Free Write Journal #298


Free Write Journal #298

May 24, 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 May 24

“Sorry to say it was another bad two weeks. Two or three headaches were the standard daily fare along with some nausea. Satsvarupa Maharaja still chants, writes and reads, but only five or ten minute twenty minute increments before having pressure in the head. Except for having lunch with the inmates of Viraha Bhavan down in the kitchen he is mostly restricted to bed or his work chair. The highlight of the week was when he agreed to go out on the porch and have ice cream with the devotees. New books arrive for the summer family book festival and this was very encouraging to him. He is greatly relieved now that his editor is back from a three week tirtha-yatra in Europe.”

Baladeva Vidyabhusana dasa

Japa Retreat Journal for 5/24/24

Japa Quotes from Tachycardia Online Journal (Part 7)

January 8, 3:30 A.M.

Please, Lord, give me mercy to cry out Your names in the maha-mantra. Let me do it better. The daily japa yajna is the most important thing, and yet I cannot cry out with tears of love. You have made Yourself most accessible in Your holy names, but unfortunately I commit offenses and do not have full taste for chanting. Somehow I have fallen into this ocean of material suffering, and I cannot extricate myself. I beg You to pick me up and make me one of the atoms at Your lotus feet.


Despite my neglect in chanting, You remain close to me and are always ready to take me back. You remain as my best friend, enclosed in my heart. You never turn Your back on me, although I fail in many ways to reciprocate with You in the easy, sublime method You have given. When will the day ever come when I will taste the nectar of the holy names?


Prabhupada has written that we should keep our hearts clean, the way Lord Caitanya and His associates cleaned the Gundica Mandir. Make a throne in your heart, and Krsna will sit there and be honored and pleased to bestow His bliss upon you. First reach the point of regretting your neglect of Him and feel intense unworthiness. Then realize the gift is still open for you. Then perform austerity for controlling the mind and fully embracing hari-nama; Krsna will not abandon you.


3:38 A.M.

When I was young, it used to be a physical act. I would move my jaw with exaggerated movements and chant out loud. I chanted in the temple with many devotees. Sometimes I got up on my feet and stomped and walked back and forth to drive out the mental distractions. I often chanted all my rounds at one go. I fear if I tried that today it would bring on an exertion headache. For a while, I even used a hand mirror to make sure I was chanting the mantra accurately. Sometimes I squirted my face with a water bottle. I went all out.


4:04 A.M.

I just did a ninth round because I wasn’t feeling sleepy. Now I’ll try to take a nap so that I won’t be drowsy during the period when we chant in the closed car. The chanting usually gets slower then. I chant at least four rounds, and then we go out for the walk, during which I chant maybe two and a half rounds, and then finish the quota when we return to the car, refreshed. I usually get my sixteenth round done as we’re driving back to the house or after breakfast.


Last night, my 5:00-to-6:30 P.M. chanting went quickly. It should never be a burdensome chore. I try to escape this by thinking of the famous qualities of the holy names, as described in the scriptures. I impress myself with the importance of what I am doing. “Of all the instructions of the spiritual master, the instruction to chant sixteen rounds is essential.”


This morning I scored a victory over maya. How would it have been better? I could have been more alert and concentrated on Radha and Krsna and Their holy names, “O Hara, O Krsna.” But I am satisfied that I completed the yajna in a decent amount of time and look forward to completing the rest at the beach.


Chanting is not a dead stone. It is the same as Radha and Krsna. So even though I feebled out somewhat in the second half, I kept clinging to the idea that I was crying like a child for the mother, Mother Hara. I cried like a child crying to its mother in my chanting. I believe in the chanting because it has been given to me in disciplic succession and because I have chanted for many years with solidity.


Chanting is real exchange. Chanting is Krsna Himself. I will never stop chanting, because of my vows and because of the taste I receive. I believe that I have to chant in order to practice for leaving this body and getting a next body favorable to Krsna consciousness. I will never stop chanting because I believe it is the highest form of worship of Krsna. It is easy, and it has been given to use in Kali Yuga as the only means for God realization. One should never think of stopping..


