Free Write Journal #292


Free Write Journal #292

April 12, 2024


Satsvarupa dasa Goswami Maharaja
Spiritual Family Celebration
Saturday, July 6, 2024


Meeting of Disciples and friends of SDG


The Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall
845 Hudson Avenue
Stuyvesant Falls, New York 12174

There is plenty of parking near the Hall. The facility is just a few minutes’ walk from SDG’s home at 909 Albany Ave.


10:00 – 10:30 A.M.      Kirtana

10:30 – 11:00 A.M.      Presentation by Satsvarupa Maharaja

11:15 – 12:30 P.M.       Book Table

12:30 – 1:15 P.M.        Arati and kirtana

1:15 — 2:15 P.M.         Prasadam Feast


Baladeva Vidyabhusana at [email protected] or (518) 754-1108
Krsna dasi at [email protected] or (518) 822-7636

SDG: “I request as many devotees as possible to attend so we can feel the family spirit strongly. I become very satisfied when we are all gathered together.”


Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 20.124–125: “O great learned devotee, although there are many faults in this material world, there is one good opportunity—the association with devotees. Such association brings about great happiness. . . . .”

Srila Prabhupāda: “Therefore, our Society is association. If we keep good association, then we don’t touch the darkness. What is the association? There is a song, sat-saṅga chāḍi’ kainu asate vilāsa, te-kāraṇe lāgila mora karma-bandha-phāṅsa (Gaurā Pahū, verse 3). Sat-saṅga. Sat-saṅga means association with the devotees. So the one poet, Vaiṣṇava poet, is regretting that, ‘I did not keep association with the devotees, and I wanted to enjoy life with the nondevotees. Therefore I’m being entangled in the fruitive activities.’ Karma bandha phāṅsa. Entanglement.” [Conversation with David Wynne, July 9, 1973, London]

Satsvarupa Maharaja’s Weekly Health Report for April 12

Nothing especially new to report. Satsvarupa Maharaja is still experiencing a couple of migraine headaches a week, as well as other “regular” ones. So far, the new headache medicine he’s been prescribed has not worked. To protect his health, he has restricted his contact with the outside world during April—no emails, phone calls or visitors. Despite these obstacles, he is chanting his daily quota of japa whenever he can, and spending time each day adding to a new volume he’s writing. He reads the emails from anyone who took the time to write one, but his caretakers feel it is simply beyond his capacity to respond to them at this time.


Japa Retreat Journal for 4/12/24

Japa Quotes from Tachycardia Online Journal: Part 2

There’s always room for writing about headaches because with pain, there’s no japa, and without pain, there is japa.


November 15, 7:49 A.M.

Despite lightning, thunder, rain, and wind, we went on our japa walk. The wind was so strong it blew my umbrella inside out. Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.


Daydream: I talk over japa with the devotees at the Govardhana Palace and admit my chanting is not in a very advanced stage. They say some things that help me. Where is the place in Begging for the Nectar of the Holy Name where I break down and express my lack and simultaneously my cry for perfection in chanting?


Each person has to do it on their own. Prabhupada may help them, Bhaktivinoda Thakura may help them, but we each have to go alone. It’s between me and Krsna, you and Krsna.


Affectionate chanting draws Krsna’s attention, and He gives you personal service in Krsnaloka. Non-affectionate chanting doesn’t produce the result. We’ve heard that the outer form of chanting, the mere pronouncing of the syllables, is not the genuine holy names. You have to enter the inner experience by calling to Krsna through the maha-mantra. My counting mantras, mounting numbers, is not enough. You reach your bare minimum and put aside your beads until the next day. After sixteen rounds, your work is done; you are free to do whatever you please. And the sixteen were done in a fruitive way, just to fulfill the precious obligation. If this is all you do, you have not entered the life of prayer.


Real chanting is crying out, “Dear Radha, dear Krsna, please engage me in Your service.” Or it is like the cry of the child for the mother. Mother Hara will come to you and fulfill your desire to serve the Lord, if that is your intention.


