Madhavendra Puri das (France)

SRILA VYASADEVA’S DAY 2009

PART I

In the midst of Kali Yuga,
In the ancient Kalikata,
As a shakti-avatara,
You descended from Goloka.

Under the rule of Victoria,
On the day called Nandotsava,
Appearing through Rajani,
Your mother tongue was Bengali.

For your mother and Gour Mohan
You were to be ”Abhay Caran”.
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 kachauris, you were a fan.

You managed to have your own Rath
To pull along Lord Jagannath.
Engaging Bhavatarini,
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.

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.

*

SRILA VYASADEVA’S DAY 2009

PART II

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.

You kept alive the true vision
Of your master 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 Vraj.
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.

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
Neither 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.

*
Madhavendra Puri das (ACBSP)