Something's Happening Here
by Swarup Das

When I was still living at home and visiting the temple every chance I got, I had gone into my neighborhood "head shop" one evening and in a little cardboard box there were a bunch of albums that were kind of offbeat. One was of hundreds of Tibetan Buddhist monks chanting and making strange sounds with their vocal chords (some of them could make three different sounds at once) and among those esoteric LPs was the original Happening Album. On the back I immediately noticed the Ginsberg quote: "It brings a state of ecstasy." I bought it and took it home with me and began playing it... and playing it... and playing it... and chanting along with it... and listening to Prabhupada's talk explaining the meaning of the mantra. In fact at one time I had practically the whole speech memorized. Still do. It's Krishna Consciousness in a nutshell.

When I left the head shop and walked to where my car was parked (it was my sister's car that she got to commute to college with -- a '66 Malibu Chevy with big hippy flower decals pasted all over it), just as I was getting the keys out to unlock the door a cop car drove up and shone his flashlight on me. Apparently the local cops developed the brilliant strategy of watching the local head shop and assuming that anybody patronizing the place was a drug user. (They were probably right but that was beside the point.) Anyway, he asked me for my license and registration -- the usual shakedown -- and asked me to empty my pockets. Ordinarily I would have been a nervous wreck -- to this day whenever I'm confronted by police I practically shake with anxiety. But that night -- holding that album in my hand and thinking about the Hare Krishna chanting and the temple and moving in and becoming a devotee -- I was cool, calm and collected with the cop. I felt as if I were untouchable -- or even transcendental -- that I was no longer in his jurisdiction. I felt PROTECTED!! SHELTERED!! Yeah... that's how I felt come to think of it.

Hare Krishna! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Swarup Das
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Causeless Mercy (#56)