Monday Morning Greetings 2023 #1 – Happy New Year from Monday Morning Greetings!

January 2nd, 2023

I ended my year with a bang! My left hearing aid fell out and was lost somewhere near Govinda Kunda in Govardhana. I missed my flight to Cochin the next day. I had misread the time of departure of 04:55 as being in the afternoon. It was obviously a morning flight! When I arrived at the next destination after an arduous journey, my computer crashed. I am typing this on my phone. Well, I tried to remain positive. Everything was going great in Govardhana, so good that I guess I subtly started to think I was the controller, which can happen on those rare occasions, like this one, when things seem to have a semblance of falling into place. I chuckled a bit with all of this. Krishna just won’t let me think I am the controller and enjoyer! What do you do without a computer when all of your work for service is on it? Chant Hare Krishna! Not so bad. I like it.

To start the new year, I will do what I always do—wish happy birthday to Monday Morning Greetings, which was born eight years ago today, which means I have completed around 350 original articles. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura published a newspaper on Krishna consciousness every day. When he was challenged how that was possible, he responded: “Even small towns sometimes have daily newspapers, so what is to write a newspaper every day about Krishna who has innumerable activities in innumerable places. One could write one every minute!”1 Veda means “knowledge”. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is a commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra, which codifies Vedic knowledge. It therefore gives a spiritual perspective on everything. If you look at the world through the eyes of shastra there is plenty to say.

Anyway, that’s not bad for typing on my phone without word processing. Is that this week’s Monday Morning Greeting? Sort of, but I want to give you more—A happy birthday Monday Morning Greeting from January 2, 2017.


Happy Birthday, Monday Morning Greetings!

January 2 , 2017

I began Monday Morning Greetings on this same day, the first Monday in January, exactly one year ago, and in this exact same place, my residence in Sridham Mayapur, the home of Jagadisa and Jugala. It began when Jugala expressed how much she liked my journals and then inquired why I hadn’t written any in over five years. I couldn’t think of a good reason. I immediately began this journal, now named Monday Morning Greetings, neatly on the first Monday of January last year.

I have now completed fifty-two Monday Morning Greetings that I will compile into a book. I have also decided to accept the personal challenge to continue this series for another year, beginning with this entry, Monday Morning Greetings 2017 #1.

Yes, it’s a challenge to write them. Most of the initial posts were ideas I had swimming around my head for some time. I thus questioned whether I would be able to come up with enough fresh ideas to continue throughout the year when that beginning source of inspiration ran dry.

There was also the challenge of keeping the writing to the standard of clarity and force that I was demanding before each journal was to be posted. Satsvarupa dasa Goswami once told me, and I don’t know if it was his own realization or he was quoting a famous writer or artist, that writing is “inspiration, perspiration, inspiration.”2

Unless you have something to say, some inspiration, there is really nothing to write, no matter how expert one is in word craft. And only with hard work, perspiration, will your original realization be manifest in a way in which others can experience your initial realization, or inspiration.

So, in some ways, continuing Monday Morning Greetings was daunting, but by remaining steady a dynamic process of writing unfolded, a process that gave me confidence that I would be able to mine realizations, confront the initial blank page, draft the initial scrambled thoughts on the subject, and eventually every week craft that inspiration in another form—the completed written work.

I now very much enjoy watching that process manifest from my initial realization into something that can inspire my audience. And just as a side note, I want to thank the many readers who have communicated that appreciation to me. It inspires me to write. Now I will share the process.


I generally don’t have a specific idea of what I will write until I finish the piece I am working on, but what I do have is a frame of reference to see God in the world based on shastra, a context that I can immediately activate to find new sources of inspiration. That framework not only helps me to more and more see the world based on what I have gleaned from the sacred texts; it also confirms those realizations in a way that brings them alive and inspires me to write about them.

For example, on the way to Mayapur I stayed the night in Delhi at the home of a very pious Indian family who, among other things, consciously dedicates themselves to karma yoga and a life according to the Gītā. I was very impressed. I saw in them certain Gītā principles personified in a way that deepened my own understanding of them and instilled in me a desire to share what I saw in a future post.

Writing thus forces me to regularly engage with shastra to keep spiritual thoughts in the front of my consciousness. It is the foundation of my process of writing.

Another important part of my process of gaining inspiration is lots of chanting, especially after I have completed a post. Chanting is for love of Godhead, but an important result is ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ, the mind becomes clear. It is only in that clarity of mind that I can see the world lucidly enough to become spiritually inspired by it.

Chanting is the basis of my life, but it is also now an essential element for my process of writing.


After the day begins, my time is mixed with other responsibilities and I find it difficult to focus on writing. I am also not the type of pure brāhmaṇa that can concentrate for long periods on intellectual work. In fact, in my youth my absorption was sports, and the only two books I ever remembering reading and liking was Animal Farm by George Orwell and The Mouse That Roared.3 Since writing Monday Morning Greetings, I thus have had no choice but to rise many hours before sunrise for at least thirty minutes to an hour for writing, where, in abject solitude, my concentration is very focused.

Thus rising early and writing daily in full focus is very much a part of my writing process, by which I can overcome the sometimes seemingly insurmountable obstacles to clarity and focus that a next paragraph often poses.

So that’s how Monday Morning Greetings was born, and hopefully I can continue this sevā for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada and my audience.

And to my readers, I remain indebted to you. There are two types of service to a Vaishnava. One is physical service, and the other is hearing. In some ways, hearing is the best service because it engages the person one serves also in service, the service of kirtan, or glorifying the Lord.

So, again, thank you, and I wish all the best for you and your families from Sridham Mayapur at the beginning of the New Year and on the birthday of Monday Morning Greetings.


1 This is a paraphrase based on my recollection of what I read that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarawati Thakura said.

2 I know Thomas Edison is famous for saying that success is 1 per cent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration, but I remember the phrase I was told as “inspiration, perspiration, inspiration.”

3 I remember now only that I enjoyed the book but don’t even remember what it was about or who the author was.


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