Chanting Hare Krsna is powerful and supportive when we actually do it seriously. We need faith in Krsna and in the fact that Krsna is in His names. Dry chanting? Chant anyway and beg for wet. Even if your chanting is offensive, it must be continued and worked through. From imperfection, purity will come about. I am doing the right thing when I am attempting. Remember, the names are absolute, so even a poor chanter is within the magic circle. He’s not wasting his time. He just has to endure and pray to improve. Don’t give up and go do other things besides chanting, thinking that you are hopeless. No, you are auspicious. If you just keep on chanting, you will gain success.


How do you chant? In a humble state of mind, says Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, thinking yourself lower than the straw in the street, more tolerant than a tree, offering respects to others and not expecting honor for yourself. In such a state of mind, one can chant the holy names constantly. We have no worth; we have no taste for chanting because of our offenses. But we beg to the holy names to pick us up and place us as an atom at the Lord’s lotus feet.


The names are Krsna in His most merciful form. Try to build faith in that by chanting. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to deliver us with this maha-mantra, and Prabhupada gave it to us in this exact form. He led us in kirtana just to demonstrate the importance of the call-and-response form of harinama. And he chanted on our beads to personalize our japa and impress upon us how it is important service to the spiritual master.


You are never alone when you chant. You needn’t be lonely in this big world. You can be with Krsna just by moving your tongue and lips and vibrating the mantra. Prabhupada said, “Krsna is as close as your jugular vein, and He’s in your heart.” All this is realized in the simplest manner. Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.


December 7, 7:45 A.M.

We went over to Haryasva’s restaurant by 5:30 A.M. and joined a group of about twenty devotees chanting japa in the semidarkness, illuminated with Christmas lights. It was a very nice atmosphere with the low murmuring of the group, except for one devotee who was chanting a little too loudly. It’s nice when a group of devotees chanting together are considerate of each other. After about half an hour, I started to develop a twinge in the eye, and I had to take a sumatriptam. Haryasva then asked us to stand. He said chanting shouldn’t be a tight exercise, we should take a stretch. So we raised our hands toward the ceiling and said “Hare” and then bent down and said “Rama” several times. He then said we should take a break and have some japa reflections at this point. He asked me to speak. Reflecting from yesterday as the day of discussing the spiritual master and the disciple, I quoted Prabhupada’s statement, “Of all the instructions of the spiritual master, the instruction to chant sixteen rounds is most essential.” I said that more severe austerities were not possible in this age, but that chanting was the easiest and the most advanced process, as emphasized by Lord Caitanya. I said a few other standard things and asked Haryasva to speak his reflections. He said chanting involved a lot of things, such as getting to bed on time the night before so that we’re not sleepy when we chant. And he stressed calling out to Krsna when we chant. He says he calls out that he wants Krsna to use him. He has nice realizations and a good feeling for japa and the magnetism to gather people together to chant with him. After a while, because of my headache and fatigue, I left. But we plan to go back again later in the morning to chant some more and to take part at the end of the disciples’ meeting.


Krsna is my God. He’s best loved by the Vrajabasis in His humanlike form where they don’t even regard Him as God but as their little son or friend or their amorous lover. I hear about the pure devotion of their love of Krsna and warm to it. I want to love Him in that way too. I want to practice on the japa-mala as Lord Caitanya taught, and Raghunatha dasa Goswami and Haridasa Thakura chanted all day. I want to be imbued with faith in the holy names. But I can’t chant with prema, only casually. Some day… some day…. “Look for Krsna’s hands in the present….” Hmm…


From Geaglum Free Write

pp. 69-71

Lord Blackthorn blossoms. A devotee’s mother told him not to bring the branches into the house because they bring bad luck. The blossoms easily shatter and fall. I lay them on a piece of paper towel on the altar as flower offerings to guru and Krsna.

O Krsna, You are very kind to your devotees and to the nondevotees also. You give everyone what they want. If someone wants the body of a tiger to eat fresh meat, You give. If someone wants to be naked, You (through Your prakrti) give him or her the body of a tree or animal whereby they can always remain naked and no one will object. If one wants the body of a god, or a body like Krsna, the Lord can award it. Whatever you want.

