needs your help. This project is maintained by donations, which have been reduced during the pandemic. Kindly consider supporting this very important service project. Click here to contribute.

After the Sun has set

Now the Suns of Janmastami
and Vyasa puja have gone from
our sight and we have to keep
the service attitude, inspiration and remembrance.

Today is overcast, Grey skies
showering torrents of rain,
for some it's depressing,
though it is life giving.

Since I grew up in foggy
San Francisco, I never
associate overcast skies with
anything negative or undesirable.

Though I was depressed growing
up due to my painful family situation,
underneath it was a sunny disposition
which took a loving wife to manifest.

My childhood sadness, the precursor
which fostered my dormant spiritual connection,
brought me to search for what was
missing from my life–Krishna.

On this rainy, windy day I sit
in a place I have written in before--
the tire shop, where I have my car worked
on, while I look out the window, thinking.

Living in the city
separates us from
the natural order of things
and our dependence on the Earth.

We put our personal enjoyment
and convenience above what
sustains life
and is good for all.

Basic requirements for life?
Sun, air, and water come to mind,
yet no less important is the Earth
which roots the life giving plants and trees.

Tending a garden makes this dependence
abundantly clear, seeing practically
how these requirements for living work
together to sustain our life.

So many factors
have to combine to
produce a healthy,
bountiful crop–

Ultimately it’s Krishna, the unseen hand
behind nature, and then the fertility of land,
sufficient sun and water,
and keeping away those hungry bugs

I am not much of a farmer,
for laziness sake admittedly,
though I greatly dislike having to
kill the weeds and bugs.

A good mulch helps, with
healthy soil and plants,
timely planting and natural sprays
to repel, and sometimes kill “pests”.

Necessity or survival changes everything–
when we have to live on what we grow,
our attitude transforms from
whimsy to dedication.

If only I could see Bhakti
as the earth, water and air of
my life, then I would always
chant and serve with intensity.

Festivals like those past
remind us of our urgent
need to remember Krishna
in every thing we do.

Another year to become
convinced that only loving
and serving Krishna will give
us our hearts fulfillment.

If we knew this would be
our last Janmastami in
this body, what would our
mood and attitude be?

So we can pray and ask
for the prayers of others
to keep the spirit of the festivals
throughout our life!

Life is meant to be a festival
or celebration of the glory
and wonder of Krishna,
giving thanks for his love,
as we endeavor to love him.

Combined comments from old site

Fri, 08/29/2008 - 00:14 — Navasi
Seeing Bhakti

Dear Karnamrita,

This is beautiful.

This is an amazing allegory of us in the material world and Krishna, and our devotional lives, and tending the garden of our devotional creeper and having to kill the weeds and bugs and not liking to.

I don't know if that's what you intended, so perhaps I'm finding my own meaning in it, but that's what I've always loved about poetry, people can find their own meaning in your words.

Living in the material world separates us from the natural order of things and our dependence on Krishna.
We put our personal enjoyment and convenience above what sustains our spiritual lives and is good for others.

Etc... I won't translate your whole poem, that wouldn't be right.

This is my favorite verse:

"Necessity or survival changes everything–
when we have to live on what we grow,
our attitude transforms from
whimsy to dedication."

Love that. When we really NEED Krishna, and we realize that what we "grow" spiritually through our devotional practices is what we must "live on" spiritually, it is a transformation exactly as you've said. From whimsy to dedication.

This is all so beautiful and meaningful. I really, really LOVE it.

I love stormy rainy, cloudy days too. I become invigorated by them, enlivened by them. Enthused by them.

They make me think of Krishna.

Dark, rain-cloud, Krishna.

Thank you so much for sharing this very insightful, beautiful poem.



Fri, 08/29/2008 - 23:51 — Karnamrita.das

The great thing about imagery is that it has many layers of meaning, and people often find meaning beyond what was intended. There is a personal growth saying you have likely heard that, "we don't see the world as it is, but as we are." Like the inkblot test where people see so many images according to their "issues". Or a listener of a class will feel the speaker is talking personally to them. We "see" according to our consciousness and absorption. If we love men or women, we notice them, or cars, or plants, or......Krishna! Prabhupada taught by his example, the ideal of the Goswamis:

I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvamis, namely Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, and Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, who were chanting very loudly everywhere in Vrndavana, shouting, "Queen of Vrndavana, Radharani! O Lalita! O son of Nanda Maharaja! Where are you all now? Are you just on the hill of Govardhana, or are you under the trees on the bank of the Yamuna? Where are you?" These were their moods in executing Krsna consciousness.

When will that day be ours?

Your friend in Krishna,