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Mind Over Matter

Why mind over matter?

We have this same kind of mental power over matter in our Vedic traditions. A great case in point is the story of the South India brahmana in the Nectar of Devotion, chapter 10. This story comes from the Brahma-vaivarta Purana, that in the city of Pratisthanapura in South India, there was once a poor brahmana who thought that because of his past misdeeds and the desire of Lord Krishna that he did not have sufficient money to worship his Lord as he desired to do with great opulence. Once he was hearing a lecture from a great realized soul, that the activities of devotional service can be performed by meditation, and the results of such mental visualization will bring the same results as if he was actually doing that service physically. In other words, if due to old age or poverty, sometimes a devotee desires to serve Lord Krishna but he cannot physically do that service, due to his limitations. In that case, such a poor devotee can sincerely meditate upon doing that service with complete visualization of that service, with all the necessary paraphernalia, and he will achieve the same result as another devotee who does the actual physical service with the real articles of worship.

I will shortly continue the story of the South India brahmana, and other examples in sastra, where different devotees use the means of mental meditation to worship their Lord. Meanwhile I would like to interject my personal motivations for researching and utilizing these methods of visualization and my specific plans for a transcendental meditation. In my own personal situation, my physical capacities are quickly diminishing in my old age, [65, my, how time flies!] and living with the constant miseries of disease and weakened bodily functions — and so my muscular vigor and stamina is gradually ebbing away, due to the unfortunate events in the last few years, namely a severe back injury and a struggle with Parkinson’s disease. I missed the Lord’s Ratha-yatra one year, and devotees asked, “where were you?” I replied that I was laying in bed 90% of the time, nursing a back injury that has since left me in chronic back pain, so much that I cannot sit at our big computer chair for more than 10 minutes without pain. I have to sit in a rather reclined position, on my couch, typing on a laptop, and then transfer the files to the big computer. In fact, I am mostly reclining in a prone position most of the day, with a little exercise and work here and there, a walk to the mail box once in a while [I am on SS disability]. It sometimes gets very boring being on a couch so often. And I seemed to be MIA from the temple a few years, because of my dysfunction of having Parkinson’s. I got the nerve disease, Parkinson’s, under control, with supplements, yoga and pranayama, but still the diminished condition remains. Often, it hurts in my jaw to even chant Hare Krishna! I am such a mess! But that is only my material body — and I am not this body! Inside this bad bargain body, I am the same old me, just as young and bushytailed as ever! Consequently, I have to use this vehicle of a dilapidated body, to do what devotional service I can do, like get up and offer a stick of incense now and then, or get up and get dressed and go to the temple for an arotik. And my physical capacity to do these things has sharply curtailed! And so, consequently I am finding myself employing the method of mental smaranam, or remembering the Lord and His saintly devotees as much as I can do, because I cannot physically do the other 8 methods of devotional service! The main thing I can do is to lay on the couch and type on the laptop and read some sastra once in a while. Well, enough about me for now. Back to the main theme of how mental meditation equals the act of actually doing the devotional service.

After hearing the bona fide method of meditating one’s devotional service, the South India brahmana was very happy to get this information and he commenced to begin to worship his Lord in his mind.

* * *

When we talk about mind over matter — we are essentially speaking about two different worlds. The world of matter is the so-called “real world” by which the scientists or the self-appointed priests of the religion of empirical data, are the highest authority. Their gospel of truth is commonly known as “seeing is believing” wherein they only believe in the “visible” and laugh in derision at all talk of the “invisible” world, which includes ghosts, astrology, nature fairies, prana healing, life after death, the soul, and ultimately the greatest invisible being of all time, God almighty.

They think that their theories of physics will answer all possible questions regarding the truth of our universe, how it came about, and how it is evolving and so on. They say that all things professed to be “spiritual” is foolish talk, only fairy tales for children.

There are basically two kinds of people — those who only believe in the visible — and those gifted persons who understand the world of the invisible, who totally believe in the spirit soul and God, Lord Sri Krishna.

Lord Krishna made things that way, because this is the world of illusion, a world created for the rebellious souls who left Lord Krishna’s dhama so that they could pretend to be the lord of all they survey by imitation of their master, Lord Krishna. Sri Krishna makes these important things to be invisible, to keep the foolish prisoners of maya in deep illusion — and to perpetuate their unmitigated arrogance of being lords of the earth.

