Thursday, October 24, 2013

VYASA PUJA 2013




 Dear Srila Prabhupada.

Please accept my humble obeisances at your lotus feet.

This year we were asked to share some recollections of your dealings with children, some stories. When I put mind to the task I realized that actually, in your eyes, we were all children, your boys and girls. 


 How did you deal with us? You empowered us. You trusted us, American, Canadian, European boys and girls, you placed your guru Maharaja’s mission in our hands. Your trust is what gave us strength. While outwardly being as lenient as we needed, with your love, you trapped us into wanting to do what would please you most: full surrender, body, mind and spirit in Krishna’s service. No time to waste, why not give this one life to Krishna, we had already spent so many lives trying to be the enjoyer. 

You empowered your boys and girls to a level that can only be maintained by your mercy. We have to remind each other how this empowerment is still available to us, if we only take shelter of your vani and keep on inquiring submissively, through your books and the following of your instructions. This is your power; this is your eternal compassion. 

With the advancement of technology, it can be so easy to side step the submission in inquiry, to use your words as weapons to prove a point, usually our point. Search Prabhupada on … any subject, pick and choose the quotes and you can have a full arsenal to bring down your opponent. This has little to do with the association that will uplift us, the main thing that becomes elevated through this process is our pride. This may be tad vidhi pani patrena but the pariprasnena sevaya cannot be underestimated.

Every year I ponder on a vyasa puja offering.  What do I have to offer? I repeatedly offer you my life, a life which truthfully has not belonged to me. The disciple’s life is the instrument of the spiritual master for achieving his mission just as your life was the instrument of your spiritual master… 

Today at your feet stands a thief, begging for forgiveness as I proceed to once again offer you what I have, once again, stolen as I stubbornly remained accustomed to call it “my” life.

Srila Prabhupada, I would like to thank you for something very big and important which you left us. I never before realized its importance to the degree I do today. 

I had the good fortune of sharing prasad and kirtan with a few god-sisters and other advanced vaisnavis recently. At least half of us were, are facing difficult life challenges: responsibilities, attachments, disease, old age, mortality. All smiled and embraced the opportunities for greater surrender, realizations and more meaningful prayers as they go about their day, sometimes cringing with pain while repeatedly reaching out to you, to Radha Madhava for help, for spiritual strength. There was such strength and love in the room, support for each other’s surrendering process and prayers. We had an ecstatic kirtan. It was most powerful association. 

I also recently met others who refuse the shelter of your society and saw what they have to endure when similar hard challenges face them. It is like night and day, on one side, serenity, love and shelter and the other side, anger, solitude, defiance and struggle. I want to thank you for your foresight in creating this society, a society meant to increase each other’s Krishna consciousness. We may not realize in our day to day life the wealth we have in each other’s association.

This sanga is available by your mercy. It is beyond what had ever been done before. You have created this very necessary forum for us, for all who want to have it. You did not create maths that only serve brahmacaris and sannyasis but worldwide communities of devotees who can assist each other on the path back to Godhead regardless of varna and ashram. You brought life to Mahaprabhu’s teachings focusing on our eternal nature of spirit soul.


Your house is big enough for all. When you treat us as spirit souls, our tendency is to behave on that platform, not the body. I pray that we do not lose focus and stray away from your vision and the sanga structure you have created for us and that we also learn to treat others with a fraction of the compassion you showed your boys and girls, seeing each other as entrapped suffering spirit souls, just as you saw us.

I beg of you to forgive me for all offences and consider blessing this unqualified fool with guidance from within so that I can complete this life having learned to serve guru and Krishna with all my heart, 24 hours a day, conquering the demands of the mind and body – eating, sleeping, mating and defending – as you did so gracefully.  

I want you to be able to introduce me to Lord Caitanya with the pride of a father, being satisfied that I have lived your instructions, that I have attained the goal of life, pure guru bhakti and Krishna prema.  This is my offering. Kindly guide me to achieve it, sooner than later so that I can be a more powerful instrument in your loving hands.

