Free Write Journal #300


Free Write Journal #300

June 7, 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]

Health Update: Satsvarupa Maharaja

“This week was good—lots of writing and fewer headaches. The other good news is that the insurance company finally agreed to pay for Satsvarupa Maharaja’s monthly shot for migraine relief. Many thanks to those who have donations to cover the cost until now.”

“Hari Hari,

Japa Retreat Journal for 6/7/24

Japa Quotes from Tachycardia Online Journal (Part 9)

Devotees are chanting in japa retreats. They report outstanding results, especially on the day when they observe mauna-vrata (vow of silence) and chant sixty-four rounds. A spiritual revolution. “Never before have I felt such ecstasy in chanting, after thirty-six years.” “I recommend it to everyone.” I attended one japa retreat and didn’t experience a long-term resolution, but I am more serious about my quota, and trying for some extra. The retreats are a good symptom of the times.


Hare Krsna mantras tumble out and get tallied. 108 x 16 = 1,728. Numerical strength is like building limber biceps. Prepare for the end. Improve in quality now because you won’t be able to later. You rapidly emit them, more in your mind than vocally. So many devotees do it better than you. Where are you in the list of best? Down among the thousands. At least he does them as religious duty. Hare Krsna Hare Krsna . . .


The mind goes everywhere. Where is full trust that simply hearing the sound vibration is a great value? You don’t have to know what it means to derive benefit. But it is better if you do. Hare is the energy of the Lord. O Radha. Krsna is the Lord, the all-attractive. The meaning is, “O Radha, O Krsna, please engage me in Your service.” The service begins with the tongue. Sevon mukhe hi jihvadau. There is an exact way to say it properly. Sometimes people make a hissing sound, said Srila Prabhupada. Chanting is very easy, but it has to be practiced seriously. Such a simple thing is the most important thing. So many instructions on how to improve. He is not attentive. She is fatigued and too much “service oriented” to calm the mind and hear the mantras.


So simple, but so hard. Don’t try to “get them done” so you can go on to a more enjoyable activity. Stay with them attentively. Hear each syllable, pronounce each word. Think of the advanced goal, even though you cannot reach it yet. You want to go beyond “just hear” to meditate on the qualities and pastimes and form of the Lord. Start with “just hear.” The rest will come when Krsna sees you are very sincere about chanting His holy name and the names of Radharani. Krsnadoesn’t like slovenly chanting; it doesn’t demonstrate you really try to each Him and please Him. Chanting is for pleasing Krsna.


Chanting was given to us in the beginning. We have been at it for many years. It is shameful you are not more advanced. But don’t get discouraged. It’s not too late to improve. Srimad-Bhagavatam states that by a little devotional service, you can achieve perfection.


It’s time everyone had a wake-up call and took to the straight and narrow bhakti-marga. God is good, and He does not want us to suffer, but the laws of karma are stringent, and no confirmed rebel or sinner can escape them. Fortunately, in this worst of ages, Lord Caitanya has appeared with the one great gift that transforms the age into an auspicious era. Anyone who has the fortune to meet the devotees of the Lord and take up the chanting of His names can be absolved from more sins than he could possibly commit. Just chant the great maha-mantra for deliverance, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare, and no fire and brimstone or lower forms of life can touch you.


I read the Caitanya-caritamrta’s account of Gundica marjanam. It is nectar seeing the Lord personally leading His men and setting the example of working hard to clean the temple. The direct analogy is that we have to clean our hearts if we want Lord Krsna to appear there. How do we clean the heart? By chanting Hare Krsna and preaching.


I’m thinking about Turya giving up his vow to chant Hare Krsna and saying the Catholic rosary instead. I could have preached to him about the superiority of the Hare Krsna mantra, but he’s a maverick. You can’t tell him anything. Saying the Catholic prayers is pious, but to simply drop one’s sadhana like that is a disappointment to me.


Healthy Krsna conscious devotees like loud kirtanas, and I do too, but for a limited time. I prefer the solitary japa when it’s going well. And solitary writing, reaching out to people with the pen (and printed word).


