Free Write Journal #56


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Free Write Journal #56

Free Writes

Protection

Krsna is called bhakta-vatsala, which means He is especially inclined to His devotees. When angry Indra sent the devastating flood to destroy the residents of Vrndavana, all the men, women, cows and calves ran to Krsna seeking His protection. Krsna lifted up the Govardhana mountain on the pinkie of His left hand and told the residents to come under its shelter as a big umbrella. When the King of elephants, Gajendra, was being defeated by a crocodile in the water, the elephant cried out and made prayers to Krsna. Krsna came and killed the crocodile and saved Gajendra. When Nanda Maharaja was lying down on the bank of a river at Siva-ratri time, a big serpent came and began to devour him. The men began to beat the serpent with burning logs, but they could stop him. Nanda cried out for his son: “Krsna!” Krsna came running and touched the serpent with His foot. The serpent changed into the body of a resident of the heavenly planets. Similarly, when Krsna’s cowherd friends were trapped by a forest fire, they cried out to Krsna and He saved them by swallowing the fire. In Bhagavad-gita Krsna says that when He descends to the earth, his purpose is to protect the devotees and annihilate the miscreants. Krsna takes great pleasure in protecting His devotees, and they grow in affection for Him.
Weapons

Krsna’s favorite personal weapon is the Sudarsana cakra. In His four-armed form as Visnu, He carries a cakra in one hand. It is a fiery weapon with many sharp spokes and is ablaze with fire. Krsna beheaded Sisupala with the Sudarsana cakra, and He burnt down the entire city of Kasi. Sometimes Krsna uses just His hands as weapons. In this way He beheaded the upstart washerman in Mathura, and He killed the powerful Kamsa with the pounding of His fists. Krsna also killed Sankhacuda, who was trying to kidnap the gopis. Krsna socked him in the head with His fist, and the demon was finished.

Meditations on Napping

For many years I used to wake up at 11:00 P.M. and begin my reading and writing. Some of my assistants also burned the candle at both ends. Now in old age, we seem to require some time for napping during the day. We gave what we had when we were younger, and we can’t just keep beating the old horse in the same way. I am grateful for the time I still do have when I can apply my concentrated attention on writing, reading and meeting with devotees. Prabhupada set the highest bar in sacrificing sleep and pushing himself to render service to his mission. His devotees try to follow in his footsteps, and some of them are still frisky as they enter old age. This is the example he showed us. Rupa Goswami said not a moment should be wasted, but we should always be engaged in Krsna consciousness. With the Six Gosvamis of Vrndavana as our leaders, we are following a high-octane group. We cannot imitate their feats of minimized sleeping and eating; many of us devotees born in the West misused our bodies for the first twenty years, and this takes its toll.

The ideal brahmacari or grhastha never wastes his semen. According to yoga and Ayurveda, wasting semen is one of the worst things you can do. If one is not lazy and tries his best, there should not be a stigma placed on oneself or others if they are getting more tired in old age.

From Prabhupada Meditations

These books, written in four volumes, were done just after I completed the Prabhupada-lilamrta. I was still on the roll of feeling empowered to write about Prabhupada and to give vivid anecdotes of his vapuh and vani. Here is an excerpt:

“When Swamiji started dictating the Krsna book, he sent me the tapes. That was a special treat. He also wrote a letter and asked if Jadurani or someone could do paintings very quickly. He wanted three or four done per week. So we were off to a flying start on his new project, the Krsna book, and I was the typist.

“When I typed The Teachings of Lord Caitanya, I was the first one to hear about it and tell the devotees. But with the Krsna book, it was much more exciting for everyone because we were hearing for the first time some of the personal pastimes of Child Krsna in Vrindavana. When I would give classes in the Boston temple, I would repeat almost word for word the descriptions Prabhupada gave of Krsna stealing butter, Krsna showing the Universal form to His mother, and so on.

“One night during one of Prabhupada’s visits to Boston, when we were still in the storefront in Allston, he asked me to speak in front of the group who had come to hear him. Prabhupada would sometimes ask several disciples to lecture during the same evening. He did it to train us up, and I thought that he also liked to sit back and let the disciples do some of the work. He liked to speak himself, but when we spoke, he seemed to listen and at the same time withdraw himself. I stood up so that Swamiji and I were both facing in the same direction towards the audience. He was on the dais, and I was standing by his side. I began preaching the same basic philosophy, which is all I knew: You are not this body, chant Hare Krsna. But then I thought of what I’d been hearing on the Krsna book tapes. So I started telling the story of Krsna stealing the butter. Krsna would steal the butter and distribute it to the monkeys, and when the monkeys had eaten to their satisfaction and wouldn’t take any more, then Krsna said, ‘Your butter is useless, even the monkeys won’t eat it.’

