Sadhu Sanga Retreat 2022 – Part 1


This weekend we are celebrating our Sadhu Sanga Retreat after a two year break because of the pandemic. The festival is taking place in Spanish Fork, Utah on the gorgeous property of the Sri Sri Radha Krsna temple built by Charu Dās and Vaibhavi Dasi. Over 1,500 devotees are in attendance. These are photos from the first day. Part 2 coming soon!

Vyasa Puja offering 2021 / Подношение на день явления Гирираджи Свами – 2021

My dearest friend, advisor and close associate, Giriraj Swami,
Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Like many thousands of others around the world, you are in my thoughts and prayers on this special day of your Vyasa Puja. We all miss you, we all love you and we all hanker for your association. But with all due respect, I think I miss you most, love you most and hanker for your association most of all.
Maybe that is simply because we’ve been friends for such a long time and our friendship has matured with age. I met a friend from high school the other day who, like me, has been on lockdown for a year and a half here in India. He remarked that with age one has more confidence, is slower to judge, values things more and learns to let go of things one cannot change. Then he smiled and said, “And one wears his wrinkles with pride.”
I nodded my head at those little snippets of logic and reasoning, but with your Vyasa Puja just around the corner, my friendship with you came to mind and I thought, “But in our lives as devotees in Krsna consciousness, the very best thing about growing old is sharing with our godbrothers and godsisters the realizations we’ve gained from 50 years of service together.”
Such realizations are hard-earned and do not come easily. To conquer over the material energy and rise to the stage of always remembering Krsna and never forgetting Him takes great effort and determination. But when we are successful, even in the smallest of ways, it becomes a great victory and we want to shout out to our godbrothers and godsisters, saying: “I did it and so can you!”
My dear Maharaja, your whole life in Krsna consciousness has been such a statement to me, beginning with your extraordinary love for Srila Prabhupada and from there, extending out to include your deep, enlightening Krsna conscious stream of lectures; your enthusiasm for chanting the holy names; your steadiness in all situations—favorable or not—your appreciation for your godbrothers, godsisters and each of your disciples; and now in your later years, the numerous books you have written and published—especially if I might remark, your magnum opus: “I’ll Build You A Temple – The Juhu Story.” A magnum opus is the greatest achievement of an artist or writer—their masterpiece! You, my dear Maharaja, have managed to accomplish all of the aforementioned and more, and I am inspired, thinking that one day I can too!
What a wonderful life we have lived as Srila Prabhupada’s disciples, carrying on his mission as best we can in our different ways—all culminating in one great offering to his lotus feet.
The sun is gradually setting on the horizon of our lives and we naturally think of what lies beyond. But I, for one, have full faith that it will be a natural progression from what we have been doing in our present lives all along: chanting, dancing, feasting, sharing our good fortune with others and visiting the holy dhamas. That being said, it would mean nothing without the deep loving relationships we have with those we have come to hold most dear.
So on this day, so full of grace, I pray that I may always serve alongside you, for your heart’s desire will take you to be with Srila Prabhupada and his family of devotees. There is no other place in this world, or the next, where I would wish to be!
Always by your side, your friend for now and forevermore,

My good friend, Mahasringa prabhu



My good friend, Mahasringa prabhu: I received news the other day that COVID-19 had taken you away too, as it has a number of my godrothers, godsisters, disciples and friends. I’m sorry it’s taken this long to say goodbye. But this time it was especially hard. We were friends; more so buddies. When we’d meet we’d always wrestle to see who was “the strongest”. Then we’d take prasadam together and talk about Srila Prabhupada, book distribution and preaching. I’ll miss those moments more than I can say. Genuine friendship is hard to find. Go well, my friend. I know we’ll meet again because our hearts are in the same place – service to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

With tears in my eyes ….
Indradyumna Swami


Про путешествия


«Путешествия лишают вас дара речи, но позже превращают в рассказчика».

