Legacy Project

In recent years I have been referring to something I call my “Legacy Project”. By that I mean my plan to put my out of print books back into e-book format. I have written over a hundred books and most of them are out of print. Some of them have been put into an e-book format, but not most of them. Two devotees, Caitanya-Candradaya and Ishvara Govinda das have been working on this. Ishvara Govinda das has set up an elaborate Legacy Project website and my statements here are an introduction to it. I am asking for volunteers to help in this project. You can contact Ishvara Govinda das at igovindadas@gmail.com or you can contact Baladeva Vidyabhusana at bvdsdg@gmail.com. Some of the books need some simple proof reading. I am anxious to have my books put on e-book format because that is the growingly popular way that people read books nowadays. And I am anxious that this be done before I pass away. My books were written to last. They are not out of date. They are very accessible to the new generations of devotees who have never read them. So they are not “old” books but new books never read by thousands of people. I have written books in many genres, straightforward Krsna conscious instructional books, scriptural teachings, poetry, essays, and in later years more experimental books written in a creative style. All of them are valuable and of interest to the growing numbers of Krsna conscious devotees and people who are not Krsna conscious yet but who are spiritual seekers. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati told Prabhupada that printing books was more important than building temples, he told Prabhupada to print books. I have followed in the footsteps of that instruction and dedicated my life to writing Krsna conscious literature.

About forty of my books have been published in book form translated into Russian, organized by my disciples in Russia, Ishana Dasi and her husband Arjuna Dasa. They are available on a website where they can be seen at the different Russian and Ukrainian festivals where they sell my books. I am very indebted to these two devotees and to all the devotees who have helped them in translating and editing my books. I wish that more Russian and Ukrainian devotees would assist in my Legacy Project.

I spent twenty-five years as a traveling sannyasi lecturing to disciples and friends of Krsna consciousness. On a weekly basis I would select a few that I thought were special and we had an SDG Tape ministry of over seven hundred tapes that are now being digitized and made available by my disciples Lal Krsna Dasa and his wife Syama Dasi at the Oxford Center for Hindu studies as well as Udhava Dasa in Hungary. There are also collections from the VIHE and other seminars that I gave such as “Krsna and Vrindavan”, “Vandanam” and “Prayers of Queen Kunti”. You can contact Syama Dasi at syamadasi@gmail.com for details on how you might help them.

I am also a painter. Recently the Iskcon institution MOSA (Museum of Sacred Art) has taken an interest in my art. They have obtained one hundred of my paintings and have photographed them and are publishing a book. They are also going to make a one man art exhibit of many of my paintings and display them at Radhadesh in Belgium and then put them in a traveling exhibit to Italy, Dehli and Calcutta for starters. Each show will be no less than six months. Ishvara Govinda das has selected a different set of a hundred and eight paintings and is displaying them for exposure and sale on his website. My art is not the usual polished productions that we see in BBT illustrations in books. It is known in the art world as “outsider art” or “naive art”. It is primitive and self-taught. There are many famous artists who paint in this school or style and have their loyal followers. This art captures the heart and emotions of the viewers and is colorful and honest. I hope the devotees will appreciate it.

So I am trying to create a legacy for my books and art to ensure that they will exist after I pass away and be available to the thousands of people who will come in the future to Krsna Consciousness. This will require workers to contribute to making the e-books and paintings available to the general public. Devotees can also stay here at the ashram and scan unpublished manuscripts for editing or catalog art and do proofreading if they want. If are not able to help physically the if you are in a position to donate for this project it will be very helpful. I hope you will be interested and participate. Thank you very much.

Your servant, Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami. April 28, 2015


The Little Piece of Paper

“One day while walking home from my welfare office job on Fifth Street in Manhattan I passed Second Avenue on the way to my apartment on Suffolk Street, just south of Houston Street. At the corner of Second Avenue and First Street my eye caught the window of the storefront. The signboard said Matchless Gifts, and I had passed it many times. It was a curiosity shop and featured the sale of little matchboxes which had pictures on them from Hollywood movies. But now the window display was empty and the storefront vacant; they had gone out of business. There was a small piece of paper taped to the window with the following words: “Classes in Bhagavad-gita / Monday, Wednesday and Friday 7 p.m. / Transcendental Sound Vibration.”

I had read the Bhagavad-gita in the Mentor paperback edition, translated by Swami Nikhilananda and Christopher Isherwood, and I was interested in the transcendental philosophy of the “atma,” although I really couldn’t understand it clearly. I decided to attend the class. That night, wearing black chino pants, dirty white sneakers and a drab shirt, I entered the door of the storefront about five minutes to seven. There were about five men in their twenties milling around or sitting on straw Chinese mats. A man with a ruddy colored beard and curly hair approached me with a smile and greeted me. He introduced himself as Ray, and I told him I was Steve and we shook hands. He asked me if this was the first time I had attended the class, and I said yes. I asked what to expect. He said the Swami would come out at any minute, and he would explain everything. He would lead us in chanting and then he would give a lecture. Within a couple of minutes the Swami entered through the side door. He was a short, golden-hued monk from India. He slipped out of his pointy rubber shoes and walked over to a straw mat and sat facing the front door. The boys formed an audience facing him. He greeted a few of the boys who he already knew and then handed out a few pairs of hand cymbals. The cymbals were strung together with cloth. He struck up a 123 beat and indicated that others should follow. At first they couldn’t catch the beat, but he stopped and deliberately began again, saying, “One two three / one two three until everyone was playing in unison, slowly.

