Welcome to Various writings
I'll try to add writings by other devotees in due course
1. What's that mark on her forehead? (or how I came to Krishna Consciousness)
2. Dawn of Oracle (some manuscript)
3. Quest of Bodisat
4. The Birth of Death by Mahaksa dasa
that mark on her forehead?
How I came to Krishna Consciousness - Visoka dasa
I plowed through the thick trees and bushes in Golden Gate park, with no aim in sight, not knowing where I was going, and then she came out the bushes with a strange mark on her forehead. This was it. Somehow, this is what I was looking for; somehow I knew this was it.
Well, let me back up a little and start from the beginning. As a youth, I grew up in Kansas, and I have many recollections of wandering in wheat fields and climbing cottonwood trees. I became disillusioned in church, hearing that everybody was going to hell except my fellow churchgoers and me. I questioned it all. Then college came and I kept going back to the philosophy classes, until I had a degree in it. It was there that I became a sort of intellectual atheist, reader of Nietzsche. More like agnostic, because Dostoyevsky and Kierkegaard, who both spoke of god, equally influenced me. Still there was little example to inspire any real faith. It was all theory to me.
I remember the first time I heard the maha-mantra. It was the Hair album record, with them singing Hare Krishna. I remember how my sister and I looked at each other in a kind of wonderment while hearing the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Then, later in the 60’s the Beatles came out with Sergeant Peppers and George gave us a good taste of Indian music and philosophy. I had also liked Ravi Shankar. There was also a popular song going on that summer, "Such a strange vibration, all across the nation." We all tuned into that strange vibration, it was like a collective vibration of universal love all over the USA. Little did we know that it was Lord Chaitanya’s Sankirtan movement, just begun by Srila Prabhupada. I started this habit of traveling to California a lot, and going back to Kansas, to California and back and forth again.
Some friends and me were into the 60’s scene with the herbal sacraments and all. We were driving to California, and we stopped at the Royal Gorge, a great canyon and long bridge across it. I was standing in the middle of the bridge all herbed out. It was a rare moment, and it seemed like a voice was in my ear, it was saying how I was on this big odyssey trip of my life, in which I would find something very wonderful in San Francisco, I would find God. Yeah, right. Well, we got to San Francisco and went to Golden Gate Park. That's where it was happening, all the hippies and love and peace. I was wandering aimlessly through the bushes in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, for no apparent reason at all. Then a hippie girl emerged with an herbal sacrament in hand, offering it to me. As a 60’s flower child should, I accepted. She had a large tilak mark on her forehead and nose. Somehow I knew this was it, this was the end of the quest of the voice at Royal Gorge. This is what I came here for. She then told me about Krishna. This was the first time I heard anything about Krishna being God. The scene in California was really far out; you'd never find something like this in Kansas, no people with tilak marks who knew about God.
Later, we met this guy walking down Haight Street with a band of hippies following in retinue. As he walked by, he said "Come along, we’re going to make a sacrifice to the gods." So we followed him down to hippie hill in the park. We all sat around the sage. He had a big beard and cool clothes, kind of eastern like clothes. He had been to India! Boy! He must be very wise, we were thinking. He took out his large purple bag and reached inside and pulled out a handful of big, fat rolled up herbal offerings and threw them to the crowd. As we partook, he explained that we were having a religious service, offering sacrament to Lord Siva. He became known as the "pot priest" of hippie hill. This was to happen every Sunday on the hill. The next week it was raining, so we went to a shelter patio area and he did something different this time. He engaged us in singing the Maha-mantra. I remember that unique experience well. I remembered how mystical and wonderful it seemed, how the words, or the names alternated in the first stanza and then they were repeated twice in the next stanza, then Krishna was replaced with Rama and the same sequence happened again. There was also a big man there, very tamasic and dark and evil looking, and he was staring very maliciously at the American holy man, from India. We all noticed how he was inimical to our chanting, and we felt his murderous vibes, directed toward the sage. I think this was sort of a first glimmer of how there were demons who hated the Holy Name.