[ Ибн Баттута, мусульманский марокканский ученый ( 1304-1368) ]

Мой дорогой Бада Харидас, мой попутчик! Как я скучаю по нашим проповедническим приключениям! Жду  не дождусь тех дней. Это мы близ Лехи, исторической столицы гималайского королевства Ладакх (Индия).


Возможно, это изображение (3 человека, в том числе Indradyumna Swami, люди стоят и на открытом воздухе)

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
[ Ibn Battuta, 1304-1368, Muslim Moroccan scholar ]
My dear Bada Haridas, my traveling companion! How I miss our preaching adventures! Waiting for those days again. Here we are outside of Leh, the historical capital of the Himalayan Kingdom of Ladakh, India.


Шриман Шрутакирти Дас о Шриле Прабхупаде

Srutakirti das:
“I felt very fortunate because I got to see Prabhupada when he wasn’t with his disciples, when he wasn’t busy training them in management in so many different ways or chastising them for the mistakes they had made and being involved in seeing that the books were being produced and all of these different services he was doing for his spiritual master. Then at various times in the day when the doors closed, Prabhupada was just there by himself; and they were the times that I liked the most because he was a devotee of Krishna, and Prabhupada loved Krishna. You would find him in his room reading; and sometimes from the servant quarters, all of a sudden you would hear the harmonium.

It wasn’t Krishna Kanti coming in and recording bhajans, Prabhupada was just doing bhajan. Whenever I heard that, I would run into the room and I would offer obeisances; and as soon as I would sit up, Prabhupada would give me the nod, “Get the kartals,” and I would play kartals and Prabhupada would play the harmonium and he would just chant. It’s one reason I stayed with Prabhupada as long as I did, because I found being with Prabhupada was very peaceful for most of the time. And it was amazing because, as we know, Prabhupada was doing everything, he was running everything, the entire society, the BBT, taking care of so much mail every day, doing the classes, the morning walk, instructing devotees.

But somehow or other it seemed like there were hours where Prabhupada was just alone, and he was a devotee of Krishna and he was very sweet. He was doing everything he was asking us to do, just develop our love of Krishna by chanting and hearing and so many times reading his books. He would walk around and chant in his room; and he would just chant on his beads, walk around, and sometimes he would jiggle his bead bag, you could hear the beads in his bead bag. But there was just this peacefulness that was amazing because of everything that he was doing. But as soon as the door closed, that was all gone. It was just Krishna there with him, and Prabhupada was always happy. Even someone like me could pick up on some of that and just feel so peaceful to be with Prabhupada. It’s like you didn’t want to be anywhere else at those times.”

Śrī Nityanāndacandrasya – Of the Moonlike Nityananda


Śrī Nityanāndacandrasya – Of the Moonlike Nityananda

[ By An Unknown Medieval Gaudiya Vaisnava ]

It is better that I die. I did not worship Nitai. Alas! Alas! I am worthless! My intelligence was spoiled! I had a priceless treasure in my hand, and then I lost it.

In the moon of His face glisten eyes that defeat lotus flowers, eyes that mercifully gaze at every living being. Spreading his arms, and calling out, “Please come! He hugs the fallen souls. To everyone He gives the treasure of ecstatic spiritual love

A garment is gracefully wrapped about His waist. His glistening hair is curly. He wears a turban that charms the heart. He walks like a graceful dancer. Tears stream down His chest. He removes the three-fold sufferings the conditioned souls feel.

He calls out, “Hari! Haribol!” His body sways to the right and left. His arms rest on the shoulders of Ramai and Gauridas. His moonlike face is overflowing with pure sweet honey. Nitai has set a trap of ecstatic love. He is tossed to and fro by the rising waves of ecstatic love.

Nitai is an ocean of mercy. He is the friend of everyone. He has plunged the whole universe into the ocean of his mercy. Only persons blinded by lust, those who are tightly bound by the ropes of material desires, will not worship Nitai.

