Free Write Journal #46


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Free Write Journal #46

Hasya

Hasya refers to Krsna’s laughing pastimes. Once, the cowherd boys told Krsna to close His eyes and open His mouth and they would give Him a sweet. Krsna obeyed, but the boys put a flower in Krsna’s mouth. The joke was on Krsna. Once, Krsna disguised Himself as Radharani’s husband, Abhimanyu. He entered Radharani’s house and told Her mother-in-law Jatila that He was her dear son Abhimanyu, but that Krsna was approaching the house disguised as Abhimanyu. Jatila became angry and when the real Abhimanyu approached, she cursed him and threw dirtballs at him. The joke was on Abhimanyu, and the girls in the house laughed. Krsna tells of His amorous pastimes with Radharani when They are before the gopis. He takes the opportunity to paint dolphins on Her breasts. The sakhis are amused, but Radharani is embarrassed. The joke is on Her.

Laughter also shows up in the Mahabharata. Yudhisthira’s house was intricately arrayed with bewildering arrangements such as mirrors and water, which went undetected. Duryodhana visited, stepped in the watery portion and fell down. The women in the house began to laugh. Yudhisthira told them to stop, but Krsna told them it was all right. Duryodhana was deeply insulted, and he left the house bearing a great grudge.

Krsna’s Strength

When He was only seven years old, Krsna lifted up Govardhana Hill with the pinkie of His left hand. He defeated giant wrestlers and then killed the mighty Kamsa himself, pulling him down from his throne into the street. He broke the huge ceremonial bow in Mathura. As Ramacandra, He also broke a huge bow and won the hand of Sita in marriage. Even as a baby child three months old, He killed Putana, sucking out her life-breath through her poisoned breast nipples. As a mere toddler, Nanda Maharaja asked Him to carry his wooden slippers. Baby Krsna, with some effort, put them on His head and carried them to His father. Attached to a wooden grinding mortar by Mother Yasoda, He dragged down twin arjuna trees, revealing repentant Nalakuvara and Manigriva. One kick from baby Krsna overturned the cart and killed the demon Sakatasura. He flung the demon Dhenukasura into the farthest treetops in the Tala forest. Balam balavatam caham—“I am the strength of the strong, devoid of passion and desire.” (Bg. 7.11)

Reincarnation

In the Bhagavatam there is the famous history of Bharata Maharaja and his three lives. In one life he was a king, but he retired and took up renunciation in solitude. He meditated in devotion and reached the bhava stage of perfection, which is just prior to love of God. But he was distracted by adopting a homeless fawn. He stopped his spiritual practices and sadhana and doted on the fawn as if it were his child. As a result, in his next life, he had to take birth as a stag. However, he was able to remember his previous life. After dying as a stag, he took birth as a human in a brahmana family. He was very determined not to be distracted by attachments again, so he pretended to be deaf and dumb so that no one would disturb him. He was known as Jada Bharata (“dull Bharata”). In that lifetime, he was abused by his relatives, but he finally revealed himself as a great saint to King Rahugana. The king received the mahabhagavata’s transcendental instructions and prostrated himself at the feet of Jada Bharata, who was then liberated from birth and death.

Without accepting the fact of transmigration, one cannot advance in spiritual life or hope to break the cycle of birth and death. If one doesn’t accept reincarnation as a reality, he has no alternative but to lead a material life.

Letters from Srila Prabhupada

London
8 August 1972

Detroit
My dear Satsvarupa,

Please accept my blessings. Thank you very much for your letter dated July 17, 1972, and I am very much pleased to understand from you that your Deity program, the Chicago program, and all other programs in our midwestern U.S.A. zone are very much improving more and more under your management. So far Chicago temple is concerned, they may install Deities later. First let them preach. Preaching is the first thing, and when there is experience then I can install Deities. So far the St. Louis chapter is concerned, let Vamanadeva live there peacefully husband and wife, why he should go away? That will be all right if he installs his Radha-Krsna Deities from his home. I am also happy to hear that the Gurukula project has been given help by Karandhara and others, so that cooperatively we may demonstrate the topmost example of real education in the world. Now you go on preaching with full vigor and determination, keep our standard of Krsna Consciousness always at the highest level, and remain sincere always by remembering Krsna, through vibrating of His holy name.

