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Подношение на день явления Шрилы Прабхупады – 2021

My Dearmost Spiritual Master,

Please accept my most humble obeisances in the dust of your lotus feet.

Today I am praying to the Supreme Lord to find the proper words to glorify you on this special occasion of your 125th appearance day anniversary.

abalam prabhur ipsitonnatim
krta-yatnam sva-yasah-stave ghrni
svayam uddharati stanarthinam
pada-lagnam jananiva balakam

“Wishing to drink from his mother’s breast an infant child clutches his mother’s foot and she kindly picks him up. In the same way when a sincere devotee, although not expert with words, yearns to praise others, the Supreme Lord uplifts and empowers him.”

( Hari-bhakti-vilasa 8.351 )

Srila Prabhupada, the other day a person inquiring about Krsna consciousness asked me if I was happy. When I replied, “Yes, of course I am,” he countered, “But how can you be happy when there’s so much suffering in this world? Everywhere one looks people are unhappy.”

I replied, “Sir, my happiness lies in encouraging people to chant the holy names of Krsna, a time-honored remedy to alleviate all suffering in this world. I’m sure if you tried it you’d be happy too!”

“I can’t do that,” he said bluntly.

“It’s easy,” I said. “Just say, ‘Hare Krsna!’”

“Sorry,” was his only response.

“Well,” I said, “then you’ll just have to be satisfied with being one of the unhappy persons you mentioned.”

There was a pause and then suddenly he blurted out, “Alright! Hare Krsna! Hare Krsna! Hare Krsna!”

I waited for a moment and then asked him, “So, how was it?”

He replied, “Well, yeah. It was nice. I felt something different. I’ll give it a go.”

Srila Prabhupada, that conversation reminded me of how you were once walking on a beach in Bombay with some of your disciples and a little girl walking by folded her hands and said to you, “Hare Krsna!” Smiling, you turned to your disciples and commented, “Just see how successful our movement is!”

One disciple asked, “What do you mean by ‘successful’, Srila Prabhupada?”

You replied, “If you taste just one drop of the ocean, you can understand how salty the whole ocean is. Similarly, by this one girl greeting us with ‘Hare Krsna’ we can appreciate how the chanting of the Lord’s holy names has spread around the world.”

Such small triumphs in the spreading of the holy names certainly add to the success of your mission, Srila Prabhupada, but to be perfectly honest, locked down and locked out of my previous services to you as a result of the worldwide pandemic, I miss more than ever the big victories we helped you achieve in days gone by.

I miss seeing thousands of young people loudly chanting the holy names of Krsna at the Polish Woodstock Festival every year.

I miss distributing tens of thousands of plates of prasadam annually to Zulu children in the poor townships of South Africa.

I miss the standing ovations that our theater productions received as we toured the United States.

I miss our festivals along the Baltic Sea coast, where for 30 years running, each summer night, people would leap from their seats during the final kirtan and chant and dance with us in great ecstasy.

I miss our harinam parties in Altay, Dzag, Urgamal, and Hodrogo on the far-western steppes of Mongolia, where each time, literally the whole town would follow us back for a program in a hall.

The list is endless, Srila Prabhupada, but recently I realized I can’t go on forever daydreaming about the past. You said many times that if we are sincere, then there can be no real impediments to spreading the glories of the holy names. I was reminded of this recently while listening to a lecture you gave in London on July 18th, 1973, wherein you said:

“Material impediments cannot check progress in the science of God. We are experiencing that Krsna consciousness does not get checked anywhere. We have got branches all over the world. Any country, there is no language difficulty. Wherever we chant Hare Krsna they join. Even in Africa, they are also chanting Hare Krsna. So, there is no checking this movement.”

Your words had a profound effect on me, which is often the case when I listen to your lectures. I feel you are speaking directly to me.

“The learned say that nectar resides in the ocean, the moon, the lips of a young lady, the abode of serpents and in heaven. But the ocean is salty, the moon wanes, the husbands who drink nectar from the lips of their wives die, snakes provide poison, and one falls down from heaven when the fruits of his virtuous deeds are exhausted. But indeed, nectar is found in the voice of realized saints whose sweet words and instructions lead one to immortality.”

[ The Subhāṣita-ratna-bhāṇḍāgāram ]

Inspired by your words, Srila Prabhupada, the daily chanting of my mantras took on a different tone. I pleaded to be engaged once again in some significant service to your mission.

Narada Muni says to Gopa Kumara in Brhad-bhagavatamrta:

“My dear boy, whatever you desire while chanting your mantra, by its power you will fully achieve. Indeed, you will attain more than your desire.”