Ys Yasomati dd

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur on Kartika


Damodara ki jaya


(Portrait of Śrīla
Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura
Prabhupāda)



Mathura - by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda
In śāstra, it has been declared that the month of Kārtika possesses the greatest significance in connection with the practice of devotion to Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Dāmodara. This month is sacred to Dāmodara and should be spent in non-stop service while residing in the holy city of Mathurā.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa was born in Mathurā. The modern city occupies practically the site of ancient Mathurā on the river Yamunā. About six miles to the north of Mathurā is Vṛndāvana, and about seven miles to the southeast is Gokula. All three places are located on the banks of the Yamunā; Mathurā and Vṛndāvana being on the western and Gokula on the eastern bank of the river.


After His birth, which took place in the middle part of a dark and tempestuous night, Śrī Kṛṣṇa was immediately taken to Gokula by His father Vasudeva, who crossed the Yamuna, which was then in flood, by wading on foot.
Vasudeva and his wife Devakī had been confined in a strongly guarded prison by King Kaṁsa. Vasudeva easily got out of the prison, and performed his journey to Gokula and back, completely unseen by anyone. He left the newborn baby in Gokula in the home of Nanda and brought back with him the newly born daughter of Yaśodā, before the close of the night.

When Kiśora-Kṛṣṇa was twelve years old King Kaṁsa ordered Him to attend a sacrifice at the capital, so He came back to Mathurā from Vṛndāvana, where He had been living with Nanda and Yaśodā. Śrī Kṛṣṇa arrived in Mathurā with Baladeva. He killed Kaṁsa, released His parents from captivity and lived in Mathurā with them for some years. The city of Mathurā was then beleaguered by King Jarāsaṅdha. It was finally given up by Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who then made Dvaraka His capital.
These events are described in detail in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and other Purāṇas.

Dāmodara is the name of Kṛṣṇa. While an infant, Kṛṣṇa had submitted to being bound to a wooden husking-stand by Mother Yaśodā by means of a cord tied around His belly. ‘Damodara’ means literally ‘one with the cord around his belly’.

It is enjoined that those who observe the Urjja-vrata during the months of Kārtika in the holy city of Mathurā practice strict asceticism. They must spend the whole day and night hearing discourses and chanting the name of Kṛṣṇa in the company of devotees. Such strict observance of the Kārtika vrata, when performed with faith in the company of pure devotees, produces the genuine inclination to serve Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Yet, it may sometimes be seen that even though someone has outwardly followed the rules enjoined in śāstra for the month of Kārtika and lived in the holy city of Mathurā, they are not blessed with that very rare inclination to serve Śrī Kṛṣṇa; but such mishap does not prove śāstra wrong.

Association with the pure devotee is possible and effective only by his own causeless grace. Residence in Mathurā is affected by the mercy of the pure devotee. Mathurā is superior to Vaikuṇṭha. Vaikuṇṭha does not descend to this world. Mathurā has greater power of magnanimity and displays a higher manifestation of the activities of the Absolute than does Vaikuṇṭha. But we must not suppose that it is possible for any person to become eligible to truly live in Mathurā in the same way that one moves to some geographical location on this mundane plane. In order to attain the eligibility to reside in Mathurā, it is necessary to practise association with the sādhus, chant the holy name, listen to the Bhāgavatam and worship the lotus feet of the holy image with spiritual faith. Even those who help others along in such functions, in any way, also perform the function of sādhus.

Residence in Mathurā is no doubt the adored object of our spiritual endeavors. But we also know that Kaṁsa was a resident of Mathurā. Did Kaṁsa thereby obtain the fulfilment of worshipful service? Kaṁsa desired his own pleasure, not the pleasure of Kṛṣṇa. He wanted to misappropriate the pleasure that belongs properly to Kṛṣṇa alone. Kaṁsa attained the state of inactive, self-pleasure as the reward of being killed and liberated by Śrī Hari. He did not attain the plane of intimate service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa in the realm of Mathurā, although he had been, to all appearances, a resident of Mathurā.