The Swami was wearing a saffron skirt-like robe around his waist and a piece of saffron cloth draped over his bare chest and shoulders. His face was old, and his full mouth was turned down at the corners. His eyes were a deep mystifying brown. His long earlobes reminded me of pictures of Lord Buddha. He was an extraordinary presence for the Lower East Side. He began singing prayers in Sanskrit. After a few minutes he changed to the chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. He indicated that we should follow his lead in chorus. Some of the boys had been there before, and I gropingly caught on to it and began chanting in chorus Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. The Swami kept leading the chanting for a full half hour. After a while I got bored, but I kept going and eventually entered into a trancelike stage. It was far out. I went past boredom and became absorbed in the sound vibration. He sped up the tempo near the end and then stopped. He had a reel-to-reel tape recorder on his right, and he set it up for recording. Then he read a verse from the Bhagavad-gita and began lecturing on the topic. I found it difficult to follow his heavy Bengali accent and his insertion of Sanskrit verses. But I was fascinated with what I could pick up. He was speaking of Krishna as the Supreme Truth and the need to become Krishna conscious. We, who are living in the material world, are all suffering from birth, death, disease and old age. The great necessity for humankind was to take up “bhakti, devotional service, and go back to home, back to Godhead.” Chanting the Hare Krishna mantra was the essential practice for approaching Krishna in this age.

After lecturing half an hour he asked for questions and spent fifteen minutes answering them. Then he started up the chanting again and went for another half hour. I had the mantra almost memorized, and I was mesmerized. By the time it was over I felt that I was high. I left the storefront and walked home chanting in my mind and feeling certain that I would continue to attend the meetings. I felt I wanted to change my life and become pure. “

”The Story of my life”, vol.1

BIOGRAPHY of His Holiness Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami

bioSatsvarupa das Goswami is a senior disciple of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), better known in the west as the Hare Krishna movement. Serving as a writer, poet, and artist, Satsvarupa dasa Goswami is the author of Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s authorized biography, Srila Prabhupada-lilamrta. After Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s disappearance, Satsvarupa dasa Goswami was one of eleven disciples selected to become an initiating guru in ISKCON. Satsvarupa dasa Goswami is one of the first few westerners ordained by Prabhupada in September 1966. He has been since established as a most prolific Vaishnava writer and poet. While traveling, lecturing on Krishna consciousness, and instructing disciples worldwide, he has published over 150 books including poems, memoirs, essays, novels, and studies based on the Vaishnava scriptures. In the recent years, he has created hundreds of paintings, drawings, and sculptures that attempt to capture and express his absorption in the culture of Krishna consciousness.

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Swami Prabhupada appeared in this world in 1896 in Calcutta, India. He first met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, in Calcutta in 1922. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, a prominent religious scholar and the founder of sixty-four Gaudiya Mathas (Vedic institutes) in India, liked this educated young man and convinced him to dedicate his life to teaching Vedic knowledge. Srila Prabhupada became his student and, in 1933, his formally initiated disciple.

PrabhupadaAt their first meeting Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati requested Srila Prabhupada to broadcast Vedic knowledge in English. In the years that followed, Srila Prabhupada wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad-gita, assisted the Gaudiya Matha in its work, and, in 1944, started Back to Godhead, an English fortnightly magazine. Single-handedly, Srila Prabhupada edited it, typed the manuscripts, checked the galley proofs, and even distributed the individual copies. The magazine is now being continued by his disciples in the West.

In 1950 Srila Prabhupada retired from married life, adopting the vanaprasta (retired) order to devote more time to his studies and writing. He traveled to the holy city of Vrndavana, where he lived in humble circumstances in the historic temple of Radha-Damodara. There he engaged for several years in deep study and writing. He accepted the renounced order of life (sannyasa) in 1959. At Radha-Damodara, Srila Prabhupada began work on his life’s masterpiece: a multivolume commentated translation of the eighteen thousand verse Srimad-Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana). He also wrote Easy Journey to Other Planets.

PrabhupadaShrila Prabhupada After publishing three volumes of the Bhagavatam, Srila Prabhupada came to the United States, in September 1965, to fulfill the mission of his spiritual master. Subsequently, His Divine Grace wrote more than fifty volumes of authoritative commentated translations and summary studies of the philosophical and religious classics of India.

When he first arrived by freighter in New York City, Srila Prabhupada was practically penniless. Only after almost a year of great difficulty did he establish the International Society for Krsna Consciousness, in July of 1966. Before he passed away on November 14, 1977, he had guided the Society and seen it grow to a worldwide confederation of more than one hundred asramas, schools, temples, institutes, and farm communities.

In 1972 His Divine Grace introduced the Vedic system of primary and secondary education in the West by founding the gurukula school in Dallas, Texas. Since then his disciples have established similar schools throughout the United States and the rest of the world.

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami PrabhupadaSrila Prabhupada also inspired the construction of several large international cultural centers in India. The center at Sridhama Mayapur is the site for a planned spiritual city, an ambitious project for which construction will extend over many years to come. In Vrndavana are the magnificent Krsna-Balarama Temple and International Guesthouse, gurukula school, and Srila Prabhupada Memorial and Museum. There is also a major cultural and educational center in Bombay. Major centers are planned in Delhi and in a dozen other important locations on the Indian subcontinent.

Srila Prabhupada’s most significant contribution, however, is his books. Highly respected by scholars for their authority, depth, and clarity, they are used as textbooks in numerous college courses. His writings have been translated into over fifty languages. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, established in 1972 to publish the works of His Divine Grace, has thus become the world’s largest publisher of books in the field of Indian religion and philosophy.

In just twelve years, despite his advanced age, Srila Prabhupada circled the globe fourteen times on lecture tours that took him to six continents. Yet this vigorous schedule did not slow his prolific literary output. His writings constitute a veritable library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature, and culture.

PAINTINGS of His Holiness Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami

VIDEO of His Holiness Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami


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