[ Sri Brhad-bhagavatamrta 2.1.189 ]

Time passed in this way, and having received no discernable sign from the Lord that He would fulfill my prayer for service to your mission, I suddenly realized how foolish I was to think that I, an aspiring devotee at best, could personally request something from Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So then I did the right thing: I begged you, my beloved Spiritual Master, to pray to the Lord on my behalf!

In a letter to Mahananda das on April 26th, 1970, you wrote:

“Regarding your questions, are the Spiritual Master and the grand Spiritual Master consciously aware of the prayers of a sincere devotee who prays in love to Them? The answer is that no conscious prayers go in vain. They are transmitted positively. Any prayer you offer to your Spiritual Master and Superior Spiritual Master is conveyed to Krsna. No sincere prayers go in vain.”

So it was no surprise to me, Srila Prabhupada, when one week later, without any additional effort whatsoever on my part, my prayers [ to you! ] were answered.

“The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath.”

[ William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act 4, Scene 1 ]

As I was walking by the prestigious Vrindavan Research Institute, near to our Krsna Balarama Mandir here in Vrindavan with my disciple Visnu-tattva das, he turned to me and said, “Srila Gurudeva, the managers of the institute told me they would like to meet with you. Can I make an appointment?”

I looked at him in disbelief. Since 1973, when I first travelled to Vrindavan, the prestigious institute with all of its thousands of sacred scriptures had mostly been off-limits to anyone except research scholars. I often dreamed of walking into the institute and having darshan of the sastras contained within its walls, which I knew included the original handwritten manuscripts of Srila Rupa Goswami, Srila Jiva Goswami, Narottama das Thakura, Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and many other great Vaisnava saints, as well.

“It’s under new management now,” Visnu-tattva continued. “They are eager to improve the important work they are doing. I’ve actually been helping them for some time now with cataloguing their vast library.”

Visnu-tattva comes from a well-respected Goswami family in Vrindavan and is pursuing a master’s degree in Sanskrit.

“They know about you, Srila Gurudeva, and are asking for your cooperation with scanning, digitizing, preserving, translating and publishing the 32,000 scriptures in the institute.”

Surprised, I said, “But how in the world do they know me?”

“Through your social media,” he replied. “And they’re aware that you’ve been lecturing about Vrindavan for almost two years based on authentic scriptures.”

I shook my head in disbelief.

“Ok,” I said. “Make an appointment.”

Several days later we met with the head of the institute and his managers for several hours, discussing the dynamics of how we could cooperate.

Afterwards, one of the managers took me on a tour of the institute.

As we walked through numerous rooms encasing the sacred texts, she said, “The previous managers were mainly interested in protecting the valuable manuscripts. But our new management realizes these scriptures were written to be read by the entire world.”

As we sat down to discuss more, she placed an old palm-leaf manuscript in my hands.

“Take this one for example,” she said. “It’s the original Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu by Srila Rupa Goswami. It is over 500 years old. You can see how much it is in need of preservation.”

“Good Lord!” I said softly. “I’m holding one of the most important sastras of our tradition in my hands.”

I could hardly fathom my good fortune. Looking closely at the beautiful handwriting of Srila Rupa Goswami, I remembered a verse from Caitanya-caritamrita:

sri-rupera aksara—yena mukutara panti
prita hana karena prabhu aksarera stuti

“Thus being pleased, Lord Caitanya praised the writing by saying, ‘The handwriting of Rupa Gosvami is just like rows of pearls.’”

[ Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya 1.97 ]

Carefully taking the manuscript from my hands, she placed another in front of me.

“Do you know the saint Narottama das Thakura?” she asked.

“Yes, I do,” I replied. “He’s one of my great heroes.”

“That is his book, Prarthana,” she said with a smile. “The original.”

As I very carefully turned each parchment page to inspect the condition of the book, she said, “These treasures need to be treated and preserved for future generations. Would you like to help?”

My eyes became moist and a lump appeared in my throat. I tried my best to convey my consent, but I couldn’t. I finally just blurted out, “Yes! Thank you!”

As she carefully placed the parchment in its box, she noticed a tiny sliver of the manuscript in the corner that had apparently broken off. Handing it to me, she said, “Please accept this as a blessing from your hero. Place it in a kavaca and wear it around your neck.”

At that point, I couldn’t help myself and I burst into tears of gratitude.

