wasn’t clear to me but was witty, something like, “If you give me a Rolls Royce, I will take it.”

Second Short Interview

Prabhupāda says (about the movement), “It is increasing.” They ask him his age. He says in one month, he will be eighty years old. (So this interview occurred later than the first one.) He says that he was born in 1896.

Then the reporter asks, “What about when you die (who shall take over)?”

Prabhupāda says, “I shall never die.” He says he shall live on in his books. Then he shows a picture of his Guru Mahārāja , Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvati Gosvami. They asked him, “Who will be your successor?” and he showed a picture of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvati Thakura. That was a strange and surprising thing to do, that his successor would be his Guru Mahārāja .

They ask, “Why doesn’t ISKCON engage in social protests?”

Instead of directly answering the question, Prabhupāda talks about “social work.” He says, “[ISKCON] is producing first-class men (and women).” He says his devotees are avoiding the four sinful acts, and he names them. Then he says, “[Eliminating these four sinful acts] is real social work.”

They ask, “What is the political effect of Kṛṣṇa consciousness?” Prabhupāda said that he had mentioned this in the morning, that if you have no Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you have no value. And then he must have said something about jumping out of a tower. In order for this to make sense, one of the devotees stands up and explains that in the 1960s, in Berkeley, California, there was a big tower on campus. Desperate students, disillusioned by the country and life itself, used to jump off that tower and commit suicide. Then the university put up a big glass barrier so that they couldn’t dive off the tower to their death.

They asked about educational values. Prabhupāda answers according to the scriptures, “What is an educated man?”

The final question they ask is, “Are you trying to form a college?”

Prabhupāda answers, “Yes.” Then he proceeds to describe what a first-class man is who would be produced from this college. “He would be one who could control his mind and senses.” Then Prabhupāda goes on, paraphrasing and drawing from the scriptures to state all the qualities that a brahmana (or good man) would have.

From Forgetting the Audience: Writing Sessions at Castlegregory, Ireland, 1993

pp. 100-102

Be steady in this retreat. Early this morning you awoke with doubts and then steadied yourself with reason. Be ready if those doubts come again. I’ll stand my ground and execute these three weeks, even though I am not producing a book or gaining brilliant new grounds of advancement in chanting. Stay with it and realize the commitment to increase rounds. Do sixty-four on Ekadasi. Press gently, but persistently, on this vantage point of distinguishing distractions from the desire to be attentive. I am trying to relieve myself the aparadha called pramada, the madness of inattention which is due to laziness, lack of taste, and attachment to material pleasures.

It’s worth it. This is the time in my life for doing this. I may do it later or not, but now it’s ripe and I’m ready to be alone and practice the subtle art of japa. I have been doing it wrong. I say this so often it can become a kind of pose—humbly claiming I don’t chant. Secretly I may think, “I don’t chant so poorly. If I compare myself to others, I might come out not badly. After all, I am sincere in seeing japa as important.”

But then, don’t I believe I need improvement? Yes! I need it. It’s real. A bad habit has developed. I must try to do something about it. And the first thing is to keep reminding myself of the obvious—my mind goes somewhere else when I chant. I’m not attracted while chanting to sravanam-kirtanam. Intellectually, or theologically, I am attracted to hari-nama, but my personal practice is different.

My desire for reform is not just a literary dance so I can write books to help others. It’s a real desire for improvement, although I can’t seem to translate it into practical work. Each time I pick up the beads, it’s the same thing more or less.

Increasing the number of rounds daily appears to have the potential to help me. It hasn’t occurred yet, but it may. I will give this much effort and try for more, even if there is no tangible result.

While keeping steady in this vrata, I take some notes in writing sessions.

Stuck. Sermon. In a high pulpit. Everyone knows what he’s talking about. Or no one knows God by direct experience, not to the degree the great saints know Him. We listen to the sermon. When there’s new material, that doesn’t much satisfy us either. We find fault in it. The true devotees are those who are able to hear these lectures without fault-finding, and take them as Krsna’s messages and Prabhupada speaking in parampara. Srila Prabhupada said he was not speaking. He said it was Krsna’s message, and Krsna was speaking through him. He said he was simply the mouthpiece. This was Srila Prabhupada’s powerful and humble assertion. He actually did it—served Krsna’s message without adding his own. This made him potent and pure.

Can I do that? Do I think it’s not enough? Do I think I am doing that in my own way? Despite my upbringing in speculation, I’m doing my best to remain truthful to the words of the Gaudiya-Madhva sampradaya, whatever Prabhupada says.

And why these daily notes written wherever I am? What is my compulsion? What is my plan?

I told you. I told you.


The sweet discovery that I am meant to live as I’m doing, on retreats and writing and being careful not to provoke headaches. I can’t operate when they come. For example, recently I canceled an advertised program at 26 Second Avenue. That’s the way it is with me. I need to remind yourself and others of this situation.

Therefore embrace this day, these days, these weeks, these retreats in places like this. Embrace this one.

I love you, Lord of retreats.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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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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.

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