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You could have stayed in Vrindavana
By Shri Kalakantha Dasa
You could have stayed in Vrndavana,
Where chanting is most sweet,
Or moved to holy Navadvipa,
In spiritual retreat.
Your Godbrothers had temples there
With room enough for you
To sit and preach each Gaura Purnima
To a visitor or two.
You could have said, "It's Krishna's will—
My visa was denied;
I may have failed, but now I know,
At least, that I have tried."
Your patron said you'd die abroad;
Your Godbrother just scoffed;
You could have said, "Who'll meet the boat
And guide me safely off?"
You could have had one look at us
And said, "What have I done?"
And caught the next boat back to home,
Unblamed by anyone.
"The Westerners," you could have said,
"Can go to hell and stay."
Who would have disagreed with you?
We were well on our way.
Instead you laid your final years
Like flowers at Krishna's feet,
Siddhanta's smile your hidden guide,
Thakura's vision in reach.
Producing eighty volumes
As you guided us along,
You showed us how to cook prasada
And preach Lord Krishna's song.
And as we preach, the boys and girls
From every land on earth
Come forth to serve you, Prabhupada,
Renewed in second birth.
I could have been a doctor,
Had I but stayed in school;
Might have made a couple million,
Built a fancy house and pool.
I could have written novels,
Legislated laws and rules;
I could have been a music star;
I could have just been cool.
Instead I laid my youthful years
Like flowers at your feet;
Malpouras caused my interest,
Samosas my defeat.
My Dad said, "Son, you're brainwashed!"
My friend said, "You’re a fool!"
My shortfalls as a Vaishnava
Numbered many, victories few.
Reflecting on my bygone youth,
(As at mid-life one is prone,)
I wouldn’t trade your glance for gold,
Your words for precious stones.
This morning on the japa trail,
The northern star shone down;
So fixed and true, it seemed like you,
With devas circling round.
But dawn concealed that heavenly stage
And lit a wintry scene,
Of all I am, and all you are,
And all that lies between.