All glories to your service.
Apologies. I know I am not writing to you enough. This is ultimately my own misfortune.
I have found a way to listen to your lectures that devotees have put on YouTube over the years, offline. This, of course, is great for hearing while working. I still paint houses. Unlike Socrates, I haven’t put down my tools yet. Many lectures from Huston Temple. I also found a great resource that other’s on this blog may appreciate. One industrious devotee from the Hawaii online sanga, which you have frequented for many years, has posted videos of your PowerPoint show lectures! Here is the link to the channel for those who are interested. They are the same lectures which are available on soundcloud, but with the ever enlightening presentation you designed to aid our learning.
Your lectures continue to give me great strength in krishna consciousness. I am eternally in debt to you.
Last few months have been challenging, with study, work and family. Currently I have a few weeks break from university, which has allowed student Dhruva to get some rest.
I have completed more courses in Anthropology, Philosophy and religion, and still more to go. Learning a lot. Picking up a lot of tools for Sankirtan. I’m being careful not to stick my head out as a devotee too much. I don’t think confidence is appreciated too much at the bachelor level.
HpS - ASA - General Patten had one young Lieutenant as an Aide d'camp and in the beginning whatever General Patten told him to do he just said, "Yes, Sir". Then at one point he screwed his courage up and made some comment about one of General Patten's comments, and General Patten looked at him with a strong stare.
The the young lieutenant screwed his courage up more and said, "General Patten, with all respect I don't think you became a General by always being a "Yes Man"".
General Patten's gaze softened a little and he looked at the Lieutenant with compassion and said, "Yes, that's a fact, but that's how I became a Colonel."
Your good disciple, Dhanesvari DD, is also studying to improve her qualifications in accounting and bookkeeping. She is doing voluntary seva and work experience assisting in the local temple’s treasury.
I attempted the official ISKCON second initiation exam a few weeks ago. By the mercy of the vaisnavas I past. But, due to my misfortune, it was too late and my diksha guru, HH Devamrita Swami, left. I’m not sure if he even knows I sat the exam. I decided that I should try the formal pathways by sitting the exams. But definitely I have mixed feelings about the whole experience. It’s challenging, I’m sure, for the authorities to deal with someone like me because I do not spend much time at the temple. I have been progressing in Krishna Consciousness, ever so gradually, mainly through your association, through my own personal study, sadhana and contemplation, and through our deity seva at home. Therefore, I understand that it may be difficult for authorities to asses me with confidence, and in some ways I might even pose some kind of threat to the existing structure due to my independence. I don’t know.
HpS - Hmmmm! It seems you should come by the Temple every now and then and say hello to the President and see if you can lend a hand on some projects. Tell him what you are doing, and that should be enough for him to be satisfied with your efforts. As far as I can tell your independence is great.
Regardless, probably due to some offence I have committed, i could not get second initiation this time and I am left to further contemplate, “Who am I. What is my relationship with guru and Prabhupada. And, what is my position in ISKCON.”
I recently did manage to get a special service. It’s in the back, cleaning in the paraphernalia room. It’s a good place to be.
Bhagavad Gita 18.66
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.”
Srimad Bhagavatam 10.81.16
kvāhaṁ daridraḥ pāpīyān
kva kṛṣṇaḥ śrī-niketanaḥ
brahma-bandhur iti smāhaṁ
“ ‘Since I am but a poor, sinful brahma-bandhu, not brahminically qualified although born in a brāhmaṇa family, and You, Lord Kṛṣṇa, are the shelter of the goddess of fortune, it is simply wonderful, my dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, that You have embraced me with Your arms.’ ”
I would like to take the service you have offered me regarding the interview of Dr Mabbett for Education and the Sacred. Dr Mabbett said he is still a great Nagarjuna scholar. My first steps would be to get to know his work so that I can extract his wisdom through appropriate questions. What are your thoughts and advices in this regard, Maharaja?
HpS - It seems wonderful. Just get to know him and what his passion is. Why he has been so devoted to his topics. It certainly doesn't seem to be for any gross goal. In general we are asking people with what community they identify and what are the definitions of sacred and educated in those domains. Is there any message that he wants to leave behind?
I will leave it at this for now, and save further topics for future correspondence.
Though terribly unqualified, undeserving, and ungrateful, seeking some particles of dust from your lotus feet.
Dhanesvari DD, Suryani D, and Sarasvati D.
HpS - Hare Krsna! Our respects to the Matajis. They are our inspiration. Make a big sound that will be heard clear across the ocean.