Oh, How I dread Saturday!!
Like being thrown to the lions.
All week I am peacefully hearing and chanting
Hare Krishna, reading Bhagavatam
taken as the order of gurudeva.
But Saturday, my father, 95.
Big, big meat eater… Hates anything Krishna.
And I must visit with him for several hours.
Oh Krishna, please help me.
It takes me hours and hours and hours
to recuperate from being tortured by him.
It is so painful to be with someone
who insists the body is all there is.
And he is my superior, my father.
Oh god, it’s like descending into hell,
driving to the old age home to visit him.
How can I remember you, oh Lord?
Okay. I can pray to remember how everyone is a servant.
Some are covered by material illusion.
But we are all part of You
All Your servants, nonetheless.
Everyone serves You. Knowingly or unknowingly.
Okay. I will have to start with that
and see if I can stay with that.
In the elevator an attendant wheels a very old woman
with her hair almost all fallen out,
"How are you, today?"
I say, "Good. As long as I can remember we are all servants."
And point to heaven. They smile and nod agreement.
Yes, all these old people,
some a hundred years old or more are servants too,
although they are being served now hand and foot.
They are old servants getting ready
for their next serving engagement
in their next body.
There is Dad. As usual watching TV.
A horror movie at 10 am.
He thinks someone is coming to meet with him
about a Christmas planning event.
But it is March.
He thinks his father came for a visit.
His father died 30 years.
What do I do?
I must somehow or other stay engaged in Krishna consciousness.
I cannot let him drag me to hell with him just because he is my father.
Krishna, please help me.
The answer is devotional service.
But, I can’t talk with him about Krishna.
He hates anything Hare Krishna.
I can’t even chant softly with him there,
he doesn't like it and stops me.
Krishna, what to do?
I am responsible to see to his care
and manage his affairs.
I can’t just leave there is no one else to do it.
Devotional service is the answer to all problems.
But how to engage him?
He won’t eat prasadam.
He has to have meat at every meal
and for snacks in between.
But wait, I have a package of Tulsi leaves
that I need to take to the post office
to be mailed to devotees in Ohio for their Gaura Nitai Deities.
Immediately I see the mercy!!!
The incredible mercy of devotional service.
Yes, he would like to go for a ride to the post office.
The ride to the post office,
The package of Tulsi leaves,
We are being engaged in service.
He is riding with me to mail the Tulsi leaves.
I can feel the mercy of the Lord and His Pure Devotee.
Riding in the car he sees a restaurant
that has a sign, “chicken special.”
He starts to talk about eating chicken
and killing chickens..
He’s 95. He can start to talk about anything
real or imaginary.
He doesn't care if anyone is listening or not.
He just talks, and now it is about killing and eating chickens.
If I chant Hare Krishna he will stop me.
But Krishna has hundreds and millions of names.
I can sing. I start to sing:
He stops talking about killing and eating chickens.
He smiles and nods …"Same to you,” he says.
I keep singing softly and sweetly.
It’s like snake charming.
The demon is gone.
We are serving Krishna's pure devotee together.
He doesn't know what’s in the box but it doesn't matter...
Tulsi leaves are in the box.
Whether he knows it or not...devotional service.
I am so grateful to be able to see
the super excellent mercy
of devotional service today!!!
I will have to eat lunch with him.
He will eat a small pan pizza loaded with meat.
He will buy a small pan pizza for me, all vegetables.
I only eat it because I see
It’s a way for him to serve a devotee.
Not much of a devotee, trying to be a devotee.
I accept the lunch so he can be engaged in service.
I do not like to eat this thing.
It is actually difficult for me to eat it.
Most people think this thing is good and like it.
I don’t like the taste.. greasy, oily, heavy,
I eat mostly fruit and raw foods.
So this is an austerity to eat this greasy thing.
But what else can I do with him?
For a Saturday it wasn't too bad, today.
At least I could think of devotional service.
*translation: 1) Lord Krsna is the beloved son of mother Yasoda; the transcendental lover in the land of Vraja; the delight of Gokula; Kana [a nickname of Krsna]; the wealth of the lives of the gopis. He steals the mind of even Cupid and punishes the Kaliya serpent.