Please give me Krsna consciousness. Let me know what I have to do to obtain it.

I ask for the inspiration to desire to attain it and the strength to go for it. Without Krsna’s help in various ways I’ll never be able to walk the bhakti-marg.

Think of loyalty to the spiritual master, carrying out his desires. They are not a secret. Yet each person may have his own particular service to offer. The general order may be “form an army and fight the forces of maya.” But then what part you play in obedience to that order may vary. Rifleman, pilot, medic, writer . . . but serve the cause. Become yourself a genuine devotee, and then when people meet you they will be favorably affected.

Write to stay awake. Turns of thought. You try all day to stay awake and active and turn from one activity to another. Sow and reap, plough and turn, pick and gather . . . Hare Hare.

Drift below. Syamananda meditated yesterday on a special Ekadasi breakfast he could prepare for me, tapioca, with a little cream, big bowls of some kind of sweet, a thick mango drink. Offered with devotion. My stomach is still assimilating. Syama says he is now meditating on a lunch he will prepare today.

I haven’t seen the power boats yet. Not a single sailboat do we see.

The wind whistles, birds chirp, and I think over my discovery for the day—that bhakti unto Prabhupada can be rejuvenated. And it is probably best to think of it as doing what comes naturally for you, but offering it to him. Be confident he will accept your offering.

Learn somehow to crave improvement. You don’t have to go outside the service of japa or writing to please Srila Prabhupada. Within these, call to him for help and call out. “Please help me, please help me.”

Even while continuing to sit in the chair and write funny figures of handwriting on a page.

O Gurudeva, I’m still writing for your magazine. It has a different shape perhaps, but that’s what I must do. I assert it and offer it as the blackthorn blossoms and buttercups.

And a strange animal lurks and does his duty and works. Please help us. We are volunteer workers out here interviewing the best people we meet.

Please be direct. Serve Krsna. Chant His holy names. Write a manual for training bhaktas: “Every temple should have this book.” Write an essay against the atheist scientists, a summary of a Bhagavatam.

And a diary in which a person finds himself in private thoughts and quietly asserts, “I am a devotee. I am a disciple of my guru, and through him I realize I am an eternal servant of Krsna.”

From Obstacles on the Path of Devotional Service

pp. 85-87

The Fighting Spirit

Obstacles may also be seen as auspicious. Queen Kunti said that dangers made her think more of Krsna. And by thinking of Krsna, she said, “We will no longer see repeated births and deaths.” Therefore, she prayed that the calamities might continue so that she could think of Krsna more. We are not as brave as Queen Kunti, but whether we welcome troubles or not, they keep coming. Although we shudder when we see a formidable obstacle, we know that it is also good for us. We think, “This is what I wanted although it is a little painful; this will turn me more to Krsna.” Problems in life are not always solvable, but at least we can take a favorable attitude toward them, and then we will be successful. If we see the obstacles as all bad, we will miss the opportunity that accompanies them.

The concept of a fighting spirit will be more appealing to some than to others. Those with a pessimistic nature find it difficult to think their suffering is a cause of joy. Neither are they able to see their suffering as a service to Krsna. The invitation to take obstacles in a chivalrous ksatriya-like manner simply turns off persons of a pessimistic nature. If we cannot see the bright side of the problems in life, we should pray for strength to endure them. Pray to Krsna to get us through. Prabhupada writes,

“There may be so many impediments for a person who is chanting Hare Krsna. Nonetheless, tolerating all these impediments, one should continue to chant Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare, so that at the end of one’s life one can have the full benefit of Krsna consciousness.” (Bg. 8.5, purport)

A pure devotee does not like to ask Krsna to remove the external calamities, but sometimes he does so by the force of circumstances. Gajendra called out to the Lord in helplessness when he was attacked by the crocodile, but he did it with regret.

