Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Become Penpal - Reasons to Become a Devotional Pen Pal

Become Penpal - Reasons to Become a Devotional Pen Pal

Jay Shri Radhe! Welcome to my cell block. You can call me X28. You see, when you are here on the inside, your number is as important as your name. Well, I am glad you are here. Thanks for stopping by to see me. Your timing is perfect. You got here at one of the most important times of the day for us inmates. At least for some of us anyway.

You look at a little bit nervous. Relax. Most of these guys are harmless. Just don't try to turn the channel on the T.V.

Okay now, follow me. I want to take you out into the day room. It is almost time for the mail call. Before the officer starts calling out the names of the guys who got mail today, I'd like you to meet a few of the guys that I live with.

You see the guy standing right up' front, there, right by the officer, the one with the ring of pure white hair? Yeah, that's him, inmate Money. Every day at mail call, you will find him posted up right there. And he always gets there early because he knows that he gets mail almost every single day. Let's move on. They turned down the sound of the T.V. so it is almost time. We will get back to inmate Money in a few minutes.

There are enough bunks in this dorm for about 90 guys, and it usually stays pretty close to full, but if you look around you'll only find about 40 or 50 guys who have migrated to the day room for mail call. And why is that, you might ask. You see, the other 40 or 50 guys never get any mail. Let us get back to them in a minute as well.

Now, the guy over there by the window, the smiling guy with the cane, that's inmate Family. He always shows up in plenty of time too. It's more likely than not that he will be getting some mail as well.

Most of all these other guys, well, they sort of fall everywhere in between inmate Money and the guys who never show up. Sometimes, they get mail and sometimes they don't, every mail call is at least a chance to have a few minutes of hope.

See the short guy by the water fountain, yeah him. That's inmate Newspaper. You will hear his name called out and he will pick up his copy of his home town news.
Shhh! Listen up..It's time for mail call.

Jones! Here Sir. - Jiva! Here Sir. - Smith! Here Sir. Ajamila!.. Ajamila!... Sir, he went to sick call this morning and never came back. I think they may have put him in the hospital. -Henderick Hendricks 29! - That's me Sir. - How the hell do you pronounce your name? - Headricks Sir. - Headricks? Well, you need to tell your people to learn how to write. Hall! - Here Sir. - Maya! Maya! - He's in the shower Sir. -That figures. He seems like he's always lost. Money! - Here Sir - Money! - Here Sir - X28 - Here Sir - Family! - Here Sir - Newspaper - Here Sir - Bible - Here Sir - Winkin! - Here Sir - Blinkin! - Here Sir -Nye! - Hey Nye, you better get down here. Somebody loves you! - Family! - Here Sir - Name, Name, Name, etc. Okay guys, that it. Hey Kamsa, nobody loves you! -Oh Shut up. I didn't hear your name either Ravana.

So that is mail call. It only lasts a few minutes but it can sure make a big difference in an inmate's day. See Winkin and Blinkin over there? They're cousins who got special permission to be housed together. See how happy they are. They always read each other's letters.

Everyone who got mail today is happy, although some more than others, as well see in a minute. Now the guys who did not get mail, well, some of them are okay, maybe they'll just be content thinking they will get some tomorrow or the next day. But the guys who never ever come to the day room, most of them have already taught themselves to be so cold to the world that they actually believe that they don't care about the fact that they never get any mail. But I will tell you what, that cold shell is pretty thin on a lot of these guys. If the truth were known, it would be that they would love to be in that day room with a chance to say "Here Sir", when they would hear their name called out. Oh, and by the way, they don't just stay in their rooms because of the fact that no mail is coming. There is another reason as well. It's that one little biting comment that old Ravana threw out, "Nobody loves you". You may think that because we are all grown men, and "hardened criminals" at that, we'd be immune to that type of comment, especially when you know someone is going to use it most every day, but we're not.

As a matter of fact, I want to you to look out into the day room right now. See those three guys over there starting their card game back up, and two in the front row of the T.V. benches? Why do you think they have got such prime seats to go to? Didn't you notice those card hands were dealt and half-played? All five of those guys got up and left the day room just before mail call. They are all, "never get a letter" guys, and they have heard, "Nobody loves you" one too many times, so they flee mail call like sins flee the heart when you clap during kirtana. The "Nobody loves you" pill is a pretty tough one to swallow, and guys like Kamsa and Ravana have no qualms about using it to hit a guy where it hurts it most, right in the heart.

