Dhanurdhara Swami March 9th, 2001
I speak to a few devotees in my room about the reason for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s appearance focusing on the necessity for the Supreme Lord’s eternal manifestations as His own best devotee in terms of God’s ontological position as the Supreme Person.
I revise and finalize my mission statement for the New Year:
My service and mood should always be pleasing to my Lordships Sri Giriraja Maharaja and Sri Sri Radha-Shyamasundar by being an object of pleasure for Their dearmost servants, Srila Prabhupada and all of my siksa-gurus. For their pleasure, I should sincerely and devotionally execute:
- Strong sadhana
- Effective service to Srila Prabhupada’s mission
- Exemplary Vaishnava behavior
I. My SADHANA will please Srila Prabhupada and the Vaishnavas when I:
- develop deep attachment to the holy name.
- worship Sri Giriraja Maharaja with love and devotion.
- serve the Vaishnavas with care and humility.
- hear Srimad-Bhagavatam with sincere respect, rapt attention, clear understanding, and deep relish.
- reside in Vraja as a Gosvami, detached and without offense (physically or in the mind).
II. I should please my spiritual masters by EFFECTIVE SERVICE TO SRILA PRABHUPADA’S MISSION, which is to:
- set an example as an ideal sannyasi, following in the footsteps of the six Gosvamis; always chanting; kind to everyone; expert in scriptures; immersed in Gaura-Govinda lila; indifferent to sense gratification and absorbed in and attached to Vraja and its eternal residents.
- to train others as Vaishnavas and followers of the six Gosvamis.
- to thoroughly learn the Srimad-Bhagavatam and other bhakti-sastras to communicate them to others by lecturing, teaching, and writing.
- to inspire competent devotees with a vision to spread Krishna consciousness and the means to actualize that vision.
- to write my experiences and realizations in Krishna consciousness and share them with others.
- to encourage, inspire, and support the development of a functional Vaishnava community among the devotees that I have trained in Krishna consciousness.
III. My VAISNAVA BEHAVIOR will be pleasing to Srila Prabhupada and the Vaishnavas when I am:
- sincere; perform devotional for the pleasure of guru and Krishna without motive.
- humble; do not act for desire or prestige.
- compassionate; emphasize with the suffering of others and selflessly extend oneself to help them.
- simple; to be satisfied with whatever Krishna provides to keep the body and soul together.
- detached; be satisfied with Krishna?s will to the extent that I neither desire or give effort to change it, no matter how externally unpleasant the acceptance of his will is.
- celibate; free from the eight types of sex life as described by Yajnavalka.
- efficient; to not waste a moment in Krishna’s service.
Gaura Purnima officially begins the Vaishnava year. I hope to accelerate my spiritual advancement this year and make some pleasing offering of service to Srila Prabhupada. I would be na?ve, however, to not expect some difficulties. I reflect on the obstacles I?ve had to face in devotional service over the last few years and come upon a nice statement that succinctly sums up the theist approach to calamity:
?We cannot lose once we realize that everything that happens to us has been designed to teach us holiness.? (Holiness; Donald Nichols)
Dhanurdhara Swami March 7th, 2001
The house here has provided the quiet and facility needed for recovery, but I hanker for sadhu-sanga. Looking forward to moving to the Bhaktivedanta Ashram in New York tomorrow, but a doubt arises. Is New York City the best place for me to practice Krishna Consciousness while recovering from illness?
Dhanurdhara Swami March 6th, 2001
I am feeling slightly better. Read a little bit of Bhaktivinoda today:
?In fact, most readers are mere repositories of facts and statements made by other people. But this is not study. The student is to read the facts with a view to create, and not with the object of fruitless retention. Students like satellites should reflect whatever light they receive and not imprison the facts and thoughts just as the magistrates imprison convicts in the jail!? (The Bhagavat, It’s Philosophy, Ethics, and Theology)
Dhanurdhara Swami March 5th, 2001
The question of whether or not the journal could continue in the West came up since so much of it has been about the dynamics and excitement that seems to be unique to India. The real dynamic of the journal is realizing and seeing the philosophy of Krishna consciousness practically applied in the world. The advantage of writing it in India?especially the dhama?is that it is easier there to go deeply into Krishna consciousness here, but wherever one can to some degree contact his soul, his vision of the world is worth relating. I have no doubt the journal can continue here in the USA.
I wonder the value of what I can write now when my fever has increased and my sadhana has plummeted.
Dhanurdhara Swami March 3rd, 2001
Sick in the morning. I fast and don’t drink anything so I might have a chance to attend the program. I start the program lying on my side talking casually about my stay in the hospital. More people come and I sit up and absorb myself in kirtan. I’m basically focused on the chanting as I have so little energy for much else. I hardly remember what I spoke on, other than it was something from my journals and it was sincerely appreciated.
A good turnout?nearly fifty people. There is a sense of self-satisfaction as it is many of the people I have been helping in Krishna consciousness for years and I?ve seen how they have matured so nicely. Many of them have families now and the children are fairly Krishna conscious.
An observation: Although there used to be natural factions and cliques among the devotees, today everyone seems as one family with cordial and loving relations. It reminds me of the saying, ?They have enough religion to hate other religion, but not enough to love them.? It seems the devotees have matured and now have enough religion to transcend petty factionalism and extend themselves to everyone.
Dhanurdhara Swami March 2nd, 2001
Down again for the day, but I feel determined to attend the program tomorrow.
Some inspiration from a New York Times I found lying around the house here:
?In his first service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral since returning from Rome, Edward M. Egan yesterday remembered the moments in the St Peters basilica just before Pope John Paul elevated him to cardinal.
?While the other 43 cardinal-designates were being led in a prayer on February 21, Cardinal Egan said, he ?didn’t listen.?
?I was reciting a little prayer of my own,? he said. ?I learned it in a darkened room in the Bronx,? from an elderly Franciscan priest in the 1970′s.
?Lord, please take over,? he said yesterday, repeating the prayer. ?Make my every word only what you would say. My every act only what you would do. Do not let me get in the way. I’m yours, totally yours.??
Dhanurdhara Swami March 1st, 2001
More of the same?sickness and sleep. I am taken aback when my mother comments, ?I’m surprised to see you so sick and grumpy. I consider you like a God, one who is above all this.? I have noticed over the years how by visiting her, my mother’s faith in spirituality?and even Krishna?has gradually increased and often she says things that surprise me. Anyway, I think if I was born blind, she would have named me Padma-locan?lotus-eyed one.