[ Gaura-pada-tarangini Sri Gauranga Press. Calcutta. 1931. Bengali: Kusakratha Das (editor and translator). The Acaryas Songs and Poems Glorifying Lord Gauranga and Lord Govinda. Unpublished manuscript. Published in Sri Krsna Kathamrita Bindhu, issue 467 ]

Dear Mahatma prabhu

Dear Mahatma prabhu! Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I hope you won’t mind a godbrother glorifying you in honour of your appearance day celebration, which is still some days away. I’m sure the demigods sing your praises, so why not me? You are an illustrious disciple of our glorious spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, so we as his followers have a solemn duty to recognise your unique qualities and service to His Divine Grace.

Your many seminars on diverse subjects of devotional service are attended and heard by thousands of devotees. In so many ways you are a spiritual master, a life coach, a transcendental psychologist, a best friend and well-wisher of so many of us. Through various preaching programs people join this great movement. But the secret is to carefully guide them step by step through the process of devotional service. That includes educating them, helping them overcome obstacles on the path of Krsna consciousness and teaching them how to remain enthusiastic at all times. You are an expert in helping devotees in all these facets of Krsna consciousness. We all thank you from the bottom of our hearts. And I have no doubt that Srila Prabhupada is also grateful for all the service you have rendered to him through the years. He is smiling graciously upon you today!

You are a wonderful example of all that you teach. That is why devotees have so much faith in you. That is why I look up to you and try to follow you. You have an uncanny ability to see and understand what each devotee needs and you take whatever time is required to help them. You are very personal with everyone. That is very rare in this day and age.

Then there are your kirtans! You were a famous and much sought after kirtan man long before many of ISKCON’s famous ‘kirtaneers’ appeared on the scene. You were an inspiration for them as they made their own valuable contributions to spreading the holy names. Please keep watering our seeds of devotion with your melodious voice and expert musical skills.

My prayer is that your many followers and well-wishers will join together to support your services to ISKCON and the general public. You are getting older now, 70 years of age today, and shouldn’t have to be personally raising funds. That service should fall as a privilege to those who love you and can appreciate the positive changes you are making in their lives and can make in the lives of so many people in this world.

On this auspicious day I fall at your feet, my dear godbrother, and wish you well in all your endeavours. May the Good Lord grant you many more years of preaching and counselling. I also offer my obseisances to all your fortunate disciples and loved ones.

Please always keep me in your prayers, as you are in mine!

With affectionate regards,
Indradyumna Swami


“Radha and Krsna. Radha’s name is first. Why? Nobody can be a better devotee than Radharani. As soon as Radha’s name is there, Krsna is more pleased. That is the way. If we glorify the devotees, the character of the devotees, before the Lord, He is more pleased than to glorify Himself, directly.”

[ Srila Prabhupada, room conversation, Hawaii, April 24, 1969 ]

Don’t Starve Your Beads / Не уморите голодом ваши четки

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В новых четках ощущается легкость, воздушность. Свежая древесина чаще всего светлая и шероховатая. После воспевания день за днем кажется, что происходят чудесные преображения. Их вес начинает меняться. Это необъяснимо, но кажется, что они становятся тяжелее, будто каким-то образом наполняются, насыщаются силой мантры.Сам их цвет меняется, как будто Туласи Деви хочет перенять темноватый облик своего Шйама. Жесткость нити ослабевает, и ощущение скольжения через пальцы само по себе становится гипнотическим. Это чувство заставляет изо дня в день возвращаться, в стремлении раскрыть запредельные тайны Святого Имени. Перебирание бусин сглаживает их текстуру, пока наконец они не приобретают блеск и сияние, становясь похожими на ряд мини-божеств. Нама-мурти.

Напитайте их нектаром Святого Имени, и они начнут изменяться и трансформироваться. Так же как и мы. Мы снова и снова возвращаемся к своим четкам и Святому Имени, надеясь обрести покой, надеясь обрести облегчение, надеясь обрести радость и утешение. Все это, как и многое другое, нам доступно.