I don’t believe that a ghost can prevent someone from chanting his japa. If one is determined enough and chants loudly, surely the “evil” spirit, the mischievous jinn or whatever it is will be vanquished. As Jesus said to Satan, “Get thee behind me, Satan!,” so the reformed japa chanter can chase away the haunting spectre or bad spirit.


The devotee who has stopped his chanting because of the ghosts in his temple must be listening to “ghosts” within his own mind, because Krsna in His holy name is more powerful than any material illusory energy. As Krsna turned the two arjuna trees into beautiful demigods by tearing them down, so the holy names can tear down the ignorance that frightens one and dissuades one from chanting.


From Lessons from the Road, Volume Four

pp. 1-5

Turning Away


When you turn away from maya where do you look?
On the plane to Chicago
I noticed the girl two rows ahead, but I looked instead over the wing, turning within.


When you turn away from maya what do you see?
Head down, reading at O’Hare Airport, feeling a bit restless,

I looked up from
Prabhupada’s letters
and saw an elderly, bearded fellow,
respectable by dress,
leafing through the pages
of a porn magazine,
which he decided to buy.
Inserting it between the pages
of the Sunday newspaper,
he walked off eating his ice cream sand
At first I was surprised,
but then I remembered
map is no weakling,
and I returned to reading
a letter from Montreal:
“In the transcendental world
there is no influence of maya or time.”


Descending on Colorado:
a big feed lot of cows.
How to avoid depression
while passing through
cattle country?
Thinking “They’ll be punished”
isn’t solace.
But a lifetime of Krsna consciousness

and the immediate touch
of japa beads in my hand.
When you turn away from maya what do you hear?
From the rear of the plane,
a loud dope-head:
“Where did you get that hairdo?
I’ve been up four days on coke!
Hare Rama!”
As we deplaned, he persisted:
“You guys want a few bucks?
Hare Rama! Got a rose?”
But Madhu was waiting
at journey’s end,
with talk of Krsna.

From Madhu-mangala’s log, on the road from Chicago to Denver

July 2nd

We drove 160 miles to a rest area just past Malden, Illinois, on 1-80. Waiting in the rest area I chanted japa. Sarad and Bhakta Kent were traveling together in the brown van, pulling the trailer. In the rest area there were six hundred students from all over the world on an exchange scheme. I spoke with three of them from Sydney, Australia. They said they often see the devotees there on the street corners, but they haven’t seen any devotees since coming to the U.S. four months ago. They said the vegetarian restaurant in Sydney has excellent food.

July 3rd

We drove 350 miles to a rest stop outside Lincoln, Nebraska, on 1-80. There we saw a film crew interviewing people. Kent asked them if they wanted to film us. They said they were looking for the ideal American family. They will pay for hotel accommodations and film the family in Fourth of July celebration.

“They had been there all morning, but had not yet found a suitable family. We took prasadam and drove to a rest stop in Kerney where we spent the night.

July 4th

We drove about 200 miles and stopped at a rest stop to cook. A man stopped by the trailer, ‘What are you guys cookin’ anyhow?’ Sharad-bihari and Bhakta Kent took time out from cooking to speak with him. He told them, ‘Everywhere I go people have anger and anxiety on their faces.’ He took a Higher Taste and Back to Godhead magazine and gave a seven-dollar donation. He said he would visit the Denver temple. When he left he said, ‘And thanks for the smile.’ As we were about to leave the rest stop, a car pulled in with a sign ‘Proud to be Irish.’ They also had a sign for the Irish rock band U2. But we had already spent too much time cooking and talking, and so we had to leave. As we pulled out, the driver of the ‘Irish’ car waved, ‘Hey, you guys—have a safe journey!’ I regretted that in the passion of leaving I hadn’t even given them a Back to Godhead.”