Hoping this will find you in good health.

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

I had made a regular report on the temples in the Midwestern USA zone, and Prabhupada was replying. His mood is to guide and encourage. He is pleased to hear that our programs are improving under my GBC management. It is interesting that he does not want to install Deities in the Chicago temple at the present time. They should first preach, and later, “when there is experience,” then he shall install Deities. He is lenient with his grhastha disciple Vamanadeva and tells him not to go away from the St. Louis chapter but to live there peacefully, as husband and wife, and it is all right if he installs Radha-Krsna Deities in his home. Vamanadeva’s wife Indira worshiped many Deities in her home, and she did it seriously and expertly, so Prabhupada approved.

He is glad that Karandhara, the head manager of Los Angeles, is cooperating with the Gurukula project in Dallas. He ends the letter by telling me to go on preaching “with full vigor and determination.” I should keep the standard of Krsna consciousness at the highest level and remain sincere by always remembering Krsna, through vibrating His holy name. This letter from Srila Prabhupada was very encouraging to me, and I felt he knew of my activities in the Midwest zone, appreciated them, and gave guidance about how he wanted things to go on. His counseling by letters was of the utmost importance to me and guided all of my activities.

Los Angeles
24 August 1972
Dallas

My Dear Satsvarupa,

Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letters dated August 20 and August 22, 1972 and I have noted the contents carefully. Regarding my coming there, yes, I shall be very glad to attend the Dallas Gurukula immediately departing Pittsburgh. I can go there for about 3 days on my way to Los Angeles. So you should be prepared to provide for airline tickets from Pittsburgh to Dallas for myself and my three secretaries. Then we shall see how the things are going on there, and I am very much looking forward to that day. The tickets may be sent here to Los Angeles address as soon as possible.

The essay “Sri Sri Caitanya-siksamrta”, translated by Gaurasundara dasa, appears to be all right, and you may use it as it is. Enclosed please find the copy you have sent me.

One thing is, I have just received one letter from the black devotees in Cleveland who wish start their own ISKCON Center independently of the white devotees there. In principle, it is all right, birds of a feather will flock together. We should not discourage them in any way from opening their own center, but I want you to go there and see how their things are going on and that the standard of Krishna consciousness is being maintained on the highest level. You should give them all assistance for organizing their Center and be fully convinced that they can manage everything properly and then I have no objection if they open their Center in Cleveland. These souls appear to be adhering to our principles and they are requesting someone to come and give them all good instruction, so you kindly go there and do the needful and give them all facilities such as pictures, mrdangas, and other Krishna consciousness paraphernalia. It is not that we should remain separate from them, as they are sincere souls, and there is no objection if they want to remain separate from the white people and pursue this Krishna consciousness way of life. But I must be convinced by you that everything is being done properly before I shall be glad to give them the final sanction. As soon as hearing from you in this regard, I shall be glad to give them due initiation and my blessings so that they may continue in their own way. I am sending a copy of this letter to them, and you may go there immediately to see what is the situation there. Enclosed please find copy of their latest letter to me. Their address in Cleveland is 1739 Lakefront, East Cleveland, Ohio, 44112. Meanwhile, I look forward to seeing you, all my nice disciples, in New Vrndavana by the end of this month.

Hoping this will find you in good health,
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Prabhupada was in Los Angeles, which he considered his world headquarters, and he promised us a short visit to Gurukula in Dallas.