“As I was telling this pastime, the audience was attentive and some were smiling, but when I said that Krsna said the butter was useless, something changed in the audience. Suddenly, they were all charmed, and I knew what it was. They weren’t looking at me, they were looking at Prabhupada. They started to laugh and go, ‘Oooo! Aaah!’ I looked over at Prabhupada and he had a big smile on his face. He was delighted by hearing about Krsna even when I told it, and it had sent him into the ecstasy of Krsna’s pastimes.

“There were many other occasions when we could see that Prabhupada was pleased to talk of his friend, Krsna. One devotee said, “When I first heard Prabhupada talking about Krsna, it was like hearing someone talk about their most intimate friend. It wasn’t like talking about something he read in the scriptures. Prabhupada took pleasure in Krsna’s Vrndavana pastimes, and he also loved to defend the philosophy and assert that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That was a prominent pleasure for Prabhupada.

“In one 1966 lecture, he said that Krsna told Arjuna, ‘I spoke the Bhagavad-gita 40 million years ago to the sun-god.’ Then Prabhupada said, ‘Who could say that but Krsna? If I say that I made a speech about Bhagavad-gita 40 million years ago, you will say, “Oh, Swami is speaking nonsense,” but when Krsna says it, you can’t say that because He’s the Personality of Godhead.’ Prabhupada also said that Krsna claims, ‘I am the highest truth; there is no one higher than Me.’ Prabhupada said, ‘Now if I were to say that I am the greatest, although I’m limited in so many ways, you will say, “Oh, Swamiji is so proud.” It will be blasphemy if I say like that.’ In this way, Srila Prabhupada was always taking pleasure in talking about Krsna, Krsna’s philosophy and Krsna’s authority.

“One of the most wonderful things about those early days is that Prabhupada was so accessible, and we could see his pleasure in Krsna consciousness. He allowed us to express our pleasure and our realizations to him. One time, around 1968, I gave a lecture on the topic of the spiritual master, and I recorded it. It was just a class for the three or four devotees in our temple. I sent it to Prabhupada, and his secretary, Purusottama dasa, told me later that Prabhupada said, ‘He understands it.’ On another occasion I was the priest at a marriage ceremony of a devotee couple, and I lectured about Krsna conscious marriage. I sent that on a tape to Prabhupada, who wrote back that he approved it. Devotees would send their lectures, or if they had a nice kirtana, they would think, ‘Let’s send this to Prabhupada,’ and he would listen and then comment on it. But it wasn’t long before he was not able to listen to so many tapes. Now we exchange pleasure in new ways; by devotional service.”

Electricity Blackout

4:17 A.M.

Since 5:00 P.M. last night the electricity has been out in the neighborhood, and it is still out. We have a gas-run generator, so we have electric power in the house. But we had a rough time sleeping last night. I like to wake up at different times and look at the clock. But the electrical-digital clocks weren’t working, and the alarm didn’t go off at 2:00 A.M. Just see how fragile we are and how dependent we are on electricity. In Vedic times there was no electricity, but the many gems and jewels in the walls provided sufficient light. Srila Prabhupada says the British took the jewels out of the walls and placed them in the British Museum. The sastras state that in the spiritual world there is no need of sunlight or moonlight or electricity. Krsna Himself and His liberated associates give off a brilliant effulgence which conquers all darkness. Haridasa Thakura gave the analogy that chanting Hare Krsna in the intermediate stage (nama-bhasya) is like seeing the first light at dawn. With the rays of light at dawn, people are relieved from fear of thieves and ghosts. When one goes on chanting, the full light of sunrise appears in offenseless chanting. Here we sit with our electrical appliances running on a generator that lasts for four hours’ worth of gasoline. We are aware that this is an emergency state and that we soon need to be returned to the normal electrical power. In 1965 Prabhupada was in a windowless room provided by Dr. Misra in New York City, when the whole city lost electrical power for twelve hours. Prabhupada was not disturbed. He sat chanting the holy names on beads in the dark. Eventually someone came and gave him some fruit. He was used to power-outs in India, but did not expect it in the great metropolis of New York City. Yet he accepted it as Krsna’s mercy and went on chanting. In 1977 Prabhupada stayed in a hut at Bhubanesvara in India. At that time, he was just beginning to speak the dictation of the beginning of the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. But he was inconvenienced by the frequent power failures that interrupted his service. It was not only loss of electricity that interrupted his service. Much of the disturbance came from his own disciples, who sometimes wrote to him and complained about another devotee whom they thought was hampering their service. These differences among his disciples distracted him from concentrating on his writing service. He wrote in one of his purports that he wanted to turn over the preaching and management to his leading disciples so that he could be left alone in his old age to practice nirjana bhajana, sitting down with a very few assistants and writing the Srimad-Bhagavatam. But the disciples could not take on the responsibilities by themselves, and so he had to stay involved in hands-on management of his Movement. His weak health near the end of his life was another interruption to his service. He mostly tolerated it and went on with his writing service up to the last days.

