Thanks to Gurudas Prabhu of Washington, D.C., for the photos of me distributing on harinama in Silver Spring. Thanks to Steve Cameron for the photo of me at the Bhakti Garden. Thanks to Diana Koushyk for the photos of me at Union Square.
I arrived just in time for the Potomac Sunday feast and to hear Gauravani Prabhu lead kirtan (https://youtu.be/PeyqK8fw4Zo):
After the kirtan I spoke about the holy name, focusing on three important verses:
"The holy name of Krishna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Krishna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Krishna’s name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Krishna Himself. Since Krishna’s name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with maya [illusion]. Krishna’s name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Krishna and Krishna Himself are identical.” (Padma Purana)
And then there is a nice verse by Srila Rupa Gosvami quoted in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 1.99:
“I do not know how much nectar the two syllables ‘Krish-na’ have produced. When the holy name of Krishna is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert.”
My niece, Fern, has been a vegetarian since birth, and because she has been living in Philadelphia during college and after graduation, I have invited her to Govinda’s Restaurant for prasadam. This time I invited her and her husband, Oliver, to the dinner at the end of the Bhakti Garden program. They liked it, and they enjoyed talking to Ananda-Murari Prabhu, who is from Denver, as she is planning to get her masters degree at the Colorado School of Mines near there. He promised to show her the Govinda’s Restaurant there when she relocates.
A Visit Home to Albany
My family likes the Doughnut Plant doughnuts. The original Doughnut Plant is in Chinatown, and after arriving on the Chinese bus from Philadelphia, I had 8 minutes before the Chinese bus to Albany. I decided to stash my bags, except for my computer, in the Chinese bus station and run to the Doughnut Plant and get some doughnuts for my relatives. I arrived back at the Chinese bus station just two minutes late, and the Chinese bus lady was telling the bus driver to go and he was beginning to pull out, when she saw me, who had previous inquired from her about the Albany bus, running toward her. Thus by Krishna’s grace I got the doughnuts and caught the bus. I have a tendency to gamble like this, and because I usually win, I keep doing it.
I decided to make instructional videos for my 92-year-old mother to print documents, print selected text from an email, and scan documents as it is difficult for her to remember when I show her things, even if she takes notes on them.
Then I made spaghetti and koftas for my sister, as spaghetti is a favorite of hers and her birthday was the previous week.
It was nice to get together briefly before my summer in Europe, and there is always the thought in the back of my mind, that perhaps it is the last time I will see some of them. I recall when I last saw Sadaputa Prabhu in June 2007, I did not understand I would never see him again, as he left his body before I returned to Florida the end of September 2008.
Chanting Hare Krishna with the Yuga Dharma New York City Party
I plan to spend several hours with my old friends on the New York City harinama on the day I flight to Europe each year.
Bhakta Kane, Natabara Gauranga, Martanda, and Kailya Krishna Prabhus led the chanting of Hare Krishna on the Yuga Dharma New York City harinama at Union Square Park (https://youtu.be/C50cmtZoVPA):
purnah suddho nitya-mukto
karna-kroda-kadambini ghatayate karnarbudebhyah sprham
cetah-prangana-sangini vijayate sarvendriyanam krtim
no jane janita kiyadbhir amrtaih krishneti varna-dvayi
sadhu-sanga, nama-kirtana, bhagavata-sravana