"Planet ISKCON" - 33 new articles
Srila Prabhupada's Appearance Day
Central European Time is (due to daylight saving) GMT +2 hours
>From New Delhi VP offering 1973
In Bombay, on the last day of our "Hare Krsna Festival", we saw you [Srila Prabhupada] dance and watched you circumambulate the Deities twice, clapping and smiling and turning so respectfully so that your back would not be to Them. The third and fourth times around you put your hands in the air and you were jumping. Effortlessly, you lifted the whole assembly far beyond this temporary material manifestation. We were exhilarated and we bounded around full of joy upon beholding this wonderful sight. An instant later it was over and again you were very grave. You are so kind to display to the fallen conditioned souls these wonderful manifestations of ecstatic feeling which arises from pure devotional service to Sri-Sri Radha and Krsna, in Mayapura you reminisced fondly with your Godbrother Sridhara Svami of the early days in your first meeting with His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada and of the events which followed, and in the end you shed tears. Then you danced with Sridhara Svami and your disciples wept with joy upon seeing this exchange of love between two surrendered servants of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada.
Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Finished Kitchen: Cabinets–Inside & Out
The following people may be interested in this post:
a) someone who wants to rob me of nutritional yeast and coconut oil
b) persons interested in kitchen organization in anticipation of a remodel
c) my husband, who is still learning where everything goes
FOR BEFORE & AFTER PICS CLICK *HERE*
A devoted and chaste wife, while absorbed in the service of her husband, may ignore even her own children. Similarly, a disciple who is deeply absorbed in the service of the guru may even ignore practices such as hearing and chanting, knowing that by guru-seva alone he can easily attain complete perfection in devotion. And just as a devoted wife ignores her own pleasures and home comforts, so too does a disciple completely absorbed in guru-seva ignore even the divine bliss arising out of hearing and chanting, nor does he seek out the kind of secluded place suitable for such bhajan. That is the instruction in this verse. The Vedas also proclaim the supremacy of service to the guru.
Visvanath Cakravarti Thakura's analogy in no way minimizes the practices of sadhana bhakti. Our experience, in fact, is that the guru teaches us to engage progressively in cultivating those practices. Rather, it points out, as Visvanatha says himself, "the supremacy of service to the guru" over all else.
The essence of devotional service for a disciple, then, seems to be dedication to the service of the spiritual master without any reservation, with complete confidence that such service will carry us to Krsna's lotus feet. This confidence finds support in Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's assurance that those of us who regularly chant his eight beautiful verses of praise for the guru during the brahma-muhurta will certainly attain direct service to Vrndavana-natha, Sri Krsna.
With this in mind, then, I beg that I may be able to continually increase my dedication to the service of my eternal spiritual master, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, without which my life has no meaning.
Rupa Madhurya das (hey, that's me!) singing Nrsimhadev Prayers at the end of an ecstatic home bhajan program.
Download: 2010-01-09 - 5 - Home Program - Rupa Madhurya das - Nrsimhadev Prayers.mp3
[The maha-mantra] is not a material sound like the sounds we hear on a radio. It is a spiritual sound that comes from the spiritual world. Even in the material world we can release the sound from one place, and it can be heard thousands of miles away. A spiritual sound can be released from many trillions of miles away, and it can be heard, provided that one has a machine to capture it. That machine is bhagavat prema. Those who have developed love of Godhead can hear it.
From Teachings of Lord Kapila
From Namamrta By A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami:
"The maha-mantra is a form of prayer:
"Simply by offering prayers to the Supreme Lord one can become perfect…one can execute devotional service anywhere and everywhere in the material existence simply by offering prayers unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead.The Hare Krishna maha-mantra is also a prayer, for a prayer addresses the Supreme Personality of Godhead by His name and invokes good fortune by petitioning the Lord to allow one to engage in His devotional service. The Hare Krishna maha-mantra also says, “My dear Lord Krishna, my dear Lord Rama, O energy of the Lord, Hare, kindly engage me in Your service.”(Srimad Bhagavatam 4.24.69)
"The Hare Krishna mantra addresses the Lord and His spiritual potency, and is a prayer requesting engagement in Their transcendental loving service:
We should always remember that the Hare Krishna mantra is a prayer. The Christians and Muslims pray in their own way, and we pray by chanting Hare Krishna. The meaning of the prayer is to ask Srimati Radharani and ask Sri Krishna to please engage us in Their service. We are petitioning Them. We are not asking for material benefits or relief from miseries or even liberation. We are praying to Them to be engaged in Their service. This is real prayer life, and when we chant japa and sankirtana we are offering the highest kind of prayers.