A person can find himself in the real Mathurā through his pure disposition to serve. Kaṁsa tried not to serve, but to enjoy Mathurā. But Mathurā is the plane of unalloyed spiritual existence in which Kṛṣṇa manifests Himself to the serving consciousness of His pure devotees in His own, true form. Mathurā is possessed of the quality of perfect spiritual initiative. Mathurā is not any mundane country that possesses no consciousness of its own. We can practice our enjoying mood towards inanimate mundane countries, but if we try to live in Mathurā in that mode, we will miss the experience of residence in Mathurā, for she is an object of worship. Those who serve Mathurā are enabled, by virtue of their discipleship of Mathurā, to serve the manifestation of the birth of Kṛṣṇa in the inner Mathurā of their own pure hearts.

On the plane of the divine Mathurā, the cognitive manifestation is not the mere relative, mundane function. The cognitive function that displays itself in Mathurā has no relation to ay form of mundane activity or inactivity. The pure cognition there is absolutely self-contained in Mathurā’s purely spiritual manifestation. This cognition is indivisible. Our former master, Śrī Mādhavendra Purī, has sung the glory of Mathurā in his famous couplet: “There is Mathurā in the ear, Mathurā in the mouth, Mathurā in the heart, Mathurā now, and here Mathurā, only Mathurā, exceedingly sweet, yes most sweet.”

The repetition of the name of Mathurā in the verse of Śrīla Purīpāda points to the identity of Mathurā within the heart of the pure devotee and also to the fact that Mathurā is a spiritual entity and the object of our worship. The heart that is identical with Mathurā is not subject to the processes of birth, death or worldly existence. Mathurā is the guru, the object of our worship, and the eternal realm of Kṛṣṇa. Mathurā is the summum bonum.
The denizens of Mathurā are the servitors of Kṛṣṇa. Here in Mathurā, everything is engaged in the service of Kṛṣṇa and there can be no entity who does not serve Kṛṣṇa; and no experience except the realization of service to Him. Every tiny creeper, every little blade of grass in Mathurā occupies a position of superiority to me. Every one of them is my guru; the servant of my Kṛṣṇa. If one’s judgement reaches this point, only then is it possible for him to be a resident of Mathurā. Residence in Mathurā means the attainment of eligibility to serve all those entities who are eternally engaged in the service of the nativity of Kṛṣṇa.

Śrī Māyāpura is identical with Mathurā. In Mathurā, the Lord of Vaikuṇṭha, He who is not subject to mundane birth, manifests His eternal transcendental nativity. People of this world perform the worship of māyā at the close of the rainy season. Māyā means that power by which one is enabled to measure or comprehend an entity of this mundane world by one’s defective faculties. This function is performed toward the shadow of the reality. This measuring propensity is the root cause of all of our miseries. Our unserving disposition is responsible for our inclination to engage in such activities. Māyā dresses us up as imaginary lords of this phenomenal world, but Yogamāyā makes us spiritual servitors of the Divine Pair, Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Dāmodara.
Adapted from from The Harmonist
Published in Rays of The Harmonist,
Volume 1, Number 2, Kartika 1997

Saturday, June 22, 2013

DEVOTIONAL ROAD MAP

 Hare Krishna 
Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama
Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
 
Steady wins the race.
Studying the path, the road map, may bring a new light as to the direction, and the possible missed turns! 


  First there is appreciation, attraction.

This is what I felt when I first met the devotees, as a teenager. This is the initial faith, adau sradha, that carries one through, our initial vehicle on the road back to Godhead. Disinterest in material pursuits was already there, it quickly became  followed by interest in spiritual advancement. Natural progression, when an alternative is presented. Finally there I had a purpose. I couldn't have gone on for a whole life making the pursuit of material happiness my goal. How futile! First you study, get a degree, get a job, a companion who may or not be compatible, faithful or loving, a house, a car, some children and pets and then? then what? you die.... I knew there must have been more to life than what met the eyes as it was highly unsatisfactory, un-motivating. I was already exploring that there must be something much bigger, much better in after life as the status quo was just not worth it. It left me indifferent at best.

Why not use my life to re-awaken my eternal relationship with Krishna in one of the 5 principle rasas? Now, THAT IS ATTRACTIVE.

