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 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