No, you didn't miss the April First issue of Back to Godhead. We did. There's a long story involved, but suffice it to say that we're very sorry to have done so. We'll certainly print that edition, and put it into circulation, as soon as possible. It contains Part II of Hayagriva Das's "Krishna Consciousness in American Poetry," dealing with Henry David Thoreau and Emily Dickinson, and so we know it will be especially valued by our readers.
The pictures in this issue are of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the founder of the Sankirtan movement, in the ecstasy of chanting the lord's Names. They are the work of our prolific art directress, Jadurani Devi Dasi (Judy Koslofsky). Incidentally, we are very happy to announce the arrival of two new devotees, from our San Francisco temple, who have joined the art department. They are Gaurasundara Das Adhikary and his wife, Govinda Devi Dasi (Gary and Bonnie McElroy.)
Since the Swami's return to New York on April 9, we've had two initiation ceremonies on Second Avenue, adding five devotees to our ranks. They are Damodara Das Adhikary (Dan Clark), Maha-Purusa Das Brahmacary (Mark Babbitt), Dwarkadish Das (Donald Dogherty), Madhusudana Das (Michael Blumert), Purusottam Das (Paul Auerback), and, from the Montreal center, Pradyumna Das (Paul Sherbow.)
The Swami's arrival at Kennedy Airport, by the way, was a grand event. More than two hundred well-wishers were on hand, and we had kirtan for more than two hours. To all who were present, we offer our thanks for your inspiring enthusiasm.
Now that Summer is at hand, the New York temple will resume its Sunday afternoon Kirtan program at Tompkins Square Park on Seventh Street and Avenue A, from 3 to 6 P.M. We also plan to have a giant love feast late in the same month, with poet Allen Ginsberg in attendance. More on this as things develop.
On July 9, both the San Francisco and the New York centers will hold the great Chariot Festival, which includes a parade to the edge of the sea, the distribution of a vast quantity of blessed food along the way, plenty of chanting, and the introduction, in that dramatic fashion, of the worshipable Lord Jagannatha Swami of Whom we'll have much to say in future issues.
Incidentally, Swami Bhaktivedanta will be at Lewison Lounge in City College, to hold kirtan and deliver a brief lecture at noon on May 4. If you are free, why not come and join us?
Next issue, our magazine will have a new cover, mathead, and the first of a series of somewhat different layouts. But the price, the name, and our earnest endeavors will be unchanged.
Until then, Hare Krishna.