Srila Prabhupada, thank you for answering my prayers and entrusting me with a service that I know is very dear to your heart. You yourself carried a number of our previous acaryas’ books everywhere you travelled. Every day you would refer to them as you wrote your Bhaktivedanta purports. I know this for a fact, for I once carried a heavy suitcase of yours filled with those precious scriptures from the London airport to your room in our temple at 7 Bury Place. Huffing and puffing, I placed it at your lotus feet and when I bowed down, you slapped me on the back in firm appreciation and gave me an eternal blessing, saying:

“So much endeavour in this material world, but when I take you home, back to Godhead, everything will be easy and sublime.”

I look forward to that day when you’ll take me home, Srila Prabhupada, but in the meantime I’ll work closely with a team of devotees I am assembling from around the world to help the Vrindavan Research Institute raise funds, as well as catalogue, scan, digitize, preserve, translate and publish all the works—known and unknown—of our previous acaryas. All the while, I will keep your following words close to my heart:

“It is my serious desire to devote the fag end of my life to translating Srimad Bhagavatam and so many other Vaisnava literatures, so by assisting me in this regards you will be performing the highest service to Krsna.”

[ Srila Prabhupada, letter to Hayagriva das, April 27th, 1972 ]

Your eternal servant,
Indradyumna Swami

 

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Это я могу, Шрила Прабхупада!

После того, как Прабхупада закончил класс Бхагавад-Гиты, одна дама подняла руку. У нее был вопрос. Она спросила:
–  В Бхагавад-гите говорится, что если в момент смерти думать о Кришне, то отправишься к Кришне. Теперь вопрос: а если я подумаю о вас в момент смерти? Будет такой же эффект?
Прабхупада ответил не сразу. Он закрыл глаза на две-три секунды, как будто искал ответ.
Потом улыбнулся и сказал:
–  Очень мило с вашей стороны. Да, будет тот же эффект.
[ воспоминания о Шриле Прабхупаде, Джая Гауранга даса ]

 

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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.”

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This Is The Proof / Доказательство

Тут Шрила Прабхупада сменил тему.

– Почему мы думаем, что Кришна – Бог? – спросил он нас.

– Потому что Кришна это говорит в Бхагават-Гите, – сказал кто-то из преданных.

– Любой может так сказать, – возразил Прабхупада.

Я решился:

– Вы сказали нам это, а вы представитель Кришны, духовный учитель…

– А кто-то скажет, что я всего лишь старик.

Не зная, что еще сказать, мы молчали.

Спустя несколько мгновений Прабхупада проговорил:

– Вы знаете, что Кришна – Бог, потому что чувствуете Его присутствие, когда воспеваете,
и также когда служите. Вы чувствуете экстаз – вот доказательство.

 

[ Гуру Дас «По его примеру». Глава «Индия»]

 

 

 

 

Srila Prabhupada then changed the subject. “How do we know Krishna is God?” he asked us.

“Because Krishna says so in the Bhagavad-gita,” a devotee said.

“Anyone can say that,” Prabhupada countered.

I piped up, “You told us so, and you’re a representative of Krishna, a spiritual master . . .”

“Someone will say I am just an old man.”

Not knowing what else to say, we were silent.

After a few moments, Prabhupada said, “You know Krishna is God because you feel His presence when you chant, as well as when you serve. You feel the ecstasy—this is the proof.”

[ “By His Example” by Guru das. Chapter, ‘India’ ]

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You have got a short duration of life / Жизнь коротка

“Instead of contemplating what will happen to this world, you have got a short duration of life, say fifty, sixty years. You chant Hare Krsna and go back to home, back to Godhead. Don’t consider what will happen to this world. Nature will take care of it. You don’t puzzle your brain with these thoughts. You utilize whatever time you have got in your possession and go back to home, back to Godhead. You cannot check it. Best thing is that you mold your life and go back to home, back to Godhead. Because people will go on with their rascal civilization, natural consequences will be there. You better take advantage of whatever time you have got and become fully Krsna conscious and go back to home.”

[Srila Prabhupada, Morning Walk, February 21, 1975, Caracas]

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Подношение на день ухода Шрилы Прабхупады 2018

Дорогой Шрила Прабхупада, пожалуйста, примите мои смиренные поклоны.
Вся слава вам.

Как всегда, день этот для меня и сладок, и горек. Понимание, что вы отправились домой в духовный мир – единственное, что утешает боль утраты. Конечно, наша печальная потеря стала великолепным приобретением для многих обитателей духовного мира. Можно себе представить радостный праздник, устроенный по поводу вашего долгожданного возвращения! Для преданных вполне естественно ценить самоотверженное служение таким великим душам, как вы. Кавирадж Госвами пишет в Чайтанья-Чаритамрите:

«Слушая о деяниях Рупы и Санатаны Госвами, приближенные Шри Чайтаньи Махапрабху говорили: «Стоит ли удивляться достижениям человека, на которого Сам Господь пролил Свою милость?»

