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Sri Gaur Purnima @ ISKCON Baroda

Basu Ghosh Prabhuji,
You are my idea of a “made man” in Prabhupada’s family. I hope to see you beautiful temple someday, how you have created a New Dwaraka Dham in the middle of bustling Baroda. I roll in the dust of your lotus feet for my own selfish benefit. you’re the best. I am in awe of your service over the decades.
Your servant,
Patita Pavana das

Comment Posted By myfriend On 17.03.2009 @ 20:01

No More Car Accidents!

My dear Akruranath Prabhuji,

Please accept my humble obeisances. Shrila Prabhupada kijai!

Thanks for your interest in my book on the Bhagavatam’s version in favour of the lunar basis (Moon sign) of Vedic astrology. In the USA, this book What Is Your Rashi? is available from the Bodhi Tree bookstore in L.A. The Patita Pavana you mention was actually initiated in Montreal one week before I was inititated. Shrila Prabhupada made one visit to Santa Fe in 1968, and I was the only devotee initiated at that time. This material world is a very dangerous place. A few days after Prabhupada left a gunman in the temple fired three shots at us devotees from point blank range, but thankfully all the shots went wild. He identified himself as an “angel of vengeance.” and hiked off. We simply chanted and did not even call the police, since we didn’t have a phone!

After my initiation, we forgot to write down my name. The President Hari Nama told me my name was “Patipama” which oid not sound right. When I inquired of my spiritual master (by that time in LA), Shrila Prabhupada changed it to Patit Uddharana, but he later called me “Patit Pavana Prabhu” in Boston at ISKCON Press. So when I went to India in 1972 or 73, I went back to Patita Pavana to avoid explaining the meaning of “patitoddharanadas” to everyone I met. All Indians know this name Patita Pavana from Gandhi’s chanting, and whenever I’d introduce myself by this name, I’d hear a quick kirtan from my new Indian friend. “Raghjupati Raghava Raja Rama…”

Somehow, both of us Patita Pavanas ended up driving taxis in San Francisco. As a (thankfully ex-) taxi driver, let me say that I am familiar with the mentality of greedy shudra drivers who do not mind at all risking your life to make an extra rupee. This is one reason I wrote the above article. It is the passenger’s job to control the fool at the wheel.

Prabhupada wrote President Nixon that his devotees are the flowers of America. But flowers are delicate and must be protected. Sometimes, they must protect themselves. Thanks again for your letter.

Your humble servant,
Patita Pavana das

Comment Posted By myfriend On 20.03.2009 @ 16:56

My dear Prabhu Pusta Krishna,
Please accept my dandavats at your feet. May Shrila Prabhupada be ever glorified!

First I beg you allow me to thank you for the kind thoughts. If I ever did anything for you, you repaid the favour in full Vaishnava form when you took me to England in 1970, and I remained with the wonderful Prabhus at Bury Place. Thank you.

There is an example in Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, which is nothing more than a book of etiquette and niti. Mukunda gave me a copy of this book in London when we started preaching to Hindu gentlemen there, as some of our residual hippie manners wouldn’t have won much friends and influence! The example is one of an executive who lost quite a bit of money in a bad investment. So his boss slapped him on the back and said, “If it had been anybody else, we would have lost much more!” Thus some may criticise you that you were in two accidents with Shrila Prabhupada, but I say you may have saved His Divine Grace from injury by quick thinking. If anyone else was at the wheel, it could have been much worse!

Regarding India’s roads, they are the most dangerous in the world. They are the grim hosts to 6% of all motor vehicle accidents world wide. I have treated the black comedy of negotiating them in my book Motorcycle Yoga - Meditative Rides Through India (www.aerostitch.com), which is a Krishna conscious view of years of semi-solitary exploration there.

Incidentally, this book Motorcycle Yoga was written to introduce Krishna Consciousness to bikers. Bobby Weir of the Grateful Dead called me up to thank me for it because the chapter “Rolling With The River” reminded him of his only trip to India, when he took Jerry Garcia’s ashes to the Ganges. It is due to Mukunda Swami taking George’s ashes to the Ganges that this final farewell of “Ganga submerion” has caught on amongst celebrities. Robin Williams also liked Motorcycle Yoga, and I gave both him and Weir Shiva Lingas that I found in the Narmada.

