Songs to the Sadhaka


by Srila Atulananda Acharya Prabhu

Part 1


I sing to the Sadhaka, (the practitioner), the one who fights
The one who arises, the one who yields their senses
The one who is strong in determination
The one who is always humble and afraid
The one who feels the great debt with his master
The one who does not belong to oneself,
who controls oneself at each step
The great warrior
Oh Krsna! Give us Your grace!
Without it we are nothing
There is no sadhaka, or sadhana, or any hope at all
Make us strong before Maya,
Weak before Your supreme will!
Oh Lord! Fill our lives!
Prabhupada wanted us not to forget You…


Do you remember before Srila Prabhupada came?
For some, their heads were filled with smoke
Long hair and shrill music
Searching for the truth… in a guitar
Embarked on long journeys, some travelled
Some lived in mountains
High up among large rocks and rivers
Crazy youth, inventing love
Making the grand cheap
Some seudo intellectuals would say:
“Everything is energy, you and God Himself”
“You are God”…….they would say……
In the craziness of a wandering age
Without knowing anything, they knew nothing
Heaven always spoke but none understood
Stars kept their words mute
Books carried their wisdom
Some searched, others didn’t even do that
But without Prabhupada everything kept quiet
Then he came full of grace for everyone
To awaken, to awaken he came saying:
“Love is truth, the reason for life”
Now you awaken and arise
You have a great engagement
Everything teaches you
Everything instructs you
You are a child and the message is so great
So great is your debt
What did you know about Krsna?
What did you do? Who were you?
Now you want to seal your committment
To the mahatmas
Fulfill them, surrender your life
You feel empty, incapable
But you run anyway
To fill hearts along with your own
You run to understand what you don’t understand
To satisfy this internal necessity that is never satisfied
You ask for the service impetuously with your chanting
Afraid and daring, you ask for service in the Supreme Domain!
Before that you knew nothing,
Oh sadhaka! How you have changed!
You yearn for His service
Weren’t the words of Prabhupada the sweet sound of His flute?
Oh, he with the lotus lips! He with the lotus feet!
Who, like a swan, travelled around this earth!


Oh sadhaka (practicioner)
How beautiful your life is!
You become a child again
You begin to live with heaven
The sun speaks to you about your gayatris
(The stars about the first one)
The moon reminds you of your fasts
And the sacred dates of the saints
I like your austere, hard, pure life
Your bath in the morning
Taking with you the Holy Name
You bow before your guru like a child
Your heart is full of his words
You feel like you want to love but you can’t
And the great masters ask you to be peaceful
I love your life because you love without loving still
For this beautiful hope that you have
You live in faith of a beautiful perspective
You enjoy without enjoying and accept the severeties
You meditate – hard blows make the heart soft
You search for sweetness, love, service
You bring yourself to the sources
You sit to listen to the words of the saints
You want to purify yourself, “wash away the coal,” finish yourself
You want to fill yourself with Krsna, with goodness, with service
Everthing is a great leap for you, a great risk
The most absurd risk because you come close to the Best
These are Maya’s tricks and now you are learning to live
To sign your committment with heaven
Your committments and vows descend from there
Your life is a poem
Your life begins to become a beautiful song
Together with the Beautiful Oh sadhaka, oh my sustenance
Keep your heart pure in spite of everything!
Do not feel alone near the Vaisnavas!


Is there calm, is there peacefulness, oh sadhaka?
Not yet, you tell me
Is there purity, is there conviction, did you achieve anything?
Not yet, you answer me
Have you understood, do you know what to do, who you are?
I lack a lot, is your response
Your gurudeva has put you on the negative side
Krsna awakens you and takes you to this same reality
He wants to run to embrace your humility
In your complete humility, He maintains
His embrace Near your ear he whispers:
“I will give you causless knowledge,
and unattachment from this world…
.” Why would you want any other wealth?
Oh sadhaka! You walk when you feel that you are not walking…
When you cry because you have lost, then is when you have won


Sweet peace, sweet ether, sweet beautiful silence
The little bells of aratik are sounding
And the sun brightens the twilight
Giving the sadhaka another day
When the birds go to sleep
You put your soul to rest with the Holy Name
You take her to lay on the lap of your master
Your life no longer belongs to you
Day after day you repeat your word, and fulfill your promise
Increasing your wealth in heaven
Your life is simple, sealed in love
You live in that virtuous world, so pure and transparent
That the embodied eye cannot see your progress
But you go to Him You go to Him, sadhaka, do not fear
That is what the masters say…..

Oh sadhaka!
You sit on the floor
And sometimes eat with your hand
Everything is divine to you
You eat your simple rice, after a prayer of thanks
With the happiness of a banquet of the gods
You are with your own, with family, in your simple life
You are advancing towards the glorious kingdom
Where you are the king of your senses and the slave of the
Beautiful “Simple life, high thinking”
Oh sadhaka!
What great riches the wise have given you
You value it with your simple life, your simple mind
You advance
You are now daily fighting strong wars
Life is won by one who fights for her
Not by one who accomodates this fatal and sleeping body


Oh sadhaka!
You are heroic, you are glorious
Ordinary people are afraid of discipline and high ideals
They are afraid to speak the truth, much less live it!
They want soft pillows, soothing music and sex
Sex fills their consciences with a pornographic life
There is no soul for them, only bodies, dirty and lowly
Who are never occupied in divine service
Yet, oh sadhaka, you live for the soul!
Daring and fearless you go to this realm with steps of hope
Towards a luminous and saintly life
You fight against all, parents and siblings if it be necessary
If they don’t want to go this way
You are ready to continue alone, assured and strong
Like a great soldier below a large bastion
Ready to die for the generals who know the glory
Who, crowned as kings of their senses,
Guide you to your kingdom, to your home,
Oh sadhaka! Oh saint!