I know you probably didn't notice this. I missed it myself for a long time, and I think one of the reasons Ravana pitched the poison pill to Kamsa was because there is a moment or two, right after the officer says, "Okay guys, that's it!", that you can almost hear a feather fall. It is a very somber moment. Most guys whose names don't get called are just staring at the ground because they don't want to make eye contact with anyone.

Hey, take a look over there for me. See inmate Money. You heard his name a couple of times, but, if you notice, there is no real smile on his face. Do you want to know why? Magazines. That is what he gets, magazines, day after day after day. He once told me that he's ordered enough magazines to practically ensure getting one every day. But I have never seen him get a letter, ever.

Now Family, he gets letters. Letters from his wife, letters from his brother, letters from his children, and last week he was so proud to show off a letter that he got from his first grandson. It was the first letter that little Family, the third, had even written. And you should see him at Christmas time! Of course, as devotees, we are lucky enough to understand that even these types of letters, which are based on false identification related to the body, cannot lead to real happiness. When Family leaves his body, all those "family members" will disappear like a dream upon awakening.

What do you think happened to the "never a letter" guys? The "never hear their name called" guys? Well, each of him has his own story, though, over the years, you'd be surprised how many of the stories seem the same. - Some are simple and just plain sad. "All I had was my wife. But I have been locked up for 17 years and she passed on back in 2000" - Some are horrible. " I was high on PCP and I shot my own son. No one has ever come to visit me, written to me, or sent me any money since the day I was arrested". - But most of them are more benign, they go something like this. "When I first came to prison, my friends would write, or come out to visit me sometimes, but, well, I guess they have got new friends by now. And my wife, it was just too hard on her to stay married to me. I mean we couldn't ever be together, I couldn't help her with the bills, so after I'd been down a few years, she divorced me. My kids, they were all pretty sore at me for having been locked up. I mean, losing their dad and all. I did hear from another inmate, whose daughter knows my son, that my son's got kids of his own now, so, well, I guess he's probably busy with them."

Those are the kind of things most guys have to think about every day at mail call. It's no wonder that they hide in their rooms. Oh, but wait, I forgot to tell you about what Bible and I got in the mail. I used to be Bible's roommate, so I know a little bit about his story. He's only got one brother left alive, and he doesn't write, except maybe sends a Christmas card. But once a month, Bible gets his scripture correspondence course, and I will tell you what, he loves getting that course. He breaks out his scripture and he studies that course until he's filled in every answer. One day he showed me a folder he had that was full of certificates from the different courses he has completed over the years. Bible's kind of quiet, he doesn't really have many friends, but he has got his courses, his Sunday church service and an evangelism class on Thursday afternoons, and, well, he seems to be pretty peaceful, I might even say a pretty happy guy. Especially in comparison to most of the guys I know who center their thoughts around regrets, now get this, not regrets about what they did to put them in prison, but regrets about all the sense gratification they are missing out on.

I'm really sorry, that up till now, your visit has been a mostly depressing one. I mean Bible's story, and Family's letters being the only real exceptions. But let's leave all that behind now. Let me tell you about what I got in the mail.

It was a letter from my spiritual pen pal, Keshava Dasa. He is a disciple of Shrila Gurudeva that I met through the prison program. The letters he sends me are like pieces of immeasurable wealth in an envelope. He sends me nice, thoughtful, mercy filled personal letters of encouragement that have led to our developing of a very nice friendship. He also sends me lectures from Shrila Gurudeva that he prints from the internet. Some of these pertain to specific questions that I have asked and some are just ones he chooses, like he sent me lectures about the month of Purushottama when it arrived, so that I could honor it. He's also there to answer my questions, no matter how deep or how trivial they may be. I might ask him a thoughtful question like, "What is meant by ‘offering the fruits of one's acts to Krishna', when the Bhagavad Gita is discussing Nishkaama-Karma-Yoga? Or it may be something as simple as "What does didi mean when it is used in place of dasi?". No matter what I ask, he answers, even if he has to ask someone else or look up the answer himself, and when that happens, he also learns something by being my devotional pen pal. He also sent me a copy of Jaiva Dharma and he told me how Srila Gurudeva said we should read it 108 times. Well, I have got 106 and a half to go. I can tell by every single thing he has ever done for me that he's a friend in the highest sense of the word. He is clearly dedicated to helping me understand the highest tattvas.

