Back Inside

by Rupa, Florida

I spent so many lifetimes there, trapped in illusions walls,
I felt alone, then recently, I started placing calls,
I called out to RADHA KRSNA, each day I took the time
I worshipped and remembered Them, Their names are so sublime
Then one day as I chanted rounds, I was called into court
I knew by who presided there, my life had been cut short
I stood before the judge who said, “I’d best make something clear

My bailiffs brought you by mistake, you have no business here
You passed while chanting KRSNAS names; I’m not in charge of you
My jurisdiction’s limited, there’s nothing I can do
He said “That’s all. You may depart. It’s time for you to go”
I said “there must be some mistake, just let me take this slow”
He said, “The record it quite clear, your karmic debts are paid”
He said, “You’d best just move along.” Dumbstruck, I just obeyed
I really needed to sit back, to ponder my next move,
Sure I could leave maya behind, but just what did that prove?
I thought about the deepest loves, that I held in my heart,
RADHA-KRSNA, and Gauranga, that seemed like a good start
I thought, “I’ll go to Vrndavan, and serve RADHA-KRSNA”
I thought, “I’ll go to Mayapur, and dance with Gauranga”
I remembered the sakhis next, and the manjari’s too
I knew if I could talk with them, they’d know just what to do
Rupa Manjari, she’s so grand, she’d take me by her side
I wanted to get her advice, she’d help me decide
While I was meditating on, the places I would go
I remembered the fallen ones, those poor imprisoned souls,
They’re still inside; I asked myself, “What got me out the gate?”
The answer struck, a lightening flash, I bolted, screaming, “Wait!”
I crashed back into the courtroom; they held me in contempt,
I said, “Please, just let me explain, perhaps I’ll be exempt.”
I really didn’t understand, the law and all its tricks
But I knew justice could prevail, my problems could be fixed
So I proceeded to the bar and said, “Your honor, Sir,
I’m sorry I disrupted things, but I’m deeply disturbed.”
He said the docket wasn’t full, so I could have my say
But cautioned, “This had best be good, I closed you’re case today.”
I said, “I know I’ve been released. You told me I can go.
But I don’t want a ticket out. That’s something you should know.
The record shows I was inside, a long, long time you see
And I’d still be there chasing dreams, but someone preached to me.
I’ve received causeless mercy from, Gauranga’s devotee
He taught the science of bhakti, the path that set me free
He taught me how to chant with faith, then KRSNA’s holy names
Washed all my sinful thoughts away, and my desires changed
The things that my senses had craved, no longer tasted sweet
The only thing I wanted was, dust from Sri RADHA’s feet
By preaching he had changed my heart, and settled down my mind,
And now I want to walk his path, until the end of time.”
“Now wait a minute,” said the judge. “Just let me get this straight.
You’re telling my you don’t want out, when freedom is your fate?”
“Oh freedom schrmeedom,” I just laughed “I guess it’s hard to see
Why preaching’s the best way to serve, Caitanya’s recipe
So I need to go back inside, that’s where preaching is done
Perhaps someday I’ll want back out, perhaps that day won’t come
In Mayapura I could have danced, with Nitai and Srivas
There we could all shout, ‘Haribol!’ and chant with Haridas
Perhaps I’d even qualify, to help Sudevi bring
Some water to RADHA-KRSNA, or hear Lalita sing
But please sir, withdraw my release, and put me back inside
I could preach there, that would be best, that’s where I should reside
The judge said, “There’s no precedent, I can’t rule on this case”
He said, “I think I’d best request, a high court magistrate.”
Low and behold! Was I surprised, and you would have been too
Lord Nityananda took the bench, wearing a robe of blue
He said, “Lord Yamaraj asked me, to hear your special plea.
State your case. Give your evidence. Then we’ll see what will be.”
I said, “I’ll start by telling You, that while I was inside
I preached to everyone I could. If they’d listen I’d try.
I felt great, but that’s not my goal, it’s just a side effect
I think that there’s duty involved, You’ll judge if I’m correct