So lonely! So many obstacles!
So much adversity! Oh friend, my life razes!
I fall in my prayers and feel alone
In this way I only find mishap and adversity
And I return to my prayers
I take up chanting again I feel
Your internal company
Your love in my heart and also yours,
Oh sadhaka! And again I want to be like you
And renovate my vows
Feeling united with the saints through my practice
What are vain conversations good for?
What relief do they give the heart?
Let us talk about the Lord Let us feel His company Bless me,
Oh sadhaka! with your intense sadhana
Take me to your kirtan
Don’t let me loose myself in the void


I chant the holy name with a great hope
You have encouraged me,
Oh bhaktas! Like drops that, little by little,
bring back my heart
Each word of the mantra comes to me
Entering a little It is always like this for everyone
Just listen to this sweet name that runs to your heart
Will you receive this present with a cold heart?
Will you be able to understand thus what it is about?
Treasure this present from Srila Prabhupada
He arrived with his candid heart
And brought the science of love
He brought it in a concrete way
So that you can feel it and live with it
At last live in love! In love, in the greatest love
This is our hope
With this in mind you rise early in the morning,
Oh Sadhaka The Lord knows what you are looking for
He listens to your mantra
He puts it in your mouth and hides
Call Him, serve Him and call Him
His sweet heart only looks for the most oportune moment
To give Himself.


Sometimes, when I get up, I say:
When will I be able to love you my Lord?
When will I be able to say Your Name?
When will I be pure and not cause pain with my sins?
When will my mind be clean
And pure devotion shine within her?
When will I be your devotee?
When will I have true love?
When will I truly search for
Your service, leaving all personal comfort behind?
When will I laugh at fear, anger and illusion?
When will I know the sweetness of humility,
and when will I have love for the devotees?
When will I break Maya’s enchantment;
perverted desire; mundane attraction?
When will You,
Govinda, be my concrete reality, my support,
my friend, my refuge, my goal, my everything…?
The days multiply, years come and go,
and I am still the same, still so far…
But I am on the pathway of the sadhaka
That path which I wish to take up and never let go of
That long road, sometimes dangerous and sinuous,
That mountinous road that I search for and love
Where I fear and stumble
Where I suffer helplessness
And where I search for you,
Oh sadhaka! Oh sadhaka, who extends your hand!


Do you remember your life, sadhaka?
When the day arrived in which Govinda called you?
When the enchantment of exact science dissappeared
and the greatness of man crumbled
When you perceived time, the factor of time ruling all
And this world was no longer a friendly refuge
When you became conscious of death, and of other life,
And from sinful acts there was an awakening
A deep and sober awakening
Repeatedly in the mind, insistant,
Always present in your consciousness,
An metafisical glance
Beyond the smile and kiss
Beyond the perfume and jewels
The world became a superficial curtain of Maya
The laughter, the parties, the engagements and friends
The earnings of the day, the taste of night
Everthing vanished like a weak cloud
What men call culture
Were spasms of poor creations
Lost sensations and sad illusions
The air of importance, the air of greatness
Just air inflating the balloon of pride
The fight to become independent in this blur of life
The fight to continue exploiting others
What is happening?
You said, awakening
And you went to your parents, your siblings, your friends
But it was no longer the same
You had changed and you were seeing:
The meaning of the words, of that same evangel
Words that galloped deep into your heart
And then lonliness came to embrase you
The lonely and quiet paths welcomed you
The empty beaches, the wet rocks
The hard hearts and the response of the deaf
And you felt disoriented, abandoned and lost
In a world to which you were recently born
Where you still did not crawl or eat
In a world where you recently moaned and cried
You were alone in an empty universe
The disguises and honors of the world no longer possessed you
Success and triumph craved by youth
For you was tasted and chewed food already
Forever sadly eaten and swallowed
When the soul awakens, it no longer belongs to this world
Only the eternal is real, searcher of roots,
And you cried to find other alert souls Ay, so many books!
Ay, so many paths and teachers!
Ay, hidden Govinda! Ay, the Naughty, the Beautiful!
So many lives, so many paths, so many questions
To mature the heart, the sweetest fruit
Then you reached the devotees
They came searching for you with their song and their books
The chiming of kartals, remember?
The dance of happiness
The soul finally invited to its long awaited fiesta
You finally arrived, sadhaka, to your safe refuge
You followed a long path to arrive at this one
This long path of love and service
This long path full of grace
And in this way your fresh and rejuvinated soul
Took flight in the kirtan shaking off the incongruences
And so you sit to speak with other sadhakas
What your history was, how you came to Krsna
How His mercy unveiled the key of the universe
Opening the mouths of the wise and discovering deep secrets
You tell of your coming with happiness
With the happiness of he who receives His grace
You tell of your painful travels with a smile
But your tears for those who still sleep endure……

Part 2

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