In today's mail, I got a nice letter where he sent me some information about the meaning of “Shri" and "Shrila". He also copied an excellent Sanskrit pronunciation guide from the back of Shrila Gurudeva's "Shri Gaudiya Giti Guccha" song book. I know this took some extra effort on his part, but that is the kind of great devotee he is. You see, I had found some various pronunciations in some of the books I had and since Jaiva Dharma had no pronunciation guide, I asked him about a couple of specific pronunciations. Instead of just answering my question, he found this guide, copied it and sent it to me, so now I have the full guide. Yeah Keshava Dasa! He also knows that one of my favorite topics is transcendental lobha' (greed), so he sent me a recent posting from Bhagavat Maharaj on that very subject. Of course, I'm a little prejudicial in saying this, but I really don't think there's any doubt as to who was the most blessed at the mail call today.

So, now that I have taken you along with me to a prison mail call, and tried to help you understand why it's such an important time for an inmate, let's see what I can do to convince you to become a devotional pen pal.

If, after reading this entire presentation, you are still undecided about becoming a pen pal, then I ask you to read a couple of other things that we have posted. One is a piece called "The History of Prison Preaching in Gaudiya Vaishnavism" This piece discusses the first Gaudiya Vaishnava prison preacher, Namaacarya Haridas Thakur, who preached to his fellow inmates during his time of incarceration. It also tells how Shrila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja was preaching in a prison in India even before he came to the West and how he saw great potential there. It also talks about how his disciples have had a prison ministry for many years that is an ongoing, expanding part of ISKCON and which has had some great successes, not only in establishing on site programs but in producing initiated devotees as well.

The second thing I would recommend you to do is to is to go to the "Lessons - The Journey to Prema" section of this site and to read at least the first two lessons. The lessons will show you something of the nature of the course, we will be sending the inmates that you correspond with, and it will also allow you to see how we are encouraging the inmates to requests pen pals. We ask them to do this for several reasons. We want them to have someone to answer any questions they may have as they take the course in the science of Bhakti Yoga. But we also explain to them the importance of sadhu-sanga and receiving the instructions of Guru Parampara.

Every inmate who signs up for these lessons deserves a devotional pen pal. Since you will have total access to all the lessons they receive, you will be able to know exactly where they are in their knowledge of Bhakti Yoga. In that way you will be able to communicate with them in a way consistent with what they have learned.

Actually this is one of the most important reasons that these inmates need a pen pal. Some inmates may come to this course with both, an excellent education and a solid background in some aspect(s) of Bhakti Yoga, whether it be meditation, devotional sentiment, exposure to other Bhakti Yoga books, etc. For those inmates the course we are sending them may move too slowly. A good pen pal could then, perhaps, send them a more advanced book, like Jaiva Dharma, and build the teaching side of their pen pal relationship on that text rather than on the lessons.

I have helped design the lessons and they are based in part on my prison preaching experiences. These experiences have shown me that, with most inmates, slow and steady wins the race. But a pen pal will be able to judge each inmates adaptability and level of advancement for themselves, and thus lead them in a much more individualized manner than could ever be accomplished through a one size fits all course.

A nice Vaishnava pen pal can help the inmate study the course by posing questions to them, based on the lessons, that will cause the inmate to review, reflect and absorb the teachings. Once an inmate begins to study the course, his devotion is sure to increase, especially if he not only studies the lessons, but follows the suggested practices as well. Your encouragement, and your own stories, personal stories, of what Bhakti Yoga has done for your life will help inmates believe that the process really works, in the real world and not just on paper.

In the upcoming "Suggestions" section, you will find ideas about how you can form a strong, friendly relationship with a pen pal. I also helped to write that section because I've seen a lot of inmates who try to build relationships with people with the sole intention of getting over on them ( taking advantage) and I'll give you some warnings and insights of what to look out for. I've also written to many different pen pals over the years and, since becoming involved in this project, I've spoken to other inmates about pen pal experiences they've had, so I'll try to draw on all that in the "Suggestions" section.

Becoming a spiritual pen pal is a great opportunity to work on your preaching skills. I believe that preaching is a Gaudiya Vaishnava's most important responsibility and I base this opinion on two statements; one by Lord Caitanya, as it is interpreted by Shrila Gurudeva, and one by Lord Krishna. I feel that if you just take these two statements alone into your heart, then you will realize that becoming a devotional pen pal us something that the Lord has instructed you to do.