HE is the best friend, lover, father, mother that anyone could ever imagine having. HE is eternal, so am I as I am more than this body, HE is the most beautiful, most lovable, HE possesses all opulences in full. Beauty, Renunciation, Strength, Fame, Knowledge, Wealth, HE is the epitome of all qualities... and HE loves me more than I can imagine, eternally, HE wants me back... I just have to walk towards HIM in total faith and abandon. 


Yes this is for me, I love Krishna consciousness.

Then comes sadhu sanga, association with pure devotees.

One has to engage himself in the service of a pure devotee. One must satisfy a pure devotee with his service. Guru Bhakti is said to unlocked the steel cage that surrounds the heart so that real love, Krishna Prema can manifest.



We cannot compromise for want of association with a pure devotee and accept the association of pretenders. We are repeatedly warned of association with those who are either engaged in loose association with the opposite sex or attached to such illicit association. They may be telling Krishna stories but if the purpose of the story telling is to attract the opposite sex, there is danger. Same applies for the more subtle search for name and fame. Of course there is also purification for the Romeo-story-teller or glory monger. Gradually he will become purified but it shouldn't be at our cost. These association will not be sufficient nourishment for our devotional creeper, it may instead grow unwanted inclinations, increase our bank of desires. We need to discriminate.

Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur writes in Bhakti Tattva Vivarta, a commentary on Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu about the different mixed or polluted conceptions of bhakti. He warns the devotees of these misconceptions and those who promote them. It is easy to recognize a blunt atheist and avoid their association, but there are more dangerous so called bhaktas. 


Those who propagate that Bhagavad-Bhakti is the highest dharma yet behave against the principles of sudha-bhakti (pure bhakti) and also instruct others against the principles of sudha bhakti can be especially harmful to us. In the name of bhakti they instruct us against the actual principles of bhakti and ultimately lead us onto a path which is totally opposed to bhagavad-bhakti.


One may not be able to live up to the standard expected by the sampradaya but to rationalize that it is proper is a great offense. Better to admit one's own fallen nature than to bring the standard down to fit one's inclinations. Pure Bhakti is described by Rupa Goswami in Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu 1.1.11 and is also quoted in Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 19.167. It is worth extensive meditation and probably a good topic for yet another blog entry.
anyabhilasita-sunyam
jnana-karmady-anavrtam
anukulyena krsnanu-
silanam bhaktir uttama
"'When first-class devotional service develops, one must be devoid of all material desires (such as those for meat-eating, illicit sex, gambling and addiction to intoxicants), knowledge obtained by monistic philosophy, and fruitive action. The devotee must constantly serve Krsna favorably, as Krsna desires. (Bhakti RasamrtaSindhu 1.1.11)

It is followed by bhajana-kriya — performance of devotional service to Krishna (surrendering to the spiritual master, initiation marks that stage). 
My initiation - Portland Oregon 1972

I enthusiastically took initiation from Srila Prabhupada some 40+ years ago. That was so amazing. I remember telling my GBC, a more senior devotee who spoke to Prabhupada on my behalf, that I did not feel qualified. Of course I wasn't, the only qualification I had was eagerness. Srila Prabhupada was/is my qualification, whatever qualification I may have is only due to his mercy. This eagerness to be under the care of Srila Prabhupada and remain so for the rest of my existence was sufficient for him to take me on as a disciple. Unexplainable good fortune.

Then comes anartha-nivritti, the removal of unnecessary things on the path of devotional service. 

Gross unwanted habits stop before initiation. Meat eating, intoxication, gambling, illicit sex loose whatever appeal they may have had. Their call falls on death ears after tasting the pleasure found in performance of devotional service. Of course there is always some subtle attachment that remain. Some of these attachments may  be necessary for the pursuance of devotional service or even survival. Some sense gratification is there until the end. Some attachments may even remain until the development of prema.

Nistha, firm unflinching faith.

Both hands in the air kind of faith, I surrender completely kind of faith, whatever may come my way. The kind of faith Srila Prabhupada displayed coming to North America penniless, carrying his love message and nistha as only wealth and weapon. 
āniyācho jadi prabhu āmāre nācāte
nācāo nācāo prabhu nācāo se-mate
kāṣṭhera puttali jathā nācāo se-mate

 O Lord, I am just like a puppet in Your hands. So if You have brought me here to dance, then make me dance, make me dance, O Lord, make me dance as You like. 