Our large traveling party (ten men) sometimes seems on the verge of breakup. It is not really a single unit but a conglomeration of fellow travelers. Three of the men are Philadelphia-based devotees, one is traveling on behalf of New York, and two are from the Gita-nagari Press. All of them have been assigned income quotas on behalf of their temples. When they don’t maintain their quotas, which often happens, their supervisors come after me. I say I can’t be responsible to fulfill so many quotas, and so we may have to let the men go.

From Vandanam: A Krsna Conscious Handbook on Prayer

pp. 48-50

Difficulties in Prayer


We have already mentioned Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s definition of distraction as a form of pramada caused by attraction to material desires. It is another action of the uncontrolled mind.

We sit for japa (or prayer recitation or personal prayer), make a good start at coming into the presence of Krsna and guru, when suddenly we find ourselves out in left field as if blown there by a gust of wind. Instead of thinking of Krsna, we are chewing on our cud or in the midst of malicious thoughts. There is no remedy for this except to become a pure devotee and perfect yogi whose every thought is connected favorably to Krsna, and who is never distracted.

“In the stage of perfection called trance, or samadhi, one’s mind is completely restrained from material mental activities by practice of yoga. This perfection is characterized by one’s ability to see the self by the pure mind and to relish and rejoice in the self. In that joyous state, one is situated in boundless transcendental happiness, realized through transcendental senses. Established thus, one never departs from the truth, and upon gaining this he thinks there is no greater gain. Being situated in such a position, one is never shaken, even in the midst of greatest difficulty. This indeed is actual freedom from all miseries arising from material contact.” (Bg.6.20-23)

Until we reach that stage, our remedy is to endure and never give up. There is also a distinction between involuntary distraction and voluntary indulgence in distraction. If we find that we have gone off the track in prayer because of some external interruption or stray thoughts, we shouldn’t remain there, but return to our Krsna consciousness. That much is within our power.

Even advanced souls will be subjected to distractions while in the material world, but the sage of steady mind goes on with his convictions. As described by Lord Krsna, “A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires—that enter like rivers into the ocean, which is ever being filled but is always still—can alone achieve peace, and not the man who strives to satisfy such desires.” (Bg. 2.70)

Even if our japa is filled with distractions, Krsna is pleased with our repeated attempts to bring the mind back under the control of the holy name.


We are hankering for a higher taste from our spiritual practices. Since the jiva is by nature pleasure-seeking (ananda-mayo’ bhyasat), he becomes restless if he cannot at once taste happiness. If his prayer is dry, he immediately reconsiders whether another engagement, especially sense gratification, might be more pleasing. In this way, dryness causes us to give up our efforts in prayer.

Lord Caitanya has informed us in His Siksastakam that “because of committing offenses, I do not have a taste for the holy names.” So we have to brace ourselves for this reality. It’s because we have material desires and because we are committing offenses that we are not satisfied in Krsna consciousness. The dryness isn’t going to go away until our taste for material enjoyment is gone. Deep in our hearts we do want the spiritual taste, but we have to expect at least occasional dryness for the time being. Tat te ’nukampam—it is a reaction to our former sinful life. Let us pray to Krsna to help us and go on tolerating the dryness.

Another source of dryness might be Krsna Himself testing the sincerity of a devotee. Are we seeking spiritual sense gratification from devotional service, or do we actually desire to please the Supreme Lord? We can’t always judge a devotional activity by whether it makes us feel blissful or “ecstatic.” If our standard of ecstasy is no more than a material greed, it has to be purged. In that case, we should wait patiently through dry periods and accept that Krsna, who is the reservoir of all pleasure, knows best when to introduce His devotees into the joy of His service. Dryness is a good occasion to show Krsna that we are sincere and have come not to disturb Him but to serve Him, even if He “makes me broken-hearted by not being present before. me.”

From STORIES OF DEVOTION: Am I a Demon or a Vaisnava?

pp. 42-44



“I have a son your age who is in Prahlada’s class,” I said from my prison cell. “I made some mistakes so I am in here. But my boy is a good asura. Maybe you would like to play with them. They have a lot of fun.”

Indrajit looked furtively down the hall. “How could I play with the emperor’s son?” he said. “I’m just prison scum.”

