2022 The Good Old Days
Dear Śrīla Prabhupāda,
Please accept my humble obeisances at your lotus feet. All glories to you.
Seems like one aspect of old age is reminiscing. When I listen to recordings of you in 1977, you really enjoyed reminiscing about the “good old days.” It is now 2022, I am old and I find myself doing the same.
I reminisce on the days in the Montreal bowling alley when I lived in a cave made from longish Kṛṣṇa-Trilogy boxes, when warm bath water was heresy, when life was the temple program and book distribution, when we wore lengths of cloth for dhotīs and saris, and when tilaka was from Fuller’s earth.
There are other similar memories from Winnipeg, Minneapolis, and Chicago, even though there, Kṛṣṇa Book boxes were shaped differently, showers had hot water taps, and we sourced clothes and gopī-candana from India.
Yet during those times and places, Kṛṣṇa consciousness and our lives were sweet and simple; most devotees were innocent and fully trusting in your spiritual formula; and yes, for better or worse—probably better—we saw things in black and white: Kṛṣṇa and Māyā.
Most important of all, you were with us.
Sanātana Gosvāmī says the limbs of bhakti all have their unique tastes, and so some devotees may be attracted to one limb more than to another. Thus some prefer chanting, others hearing, and yet others deity worship. That is individuality.
I guess the influence of time on ISKCON is like that: Kṛṣṇa consciousness has a taste at the beginning when you are here, a taste when you leave—bitter, a taste every decade later, a taste now—45 years later.
Śrīla Prabhupāda, I have tasted it all. I prefer the good old days best. I prefer when you were here; I prefer when our mission was just selling your books; I prefer when we were sweet, innocent, simple, trusting; I prefer when we saw only in black and white.
Of course that’s just me. My taste. But we are individuals, and even though Kṛṣṇa consciousness and ISKCON are the tastiest of things anytime, anywhere, I have a right to my own preference: the good old days.
I miss those days. I miss you.