. Well, the next Sunday there were newspaper reporters and TV cameras at the service, and our priest was heralded as the hippie hill pot priest, and he was exercising his constitutional right to conduct the religious services of his choice. We were the congregation. I was sitting up front, right in front of the sacrificial alter and they got my picture with the priest. In fact, Rolling Stone magazine put this picture on the front page. I found this out one day, when the others came in excitedly and showed me the cover of Rolling Stone. My picture was at the bottom, clearing showing my profile, a faithful disciple of His Holiness pot priest. We made a big deal out of it. And not so long after that, there came out a big hit on the radio called, "Got my picture on the cover of rolling stone…" I found out that some of our associates knew some songwriters of some band, and I guess they got the cue from that whole experience. Anyhow, whatever, that was one of the first experiences with the Maha-mantra in San Francisco.
Then we moved over to Berkeley and I started seeing the devotees in the streets. It was a shock at first, with the shaved heads and dhotis, but very alluring and fascinating. I remember how I was thinking how much they were very much in love with something, or somebody. I experienced several chanting parties on Telegraph Avenue and on the campus of UC of Berkeley. There was this obnoxious man there by the name of holy Hubert. He was a notorious evangelist who really got into people’s faces. He was harassing the devotees one day and I couldn’t take it any longer, and I got into his face and yelled at him, why he was harassing these nice people. He backed down. I guess that was a little service to the devotees. I somehow found the small temple in Berkeley and went and heard the chanting. I remember how it seemed to go on forever. There was a small picture of Krishna and a plate of rice or something in front. "Hmmm," I thought, "They offer food to Krishna." One of the first devotees I remember was Makunlal, the brother of Nara Narayana. He was chanting in people’s park one sunny day, dancing, and I remember how he seemed to make these gestures to the sun, like extending his palms to the sun. I was still whacked out then, and I was thinking he was feeling the warmth of the sunshine, and doing this kind of dance. It made a vague impression on me like some kind of sun god worship, or Krishna was in the sun or something. I didn’t know yet. But his chanting and devotion really impressed me.
Then one day I got a BTG. I read my first story of Krishna Consciousness, the story of Prahlad and Nrsimadeva. I was totally blown out, it was so mystical. I was really convinced, in a very transcendental way, after that reading. Right after that, I started preaching Krishna Consciousness to others. I stopped a devotee on the sidewalk, and asked him what to do, or could I do something for Krishna. Well, I guess it was not my time to join right then. He said, "Well, do anything, go out and bum a dime for him." He was agitated for some reason. I think he was afraid I would get his share of prasadam or something. I never knew why he did not bring me to the temple and preach. Actually, I was not ready yet, not sincere yet. Well, my prison term in maya was extended after that. I had to go back to Kansas. Maybe I was supposed to go back and say a few words of Krishna Consciousness to others first.
Before I went, they had this Ratha Yatra at San Francisco, and I went and saw my eternal spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, for the first time in my life. I saw him on the corner of Haight and Ashbury, that legendary place of Hippiedom. He got out of a Volkswagen and got onto the cart. I did my first real devotional service by pushing the cart. Somehow I don’t even remember Lord Jagannatha for some reason. I don’t remember Jayananda either, but he certainly was there. I really remember getting in front of the cart and looking at Srila Prabhupada for a long time. He looked sort of sick or very tired. Like he’d been awake all night. He looked very grave. There was some devotee directly in front of him on a grassy part of the park, and he was jumping up and down very vigorously, waving his arms like a madman, like he was trying to get Srila Prabhupada’s attention. Srila Prabhupada just looked at the disciple and did not even smile. I remember how I thought he was so grave. A very transcendental sage, I thought. Well, we all paraded down to the ocean and there were so many big barrels there on the beach. They were all full of prasad, fruit salad and things. I feasted. Somehow I did not go to the auditorium with the others, we had to go back to Berkeley or something, we had no where to stay in Frisco, and it was getting dark. Anyhow, after that, I went back to Kansas and preached to everybody about Krishna and this cart with big wheels, going to the ocean. People were amazed, before, I only talked about Nietzsche and existentialism and now it was Krishna! What a turn-a-round. Some guy gave me an edition of the blue abridged Gita, and I read it over and over.