When I give these quotes or "preach about preaching" I am not trying to establish myself as someone who has "seen the light" and who is therefore trying to light a path for others. I am a fool, I am as fallen as fallen can be. My only qualification in quoting these types of statements is that I do just that; I quote them. I will not try to interpret them. I will let the Lord speak for Himself and I will hope that His words reach your heart, for the sake of all the inmates who need a pen pal.
Lord Caitanya has told us, "Kali Kale dharma - Hari Nama Sankirtana". While Sankirtana is often translated as "chanting", Shrila Gurudeva has told us that it means "to preach". He has also told us that the entire aim and object of the Gaudiya Vaishnava parampara is to preach. It is our duty, our dharma, to preach, and becoming an inmate's spiritual pen pal is a very easy way to be involved in the preaching process.

I have personally witnessed that inmates can be very inspired by their relationships with spiritual pen pals. Inmates that I had preached to, and who were then transferred to other institutions, connected with pen pals through the ISKCON prison ministry. Over the years, I have read many letters from these inmates expressing their extreme gratitude to their pen pals.
I have also had devotees tell me how much they enjoyed being devotional pen pals and that they found it to be a very rewarding experience.

Along with translating "sankirtana" as preaching, Shrila Gurudeva has also told us that he wanted all of his disciples to become gurus, not necessarily initiating gurus, but shiksa gurus, and this was Lord Caitanya's instruction as well. We inmates need instructing gurus and as disciples of Shrila Gurudeva and followers of Lord Caitanya, I believe you are duty bound to fulfill this role.

The quote from Lord Krishna that I mentioned earlier is one that should cause you to raise your hands, jump up and down and yell "Pick me, Pick me, Pick me!" when a volunteer to preach is sought. In his closing instructions to Arjuna in the Bhagavat Gita, Shri Krishna tell us, "No one in human society is more dear to Me that one who explains this message of Gita to others, nor will there be anyone more dear to me than him". Now, that's some pretty powerful stuff. NO ONE will ever be more dear. If we are wise, we'll sign up for that job real quick.

Now, this is sort of my own angle of vision on this statement, but I want you to ask yourself, who is most dear to Shri Krishna? What is the ultimate goal of a Gaudiya Vaishava? Who, amongst the many servants in Goloka are we most interested in becoming? Are not the Gopis most dear to Shri Krishna? Is it not our goal to follow in their footsteps and to ultimately become one of them? Were not most of the greatest of Gaudiya Vaishnava preachers manifestations, or at least partial manifestations of Gopis? Even Lord Nityananda was a manifestation of both Lord Balarama and Ananga Manjari. So, it's my angle of vision that that is one of the hidden messages of this instruction of Lord Krishna. If we want to be amongst the gopis, amongst those who are most dear to him, we must be preachers, as are the Gopis when they manifest themselves in Kali Yuga. This is just my own personal reason why I think you should become a devotional pen pal.

Another reason to become a devotion pen pal is one that may surprise many of you. The hearts of many inmates are actually very fertile, well tilled fields that are very conducive places to plant the seed of bhakti. Many inmates have come to prison after reaching a very low point in their lives. I spoke of those whose friends and family drifted away while they were incarcerated, but there are also many who drove them away and burned their bridges, before they ever got here.

Even amidst the crowded conditions and the hubbub, the loud T.V. and the even louder screaming sports fan, prison can be a lonely, quiet place. An inmate has lot of time to think. Many come to realize that the way they were living their life is just not going to work anymore. This is especially true for those, who have come to prison for the first time. Many were living lives either filled with or entirely centered around drugs, money, violence, and sexual excesses, and even though they may miss this to some degree, many also come to realize that these were among the very things that lead them to prison. They begin to understand that the time has come where they must make changes in their lives. Some become aware of the fact that if they don't make changes while they are in prison, then there is every likelihood that they will go back to the same destructive lifestyle as soon as they are released. For these inmates, it often means facing the fact that they have come to a point in their lives where they have only two choices, change or else…

When an inmate reaches this crossroad, they often start looking for answers. These are the type of inmates who are willing to look outside the box of belief systems they were raised with to see if they can find a way of life, or a way of looking at the world that will change their view drastically enough to allow them to get beyond the limited way they've seen things and interpreted life in the past. These are the inmates that find themselves going through prisoners' resource directories look for an ad that catches their eye, an address to write to, to see if maybe there are people who are ahead of life's game in the ways that really matter.