With great faith, the devotees will often enter this “invisible” world of spirit by use of the art of meditation or visualization, sometimes they see visions in their dreams, or they dream of their guru, sometimes they see the Lord in a dream — in this way they transcend the world of matter, and sometimes see things of the future.

Continuing the vision quest of the South India brahmana:

Fixed up with great determination to worship his Lord with great pomp, and in his mind alone, the South India brahmana took bath in the Godavari River, and then sat in a secluded place on the bank of the river. He practiced yoga and pranayama in order to fix the form of the Lord firmly within his mind, and then imagined that he was dressing the Lord in very costly clothing and ornaments and helmets and other paraphernalia. He then fell down to offer obeisances, and then cleansed the temple very nicely. Next he filled water jugs made of silver and gold with water from the river Godavari, and also the rivers Yamuna and Ganges, and the Narmada and the Kaveri. Generally a brahmana will collect water from all these rivers by chanting mantras, but in his case, he mentally went to all these 5 rivers with pots of gold and silver and took water from each river, even though they were thousands of miles apart. He then collected exotic flowers and fruits and incense and sandalwood pulp.

And so the brahmana went into a deep meditation on his Lord and placed the waters and flowers, and scented articles before the Lord, and then he offered arotik with ghee lamps and camphor, and other silver articles, arranged nicely upon a golden arotik tray. Then he fanned his Lord with a golden handled yak tail fan and a peacock fan. He would daily execute these offerings to his lord, Lord Sri Krishna, very punctually, every morning with great joy and reverence. Then one day he was cooking sweet rice for the Lord, and he happened to test the temperature of the prep with his finger, and quickly withdrew his finger because it was very hot. At that moment he broke from his meditation and saw that his finger was burned in both worlds, in his meditation, and on his physical finger, showing that the meditation of cooking a prep is just as real as cooking in a kitchen.

Following this path, I will attempt to practice a visualization of morning worship, as a daily devotional service to my home deities. I will try to worship my Gour Nitai deities with the complete mental sequence of offering articles of worship. First I take bath, and if real sick, I must do this mentally or at least take a cloth bath, then clean dhoti and tilak, and then yoga and pranayama to fix the form of my Lords in my mind. Then I dress the Lords in exquisite clothing and ornaments, helmets and garlands, and then I clean the Lord’s temple. Next, I mentally travel to the 5 holy rivers in India and gather holy water in gold and silver pots, to offer to my Lords, along with exotic flowers and essential oils, sandalwood pulp, and exotic incenses, and ghee lamps and yak tail fans, I perform the complete arotik, singing Hare Krishna in bliss as I gaze upon Their beautiful forms.

Very soon, I will endeavor to visualize a transcendental parikrama meditation around the holy tirthas of New Vrindavan dhama. And then I will visualize an attempt to fulfill the desire of the Jayanandanugas, which will be a meditation construction of a shrine memorial for Jayananda Thakur, here in New Vrindavan, where Jayanandanugas and devotees can travel as pilgrims and pay their obeisances and feel the great bliss of their reciprocation of love to and from Jayananda Thakur. HH Varsana Swami has so nicely instructed to me that mental [invisible] meditations can often become a tangible fact in our visible world, by the power of the strong desire of the devotees — that is our fervent prayer.

There are two kinds of visions — intentional visualizations for the purpose of meditation on devotional service — and other visions that are suddenly given to the devotee by a great spiritual personality as a benediction or way of instruction or hint of a future event — which comes, seemingly “out of the blue.”

* * *

A regular occurrence in our Vaisnava history is the extraordinary events of various disciples having an extraordinary darshan of the Lord, or perceptions of some astonishing visual experience, which is the seeing of some vision that is not imagined as being possible to exist in the physical world, which does not tally with the hypothetical models of modern scientists. We will refer to these events as being “mystical visions,” or the “invisible” become “visible” by the power of spiritual sakti.

We now intend to talk about 2 kinds of visions, first is the concept of visualization, which is for the purpose of executing devotional service with self induced imagery — and second, are mystical visions, or darshans shown to a disciple, or persons, by Krishna or Guru or saint, via the display of extraordinary visual content. This is the spiritual world being invisible to our material eyes, and by the bhakti of the purified devotee, the spirit becomes visible by the will of Lord Krishna — and there are other visions that appear within a dream, such as guru appearing in a dream, conveying some message or hint of some event in the near future. Another kind of vision might be a prediction of the future given by sastra or a saint, which is usually recorded in sastra.