During my japa. I was like a person watching a snowfall who is pleased to see the inches piling up. I did think of some particular shelter or theme. I thought of Krsna in the back of my mind and how He engages in pastimes with the ladies of Vraja.


As for reciprocation, I don’t feel I’m chanting in a void or that nothing is happening between Krsna and me. I feel the mantras themselves are valid and that the name of Krsna is as good as Krsna. I crept along in sound, the “transcendental sound vibration” that Prabhupada advertised in the little sign he put in the window at 26 Second Avenue which attracted me in 1966.


Chanting the Hare Krsna mantra is for meditating on yugala-kisora, the Divine Couple. When you say “Hare,” you are calling on Radharani, and when you say “Krsna,” you are calling on Krsna. The realized chanter is meditating on their pastimes. I am not able to do that, but I’m at least aware that this is the goal, and sometimes I remember it. I was lucky I did not crash. Krsna let me chant the whole way through. I thank Him and I thank Nama Prabhu for this. The holy names are merciful. They reciprocate on whatever level you are at.


From The Story of My Life, Volume 2

pp. 169-72

January 28th, 12:20 A.M.

I’m reading about Krsna showing Mother Yasoda the universal form. A speculation occurred to me: How could Vyasadeva write these pastimes? How did he know they happened? Lord Krsna and Vyasa collaborated to write the Bhagavatam. Vyasadeva himself is an incarnation of God, so it’s not surprising he knew the Lord’s pastimes. After Narada coached him, Vyasadeva sat in meditation and saw the Lord with all His internal energies alongside the material energy.

Then I thought that the act of writing down the pastimes was almost as important as the pastimes themselves. Or, to put it another way, you could say one reason for Krsna’s enacting His pastimes is that He wanted them to be recorded for the people of the future. Otherwise, what is the meaning of the saying that Krsna came to earth to perform His pastimes in order to attract the living beings back to Goloka? How would He attract them? He would perform His activities during the 125 years He remained on earth, but the billions of people who were born after He departed would never hear about them – unless they were written down.

To some, my next thought may seem a ridiculous application of this teaching, but I’ll write it here anyway. It occurred to me that I’m living my life in order to write it down, and that’s not such a bad thing. The things that happen in my life are not “pastimes,” glorious events to be remembered forever, but they’re worth recording because I am following Prabhupada’s instructions. I drew two lessons from this: 1) I should live my life as ideally as possible so that I don’t leave a disastrous, tawdry record; 2) I should consider the act of recording it to be important.


In the preceding passage I said I should live an exemplary life. What does that mean? Basically, it means following the four rules, chanting Hare Krsna, and being faithful to Prabhupada. A life lived in that way is something worth recording. And because you’re searching for authenticity, and writing about it, you set a good example. Your honesty is also exemplary.

While writing the first three volumes of Every Day, Just Write, there were several times I had to reaffirm my purpose. I thought of experimenting with other forms of writing but always came back to thinking this was the best way forward. It allowed me to search for the truth by recording my daily activities. I didn’t have to invent anything, and I didn’t have to confine myself to a specific scriptural topic. I would live my life and write and search for myself through writing. And I would also read Prabhupada’s books and comment on them. The process of writing Every Day, Just Write continued for many volumes. I felt I was on to something. This was authenticity for me.

Other literary figures have tried to search for the authentic self through writing. Thoreau and Kierkegaard, for instance, did a lot of journal writing. The process of journal writing is all right as long as you have Krsna in front of the zeroes; a long line of zeroes – no matter how many volumes you write – is still zero unless you put a one in front of it, then those zeroes become a thousand or a million. Many who have turned to writing in search of the self have become discouraged. Some have even turned to suicide.

Some artists have thought the way to find the truth was to live in a worldly way, to experience everything to the fullest. They didn’t recommend a life of solitude or prayer but rather a life of sensuality, chasing intoxication and sex and so forth. This is not my path.