“I could give you a note introducing you.”

Like my talks with Trid, these talks with Indrajit take place in snatches, no more than five minutes at a time. Tonight he came back just to see me; I don’t know if he was authorized to do so.

“Here. You can give me a note.” He pushed a pen and paper into my cell. As quickly as I could, I wrote:

Dear Daityaji,

How are you? I am well. I met a nice boy in prison named Indrajit. I thought he might be able to play with you and your friends. I can’t write more now, you know. But maybe you can send me something back with Indrajit. Haribol.

your Pita,

Indrajit read the note and then folded it into his pocket, “What does haribol mean?” he asked. He leaned against the far wall and looked down the hall.

“It’s something you say when you feel love for someone,” I said. “Haribol means that you bless that person. It’s fun to say it between friends. If you say it to the emperor’s classmates, they will like you. Say, ‘Haribol prabhus!'”

Haribol.” He said it.

It’s been a few days since I last wrote. The day after I gave Indrajit the note, Indrajit’s father resumed his duties. I was downhearted at the sight of his hard, grown-up face. I thought of saying something but didn’t. But that same evening, Indrajit came to see me. Now I know he isn’t coming on official duties.

“I went and played with Prahlada,” he whispered close to my cell. He was smiling and I thought that he lit up the dim corridor with his effulgence.

“Did you like it?” I asked.

“Yeah! I’m going again. Every day, if I can. My dad says it’s okay since he’s the emperor’s son, but I didn’t tell my dad what Prahlada is doing. Haribol!” Indrajit pushed something into my cell with his hand, and then he ran away.

It was a letter from my son, printed in his own handwriting:

Dear Pitaji,

Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet. All glories to Narada Muni who wanders throughout the universe praising Lord Hari and who was kind to a hunter, and who is the spiritual master of Vyasadeva and Dhruva and Prahlada. All glories to Prahlada Maharaja, who show-ers blessings upon us in the shape of the transcendental sound, Hare Krsna.

Mom and I were ecstatic to get a note from you and to know where you are. We are praying for you. I know you must be feeling good because you wrote “Haribol” and you induced the boy Indrajit to join our kirtana.

I have heard that it will not be long before Krsna acts, as He says in Bhagavad-gita, “paritranaya sadhunam, vinisaya ca duskrtam . . . yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata.”

I am proud that my pita is so brave and Krsna conscious. Mom sends her love.

your affectionate son,
Daitya dasa

P.S. We have an altar now at home. This is maha-prasadam from the Deity.

P.P.S. Prahlada Maharaja said this: “O my friends, O sons of demons, everyone including you, can revive his original, eternal spiritual life and exist forever simply by accepting the principles of bhakti-yoga.”

From Pada-yatra

pp. 24-26

July 15

Cover yourself, then find the self beneath the coverings. I admit that what I began in Journal and Poems ten years ago was to prove that I am not perfect. I wanted to say it. I also admit that Krsna’s name is transcendentally blissful, nondifferent from His form.

Still I seek loops and shapes, breaths and sighs, and especially to be present with myself and others. I want to be who I am and I want to offer that to Krsna. I’m alone, but not entirely alone, and I am satisfied with that. I am writing, and although it is solitary work, it is a communal act, or an act for community.

We are all serving. One brother is an up-and-coming GBC man. Another is going back to school. Another is gardening to develop self-sufficiency. Another is expanding the spiritual family by initiating disciples. Others are alienated. O Krsna, what does it all mean? The old days are gone and we live in new days now. Who am I inspiring and who is inspiring me? Are our lives good enough? We actually live an underground existence. Where is the pureless perilous peerless work of art?

I remember (don’t really) standing in ranks with hundreds of others on the Saratoga’s deck while some big-shot admiral addressed us. I think it was summer and we were all in white, subservient, being inspected. It was in the Med, the home of the whores of Italy and Greece. No joy in that. There is no pure joy at all in this world, and we shouldn’t expect it. There is only finding Krsna and then serving Him.