I was stuck in Kansas for a while. I kept wondering, when will they come? When are they coming to start a temple in Wichita Kansas? Surely they would. Then one day, in downtown Wichita, I saw two devotees walking down the sidewalk. I ran to them, all excited. They gave me a BTG and I gave them some change. They said they were just passing through. (All these years, and never a temple there.)
Later I went back to the west coast, first to Portland. I was in a bookstore and found "Lord Caitanya in Five Features." This was a published chapter of Caitanya Caritamrita, chapter 7 of Adi Lila. I loved the book. It had pictures of Lord Caitanya and the Mayavadis, and the Lord had effulgence all around his head. I really loved that book. We went to the temple and saw Gour Nitai for the first time. Mahibharta and Dinabandu were chanting so nice. Then later we got to Frisco and Golden Gate Park again. We were sitting down in hippie hill, herbed out, (I was still unaware of the 4 regs somehow, or unserious about it) and I heard a chinking sound over the hill. It was a totally transcendental sound. I said to my friend, "Here they come." Just then a chanting party came over the hill and ran down to a flat area and danced and chanted for a while. They were so totally transcendental. I was in bliss. They then walked by us, and Mataji Jivana dasi saw me smiling, and she came over and put this huge garland of red and white carnations on my neck. The fragrance was overwhelming. She gave me a mantra card and said come to the temple for the feast. We went, and were totally knocked out. She sat with us at the feast and later sold me a double set of the Krishna book, the big size 2 volume set. Those books were just amazing. I could not fathom the transcendental feeling of those books in my hands, and the beautiful pictures I saw as I thumbed through them. I was swimming in an ocean of bliss; here was the beautiful story of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in my hands.
for some reason, we had to go back to Kansas again. More prison time to
do. But I read the Krishna books and started to offer my food. Then I
again came back to California and Frisco, planning to come to the temple.
My plan was to just go to the Sunday feast and live outside. Be a fringy
and go to the beach a lot. But somehow they told me about this special
"stay a week" plan they had. I could stay in the temple for a
week! Real cool, huh? No obligation, just check it out. Well, I got
captured that time. The week turned into forever. I never made it to the
beach. Well, that was ok, didn’t much want to be a sea gull in my next
life anyway. That was that. Soon, I got the association of Jayananda and
other great devotees of Srila Prabhupada and that was that, I was a lifer.
Hare Krishna. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Your lowly servant, Visoka dasa
Here is a pending manuscript called-
of the Oracle
a lush forest, a cascading waterfall was heard nearby, and eager cawing of
exotic birds echoed throughout the valley, and green pairs of parrots
flited about the branches of a tall Asoka tree through which a soft breeze
carried fresh bouquet of Jasmine. Underneath the huge tree, a sage sat
erect in lotus asana on deerskin and kusa grass, his eyes closed, his hair
bundled in a top-knot and beard hung down.
hands rested on knees with mudras of middle finger joined with thumb.
Esctasy shone bright on his face as he meditated on the Gopal Cowherd
frolicking in pastures with many friends, and then suddenly his meditation
abated, and a frown caressed his lips, and another vision filled his mind.
Perturbed, his forehead wrinkled as the vision blurred and refocused.
saw the sky filled with great eagles of snow white feathered heads and
great wingspans, with great red trees down below, so huge as to scrape the
sky, and below them in the snow, ran white and grey wolves. Such birds and
wolves were nowhere to be seen in the land of India, the sage wondered at
the vision of the beauty of these creatures.
dark clouds covered th sky and there was sounds of battle cries and ugly
beasts brandished clubs and spears, and the great birds dived to attack
the beasts and the wolves charged in huge packs, howling and snarling,
entering into brutal combat with the beasts. And the eagle blood dripped
to the ground and the wolve bodies were mangled as ululating cries rose to
the heavens, and all seemed in despair for the noble birds and wolves.
far away across the globe, almost exactly on the other side of the earth,
across the many seas and islands, in a land of gigantic trees and
mountains and snow, sat a similar sage in meditation. This sage sat in
lotus position too, with eyes closed and hair long and grey and braided
and decorated with eagle feathers and colorful beads.