“Honesty” can take different forms. One type of honesty can be seen in the immensely popular American poet Charles Bukowski. He wrote about going to the racetrack, drinking excessively, chasing women, violence, and so on. He was open about his debaucheries, and people appreciated that honesty. He wrote so straight, not hiding anything.

He couldn’t really help anyone, despite the fact that his poetry was so accessible.

Another sort of honesty can be seen in the early Christians who led extremely renounced lives, flogged themselves, fasted, stayed on their knees, lived in caves, and so on. They wanted to deny the flesh, to punish the body. But this sort of life is not recommended in our tradition. Each age has its own religious process, and that process should be followed, whatever it is. Prabhupada taught us to just “add Krsna” to whatever we were doing and to preach Krsna consciousness. That was enough of an austerity without having to punish the flesh.

From Vaisnava Compassion

Introduction, pp. iii-vi

Compassion means we think beyond our own troubles and feel sympathy and heartfelt sorrow for the troubles of others. There are those who are compassionate toward those they know—their friends, relatives, countrymen, or fellow religionists—and those great souls who are compassionate toward all spirit souls. Srila Prabhupada was such a great soul. Prabhupada’s heart bled to see our suffering, and he dedicated his life to helping us overcome it. What makes him rarer still is that not only was he willing to dedicate his life to alleviating our pain, he actually knew the panacea.

And he asked us to repay him by helping those whom we met.

But what if we don’t share the depth of his compassion? What if we don’t feel any compassion at all? We can still enlist in his mission. By working for someone compassionate, we can develop compassion. By serving others, and by serving Prabhupada’s compassionate heart, we can give up selfishness and become big-hearted.

Some devotees may hear this and wonder how this could be true. If Srila Prabhupada began a compassionate movement, and if we have been working for him all these years, why haven’t we become compassionate? Or, perhaps it can be argued that we have become compassionate, but only toward those who have not yet contacted Krsna consciousness. Then why hasn’t our compassion spilled over in our relationships with other devotees?

I won’t pretend to have the single answer to those questions, but I think it is healthy to ask them. There was a time in ISKCON when we presumed we were the most compassionate people in the world; after all, we were distributing the Hare Krsna mantra, the greatest benediction ever to be given to humankind. The scriptures define Krsna consciousness as para-upakara, the best welfare work for humanity. It is supposed to be better than the Peace Corps, better than the Cancer Research Society—better than any other idea anyone else has ever had about how to free people from suffering. Krsna consciousness is also universal, and there is nothing to bar anyone from participating. It is sarvatra sarvada, suitable to be practiced in all times, all places, and under all circumstances. Srila Prabhupada writes:

Men do not know that the ultimate goal of life is Visnu, . . . due to being bewildered by the glaring reflection in the darkness, and as such everyone is entering into the darkest region of material existence, driven by the uncontrolled senses. The whole material existence has sprung up because of sense gratification, . . . principally . . . sex desire, and the result is that in spite of all advancement of knowledge, the final goal of all the activities of the living entities is sense gratification. . . . Universal consciousness is factually achieved by coordinated service of all concerned to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and that alone can insure total perfection. Therefore even the great scientists, the great philosophers, the great mental speculators, the great politicians, the great industrialists, the great social reformers, etc., cannot give any relief to the restless society of the material world because they do not know the secret of success . . . . namely, that one must know the mystery of bhakti-yoga. . . . The Srimad-Bhtigavatam therefore says again and again that without attainment of the status of bhakti-yoga, all the activities of human society are to be considered absolute failures only.

—Bhag. 2.9.36, purport

That we have such a great, compassionate gift to offer to others, however, does not mean that we are ourselves the most compassionate of workers. It also does not mean that those who are working in less glorious ways but who are giving more selflessly of themselves are not expressing compassion. In fact, they may be expressing more compassion toward others than we are. There are many grassroots workers in this world who sacrifice their lives for their chosen causes, even though those causes may offer only temporary relief to those whom they are trying to help. What could be motivating them except a sense of compassion? Still, we devotees tend to think we are better simply because we have access to the para-upakara.