The modern skeptics will scoff at a suggestion of the miracle of a “mystic vision” being impossible to exist in his materialistic world. The doubting scientist will reason as follows, “this world is made of atoms and elements, and living beings are composed of molecules. We cannot entertain the thought of some extraordinary powers being able to rearrange the atoms in such a way as to produce some so-called “mystical vision.” As for the claim of a guru appearing in a dream, well, a body must have molecules, without which, there could be no body! We cannot accept some ghostly body entering the brain of the sleeper, which is where the dream takes place. We cannot imagine some so-called ghostly being passing through a thick skull of bone; this is only the imagination of the brain producing the events within the dream.” On the other hand, there are a growing number of scientists or physicists who believe in God and invisible powers, as is explained in the books of HH Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Swami.

The devotees of Lord Krishna hear of these events of “mystical visions” with great faith. Some devotees of ISKCON have witnessed such extraordinary visions themselves. The most inconceivable cosmic darshan in our sastra is the glorious revelation given to Arjuna by his Lord Krishna, the universal form, as described in the 11th chapter of Bhagavad-gita;

Arjuna saw in that universal form unlimited mouths and unlimited eyes. It was all wondrous. The form was decorated with divine, dazzling ornaments and arrayed in many garbs. He was garlanded gloriously, and there were many scents smeared over His body. All was magnificent, all-expanding, unlimited. This was seen by Arjuna. If hundreds of thousands of suns rose up at once into the sky, they might resemble the effulgence of the Supreme Person in that universal form. – BG 11.11-12

In the book, "Lord Caitanya in Five Features" which is the 7th chapter of Caitanya-caritamrta, there is the brilliant illumination manifested by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, as He sat down in the hallway of the Mayavadi, and He became as effulgent as "millions of suns." This Lila is a wonderful visual mystic pastime of Lord Gauranga.

After sitting on the ground, Caitanya Mahaprabhu exhibited His mystic power by manifesting effulgence as brilliant as the illumination of millions of suns. - Cc Adi 7.60

We will tell a few of the events of mystical visions that our founder acharya Srila Prabhupada have experienced. It may take several posts to record them all, as far as we can remember. We begin with the following story, in which Lord Krishna appears to Srila Prabhupada and garlands him with Kadamba flowers from the spiritual world.

When Lord Krishna Garlanded Prabhupada - by Bahushiras Das Adhikary "Acharya Prabhakar said that on Sri Krishna Janmashtami in 1954, he had to go to Delhi. When he returned to Jhansi, he took a little rest, woke up at 1:00 am and heard Srila Prabhupada ecstatically playing mridanga in the temple room. Prabhupada was chanting in total bliss. Acharya Prabhakar went upstairs and saw Srila Prabhupada bouncing around the temple room performing kirtan. Prabhupada was wearing a kadamba flower garland that went all the way down to his feet. Kadamba flowers are very rare in Jhansi and when they are available they are usually the size of a golf ball. But the ones Prabhupada was wearing were big, the size of tennis balls. And he said that the atmosphere right down to the atoms in the room was not material, aprakrita. The place was surcharged with the fragrance of the heavenly planets. Acharya Prabhakar wanted to ask Srila Prabhupada, “Where did this garland come from? It is not available from the market.” But Srila Prabhupada would not answer. His Divine Grace just kept on performing kirtan, bouncing round the room and chanting. The next morning Acharya Prabhakar asked Srila Prabhupada, “Where did you get the garland, why did it have such a rich fragrance, and why were you feeling so blissful?” Srila Prabhupada told him, “I was chanting to Krishna and feeling some love for Him. And He appeared and gave me this garland. I went to touch His feet and He disappeared. Because of that I was dancing around the temple room.”— “Srila Prabhupada was crying." -- [This is from the visionary Memories series of Sriman Siddhanta das Adhikary. It is the remembrance of Sriman Bahushiras das Adhikary given in DVD 44 and in vol. 3, p. 334 of the book Memories-Anecdotes of a Modern-Day Saint]

Even in our ISKCON, we hear of stories told by devotees which resemble the phenomenon of “mystical visions.” Here is one such event-

During a morning walk at Stow Lake, in 1968, Srila Prabhupada had this conversation with Yamuna dasi - Yamuna said: “Swamiji, Janaki-devi wrote me this very nice letter where she had a dream that there was a gigantic platform above the surface of the earth, and all of our devotees, our Godbrothers and sisters and you, were assembled on this gigantic platform for sankirtana. And we had such a thunderous joy, magnificent kirtana, that the whole earth... When you said, "Jaya om param paramahamsa," the whole earth bowed down to you like this. And we were all crying, so happy. And you said, "Now my Guru Maharaja is satisfied." That was her dream.

