Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my humble obeisances in the dust of your lotus feet.
Today, at a youth festival in South Africa, devotees glorified your Divine Grace.It was not the day of your Vyasa-puja. It was not the day of your departure.Was, let’s say, the most ordinary day.
But the disciple does not need to wait for a special day to glorify his spiritual master. He is ready to glorify him every moment of every day throughout his life.Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura writes:
dhyayan stwams tasya yasas tri-sandhyam
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam
“I must always remember my spiritual master and glorify him. At least three times a day (at sunrise, at noon and at sunset), I should bow in deep reverence to the lotus feet of my spiritual master. “
Among all my topics, I like talking about your name, personality, qualities and games. Always mindful of you deep in my heart, I’m talking about you with friends, I glorify you in the company of devotees and with great pleasure I spread your glory to the fallen souls, suppressed by this material world. All this is natural for me, because you are the most important person in my life.
In fact, you were the first devotee with whom I was introduced. More than forty years ago, on a warm summer evening in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I happened to see a group of sannyas singing the holy Names on the university lawn. Intrigued by their robes, their manners and apparent joy, I approached them to listen to the singing.
Their leader, Vishnujana Swami, stopped kirtan and called me.
“Sit down, young man,” he said, “and I will tell you about the glory of my spiritual master.”
While he talked about you as a person, about teaching, about a mission, I realized that I gradually began to perceive you in my heart and my spiritual teacher.
When Maharaj finished speaking, I asked the question:
– Can I become his disciple?
“Yes, of course,” Maharaj replied. “You have to.” After all, he is Prabhupada, the teacher, at the feet of which all other teachers are seated.
That evening, without the least hesitation, I decided to follow all your instructions and began to water the seed planted by Maharaj in my heart. After that, day by day, my faith in you strengthened and that you can take me home to the spiritual world, where every word is a song, every step is a dance, and every day is a cheerful and joyful holiday.
Wishing to fully surrender, I dedicated to serving you the years of my youth – that stage of life when a healthy body, strong feelings and an active mind convince us that there are so many wonderful opportunities for satisfying the senses. However, it was not difficult for me to give you these valuable years to you, Srila Prabhupada, because the service to you was – and always will be – the highest happiness of my life.
In fact, I went through adolescence, and then mature years, even without noticing them – because I felt satisfaction in serving you, distributing books, spending harinams and festivals. When you hate your work, time hardly drags on, and when you love, it seems that time flies.
And now, now I am at the last stage of my life, this is jara (old age), one of the four main sufferings of the material world, according to the Bhagavad-gita. I begin to feel the pain that old age brings to us all. But, as before, serving you gives so much satisfaction and happiness to my heart that I remember Arjun on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Absorbed by his service to Sri Krishna, he perceived the arrows of the Kauravas in his body as if they were thousands of fragrant flowers.
My spiritual brothers and sisters, just like me, were fortunate in this life to experience what your blessings are. Can we ask you something else? It is said that children are the future of society. Can we ask you to bestow upon your blessings the young devotees of our movement?
Soon they will inherit the responsibility that you have placed on your immediate students – the responsibility for preserving and spreading your mission. Please bless them to win. Please bless them to experience the same happiness that we experienced while serving your divine punishments.
One day after a public program in Vrndavana, you left for Krishna-Balarama-mandir with a servant on a rickshaw. It was already dark outside. We with several bishops went home on foot, but I was late and soon realized that I was alone. Suddenly, as if from nowhere, your rickshaw appeared. You stopped the rickshaw.
“What are you doing here?” – You asked me.
“I’m lost, Srila Prabhupada,” I replied.
“Then follow me home,” you said.
So I ran after your rickshaw all the way to Krishna-Balarama-mandir.
My dear teacher, let me continue to run after you all the way back to the spiritual world, and there, in the transcendental abode, serve you, fulfilling your every wish. Let your works in this world never be in vain, and let countless souls be satisfied by finding shelter at your lotus feet for the next ten thousand years.
Glory to you!