Hare Krishna Gurumaharaj,
Please accept my humble obeisances and gratitude
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
It has been more than a month since my last letter to you and your always instructive, nourishing and precise reply.
There is a commitment from my side to endeavor in developing a frequent communication with you and not get lost as before. Yet, it is a work in progress not because of lack of desire and need, rather weak determination.
I do think of you and talk with you in mind everyday; however that is not enough. There must be a concrete communication to get proper spiritual nourishment and upliftment to grow.
I beg you, Sir, for your help and mercy,
if you desire and bless us,
spiritual strength will be manifested in me.
HpS - You can see we put in some carriage returns. . . We can only hope to be of use to you in your endeavor to one day dance with Krsna and that, that will be practical impetus to write here. If we get water from the well we go to it, no?
I come to you, crawling but I want to run to your lotus feet and remain there forever.
HpS/ASA --- We haven't experienced any lotus feet yet. We must smile and hope to see them also! So, we realize that it is very import to indicate to people that we may be not much more than a traffic signal in the process of getting to Guru-Gauranga. Srila Prabhupada may be a map, a experienced traveler on the road, so we give our full blessings for people to go to him. Except where the traffic signa is appropriate.
It is contradictory, many times we experience a intense sentiment of guilt for not taking appropriate association of your holiness, and fear to lose your precious association and at the same time I do know that you kindly are always available, your lotus feet are always accessible ( your compassion, guidance, loving care, mercy, teachings, your indispensable help and protection). There is a strong need to grow, mature and not be a burden for you; becoming an useful disciple of your; thus, please you. Now I am realizing that I can not do it without you.
HpS - Jayatirtha Das was visiting from Los Angeles because for a few weeks we had no Temple President in Berkeley. He was one of Prabhupada's MOST prominent disciples. Then he went back and then a letter came for him from Srila Prabhupada in India.
I called him and asked if I should forward it by mail to him, and he responded with a little panic, "No, open it immediately and read it to me!".
I did that and it had some very interesting instructions from SP, then Srila Prabhupada finished by saying, "You cannot exist without my mercy...", and it made us gulp, and pause because it was so strong, but then the next phrase changed everything, "and I cannot exist without your mercy. This mutual respect, this mutual love IS Krsna consciousness"!
So, we all need each other! Radharani would die if She didn't get the association of her cousin, Candravali. They LOVE to quarrel.
This time, we report you about my sadhana. By your mercy, and Krsna's, my japa chanting in average is constant ( daily 16 rounds, with some downs but more ups), we do not experience taste for chanting yet, but there is a sincere desire to have the desire to chant the Holy Name, attentively and taste for chanting. We beg for your blessings to enable us to endeavor in that mood and attract your and Krsna's mercy more and more.
My temple Mangalartik attendance has been poor in consistency, sorry for that, I will work on that, starting from tomorrow Tuesday 24/11/2020.
Our SB classes attendance is better, with additional listening SB classes from different devotees, some preferences for your classes (when we have access to the recordings),
- Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami,
- Bhakti Vijnana Swami,
- Sacinandana Swami,
- Bhurijana prabhu,
- Radhanath Swami and from his good disciples;
- Radhika Raman prabhu's series of lecture at Vaisesika prabhu's community, so on.
I do not have much communication with Devamrta maharaj, except when he gives classes here in the temple similarly with Aniruddha prabhu, the communication with him is just at the level of management - basic. I did try to pursuit a Siksha relationship but it did not work ( my respect and appreciation to him).
Her Grace Rambhoru Mataji (organiser of ISKCON Karuna Care program) kindly is giving us her guidance, she lives in Washington DC and organizes different training programs, Compassionate care for devotees and non-devotees, kind of chaplaincy. I got inspired by her to get involved in Devotee Care program, and get some training.
Last year I completed the course at the university, the Psychology degree at Macquarie University in Sydney, and I enrolled in a Master degree coarse in Counseling and Psychotherapy at Australian Collège of Applied Psychology but, I stopped it temporarily.
