“One Day Before” – A Christmas Reflection

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Way back when (in 1999) Srila Giri Maharaja wrote the lines below as an offering to Srila Govinda Maharaja on his appearance day which was on December 24th (the day before Christmas). In the offering, the comparison between the day of Srila Govinda Maharaja’s appearance and the Christmas celebration (which is observed the following day) is not only ingenious, but quite profound in its meaning. We should all reflect upon the ocean of difference a single day can represent in a spiritual aspirant’s destination.

What a difference a day can make,
a turn, or a fork in the road we take.
To seek the truth or speculate
quite a difference a day can make.

Religious conceptions to explore,
flood the ether more and more.
The soul awash seeking shore,
did he miss his chance the day before?

Some admonishment not to sin
helped to calm and quiet him
but longing still continuing
caused a stir, unsettling.

He’s told “have faith, do not stray
from this savior ours of yesterday.
Be quite content assured that he
will come to save you presently.”

“The symptoms of salvation
need never show their face,
Just know that after leaving us
you’ll surely get their grace.”

“What difference is a day or two,
what if it takes a year?
You’ll truly find out soon enough
just after leaving here.”

But could it be, after all,
what you’ve strived and waited for,
has come to you already,
just the day before?

Memory makes the best of things
that happened long ago.
Leaving us the saviors
our minds have come to know.

But are they real, imagined or
just our nature to ignore
the one who’s come so recently
just one day before?

How can we know surrender,
revelation to be sure.
Unless we recognize His Grace
now standing at our door.

Shall we think of him as any less
till time has had the chance
to magnify his miracles
upon which now we glance?

We musn’t be so shallow
lest we lose the chance
for bathing in the glory
of his munificence.

The Lord of Love has come
just to give Himself to us.
His beauty charm and sweetness
in form magnanimous.

Mercy wrapped in mercy, rolls
like waves upon the shore.
Appearing, have you noticed,
just one day before?

He offers what no other gave.
They could not reach that place
that he, Sundar Govinda Dev
has given through His Grace.

What a difference a day can make.
To gain or to forsake.
The soul asleep does now awake!
A beautiful difference this day does make.