The bhakti-yoga prison project has ads in just those kind of directories, and when an inmate goes as far as to spend a stamp, to write a letter to us, we have a duty to do all we can to respond. We at the prison program are going to do all we can to be the first response team. We'll send out a letter right away with the first lesson from the course and a questionnaire, and we will offer and encourage the inmate to request a devotional pen pal. It is when they make that request that we will need your assistance. We'll continue to provide lessons and, as they progress, we'll work a book or two into the program, but we still need your help. You see, we need to do house calls to make sure that the inmates are progressing nicely on their road to recovery, on their Journey to Prema, and your letters will be those house calls.

Our lessons will be generically addressed, "Dear servant of God" whereas your letters will be personal "Dear Bhakta Mark", "Bhakta Mary, blessings to you". We need you to provide the kind of friendly loving care provided by the small town doctor who knew every patient by their first name. The inmates need someone who they know and trust. We need you, they need you. Won't you please join our team?

Let's go back to mail call again; you remember it, don't you? Well, here's something to think about. The next time inmate Jiva hears his name and somebody yells out "Hey Jiva, somebody loves you", what if that letter was from you? If that letter came from a devotional pen pal, then that other inmate would have been more right than he could have ever imagined. Not only will that letter contain your love and mercy, but you will also be sending the love of Shrila Gurudeva, Shri Shri Guru and Gauranga, Rupa Goswami/Manjari, Lalita, Vishakha, Lord Krishna and last, but definitely not the least, Shrimati Radhika. And you can send them all that for less than it costs to do a load of laundry.
Vasanti didi, a discple of Shrila Gurudeva, is the person who inspired me to start writing for the prison program. She is also the devotee who connected me with my spiritual pen pal. I feel I owe her and Keshava dasa a great debt of thanks for being involved in this program and it is out of my dedication to them that I have decided to do all that I can to make it a successful program. I also feel an enormous sense of gratitude to Shrila Gurudeva for giving lectures and writing books that speak to my heart. I want to help deliver the most dynamic and merciful prison program in existence to His lotus feet.

We inmates need your mercy. Most inmates are deeply buried under mountains of negative samskaras. In order to uncover their storehouse of prema, they will need your assistance. Many have committed heinous crimes or have lived lives so full of less serious crimes that they have long lists of karmic debts to face, should they fail to receive some kripa shakti in this life. But these difficulties they face should not dissuade us from preaching to them.

I once read a posting on a web site by a devotee who said that at one time he had concerns that preaching to inmates might not be a wise use of resources, and one of the points that he gave to support this concern was that he could not see what benefit these prisoners could be to Shrila Gurudeva's movement. He went on to say that he had now come to see that the prison program is a valid mission and that he was going to support it, but I still wanted to point out his original concerns in case any of you feel this way.

These last three concerns, the fallen nature of the inmates, their long list of sins, and the worry that using resources to preach to them would be unwise since they could not contribute to Gurudeva's movement can all be laid to rest. For anyone who has these concerns, I offer these reasons to put them aside.

We inmates are fallen, but that does not disqualify us in any way. Lord Caitanya specifically stated that he came to deliver the most fallen souls. Anyone who has lived amongst inmates and who understands that term, would have no trouble confirming for you that many of this world's most fallen are here in the prison systems. Just think of Jagai and Madhai.

In Shri Caitanya Bhagavata, it tells how Lord Yamaraja came to witness Lord Caitanya's deliverance of these two criminals. When Lord Yamaraja inquired of the sins they had committed, his scribe told him that the list of their sins had to be kept in bottomless pits, and that his workers broke down and wept trying to keep track of them. When Lord Yamaraja heard this and realized that these sins were being absolved by Lord Caitanya's mercy, he went into such a trance of ecstatic love (prema) that he became unconscious.

Few inmates are as highly qualified as those two rascals were to receive the Lord's mercy, but I think you get the point. Our past surely doesn't disqualify us, don't you agree?