He writes at length about a group of black-bodied devotees in Cleveland who wish to start their own ISKCON center independent of the white devotees there. He approves their request in principle, says we should not discourage them, but he wants me to go there to see how things are going on and that they are maintaining a standard of Krsna consciousness. He is depending on me to go there and see that they are carrying out Krsna consciousness in a way that is up to standard with ISKCON temples, and then he shall give them his final sanction and give them initiations. My memory is faulty, and I do not remember the details of my follow-up on this request from Prabhupada. But I did go to visit their center and generally approved their activities and gave them suggestions how to conduct their center as a bonafide ISKCON temple. Eventually they received initation from Prabhupada, and they carried on their activities there for years. It is interesting that he did not insist that they “integrate” with the white-bodied devotees in Cleveland, but approved their desire to keep their center all African-Americans. “Birds of a feather flock together” were his words. He does not see any objection to their proposal, and so they were allowed to develop separately from the other ISKCON temple in Cleveland.

5th November 1972

Dallas
My Dear Satsvarupa,

Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated October 24, 1972, and I have noted that you have returned to Gurukula to take over the managing because Stoka Krsna has left to go to Los Angeles at his whim. This is not good, this unsteady position. I have never been in favor of this practice of many times changing the responsible officers, three times in one week changing presidents, this will ruin the whole thing. From now on if someone takes the leading post, he must agree to stick and not go away just because it is difficult from time to time. That is ideal leader. He is responsible and he knows his duty. Just like I did that. My Guru Maharaja gave me a task and always I was discouraged by my Godbrothers, but I did not forget him even for a moment, and I was determined to follow my duty, even though sometimes I did not like to do it. But this always changing means no sense. If he is leader, he must be fixed-up. Otherwise, if he has no real interest, why he takes that post? He must be responsible. He must stick and develop the highest standard of Krishna Consciousness practice in that area of management. But if he is sometimes thinking, Oh, I do not like to do this, let me go away at first opportunity, then how will things go on? That is just like democratic system in your government: every four, five years changing all the leaders. In this way, each man is thinking he shall not try to do very much. No one is interested in the real welfare of the citizens, simply because the post is temporary. That is not our process. Real meaning of duty is just like Arjuna: he did not like to be responsible, he wanted to leave the scene, but Krsna convinced him this is your duty, to fight, so he did it for Krsna, and he fought until the last man was killed from the opposing side. That is leadership. He is determined to stick to his position because he has understood Krsna.

So you are sannyasi, but if you have to stay there for some time to manage, that is all right. Sannyasi simply means to do as I am doing, and sometimes I have to manage, sometimes cook, sometimes go to the bank, keep the money, write books, chant, preach in the class, keep accounts—sannyasi should be expert in every department. But best thing is to discuss with Karandhara and other GBC men to find a permanent manager of Dallas school, who will not suddenly go away; of course we cannot prevent that someone may suddenly go away, it may happen to anyone, but so far as possible impress upon the leaders what is their duty. That school is very, very important business, and the best man must be found out for taking charge there and developing it nicely, and if he sticks and works hard to build it up, that will please me very much.

Advancement in Krishna Consciousness is not the result of material conditions. I shall not expect to find some perfect circumstances of occupational duty which will cause me to be automatically Krishna conscious, no. So why shall I think that by changing this, going here or there, doing something else—why shall I expect that I will become happy by adjusting material conditions in this way? They have not understood. Real attitude of devotional service is, whether I am here or there, whether I am doing this or that, it doesn’t matter, just give me little prasada, little service, or if you make me big leader, that’s all right—that is devotee, satisfied to serve Krishna in any circumstances of life. So try to impress this fact, we should kill this restless spirit. Enthusiasm and patience, these things required. If under changing conditions, I lose my enthusiasm, if I cannot endure the difficulties of my duty, therefore I go away—then how I can be leader? These things must be understood. Otherwise the whole thing will fall.

Hoping this meets you in good health,
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Srila Prabhupada was very disturbed about Stoka Krsna leaving his post as temple president of the Dallas Gurukula and going to Los Angeles. He writes at length how a devotee should not be restless and give up his post just because there is some difficulty. Prabhupada gives the example of Arjuna, who first wanted to avoid his duty, but Krsna convinced him he had to fight, and he did so.

Prabhupada writes to me that I am a sannyasi but I have to stay there in Dallas for some time and manage. Sannyasi means to do as Prabhupada is doing, and he mentions the multifarious tasks he carries out and says we should be the same and be expert in every department. So I should “discuss with Karandhara and other GBC men to find a permanent manager of the Dallas school.” Prabhupada says the Dallas Gurukula is “very, very important business. The best man should be found out for taking charge there and developing it nicely.”