Я мечтаю о дне, когда наполню свои четки таким желанием и устремлением, что Говинда услышит мои молитвы и откроет двери в Свое царство Любви.

Гурудев наставлял нас, чтобы мы “не уморили свои четки голодом” – и этот образ остался со мной. Образ заброшенного мешочка с бусинами джапы, оставленными нетронутыми, без ежедневного приношения любви и шепота грез, проникающих в каждую бусину – всякий день, когда мы готовимся воспевать, и неважно, насколько долго… Этот образ буквально преследовал меня.

В те дни, когда мой разум бунтует, в дни, когда губы не хотят мне подчиняться, сердце закрывается, а все мое существо стремится спрятаться за чувством ложного контроля, образ голодных бус побуждает меня вставать. Идти к ним. Дотрагиваться до них и вспоминать. Вспоминать ощущение от перебирания их, их гладкую поверхность, что соединяет меня с мантрой, высвобождающейся с каждым вздохом.

Эти бусины джапы – мои врата к Любви. Я надеюсь и горячо молю, чтобы они всегда указывали мне путь. Молю, чтобы они никогда не оставили меня, чтобы были моими неизменными спутниками. Удивительно, что, казалось бы, обычные деревянные бусины стали моими самыми дорогими друзьями.В них, этих четках – какая-то магия. Я напитываю их – а они напитывают меня. Они наполняют меня заботой, они наполняют меня благодатью и они наполняют меня чудесами Любви, которые всегда есть в самой царственной из мантр. Я молюсь напитывать их так, чтобы однажды придти туда, где я не смогла бы остановиться. Место, где Имя будет всем. Это Святое Имя – моя жизнь.

[ отрывок из «Према-малы», книги Шримати Ачьюты Гопи даси, известной ученицы Его Святейшества Радханатхи Свами ]



“Don’t Starve Your Beads.” There is a light and airy feeling to new beads. Their wood is fresh, often light-colored,…

Posted by Indradyumna Swami on Tuesday, June 18, 2019

May he kindly correct me / “Пусть он милостиво меня поправит”

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I very much appreciated this post today by Giriraj Swami!

“Today is the appearance day of Srila Prabhupada’s spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He was very kind, but also very strict. He said of himself, ‘I am not only a proofreader of the press; I am a proofreader of men—-I see their faults and try to correct them. I am also a proofreader of religion. I have appeared in the zodiac sign of the crab, so whenever I see anything undevotional, I act like a crab. If I see any so-called devotion, not actually in the true unalloyed spirit, I shall pierce it!’

May he kindly correct me as he sees fit.

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami”

Подношение на Вйаса-пуджу Гирираджи Свами 2018 “Добрая душа” / Vyasa Puja Offering to Giriraja Swami 2018 – “A Good Soul”

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Vyasa Puja Offering to Giriraja Swami 2018 – “A Good Soul”

My dear godbrother and friend, Giriraja Maharaja, Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I am not usually without words but glorifying you is challenging because there is so much to say and so little time to say it! I could talk for hours about your extraordinary qualities as a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, as well as reminiscing about our 30-year friendship which is one of the deepest and most satisfying in my life.

Friendship is an essential ingredient in Krsna consciousness. In Hayagriva dasa’s book, Vrindavan Days, he recounts how Srila Prabhupada stressed the importance of friendship in one of his Vrindavan discourses at the Radha Damodar temple in the early 1970s:

“In the second stage, that of madhyam-adhikari, one treats all types of men according to their position and tries to increase his love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and he also make friends with the devotees. He doesn’t envy the devotees. If a devotee is superior, we should take lessons from him; if he is equal, we should make friends with him; and if lower, we should try to help him.”

