Friday, October 12, 2007
Tonite i was invited to the vyasa puja of my godbrother, Paramadwaiti Swami, at his temple in Miami. I would normally never attend such an event, but as Paramadwaiti is a personal friend who has been very kind to me, and he's also an outcaste from Iskcon, i felt comfortable attending the celebration. He is in Chile for his birthday observance. A small group of his disciples are here in Miami. I arrived in time for Gaura arotik, worshipping a beautiful Mahaprabhu deity from Bengal, then there was more kirtan, guru puja, puspanjali and the usual verbal glorifications. I also spoke something about my friendship with him. Afterwards we sat around and took a nicely prepared feast of prasadam. Everyone was relaxed and it was comforting to be in the company of devotees. We are now the seniors when devotees gather. We are different because we're older. In my opinion, the first generation of western devotees can claim to have received the mercy of a most extraordinary pure devotee, a special messenger from Krishna. But in all other departments, we have failed miserably. I certainly don't see myself as a good example or role model. But there are a few leaders like Paramadwaiti who do inspire younger devotees. The 2nd generation have less baggage than we do. They are motivated by the hope that they can do something. Most of us have lost that hope, or it's been obfuscated by the mess we made of things. It would be nice to have some of that innocent enthusiasm back, with the benefit of practical experience from living in this world. It would be great if the 1st and 2nd generation could mix together freely and share what each has to offer the other. But again, that's easier said than done. That requires a kind of maturity and vision that does not seem to exist yet in the ranks of the assembled vaisnavas.