At the airport reception, a huge kirtana was going on with devotees from Berkeley, San Francisco and L.A. We were oblivious to our surroundings and took over the waiting lounge. Perhaps there were over 100 devotees. As we waited the kirtana got more and more wild and ecstatic, which was not what the other arriving passengers were expecting as they filed out of the plane. We were at the top of a ramp with devotees on either side of the pathway. After what seemed a very long time Prabhupada appeared at the bottom of the walkway. Then the kirtana went into warp speed and intensity difficult to describe.
From Sacinandana Swami' newsletter:
Today, I chanted, prayed, sang, and deeply connected at Govinda Kunda. What an atmosphere!
Before me the kund, or pond, and towering behind-tall and majestic-Giriraja Govardhana. A cool breeze moves the leaves of the trees of desire whose arms dance in the wind as if offering arotika to Radha Govinda. This breeze cools my body and mind as well as those of my roommate-a small bat who listens intensely to my japa and singing.
The soul takes on a material body and mind, with an ego that says, “This is me.” The false ego (“false” because we have a real spiritual identity beyond physical forms) or our material “I” defines itself by what it thinks it possesses--what is mine, our “mys”. This “my-ness” is the basis of all problems the soul faces in the material world, including our problems in dealing with other persons, or souls also conditioned by “my-ness”. It is interesting how “my-ness” sounds like minus, since our material conceptions of identity can only exist if our spiritual identity is forgotten (the soul minus its true eternal identity is a forgetful soul habituated to living under the conditions or laws of matter.)
The Bhagavat [scripture]tells us that
both the rising and setting sun
decrease the lives of all, save those
who are endeavoring for Krishna.
In my view the primary challenge for the Krishna consciousness movement is to both preserve and understand the essence or spirit of the teachings, and to be dynamic in our outreach. The understanding I have gained from reading Prabhupada and other Gaudiya teachers is that being a devotee means being a compassionate, introspective, thoughtful, and broadminded person, looking for the good in all, while sharing the truth of Krishna in a way that is accessible and practicable to our audience.
Today's world has increased the number
of ways in which people can divide themselves,
separate groups of country, region, religion,
race, ethnicity, gender, likes or dislikes,
sports teams or types of games--all false for the soul!
That small-faced girl lost on the beach was me. I remembered writing the paragraph when I was eleven. I was looking out my bedroom window in the early morning. The sun filled a deep blue sky, unusual for Washington State, yet I was filled with sadness, and tears welled up in my eyes. I felt so alone, as if I didn't belong in this world. I wanted someone to help me through my despair.
By Arcana-siddhi Devi Dasi
"If death led to a better life, would suicide be a shortcut?"
Bhagavatam comes to mind extolling
virtuous questions & answers for Krishna
since life runs on questions & answers--
even in birds, bees, or beasts
though few realize the effect.
My dear Hari Nam Prabhu:
By the grace of Shrila Prabhupada
and my shiska gurus who represent
Lord Chaitanya and Nitai,
(who have brought you in Kali-yuga)
I have been introduced to you
in the process of japa and kirtana.
Friendships are about giving and receiving, like a dance where first one person leads, then the other, and sometimes it seems like an invisible partner is directing us. Other than a saint who makes no distinctions between people, seeing everyone as a soul, there is some calculation in who we choose for a friend. We see or feel something in them, some quality, attractiveness, that causes us to want to be with them. We are charmed, fascinated, or at least interested to know more, and have their company. We may see some quality in them we would like to have, or they or we may be in need and we are drawn to help them or be helped by them in some way.