Real compassion is not achieved automatically upon joining the International Society for Krsna Consciousness. Compassion is not a line of work but an expansion of heart. The more institutionalized we make our acts of compassion, the more likely we are to fall victim to motivations such as pride, honor, righteousness—one type of moral superiority or another. Srila Prabhupada, however, genuinely understood the suffering of material life and the pain of rebirth. He knew and taught his followers that only by awakening the people’s dormant Krsna consciousness could they be freed from the cycle of birth and death. It is not enough, he said, to alleviate people’s material hunger and thirst. It is not enough to alleviate their suffering for this lifetime only. He wanted his followers not only to save the drowning man’s coat but the drowning man himself.

From Nimai Dasa and the Mouse

pp. 136-39

The next morning, by 10:00 A.M., Nimai was on his own. Bhima had asked Nimai to stay back and get the treasury books in order and prepare a deposit for the bank, while Bhima dasa drove the men to their sankirtana spots. Nimai dasa tried to finish his business quickly to be able to read the Bhagavad-gita to Chota and the boys. So he was a bit exasperated when Kesava Prabhu stopped in to chat before going to his place of work.

“I hear you’ve got pet mice,” said Kesava . He sat down, and his two daughters sat by him, one on his lap and one holding his hand.

“Yes, they’re in a box,” said Nimai, fearing that Kesava might object.

“Sita dasi, would you like to see the mouses?” said Kesava.

“Yes! Yes!”

“We have a rabbit of our own,” said Kesava . “My wife, Parvati, really loves animals. Don’t worry, we won’t let the rabbit up here.”

Nimai was usually reluctant to show the mice. Most people thought they were repulsive. But Kesava seemed different.

As Nimai went to get the mouse box, Kesava called his wife in. Nimai became so much at ease that he began speaking to the mice. “Prabhus,” he said, tapping on the mouse box. “There are some devotees who would like to see you.”

The whole family seemed delighted as they peered in and exclaimed.

“They seem so friendly,” said Parvati. “That’s very unusual.” She confidently reached in and picked up Yamala. Then, carefully supervising her two girls so that they would not be rough, she directed them to lightly pet the mouse’s head. In the same way she picked up Arjuna and Chota and then put them back.

“If you like,” said Mother Parvati, “I can fix up their box a little bit and put in some new stuff for their nests.”

Nimai was deeply moved; he could hardly believe it.

“I used to keep a hampster,” said Parvati, “and I still have his cage. You can put your mice in there, let me take your box, and I’ll make some improvements on it. All right?”

Nimai thought, “This is a real mother,” and he submitted to whatever she said.
Kesava Prabhu then lingered a few moments alone with Nimai.

“I’ve got to talk with Bhima,” said Kesava , “but maybe I’ll mention it to you too. I think there’s going to be a problem with you all staying here.”

“I’m sorry I broke the washing machine,” said Nimai. “It was really Ranchor’s fault for insisting that I put his sneakers in.”

“No, that’s not it,” said Kesava . “Or, maybe that’s just a little part of it. There is just like a basic conflict between the brahmacari and grihastha ways of life. Some of the men were up at 2:00 A.M., and they woke up the baby. I guess we could adjust…. But partly it’s a matter of attitudes. Like this morning Bhima was preaching to me real heavy, telling me that household life is maya.”

“He said that?” asked Nimai.

“Yes. But that’s not what Prabhupada says. It’s maya if you live like a grhamedi, but Prabhupada didn’t expect everyone to live in the temple. Sometimes devotees think that because you’re married and have a family and you move out of the temple that you’ve blooped or you are not a devotee anymore.”
Nimai wondered why Kesava was saying all this to him, since most people considered Nimai too inconsequential for serious words.

“I don’t think householder life is maya,” said Nimai. “But I suppose you have to expect someone like Bhima to be a little bit defensive or whatever. I used to think that the brahmacaris were too fanatical for me. But since I have been out with them, I have grown to really appreciate the tremendous austerities they are doing.”