At the very least, we should not make our sufferings a cause for losing faith in the Lord. We do not know Krsna’s inconceivable plan. We may think, “I have got enough problems, I am not going to welcome any more.” In that case, we have to hold on to Krsna’s lotus feet, or to the feet of His pure devotee and think, “You’re all I have to get me through. I find life to be nothing but troubles—which I do not welcome—but You’re my savior, You’re my one well-wisher, my light of hope in this dark life.” If a person clings to Krsna in that spirit, then he will become victorious.

Facing obstacles is a learning process. We may not feel happy about it, but we can note down in our book of experience, “This world is full of suffering; it is not a fit place for a gentlemen.” Problems make us more serious about working for liberation. The world is not a happy place, so why be frivolous and waste time?

If we find the problems of life bitter, we may also remember that happiness in the mode of goodness begins with poison and later becomes nectar. The obstacles are poisonous because they go against our plans for happiness. Everything seems ruined when things do not turn out the way we wanted them. But if we make service to Krsna our main priority, then our unhappiness brings purification and promotion to Vaikuntha, where there is no anxiety.

From My Dear Lord Krsna (A Book of Prayers)

pp. 52-54

My Dear Lord Krsna . . .

During lunch, we read a verse from Srila Sanatana Gosvami’s Brhad-bhagavatamrta praising Your holy name:

“All glories, all glories to Lord Murari in the form of His all-ecstatic name! If any living being puts aside such tasks as meditation, ritual worship, and social duties and even once takes the Lord’s holy name, the Name will grant him liberation. That holy name is the greatest source of eternal pleasure and is my very life and ornament” (Bb. 1.6).

In his commentary to this verse, Sanatana Gosvami cites references from Srimad-Bhagavatam and other Vedic literatures to establish that liberation is attained by once chanting the holy name of God. Sanatana Gosvami has also described his own relationship with hari-nama. “It is everything to him. Nothing else is important … It is Sanatana Gosvami’s very life and only ornament, a limitless reservoir of auspiciousness, the entire focus of his attention.”

After he read this out loud, D. remarked to me that I must have enjoyed hearing such praises of the holy name. It is true, I love to hear Your holy name glorified. Each morning I approach my japa with all the seriousness I can command (imperfectly) and call out the Hare Krsna mantra, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare. So I was glad to hear Sanatana Gosvami’s devotion to Your nama-rupa. I do not have the realization of the sweetness or the power of Your holy names, but I accept it on faith and on the authority of such sources as Srimad-Bhagavatam and Sanatana Gosvami.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has praised the holy names in His only writing, the Siksastaka prayers. As Caitanya Mahaprabhu, You declare all victory for the sankirtana movement, and You state that despite the great liberality of hari-nama, persons who commit offenses cannot taste its nectar. I make prayers to approach You by japa and overcome the ten offenses in chanting. I want to be able to chant blissfully by the hour, satisfied simply by the recitation of the sixteen names in thirty-two syllables. I aspire to reach the higher stages of chanting whereby one sees Your form, realizes Your qualities and remembers Your pastimes. If it is too audacious for me to state such an aspiration at present, then I desire to chant with full attention and devotion, hearing each syllable. I want to chant with faith that You and Srimati Radharani (both of Your names compose the maha-mantra) are reciprocating with me as I utter Your names.

This is the easiest process for approaching You, and in this age of Kali, we definitely need the easiest way. You are the maha-mantra. You are not different from Your names. As such, even a sinful person is uplifted and purified by once contacting You in the form of Your name. But, alas, I am like that person who knows the benefits of chanting but persists in committing offenses, such as inattention, offenses to Vaisnavas, etc. I know the remedy to offensive chanting is to go on chanting, to increase chanting, and I am trying to do that.

Please never allow me to give up my attempt to serve You by chanting. I have always been attracted by the process, although I have failed to perfect it. Let me associate with advanced chanters, and let me learn the secrets from them. Please awaken remorse in me for all the years of slovenly chanting. You have come in this most merciful form, but I have not received You with love. This means I am ungrateful and stupid. I have missed Your furthest extension of magnanimity, even while going through the motions. I have been chanting the outer covering of the names, not the actual names themselves. Please let it not be too late for me to improve and chant worthy of a mature disciple of Srila Prabhupada. You come to me each morning and afternoon, and You ask me to take You with my tongue, mind and all bodily senses. I don’t want to refuse You anymore. You are the only way of escape out of the dangerous material world, and the only way to awaken devotion to You and Radharani. Please make me a good chanter of the holy names.