I always wanted to pray.
From One Hundred Prabhupada Poems #16
Dear Prabhupada, in about an hour
I'm counting on writing my way to you,
You wrote Science of Devotion and
On your order
Here is a recipe for eggless spritz cookies. Spritz cookies are really cute and this recipe is not exceptionally buttery or sugary. The result is a nice little breakfast cookie that can be eaten any time of day, especially at tea time. The dough is a bit dry and does not expand much at all when baked, so it can also be used as a lower sugar alternative for sugar cookie cutouts.
This recipe makes *a lot* of cookies and is great for when you need to maximize your cookie output. Also, this is a great *make ahead* recipe–these cookies taste better the next day!
Spritz Cookie Recipe (Eggless)
1.5 c butter
1 c brown sugar (packed)
1 tspn baking powder
1 tablespoon cream cheese
1.5 tablespoon yogurt (plain or vanilla or whatever)
1/4 tspn almond extract (optional)
3.5 cups unbleached white all purpose flour
Cream butter and sugar, add cream cheese and baking powder. Mix. Combine other ingredients.
Put unchilled dough in your cookie press and pump them out onto parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake in pre-heated oven 7-9 minutes @ 375 degrees.
Today is Vyasa Puja for Srila Prabhupada, and I will offer it in the journal. I have made it in the form of an innovative poem, based on a poem in the workshop handbook titled In the Palm of Your Hand, written by my Brooklyn college classmate Steve Kowit. He writes at the beginning of a chapter called "Shards of Memory: Playing with Time." He writes, "Some of the memories that writers make use of are unforgettable, life-changing experiences. But many others are likely to be those vagrant, momentary encounters that are memorable for no apparent reason: experiences that are part of our ordinary daily lives that for some reason remain significant enough to be remembered." He then says, "Here's an odd and engaging poem in which the poet makes use of scattered, fugitive and seemingly disconnected memories." I'm going to publish a few of those stanzas to give you an idea of the model I use in my Vyasa Puja homage:
"How I Knew Harold" by Deborah Harding
"Around 1953 Mom tells the family she's pregnant. My brother bounces around the living room with a pillow on his head wailing, "It will change our whole lives!" This story is recounted each year around my birthday.
"Around 1978 I leave home to move in with Jack. Dad and I are standing in the driveway. They don't want me to go. He's Jewish. Mom packs ham sandwiches and slips me two twenties. I move back in three months.
Around 1979 my friend Sandy plays Taps at a funeral gig, so I come along. I walk up to the casket in my boots and fur jacket. I'm checking out the deceased when a woman grabs my elbow. She wants to know how I knew Harold."
My homage follows this innovative poem, writing non-chronological stanzas of fugitive memories of Srila Prabhupada. The poet quoted wrote in the present tense, but I will write in the past tense because I feel it is more realistic. I will use the word "around" just as the poet has to begin each stanza.
Around the end of November 1977, I spent the last days with him in Vrndavana. He laid in his bed, nearly blind, and did not communicate. He only waved to his secretary, Tamal Krishna Maharaja, who would go over to his bed and exchange with him in whispers. A few devotees stayed in the room chanting kirtana. At one point I was leading the kirtana. I was singing the Nrsimhadeva prayers when Srila Prabhupada motioned Tamala Krishna Maharaja over to his bed. Later TKG told me that Prabhupada asked him, "Who is singing?" Tamal Krishna Maharaja replied, "Satsvarupa Maharaja." Prabhupada replied simply, "Hmm." In my desire to always want more attention, I lamented that Prabhupada didn't say more. Tamala Krishna Maharaja told me I should be fortunate that Prabhupada had at least said, "Hmm," considering the state he was in. And in fact he passed away within two days. That was my last personal exchange with Srila Prabhupada.
