Today we honor the appearance day of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur with a half day fast, and songs composed by the great pioneer of Lord Caitanya’s Sankirtan movement. The following is one of the many devotional songs written by Srila Bhaktivinode.
Gopinatha by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura translated from Bengali by Acyutananda Svami
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is one of the most important spiritual masters in the Krsna consciousness line of disciplic succession. His devotional songs and poems express the perfectional emotions of a pure devotee of Lord Krsna (Gopinatha).
O Gopinatha, Lord of the gopis, please hear my prayer. I am a materialistic rascal, always full of lust. I have no good qualifications.
O Gopinatha! You are my only resort. As Your eternal servant, I take shelter of Your lotus feet.
O Gopinatha! How can I uplift myself? I don’t know anything regarding devotional service. I am weak-minded and have fallen into a pit of illusion.
This morning I was cleaning out one of the sheds, and found this old suitcase filled with cassette tapes. There were some of the old Bhaktivedanta Archive tapes, Golden Avatar tapes, various lectures, bahjans and kirtans. I started to listed to some of the old vintage kirtans and lectures and I was filled with a nostalgic mood of yearning, for the early days of the Hare Krishna Movement. This lead me to re-examine the old Back to Godhead magazine issues. The following is one article I found very reminiscence of those early days.
A Conversation between A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami & Allen Ginsberg
Recorded by Guru Das Adhikary
Swamiji had come to San Francisco in late January, 1967 for the opening of the Krishna Consciousness Temple there, at 518 Frederick Street. Allen Ginsberg had always shown friendly and helpful interest in the Society; and he agreed to attend a giant “Mantra Rock Festival,” which the temple members were planning to hold in the Avalon Ballroom. And so, a few days before that event, the good poet came to early morning Kirtan (7 A. M.), and later joined the Swami upstairs in the apartment his pupils had rented for him.
We were sitting in the glow of this holy man, munching on Indian sweetballs cooked by the Swami, when Allen Ginsberg came through the door, a warm smile on his face.
The Swami offered him a sweetball: “Take.”
They sat in silence for a few moments, radiating mutual love.
During his last months, Srila Prabhupada was not very active physically, and he spoke relatively little. Yet when he did speak, his words were full of spiritual strength. These excerpts from Srila Prabhupada’s last statements reveal the mind of the pure devotee and universal teacher. And they show that Srila Prabhupada is indeed a transcendental personality, whose devotion to Lord Krsna and to the mission of spreading love of Krsna is undying.
“There is nothing new to be said. Whatever I had to say, I have already said in my books. Now you must all try to understand it and continue with your endeavors. Whether I am present or not present doesn’t matter. Just as Krsna is living eternally, the living being also lives eternally. But especially… kirtir yasya sa jivati: ‘One who has done service to the Lord lives forever.’ You have been taught to serve Krsna, and with Krsna we’ll live eternally. Our life is eternal. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire: the disappearance of this temporary body doesn’t matter. The body is meant for disappearance. So, live forever by serving Krsna. Thank you very much.”
Whenever I get nostalgic for the ‘old days’ of the Hare Krishna Movement, I re-examine the old Back to Godhead Magazines. There are a number of very good web sites where one can re-visit the whole collection of Back to Godhead Magazines. We will share with you all, some of these amazing sites.
There are many ways to enjoy or research the back issues of Back to Godhead Magazine. We hope you will take advantage of all the work done by these various web masters, allowing us to take advantage of this most beautiful gift by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.