similar visions of eagles and wolves ran through his mind, and then
abrubtly the vision changed into hordes of flying monkeys in the sky, and
his thin smile slightly frowned in vexation at such a vision, for monkeys
were no where to be found in the mountains on the Isle of Sierra. Again,
there were visions of battle with beasts as the monkeys swooped down, this
time with weapons of arrows and stones hurled from slings, and a great
sages sat in befogged meditation, and somehow they suddenly saw each other
throughout the great span of earth and sea, they saw each other in lotus
asana, and they both saw each other's visions of flying eagles and monkeys,
and suddenly the visions merged together and the eagles and monkeys flew
together and joined anew, and the two sages simultaneously smiled, and
they knew, for they saw the future, and bliss and smiles returned to their
faces. They were peaceful again, and again went into a deep meditation
upon the source of all.
My name is Bhimasena, and I am writing this book for the sake of
future generations, so they may know the beginnings of the new world here
on our isle of Sierra, and on the isles of what used to be a large mass of
land, once known as North Amerika. This is the story of my family and my
friends and spiritual brothers and sisters, of how we struggled to build a
new life from the ruins of the great cataclysm, and how we reached out to
the other isles and the world beyond, and how the Coalition conquered the
elders knew that something big was to soon happen and we were to prepare.
We knew to pull together and weather the coming storm. Not in the spirit
of survivalism or not in the mood of saving of one's own skin ... but we
knew it to be the will of Lord Gauranga and the advent of the golden years
to come. A great golden age of Lord Caitanya and 10,000 of spiritual
revolution were to ensue, to proclaim the glory of the golden dancer and
his great sankirtan movement. And we yearned to be puppets in his play,
and bend to his will and serve as his instruments in the revolution of
elders prayed to the Lord in the spirit of Uttara, whom we read about in
the first Canto, part 2, where she approached the Lord and begged him to
save her embryo. She cared not if her own body was burned by the Bramastra
hurled by Asvattama, but she prayed to the Lord to please protect her
progeny, still within her womb. The embryo was Maharaja Parikit, and
Krishna covered her womb with his wonderful energy and twarted the
Brahmastra, which otherwise was unstoppable. Lord Krishna protects
everyone, as he maintains the whole world, but he is especially inclined
to protect his devotees. As Srila Prabhupada says in the purport, the
father is inclined especially to his helpless small son, and so those who
take the most dependence on the Lord will get his special mercy and
protection. The elders knew that what was happening soon in the world, as
it was revealed by so many pure devotees, who had the siddhi of
tri-kala-jnana. We knew that we would require the sole protection of Lord
Krishna, for him to cover us with his powerful energy, just the way he did
for Uttara's womb. The elders prayed not for their own short lives, but
for the Lord to protect the womb of the sankirtan movement, in which lay
the embryo of the future generations of Lord Gauranga's golden age.
Bodisat lived a life of happiness in a heavenly bird sanctuary
within a great forest. This isolated forest, named Nirani, lay within
tropical clime, on some large island just off a formidable mainland. The
weather was always mild with little variation throughout the year. The
seasons changed with little notice and this is why it was called the land
of eternal spring.
sported a fine plumage with bright colors of yellow and red, and blackish
eyes that accented his prominent beak. He lived in a fine society of
elegant birds who sang their time away and abided in a most affluent
lifestyle. From a tender age, he had learned the many arts of singing in
varied melodies and tunes, and dancing and flying in lofty styles. His
life seemed perfect and happy and carefree. Never a hint of distress or
worry … only a faint presence of some mysterious sorrow, of which the
elder birds wished not to speak.
would grasp the faint presence of this taboo at odd moments, but he could
not understand enough to inquire, nor were any of the elders willing to
discuss. They simply taught the young birds that life in their world was
the best of all worlds, and never was there any life more desirable than
that to be had in their world, and that was that. After all, they were the
elders, and they were the wisest beings in Nirani, and this was known
beyond a doubt.
lord of the night waxed to a full white circle, it was custom that all
birds, both young and old, to stay up late into the night and hear stories
of the ancestors. The elders would speak tales of the ancients of Nirani
and their many exploits. Some young fledgling would invariably ask what
had happened to the ancients, and the elders would retell the antiquated
doctrine of Nirani, of the ancients and the departed elders, of how they
all travelled in great celestial aeroplanes, up to the great forest in the
stars, to that place in the cluster of stars that circles about the one
star - the one star that abides forever in the middle of the night sky.
many birds had heard this tale many times, all birds would enjoy how the
young birds delighted in hearing it for the first time. Yet it seemed that
Bodisat noticed more and more that the older birds exhibited less and less
enthusiasm in the hearing of the tale. He saw but faint hints of cynicism
on their faces, when this tale was aired about. Bodisat surmised intrique.