Maharaja, you have been so kind and treated me as an equal all these years, but let the truth be known: you are my superior, for you are many light-years ahead of me in devotional service. This truth becomes evident each time I hear you speak. Your speaking perfectly exemplifies the Lord’s declaration in Bhagavad-Gita:

anudvega-karam vakyam
satyam priya-hitam ca yat
svadhya-yabhya-sanam caiva
van-mayam tapa ucyate

“Austerity of speech consists in speaking truthfully and beneficially and in avoiding speech that offends. One should also recite the Vedas regularly.”

[ Bhagavad Gita 17.15 ]

In his purport to that verse Srila Prabhupada writes that “at the same time, such talk should be very pleasurable to the ear.”

Your lectures are a pleasurable to the ear for many reasons, but in particular they are so because you sprinkle your narrative with your memories of Srila Prabhupada. You will often use first-hand accounts of Srila Prabhupada to back up a philosophical point, or you use them simply to give joy to your audience. Many times you have surprised devotees by sharing a pastime or statement from Srila Prabhupada that you have never used before. You are like a treasure chest of Prabhupada nectar. This is because he is very dear to you and you are very dear to him.

In numerous letters throughout the years Srila Prabhupada extolled your virtues as a disciple and devotee of the Lord:

“So I marked it in your person when I was in Boston, and prayed to Krishna that this good soul may be aware of the importance of Krishna Consciousness ”

[ Letter to Giriraja dasa, July 5, 1969 ]

“I am glad that Giriraja is doing very nicely. Krishna has sent a good soul for pushing on this Krishna Consciousness Movement.”

[ Letter to Satsvarupa dasa, 17 July 1969 ]

“You are also very fortunate to have an assistant like Giriraja. This boy has so quickly taken up the Krishna Consciousness cause and I am very much pleased with his behavior.”

[ Letter to Satsvarupa dasa, 15 October 1969 ]

“In his last letter Giriraja has informed me that he was sick but since then I have not heard from him. How is he? I am anxious to know. His health should be taken good care of. He is an important worker and a good soul.”

[ Letter to Tamal Krishna dasa, 20 August 1971 ]

Four times our own spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, has defined you as “a good soul”. This is but one of the reasons that I always hanker to be near you and try to obtain your association whenever possible.

In Harinam Cintamani, Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur writes:

“If one stays near a pure Vaishnava, a devotee of Krishna, for some time one can receive the bhakti, devotional energy, flowing from his body. If one can bind that energy within one’s heart, he will develop strong faith in bhakti. If one lives close to a genuine Vaisnava, devotion will soon appear within one’s heart.”

I make it a point to try and visit you in Carpinteria, California once a year. My excuse is that I am coming to rest, but have you ever seen me rest when I am with you? No! Resting is just a ruse; I come to bask in your wonderful association.

So yes, we are friends, but I think a better terminology is that we are brothers, and you are the older brother. You are older in age, older in time spent in ISKCON, and older in your realizations and wisdom in Krsna consciousness. As such I take great pleasure in honoring you on this auspicious day. In fact, so much do I appreciate what you have done for me, that I honor you in the same mood as your disciples: as a representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Someone may challenge: where does it say that a godbrother can worship another godbrother as representative of the Lord, as good as the Lord Himself? Well, it says so in the king of all sastras, the Srimad Bhagavatm:

däsavat sanna-täryäìghriù / pitåvad déna-vatsalaù
bhrätåvat sadåçe snigdho / guruñv éçvara-bhävanaù

“[Prahlada Maharaja] was completely cultured as a qualified brahmana, having very good character and being determined to understand the Absolute Truth. He had full control of his senses and mind. Like the Supersoul, he was kind to every living entity and was the best friend of everyone. To respectable persons he acted exactly like a menial servant, to the poor he was like a father, to his equals he was attached like a sympathetic brother, and he considered his teachers, spiritual masters and older Godbrothers to be as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He was completely free from unnatural pride that might have arisen from his good education, riches, beauty, aristocracy and so on.”

