Monday Morning Greeting 2024 #16 – From Logos to Mythos: A Practicum in Adding Life to One’s Spiritual Practices

April 15th, 2024

When Jaya Jagannath arrived for this year’s Bhakti Immersion retreat in Colombia, I told him that I had changed the topic I would be speaking on. Instead of speaking on the Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta I would be speaking on the Śikṣāṣṭaka prayers from Chapter 20 of the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta. He seemed pleasantly surprised, announcing it as “serendipitous”. He explained why: His idea was to teach the attendees of his seminars to approach the text from the platform of what he called mythos, where one engages with the prayers of the Bhāgavatam as if they are the characters of the narrative and the prayers are coming from their own hearts, rather than what he called logos, approaching the text as a passive observer from the platform of understanding, which is exactly what is described in Chapter 20 of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta. There it is described how Śrī Caitanya used the stories of the Bhāgavatam to also enter its mythos, or the prevalent attitude that the verses of the narrative communicated. Jaya Jagannath is using the word mythos creatively, but when I share the exercise that he gave to the students in his seminar, and the work that they produced, it will be apparent what he was trying to do, and how it is exactly what the Bhāgavatam as a rasa-śāstra is meant to accomplish—to not just explain what is bhakti, but to make the reader feel and own the prayers of the text as if it is their own.


I will share two of the poems written as part of the exercise Jaya Jagannath gave, although they were all exceptional. Mind you, most of the participants were people who have only recently come to Krishna consciousness.


This may be a little longer than my usual Monday Morning Greeting, but I guarantee that once you read one, you will continue. They’re that good.


The Monday Morning Greeting format is not long enough to elaborate on all the preliminary teaching and preparation that Jaya Jagannath gave to the attendees, but the gist is that he asked the students to try to own, in a very honest and practical way, the following verse:


“Dear Kṛṣṇa, please pour the nectar of Your lips upon the fire within our hearts—a fire You ignited with Your smiling glances and the sweet song of Your flute. If You do not, we will consign our bodies to the fire of separation from You, O friend, and thus like yogīs attain to the abode of Your lotus feet by meditation.” (Bhag. 10.29.35)


The first poem is by Patrick from Chatham, New York. He is in his mid-thirties, and for most of his working career he has earned his living as an actor in New York. He is gay. Normally one’s sexual orientation is not worth mentioning to describe one following the path of bhakti, but it is necessary here to do so here to understand the context of his poem.


“Knowing You Now”


I’ve been burned by You before

but I didn’t know it was You

I mistook You

for Scott, Steven, Sebastian and Tom

I stopped short of seeing You

Making these men my god.

And so I suffered in a blaze of material existence.

Expecting them to fulfill what only You can.

Fruitlessly worshipping their form, situating myself ever deeper in my material condition.

Seeking to extinguish this small fire with medicines that would only temper the flames temporarily.

But this suffering is like a sunburn

compared to the inferno of what I know is possible

by Knowing You Now.

What once singed, now scorches.

The fire of my desire to know you Krsna is so intense it transforms

my material lust into an authentic love thirst that only the nectar from your lips can quench.

You taught me that my capacity for worshipping form wasn’t entirely wrong. Just misguided. That You too have form, and hips and eyes and a smile that I might meditate upon.

Instead of their slender physique I now yearn for your soft belly and curved hips.

Instead of their attention, I now only desire Yours.

And yet…you play me more than any of the guys I’ve crushed on in the past.

More intense yet is the fire of separation when I am not near you Krsna.

When you seemingly disappear from my sight.

You call me, I come running but You are nowhere to be found.

So fervent are the flames of this fire that it transforms my form in such a way that I no longer recognize who I once was

The shape of my former self

melted away like hot molten

cast in a new form

again and again

closer and closer each time to what will one day be revealed to me as my own true identity in eternal loving relationship with You.

But today—I burn.

You started this fire and only You can put it out.

I am not attached to the outcome.

Extinguished or not.

For You are both the fire and the fire fighter.

If You desire that I burn—then so be it.

But grant me at least that I burn in deep and unrelenting meditation on your Lotus Feet.



The next poem is by Anastasia Catz. She is just past her mid-twenties and a very talented actress, who like most actresses beginning their career, has to supplement their income from acting with a full-time job.


“For you”


Every day I come home from work

Fall on the floor and internally scream

Why do I have to endure a block after block

And it’s still full on darkness and no sign of your mercy’s beam


Have I not made enough sacrifices, have I not chanted enough rounds

Have I not cleaned my vices

Have I not crossed the right bounds?

Have I not cried enough by the altar have I not poured my heart inside out

Or is your heart made of the rock of Gibraltar

And you didn’t hear when I howled?


If you meant to leave me waterless in this drought

And I am to burn in this invisible flame of life

Then why did you gift me the divine sound

That made me feel so fortunate and rife


Why did you reveal the ultimate truth like it’s no big deal

And now leaving me on read after the whole ordeal?


I want to go deaf when you’re not playing your flute

I want to go blind when you’re not showing in my meditation

I want to follow Sati’s route

I need salvation.


I just want to serve you some butter

And go back to my original form

I am so tired of being in this gutter

All I am asking really is for you to take me home.


But if you don’t

here is what I am going to do:

I will continue coming home after my debilitating work

And I will continue yearning for you.



And that’s just a sample of from logos to mythos, a practicum on how to add life to one’s spiritual practice that more than met our expectations.[1]



[1] For those of you who would like to experience from Logos to Mythos and my seminar we will be doing the same thing in Upstate New York also joined by Hari-kirtana das. Information below:


Ready to liberate yourself from the mundane this Fourth of July?


Join Dhanurdhara Swami, Jaya Jagannath das, Hari-kirtana das, and special guests for the annual Bhakti Immersion—Upstate New York Retreat from July 4-6, 2024, at Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center in upstate New York.


These three amazing days will feature: Transformative classes and workshops. Rollicking kirtans. Uplifting association. Nine delicious vegetarian meals. And enough free time to relish the 130 acres of open fields and lush forests or take a jaunt to any of upstate NY’s little towns and hamlets.


Arrive at Pumpkin Hollow on Thursday July 4th any time after 2:00 pm. Depart on Sunday July 6th after lunch.


Cost: $675 per person for a shared room. There are a limited number of single rooms available at $800 per person. Camping sites are available for $175 per person per day, and commuters are $150 per day.


A $150 deposit holds your spot and gives you first dibs on the cabin of your choice. If you came last year and liked your cabin, we would be happy to assign you to the same room.


For information and registration contact [email protected].

Comments are closed.