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Every Step a Prayer, Every Breathe a Question

Every step a prayer
giving thanks I still walk,
every breathe a question
when my love will awaken?

At every moment life and
death are precariously balanced--
we struggle to survive another
day before our body’s demise.

Sitting in the waiting room
an outpatient clinic
amidst deteriorating aged bodies
during my wife's colonoscopy.

A common procedure, certainly
yet it gives us pause
about how temporary life is--
that it can end unexpectedly.

Especially as we age
our friends begin to die,
many suddenly, with no warning
others slowly by disease.

My parents in-law
have it much worse
retirement community living
seeing close friends die, frequent funerals.

Facing death helps us live more fully--
not a morbid preoccupation,
but negative impetus for engaging
in Bhakti, a real solution for death.

Birth, disease, old age, & death
for the eternal soul unnatural
kept alive by our karma
by thinking we are the Enjoyer.

After traversing the Universe
through all species going up,
down, around all planets, dimensions
since time immemorial--too long!

The fortunate souls receive
well-wishing from a saint
whose blessings impart the Divine
seed of Bhakti, beginning the awakening.

As we take a step toward Krishna
he takes a thousand toward us
so great his love, that once embarking
on bhakti, he never lets us go.

Having begun our return to
the Lord and love of our heart
he carries what we lack
preserving what we have.

Combined comments from old site

Fri, 11/21/2008 - 18:58 — Snehal

This is just amazing! Thank you for such an inspirational poem.



Thu, 11/20/2008 - 05:25 — Go-Seva
Very moving

Hare Krsna prabhuji~ I sincerely hope your wife's colonoscopy went well... I am very aware of how fragile life is. I remember while in high school, a very close friend and an icon of the school died in a horrible auto accident. I was devastated, as this was really my first experience with death. When I went to the "wake", I remember thinking that the body looked so vacant, so unlike the person when he was alive. That began a lifelong search for the answers to my questions about what life was about.

Fortunately, my search led me to Srila Prabhupada, the "saint whose blessing imparted the Divine seed of Bhakti," which began my awakening into being Krsna Consciousness, giving me the answers to all the questions I had my whole life. What a wonderful gift!

Thank you for this lovely poem. It made me remember how urgent the message of "always remember Krsna, and never forget Krsna" is.


Thu, 11/20/2008 - 08:38 — Karnamrita.das
Our life is in Krishna's hands

Yes, material life is precarious---like a drop of water on a lotus leaf At any moment it can fall off. So it is with death. It is a given, only we don't know the exact date. In the Shrimad Bhagavatam Maharaja Parikshit knew he had 7 days to live. We may have only our next breathe! So we are advised to live our life like death is almost upon us---because it is.

Who is old? One who is about to die. So from the perspective we are all old, or we could be unexpectedly. And if we have not spent our life serving and remembering Krishna, then our destination may be unfavorable.

Of course if we do our best, then Krishna will surely help us. We want to be serious, though not fanatic, or not taking into consideration our nature. At different times we may stress one side or another. Prabhupada was heavy like a thunderbolt, and soft like a rose.

Your friend in Krishna,



Sat, 11/22/2008 - 04:33 — Go-Seva
Srila Prabhupada says....

"We are all born to die." I tell this to children, grocery store clerks who mention life's fragility, my step-father who calls to tell me (with much regularity) that someone he or I know has died, my father-in-law, and anyone else who will listen when expecting a comforting answer about life or death. It is not a comforting thought, knowing you could die any moment.

I also remind myself of this fact, as I want to always be prepared. Who knows what could happen next? Only Krsna....


Sat, 11/22/2008 - 06:47 — Karnamrita.das
There is no death

He also says there is no death as does the Gita. So along with being philosophical to others, if they are receptive you can give them hope as well, that the real solution to death is knowing the soul is eternal. Especially in pain people need comfort. For sure it can be a teachable moment, yet that depends on your relationship. When I was a new devotee out to save the world and my parents, I was less that sensitive in my presentation. I am sure that is not how you are but many devotees sort of burn bridges with relatives by being overly zealous. All of a sudden their child or relative has become an authority on everything, while they remember us in diapers.

So, let me ask you, "How did a nice soul like you get mixed up in with these other escapees in this insane asylum? An old movie produced by George Harrison puts it well. It was called "Time Bandits" which gave sort of a cute perspective of these driven midgets who were running away from God (who was chasing them occasionally), to get them to stop trying to get all the loot.

Your friend in Krishna,


Wed, 11/19/2008 - 21:25 — DBB

Hare Krishna,
Thank you for very inspiring poem.

Wed, 11/19/2008 - 17:40 — dru
Too Real.

Hare Krsna Prabhu,
This is so beautiful!! Could you share what inspired you to write this?


Thu, 11/20/2008 - 08:30 — Karnamrita.das
Life teaches us

As I writer I see life with the writers eye, which is also the devotee's eye, so while sitting in the doctors waiting room it was natural to share my thoughts. Usually I explore a problem or possible difficulty, and the spiritual solution.

Your friend in Krishna,



Mon, 11/24/2008 - 17:54 — shikha

HARE KRISHNA . really thankful for sharing this . it really touched deep . u all devotees doing superp work . HARE KRISHNA