Wednesday, April 25, 2012
I Read Banned Books
In the dream he fought hard against the mob. Always outwitting them as Billy the Kid in the Old West. Finally he was trapped by the biggest one with the knife. In desperation and sharp thinking he said, "If you come a step closer I'll wake up from this dream."
Satsvarupa das Goswami - Sanatorium
Growing up it was fashionable to read "banned books". Recently I ran across a copy of Satsvarupa das Goswami's book, Sanatorium, which was banned by ISKCON. Naturally, I have started reading it. I read his book of poetry, When the Saints Go Marching In, which is frowned on, if not banned itself, and enjoyed it very much. So now I have started Sanatorium.
S.D.G.'s writing has always been important me. I read the Japa Reform Notebook and discovered his journals early in life. He was the official biographer of Srila Prabhupada and an editor and contributing writer of Narada-Bhakti-Sutra. His textbook, Readings in Vedic Literature, is the best of its kind. I have read a lot of his work, be it poetry, instructional or fiction. I have also read his critics' complaints about him.
I myself will not judge a devotee of Lord Krishna. I know that his writing connects me to Prabhupada and Krishna, helps me with my japa and entertains me with its earthy connections. I can relate to the struggles he writes about and I don't mind him being human. In fact, it helps me.