[ Шри Чайтанья-Чаритамрита, Мадхйа 19.132 ]

Скорее всего, теперь вы рано поутру гуляете по лугам и пастбищам, бегаете и играете в лесах Враджа. Вы непременно катаетесь по земле в духовном экстазе! Вы стремились к этому, когда написали 13 сентября 1965 года на Джаладуте свою знаменитую «Молитву лотосным стопам Кришны». Без сомнения, это из-за вашего успеха в исполнении желания вашего духовного учителя (чтобы сознание Кришны проповедовалось на западе) Господь ответил на вашу молитву и забрал вас домой.

Шрила Прабхупада, вы даровали миру уникальнейший из даров, обучая одновременно и искусству жить, и искусству умирать. В этом временном мире страданий и то, и другое непросто. И все же вы сделали и то, и другое возможным. При следовании вашим простым наставлениям жизнь приносит радость, а смерть становится просто сменой декораций из новоприобретенных друзей и освежающего разнообразия служений, которые, в конце концов, забирают обратно, в духовное небо. И что самое главное, жизнь в сознании Кришны гарантирует, что мы в этой духовной обители окажемся с вами, Шрила Прабхупада.

Почти что 70 лет тому назад я родился в этом материальном мире – такой же грешник, как любой человек, родившийся до меня. И мне было совсем неплохо на этой дороге из нескончаемых циклов рождений и смертей. Так все и шло до того дня, когда по милости ваших учеников вы появились в моей жизни. Вишнуджана Махараджа знал эту верную формулу. Когда в тот день я повстречал его на зеленых лужайках Университета Мичигана, первое, о чем что я спросил у него, было: «Махараджа, кто это – Кришна?» Улыбнувшись, он ответил: «Садитесь, молодой человек. Прежде чем ответить на ваш вопрос, позвольте мне рассказать вам о моем духовном учителе».

Шрила Прабхупада, я всего лишь одна из множества павших душ, которых вы спасли. Вы так добры. Скорее всего, при приближении к вратам Вайкунтхи для получения допуска нужно будет лишь упомянуть ваше имя.

«У тебя есть качества, чтобы зайти сюда?» – могут сказать Джая или Виджая.

Достаточно будет ответить: «Беспричинная милость Шрилы А.Ч. Бхактиведанты Свами Прабхупады».

Тогда привратники улыбнутся и скажут: «Хорошо. Входи!»

Конечно, всем понятно, что если мы хотим дерзновенно сослаться на ваше имя, мы должны будем добиться вашей благосклонности, служа желанию вашего сердца в этом мире. Мы не знаем, кто вы в духовном мире, но бесспорно, что служа вашим желаниям в этом мире, мы заслужим привилегии однажды служить вам в мире духовном.
Самое смешное, Шрила Прабхупада, что чем я становлюсь старше и тело мое становится старее и больнее, тем сильнее у меня желание помогать вам в распространении вашего движения по городам и весям этого мира. Временами это расстраивает. Но я пришел к выводу, что именно это желание и поможет мне перебраться через океан рождения и смерти – к приюту ваших лотосных стоп на противоположной стороне. Самкиртан, без сомнений – лучший способ достичь этой цели:

«Стремишься пересечь бездну мирского бытия, мечтаешь вкусить нектар самкиртаны,тоскуешь по тому, чтоб плавать в океане божественной любви? Прими прибежище у стоп Чайтанья-чандры».

(Шрила Прабходананда Сарасвати, «Шри Чайтанья-чандрамрита», стих 93)

Шрила Прабхупада, вы говорили в своей проповеди о двух моментах, которые всегда напоминают мне о временном характере этого мира: «Не удивляйтесь, когда всё идет не так – удивляйтесь, когда всё правильно» и «Всё что угодно может произойти когда угодно». Оба эти утверждения верны. Но кажется, что преданное служение под вашим руководством опровергает эти законы материальной природы – и в этом его таинство. Как много раз, проповедуя сознание Кришны, я был свидетелем божественного вмешательства Господа. Сам факт, что кто-то покупает одну из ваших книг, приходит в храм, чтобы спрашивать об абсолютной истине, или дает разрешение провести масштабный фестиваль сознания Кришны на публике, показывает, каким образом Господь присутствует в этом мире и как может исправить все невзгоды. Я живу ради этих моментов, Шрила Прабхупада. Мэр Нью-Олбани, богатого города в США, сказал мне после просмотра нашего представления в сентябре: «Ваше шоу лучше любого бродвейского шоу в Нью-Йорке!» Услышав это, я ощутил такое удовлетворение глубоко в сердце. И – еще большее, когда он, улыбнувшись, добавил: «Главное, что в нем глубокое духовное послание».