- Markine Bhagavata-Dharma AC Bhaktivedanta Swami   

It is also the faith exhibited by countless pure devotees in the past. It is the faith of Kunti devi, Draupadi devi. It is the faith of Arjuna who followed Krishna's instructions although unsavory.

It is the faith of Bhaktivinode Thakur who took on the mystic who posed as Visnu, in spite of his powers and threats against his family. It is the faith of our own devotees who preached and even endured torture and death in jail in the former Soviet Union, not so long ago. It is the faith of Aindra prabhu who took shelter of the Lord when death called on him unexpectedly. It is a faith that is available to us, it is within reach. It is a faith that is not only available but a necessity in our spiritual growth.

This faith is the wealth of the vaisnavas.

Ruci, taste. 

If there is no taste then there must be lacking in the previous processes, faith, association, devotional service and initiation, giving up material attachments, firm faith...
"Somehow or other we are creating the taste, this is our KC  movement. Our process is so nice that we create the taste. We have created the taste by this process. The main principle is to hear... in everyone's heart bhakti is there, it has been covered by dirty things. This ceto darpanam ...
(SB 1.2.16 Lecture)

ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaḿ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇaḿ
śreyaḥ-kairava-candrikā-vitaraṇaḿ vidyā-vadhū-jīvanam
ānandāmbudhi-vardhanaḿ prati-padaḿ pūrṇāmṛtāsvādanaḿ
sarvātma-snapanaḿ paraḿ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-sańkīrtanam

Glory to the sri-krsna-sankirtana, which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death. This sankirtana movement is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious.

One thing to remember is that the more one chants, the more one hears, all the dirty things from the heart will become cleansed as explained by Caitanya Mahaprabhu, param vijayate sri Krishna sankirtanam. It will be successful, glorious, vijayate.

How sweet Krishna's name actually is. Without developing that taste, our time in devotional service may be counted. How long can a hungry person go on with the reflection of prasadam in front of him/her? Knowing that there is a taste to be known is not sufficient. One has to develop that taste, one has to taste it. 

If the other steps have not been properly followed, no sradha, sadhusanga, bhajana kriya, nistha... the real taste will remain unrevealed, imperceptible. This is why faith is required, one must have faith in the instructions of the spiritual master, faith that the sugar will eventually taste sweeter than on can imagine even if in our diseased condition we may think it is bitter. "Inquire submissively" (sadhusanga), "One who has seen the truth, can impart knowledge unto you." (bhajana kriya). 

Asakti, a spontaneous attraction.

Gradually emotions and attachment intensify, and finally there is an awakening of love. This is the gradual development of love of Godhead for the devotee. 


Love of Krishna may not be so far out of reach after all.




"In the beginning there must be faith. Then one becomes interested in associating with pure devotees. Thereafter one is initiated by the spiritual master and executes the regulative principles under his orders. Thus one is freed from all unwanted habits and becomes firmly fixed in devotional service. Thereafter, one develops taste and attachment. This is the way of sādhana-bhakti, the execution of devotional service according to the regulative principles. Gradually emotions intensify, and finally there is an awakening of love. This is the gradual development of love of Godhead for the devotee interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness." 
- CC Madhya 23.14-15

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Immaculate Rasa and the Absolute Name

by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada

His Divine Grace
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur
We should always place ourselves in a serving mood. We should always welcome the Name of Krsna and bend our speech, thoughts and actions toward serving Him. In contrast, if we are bent on personally enjoying rasa, using Krsna as the medium, we will find ourselves degraded to the lowest ditch of selfishness in which we will assume the role of the enjoyers of something worldly. There, we will surely be deprived of the immaculate rasa.The rasa we usually indulge in is never expected to persist, for its components are trivial by nature. But Krsna is rasa-amrta-murti, the embodiment of nectarean rasa. If we depend on Him, the ocean of eternal rasa, we can look forward to giving Him all facilities to enjoy our eternal, spiritual activities. Trying to enjoy rasa because of an appetite born of the senses will only lead us to deal with inanimate and transitory things. When we extract some rasa from dependent objects, that rasa can never become our perpetual companion. That rasa will unfailingly desert us, and because we will simply be tantalizing our poor senses, we will have no real satisfaction.

