By Kadamba Kanana Swami
There’s not much going on externally. It’s a health retreat. Confined by bodily limitations. So there are no travels, no programs but rest, some exercise, diet and lots of ayurvedic medicine – better than steroids though.
But Krsna is always there. Prabhupada was describing how the devotees had become transformed into jubilant, dancing peacocks. What a nice statement! The spiritual world is on our mind…
Today, no walk outside. There was a huge thunderstorm at 11 am and since then it has been raining the whole day. It doesn’t matter; I’ll chant indoors.
Govindam adi purusam
I am not productive at the moment but I am hearing various tapes and chanting Hare Krsna. I am worshipping Govinda, the primeval Lord, who kindly lives with me.
Govindam adi purusam tam aham bhajami
Please maintain me as Your servant.
A meeting with Dr. Robert Charles Powell
Last week Dr. Robert Charles Powell came and visited Durban. He has studied the care program of the Bhaktivedanta Hospital in Mumbai and came to see the hospice in Durban. I found in Dr. Powell, a pleasant gentleman of very sharp intelligence. We had an enlivening discussion. Dr. Powell is interested in starting an educational program to train Hindu Chaplains. Chaplains are providing pastoral care; counseling services in hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, assisted living, clinics, industries, schools, prisons and so on. At this point, there are thousands of chaplains in the world from Christian or Jewish backgrounds and maybe five from a Hindu background.
Devotees with a bachelor degree would be eligible to enter in to the chaplaincy program. It would offer an opportunity for devotees to make a professional career and maintain their devotional identity. I am very interested in this project and think some devotees with the appropriate nature will find a very good engagement in this. The Radhadesh College students may also take note of the program. Ravindra Svarupa is in regular contact with Dr. Powell. I would like to find some devotees in South Africa from an African background, who are interested in the program. I think that would be a real asset to our movement in South Africa.
Conquering the heart
Tamal Krsna Maharaja used to keep this picture in his house in Vrndavana. Prabhupada is so blissful and Tamal Krsna Maharaja is taken aback by the power of that happiness.
Devotional service is susukham kartum avyayam, joyfully performed.
And then the rain of flowers showered by the devotees is a symptom of love and respect. That loving exchange is the basis of Lord Caitanya’s sankirtana movement. Prabhupada gave so many wonderful gifts of devotional service and the devotees took up that devotional service with so much sincerity.
Last summer in Radhadesh, Bhakti Caru Maharaja came. He told us about the final months with Srila Prabhupada in Vrindavan, when his health was not good. At one point, Prabhupada asked Bhakti Caru Maharaja for some orange juice. After ten minutes or so Prabhupada’s bell was ringing intensely. It was clear that he urgently wanted the attention of the servant. So Bhakti Caru Maharaja quickly went in and Prabhupada was fuming. “I asked you to make orange juice and how long does it have to take?” he exclaimed. Bhakti Caru Maharaja made excuses, but nothing could satisfy Srila Prabhupada, who called him incompetent and finally sent Maharaja away. Bhakti Caru Maharaja immediately made orange juice and brought it to Srila Prabhupada, who only became more angry and chastised him again. “Take it away,” he said, “I don’t want it anymore!” Bhakti Caru Maharaja however tolerated all the chastisement and admitted that he deserved it. But he didn’t let it discourage him. He simply offered Prabhupada the orange juice again and said, “Please take it. It is good for your health.” Prabhupada had previously showered Bhakti Caru Maharaja with so much mercy and love, that he had purchased him and therefore he was able to tolerate all the chastisement. When Bhakti Caru Maharaja endured the burning flames of Prabhupada’s angry words and even when Prabhupada told him to go away with his orange juice, he didn’t go, but offered the orange juice to him again on the pretext of his health. This purchased the heart of Srila Prabhupada, who accepted the orange juice and said, “Sometimes in my old age I get a little grumpy.”
In this way, in spiritual or loving exchanges one must mutually conquer the heart.
Books! Books! Books!
The devotees are out on the Book distribution marathon.
Have a look on you tube: Book Distribution – HG Vaisesika Prabhu – 7th Gosvami 101
There are several other longer videos as well. One is showing him in action in Boston on July 4th. Yesterday, I watched it with great pleasure.
I hope that more devotees will go out just for a day or on the weekends. It all makes a difference to the people out there and for us in coming closer to Krsna.
If you can’t distribute books, then buy books and give them away or leave one in the doctors waiting room!