July 29, 2010

Dear Devotees,

Please accept my blessings. Jaya Srila Prabhupada. After spending about four weeks in the Rocky Mountains, I returned to Los Angeles for two and a half weeks.

Now that I have “retired” from one type of service in order to perform another, I am realizing how tired and worn out I really am from decades of public life. Lord Krishna is showing me that my first duty now is to rest and regain my energy. For that reason, I found that the intense, crowded atmosphere of Los Angeles was not conducive to my recovery.

A generous family, friends of the devotees, offered me a peaceful cottage on their estate near the ocean, about 165 miles north of Los Angeles. Although it is now summer, and very hot in many parts of the country, the weather here is always cool because of the cool ocean breezes. Also, I find that this country atmosphere is much better for my present needs.

The Srimad Bhagavatam, fifth canto, chapter one, describes the life of King Priyavrata. In his youth, he was absorbed in his spiritual practice. Then the leaders of the universe ordered him to accept the duties of a king.He governed the world for some time and then returned to his renounced life.

Although we are not on the level of great personalities like Priyavrata, the Bhagavatam does instruct us by these examples. At a certain point in my life, Srila Prabhupada requested me to take up the duties of a GBC and for many years I acted and thought like an administrative leader. During the last year, Lord Krishna made it very clear to me that I am now entering another phase of my life. In order to complete my present services, I have fully retired from management.

The change is profound. With a particular kind of service, Lord Krishna gives us certain powers and propensities, indeed a particular personality, to execute that service. Now that my administrative services are over, I am entering a different state of consciousness. This present consciousness is just what I need as I enter the final stage of my bodily existence. Since I must now give myself fully to the service of writing, I need to slow down the rhythm of my life and adopt a far more contemplative consciousness in order to perform this service.

I am very happy about all these changes and they are quite natural for me at this stage of my life. I want to give great attention to the chanting of Krishna’s holy names so that I can find Krishna everywhere, within and without. I am most enthusiastic to absorb myself in my present service, even as I must patiently recuperate the energy and strength I need to perform this service in the best way.

So that is the news. For now, Lord Krishna has placed me in a beautiful, peaceful place with perfect weather and trees filled with varieties of fruit such as apple, peach, plum, orange and grapefruit. There is a small group of devotees here who are taking care of me with much devotion. I am eager to regain my energy and absorb myself in what I consider to be the most important service of my life.

As always, I am grateful to the devotees for their love and kindness. My greatest wish is that Lord Krishna empower me to perform a service that will bring all of you great happiness and inspiration in Krishna consciousness.

With best wishes,
Hridayananda das Goswami
July 29, 2010