Prabhu, you are a great preacher and highly intelligent. You were always asking Prabhupada very pointed questions and delighting in the answers. I know that once you finish off grihastha ashram and your duties there, then Krishna will once again release you upon a world hungry for sanatan dharma and Bhagavad Gita As It Is! As Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur says, “Krishna is difficult to serve!”

Your humble servant,
Patita Pavana das (Uddharana)

Comment Posted By myfriend On 20.03.2009 @ 16:43

Dear Akruranath Prabhu,

Dandavats. May Prabhupada be ever glorified and may all the devotees of ISKCON, our spiritual family members, ever remain safe by the grace of Shri Krishna and the mahamantra:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

The hour is not missing, my brain is missing!

Thanks for pointing this out, 12:03 to 1:03 should have been Sun hora. So the order stands as given from creation to pralaya: Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, (repeat) Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon, etc. There are Nava-graha, or nine planets, in Vedic astrology. The additional ones used in the West, viz. Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, are the results of mental speculation and a poor fund of knowledge. Only the seven “embodied” planets are represented in week-days and thus used in hora shastra. Thus there are seven week-days for the seven demi-gods of these sapta-grahas or planets. The remaining two planets, Rahu and Ketu, the malefic and inauspicious “chhaya-grahas” or shadowy planets, do not figure because they are mere shadows..

Thanks again. And thanks also to Payonidhi das (above) for giving the Bhagavatam mantras for protection from the inauspiciousness of this hazardous material life which is as frail as a thread!

Mindless servant at the feet of the Vaishnavas,
Patita Pavana das

Comment Posted By myfriend On 18.03.2009 @ 04:02

My dear Brijabasi das,

Please accept my dandavats. Shrla Prabhupada ki jai!

Thank you for this intelligent argument and for the well-thought point you raise. Yes, I felt this way, too, at first. But my conclusion is that nobody in the West ever had the brains to come up with a concept of dividing the day into 24 perfect hours, so the Vedic explanation stands and makes perfect sense.

Look at what the popes did to the calendar! The very word calendar comes from kala, or time, yet they begin New Year whimsically in the middle of winter, and people in general use it as an excuse to become intoxicated and dance like monkeys. They have inserted July and August for Julius and Augustus Caesarout of sheer egoism. Look at the months! September, October, November, December, almost pure Sanskrit,: sapta, ashta, nava, dasa. December was the tenth month till July and August came along, hence Christmas is sometimes written as X-mas or literally, “tenth month.”

Ultimately, I am very poor with such fine calculations of time, these are given in minute detail by Shril Prabhupada in the Bhagavatam’s “Description of Time From the Atom.” But we can conclude that time is measured differently, but the actual measurements have their origins in Lord Vishnu, and were explained by His pure devotees for the guidance of mankind.

In conclusion, however, we find that there has been no sage in the West, until Shrila Prabhupada walked off the Jaladutta, to explain time properly. Therefore I have accepted the old concept of hora as being of Vedic origin having agonized over the point you raise time and again. Plus, it works. Try leaving your house in Saturn hora and then write to me about the interesting folks you run into.

Incidentally, speaking of time (as measured from the standpoint of the solar year), the new solar year begins with the ingress of Lord Surya into Mesha rashi or Aries on or around April 15th next month. This is called Mesha Sankranti. Check your panchanga, and remember to say your Gayatri exactly at the mean noon, the exact division between sunrise and sunset, on this day. By the prayers of devotees like you, Krishna consciousness, devotion to Shri Guru-Gauranga,with its wonderful foundation of Vedic culture, will continue to grow and spread across the landscape for another year of progress.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare

Your servant,
Patita Pavana das

Comment Posted By myfriend On 17.03.2009 @ 16:21

My dear Naraharideva das Prabhuji,

Please accept my dandavats. Thank you for your kind words regarding my article. Astology is a material science, but (as Shrila Prabhupada said) “it is the most subtle of all material sciences.” Because it is so subtle and because it is useful when applied in devotional service (for muhurthas, marriages, etc.) it is often mistaken to be quasi-spiritual. In fact, astrology is no different from learning any other science in this regard, but because of this quasi-spiritual misconception many mayavadis are involved in jyotish shastra. Of course, the concept of mayavada and jyotish are self-contradictory because jyotish accepts individual karma, individual personalities, etc. which are all reflected from the ever-active spirit soul as described in the Gita’s famous “banyan tree example. 15.1. These contradictions cannot be explained by useless, foolish, rascal mayavadis who are all worthless.

India’s most popular astrological writer is the late B.V. Raman. I used to contribute to his Astrological Magazine while he was alive. When I discussed the Bhagavata’s Fifth Canto and Shrila Prabhupada’s proper understanding of the Universal situation with him in his office, he directly contradicted it and argued on the side of modern astronomy vis a vis the Earth - Sun connection.

In this way, it seems that practically any book on astrology in English will be a smorgasbord of mayavada, modern misconceptions and whatever elements of Parashara are convenient . In fact, the only Vaishnava book on jyotish shastra that I know of now currently in print is mine. It is called What Is Your Rashi? and it is available from Sagar Publications in Delhi.

This book reveals Shrila Prabhupada’s horoscope, showing His Divine Grace to be none other than an empowered avatar, etc. It was written to offer our spiritual philosophy of Krishna consciousness to India’s modern English-speaking pandits who are generally highly intelligent and very favourable to this Krishna consciousness movement. My book describes the Vedic wisdom behind the Moon sign as the basis of Vedic astrology’s emphasis of rashi (as described in the Fifth Canto) rather than the erroneous Western conception of Sun sign. From there, What Is Your Rashi expands to the blissful chanting of:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Thanks very much for your inquiry. I beg to remain,
Your fallen servant,
Patita Pavana da

Comment Posted By myfriend On 16.03.2009 @ 15:26

Literary Triumph

My dear Sikhi Mahiti das Prabhuji,

Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet. All glories to Shril Prabhupada. So nice of you to write, I was overjoyed by your letter. It is true that very very few could have served Prabhupada personally. But then, reestablishing a true conception of world religion with only forty rupees was no minor task! Hari Sauri is to be congratulated for letting all devotees know–for the next ten thousand years– what it was like to be in the constant service to an avatar and pure devotee of the Lord, passing one test after another by his own successfully kicking aside personal ego for the pleasure of Guru Maharaja. No small task, and so eloquently spoken!

My favorite episode, I must admit, is how Prabhupada refused to be outsmarted by the members of the bogus mayavadi cult in Nellore. Fantastic episode and so instructive!

I hope to get your sadhu sangha in the future sometime, please, so I can personally thank you for the kind and considerate communication.

Your fallen servant,
Patita Pavana das
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
My dear Tulsi Priya devi dasi,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Shrila Prabhupada. The reason I called the article Literary Triumph is because in the writing of the Diary, HS Prabhu did not allow his own ego to cloud the story. As the Guru shows us Krishna, so HS Prabhu has shown us Guru. He only provided the punch line for each episode like a master story teller. He wrote to me that this was his intention, and the fact that one person (me) appreciated it made his efforts worthwhile. Actually, many have appreciated this effort, and I wanted Hari Sauri Prabhu to know this. Like you, I can’t wait for the subsequent volumes.

You mention that you have been “mistaken” for a Prabhupada disciple simply by speaking and remembering these pastimes. Why not? ISKCON is Prabhupada’s divine body and though we all all imperfect in so many ways, we are held together by the one perfect spiritual master whose grace permeates every kirtan, every aratik, every katha. This is the meaning of guru-katha, by speaking of the spiritual master in love and devotion, his lotus feet crown our fallen heads as we shelter of the sacred dust thereof. This is the right of every faithful member, to be the recipient of the blessings of the pure devotee. Prabhupada was (is) very generous with his blessings.

Your humble servant,
Patita Pavana das

Comment Posted By myfriend On 15.03.2009 @ 19:16

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