Prabhupada said: “Thank you very much. Yes. Thank you for your dreaming like that. It is very pleasing to me. Yes, I want to see like that.”

And here is one very unusual event that happened to me:

“The next day we were having the parade and Srila Prabhupada got out of his car to ride on Subhadra's cart. As he was walking toward the cart, he did a 180 degree turnaround and looked directly into my eyes. There were hundreds of people there, but he seemed to look right into my eyes alone. It was as if he was saying, “Yes, I know you're here.” I've heard many stories like this from other devotees. We all had this similar experience with Srila Prabhupada, sort of like how Krishna was with all the gopis but each gopi thought He was with her alone. It is a mystical thing, and since other devotees have told me the same thing happened to them, I suppose I was not delirious to think that it actually happened to me.” From- “The Beautiful Life of Jayananda Thakur.”

There are so many miraculous visions in our Vaisnava history, and in our many ISKCON stories to write about, and so we shall try to give more on the following posts in this particular category. Your servant, Vishoka Dasa

* * *

When Nrsimhananda Brahmacari heard that Lord Caitanya was going to Vrndavan, he decided to mentally decorate the Lord’s path with beds of stemless flowers and jewels. Nrsimhananda Brahmacari didn’t need to buy a truck and purchase materials at Home Depot, and have trucks deliver loads of cement, while stopping traffic and making a one-lane highway with flaggers stopping and starting traffic. Nrsimhananda Brahmacari did it all in his mind, via his strong spiritual desire to serve Lord Caitanya with a pathway beautified with gems and flowers and ghats and lakes. He mentally planted bakula flower trees on both sides of the road, and at intervals he dug and filled multiple excavations with the pure waters of transcendental lakes, intermittently bedecked with jeweled bathing ghats. He mentally filled the nectarean waters of the lakes with yellow and blue and red lotus flowers, and he placed chirping birds upon the branches of flowering trees — birds singing in sweet harmony, reverberating with the expert arrangements of vina and mrdanga accompaniment.

Srila Prabhupada writes in his transcendental purport, Madhya 1.162P, “For a pure devotee, it is the same whether he materially constructs a path or constructs one within his mind. This is because the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Janardana, is bhava-grahi, or appreciative of the sentiment. For Him a path made with actual jewels and a path made of mental jewels are the same. Though subtle, mind is also matter, so any path -- indeed, anything for the service of the Lord, whether in gross matter or in subtle matter -- is accepted equally by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord accepts the attitude of His devotee and sees how much he is prepared to serve Him. The devotee is at liberty to serve the Lord either in gross matter or in subtle matter. ” Thus even the poorest devotee can serve the Lord with great opulence within his mind, and offer the subtle elements of his mind, presenting precious gifts, clad in gold and fitted with rare sparkling jewels, along with a great variety of exotic flowers and scents, and he will get the same result as that of an affluent devotee who offers a great wealth of real jewels and fragrant substances. Any offering of the sincere devotee, whether given in either gross or subtle matter, are both accepted by Lord Krishna, as both are the same, when done in the attitude of pure love.

Modern man is only recently investigating extra-sensory or paranormal abilities such as telepathy, such as the ability to journey in dreams and visions, into other dimensions across the boundaries of time. But the Vedic personalities, the Vaisnavas, are perfectly adept in such paranormal activities, such as communication from one mind to another by extra-sensory means, like in dreams, by the grace of Lord Krishna. Such abilities are as easy and commonplace for these perfected beings, just as surfing the Internet is commonplace for us.