On November 14th, I stood at the foot of his bed all day as he stayed internal and finally passed away at 7:30 P.M.
Around April of 1977 I massaged his feet with talcum powder and felt I was saying farewell.
Around January 1974 he called me to be his permanent servant, and I joined him in L.A. I was in high spirits and felt very privileged.
Around May 1968 he arrived in Boston and gave lectures at our storefront and at the universities for a full month. Various personal exchanges with him.
Around February 1974 he brought me with his entourage to Vrndavana and made me feel at ease in India by his fatherly presence. On the way to Vrndavana in our taxi, we came behind an old Indian bus that was belching black smoke out its exhaust. Prabhupada turned to me and said, "They don't have buses in your country like this, and if they did have them, they would not let them stay on the road." Actually I had been afraid of the sight of this bus, and Prabhupada in a fatherly way gave me consolation for the culture shock of arriving in India.
Around July 1966—I walked into the storefront at 26 Second Avenue and saw him for the first time. I thought he looked like Lord Buddha. After that first night I never stopped coming back, and I followed the four rules. I began reading his books, which I continue to do now, 43 years later.
Around spring 1973 I joined him on my first trip to India and Mayapur and served him as his secretary, taking dictation for his letters. We went to visit his Godbrother Sridhara Maharaja in Navadvipa.
Around all the time—Whenever I chant japa I am following his order.
Around 1971 he visited us at Dallas gurukula and there were fascinating exchanges involving the installation of Radha-Kalachandji. They had arrived with decorative paint, but the devotees convinced me that the decorations should be scraped off and They should be repainted straight black. When Prabhupada arrived he was angry that this had been done, and he said that the decorations should be restored. On one morning walk I told him that I thought the new painting had not dried. He said to Syamasundara, "Let us get tickets and leave Dallas immediately." But fortunately we used electric fans on the Deities, and They dried in time for the installation. During that same visit Prabhupada reprimanded me for chopping down a tree that had fallen and was leaning against a building. When I asked him if my act was "demoniac," he said, "No, just ignorant."
Around 1970 I answered the invitation Prabhupada extended to all his temple presidents and visited him in Los Angeles, his Western-world headquarters, to learn the ideal way to run a temple. I copied everything I saw there, the white-colored tiles and yellow painted walls of the temple room, the way Visnujana Swami used black electric tape on his fingers to play mrdanga, etc., and brought it back to Boston. Two previous times I asked Prabhupada if I could quit my welfare job and he said no. I asked him again and he said yes.
Around April 1974 I grew restless as Prabhupada's permanent servant and asked him in Bombay whether I could change my service. He grew irritated and told me not to jump around like a monkey. I wrote him a letter of apology and said I wanted to stay with him. In the upper corner of my letter he wrote in his hand, "You are pure. May Krishna protect you from calamities."
Around June 1974, while still his servant, I sat in the room in Geneva and heard him speaking of the need for a group of men to travel to the universities to place standing orders of his books. I spoke up and said I could do it. "Then do it!" he said abruptly.
Around the fall of 1966 I first heard Prabhupada say Krishna married 16,108 wives. I raised my hand and said, "I'm trying to understand the Bhagavad-gita philosophy, but now you tell us that Krishna married 16,000 wives. How can I understand this?" He replied, "You cannot understand it? The greatest scholars cannot understand it."
Around the summer of 1966, I asked Prabhupada my first personal question: "Is there a level of spiritual advancement from which you don't fall down? He answered simply, "Yes." That one-word answer gave me confidence and ability to follow the four rules.
Around the spring of 1967 I was accompanying Prabhupada in the New York City streets after a visit to his lawyer on Chambers Street. Prabhupada said, "The city is like a jungle." I replied, "Except there are no snakes." Prabhupada said, "What about Mr. Payne?"
