VYASADEVA’S DAY 2009
.Sub-atomic particles of His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada’s unlimited activities.
by Madhavendra Puri dasa
In the midst of Kali Yuga,
In the ancient Kali Kata,
As a Shakti-Avatara,
You descended from Goloka.
Under the rule of Victoria,
On the day called Nandotsava,
Appearing through Rajarani,
Your mother tongue was Bengali.
For your mother and Gour Mohan
You were to be ”Abhay Charan”.
Both were coming from high lineage
Their ancestor being a sage.
Your dear father, a cloth merchant,
Was of the Lord a pure servant.
Strangely the road where you lived on
Was, by the way, called Harrison.
When performing his arati,
Your father would pray the Rani,
For you to be servant of Her;
Your mother saw you as lawyer.
Banging your head against the floor,
Given a gift, you wanted more.
When aiming for two guns to play,
No matter what, you had your way!
By going to the mandira
Of Sri Radha and Govinda,
You got a taste for the darshan.
Of ”catchauris”, you were a fan.
You managed to have your own Rath
To pull along Lord Jagannath.
The Yatra was like in Puri.
Loosing your mother’s protection,
You received a graphic lesson,
From your father and destiny,
About the soul’s eternity.
During the year nineteen-sixteen,
When becoming no more a teen,
Gour Mohan chose for your studies
The prestigious Scottish Churches‘.
English, Sanskrit, Philosophy
And every day Bible study.
You said yourself that in those years:
”The teachers were, like your fathers”.
Though you retained the siddhanta
Gathered from home and the Veda,
There you imbibed the British wit
And the Scottish fighting spirit.
Exposed to the propaganda
Of your colleague Subash Chandra,
You heard many call for “Svaraj”
To free your land from British Raj.
Your heart would lean towards Gandhi
Also fighting for Liberty;
Gita verses high on his list
Made him more a spiritualist.
A fateful day Narendranath
Dragged you to go to see a math;
To hear the words of a sadhu
Hoping he would appeal to you.
THE PRABHUPADA CONNECTION
Written Offerings (#76)
Of the Guru, on the roof top
The arguments you could not stop.
And Siddhanta Saraswati
Then and there sealed your destiny:
”You have received education
Why don’t you go on a mission!
Why not preaching Gaura Vani
To suffering humanity?"
In sixty-five, August thirteen,
In Calcutta you could be seen
Boarding the ship Jaladuta
Heading towards America.
You kept alive the true vision
Of your master’s sacred mission.
You knew he had the remedies
To cure lethal philosophies.
On a bench with Mister Ruben
Like a prophet, you were certain:
“In time there would be devotees
Busy in huge communities!”
Your eyes would scan every building
That could be used for the preaching.
A place to set up an ashram
Where could be served the prasadam.
Testifying that in the West
The field was ripe for the harvest,
You reminded your god-brothers
Of “The order”, through your letters.
If people, in America,
Were falling for Ramakrishna,
Yogananda, Krishna Murti;
Could they not hear Gaura Vani?
On West Seventy Second Street,
After you had paid a visit,
You had no doubt that the setting
Would be ideal, for the preaching.
In your mind’s eyes, for Lord Krishna,
You saw a dome, with a Chakra.
You needed help to get started
And many were solicited.
You emphasized to the wealthy
Lady Sumati Morarji,
The spiritual credit to get
By investing in the project.
Seeing the end of your visa,
You wrote again to Calcutta,
Quoting figures for down payment,
To Gaudiya Math’s new president.
To the owner you made a plea
To let you use the place for free.
To a magnate of industries,
You were begging lakhs of rupies.
You survived on contributions
Gathered from book distributions.
A few dollars in your own hands,
You were thinking in thousands.
From gurubhai Bon Maharaj,
You requested Murtis from Braj.
He thought worship of deity
In mleccha land very risky.
To get money out of India,
You went right up to Indira.
At the same time, from a brother,
You requested some manpower.