“I know that,” said Kesava . “I was on traveling sankirtana for ten years. Maybe I am just feeling guilty. But I guess we all like to be encouraged. It’s not easy doing business all day long. But I see it as service to Prabhupada and Krsna. I just wish Bhima and the others could see it that way too.”

Nimai felt flattered that Kesava Prabhu was talking with him in a confidential way. He made a few suggestions how the sankirtana party could adjust their behavior so that they would not cause disruption to Kesava ‘s home. Nimai also expressed his genuine appreciation for the friendly Krsna conscious atmosphere.

“I feel more Krsna conscious here,” said Nimai, “than I did freezing outdoors in the park. And it’s not just the heating in your house; it’s the nice warmth in your whole family life. It just seems very spiritual and good to me.”

Kesava laughed and gave Nimai a hug. “Watch out, Nimai—if you get too enamored, you may become a householder yourself. But it’s really not so wonderful. The best thing is to remain brahmacari if you actually can.”

From Calling Out to Srila Prabhupada

pp. 111-114

O Prabhupada, who wanted restaurants managed by devotees, college professors as devotees, politicians as devotees, artists as devotees, mothers and fathers as devotees, fighters and peacemakers, all as devotees, and who encouraged everyone according to their own inclination and inspiration, as long as they submit to Vaisnava behavior;

O Prabhupada, who said, “I shall request even the drunkards to think of Krsna when they drink wine, because Krsna says He is the taste of liquid!”

O Prabhupada, who ordinary men misunderstand just as they cannot understand Krsna’s stealing butter or His dancing with the gopis;

O Prabhupada, who printed his first books despite errors and Indian misprinting, but who later insisted that not a single mistake should be made in the republishing of his books, and who, when he was asked by disciples whether they could also make mistakes in the translations of his books, replied, “You first spread the Krsna consciousness movement all over the world as I did, then you can do everything I did, such as print with mistakes,” and who therefore ordered that no one should print his books with mistakes;

O Srila Prabhupada, whose followers learned with surprise that everything he promised came true, and who were embarrassed that they did not have faith until actually it happened to them;

O Srila Prabhupada, whose writings and teachings are more perfect than we know, and who will gradually reveal more to us as we reciprocate with him;

O Prabhupada, who is the great spiritual master whom future spirit souls may choose as their own siksa-guru by studying the books of Srila Prabhupada, appreciating Prabhupada’s mercy, and accepting him as guide, thereby destroying their material anarthas;

O Prabhupada, who along with his followers forms a continuing Prabhupada parampara: may you please include me in your group in a menial way and protect my allegiance to you in whatever way you think best (since I am prone to faithlessness).

O Srila Prabhupada, who taught in his own way, guided by Lord Krsna in parampara, and who was much rarer than one-in-a-million, please allow us to serve you eternally;

O Srila Prabhupada, who gave assurance to his followers that if one practiced chanting and hearing, then he was fully liberated and could purify his family, and yet who made it clear that no one was a pure Vaisnava until he was free from all material desires and fully surrendered to the will of Krsna;

O great teacher, who lived simply and honored a simple variety of prasadam at breakfast and lunch, and at night a cup of milk, and who encouraged his disciples to “eat sumptuously, but not too much”;

O Prabhupada, who knew that some of his disciples couldn’t follow him, and who was troubled by this;

O Prabhupada, whose books are filled with all the instructions required for reaching the topmost stage of Krsna consciousness, and who therefore urged sincere followers to read his books along with other regular acts of devotional service;

O Prabhupada, whose books are also personal darsana with him for those fortunate enough to seek it, and whose books are also the royal road to personal darsana with Sri Krsna and all the great devotees of the Lord;

O Prabhupada, who was very demanding because he was single-handedly trying to create the most difficult and important world revolution;

O Prabhupada, who accepted all service, even a little girl’s offering to him of a bookmark, and who never considered anyone’s service insignificant;

O Srila Prabhupada, whose sojourn on this earth as the ISKCON founder-acarya now seems very brief, may we always keep and protect the impression you have made upon us, and may we continue to cultivate your teachings as you intended.