It is quite demanding, being in the temple as full time devotee it is very challenging for me to complete the assignments on time at the level that it is required.
Moreover it is not proper for me to compromise my sadhana and health either. I thought in taking one subject-unit per semester, it would take long to complete the course, what is your advice on this regard?
HpS - ??? I don't know the details, but the one course a semester seems the best. Congratulations, Mataji on you academic achievement. Living in the Temple and accomplishing these academic degrees at the same time seems give a lot of expectations that what you learned was with a good KC perspective.
Currently, I have been having some difficulties in my temple service at pujari. Mainly, the way, how I dress up the Lordships is on check, the temple authority (Aniruddha Prabhu's wife) she set a deity dressing standard based on tradition that she would like to maintain.
For her, the Lordships look in Vrindavan mood whenever I dress up Them,( mataji is not happy with my service) and that is not align with awe and reverence Laksmi Narayan mood that Srila Prabhupada instructed.
I wonder what actually Srila Prabhupada means with Laksmi Narayan mood in Deity worship?. I do respect and appreciate Acintya Rupa mataji (Aniruddha prabhu's wife) and i am traying to follow her guidelines which are very constraining for me; however, it is painful for me to see how the Lorships look, knowing that we could do and offer better quality of service, not just the basic ( following the authority is important, but blind following is condemned).
For another side, we got the understanding that many devotees feel inspired and appreciate how The Lordship looked when I used to dress up Them before.
So I did consider it as an opportunity for me to be engaged in an indirect preaching service to devotees.
It made me feel useful in Srila Prabhupada mission.
Now I am questioning myself about how i can contribute effectively in Srila Prabhupada's mission. I do not have clear and proper view how to be useful and it is a strong need to do it.
I would like to understand Krsna's plans for me.
I thought that Deity worship is the service that can help me to develop Love for Krsna, be properly situated according my nature.
HpS - One time Jayatirtha Das was in a war with one of the ladies how to dress Rukmini Dvakadisha in Los Angeles Temple. Big Temple. Three-hundred devotees within five blocks, and the controversy about how to dress Radha and Krsna was brought to Srila Prabhupada. He just raised his hands and laughed, and said, this is a matter of personal taste, I will not get involved!
So, that is one perspective, but maybe there is something else in Mataji's decision.
Second, point is that Radharani has to tolerate how Candrabali serves Krsna sometimes. It makes Her so... !!... angry.... Hmmmmmmmmf!!!! but there is no choice. Still She does not lose Her enthusiasm to serve Krsna. She understands the mentality of Candravali and then uses that in Her service.
Also, https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/8/17/11/ ... very relevant history? This text followed by the others. The whole pastime.
In a previous communication with you, via gotomeeting, i asked you about the Waves of Devotion book translating service. You instructed me to write you on the blog. Here we are Sir. I wonder if there is any specific requirement for doing that service. I thought of a team of devotees doing it, and if you allow me i can do my best doing that service to please you. please let me know how can i serve you with that project and perhaps, you prefer me to serve you in other services as well.
Please engage me in your service, that will motivate and push me to keep in constant communication with you all.
HpS - I think Anandamaya Das said that some of it was already translated and he had a soft copy of the first part. Maybe that was for BhSastri. Can you contact him. I asked him about the transalation of the rest but never heard from him again. It is really a very, very important book for us to understand NOD, then so many obstacles are quickly removed. We need a KC country. When the Pandavas married Draupadi they did not just get a nice wife, they also got full use of her father's kingdom. Maharaja Drapada. What is we had one KC country! ? Lots of work to do!
As always, this is becoming too lengthy and i was not able to convey the complete message. it seems that there is another reason to write to you very soon.
Thank you for your patient, compassion and care dear Gurumaharaj. Please forgive me for my stupidity and offences.
We humble pray to Sri Nrisimha deva to bless and protect you. Jay Srila Prabhupada!! Jay Sri Ram!!
your useless disciple
HpS - We wonder if there is also a "amla-manjari"? Thank you. (www.spokensanskrit.org). Now we join the regular 8PM local Kirtan/Class!!