[Srimad Bhagavatam 7.4. 31-32]

My dear older godbrother, Giriraj Maharaja, I am confident that by studying your devotion and service to Srila Prabhupada I can learn how to satisfy him. Your proximity to Srila Prabhupada in the early days of the movement gives credence to why so many devotees, like myself, have faith in you. You know how Srila Prabhupada did things, you know what pleased him, you know what his mission was and you know how he went about it. You received specific instructions from him. On his deathbed he turned to you and asked how things would go on in this movement once he departed. You replied, “Things will go on if we are obedient to your instructions to chant 16 rounds and follow the regulative principles.” No doubt that was a perfect answer. But just as perfect was Srila Prabhupada’s response: “Things will go on with organization and intelligence.” With your keen intelligence you understood this order of Prabhupada’s, and with your remarkable memory you are able to recount many such things Srila Prabhupada told you over 48 years ago! Because your attachment to His Divine Grace is so strong I feel you will be with him forever.

yatha vaise tatha yena hana anucara

“I will follow my master to any place that he goes”.

[Srila Vrindavan das Thakur, Caitanya-bhagavat, Madhya 13.399]

In this vein, please allow me to follow you anywhere you may go, for that guarantees me eternal service to our dear and beloved spiritual master.

I often reflect on how your initial meetings with His Divine Grace were very much like his own first meetings with his Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati. When they first met, Srila Prabhupada tested the field by making a challenging statement. He told Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati that India must first be rid of British rule before people could seriously take up Krsna consciousness. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati shot back that awakening our Krsna consciousness is a much more urgent matter, as it is the very goal of life. In your memoir entitled “Seeing the Center of Things”, you explain how when you first met Srila Prabhupada you suggested that we may all be God. But Srila Prabhupada convinced you otherwise. You admitted to him, “Actually, I see that I wanted to become God.”

“Yes, that is right!” Srila Prabhupada responded. “But how can you become God? You cannot. God is in your heart and if you water the seed of devotion by chanting Hare Krishna, He will give you all the sunshine to make it grow.”

You carefully watered that devotional seed by always dealing with your spiritual master in an appropriate mood of awe and reverence. You have noted that in the beginning of your devotional career each time Srila Prabhupada lectured you would limit yourself to a single carefully thought out question.

One time you asked: “What is the relationship between service to man and service to God?”

Srila Prabhupada replied, “If a hungry man comes to you and you feed him, in a few hours his hunger will return and he will have the same problem all over again. But if you give him Krishna consciousness, all his problems will be solved permanently. If you give a man a million dollars, all of his ten dollar problems will be solved. Similarly, if you give a man Krishna consciousness, all of his little problems will be solved, including eating. And his problems will be solved permanently. He’ll become completely satisfied .”

Srila Prabhupada’s reference to a million dollars solving a person’s ten-dollar problems is interesting. You seem to have realized this early in your devotional career, for when your father offered you a check for one million dollars to leave Krsna consciousness, you smiled and refused the check. You had already realized that your spiritual father, Srila Prabhupada, was giving you the most priceless commodity: pure devotion to the Supreme Lord.

For your initial enthusiasm and faith in him, Srila Prabhupada rewarded you accordingly. He gave you a number of personal instructions. Although there are general instructions for the mass of devotees and the public at large, a disciple always hankers for some personal instructions or guidance from his guru. And so it was that one night during one of Srila Prabhupada’s early visits to Boston you got to drive him back to the temple after a program. During that drive you asked him something that had been on your mind mind for some time.

“Srila Prabhupada,” you said, “what should I do with the rest of my life?”

He paused for a moment and then replied, “Just study our books very thoroughly and chant Hare Krishna.”

Those were very simple instructions, but nothing is simplistic in Krsna consciousness. For a sincere devotee everything is very deep and meaningful. So you took those personal instructions sincerely and therefore you find yourself at a very advanced stage of Krsna consciousness today. You will of course deny your advancement, but you are outnumbered, for there are thousands of disciples, friends and well-wishers who think otherwise. Just see how many have come to honor you today! There’s a saying that “numbers never lie.” That can be contested in many situations, but not in this one. In your case, the truth is evident in the number of devotees who look up to you, respect you and love you.

