Personal Poetry

A Tiny Seed Planted in One Heart

Out of many millions of wandering living beings, by the mercy of both Krishna and the guru, one who is very fortunate receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service: Bhakti. (Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya Lila, verse 19.151)

I am in Moscow right now. Over the last few days here we celebrated Sri Krsna Janmastami, or the Appearance Day of Lord Sri Krishna. The following day, which is called the Nandotsava—the day when Krsna’s appearance festival is celebrated—is the Appearance Day of my guru, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Prabhupada spent five days in Moscow in 1971. During that time he met a young Russian boy and taught him some basic principles from the Bhagavad Gita of Bhakti Yoga.

 This year, for Krishna Janmastami, Prabhupada’s devotees booked the largest stadium in Moscow for the festivities. It was a Monday, a workday, and the first day of school for the children here. The temple president was apologizing to me that, because of the circumstance, only eight thousand people showed up to attend the festival. To me, eight thousand people is a miracle of grace! After only forty-seven years, there are thousands of devotees of Krishna living and serving throughout Russia.

Each year in honor of the Appearance Day of Srila Prabhupada, I write an offering of gratitude to him for his pleasure. Here is my remembrance of being with him: my offering for 2018:

The rainy season

In Sri Vrindavan:

To hear from you

We had such fortune.


As Narada heard

From the Bhaktivedantas

In the rainy season,

But in rapt attention.


I pray to hear as young Narada heard,

As Parikshit heard those last few words,

As Arjuna heard with attentive mind,

His bow again lifted, with arrows aligned.


To chant as a child who cried for her mother,

To drink your words as a calf to the udder,

To be simple, sincere, no other motivation,

To hear in this way brings deep realization.


To sit near you again, and again to hear,

With longing heart and open ear,

To carry Vrindavan as you have done,

My heart ignited through sacred sound.


When oh when will that day be mine?

All seasons, all places, become sublime!

Such fortune still mine in this very moment,

To hear your dictation and words most potent.

The rainy season

In Sri Vrindavan:

To hear from you

We have such fortune!

All the best,

Rukmini Walker