Around May of 1968 Prabhupada and the devotees went to Boston Commonwealth Pier, where he first arrived in America in 1965. We went in Hamsadutta's used schoolbus. Except for the driver's seat, it had no seats. The devotees placed a chair for Prabhupada, and a strong devotee, Vamana dasa, held the chair, but still the chair slid back and forth. At the pier there was a sign, "Unalloyed Steel." Srila Prabhupada said, "They have unalloyed steel, and we have unalloyed devotion." On the way back he told Hamsadutta he should not have bought a used bus.
Around Memorial Day of 1967, Srila Prabhupada was in the Beth Israel Hospital with a stroke. Devotees took turns staying with him in his room so he was never alone. Once I was the only person present while he was sleeping. He woke, sat up and said, "I do not know Krishna. I only know my Guru Maharaja."
These are just a few times that I have jotted down. There are many ways I know Prabhupada, and I treasure them all.
Sometimes I mismanage our leftovers and am left to scramble, last minute, to get together a lunch for The Babu’s work.
This happened twice this week and comes as no surprise to me as I am trying to adjust to life with a first grader with homework, a kindergartener with a reading folder and a pretty full after school schedule of dance, gymnastics, mrdanga, appointments and the usual etcetera.
Rice paper wrappers, God bless you! No cooking required. Just a quick soak and shimmy–makes me feel like I am panning for gold. I had leftover jiaozi filling and was happy to use it in such a simple application. No floured table. No kids turning the crank. Just a plate of water, my finger tips and the delicate wrappers. I fried up some tofu to add to them and, when I ran out of filling, improvised with other provisions.Couscous. Not really on The Babu’s Top 10 list, but it cooks quickly and is a grain so, you know, deal. To make couscous, simply boil water! Two cups of water per one cup of couscous. Boil water, add couscous, simmer and stir. Off heat. Leave covered. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes. Basically you just want the grains to absorb the liquid.
Now, some may feel it a cruel punishment to serve couscous with a dry vegetable, but it was late and I was really just feeling like The Babu was blessed that I remembered he needed to eat the next day. High heat and cast iron are my friends at such moments. Tofu, zucchini, tomatoes and the other half of that yellow bell pepper met a tasty fate.
By Madhava Gosh das
Krishna by His practical example taught us to give all protection to the cows and that should be the main business of New Vrindaban. Vrindaban is also known as Gokula. Go means cows, and kula means congregation. Therefore the special feature of New Vrindaban will be cow protection, and by doing so, we shall not be loser
Gaur Gadadhar das: You are cordially invited to the Eleventh Annual 24 Hour Akhanda Sankirtanam at the home of Ravi (Nitai Gaurasundar das) and Meena Singh (Matsya devi dasi)
Jaya Sri Krsna!Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada, whom has granted us access to You!
I am writing on this holy day of Your appearance, an endeavour which I have not taken since I was a child. I hope my realizations of Your unlimited glories have increased some degree since then, to compensate for my decline in innocence. You are so merciful that You accept such fools as myself as friend, son and servant. I cannot see anyone else who could tolerate such neglect and still be anxiously awaiting us to return, to enjoy with You in Goloka Vrndavana. This fact is simply one of Your unlimited qualities.
All glories to You, who have manifest in literary form as Srimad Bhagavatam. The amazing depth and clarity of this wonderful king of books forever perplexes this humble soul's mind and intelligence. Within these books, You reveal Yourself in the Tenth Canto with all Your beautiful pastimes, from Your supposed birth until Your later years of manifestation.
Mother Bhumi and the demigods, headed by Lord Brahma, pray for Your appearance. You make an elaborate arrangement, simply for the rasa, sending all Your associates, demigods and devotees down to planet earth to also take part. You appear in Mathura but quickly take up Your true inhabitancy of Gokula, Your eternal abode manifest on earth.
As a baby You prove Your Godly strength. You do not meditate, perform yoga, or do any material or spiritual process to accumulate Your powers. You kill the demon Putana, who is very adept in mystic powers herself, just to prove that You are not an ordinary boy.
