Diary of a Traveling Monk

Volume 12, Chapter 3

November  29, 2011

An Unexpected Guest

By Indradyumna Swami 

If Srila Prabhupada visited you,

 

Maybe just for a day or two,

 

And came by unexpectedly,

 

I wonder what you'd do.

 

 

Oh, I know you'd give your nicest room,

 

To such an honored guest,

 

And all the food you'd offer,

 

Would be the very best.

 

 

And you would keep assuring him,

 

You're glad to have him there,

 

That serving him within your home,

 

Is a joy beyond compare.

 

 

But if you saw him coming,

 

Would you meet him at the door,

 

With arms outstretched to welcome,

 

This honored visitor?

 

 

Or would you have to change your clothes,

 

Before you let him in?

 

Or hide some magazines,

 

And put the Gita where they'd been?

 

 

Would you watch those mundane movies,

 

Upon your TV set?

Would you have to answer e-mail,

 

While he was taking rest?

 

 

Would you run to turn your music off,

 

Before it reached his ears?

 

And put the tilak on your forehead,

 

Or bind or shave your hairs?

 

 

Would you cover up your Playstation,

 

Take your posters off the wall?

 

Would you have to hide the DVDs,

 

You just bought at the mall?

 

 

Would you gossip with your partner,

 

About devotees' faults?

 

Would you have to re-cook dinner,

 

Without the garlic salt?

 

 

Would you put Tulasi on your neck,

 

And have to find your japa beads?

 

And wake up in the morning before the

 

Sun peeks through the trees.

 

 

Would you sing the songs you always sing,

 

And read the books you read?

 

And let him know the things on which

 

Your mind and spirit feed?

 

 

Would Prabhupada be invited,

 

Everywhere you planned to go?

 

Or, would you, maybe, change your plans,

 

Just for a day or so?

 

Would you be glad to have him meet,

 

Your very closest friends?

 

Or would you hope they'd stay away,

 

Until his visit ends?

 

 

I wonder if Prabhupada spent,

 

A day or two with you,

 

Would you go right on doing,

 

The things you always do?

 

 

Would you go right on saying

 

The things you always say?

 

Would life for you continue,

 

As it does from day to day?

 

 

Would you be glad to have him stay,

 

Forever on and on?

 

Or would you sigh with great relief,

 

When finally he had gone?

 

[ Revised version, November, 2011 ]