Tributes Book

The book of homages by Srila Prabhupada’s disciples has arrived well in time to be read for his Vyasa-Puja day on 24 August 2019. I was not much pleased with my own homage, but I liked some of the others. Jayadvaita Maharaja wrote about all the dynamic service going on in New York City. He writes enthusiastically about the many programs and preaching in different spots around the city. He waxes poetic about the team of brahmacaris at the Yuga-dharma Ashram who have been going out steadily for years to chant the holy names for the people of the city and distribute Prabhupada’s books. Regarding the Brooklyn temple, he describes it as “a work in progress where much has been done, and much is yet to do. Success there is sure, but we must always depend on Prabhupada’s guidance.” He writes, “May those who feel hurt or humiliated recover their full spiritual enthusiasm, clear vision and strength.”

One lady devotee writes that she is “happy to see so many devotees joining your Movement from new, exotic countries like Mongolia, China, Russia, and of course India.” But she is disappointed that more devotees from the Western countries are not joining. She pledges herself to help in this (in the mood of H.H. Hrdayananda’s ISKCON West) and places a prayer that it may happen, since it was Prabhupada’s original desire.

Hare Krsna Mantra

“O energy of the Lord, O Lord, please engage me in Your service.” It is the Great Mantra for Deliverance. Ideally we should chant 24 hours a day, on beads and off beads. The mantra is made up entirely of Names of Radha and Krsna. It is a prayer to Yugala-kisora: “One should chant in a humble state of mind . . .” Prabhupada said we should utter the mantra like a child crying for its mother. I do not chant in the pure suddha-nama stage. Perhaps I am in the namabhasa stage of chanting, with the first rays of the dawn. Hari-nama is a great personal yajna, done for the pleasure of Radha and Krsna, and Gaura-Nitai. We pray to bring our chanting beyond the offensive, mechanical, complacent, inattentive stages.

ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam
sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhu-jivanam
anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam

Today is Janmastami. It is a good time to make a “new year’s resolution” to improve our chanting for the pleasure of the Lord. Krsna appears in His holy name. Janmastami could be every day, with us searching Krsna in the heart. On this day devotees like to gather and do kirtana and read the Krsna book. Chanting Hare Krsna should also be emphasized because it is the appearance of Krsna in sound form. When you chant Hare Krsna, Krsna is dancing on your tongue.

Janmastami Story

At Janmastami several years ago at Saci-suta’s house, in the presence of Radhanath Swami, Jayadvaita Swami, Dhanurdhara Swami and many devotees, I gave a talk on Janmastami in which I said we should clean our hearts so that Krsna can appear there on this day of His “janma.” I avoided telling the history as related in the Krsna book of Lord Visnu appearing in the prison house of Kamsa, and concentrated on Krsna appearing in our hearts, in our lives. The sannyasis appreciated my talk, and they conversed about it afterwards. It became a focus of the day. Since then, I have noticed other devotees speaking on Janmastami on this internal theme of the meaning of Krsna’s appearance. How do you actually prepare yourself for Krsna’s appearance internally on Janmastami (and on all days)? The acaryas tell us that we should be constantly fixed on Krsna and not be distracted by non-Krsna literature or non-Krsna topics. We should Krsna-ize our lives and make a “throne” in our heart so the Lord will like to sit there. We should avoid going to places that are not Krsna conscious or associating with nondevotees, and we should be careful not to find fault with the devotees of the Lord. These things will hamper our attempt to keep the heart clean for Krsna to appear there. Janmastami is a great occasion to practically engage the senses in Krsna’s service, cleaning and cooking for the Lord, decorating the temple and the Deities are all part of the activities of Janmastami. Srimad Bhagavatam states that sravanam, or hearing krsna-katha, is the foremost of the nine principles of devotional service. This should be done every day, but Janmastami is a particularly ideal time for hearing krsna-katha.