Was there something veiled from the eyes of the young? Something too
forbidding to be explained away by tedious lectures and antiquated
doctrines? What was this secrecy? He wondered this on many a star filled
lord of the night waned to a thin sliver and then disappeared, it was a
time for the head elders to go alone to the sacred hill. From the top of
the sacred banyan tree, they would sit throughout the night and gaze into
the dark sky, as the great wheel of stars circumambulated the one star.
They fixed their vision upon the cluster of seven stars that circled the
one star and sang hymns to the departed ancients for the length of the
night. Others were forbidden to participate in this ritual, especially the
youth, who would never dream of going to the sacred banyan tree on the
night of the dark lord. Yet Bodisat has always been a sort of maverick in
the crowd, and he did follow one night and hid nearby to hear the chanting
of the hymns to the forefathers.
to continue Bodisat
In the beginning of time, the human beings lived in the clear air, and as their sustenamce, they moved within the air without effort. The Earth was then made of pure honey, and, first a few, then many more, descended by the desire to taste the sweet flavor. An addiction developed, and though they did not require the honey, they began to eat more and more. Gradually, the human beings became too heavy to fly any more, and their wings fell off to become the world's mountains. These mountains formed a crust over the Earth's surface as well as harnessed the clouds to deliver the rains and the seeds of vegetation.
When the last human had landed to fly no more, male and female forms began to develop as compatible with terrestrial living. These forms developed desire for one another and were thus able to procreate the species.
Since at this time, the human beings were immortal, the increase of their kind created an unbearable situation for the Earth. Hearing the cries of the humans on Her surface, the Earth approached Lord Brahma, the creator. Lord Brahma was perplexed, and, finding no solution to the problem, He experianced great anger. This anger began to consume the entire cosmos with the fires of annihilation, and Lord Brahma was thus satisfied.
Lord Shiva arrived and immediately bowed to Lord Brahma's feet, begging, "Be merciful, O Lord, do not destroy what You have created."
Lord Brahma: "I have no mercy, just anger.
Lord Shiva: "If this were the case, I would not have come before You. Your whole creation is blasted with fire, please look upon the human beings in another way."
Lord Brahma: "Mata Earth begged for help, crying pitiously, but I cannot solve Her problem. I know why She cries, She is sinking in the Causal Ocean from the weight of Her people, but I have no solution."
Lord Shiva: "Then al creation is but ashes."
Lord Brahma: "I withdraw all anger and restore everything as before, but the problem remains, I have great doubt."
As Lord Shiva was about to leave, assured by the universal restoration, Lord Brahma noticed a being created by His six senses, a woman with red eyes and tanned skin, brilliant in beauty and ornaments. Smiling pleasantly to the Two Lords, She went her own way to the South.
Lord Brahma called out to Her, "Wait, Death. Kill all creatures, beginning with idiots and priests."
Death replied: "Never. It is cruel, go away from me."
She ran away, but Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva tolerated Her insistance, following her and persuading her, to no avail. Death was allowed to wander the creation without taking any life for 100,277,000,008,000 years. Lord Brahma again appeared before Her, Saying, "Death, I have not seen you for a moment, what are you doing?"
"I will never kill for You" was Her steadfast promise.
Lord Brahma looked at the winsome girl, and replied, "Then I must make them equal. You will not have to kill them, you will never kill gods, demons or human beings. I now create greed, envy, anger, and shame, jealousy and passion. From Your tears, I make war and disease. Do nothing, they will all come to You. You will not be the cause or the prevention of death, but You must greet all who come to You well in their hour. They will kill themselves, and only fools will weep over what none can avoid."
Upon hearing this solution to Lord Brahma's delimna, Lord Shiva began to dance, for until this time, though He had raised His foot, He had never put it down.
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