You lift Govardhana hill as a small boy. This is again an act that proves Your divine power. Indeed, almost as if simply to show off, You carry the hill in Your left hand (seemingly the weaker arm) and hold it up simply by Your pinkie. Each detail that You add to Your divine arrangements simply adds another layer of flavour, for Your devotees to forever savour. Whilst lifting the hill, for seven days, You enjoy intimate exchanges with the residents of Gokula, who bless Indra for arranging such an emergency situation for them.
You continue to play with Your cowherd boyfriends, including Your older brother, Balarama. You enjoy sporting pastimes in the forests of Vrndavana, killing many more demons sent by Kamsa. You also enjoy amorous pastimes with the gopis. Who can conceive of these pastimes? Many speculators and immature spiritual practitioners try to gain access to these intimate pastimes but they are not granted access. Indeed, Laksmidevi herself attempted to enter the Rasa dance but was refused. I am simply struggling to comprehend Your very basic pastimes and I wonder why people try to interfere with these unreachable abodes?
You seemingly leave Vrndavana and finish Your business in Mathura. You easily defeat a maddened elephant, wrestlers and the demon king Kamsa. You go on to inhabit Dvaraka, Your famous city on the sea, and You continue to relieve the burden of kings on the earth. You elaborately arrange the battle of Kuruksetra, a scheme so cunning, which deals the final blows to remove the burdens of the earth. Indeed, with this single arrangement You also set up the ploy to remove Your own family from the earth, the last of the burdens that the earth had to bear.
As if manifesting all these pastimes was not enough, You came again in Your confidential form as Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Taking on the mood of Radharani, You spread Your glories far and wide. You granted access to this mercy to the most fallen, including myself, and now we have the privilege of observing Your holy appearance day, even in the distant lands of the Mlecchas (today I am observing in Berlin, Germany). You sent Your great devotee, Srila Prabhupada, over in a boat and You delivered this amazing treasure to us all. Lord Sri Krsna I can only pray to be a servant of Your gracious devotees, who have saved me from so much suffering, and the chance to chant Your holy names, although I lack any real taste, for as long as I am trapped in this world. Please never let me forget Your form, which is unlimitedly beautiful. I long to see that three fold bending form of Syamasundara forever imprinted into my mind.
The servant of Your servants, Madhavendra Puri Dasa.
Janmastami Celebrations went off in a very grand way at the Hare Krishna Temple yesterday! Thousands of people streamed in through the doors all throughout the night and the festival reached its peak with roaring Kirtan as the doors opened at midnight to unveil the gorgeous flower outfit! Stay tuned for pictures and an official report of the festival.
A Few Know
By Parasuram das
HH Mahavishnu Swami heads up this tour. He's a low maintenance swami and a real pleasure to be with. From morning to night we get non-stop Krishna katha
City Trails and Cemeteries
By Sukanti Radha dasi
The Minister for Culture at the Indian High Commission in the United Kingdom, Her Excellency Monika Mohta, graciously hosted the launch of the Temple of Vedic Planetarium on the 30th of August 2010 at the Nehru Centre, London
My dear Lord, please engage me in your service eternally and please help me chant your holy name constantly.
BY BELLA JAISINGHANI (TNN) Source: Times Of India 14 Lakh (1.4 million) Devotees Expected To Converge In 48 Hours For A Glimpse Of The World's Largest Janmashtami Celebrations Fourteen lakh cups made of dry leaves, or dronas as they are called, are stacked in the store room of the ISKCON temple in Juhu, waiting to [...]
LORELEI SCARBRO'S husband, Kenneth, an underground coal miner for more than 30 years, is buried in a small family cemetery near her property here at the base of Coal River Mountain. The headstone is engraved with two roosters facing off, their feathers ruffled. Kenneth, who loved cockfighting, died in 1999, and, Ms. Scarbro says, he would have hated seeing the tops of mountains lopped off with explosives and heavy machinery by mining companies searching for coal.