Krsna Story

Janmastami is a good day to tell Krsna stories. We should never regard them as mythological, as so many academics do. They are all absolute histories of Krsna’s activities when He appeared on the earth 5000 years ago.

My favorite pastimes are of Krsna in Vrndavana. A particular favorite is Krsna’s Govardhana-lila. I like this because it includes interaction of Krsna and the Vrajavasis in many different rasas or relationships with Him. When Krsna lifted the Govardhana Hill, all the Vrajavasis took shelter under it. They all got to see Krsna up close without inhibition for seven continual days. The parents of Krsna were there in their parental rasa (vatsalya). They worried whether Krsna was getting tired or if He could actually continue to hold up the enormous Hill. The cowherd boys delighted in witnessing Krsna’s miraculous feat. The gopis felt their love for Krsna increasing. They were able to stare at Him without any criticism from their parents or relatives. In Govardhana-lila, they fell in love with Him. This was the first miraculous pastime performed by Krsna in which the Vrajavasis could not deny that it was Krsna Himself, and not the blessings of Visnu or providential good fortune, that had saved Him, and them, from danger. When the rainfall ceased and Krsna put the mountain back in place, all the older cowherd men gathered around Nanda Maharaja and eagerly inquired about the identity of Krsna. They said, “In our cowherd relationships with Krsna, we play with Him like an ordinary boy. But here today we see Him enacting a Godlike performance. So please tell us who is Krsna actually?” Nanda Maharaja replied that all he could tell them was what Gargamuni told him at the name-giving ceremony of Krsna. Gargamuni had said that Krsna was as good as Lord Narayana, and He would always protect them. Hearing this, the cowherd men were greatly reassured and went home saying, “May we may always take shelter of wonderful Krsna!”

From The Radha-Govinda Worship Book

“Today after a long time, Krsna and Radha again wear Their bright red dresses with golden trim. And They wear chadars because it is chilly in the room. My ankle hurts, but I would like to go outdoors and walk. You require full raingear. Be happy in this life the Lord has allowed you. Make the most of the brief situation and be Krsna conscious. Tell the glories of Lord Hari.”

***

“Prabhupada with burgundy-colored woolen scarf over pink chadar, over saffron rough-silk chadar, and dressed in a nice dull-colored saffron of the Gaudiya sannyasi. Prabhupada, who remembered and yearned for the torn quilt and broken pot of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas of Vrndavana and mentioned it in a letter to Narayana Maharaja. But he stayed on in New York City to deliver us and fix us up in service with the Hare Krsna Movement. That was a great responsibility and joy for him. And what is my joy? To serve him, to write my way through. Perhaps I’m not entitled to joy. But I bow to the feet of the spiritual master. I ask him for reprieve, amnesty, pardon.”

***

“In the last act of Lalita-madhava, Krsna is caught in a trick where He is dressed as a woman to gain Radha’s association, even in the presence of Rukmini. Radharani leaves with the intention to give up Her life in the Kaliya lake, where She expects the snakes will bite Her. At that moment, suddenly the residents of Vrndavana arrive in Dvaraka, and there is great reunion. Many things become happy, except that Radha is gone . . . .

“Prabhupada in brown chadar, I think wool. Radha and Govinda in cream-colored dresses. I gave Him golden earrings and Radha pale blue earrings to match the blue patterns in Her cream dress. A dark green chadar for Her.”

***

“White rabbit hurrying up because he’s six minutes late. Perhaps it was because he sponged the bathroom floor and dried it, a virtuous act. Perhaps it was because I dirtied the warm water after Krsna used it (by sticking a Kleenex in it that had been used to brush the altar service). And so I had to go downstairs for another container of clean, warm water for Radha’s bath. But it’s good that you did so. You must be consistent. If you give Radha and Krsna nice clothes, you should not at the same time give Them water in a dirty cup, or anything else slovenly. Anyway, my time got later. Also, I spent a little more time finding the right earrings. And here I am, pushing along.