Lord Caitanya has ordered us, to preach to everyone
And I’ve just barely had a taste, I’ve barely just begun
Rupa Gosvami also played, a part in teaching me
His “Nectar of Devotion” makes, the truth quite plain to see
I have a simple goal, I only want to serve
If that means going back inside, I know I’ve got the nerve
No doubt I’ve often thought about, living in Vraja-dham
To serve with lots of gopi friends, a life of peace and calm
But perhaps by not being there, amidst all the gopis
The separation I will feel, will help to strengthen me
I guess that’s it, I rest my case. I know that You’ll be fair.
No matter where You send me sir, let me serve KRSNA there.”
Lord Nityananda weighed my case; I felt I stood a chance
Then when He cracked a smile at me, my heart began to dance
He said, “I’ll tell you what I liked, and this impresses Me.
You made your case relying on, the best authorities.
If you’ll recall Lord Caitanya, told Haridas and I
To begin His preaching mission, so I understand why
Why His instructions touched your heart, why you want to obey
Why you want to go back inside, why you came back today.
But before I make up My mind, there’s more I’d like to know.
Where is it that you want to preach? Where do you want to go?”
“Wherever I am needed most. I want to serve, not play.
Wherever there’s a soul who’s lost, who needs to find the way.”
He said, “What if I needed you, to go straight into hell?”
I said, “Then I’m prepared to go, and I’ll try to do well.”
He said, “I like that attitude, I think you’ll do just fine.”
I said, “I’m here to volunteer. Send me to the front lines.”
He said, “Now hold on just a sec. Hold your horses champ.
I’ll need you to be wise and strong. You’re going to boot camp
We’ve drill instructors there for you. They’ll whip you into shape.
They’ll dress you down, and size you up, without a measuring tape.
He said, “As I rushed here today, I did a quick review
Of your desires and your prayers, to see if your heart’s true.
Those records made it clear to me, that you deserve the chance
To serve in more than just one way, to learn more than just one dance.”
I wasn’t quite sure what He meant, by all the things He said,
That bit about drills and boot camp, was still stuck in my head
It seemed I’d opened up my mouth, and put my foot in it
The best that I could hope for now, was that the shoe would fit
He said, “Relax, no need to fret. You have nothing to fear
Well, My decision has been made, I’ll make the record clear.
I sentence you to always serve, Sri Sri RADHA-KRSNA
Gauranga too, you’ll have the mood, of a rupanuga.
First you’ll take birth in Gokula, that’s where bootcamp begins.
Rupa Manjari will instruct, I’m sure that you’ll fit in.
Then once she feels you’ve earned your stripes, you’re off to Mayapur.
Rupa Gosvami will instruct. He’s strict, but you’ll endure.
You’ll be trained by the very best, then once you’re well equipped
To face the trials of Dhurga-dhama, I’ll see that you get shipped.
You’ll be assigned to missions that, acquire a willing soul.
Someone who takes things as they come, service their only goal
I’ve special things in mind for you, be sure to learn a lot
The only way you will succeed, is give it all you’ve got
But I’ll make sure, if things allow, to bring you home on leave
Then you’ll spend time at RADHA-kund, for a little reprieve
You’ll dance with all your gopi friends; you’ll share in all the mirth
Until it’s time to preach again, then you’ll go take a birth
Do you have any questions now, about what I have said?
“I have just one, can I lie down? I’ve clearly made my bed!”
He said, “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. I think you’ll do quite well.
Your heart’s sincere, you’ve made it clear.” And then the gavel fell.
So I’ll get ready. I’ll train hard. I’ll be all I can be.
I preach, I’ll teach. I’ll try to be, a sincere devotee.
I’ll find souls, within maya’s walls, where many wander lost
And I will help them to escape, I’ll pay, tell me the cost.
I’ll keep on going back inside, with Gauranga’s mercy
Perhaps someday you’ll understand, and you’ll want to join me.

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