It’s All in a Name
(A poem completed on Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance day 1989)
This is the age of quarrel, and that’s not hard to show.
We’re unlucky, misguided and spiritually slow.
Life and memory are short, the surplus seems the pain,
That behind what’s called love is just material gain.
But one thing is so bright that it puts the sun to shame,
And that’s the absolute pleasure in the Holy Name.
Because though the names in this world will all become dim
The identity of God’s Name is the same as Him.
Races, creeds and countries come and raise up their borders.
We’re separate behind our loyal skin disorders.
We who build our happiness on this body of sand
Will become washed away by whatever time demands,
While those who want the wisdom that riches can’t afford
Will build on the solid rock of the Name of the Lord.
There’s nothing more to know if you really come to hear.
You will wish for millions of tongues and millions of ears.
No one wants to give respect, we all want to be served.
Dog eat dog is the bed all we petty gods deserve.
Illusion is king, it’s only death that makes it true,
‘Cause when just your body’s left, we know we’ve never seen you.
The Great Spirit doesn’t speak in terms of the mundane
Of this temporary dream of frustration and pain.
He’s hoping you’re willing to take His chance to reclaim
And awaken your true self to the sound of His Name.
The blind tell us to believe in only what we see,
While science asks for faith in what they change constantly.
Money and power are god by elimination.
Darkness gets equal time, we worship degradation.
That everyone’s misleading is all cheaters perceive.
We can’t see that we’ve given all the pain we receive.
And although in the night we have put the Lord to blame,
Each heart is cleaned forgiven in the light of His Name.
So narrow is the gate but very wide is the grave.
It’s illusion’s job to keep you working as her slave.
For your each misconception, a cheater will appear,
Who takes the Name for vanity and poisons you ear.*
As heat and light is the sun, God is also all that we see.
He who just grasps yours and mine remains blind in eternity.
The vain only find the mirrors, truth and lies will look the same,
But the way past the fear is in the shelter of the Name.
“Praise the Name of the Lord with cymbals,” so highly sings the psalm.
“The most beautiful Names of Allah,” we say with folded palms.
“Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.”
“Chant Hare Krishna” and self-realize life’s ultimate aim.
Sitting in our hearts we’re tiny parts of the Supreme,
Like the fire throws it’s sparks or the sun shines it’s beams.
As God serves us in love, we’re all meant to give Him joy.
This is eternal life, just illusion gets destroyed.
But our minds are forgetful, we’re the prodigal bums,
Poor with death and disease, and that’s why God’s servants** come
To say to serve your Lover with all riches and fame,
And like when you first meet, everything starts from His Name.
You don’t need a PhD., nobody is too low,
Say It or play It, it doesn’t have to be just so.
Free your heart and mind from the order of guilt and fear.
All life and love is in the Sound if you can just hear.
‘Cause singing of the Name is from the kingdom most high,
From the golden Lord*** Himself for each soul He hears cry.
To attain the Supreme from Whom the wise never stray,
For we souls so fallen, it’s said, “There’s no other way.”
Cupid, Odin and Buddha, Mother Earth and the lord of death,
Mother Nature and Shiva don’t even like to take a breath.
The Sun god and Muhammad, Moses and Christ all feel the same.
They see eternal recreation in the Form of the Name.
Life shows you many doors, and your mind is like the key,
‘Cause the pleasure you crave is where you’re going to be,
Whether you’re drawn to this world like a moth to a flame,
Or if somehow by God’s mercy, you can hear His Name.
Om, Jah, Vishnu, Allah, Jehovah,
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
** Jaya Srila Prabhupada, the foremost promulgator of chanting the name of Krishna around the world!
*** The Golden Lord or Avatar is Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Incarnation of Krishna Who appeared 500 some years ago in West Bengal, India, and Who inaugurated the yuga dharma, or the religion for this age, the chanting of God’s holy Names, sankirtana.
by bhakta Eric Johanson, who has also had a number of other names such as Vrndavana Candra dasa. The * verse refers to his experience with a one-time, so-called guru of the ISKCON institution, one Hamsadutta dasa, from whom he temporarily received the second name, as well as the leaders of that institution.
Author’s note – In 1989 Kailasa Candra dasa and I were living in San Antonio, Texas. I was writing some poetry with the aim of attracting one female. Most of it wasn’t according to any regular meter. Kailasa prabhu suggested I write something more directly Krishna conscious and with a meter. This poem to celebrate Srila Prabhupada and his mission was the result.