Шрила Прабхупада, мои отношения с вами – одно из моих служений. Это очень ясное служение, ведь вы наставляли меня:

«Смело проповедуй и верь в святые имена».

Слова эти впечатаны в самые глубины моего сердца, они сама моя жизнь и душа. Я живу только для того, чтобы служить этим наставлениям. Случись мне вновь родиться, мне бы хотелось выслушать их от вас еще раз – поскольку они непременно направят меня домой, к вашим лотосным стопам в вечных духовных пределах.

На этом духовном пути я молюсь о вашей защите, но не для себя, а чтобы я мог беспрепятственно продолжать здесь вашу работу. Пожалуйста, защитите меня от любых материальных желаний в сердце; защитите от тех, кто выступает против вашего учения; защитите меня от бед, которые подстерегают падших душ в их земном бытии; и защитите от мыслей, что мои достижения – это мои заслуги. Пусть я всегда помню, что ваша милость – вот все, что я из себя представляю!

Я скучаю по вас, Шрила Прабхупада. Я знал вас лично лишь в младенчестве моей духовной жизни. Я мечтаю о том дне, когда я стоял бы перед вами очищенным, зрелым в преданном служении, и вы могли бы наставлять меня в возможностях служить вам в духовном мире – той обители, где вы в превеликом счастье служите вашему возлюбленному Господу.

Я часто вспоминаю, что в своей книге «Слуга слуги» написал Тамал Кришна Госвами:

«Я помню, в Бомбее Прабхупада пообещал мне: «Если кто-то пожертвует своим чувственным удовольствием, посвятив жизнь распространению сознания Кришны, Сам Господь Чайтанья придет в момент его смерти, скроет любые его недостатки и заберет обратно к Богу».

Шрила Прабхупада, молю, чтобы вы увидели все жертвы, на которые я пошел, распространяя это удивительное движение по всему миру. Если вы пожелаете, я готов на все это снова!

мама джанмани джанманишваре / бхаватад бхактир ахаитуки твайи

«Все, чего Я хочу, – это беспримесное преданное служение Тебе жизнь за жизнью»

[ Шикшаштакам, стих 3]

Навечно ваш слуга,
Индрадьюмна Свами

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Waiting patiently by your side… /Терпеливо ожидая поблизости …

«Нужно принять прибежище духовного учителя.

Как пылающий лесной пожар ждет туч в небесах,

надо ожидать милостивой тучи духовного учителя».

[Лекция Шрилы Прабхупады в Лос-Анджелесе 2 января 1969 г.]

 

 

Waiting patiently by your side ….

“One has to take shelter of spiritual master. Just like the blazing fire in the forest has to wait for the clouds in the sky, similarly, one has to wait for the merciful cloud of the spiritual master.”

[ Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles. January 2, 1969 ]

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The quality of mercy is not strained / Не действует по принужденью милость

Шрила Прабхупада, всякий раз, когда я нахожу вашу старую фотографию, на которой есть и я, это становится для меня драгоценным даром свыше. Я бы не поменял это на все золото мира! Потому что  мне вспоминается ваша Божественность и растет желание вновь когда-нибудь оказаться с вами. Я жду этого дня, мой Учитель!

Не действует по принужденью милость;
Как теплый дождь, она спадает с неба
На землю и вдвойне благословенна:
Тем, кто дает и кто берет ее.*

[ Уильям Шекспир, Венецианский купец, Действие IV, сцена 1 ]

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*Перевод Т.Щепкиной-Куперник

 

Srila Prabhupada, each time I discover an old photo of you where I am present, it is like a precious gift from above. I would not trade it for all the gold in the world! It brings back memories of you divine and increases my desire to someday be with you again. I long for that day, O master!

“The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.”

[ William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Scene 1 ]

 

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

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

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Искать нектара лучших качеств

 

Our Festival of India in Poland will begin towards the end of June and continue until August 20. It will be our 27th year of hosting large festivals along the Baltic Sea coast. All glories to those devotees who spend their summers with us, giving their lives and souls to spreading the glories of the holy names far and wide.

“The devotees of Krishna are the most exalted persons on this planet, better than kings, all of them, so we should always remember that and, like the bumblebee, always look for the nectar or the best qualities of a person.”

(Srila Prabhupada letter to Atreya Rsi; February 4, 1972)

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