You were ready, to make a change,
To bother with foreign exchange.
In your request, there was balance
Between meekness and confidence.
Some responded with their silence
Other expressed their difference.
To get a place for their Lordships
You did not mind all the hardships.
Sadly, at the end of the day,
You saw nothing coming your way.
From those concerned by externals,
You got, maybe, a few Kartals.
By nature, you were not the kind
To easily divert your mind;
It was programmed on “Ekeha”
As was ordered to Arjuna.
Always yearning for Vrindavan,
You stayed behind for Sankirtan.
You remained in New York City,
And its cruel reality.
Being victim of burglary,
Was another austerity.
The penniless lone mendicant,
Once again was on the pavement.
While in Butler Pennsylvania,
You were baptized, by Pamela,
Inspired by a church picture
“Swami Jesus”, for your pleasure.
In New York State, Doctor Mishra,
Was misleading, through Shankara.
Avoiding his speculating,
You saved his life with your cooking.
Your moving to the Bowery
Appeared rather strange to many.
There in a loft amongst ruffians,
You attracted some bohemians.
You gave lectures regularly
On Sanskrit and philosophy.
Some got a taste for the kirtan,
Like Michael Grant, a musician.
Your host flipping on LSD,
You suddenly were forced to flee.
In the battle was a new front
That was opened in a storefront.
The shop would be for lecturing.
There was also for you living
A second floor apartment.
Mike and his friends paid the first rent.
You seized the opportunity
To register a society
Never thinking anything small,
You made it “International”.
Although on the Lower East Side,
The Highest God was on your side.
And to make clear your agenda,
The Consciousness was of “Krishna”.
You had written the documents
With your purpose in seven points.
Mister Goldsmith, a young lawyer,
Was glad to help with the charter.
Having received a precious seed,
For a long time you had conceived,
And on July, sixteen, ISKCON,
Your beloved baby was born.
To young Howard back from India,
You said you were from Calcutta.
He brought his mates Keith and Wally
To check eastern philosophy.
Three nights a week of the Gita,
Along with the Maha Mantra
The “Matchless gifts” you were giving
To young seekers aspiring.
As insightful Acharya
Of the gospel of Chaitanya,
In these unaware beginners
You were seeing future preachers.
Some descendants of Abraham
Were rather keen on prasadam.
You took them in your family
Calling yourself “Jewish Swami”.
Your many plans were unfolding
Amazing and mesmerizing.
Pseudo yogis being spellbound
There was no more hanging around.
Cleaning, typing, enterprising,
Shopping, cooking or listening,
Each becoming an apprentice
You pulled them all in your service.
When they began dropping previous
Devious habits to be serious,
You introduced initiations
With some rules and regulations.
There were only four principles
Required from your disciples.
Most of the time, ninety percent,
For your children, you were lenient.
If a student would go away,
Tears in your eyes, you said to pray
To appeal for the safe return
Of the one who took a wrong turn.
Starting to sense your true stature,
Some aging teens became mature.
Respect and love growing daily,
You were addressed as “Swamiji”.
You kept teaching the A.B.C
Essential for the devotee.
Each day you told everybody
That we are not our body.
The reward for the good students
Was relishing some elements
Spoon-fed with love and precaution
Of intimate Divine Action.
Keith now Kirtanananda das
Always upfront during the class
Shaving his head, wearing dhoti,
Took a lead in the assembly.
Pleasing you by his position
In the learning institution,
Hayagriva, the professor,
Was promoted your editor.
Satsvarupa would steadily
Bring to your feet his salary.
Through him being responsible
You were teaching an example.
Gargamuni found in a store
A new machine for translator
Immediately you could master
The yavana yantra helper.
It soon became a companion
Submissive to your dictation.
Suddenly your secretaries
Were behind your commentaries.
Feeling always the urgency
To deliver Krishna bhakti,
Your Gita would be AS IT IS
To counteract mayavadis.
When more and more your gathering,
Boys and girlfriends started joining,
You had to part from traditions
To make holy their loose unions.