Critics say the practice, known as "mountaintop removal mining," is as devastating to the local environment as it is economically efficient for coal companies, one of which is poised to begin carving up Coal River Mountain. And that has Ms. Scarbro and other residents of western Raleigh County in a face-off of their own.
Their goal is to save the mountain, and they intend to do so with a wind farm. At least one study has shown that a wind project could be a feasible alternative to coal mining here, although the coal industry's control over the land and the uncertain and often tenuous financial prospects of wind generation appear to make it unlikely to be pursued. That, residents say, would be a mistake.
"If we don't stop this," Ms. Scarbro says, adjusting the flowers on her husband's grave, "one day we'll be standing on a big pile of rock and debris, and we'll be asking, 'What do we do now?' "
For many renewable-energy advocates outside the region, the struggle at Coal River Mountain has become emblematic of an effort across the country to find alternatives to fossil fuels. They have lent money, expertise and high-profile celebrities like Daryl Hannah and James Hansen, the NASA climate scientist, to help residents advance their case for wind power and to make it a test case for others pursuing similar projects nationwide.
The mountain, which is privately owned and leased to coal interests, is also one of the last intact mountaintops in a region whose contours have otherwise been irreversibly altered by extreme surface-mining techniques. Preserving its peaks for a wind farm, plan advocates say, could provide needed job diversification for impoverished towns that otherwise live or die by the fortunes of coal.
Don L. Blankenship, the chief executive of Massey Energy, the largest coal company in West Virginia and the one planning to cut into Coal River Mountain's peaks, has repeatedly called assertions of long- and short-term environmental damage exaggerated.
"There are a lot of misstatements out there," Mr. Blankenship says. "I don't find the environmental damage to be nearly what people say they find it to be, and we're struggling with whether the true objective of all these regulations is to protect the environment, or whether it's simply to stop the mining of coal."
While the odds remain slim that wind power will replace coal mining here, proponents say that changes in state and federal mining regulations could tilt things in their favor.
"We want to make it economically unfeasible to do mountaintop mining," Ms. Scarbro says.
Citraka dasa: Srila Prabhupada your clever creation, the organized effort of many souls under your guidance, known as International Society for Krishna consciousness has saved my life and that of many others from the onslaught of Kali
We wish all our viewers a very happy Janmastami.Sri Sri Radha-Madhava were offered new bright yellow embroidered outfits with gorgeous flower decorations. The temple decoration is very artistic with qualities of Sri Krishna from Nectar of Devotion written on it. Special class on Sri Krishna’s appearance was given by HG Jananivasa prabhu & HG Hari Sauri prabhu. Bengali classes were given by HH Jayapataka Swami & HH Bhakti Purusottama Swami.
Here’s a few photos taken about three hours ago of our Mayapur Masters, Sri Sri Radha Madhava, Sri Sri Panca-tattva and Sri Sri Prahlada Nrsimhadeva. Their new outfits are spectacular (unfortunately these photos don’t do any justice to them at all).
At mangala-arati 4-5,000 people were queuing to get in – quite remarkable when you realize how far out into the countryside we are.
Devotees have stuck some nice decorations on the pillars in the temple room describing Krsna’s qualities.
HH Jayapataka Swami did the mangala-arati offering to Lord Nrsimhadeva, gave class in Bengali, and was there to greet the Deities with a plate of lamps.
The temple was of course fully crowded, showing us once again the need for the new temple, which is rapidly being constructed, even during the celebrations.
Tomorrow Friday September 3 2010 is Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasapuja, his 114th appearance day anniversary. On this Janmastami day I humbly pray to Sri Sri Radha Madhava, Sri Sri Prahlada Nrsimhadeva and Sri Sri Panca-tattva to kindly allow this fallen soul into Srila Prabhupada’s eternal entourage.
My dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to your divine appearance in this miserable world of illusion.
Another year goes by and another year measures our inexorable steps to our inevitable date of departure. We are seeing more and more of our once-youthful, seemingly eternal companions do their last dance in the lap of death and disappear from our limited mortal view.