What drives us forward? We expect to one day receive a little more mercy than we are receiving now. We can only work patiently until that time and remain faithful to our spiritual master.

O Lord, O Krsna.

I feel different as I take this walk. I’m recognizing more what is safe and what is not so safe. I feel more willing to admit that the subject of my writing is the writing itself. I’m also beginning to see that I am writing one continuous book. Although I divide it into smaller ones, the themes are similar. I am always looking for new ways to express myself, but not really looking for new topics within that drive. WCW tried three-line free verse poems and found himself petering out quickly. Then he found a new form, but he had the same thing to say.

Writing isn’t easy. I’m always up before the others in the camp and writing, because that’s my nature. The fire is burning down to embers.

How far back do I go?
To a time when the Nazis were
alive and I was a kid. Not
before that. When
WCW was young I was too.
I lived in my body and
purchased Christmas trees with my father
gardened with
my mother, “so you’ll have
something to remember.” She knew
I was lying awake on the bed
no purpose, in the grips of
the angst of the young.
I didn’t know anything.
Kafka and Kierkegaard had wounded me
stung like stinging insects that
paralyze the velvet ant
with their unhappiness. Did I go out
to the yard at her suggestion?
I don’t remember. I stored no memories.
But I recall that I didn’t like my father and
that I wanted something
but I didn’t know what.
Jazz and drugs and too shy to
make it with women, you could
say charitably.

Now free of my generation
but not free of myself.
If only I could do
more with it.
Struggling to chant, to actually call down Krsna. He
doesn’t come at my bidding. He wants to see me love
Or be reborn
in another body
because I’m not perfect.
Will I join the GBC again next life?
Or perhaps I’ll be a pious Indian living on the
How will I come back to Srila Prabhupada next life?
Will there be another story like the one I lived this time
to captivate my heart?

From Niti-sastras: Sayings of Canakya Pandita and Hitopadesa as quoted by Srila Prabhupada

pp. 113-15


The moon enhances the beauty of the constellations, good government enhances the beauty of the earth, and the husband enhances a woman’s beauty. But knowledge enhances everyone and all things.


Canakya Pandita was not only adept in moral wisdom, but in the rhetorical arrangement of his slokas. Here, a series of examples leads up to a final one. The beauty of the scholar is the main point of this sloka, yet the examples that lead up to it are also filled with cogent advice. Thus they form a whole. One day while taking his morning walk on Venice Beach, Srila Prabhupada remarked that the ocean looks beautiful with its waves. This led him to recall this sloka.

“Everything has some quality in beauty. Just as Canakya Pandita says: narinam bhusanam patih. A woman’s personal beauty is not beauty, but when she has a husband, then she is beautiful. How scientific it is. All these girls in your country, without husband, they are all morose, unhappy. They have no fixity of husband. Is it not? . . . Therefore, I introduced marriage in our society. Now in our society see all the women with children, how happy they are.”

Again in Los Angeles, Srila Prabhupada introduced this sloka in his Srimad-Bhagavatam lecture, and brought the analogy to its perfection in Krsna consciousness. The Bhagavatam class was on a verse from the prayers of Queen Kunti: “O Gadadhara, Krsna, our kingdom is now being marked by the impressions of Your feet, and therefore it appears beautiful. But when You leave, it will no longer be so.” Both in his lecture and in his written purport, Prabhupada gives the example that “Everything looks beautiful when one is intimately related with it.” The sky is beautiful in relationship with the moon, even more than when the moon is not shining. The state becomes beautiful when it is decorated by a good king or president because then the people are happy. Women are especially beautiful when they are happy with their husbands. Similarly, even a physically unattractive brahmana is beautiful due to his wisdom.