It is not easy to write to You. I want to be sincere. My thoughts are not always turned in Your direction. So often I think of myself and my body. But I have a desire to break through and speak to You, and I consider it a great personal achievement when I can do so. I accept You as the Lord of all existence and my own personal friend and protector. This is an amazing combination.

From The Wild Garden

pp. 247-49



I read in Madhurya-kadambini that in the advanced stages of devotional service one is not calm, is often sleepless, is seen as crazy. I pray for strength to be willing to be upset and anxious for Krsna and His service. Srila Prabhupada displayed this by his total, empowered dedication to spreading and maintaining the International Society for Krsna Consciousness. I am his servant, and I should also dedicate myself to the Krsna consciousness movement. Exactly how I’ll do this will unfold. Try to qualify myself and help others to become qualified; that is the order of my spiritual master.

How can we dare to pray for the advanced state when we are on a stage beset by unsteadiness and anarthas? Because we feel the need of inspiration—the goal of our regulative practices. Hearing Krsna’s pastimes, we aspire to become fixed in the goal of Krsna consciousness, even though it may take hundreds of births. Krsna consciousness is rare. We have to culture it by hearing and chanting in a regulative way.

“These pastimes were wonderful for everyone, even for those proud of their opulence, including the Lord Himself in His form as the Lord of Vaikuntha. Thus His [Sri Krsna’s] transcendental body is the ornament of all ornaments” (Bhag. 3.2.12).

Become interested in Krsna, and yourself as the servant of His best servants. Desire this—the positive transferal of your identity and energies into spiritual emotion.

“In the states of wakefulness, sleep, and deep sleep, his intelligence becomes firmly fixed . . . The self-conceit (‘I’) of the sadhaka seems as if it enters into a siddha-deha (spiritual identity) suitable to his desire to serve the Lord, and his material body remains almost as if he has left it. His sense of possessiveness (mamata, ‘mine’) becomes like a bee to relish the nectar of the Lord’s lotus feet”(Madhurya-kadambini, Seventh Shower of Nectar).

We are daydreaming that we backward dwarfs can jump and touch the moon, but our aspirations should exceed our grasp, “or what’s a heaven for?” We want to hear of a bhakta’s ultimate states. We want something to ignite the fire of our present condition. If such a great and wonderful stage is our goal, then why are we wasting time in petty pursuits? We must strive to give them up and make realistic advancement from our present condition.

This is the good effect of hearing about what happens in ruci, asakti, bhava, and prema. They are not easily attained, but to be entranced by hearing of these states, even now, is not harmful. Better this than to be intrigued by the newspaper reports.

Don’t forget the compassionate work of helping those who have no idea of Krsna consciousness. Devotees who absorb themselves in preaching, who feel satisfied serving the Lord’s mission on earth, are fortunate.

“For one who explains this supreme secret to the devotees, pure devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me. There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear” (Bg. 18.68-69).

From A Poor Man Reads the Bhagavatam, Volume 2

pp. 175-77

Maharaja Pariksit is a maha-bhagavata. We cannot expect to attain his level of realization. Even within his life his last days were extraordinary because he spent them fasting from food and sleep. But we may continue our bodily maintenance and still remain attentive to the srimad-Bhagavatam if we live lives dedicated to the Bhagavatam’s teachings.

We should appreciate from this verse that the sages wanted to hear about Maharaja Pariksit from an authorized source. We too want to hear about the great souls described in the Bhagavatam, and we too should want to hear of them from an authorized source. That is also true of our desire to know Prabhupada. Prabhupada is undoubtedly a “great, first-class devotee of the Lord,” fulfilling the prophecy that the holy name would be chanted in every town and village. Bhaktivinoda Thakura desired that people from all over the world could join with their Bengali brothers to chant “Jaya Sacinandana”. This dream came true due to Prabhupada’s empowered preaching.