O Prabhupada, who traveled alone, but who knew that Krsna would protect him, and who in 1965 told the subway conductor in New York City, “I have many temples and devotees, only time is separating me from them”; and who impressed that subway conductor to think of him as the Old Testament prophet Elijah, who went out alone, proclaiming the order and glories of God;

O Prabhupada, who brought the whole way of life as taught by Lord Caitanya, including the maha-mantra, rules and regulations, Deity worship, Vaisnava culture, food, dress, music, all instructions—who offered it humbly and was himself surprised that so many wanted and embraced it;

From ISKCON in the 1970s: Diaries

pp. 305-7

August 21

The 3:30-5:30 shift consisted of forty-five minutes of massage. Today I went with R.V. and three gurukula boys, and we deposited the cremated remains of Jayananda Prabhu into the Yamuna, per Srila Prabhupada’s order given last night.

As we entered the room at 3 P.M. to hear TKG read him his mail, Srila Prabhupada said, “If in the world there is one Vaisnava, he can deliver all the world.”

I said, “You are that one Vaisnava, Srila Prabhupada.”

Srila Prabhupada: You become. Each of you. Why not?

Gurukrpa Swami: We can try.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes, try. Do not imitate. Follow, not imitate.


TKG, Sruta-kirti, and I arrived on the roof where Srila Prabhupada was lying on his back on his cot, wearing sunglasses. TKG said, “I have good news.” Srila Prabhupada said, “Bring me good news and give me life.” Abhirama had obtained Srila Prabhupada’s passport in Delhi, which meant he could now travel to London. Srila Prabhupada was so ecstatic he began applauding, clapping his two hands and crying out. Abhirama had also consulted the astrologer, who reported that for Srila Prabhupada to travel West would be good. He should travel on the 29th and it would be good for him. Srila Prabhupada was extremely pleased to hear this good news and he seemed to take on new life. He began speaking a history of all his preaching in the West.

He said, “I have thousands of fathers in my disciples. Who can take better care of one than his father? An affectionate father. All you boys and girls are so affectionate. It is Krsna’s mercy. When you were born and when I was born—no one knew each other. By Krsna’s arrangement we are now tied up. You are all praying for my life, and I am praying to live (for you).”

He began to think ahead to London, living it as he spoke. He asked Sruta-kirti if he was there last time “with me.” He recalled the Radha-Krsna Deities in London. “An innocent boy,” he said about the Krsna Deity. TKG reminded him how they had obtained Him. They were about to open the temple and had no Deity. He was going to use his small Deities. “It was unexpected. We were in a hopeless condition. Krsna said, `Here, accept.'” He thought of the lawn in front of his room. He said now that Gaurasundara and Madhudvisa had come, these are good signs. “Mistake there may be, but it can be rectified. At the same time, be very careful not to commit mistakes.” (As he spoke, at first his voice was tiny and weak, but it grew in strength).

“Krsna never forgets a person who does a little service,” he quoted from Caitanya-caritamrta. “Even if there is some mistake. Kaunteya pratijanihi—a little service, He’ll never forget.” TKG said, “You also never forget.” Srila Prabhupada said, “How can I forget? You have all helped me execute the mission of Lord Caitanya and my Guru Maharaja. I always pray to Krsna to give you . . . I am insignificant, I can’t. But I pray to Krsna to give you.”

After installing the Deities in Australia, he said, “I thought these mlecchas and yavanas, what will they do? But the next time I went there I saw . . . ”

“Try to do everything nicely and Krsna will help. Whatever I’ve done (has been on this principle), whatever my Guru Maharaja said, I repeat to the best of my capacity. Especially in L.A. and N.Y., I feel at home in N.Y. In N.Y. I began.”

From Daily Compositions

pp. 200-3

I did some paintings of sadhus
of the holy names like dues,
and I ate.