Prabhupada was very unhappy about Stoka Krsna leaving his post, and he wrote this long letter expressing his dissatisfaction with devotees leaving their posts.

How Does One Find a Bona-fide Guru?

When Prabhupada was asked this question, he said one has to have, first of all, some preliminary knowledge of what a guru is. If one is seeking gold and he goes to a cloth shop, he will never find the desired valuable object. Tasmad gurum prapadyeta jijnasuh sreya uttamam—“The qualification of the bona fide guru is that he has realized the conclusions of the scriptures by deliberation and is able to convince others of these conclusions.”(S.B. 11.3.21) . One has to hear from guru, sastra and sadhu, and associate with devotees, in order to learn the meaning of guru and the necessity of accepting one. Yasya deve para bhaktir—Only to great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge revealed automatically (Svesvatara Upanisad). Krsna sends a genuine guru to a sincere person. The disciple is supposed to examine the guru for a year before he accepts him, and the guru also waits a similar amount of time before he accepts the disciple as sincere and obedient. “It is therefore the duty of every man — in every country, in every circumstance and at all times — to approach a bona fide spiritual master, question him about devotional service and listen to him explain the process.” (C.c. Madhya 25.122)

Love

Everyone is searching for love, to be loved and to love back. All the popular songs are about love, love found or lost, being broken-hearted in love, attaining love for the whole world, etc. But all these loves are temporary. They are acted out in selfishness or extended selfishness. Real love is eternal.

Our propensity to love is actually genuinely expressed in love of God. The Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard wrote a book, Purity of the Heart is to Will One Thing. He argued and gave examples that any expression of love that is not undistracted love of God is invalid. Prabhupada said the same thing. When a brahmacari disciple approached him and asked about wanting to have a woman whom he could love in marriage, Prabhupada pointed out the window and said, “There are many women out there. You can just choose one. But real love is for Krsna.”

“Society, friendship and love” are all subtle forms of sex desire. These things are made out to be very noble attainments, but they are actually subtle sex, and selfish too.

Diaries (from ISKCON in the 1970s)

1976

At the St. Louis convention of the American Academy for Religion, I set up a small table and directly approached people in the lobby asking for signatures. A reporter from the Los Angeles Times noted what we were doing and an article subsequently appeared in his paper. It was regarded as favorable publicity at that time, and Ramesvara and others patted me on the back for my public relations work. It was certainly a case in which I had done nothing expert at all, but just made an attempt, like the little bird trying to empty the ocean with her beak.

The scholars of Hinduism also invited me for an informal gathering at their hotel room one night. I brought pots of subji, capatis and nectar drink from the St. Louis temple and acted as a humble servant of the scholars to give them krsna-prasadam. They sat around in a bedroom, speaking either academically about Hinduism, or talking in a most frivolous mood of prajalpa. They were, of course, drinking liquor and smoking cigarettes. One of the professors told a long story about how he and his friend, who were high on marijuana in India, imagined a small puddle to be a big river. Everyone listened and laughed hilariously. One eminent professor held forth his opinion that Ramanuja was actually an impersonalist and that Vaisnavism had, in a high, sophisticated sense, the same conclusions as Sankara. I had to wince upon hearing this, but I just did not feel it was my place to strongly preach at this gathering when they were all sitting around in such a relaxed, casual mood.

One of the professors, Thomas Hopkins, was the friendliest toward me, and he was certainly the biggest eater of prasadam, taking seconds and thirds. Another young professor, a Harvard graduate, asked the group whether they thought that any yoga or spiritual discipline was necessary in order to be learned in Hinduism. His remark was mostly replied to with jokes of various sorts. On the one hand, it was a thrilling occasion for me to be in the same room with many of the big-time Indologists in America, but by Krsna’s mercy, their frivolousness made a deep impression on me. Since then it has been very hard to take them seriously.