Therefore, his followers inquire about his life and teachings and praise his achievements. People around the world who overhear these exchanges may also become benefited. Many of us have already heard about Srila Prabhupada’s life, but “desire is expressed herein to hear about him in detail.” Hearing more about the maha-bhagavata will help us overcome lethargy and worldliness, and it will deliver us further into spiritual bliss. Let us turn again and again to the narrations of the great saints who touched our lives and the lives of all Western devotees.

Maharaja Pariksit received a seven-day notice of his death. Although materially this may seem a great tragedy for the young king, spiritually it was an advantage. Prabhupada writes that we are at a disadvantage compared to Maharaja Pariksit because we do not know at what moment we will die.

“We do not know whether we will live again seven minutes. Any moment your heart can failure. You do not know. You are going to the street . . . Just like the two boys who were coming. They did not know that they were going to be killed . . .

“I do not know whether we’ll have, I have opportunity for reading Srimad-Bhagavatam for seven minutes. So let me read it very seriously. . . . Not that, ‘Oh, Pariksit Maharaja was given seven days’ notice. Oh, I have no such notice. I may live for seven millions of years.’ That is our disease.”

—Lecture, June 23, 1972

Sometimes devotees fantasize about death. We imagine ourselves heroically chanting through the pain and letting go of all material desires. Somehow in that scenario, we always have time to compose ourselves. It may not be like that. Therefore, we should live both in the present and prepare for death by performing active devotional service. This includes regularly hearing the Bhagavatam.

Srila Prabhupada has given us a Krsna consciousness movement in which to engage ourselves while we are alive, and he has encouraged us to take spiritual nourishment so that we will be equipped with the necessary detachment when death comes.

The stove here overheats this room. Then as I let the fire die down, it gets cold in here. That’s what simple living is about. It means recognizing austerity. For devotees, they have to be living that austerity for a reason. People who are proponents of simple living say that we should see ordinary chores as meditations on God. Chop wood when you chop wood; be mindful. If a devotee doesn’t engage in his simple life activities as Krsna conscious meditation, he will feel like he is wasting his time because just to get through basic maintenance takes so much time. I have not conditioned myself to see bodily maintenance as holy because I am accustomed to the modern amenities that save me time so that I can do my real service of writing. It occurred to me, however, that in former times, monks living in monasteries would work and go through their group liturgies all day and usually have only a few hours to themselves at night. I say I want more time, to save time to chant Hare Krsna. The two ideas are not really opposed, and neither one is exactly right or wrong. It’s not wrong, I mean, to free yourself from chores in order to do other service. At the same time, it’s not wrong to do those chores as service.

I believe in God the Father
Almighty who killed Putana
when He was 3 months old.
And I believe in His son Brahma
and his sons the Kumaras and in Jesus
Christ, called “His only son, our
Lord.” I don’t believe Jesus was
the only offspring devotee of God.
I believe in the resurrection of the soul
life after life, transmigration.

From Every Day, Just Write: A Sojourn in Tapo-bhumi

pp. 374-76

January 6

12:30 A.M.

A headache built up in the afternoon, and I had to get under the mosquito net and take rest at 5 P.M. At 6:30 P.M. I heard a knock on the door. They continued knocking, so I got out and went to the door without my dentures or eyeglasses. A hotel employee handed me something and said, “Goodnight . . . mosquitoes.” I looked at my hand and saw the small blue object he had given me. Since the man had disappeared, I closed the door. Looking closely at it I realized it was a “Good Knight” mosquito killer. I put it aside and got back under the mosquito net.

6:10 A.M.

Went back to bed for an hour hoping it would clear my right eye, but it didn’t. Now I’m up and the dark night is gone. Look out at gray sky and sea. Hear the crows—those big black ones on the roofs below. If I get better, I’ll write. This is a good place for it—new adventures. But basically I have to cope moment to moment.