For Mukunda and Janaki,
Although you were a sannyasi,
You became priest for a wedding
All for the sake of the preaching.
Matter of fact, you suggested
That families be invited.
The bride’s sister, for some reason,
Came all the way from Oregon.
Although she was a strict adept
Of Oshawa’s severe diet,
So gracefully, you somehow,
Gulab Jamuns made her swallow.
She was given the next morning
A complete list to go shopping.
Without notice, the free lady
Was under your authority.
“Go wash your hands” was a lesson
You hammered in this first session.
Cleanliness was an ingredient
In your “cuisine” most important.
A young artist, Jadurani,
Was your first brahmacarini.
Unorthodox, but yet in line
With your master’s order divine.
Her painstaking early painting
In your service was rewarding.
The first windows to another
Beautifull realm are due to her.
To run an organization,
You knew the art to perfection.
Though you had made your selection,
Kindly you held an election.
First you needed a president
Assisted by a commandant.
A caretaker for the lakshmi,
As well as a secretary.
Soft as a lamb yet ferocious
When a danger became serious,
Brahmananda, western Bhima,
Was to act as a kshatriya.
You had nicknamed his young brother
“Gargamoney” who looked after
Naturally, of the center,
The small but yet precious treasure.
Satsvarupa, as a writer
Noting each phrase to the letter,
Or reporting scrupulously,
Made an obvious secretary.
To stand beside Brahmananda,
Was chosen Kirtanananda.
To play the part of commander,
To watch over law and order.
The purpose of istagosti
Was to make sure everybody
Was acting on the same wave length
And to increase the common strength.
A temple in your society
Is like a cell in a body.
To make it work safe and healthy,
Is a very sacred duty.
You took your flock under the elm
To chant the Name that overwhelm.
A few of them, more in advance,
Spontaneously started to dance.
On its cover, a newspaper
The local EAST VILLAGE OTHER
Had the photo of the event
Advertising the new movement.
One day the time came to revive
An old project still well alive
Within the core of your psyche:
A magazine on pure bhakti.
In your homeland, all by yourself,
In the year nineteen forty four,
A paper you had started for
Glorifying the Supreme Self.
You were aware that your master
Could produce on Divinity,
Every second, eternally,
A mountain of Newspaper.
Of the genius compassionate
You knew full well the intentions:
To address the many millions
Who spoke English on the planet.
In one of his final letters,
He had repeated his order
For you to be ambassador
Of Bhakti to the foreigners.
He said he had full confidence
That you would be well understood.
That your writing would do some good
To your good self and your audience.
Had not the Vaikhunta-man
Said to one of his editor:
“Immediately print whatever
Is coming from Abhay Charan ?”.
The redaction was quite easy,
In the language being well read.
But somehow, you feared to tread
Where he was a luminary.
Truly humble, but not sheepish,
You had to take up the challenge
To speak for him, without change,
In the parlance of the British.
While the whole world was in warfare,
Bringing itself down to nothing,
You were founding and editing
A magazine for its welfare.
After conceiving the motto,
You did practically everything
Up to the point of becoming
The designer of the logo.
You had chosen the best address
Amongst printers in Calcutta,
To do justice to siddhanta
A place called Saraswaty Press!.
Although paper was in shortage,
You managed to get permission
To use some for your prime mission:
Fight the armies of the dark age.
Now in New-York, with your children
Offsprings of the Supreme Father,
You were taking a step further
The first attempt not forgotten.
Overnight was gathered a team
With more than a poor equipment:
Mimeograph plus excitement
To fulfil yet another dream.
And his writing style uncommon
Was in your eyes the right person
To suit it for America.
If they followed your strategy
With faith in your inner vision,
In due course, in comparison,
The famous TIME would be puny.
The simple fact that “God is light
While ignorance brings in darkness
And when He shines it does regress”;
On every page they were to write.
Fine poetry and graphic art,
Adorned with high philosophy
Would decorate the dear baby
You had carried within your heart.
