Went to a friend's house for lunch today; a small group of ladies we were. Rasa always has a good game to play, this time it was: each one should tell two lies and one true statement about herself, and the others have to guess which one was true. There were lots of fun moments and adventure stories that came out of it, but what I wanted to tell was this:
Wouldn't you know it, the first time in over two years that I had no car (mine was having brake work done, so I'd left it overnight), I'd end up with not one but two commitments in the morning. As it turned out, I had to abandon one of them in order to do the other, but it all worked out.
Today being the appearance day of Bhaktivinode Thakur, we heard many of his wonderful qualities in this morning's class. He is worth taking shelter of for a number of reasons. Personally, I did pray to imbibe some of his ability to work in the world yet not be 'of it.' He served in the British court system in India and astonished them by his prodigious output of caseloads, yet this didn't prevent him from mainly focusing on his devotional writing and reading, his daily chanting, his raising a large family in Krishna consciousness.
The other day I changed my FB background pic to one of young girls swinging Radha-Damodara in the woods. Some devotees (especially who've been there) clicked on 'Like' or commented. It occurred to me afterwards that FB is such an odd place, where all together are gathered those who are with you day by day, who share your Hare Krishna lifestyle (about 90%), and then there are those you know from elsewhere, such as family members and friends from high school days. How odd it must seem to them!
“When you get to the place where you would worry, stop and pray.” (from Edgar Cayce, compliments of my daily calendar)
One thing about working at Krishna.com, you never know who’s going to show up. I was going over the day’s accounting tasks one day recently, and came upon a name that sounded so familiar to me. It was the same name as the person who had first introduced me to Krishna consciousness in a serious way, over 40 years ago, in San Jose.
The other day I felt that things kept going wrong, and I began to mentally blame everyone around me for the dissatisfaction I was feeling. At a certain point, however, some insight kicked in that it might just have something to do with me and my outlook. When I thought of how unsympathetic I’d been to several different friends and co-workers, I felt bad. After work I went to the temple to chant on my beads, hoping that the chanting would put me back on course.
Last Saturday I went with friends to Daytona Beach to take part in the Ratha-yatra festival; throughout the spring and summer months there are several such festivals that take place in Florida. I’d taken my car and a few ladies rode with me. One of my passengers had a pack of stickers to pass out (with a Bhagavad-gita verse on them) and she shared them with me. That gave me a way to interact with the passersby in a low-key way; I could simply give them the sticker, read the verse with them (or in some cases, they read it to me) and then invite them to our free feast, right there on the beach.
A friend sent me a link to an intriguing article, “How Religions Change Their Mind,” (click here for the full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22250412). On reading it, I mulled over the concept of remaining true to the essence of a teaching, while making it relevant for the current audience. The original inaugurator of the Hare Krishna movement was Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who upset the caste brahmanas of His time by going straight to the essence of the Vedic teachings and giving love of God as the prime goal of life.
In the course of a day here at BTG/Krishna.com, I was asked by my manager to go through some old BTGs. Doing so brought back a flood of memories. Here’s one: in 1976, in July, there was a special issue focused on the theme that America was celebrating its bicentennial, having declared its independence from England on July 4, 1776. The cover showed a festive arrangement with the original American flag in the background, and a bright-faced young devotee in the foreground, singing.