Looking at a collection of videos today about early ISKCON I realized that a good portion of those joyful enthusiasts whose forms of matter, frozen brief and fleeting on film, I took as their eternal selves and whom I took to be my immutable confederates in the samkirtana of Caitanya’s lila, are now gone, retreated behind the screen of matter, unmanifest to those who remain.
Where is Padmalocan, blest of vision beyond the ordinary and with special sight, who refused a chariot of the gods, now to be seen?
Where is Vicitravirya, whose last desire was to dance and chant down the hallows of Oxford Street harinama one more time with his co-conspirators of youthful exhuberant defiance all for the love of his guru and Krsna, now residing?
Where is the zestful Rasajna, beautiful and sparkling as she strode on stage to project to thousands the images of immortality and grace from the Ramayana and Puranic lore?
Where is the Goswami, Prabhupada’s Tamal, the preaching commander, the dutiful ever-watchful secretary and watchdog of his spiritual master’s last days on earth?
Where are Upendra, Gauri, Bali Mardan, Sudama, Amekhala, Hemanga, Nirguna Krsna, Lokamangala, Sridhara Swami, Jayananda, Mulaprakriti, Samjnata, Dhami, Kusakratha, Grahila, Lohitaksa, Rudrani, Aindra and all the many others, known and unknown, whose convivial embrace of ISKCON’s creation we thought would carry us together, ever-forward, ever-lucid, ever-linked, arm-in-arm, into the indestructable clime of transcendence?
One by one we are picked off, slipping out of these fallible cadavers to move on in obedience to the higher diktat, a command whose call cannot be contended, leaving gaps in the ISKCON fabric to be filled, or not, by those that survive and succeed us.
I am next. The time is marked although I know it not. I see so many going before. I write your words in my books: “And everyone is going to die. I am going to die tomorrow, he is going to die day after tomorrow-everyone will have to die. Who will live here? So what is the anxiety? Chant Hare Krsna. That’s all.” But I understand them not.
Those words of yours in your last days in Vrndavana when you told Satadhanya “Do not think this will not happen to you” I stubbornly think you were only speaking to him, not to me.
I look at the videos and see a form marked Hari-sauri dasa that I do not recognize in the mirror. The effortless energy and youthful strength, the careless disregard for time’s grinding wheel from those days of yore have left me with a legacy of disbelief.
The signs are all there for my imminent exit. Theoretically I know it, but in practice I avoid. I waste my time, I allow my attention to be distracted, I don’t do what I know I must. I pay spiritual lip-service even as my body deteriorates, and keep up the pretence of false immortality. In a flash I will be gone, but I don’t expect it will be soon.
How many more lifetimes of this charade will it take before I get serious about my fate, which the dictionary defines as a pre-determined outcome? When will I act with complete conviction that my destination is to join you and all your faithful disciples in what you described as “another ISKCON in the spiritual world”? Is there a place for me there, or will I have to stay behind with Mr. Nair?
I know the choice is mine. That one gift is your real legacy. Not the promise of eternal happiness in the best of company, of unlimited exchange with unparalleled freedom and illuminated being. These things are undoubtedly real. But do I want them? That choice you have left with us and us alone.
Srila Prabhupada, please forgive me for being so weak that I have to ask you to make sure I make the right choice. This very prayer I know contradicts the very principle for which I beg. And yet I must, because I find myself a miserable and undeserving miser, incapable of accepting your gift. With choice comes responsibility and I am a most irresponsible wretched being who toys with his allotted time and fails to utilize it for the fate you would bestow.
In Delhi in 1976, when Gurudas asked “What is krpa-siddhi” you replied: “Krpa-siddhi means that you are not willing to take this bag of money. I say, ‘Take it! Take it! Take it!’ That is krpa-siddhi. Even you are unwilling, I give you in your pocket, push it. That is krpa-siddhi.”
Srila Prabhupada, please make me a recipient of your gurukrpa-siddhi. You are all I have, and I chose you.
Your aspiring and wretched pretend servant,
I am working on getting all my finished kitchen details together, but in the meantime, here are the before and after shots. We’ve come a long way!
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Disculpen las Molestias
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