“The room seemed warm and I worshiped Them, tended to Them while listening to the ending of Lalita-madhava once again. Radha is saved from the Kaliya lake, which contains glistening black snakes. Krsna came up to Her while She was standing in the water, and He put His arms around Her. At first She thought the snake had come to bite Her, and She remarked that somehow death was very pleasant. But then She discovered that it was Krsna who was rescuing Her. Then Rukmini and all the residents of Vrndavana came there. The Queen gave her permission that Radha and Krsna should wed. At the very end, Radharani offered a benediction to the people who come to Vrndavana seeking Krsna consciousness.”

Vyasa-puja

Today is Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa-puja, his birthday anniversary. The Srila Prabhupada Tributes Book for 2019 is chock full of good homages to His Divine Grace. Here are three of them:

“Srila Prabhupada”

“Prabhupada is my mentor,
he is my boss.
Prabhupada is my eternal father,
he personally told me so.
Prabhupada was my Swamiji,
from 1966-68
until he told us to
call him Prabhupada
which we accepted joyfully.
In the 21st century he is
with us in his vani
which is more powerful
and permanent than
his personal presence.
He is my beloved and he
knows me by my name,
‘Satsvarupa dasa.’ I pray
that he will remember
me and recommend me
to Krsna–to enter
the spiritual world.
I want to meet
him there and take
up his service. For if he is in the material
world preaching, I want
to join him there
and work in his mission.
Let me remember Prabhupada
wherever I go. Let
me never forget that I am
his humble cela,
and may I never
disobey him.
Prabhupada, I honor all
your followers and
bow at their feet:
I will associate with
your devotees and not
withdraw or mix
with nondevotees.
‘Please accept me as
an atom at your lotus feet.’

Satsvarupa dasa Goswami

***

Dhanurdhara Maharaja

Srila Prabhupada’s Greatest Glory

“I gently bow my head to each tomb and meditate on the qualities of the various devotees that are honored there. I pray for those qualities to come to me. It is one of my favorite places in Vrindavan. I often visit the samadhi park at the ISKCON gosala.
“Moving clockwise, I first offer respect to the spot where Gunagrahi Swami lies. I think of his humility and his attachment to preaching and kirtan. The samadhi of Ananta Santi, the first Russian devotee, is next. Vrindavan is flooded with Russian Vaisnavas. I laud his sacrifice. Then where Vibhu Caitanya Prabhu rests, a self-effulgent Vaisnava, universally recognized in the Vaisnava community as an uttama bhakta for his deep devotion in even the simplest of services. The samadhi of Narmada Goswami follows. He was an elderly and respected Indian gentleman who dedicated himself to the heart of Srila Prabhupada, the BBT, for over 25 years. I next bow to Purnacandra Goswami, a learned and Rasika Vaisnava who beautifully sang songs of Radha and Krsna and was very strict in the line of Srila Prabhupada. The noble samadhi of Yamuna devi follows. Her name alone is synonymous in ISKCON with bhava bhakti, the deepest devotion. Need I say more? The final one is the biggest of all the samadhi structures. Brahmananda Prabhu rests there. Perhaps the size of his tomb represents his heart for Srila Prabhupada.
“In Nectar of Devotion it describes that one of the main inspirations to develop a particular relationship with Krishna is to meditate on the devotees who love Krishna in the same relationship one aspires to attain. Thus, is not remembering the departed souls who have dedicated their lives to Srila Prabhupada one of the main impetuses for developing our relationship with Srila Prabhupada? And do not these same devotees represent his greatest glory, what he was able to give others of himself?

“Today, in remembrance of Srila Prabhupada’s accomplishments, I am inspired to highlight the many Vaisnavas who have unfortunately passed from this world that Srila Prabhupada inspired. My only regret is not being able to mention them all, especially the ones that I have known closely – great souls who have enhanced the appreciation of Srila Prabhupada in the hearts of many. If Srila Prabhupada’s mercy is all that we are made of, do not these souls embody his glories? I therefore pray to all of Srila Prabhupada’s followers, those past, present, and even the millions yet to be born who will carry his legacy and increase his glories. I stand in awe of Srila Prabhupada’s greatest glory, the many he has inspired by the depth of his devotion, and the gift of his devotion that he keeps on giving.

“Your servant, Dhanurdhara Swami”

***

Haridasa dasa

“Dear Srila Prabhupada,
“When I first came to your Henry Street temple in New York City, a kind disciple of yours, Visnugada Prabhu, recommended I become accustomed to listening to your recorded lectures. This was helpful advice because it put me in touch with your transcendental sound vibration . . . your chanting of the glories of Sri Krsna. Though you were not physically present at that time, your “separated energy,” as you once described the recording of your voice, was there. “Such a nice thing is coming out,” is how you referred to the tape recorder’s accurate reproduction of your voice. And it truly was, and still is, such a nice thing.