Sri Krsna, on the other hand, is not likely to delude us by allowing us to keep our affinity for something else. He is a Spiritual Being, not insentient (acit). Not only does He enjoy rasa, He is Himself full of rasa. And if we want to be in touch with eternal rasa, we must become rasika – experts in the science of transcendental rasa. If we were to seek temporary rasa, we would receive vi-rasa – perverted rasa. Krsna has the monopoly on all real rasas. He is the fountainhead of all real rasas.







The Name is the very storehouse of all . We should seek the Name without making any distinction between the Name and the Object pointed to by the Name, quite unlike the differentiation we find in this temporal world. Krsna, the person, is identical with the word Hari, with His colour, with His form and with all of His attributes and activities. Krsna Himself is Eternal. The Name of Krsna is eternal. It does not refer to any object within nature. Nature’s phenomena have nothing to do with Krsna, who is not a transitory, momentarily manifest aspect of this world. Nature’s phenomena are all temporary things and we must not confuse Krsna’s lila with them. If we do, our conception will be erroneous; we should refrain from mistaking mundane thought for transcendent thought.

In this regard, we should be clear about our position. He is full in Himself. Unlimited varieties of activities are manifest in Him. He is the treasure-house of everything. When we, the minute living entities, want to exercise our senses, we resort to help from others. But it is quite different for Krsna. He does not require assistance from anyone. He is nitya (eternal), suddha (pure), purna (complete) and mukta (liberated) in Himself; He is absolutely unconditioned. Nothing can wrap Him.

This discourse about Krsna, His Name, the Transcendental Name, is identical with Krsna. But that is not the case with things other than Krsna. When we name an object in nature, the opportunity of examining the validity of the name via different senses necessarily arises. Our sense of taste, smell and sight, and all faculties of sensual perception, offer to examine the very being of these things. But Krsna is not an object within the jurisdiction of our senses. He does not require such examination. He is the Autocrat. He has no need for our help.

So, ordinary names, names apart from the names of Krsna, do not have the same significance as the transcendent Name of Krsna. We must not place all names – names of various demigods, men, lower creations and insentient objects, which all exist under the deluding influence of maya – in the same category as that of the Absolute – Krsna. We would be very foolish to consider the Name “Krsna” to be a mere word in our vocabulary, or that this Name has been given to a hero whose deeds were simply recorded in history. This is not the case with the Transcendental Name, which history and other mundane subjects cannot possibly comprehend. The Name is completely identical with Krsna, the Divine Personality. Krsna’s Name is not different from Krsna the person. That difference relates to temporal and limited objects alone.



Adapted from The Gaudiya, Volume 29, Number 6

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Vyasa Puja Reflections

The following is an offering I presented to Srila Prabhupada on His Vyasa Puja Day, August 11th 2012



nama om vishnu-padaya
krishna-preshthaya bhu-tale
shrimate bhaktivedanta-
svamin iti namine

namas te sarasvate deve
gaura-vani-pracharine
nirvishesha-shunyavadi-
pashcatya-desha-tarine


Dear Srila Prabhupada,

Recently, I was preparing a talk for the Vyasa puja of one of your disciples, Srila Prabhupada. I welcomed the opportunity to ponder on your good qualities and how they are manifested in your disciples. On that day, I was meditating on your compassion, as it stood out significantly in this particular devotee. I have certainly seen your compassion shining brightly in many of my god-siblings, nieces and nephews. Many lives are being changed as my god-brothers/sisters relentlessly continue to preach and give shelter to new comers, in spite of unforeseen, severe challenges due to their aging bodies and other complications of this material world. In sickness or in health, with their mind, body and spirit, without any fear that the process will work on all, they go on with renewed strength, remaining detached from the result of their efforts. I stand in awe.

Compassion is a clear manifestation of the faith one has in the process of chanting the Holy names. When one truly believes in the power of the holy name, how can he/she hold on to this precious gift without sharing it? The more one gives it away, the more one has, however if one holds on to it without sharing, all his knowledge and realizations leak away as if stored in a cracked pot. There is nothing that can compare to this most precious jewel which you distributed wholesale around the world and still are through your sincere disciples.