***

Comment: My encounters with the American professors of Hinduism was opportunistic for me. I was at the convention to collect signatures in favor of ISKCON (to be used in the “brainwashing” court case to fight the other side’s anti-ISKCON propaganda). But meeting these scholars in a relaxed situation in their hotel room was very disillusioning. I could see they were speculators with no serious spirituality. They were not serious but frivolous. They were not seekers but arrogant purveyors of the academic interpretation of “Hinduism.” Since that time in 1976, devotees like those at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies have advanced the infiltration into academia in a serious way. Devotees have received Ph.D.s and gone on to enter careers as college professors, keeping their commitment to Krsna consciousness and fulfilling Prabhupada’s desires that his devotees should be professors of religion in the universities. They are a far cry from the frivolous, agnostic group I met with in the hotel room in St. Louis in 1976.

Books Arrived/ Signing Books

Two hundred copies of my new book POEMS arrived yesterday. Caitanya-candrodaya did a good job in layout, design and covers. At the last minute, he printed on the cover the phrase (as a subtitle), “A Retrospective.” I was satisfied with this and though it made up for the omission of “From Every Day, Just Write”from the front cover subtitle. “A Retrospective” puts the poems in focus, making it clear that they are a collection of my work from years ago. The books arrived on time for me to put my signature in them for distributing at the July 6th disciples meeting. I am happy how it all turned out.

I intend to put my signature on the front page of every book. In former years, I used to also write the name of the person to whom I was giving the book to. But that became too labor-intensive, time-consuming and tiring for me. Now, with few exceptions, I am just signing my name. It is a big task to sign 200 books, and I am doing it gradually every day. It is a nice personal touch to get the author’s signature in the book. Not signing the person’s name in the book will allow me to speak a few words when they come up to get the book, and that will be nice. Bala will hand me each book, and I will personally give it to the person who’s accepting the book. It is a big book, over 400 pages, with many poems. It will be a challenge in the commitment for the devotees to read the poems. Baladeva’s sister, Kathi, has received an advance copy of the book and she said she likes reading the poems. I am also satisfied reading the poems. I think they are accessible and Krsna conscious.

Japa/Darsana

I begin my japa at 2:00 A.M. sitting in bed, facing the blown-up photo of Radha-Kalachandji of Dallas. The picture was taken in 1972, shortly after Prabhupada installed Them. They are wearing simple dress with no ornamentation. I first look at Radharani’s hand of benediction, and then go down to look at Kalachandji’s big feet. I stay fixed on His lotus feet. If I divert my attention from His feet, to check the counting of my beads or to look at Baladeva, then before I go back to looking at Kalachandji I first have to look at Radharani’s hand of benediction. Sometimes uncontrolled, undesirable thoughts pass through my mind during the darsana, so I try not to spend too much time viewing Radharani’s hand or face, and I concentrate on Kalachandji’s lotus feet and then go up to look at His upper body. We have good spot lighting in the room, brightening the photograph, and it is a great pleasure to chant my rounds early in the morning there. I do eight to twelve rounds in the bedroom before coming out to sit in my chair and receive darsana of Radha-Govinda. These two sets of Deities of the Divine Couple are very dear to me. In both the bedroom and the other room, I sit before a potted plant of Tulasi-devi. She is connected to japa practice and worship of Radharani, and Tulasi is essential for bhajana for devotees who are living outside of Vrndavana so that they can remain in the Vrndavana consciousness by keeping Tulasi-devi nearby as they chant.

Chasing the Rhino

This saying is used to mean if a person chases a rhino but cannot capture him, everyone will admit that it is no shame because the rhino is so difficult to catch. Prabhupada chased rhinos in his spreading the ambitious mission of Krsna consciousness. He asked the mayor of Evanston, Illinois to donate free a big city building which Prabhupada would use for reforming criminals by training them in Krsna consciousness. The mayor said he would consult with his authorities, but nothing ever came of it. When Prabhupada and his disciples visited the gorgeous Fisher Mansion in Detroit, Prabhupada asked the owner to donate the building free. The owner declined, saying it was a major investment for him. Prabhupada then induced his two wealthy disciples, Ambarisa (Alfred Ford) and Lekhasravanti (Elisabeth Reuther) to donate, and in this way they purchased the Fisher Mansion.