Sri Krsna Caitanya. I want to write creatively and honestly and leave a record, a true record. Do it in words and pictures. I’d like it to be as Krsna conscious as possible, but to the degree I fall short of pure Krsna consciousness, I want to tell it, that record. When I learn to write honestly (I can also play with it) I’ll be up for the times when I do feel genuine Krsna conscious emotions and thoughts. It will come out on paper.

I was talking with Madhu about a devotee I know who is facing a crossroads in his life. He sold his business and signed a contract that he wouldn’t start a competitive business for the next five years. He likes to give donations to ISKCON, but he’d also like to get free of the material entanglement involved in making money.

Madhu said that people can’t expect to do what they want in life. Life means you have to earn money even when you would rather not. He said the guy digging the ditch doesn’t want to dig ditches, and the guy supervising him has got someone over him to make his life miserable. His point was that we simply have to accept the crunch if we have taken birth in the material world.

I replied that I had just heard Prabhupada lecturing about the threefold miseries (adhyatmika, adhibhautika, adhidaivika). My headaches are adhydtmika, the dogs barking and the mosquitoes are adhibautika, and when it’s either too hot or too cold, that’s adhidhaivika.

A little later our conversation drifted to my reading. I’ve been reading KRSNA book—the Lord’s Dvaraka pastimes. Now I’m turning to Caitanya-caritamrta because I’ll be speaking to the devotees every day. I mentioned this to Madhu, and he said, “You have a wonderful life.”

Something clicked when he said that, not in an emotional way, but intellectually. Although people have to work at things they don’t want to do, I have an easy life. People give me money, a place to stay, and food. I have many places in the world where I can go and stay as a mendicant, places where I can write my books and lecture. I have a wonderful life, by Krsna’s grace.

At the same time, I’m still striving to have a better creative life. I want to be a better devotee. It isn’t easy. I endeavor, I think it over, I use what energy I have left as I get older. It’s a wonderful life, striving for Krsna. I should be cheerful and emanate that to others.


We move out of this Vijaya Hotel at 5:30 A.M. tomorrow.
Tonight I read Vidagdha-madhava.
Krsna’s sweetest Vrndavana pastimes and
as we read I looked out at the waves.
The sky seemed different.
Hare Krsna. May Prabhupada be pleased.
India is a good place to be alive
despite the crows and loud voices despite
never being alone in your own heart—what
do you want?
Krsna consciousness.


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Free Write Journal #293 >>

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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The Journals of Satsvarupa dasa Goswami, Volume 1: Worshiping with the Pen

“This is a different kind of book, written in my old age, observing Kṛṣṇa consciousness and assessing myself. I believe it fits under the category of ‘Literature in pursuance of the Vedic version.’ It is autobiography, from a Western-raised man, who has been transformed into a devotee of Kṛṣṇa by Śrīla Prabhupāda.”

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The Best I Could Do

I want to study this evolution of my art, my writing. I want to see what changed from the book In Search of the Grand Metaphor to the next book, The Last Days of the Year.

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Songs of a Hare Krishna Man

It’s world enlightenment day
And devotees are giving out books
By milk of kindness, read one page
And your life can become perfect.

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Calling Out to Srila Prabhupada: Poems and Prayers

O Prabhupāda, whose purports are wonderfully clear, having been gathered from what was taught by the previous ācāryas and made all new; O Prabhupāda, who is always sober to expose the material illusion and blissful in knowledge of Kṛṣṇa, may we carefully read your Bhaktivedanta purports.

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Here is Srila Prabhupada

I use free-writing in my devotional service as part of my sādhana. It is a way for me to enter those realms of myself where only honesty matters; free-writing enables me to reach deeper levels of realization by my repeated attempt to “tell the truth quickly.” Free-writing takes me past polished prose. It takes me past literary effect. It takes me past the need to present something and allows me to just get down and say it. From the viewpoint of a writer, this dropping of all pretense is desirable.

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Geaglum Free Write

This edition of Satsvarūpa dāsa Goswami’s 1996 timed book, Geaglum Free Write Diary, is published as part of a legacy project to restore Satsvarūpa Mahārāja’s writings to ‘in print’ status and make them globally available for current and future readers.

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