The beauty of the scholar is his forgiveness born of wisdom. Prabhupada described this in a Bhaktivedanta purport when he explained that each social order and each ashram has a particular quality by which it becomes beautiful. “Brahmanas are beautiful when they are forgiving, ksatriyas when they are heroic and courageous in battle, vaisyas when they enrich cultural activities and protect cows, and sudras when they are faithful in the discharge of duties pleasing to their masters. Thus everyone becomes beautiful by his special qualities.”‘

Queen Kunti’s remark takes the analogy even further by stating that everything is beautiful as long as Krsna is present. In the ultimate sense, therefore, the good government, the beautiful wife, and even the scholar who is beautified by his wisdom, are only beautiful when they are centered on Krsna. If there is no Krsna consciousness, then nothing is beautiful. Therefore, Queen Kunti says, “As long as Krsna is with us, we Pandavas, our kingdom, Hastinapura, everything is beautiful.” The world is void in Krsna’s absence.

Since this verse is about how two things in relationship bring out the innate beauty in each other, I would like to express this in a slightly different way. That is, that this verse is about true beauty. True beauty is manifest through a relationship.

True beauty is not defined by popular vote. A scholar’s learning does not make him beautiful if that learning is superficial or laced with hypocrisy. It must be coupled with forgiveness and other qualities which reveal that the learning has found root in his heart. Similarly, a woman may be physically attractive, but that is her skin beauty. The real quality of her beauty is brought out through her loving relationship with her husband. That love that she cherishes in her heart gives her a special quality. Canakya has also said that when a woman becomes a mother, she becomes more beautiful. True beauty is never superficial.

From My Search Through Books

pp. 119-122

Paradise Lost

In my last year of college, I took a course taught by Professor Don Wolf, a specialist in the great British poet John Milton. We studied Paradise Lost. I was happy to possess a beautiful volume of the book and kept it in a plastic cover. Professor Wolf asked each student to memorize a sizable section from the epic and speak in front of the class. I chose a speech by Satan. I took pleasure in trying to give a relaxed, urbane version of the devil speaking.

Milton was a religious thinker and his purpose in writing Paradise Lost was to “justify the ways of God to man.” But somehow, his humanlike portrait of Satan came off more successfully than God, Adam, or the angels and saintly persons. I also remember some of the students in our class protesting when Adam said that he wanted to have children in order to help in the gardening work in Paradise. The students thought this showed an exploitative motive of Adam as father. But Professor Wolf was always sympathetic to Milton and he tried to explain to us why Adam’s desire for “extra hands” in the garden was not exploitative.

In 1966 when I read Prabhupada’s booklet Easy Journey to Other Planets, I was pleased to note his reference to Milton. Prabhupada writes,

“The living of a miserable life in the material world by dint of the soul’s choice, is nicely illustrated by Milton in Paradise Lost. Similarly, by choice, the soul can regain paradise and return home, back to Godhead.”

Unfortunately, we did not read the book for any spiritual significance. I read it because it was a classic and it was supposed to be cultural. Anyone who is a scholar in English literature must know it well. Occasionally, I received a glimpse of appreciation for the stately eloquence of Milton’s blank verse:

Of man’s first disobedience and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us and regain the blissful seat,
Sing heav’nly Muse, that on the secret top Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That shepherd, who first taught the chosen seed, In the beginning how the heavens and earth
Rose out of Chaos;

. . . . O illumine, what is low raise and support; That to the height of this great argument I may assert eternal Providence,

And justify the ways of God to men.

I found no religious inspiration while reading the great religious epic of English literature. Or if I did, I have completely forgotten it. The English department at Brooklyn College had no intention of preaching God consciousness. They saw such studies as sectarian religion. In fact, no department in any university is prepared to teach the science of God in a nonsectarian way. Prabhupada personally delivered this challenge to the students of Massachusetts Institute of Technology when he lectured there—”Where is the department that teaches the science of the spirit soul?”—but it may also be delivered to every university in the world.

I wanted to be a sincere student of a great cultural work, even a religious work. Therefore, I enrolled in the course for Paradise Lost. But I lacked sincerity or any real drive to inquire about spiritual knowl¬edge, and there was no one on the faculty of English literature who was teaching God consciousness. Milton’s whole purpose was God consciousness, but it did not move us that way. We saw him as one of the big guns, the top greats in English literature, that’s all. We were students or aspiring scholars, and so we knew we had to appreciate him.


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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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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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