With great endeavor, Prabhupada chased rhinos in securing land and building in Bombay, Vrndavana and Mayapur. They were great rhinos, and Prabhupada struggled for years before he could secure all the places. Prabhupada’s coming to the West (America) at an old age, with no money, in ill health and with no institutional backing was certainly the chasing of a major rhino. Prabhupada persevered, praying to Krsna and endeavoring patiently, and gradually his mission caught on and became a worldwide Movement.

Prabhupada made a several-day visit to Moscow during the Cold War. He had little opportunity to preach, and was restricted from giving any lectures. But one Russian boy came to him, was submissive, and in several days Prabhupada thoroughly taught him the basics of Krsna consciousness, which he took to heart. This boy became the seed of growth of Krsna consciousness in Russia, where now thousands of initiated devotees are vigorously practicing and preaching.

Remembering Srila Prabhupada

This book is “A free-verse rendition of the life and teachings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.” I will quote from the poetry:

The Calling

He moved into Radha-Damodar temple,
a room 5 feet by 17
with a view from the kitchen
through cement lattice work
of Rupa Gosvami’s samadhi.
Rising at 1:00 A.M.,
while spiritually bright stars
illumined the dark Vrndavana sky,
he wrote on Bhagavatam.

The blessed purports came
from his intelligent, transcendental labors.
His own English he apologized for,
although it was perfectly clear:
the inmates in the house of fire
would know he was calling them out.
By electricity, or often by candlelight,
month after month, in weather from hot to cold,
in his new, ancient room
he composed the purports
on a small manual typewriter
on the backs of Soviet propaganda sheets
or whatever paper he could find.
He was known locally as the sadhu who is always writing
and who regularly walks, chanting Hare Krsna,
through the bazaars on simple errands,
but usually in his little room,
typing or cooking or chanting outside
by Rupa Goswami’s samadhi.
His body is golden-hued
as when he was a child,
his eyes as clear as a child’s,
his heart purer than a child’s,
his hands aristocratic, figured with vein lines,
and his hair growing gray, cut short
and shaved monthly, leaving sikha
this Vaisnava sannyasi who is always writing.

He is sweet to the few who come by
and converse with him on the veranda in the evening
when he takes off his reading glasses;
he patiently hears others, and discusses
his own desires to spread Krsna consciousness,
He doesn’t talk nonsense.
He goes away here and there,
but usually to Delhi to the printers,
and then he comes back by tanga,
back to his room, where you can hear the typing again
as he methodically collects the pages.
He says he is writing the Bhagavatam
for English readers and will publish it
and one day go to the people there in America
and present it, along with Hari Nama.
He used to do medical business in Allahabad and Calcutta
and he had a family.
But that is all gone,
and he is a Vrndavana sannyasi,
talking and writing and worshiping Krsna,
looking up from his simple prasadam
with intent, private gaze into the courtyard
to the samadhi of Rupa Goswami.

He is a disciple of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
but has nothing to do with Godbrothers’ disputes.
He writes and chants and tries to publish
in the true Vrndavana spirit.

Rupa Goswami lived there, and Jiva.
All Six Gosvamis gathered and spoke krsna-lila
and honored prasadam, sitting on the stone floor.
eating from leaves, writing on other leaves,
chanting on tulasi beads,
dancing on the banks of the Yamuna.
The literature they left is a vast treasure house
in Sanskrit, and Prabhupada is writing in their footsteps,
for a worldwide English-speaking people
whom he has not yet met.
But he is creating books for them,
inspired by the Six Gosvamis
and his spiritual master.

It is they who are blessing him—
to live in Vrndavana
as well as to leave Vrndavana
and to ignite the world with bhakti.
They are sending him forth.
He lives in their place,
and he prepares to leave with their permission.
He loves their abode and the simple renounced life,
but he is unhappy at the unhappiness of others.
He will go out to fulfill a duty—
into hell with Vrndavana’s message.