I prayed my gayatris, then
said, “Did I say my gayatris?”
I said my rounds of
Hare Krsna mantras, just sixteen.

And you and your friends read
a poem of over one hundred and thirty stanzas
by Raghunatha Goswami, all over your
heads, but fun.
Would he let us? I read it
I say, so They can hear it
in the morning.

Now, soon to bed for the seven-
hour shift, salvage one strange
dream of devotees manning
the ramparts, you lost in
the city with a Godbrother,
the usual. And get up to
chant hari-nama.

The days are clicking off
you don’t know how many
left. It could be a surprise.
Write while you can,
chant hari-nama
be kind, give up
grip on matter and
stop hating –


Following a schedule trying to keep
ahead or behind of news, bad
news from outside my world.
Be careful how much you attempt
to screen it.

I heard Bach’s great choral works –
would you call that worldly news?
I…I…Five times per paragraph he
told his disciples, this Satsvarupa
is an insane egotist, what else
could possibly explain it?

Try to tell them I am the instrument
I’m the boy to tell the story,
the post-peon, they’ll never believe it.
They have their emptied their speeches
of themselves and speak only the
truth. Do you believe it?

An apple is an apple. They know
how to breathe them. One a day.
And bread for me. Now, it’s time
to go outside in sweatclothes and
exercise past the nausea,
past the news, committees, fear
you’ll be called to testify and have
to say I can’t remember I
really can’t. I get confused
so, I better stay alone –
and keep a record.


Before Sleeping and Dreaming

Oh, tired man
lie down fade away
consciousness don’t mean nothing
the mind allows, no control
any combination can take place
any desire…but wait, don’t
let that happen and not that,
under the water of consciousness I
go but keep a link to the surface
should I have to come up I can
pull or shake out from under this
weight and be waked again. Lord
Krsna, you guide me in all things,
please guide my
Krsna conscious dream mind
I could wake from transfixed
as Your devotee
Hare Krsna.


He said he likes poems best they
are no holds barred the best place
for emotions – is that what he said?

I say Krsna each time again
my prose links are more natural I
don’t try to resolve anything, just keep

Missing, losing chunks of each
morning to the headaches, at least
the Zomig is chasing them.
Make up for it with hurried

While M. gave me the neck
massage I thought of new things to say,
but they seemed too newsy.
Are we chanting? Are we
ready? Are we getting readier?
Not in the Indian or Vedic sense,
less of that, but maybe more
honest. At least this theme I’ve
thought of – finding the honest
level in your own KC.


Writing My Life

I’m okay what, me
worry Neuman, he’s massaging my
back of neck and tells me today
is a big day – I think he’s going
to speak of Kosovo, but no
he says today Padre Pio is being canonized
or a first step toward it a big
Mass in Rome where half a million
will attend.

Little Rome ISKCON fighting.
Me and my…Oh, they’ll never make
me a saint, I’ve documented my
non-saintliness and I’m
envious of ISKCON’s saints
Jayananda and Gaura-Govinda Swami,
and even Srila Prabhupada.

Krick – he cricks my neck
I relax sitting in the chair
Padre Pio had the stigmata I
said so this means they recognize
it. Yes, says Madhu, and for a long
time they were against him…
I say in Thérèse’s convent they
gave her a hard time.
That’s always the way…


Painted forms now the house
is alone I’m a big boy can take
care of myself. In two hours
in ten hours. Let me sleep silently
got some Valerian to help

sleep and dream you are a better
devotee, you’re serving your spiritual master
dream no woman because I am
a monk. Not a monkey
dream no more, dreams don’t
sound much mostly

rise and chant every day I’m getting
the h.a. but the thing is
subdued so it’s not so bad I’m
bound to hit a winning streak
like the old Dodgers. It can’t
continue like this.

April is over May begun
too fast they’re moving. Get my
new visa this month
or move
if I have to and keep writing this
book I’m lucky. God
is blessing, but I just hope
I’m not asking for ashes of
He who wants to give me
the best.



<< Free Write Journal #297

Free Write Journal #299 >>


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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