I can honestly say I love you Giriraja Swami Maharaja. The love we share is a love of a time-tested friendship that goes deep and is infinitely more satisfying than any mundane friendship. It is a relationship that continues to grow based on the comradery of serving together in the pioneer days of our spiritual master’s mission. It is said that “two things equal to one thing are equal to each other.” Because of our deepening love for our spiritual master and Krsna, our love for each other is solidified forever. My hope is that we’ll meet each other when we’re back home in the spiritual world. Certainly, the possibility is there, for in a letter to Tusta Krsna das Srila Prabhupada wrote:

“Siddhasvarupa will go, you will go, Syamasundara will go, all others will go. We will have another ISKCON there. Of course, Mr. Nair must stay.”

[Srila Prabhupada Letter to Tusta Krsna, Ahmedabad December 14th, 1972 ]

I am very confident I will reach that supreme abode, my dear friend! Of course it’s not proper for a Vaisnava to make such a statement of bravado, full of arrogance and conceit. But I do not say this on any merit or qualification I have, but based on a wonderful vow that you, I and our godbrother Sriniketana das took many years ago in Mauritius. We were honoring an amazing feast offered to Srila Prabhupada on his appearance day. The prasadam was delicious and, being the young men we were, we were devouring it in great delight. By the time we finished the sweets we were totally intoxicated with both the sugar and the transcendental nature of the delicacies.

Suddenly I said to you and Sriniketana, “Prabhus! Let’s put our hands together and take a solemn vow!”

“Wonderful!” you said. “What type of vow shall we take?”

I smiled and said, “Let’s take a vow that none of us of will go back home, back to Godhead without the others.”

I was overjoyed when you immediately agreed, not fully understanding that I alone was the real beneficiary of such a vow. How was that so? Because I knew that you would be going home well before I would. That meant I would achieve that goal way before my time. With a smile from ear to ear I put out my hand. You placed yours on top of mine and Sriniketana put his on yours. Then we very loudly proclaimed the sacred vow together:

“On this auspicious day, celebrating the appearance of our beloved spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, here on ISKCON’S Vedic Farm in Mauritius, in the presence of the Lord and so many exalted devotees we hereby take the solemn vow that none of us will go back home, back to Godhead without the others. We shall all attain that supreme, divine abode of love and bliss together. We shall enter Goloka the three of us abreast to serve the Divine Couple forever and forever more!”

With our eyes closed, we held our hands tightly together for some time and when we opened them we found a great number of devotees staring at us in astonishment.

Looking back on that special day I too am astonished. I am astonished at my great fortune to have had you as a friend and mentor in this lifetime. What a wonderful life I have lived in the association of godbrothers and godsisters such as yourself. I will leave this world grateful and fully satisfied. What’s more, I am looking forward to serving Srila Prabhupada together with you again here in the material world and most eagerly in the spiritual world. There is no doubt we will recognize each other there and our friendship will continue forever.

Upendra das once asked, “Srila Prabhupada … it was raised that our relationships formed here in ISKCON with one another are eternal in themselves in addition to the service, that ISKCON and we members as we are known now shall be known there [in the spiritual world]. All this I was unable to support scripturally and lest I make an offense and direct error, I place this before you.”

Srila Prabhupada replied, “As to your question concerning whether relationships between devotees are eternal, the answer is ‘yes.’ This is confirmed by Sri Narottama dasa Thakura: cakhu-dan dilo yei, janme janme prabhu sei—‘He is my lord birth after birth.’ In this way you have to understand, by studying carefully the philosophy.”

[ Letter to Upendra, January 7, 1976 ]

The conclusion, my dear Giriraj Swami Maharaja, is that I will forever and forevermore be your friend and servant!

Yours eternally,
Indradyumna Swami