From The Radha-Govinda Worship Book

“Radha and Govinda in white with little pink rosebuds. I hesitated to give Her a chadar but finally did. It’s not so cold. Later I may take it off. I wish to be a gopi maidservant, Narottama dasa Thakura sings in his song.

***

“I hesitated, but then gave a wool chadar to both Radha and Krsna. The weather is not so cold, but I am myself wearing two sweaters and a turtleneck jersey, plus a kurta. Later if it feels warm, I can take Their chadars off. O Krsna sonnet! O Krsna parrot, indeed dear! Please look and see the cows are so attentive to the flute-music of Krsna. They love Krsna more than their own calves. Look, here comes Krsna, and here comes His mother and father, Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja. Krsna sports with different gopis to please them. But His heart is always with Radha, and sometimes He says Her name by mistake (even in the company of Chandravali). Whatever He does (sometimes He says ‘Chandravali’ in front of Radha), it is to churn the nectar of His pastimes with Radha. Chant now. Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare. You have the duty to perform sankirtana-yajna, so don’t exclude yourself.

***

Jaya jagadisa hare. It is warm today, but still Prabhupada wears a bright saffron chadar, no cap. I did not give chadars to Radha-Govinda. Covered Srimati Radharani in the gold top-piece. They are wearing gold and purple clothes. Hare Krsna. We have heard the sad pastimes (but they are transcendental bliss for those who know it) of Radha and the gopis immediately after Krsna leaves for Mathura. The gopis keep Radha alive by fanning Her hopes that Krsna maybe didn’t leave. They search for Him in the forest. When Radha realizes He is actually gone, She goes with Visakha and they both enter and drown in the Yamuna. Seeing the deaths of her dearest friends, Lalita gives up her life by jumping from the top of Govardhana Hill. Radharani’s grandmother Mukhara wants to give up her life also when she sees that Radharani has left. But a voice from the sky tells her not to do it, and that in the future she will see a wonderful festival. Another voice announced that Radha has been taken by demigods to the sun planet. These are very intense scenes related in the poetry of Rupa Gosvami, especially the open grief of Radha.

***

“Good night. Radha-Govinda will take rest. They look nice. I hope They will always stay with me. When I die They can go to someone else, but before then, if I leave to travel, I’ll have to leave Them behind. Will They be like the residents of Dvaraka (or Vrndavana, better) when I, like Krsna, go abroad? But who will take care of Radha-Govinda when I am away? Last time, for two months, They stayed in Their bed. That’s not the best, but at least no one else touches Them. When I returned, They were still shiny and not cold. (I don’t have to worry about this right away.) And the same is true of Srila Prabhupada, who stayed two months.

***

“Jaya Nrsimha! What am I doing? I am celebrating a festival of Krsna consciousness. I have been listening to Visvanatha Cakravarti’s story of the time Krsna hid in a box which Abhimanyu carried and gave to Sri Radhika. I heard this while bathing and dressing the Divine Couple. Srimati Radharani seemed pleased to hear these glorious words of Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, who is Her great devotee. Even though I was present, still the bliss flowed. And now we must move on in time, not trying to grasp that which has passed. But make each moment an act of service somehow. Your creative acts don’t mean that you are God. They mean God has allowed you to express something, and it will be the perfection of the art if it is offered to Sri Krsna. (I was going to say “explicitly offered to Sri Krsna.” but perhaps sometimes He would prefer an indirect offering.) But I shall make it clear I am interested in serving the Supreme Lord Krsna, the Lord of Radha.

***

“The yellow Agnes rose is fully-opened and bends heavily in the direction of Radha-Govinda and Srila Prabhupada. So it is decided that we will leave here around 1:45 P.M. for Dublin lecturing. I will ask the Deites to wait for me in suspended time; They may continue Their pastimes until I return to my humble service. I ask Them to take care of Themselves, to be served by Their sakhis and sakhas, and to allow me to resume the service when I return, scheduled for the 8th morning, Monday. If I am not too late, I can still do Srila Prabhupada’s puja, as an expression of gratefulness and happiness.”

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