BACK TO GODHEAD was meant to bring
To its readers the happy news
That down here there is no use
To carry on with suffering.
In the city one of the saints
By the name Mark had his own place
Gargamuni at a high pace
Was selling it for fifteen cents.
Utilizing his business sense
He spearheaded the first launching
Of missiles meant for destroying
The alliance of: No-Science.
Americans in a hurry,
Use acronyms to speed ahead,
Your magazine “ Back to Godhead”,
Was in no time called BTG.
For new bhaktas old New-Yorkers,
Sadly you thought about others.
The Big apple American
Was a partial part of the plan.
Then suddenly, out of the blue,
From the young birds one day you flew.
Another saint called Francisco,
In store for you had a great show.
After your first flight in the air,
You met people proud of their hair.
At the airport they held flowers
Still unaware of your powers.
The group gathered by Munkunda
Was chanting the Maha-Mantra.
After a drive you were greeted
In a storefront he had rented.
Maha Maya and all her tricks,
Sea, Sun and Sex, plus narcotics
Had to confront the armada
Of the Guru Parampara.
The successors of the beatniks
Did not sway you with their antics.
In the heart of haight-Ashbury,
God was still not in LSD !
Mukunda das, well in advance
Had set up a “Mantra Rock Dance”.
For groups to give up royalties
For the Supreme Celebrities.
Like in New-York, Allen Ginsberg
Served as the tip of the iceberg.
You were using his leadership
To sink Kali’s main battleship.
Though he thought you conservative,
With your life style regulative,
Through his obvious namabhasa,
You introduced Shuddha Nama.
Advocating sexual freedom,
A stronghold in Maya’s kingdom,
For the better or for the worse,
He had become your Trojan horse.
Amongst the stars of the rock scene,
Who, for the night, became serene,
As a full moon you were shining,
Stealing the show with your dancing.
Jefferson’s kids took your airplane
Travelling to another plane.
With the mantra filling their head,
They gratefully rose from the dead.
During the night, you sat alone
Disclosing to your dictaphone
The deep insights of the shastras
Written by the acharyas.
Mukunda was a real expert
To assemble and federate,
He was behind all the events
Bringing out many talents.
Roger Segal, Sam, Marjorie
And the sister of Janaki,
Liking each other company
Had been helping, but casually.
Through your charm, wit and your patience,
Your logic and intelligence,
These strong individualities
Were drawn to your activities.
Eager to further the mission,
You gave freely initiation.
You knew that in the great number
Not all would fully surrender.
But in troubled America,
Your guiding light was Shri Rupa.
He gave you the wisdom to know
What to allow or not allow.
His principle? : To somehow
Or other get the know-how
To keep people always active
For the Blue Boy all attractive.
For example, trick the hippies
By filling their hungry bellies.
Getting them high with the Kirtan
With a landing in Vrindavan.
You took over all the duties
From bewildered authorities.
On their behalf you had to care
Applying the highest welfare.
When you wanted to save their land
Americans had Westmoreland.
You saw their kids on Sankirtan,
He was sending them to Vietnam.
Like in New-York, matrimony,
Was a key in your strategy.
In the “Temple”, all the weddings
Were turning into happenings!
You were together grandfather
And Bengali loving mother;
The glue keeping your family
Always busy in ecstasy.
What a challenge you had to face
To get the boys to shave their face,
And what a fight to get the men
To trim their hair like gentlemen!
What would they think back in India
About your type of vairagya?
A sannyasi getting ladies
To put saris on their bodies!
California was challenging;
Day after day always seeing
Budding beauties scantily dressed
Former beach boys were being stressed.
You reassured your “soft butters”
Burning under all these fires:
“Sincere bhaktas, after a while,
See all these curves as Krishna’s smile!”
“Do your own thing” being the fad,
Keeping in line with Prabhupad,
You managed to stay informal,
So the kirtan was “Free for All”.
There were all sorts of instruments
Made often of weird elements.