Srila Prabhupada also received such messages in his dreams, from his Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, as we see in this talk in Seattle, 1968-

Srila Prabhupada - “Sometimes I was dreaming my spiritual master, that he's calling me, and I was following him. When my dream was over, I was thinking. I was little horrified. "Oh, Guru Maharaja wants me to become sannyasi. How can I accept sannyasa?" At that time, I was feeling not very satisfaction that I have to give up my family and have to become a mendicant. At that time, it was a horrible feeling. Sometimes I was thinking, "No, I cannot take sannyasa." But again I saw the same dream. So in this way I was fortunate. My Guru Maharaja (Prabhupada begins to cry, choked voice) pulled me out from this material life. >>> Ref. VedaBase => His Divine Grace Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Maharaja's Disappearance Day Lecture, (Srila Prabhupada's Sannyasa Guru) -- Seattle, October 21, 1968

Srila Prabhupada also was visited by Lord Krishna by dream on board the Jaladuta while coming to America. Srila Prabhupada wrote of some sea-sickness, and on the thirteenth day of the voyage, during the passage through the Arabian Sea, he suffered a massive heart attack. He was concerned that he might pass away, but in his uneasy sleep that night he had a dream, a vision. Lord Krsna appeared. The Lord was in an open boat, along with His other incarnations. Krsna was rowing the boat, and the boat was pulling Srila Prabhupada's ship with a rope. Krsna was smiling at Srila Prabhupada and was pulling the ship all the way to America! > VedaBase => JD: Introduction

And there is the pastime of a transcendental dream told in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, wherein Pundarika Vidyanidhi dreamt that his Lords, Lord Jagannatha and Lord Balarama, were slapping his cheeks, as a reprimand for his mental offense of resenting the Lord being given a starched garment, blaming the pujari devotees, and feeling a bit hateful. Although his cheeks were swollen, Pundarika Vidyanidhi was very happy within. — Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila chapter 16.

Now we will attempt to tell another extraordinary story, which happened in the modern days of our Iskcon, wherein Lord Krishna reciprocates with His devotee through the via-medium of transcendental dreams. It is about the wonderful and invisible world of the spiritual stratum, becoming visible to our material minds, as seen in this wonderful dream of Srila Prabhupada’s disciple, HH Gour Govinda Swami, as told in the book, Gopal Jui.

This dream pastime reveals how God, in His deity form, speaks to His devotee in dream, and how He gives detailed instructions of how to serve Him. This is the amazing pastimes of Lord Gopal, Who was the family deity of the Giri family dynasty, being the descendants of Srila Rasikananda, and Lord Gopal Jui being their family deity for over 250 years.

I was walking down the sidewalk of Watseka Ave one day, in New Dwarka Dhama, across from the temple of Sri Sri Rukmini Dwarkadisa. There, a devotee, Jayarishi prabhu, gave me a copy of a small book, named Gopal Jui. Later I read this amazing story within this little book.

The deity Gopal ordered His devotee to take Him to the Giri family, and there He was worshipped for over 250 years in that family. And then, one night He spoke to HH Gour Govinda Swami these words in a dream; [shortened]

“Gaidegiri is the house of My devotees … their mind is always on Me … even if they offer Me a tulasi leaf and a little water I am happy there …. Ghanashyam has not given me to you. He promised, ‘Unless Gopal tells me to give Him to Gour Govinda Swami I will not give Him.’ Gopal then said, “I will speak to Ghanashyam. First I have met with you, and now I am going to Ghanashyam.”

Lord Gopal Jui first spoke to HH Gour Govinda Swami at 2am, in dream, and then He spoke to Ghanashyam at 2.30am in dream, many miles away from HH Gour Govinda Swami, and within this 2nd dream, He ordered His elderly devotee, Ghanashyam, to give Him, Lord Gopal Jui, to HH Gour Govinda Swami, immediately upon HH Gour Govinda Swami’s arrival. When HH Gour Govinda Swami and Ghanashyam prabhu met, they revealed their dreams to each other, both of which clearly showed them the transcendental desire of their dear family deity for 250 years, Lord Gopal Jui. And thus, HH Gour Govinda Swami was given the direct responsibility of being the personal servant and caretaker of Lord Gopal Jui.

This pastime is so ingenious — it reveals how Lord Krishna created this dream scenario with HH Gour Govinda Swami and the elderly Vaisnava, in such a way that makes it impossible for any rational person to doubt it’s authenticity. This is the genius of Lord Sri Krishna. When a phony charlatan pretends to be god, or a great devotee, and fabricates a fairy tale to boost his reputation, we can always find holes in the details of his counterfeit story. We can also perceive a checkered career that surrounds such a cheater. This is the difference between fraudulent claims of divinity, and a bona-fide communiqué from God, Lord Krishna, to His devotee, which silences the suspicions of critics and doubters. It is a pastime of the world of invisible wonders becoming very crystal clear and totally visible to our “real world” material senses and mind.

