Monday, February 11, 2008


Vasant is the first month of Spring in India, and today is Vasant Pancami, the fifth day of Vasant, according to the Indian calendar. It is celebrated as the beginning of Spring. Today in Vrindavan dham, all the Deities in the temples take off Their winter clothing (including gloves and scarfs) and put on bright yellow dresses. It is a beautiful festival. Lord Krishna once told Narada: "What is the meaning of life without festivity?"

I am thinking about this today, trying worship my Giriraj silas in this mood. But without the company of sadhus and without a strong purpose for seva, it is difficult to feel festive.

Today i was also reading some letters Srila Prabhupada wrote to his early disciples in February, 1967. He wrote to Kirtanananda: "I wish that each and every Branch shall keep their independent identity and cooperate keeping the Acarya in the centre. On this principle we can open any number of Branches all over the world. The Ramakrishna mission works on this principle and thus as organization they have done wonderfully."

How this basic instruction has been twisted and abused! This practical order, like so many others, is unrecognizable in today's Iskcon. But this instruction gives us a hint of how to function, even as disenfranchised disciples. We do not need to be passive. We can learn to act as independent identities, according to our individual natures, keeping the Acarya in the centre thru our work. At least we can try to cooperate with Prabhupada as individuals. That will be the best way to overcome our lamentation and create a festive mood in our hearts.

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