Hare Krishna, Siksha Guru Maharaja, please kindly accept my most humble obeisances; all glories to Srila Prabhupada; all glories to your good self for your own exemplary devotional service, which has been a great inspiration in the lives of so many others: including even such attached and foolish souls as myself.
HpS/ASA - Thank you Siksa Guru Bala Bhadra Das, who have sincerely been inspiration to us in your self sufficient determination to serve Guru and Gauranga.
I wanted to follow your advice and check out the Houston community of devotees, and having done so, I was genuinely very pleased with what I found. I made some very nice new friendships there, and was warmly received and looked after by Srinivasa prabhu and his family: their kindness was overwhelming, to say the least.
I knew that I would be challenged with the idea of wanting to move there, and I was nervous, because in my own heart I am very attached to my living situation here in Boise: in spite my poor history with the Boise temple for the past 24 years.
My sadhana was seriously challenged since late last summer, although it seemed somewhat steady.
I was genuinely nervous, wondering how I would survive if this downward trend in my deviotional practice were to continue: Going to Houston, having your personal association, and having the friendship of devotees has really helped me in this regard.
HpS/ASA - Seems like all the above mentioned are just instruments of Guru and Gauranga!
I came home feeling ready to move on in my devotional service. In Houston I was amazed to discover that I could still rise on time for 4:30 mangala arotika.
It reminded me of my earliest years as a full time devotee: sometimes my rounds were completely done before mangala arotika, at least back then. Now that I am back home, I have been able to rise at a more proper time, although not as early as I did in Houston: by 4:30 on average I am up. I have changed much of my morning routine so that on most days my rounds are completely chanted; or at least with only a couple of rounds remaining, before moving on to my worldly duties.
ASA/HpS: Episteme. The ground on which we stand.
I am able to distribute a book every now and then as a driver for Uber. I have a new student for holding Bhagavad gita classes, and a possible second new student: both of whom I have met whilst driving for Uber.
They don't want online classes so we are meeting in my home once a week.
I was invited to hold a class or seminar in someone's place of business: that is still pending at the moment, as I am trying to find the strength to add to my already busy days.
My ongoing conventional mail correspondence with inmates is still going on, keeping me very, very busy. I came home to a small stack of letters just waiting to be opened and replied to.
My online Bhagavad gita classes on Tuesday evenings have resumed, as have my online attendance of morning and evening classes from Hawaii, as well as my online readings that happen on Sunday mornings.
At present we are still reading from the Sri Chaitanya Mangala by Locana Dasa Thakura, and we are about two thirds through with that book.
HpS - We have started Maha-nidhi Swami's Kindle version!
The next book will be Sri Nityananda Charitamrita, by Srila Vrindavan Dasa Thakura.
Usually it's only my wife, Mother Malati from Colorado Springs and I who attend the Sunday morning readings.
I do have some interest in presenting stories from the Mahabharata online, but I am struggling with finding enough stamina to increase my activities. I get moded out real easy with being tired.
In Houston there was very nice appreciation about my PowerPoint Mahabharata stories from the adult devotees. And the children were especially very keen with excitement; but I guess children usually are, when it comes to story telling.
It is only by your mercy that all of this has been made possible: my being more attentive to my practice of early morning sadhana, and my ongoing efforts to share Krishna consciousness whenever, wherever, and however possible.
You cared for me, knowing how much distress I was in over the years. Knowing that you cared has made all the difference in the world: for both my wife and I.
It's not possible to express any gratitude for your kindness; still, it is my duty to try.
HpS - We are just donkeys put in front of a pail of water and we drink! Srila Prabhupada 99.999...% is our only hope!
With that being said, "How can I serve you?" This is all I ask.
I should close here, hoping to always be blessed with your kindness and mercy.
Your lowly servant,
HpS - If you can see any service we/asa need, please let us know. Then, never give up on the Boise Temple. Maybe hang bananas on the door knob once a month at midnight but help as you can!
Look for one more Blog letter.