Another invisible phenomena is the extra-sensory or paranormal ability of clairvoyance, or the ability to see into the future. This is commonplace in Vedic traditions, as seen from the following predictions from Lochan Das Thakur and Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, and the Bhagavat Mahatmya and Brahma-vivarta Purana-

Lochan Das Thakur, in his Chaitanya Mangal, predicted that a sena-pati, or a "great general," would come and accomplish this mission. This was Srila Prabhupada. Also, Bhaktivinode Thakur, in an article entitled "Nityananda Suryodoy," which was published in the 1800s, in his Sajjana-toshani magazine -- he predicted that soon a time is coming when the chanting of Krishna's name will be heard in England, France, Russia, Germany, and America. Srila Prabhupada brought this to fruition. There is also the Bhagavat Mahatmya. In this book, Narada, the great sage, has a conversation with bhakti personified. In the course of this conversation, bhakti says, "I will leave this country, India, and go abroad!" The same text informs us that this personified bhakti will go to South India and then leave to go abroad after staying in Vrindavan. This is exactly what Prabhupada did. >>> Ref. VedaBase => OS 6: Chapter Six

Another phenomenon is pre-cognitive dreams, which are prophetic dreams that show glimpses or vivid visions of the near future. There are many examples of devotees having dreams that show the future to them before it happens, such as we find in Srimad Bhagavatam, wherein there is the story of a young girl by name of Usa. She was the daughter of the King of Sonitapura, and she was confined in the palace by her father. One night she dreamt of a beautiful young man, and she was captivated by the vision of this youthful boy, and she was convinced by intuition that he existed somewhere in the outside world, and she was determined to find him. By the powerful revelation of this pre-cognitive dream, she engaged her friend, the mystic yogini, Citralekha, to help her find this personage of her dreams. Citralekha then drew many pictures of the men of the world, demigods, and kings and so on, and when Usa saw the picture of Aniruddha, she bent her head in embarrassment and said, “It is he, he is the one!”

Citralekha then, being endowed with mystic powers, understood him to be the grandson of Lord Krishna, living in Dvarka. She then traveled the mystic skyways to the city of Lord Krishna, and found Aniruddha sleeping on a fine bed — and with her yogic power, she picked him up and transported him back to the palace in Sonitapura, and took him to the room of Usa’s confinement, and he was united with Usa, and the story goes on and on within the transcendental pages of Srimad Bhagavatam.

This concept of seeing the future is an enigma to the material mind. This is because time is measured by the movements of the rotating earth, which is moving in orbit, and the movements of the heavens and the sun. So to our material mind, this “future” is some event which will manifest in the physical location of the moving earth planet, which is a physical reality just around the corner, and not in the “here and now,” because it signifies a position of the earth not yet existing. So, how can we possibly see something which does not yet physically exist? We can observe patterns and predict some estimated future, like in weather, we see a pattern of storm clouds and give a reasonable prediction of a storm. But sometimes there is no prior pattern or hint of some future vision which appears in a pre-cognitive dream.

This is something that occasionally occurs in some dreams of my own. I have had these pre-cognitive dreams, sometimes significant, sometimes mundane. Like one time I dreamed of a flat tire, the next day I had a flat tire. One night I dreamed that I conversed with a dwarf dressed in saffron. The next day I met a dwarfish person, but in normal dress, and we had a conversation. Usually, I tend to dream of groups of devotees, sometimes every night, and sometimes I will know the identity of some devotees, sometimes I don’t know who they are. We are always in some huge temple, doing some service or having kirtan and festivals.

I did have several dreams with Srila Prabhupada and Jayananda, and one really good one with Lord Jagannatha, where I dreamed I was fanning the Lord, and the next day it happened, I was fanning Lord Jagannatha, and all the surroundings were remembered to be the same visions had in the previous night’s dream, just a few hours ago. Perhaps the most graphic dream of this kind was the dream wherein I received 2 checks in the mail. The next day, we heard the postman deliver the mail, and I said to Prtha dd, my wife, “I’ll bet you we have 2 checks in the mail.” We opened the mail, and there was a check for $350, totally unexpected, and there was a letter from the IRS, telling me I was soon to receive a refund for so much, which was similar to a check in the mail. Besides all that, the most significant dream I ever had, was when Jayananda appeared and we hugged, and he said, “everything is going to be all right.” This is more clearly described in the Jayananda book, “The Beautiful Life of Jayananda Thakur,” Your aspiring servant, Vishoka Dasa