Tallink Ferry, in the middle of the Baltic Strait
21 September 2003
So here we are--myself, Tattvavada and Muniraja Prabhus, and Bhakta Jani--riding a crowded ferry back to Helsinki. It's crowded because on Sunday night the Finns who weekend in cheap Estonia have to get back to work. It seems the most popular item of luggage on board this ship is Estonian beer, which the Finns are carting back to their country by the boxful.
The dumb TV monitors are cranking out music videos, but now the sound is almost inaudible and the picture keeps freezing and breaking up. All the videos are different from those shown on the way to Estonia, but the themes are the same: city nightlife, technology, special effects and women.
Tomorrow I am in Helsinki but the next day I fly up to Lapland. I'll be doing school programs with a team of eight brahmacaris.
During my days in Estonia I was meditating alot on these three verses from the Sri Stotra-ratna of Sripad Yamunacarya.
na dharma-nistho 'smi na catma-vedi
na bhaktimams tvac-caranaravinde
akincano 'nanya-gatih sharanya
tvat-pada-mulam sharanam prapadya
"I am not a virtuous person, fixed in the principles of religious conduct, and neither am I a great
transcendentalist, awakened to spiritual knowledge. Inaddition to this, I have not the slightest trace of devotion for Your lotus feet. O refuge of the devotees, although I am so unqualified, please permit me to take shelter under your lotus feet, for I am now lost in this material world, I do not possess anything of value, and I have no place to turn."
na ninditam karma tad asti loke
sahasrasho yan na maya vyadhayi
so'ham vipakavasare mukunda
krandami sampraty agatis tavagre
"In this world there is not a single abominable deed that I have not done thousands of times. Now that my sins are bearing fruit, and I have no place to turn, I come before You. I weep and cry out, 'O Mukunda'."
agatim sharanagatam hare
krpaya kevalam atmasat kuru
"O Lord Hari, please mercifully accept this person who is a storehouse of thousands of offenses, who has fallen into the terrible ocean of repeated birth and death, who has no place to go, and who now begs shelter from You."
Well, it seems the ferry is arriving at Helsinki harbor. Time to break off this journal entry. Hare Krsna.