Life-Changing Impact - Morris
As narrated by His Grace Rama Raya Prabhu
4 years ago, coming into the 2nd year of daily Harinama in our established spot, 1 piano player tried to set himself up there everyday in the beginning of the season. With the help of assistants, he would wheel in an upright piano and he would play a 25-30 minute repeating spool of barroom music songs on the piano. We tried to reason with him to find another spot, but he wouldn’t listen.
In Union Square Park there are many chess players and there is one very nice gentleman named Morris. He has a black body 6 foor 6 inches tall that is like a fully manifest angry Lord Nrsinghadeva. He’s a personal trainer, body builder, body guard, and bouncer. He approached us and said, “Are you having trouble over there? Listen I like you guys a lot. I’m going to take care of this.”
Morris: “Excuse me - me and you need to come to an understanding.”
Piano Player: “C’mon bro. They’re spreading peace and love, I’m spreading peace and love. There isn’t any difference.”
Morris: “This is America - everybody is entitled to their opinion. George Washington is sitting on the horse right there protecting your 1st amendment rights. Now I would want the common decency that you should respect that I’m also entitled to my opinion.”
“First, this is an established spot. You don’t come into an established spot and start doing whatever you want without checking with those are already thus established.”
“Second, you say you’re spreading peace and love and they’re spreading peace love. That’s your opinion. I respect that. But from my side, I say they’re spreading peace and love – you on the other hand are giving me a headache.”
“When you play that piano, I become angry in my mind. Less people come in the park to play chess. I can’t play the game properly. I don’t win as much. I don’t make as much money.”
“But when the Hare Krishnas are chanting here, more people come in the park, my mind is very peaceful, my intelligence becomes very clear, I play a good game, and I make more money. So you see there is a difference.”
“So just between me and you just so that we’re clear just like bright sunshine in the sky. Later down the road, I don’t want there to be any kind of a cloud or fog. If that comes about brother, there’s going to be a big storm coming and you don’t want that. I know me 12 brothers totally loyal to me in Newark, New Jersey and you don’t even want to think about opening up that book. So clear sunshine – me and you understood. This is your last day here.”
Piano Player: “Yes sir.” He got the piano out of there and never came back.
To date, Morris is always around to support us and making sure we’re doing alright. If something happens, he comes right over and tells the aggressor, “Excuse me – this type of behavior is unacceptable. I’m going to have to ask you to modify that or to leave.” Brahminical culture, coming from the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, brings back varna ashrama dharma as we see it bringing out a true ksatriya in Morris.
The cause of happiness is knowing Krishna to be the supreme enjoyer of all activities of the human being, proprietor of all lands and planets, and the sincerest friend of all living entities. Anything contrary to that principle, Morris rightly pointed out, gives you a headache, as Narrotama dasa Thakur enunciated hundreds of years ago in the Prema Bhakti Chandrika - “The numberless different conceptions and philosophies of life are all symptomatic of the conditioned souls false pride. Trying to understand them brings no real benefit but only a pain within the mind.”