Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

ISKCON 50 Meditations: May 24, 2016
By Satsvarupa dasa Goswami   |  May 24, 2016

The Krishna-ized Storefront

Swamiji is a bold performer.  He is expert at creating excitement.  His foreignness is charismatic – his golden complexion, his yellow tilaka, his shining teeth, lips and eyes, delicate fingers.  Nothing showy.  Our attraction is natural.  He is plain and yet scintillating.  His paraphernalia: a pocket watch put up so that he can see the time as he speaks, a glass of water (because he usually starts to cough), the nearby sink for throwing apple cores at the end of the evening, the noiseless tape recorder moving from reel to reel, his dhoti and khadi cadar wrapped around his shoulders.  He gives a few directions to his followers: “Bring this light here.  Is this tape recorder working?  Where’s the book?”

He lectures – India, that far-away place – Swamiji’s India, which he says is spiritual and eternal – sages, yogis, pure devotees.  We are simply listening.  Hearing about India in New York.  “Why are you going to India?  India has come to you.”

People look in the big storefront window.  Swami holds the audience as people stop and read the sign in the window.

A fragile, little, transcendental light within the dark world of New York City, the dark world of the universe in Kali-yuga.  That storefront with its slightly tilting floorboards; ragged, Oriental-style rug; posters of Panca-tattva, Hanuman, Sadbhuja and the circular Radha-Krishna over Swamiji’s head – that storefront is dear to Krishna.  It is compact.  Krishna conscious.  Everything is here in a small storefront on the Lower East Side.

I was there.

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