“One day, several years later while walking in the courtyard of the Dallas temple grounds, I heard you say on a recorded lecture, “You must be fully convinced, krsnas tu bhagavan svayam.” You said it with such great force that the sound vibration, though separated from your physical presence, has remained with me as if you had said it to me face-to-face. Thank you for stressing this so forcefully. Under your guidance, I am on the path of becoming fully convinced about this and to the proportion that I am, then I can be of some use to you in the sankirtana Movement.

Although I am unable to reciprocate with you properly because of the disproportionate greatness of your gifts when compared to my meager service, still I hope to somehow please you by following your instructions, understanding your desires, and becoming a surrendered disciple of Your Divine Grace.

“The servant of your servants,
Haridasa Dasa”

Radha-Govinda’s Janmastami/Vyasa Puja Outfits

Tapan, the mukut-walla, has made a special festival outfit for Radha-Govinda. We have dressed them in it for Janmastami and Vyasa-Puja. Radharani’s skirt has many five-petaled flowers made with pearls. The main color of Their dresses is red with golden filigree. Radharani wears no necklace but a big pearl flower on Her breasts. Govinda is in full Tribhanga pose. He is wearing a classic white cloth braided turban with bits of colored cloth attached and a peacock feather. His lotus feet are fully exposed. This is the first time we have dressed Them in this outfit. They look especially festive and beautiful.

Janmastami Observance

Keli-lalita (Saci-suta’s wife) organized a Janmastami program in her backyard. She had a tent erected, and she gathered her special people, yogis, devotees and friends that she knows. She personally invited me to come and read some poetry. She says she doesn’t so much like long philosophy, but she likes my poetry. I began, but I foolishly forgot to say that I was here to read on Keli-lalita’s invitation. I began with a Janmastami poem that I had written in Ireland. It had three titles: “Janmastami Summertime End/Janmastami Coming On/Janmastami Hush, Now Don’t You Cry”:

1.

“I’ve come out here
Don’t be down on yourself
or others

“You know that
irritant mood
scratching and itching

“you hot and cold—

be grateful.

Stop to see the plump
ripe blackberries on
the branch and don’t pick or eat.

“Tall clouds filled up
it was raining so hard we all got soaked

“A nice occasion by
grace of God in the
pasture and down to
the quay soaked
men and women
as I spoke who gets
credit for “making”
a devotee . . .

2.

now in Fermanagh, North Ireland
it’s fair and cloudy
minute-to-minute

green wavy fields
blue strait
Tell us, give us a
break because in
the book will be
gray-scale illustrations
in paperback

Please be on time, mister
I scored a brief victory

Krsna is coming in His janma-lila
My folder is ready
for a relevant topic:
What does Krsna mean
for you?

He’s your life and soul
He’s the best I could do
stands before Devaki and Vasudeva
twitched His way
must be in better health than I was
in a while

Krsna crossed over the
River Yamuna/ out
of the prison into
Gokula. Krsna and
the operation only
He knows and His
pure ones . . .

Krsna I love You.
I serve You through
my guru.
all this day festival
and me the hypocrite, staying in his room

You better remember the Lord, Gurudeva
who was four-armed
and then two
was a child who went to his mother in
Yasoda and Nanda’s
palace.
In the morning they
find He’s resplendent:
“our Son.”
Our dear Krsna

and that day Nanda gave
away great wealth.
It’s also our
Guru Maharaja’s birthday.

I had a number of poems picked out to read. But I omitted some, not wanting to speak too long. Baladeva told me that as I got to my last poem, Keli-lalita signaled to him and pointed to her watch. The afternoon was getting late, and they still had Ravindra Svarupa’s talk and an abhisekha to perform. So I did my bit, and I heard a few favorable responses.

In the morning we celebrated Prabhupada’s Vyasa-Puja in the VFW Hall. It went off well. What was nice was that everyone who wanted to got to speak their homage to Prabhupada. The devotees spoke for an hour and a half, and then we had puspanjali offered to my Prabhupada murti. Rama Raya led the prayers, and we chanted in response, throwing flowers at the end as he said, “Svaha!” Then there was arati and then the offering of a particularly nice feast, sponsored by Nimai-ananda.

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