Could you please bless me with this deep faith so that I can also, learn to have compassion on others and share the glories of the holy name, before any semblance of realization permanently escapes the self- centered and cracked vessel of my heart.

I admire their dedication as I can, at most, bear witness. Unable to remove my mind from its enthronement, I leave no place for jiva doya (mercy for the conditioned souls) or guru bhakti (devotion to the spiritual teacher/master) to enter my heart. Being thus blinded from opportunities of true service, I stagnate, pretending to be a devotee. I envy the devotion of others and wonder if one day you will also favor me with this same faith and a clear vision of how I can best please you.

I pray for true, causeless and uninterrupted devotional service.

Sri Nityananda Prabhu, the Avadhuta
Nityananda prabhu was going everywhere offering the holy names to everyone he met. Haridas Thakur even described him as a mad man while conversing with Advaita Acharya. He even approached violent drunkards, known to be inimical. My God-brothers/sisters may be described as mad also for going on at the cost of their well being. 

In my eyes, this madness makes them heroes worthy of praise as they understand the real meaning and purpose of their life while I pay lip service to dedicating my life to your mission. Srila Prabhupada, you are my life, your mercy is all I am made of, yet as I outwardly pretend to be a devotee my mind remains my true master.

When will the outside truly match the inside? When will my service truly begin? Please be merciful onto me, as I attempt to purchase sincerity with my daily sadhana.

I was reading the other day a translated essay from your Srila Prabhupada, HDG Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur and became very touched by this statement as it reached me like a sharp arrow:

“The five transcendental relationships exist
in all completeness within the Supreme Lord,”

This was nothing new, he then continues:

“…but we will be unable to gain transcendental knowledge of the Lord
if we engage our moods in the worldly counterparts of these five
instead of dedicating them to the Supreme Lord Himself.“
Prabhupadera Upadesamrita 

“Unable to gain transcendental knowledge of the Lord” !!!!!!, I remembered You, Srila Prabhupada, also telling us the same and went back to see, how you explained it to us. 

 “When a person becomes attracted by Krsna and is in full Krsna consciousness,
he does not care for any worldly duties, even though very urgent.
Krsna consciousness is so powerful that it gives everyone
relief from all material activities.
Srila Rupa Gosvami has written a very nice verse wherein
one gopi advises another,
"My dear friend, if you desire to enjoy the company of
material society, friendship and love,
then please do not go to see this smiling boy Govinda,
who is standing on the bank of the Yamuna and playing His flute,
His lips brightened by the beams of the full moonlight."
Srila Rupa Gosvami indirectly instructs that
one who has been captivated
by the beautiful smiling face of Krsna
has lost all attraction for material enjoyments.
This is the test of advancement in Krsna consciousness:
a person advancing in Krsna consciousness must lose interest in
material activities and personal sense gratification.
 

This is when I realized how you purchased our hearts using such a gentle approach, not forcing anything but encouraging and nurturing our fledgling attraction. I so admired your compassionate words fostering your disciples to grow into loving dedicated servants of the servants of Sri Sri Radha Krishna. 

What would have happened to us without your tender guidance? You expertly filtered the strong words of your guru so that we could embrace them. A truly empowered representative! 

Such is your legacy, Srila Prabhupada. You must be so proud of your sincere disciples and grand-disciples who go on soothingly presenting Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission to the suffering kali yuga souls, opening their arms, and hearts, welcoming new comers as they patiently train them in living a truly human life, a life wherein service to the Holy Name is the center. 

I pray at the lotus feet of Sri Rupa Goswami, Bhaktivinode Thakur, Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati…. our whole guru parampara... that they may guide me to serve you better, to understand and live out my part in your glorious mission without regards for my personal ambitions or comforts. I seek their blessings to one day also become “a madly dedicated servant”... Your Servant.


Slowly walking towards unending service and love for Krishna, this servant of a servant prays to one day serve the lotus feet of the servants of Krishna's Vrndavan maid servants.
gopi bhartur padakamalayor dasa dasanudasa