Please accept my blessings. Jaya Srila Prabhupada.
After engaging me for several months in slow, peaceful traveling, Krishna has again arranged a nice place for me to stay. A few days ago, I rented an appropriate apartment in Santa Monica, California.
This residence is a ten minute drive from New Dvaraka where I can see many devotees and very beautiful Deities. I will also be two blocks from the ocean park that Prabhupada called “the best place in Los Angeles to walk,” and very close to natural food stores.
Prabhupada often praised the weather in Los Angeles, and Santa Monica, by the ocean, has the best weather in Los Angeles for those like me who are intolerant of heat. I also prefer to live in a place where I can walk almost everywhere I need to go, and this location provides that. I will begin my residence there on Saturday, March 16.
I also want to share with you a significant change that Krishna has arranged in my life. Since I began to practice Krishna consciousness, almost forty-four years ago, my central service has been speaking to devotees and non-devotees about Krishna. Prabhupada and Krishna blessed me to speak their message around the world in many languages and forums, and I am eternally grateful for that opportunity. However Krishna has recently made it clear to me that at least for now, I must completely retire from that service and focus on writing which has the potential to reach even more people across space and time.
Because it is certainly a dramatic and unexpected decision to retire from public speaking, I will explain further how I became convinced that this indeed is Krishna’s plan for me. Everything Krishna does in our life is a blessing for our ultimate happiness, and in that sense Krishna has blessed me for at last thirty-five years with problematic health. As I wrote to you before, I now have an objective, “clinical” explanation for my condition, but ultimately Krishna is the cause of all causes, and He is our eternal well-wisher and best friend. During my recent travels, especially in November, my health seriously deteriorated. Krishna showed me clearly and unmistakably that the cause of this alarming condition was public speaking. During this trip, especially in October and November, I gave classes and preached to guests at ISKCON centers in Tucson, San Antonio, and Houston. These programs were extraordinarily ecstatic and rewarding, however the effect on my health was disastrous. Again and again Krishna showed me that in order to remain on this planet, I simply had to retire from this type of devotional service which for many decades has been my central service and happiness.
Krishna’s decision did not at all discourage me, for Krishna has given me the most important devotional service of my life. I recently sent one small book to our publication team, and hopefully more books will very soon follow.
Krishna has also been increasing my attachment to visiting temples and seeing the devotees and the beautiful forms of the Deities. Here in Los Angeles, the devotees have kindly and repeatedly asked me to give class, even after I explained my condition. This is perfectly natural since I have joyfully given classes at New Dvaraka for over forty years. The fact that I have retired from giving classes and lectures is quite unusual in ISKCON for an active preacher, so of course it will take the devotees a little time to truly understand my real condition, and Krishna’s will. I must fully retire from public speaking because at this point, there is no other way that I can maintain my health, and my presence in this world.
I am very enthusiastic to serve Srila Prabhupada’s servants through writing. Devotees will also come from time to time to assist me here. Lord Krishna is blessing me with great spiritual happiness in my present life and I pray to Prabhupada that he empower me to serve all of you in the best possible way.
With best wishes,
Hridayananda das Goswami
March 9, 2013