Similarly, the fact that many inmates will face grim consequences if they fail to reform or get some mercy before they pass, is actually more of an impetus to preach than a reason to believe that these efforts would have been better spent elsewhere. Let's picture the fallen soul drowning in the ocean of material miseries. The fact that an inmate has sent an enquiry to the prison program, asking for a devotional pen pal, is proof that he is looking for a way out of this ocean. It is as though he has somehow struggled his way to the surface, at least for a moment, and he's used that opportunity to call out for help. He's struggling there, reaching out, hoping somebody will come along to save him. We at the prison program will do all we can to save him; by sending him the bhakti yoga course, we hope to grab one of his hands and begin to pull him to safety. What we are asking you to do is grab the other hand, securing our grip on his soul. If he slips away, if we fail to save him, if he falls back again into the material ocean and goes back under the waters, it may be millions and millions of births before he is able to live out the karma he has created by his crimes, and thus be able to again struggle to the surface where he can call out for deliverance. It is our duty as Gaudiya Vaishnavas, to do all we can to save every inmate who contacts our prison program and requests a spiritual pen pal. Don't you agree?

And finally, let me settle any concerns that you may have, that resources spent on preaching to prisoners would have been better spent elsewhere, because inmates may not be able to contribute to Gurudeva's movement. I think I can fully counter this concern by relying on the logic of, and thus paraphrasing, one of the most famous statements in American history. Ask not what an inmate can do for Shrila Gurudeva's movement. Ask what Shrila Gurudeva's movement can do for an inmate.
Well, I guess that's just about it. I hope that I have provided you with some convincing reasons to become a devotional pen pal. After I close, I am going to share a poem that I wrote with you. I love all of Shrila Gurudeva's disciples and Shrila Rupa Goswami has instructed me that one of the ways that I can share this love is by revealing my mind to them. So, this poem reveals both my mind and my heart's desire when it comes to preaching to the fallen souls. I am also sharing it with you as my final attempt to touch your heart and get you to volunteer, to grab an inmate's outstretched hand by becoming his devotional pen pal.

I thank you for staying with me, your time is appreciated. In the "Instructions" section, we will give you step by step procedures you need to follow to become a pen pal. Then we will close out this presentation by giving you some suggestions on things to try and things to avoid in establishing a good working relationship with an inmate. We hope to hear from you soon and to work with you in the future.

I pray that your minds be fixed on Shri Shri Radha Krishna. I pray that your hearts become so filled with the compassion of Shri Shri Guru and Gauranga that their mercy bursts out and flows down as the ink that you use to write to an inmate.

Thank you for reading my plea. I work on behalf of Vasanti didi, Shrila Gurudeva, that first Gaudiya Vaishnava prison preacher, Shrila Haridasa Thakura, and all the inmates who are reaching out for the mercy of Shri Caitanya.

I am, an inmate, who aspires to become a servant of the servants of Shri Gurudeva,

To Reach, To Teach, To Preach
- By Bhakta X28

The Vedas are filled with the truth, with knowledge pure and vast
With wisdom from the greatest souls, of all the ages past
Among those volumes, are the words, Krishna spoke to His friend
When on Arjuna's chariot, His advice he did lend
When Krishna spoke, He said these words, "Tac-chrunu - hear from Me"
He delivered the ripest fruits, upon the Vedic tree
He said that we should teach his words, to reach another soul
For that way we'll be dear to Him, and that should be our goal
One who explains His supreme secret, to a devotee
There is no servant in this world, more dear to Him than (s)he
With His instructions in my heart, I long to try to preach
To all the fallen souls I can, His tattvas I must teach
I long to follow in the steps, of those who went before
Like the great Bhakti Siddhanta who learnt from Gaura Kishora
The disciplic succession goes, in an unbroken line
And through the chain of gurus it reached Gurudeva in time
Late in life he came to the West, like the sun at day's end
His books became his medicine, so our hearts he could mend
His preaching was among the best, this world has even known
Now Lord Caitanya's mission grows, from the seeds he has sown
So I long to be dear to Him, and to Lord Krishna too
I want to reach, and teach, and preach, that's what I long to do
To reach as many as I can with the Maha Mantra
To preach about the glories of the Golden Gauranga
Now I have set my sights upon the target I must reach
Like the great Vaishnavas gone before, I 'll try to teach and preach
To reach as many as I can, to teach them of Krishna
To preach about the mercy of, the dancing Caitanya
So now as I lie down at night, I make plans in my head
of how I am going to teach and preach, knowing what Krishna said
One who explains His Gita's secret, to a devotee
There is no servant in this world, more dear to Him than (s)he

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