Your recipe remained the same:
“Get them to chant the Holy Name!”
Dancing being on the wild side,
It was quite far from bona fide.
While some were full of their own selves,
Some others made fools of themselves.
Far away from Shrivas Angan,
You were spreading the Sankirtan.
Yet you were close to Gauranga
Travelling through Jarikhanda.
One night a girl, felling at ease,
Nearly offered a free striptease.
You were compelled, through Gurudas,
To have some cloth put on the lass.
Should we mention that a lady
Wanted to marry Swamiji?
Many in the “far out” West
Did fly over the cuckoo’s nest.
As far as philosophy went
There, once again, anything went.
They had not reached a conclusion,
But had to give their opinion.
From a hodgepodge mayavada
Studied under marijuana,
The hippies had drawn theories
Mainly suited to their fancies.
You had to pull the resources
Of your transcendental sources
To put some sense into the heads
Rather mixed up of acid heads.
Thinking himself a bit too “hip”
If one challenged your guruship,
You said your were ultimately:
“The servant of every body!”
Some reporters were wondering:
“Does your coming “here” has meaning
For opening a new centre? ”:
“The rent is cheap”, was your answer.
Sitting up straight, lotus fashion,
A man, to you, threw the question:
“Have you seen God?” You had to say:
“ NO, sir, for you stand in the way !”.
When a stray dog, human being,
Screaming: ”I’m God”, came disturbing,
For the poor boy, very kindly,
You sang the morning melody.
Amidst all this great confusion,
Disguised as emancipation,
It was a great mystical feat
To bring some souls to Krishna’s feet.
With a lesson you had landed
Which appeared most outdated:
Senseless sense gratification
Never leads to liberation.
The notion was so prevalent,
It carried all in its current.
Against the stream you were swimming
Day after day in your preaching.
While the senses are not denied
Their use was to be well applied
Body and mind for survival
Require needs actually small.
The soul within has to apply
The sense organs to satisfy,
If hankering for ananda,
Their real master, Hrishikesha.
But your’s was an actual science
To be proven through experience.
Their ears, eyes, hands, tongues and nostrils
Were finding new exciting thrills.
After a week of “restrictions”,
When Sunday came, your sensuous sons,
Would throw themselves, with the hippies,
In Gargantuan festivities.
When at some point a mridanga,
Was finally sent from India,
You walked straight to Golden Gate Park
And ignited another spark.
According to some opinions
The kirtan took new dimensions.
Treating the drum like an old friend
You caressed him without end.
Amongst tall trees in the garden
Reminiscent of some heaven,
You started a new happening
Where all the “tribes” were gathering.
An Indian chief had suddenly
Come to assist them to bury
The tomahawk, the battleaxe,
The hatchet, so they could relax.
He was real hip, and did not hype
Except, may be, for the peace pipe!
They were too stoned to see the ploy:
He was working for a cowboy?!.
In a “Sit-in” transcendental,
In the middle of a spiral,
Leading dancers under the sun,
You sang and played, watching the fun.
The boys and girls being happy,
Were holding hands innocently.
The dove of peace, above flying,
You were engaged in dove-tailing.
You had to turn a kind blind eye
In your attempt to catch the fry
Maya had thought caught in her net;
That is to say, before you met.
This free mingling of the genders
Was purified by your powers.
Was it not wise to authorize
What otherwise would scandalize?
When the Golden Avatara
Had moved around Bharat Varsha,
In the matter of behaving,
He had seemed uncompromising.
But where you stood at that moment,
The time and place were different.
You were acting accordingly,
On behalf of Divine Mercy.
You were seeing in the future
The planted seeds that would mature.
They could become fruits and flowers
To be offered to the Masters.
Your ways showed your unwavering
Faith in the strength of listening
To the pristine sound vibration
Coming down in pure succession.
To be continued,…. God willing, with your blessings.
For your pleasure and your followers’.
By your so-called servant Madhavendra Puri dasa.