Offerings to Srila Prabhupada
Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my fallen obeisances at your lotus feet. All glories to
your divine grace, freely benedicting anyone, despite material
designation or qualification, with the greatest gift that could ever
You gave your followers a full-hearted glimpse into the world of
harmony, practicable even for those of us extremely conditioned by
lifetimes of dysfunctional, hurtful treatments by self and others.
When we understand and follow your lead we actually experience the
sublime, the world of devotion, where everyone is equal, and united
in their equal desires to practice devotional service.
I personally felt that harmony most when you were still on the
planet. Though your physical presence is not necessary in order to
practice Krsna consciousness, for the true Vaisnava remains alive in
sound, concoctions and deviations were expediently corrected when
brought to your attention, and while there really should be no
difference between then and now, well, there is. Many devotees are
now concerned that there is an urgency to see to it that your ways
are taught and practiced, for many have witnessed the changes and
dilutions that have taken place since your physical departure, and
much more could be lost in another generation or so. It may be a
painful, thankless task, but any devotee who understands your perfect
plan and system for harmony is duty bound to point out, whenever and
wherever possible, when even the slightest deviation from those
teachings is observed. In turn, the devotees give substantially more
importance to seeing that your desires are served than they do to the
ego which drops away when those orders are carried out.
Today I feel the urgency of reminder each other of how unified and
inspired we are when your formula for peace is followed. I thank you
for introducing me to the story of the spider who helped the great
monkeys build the bridge to Sri Lanka. He or she is an acharya of
humble devotional service.
A grave deviation which has infected your perfect society since its
inception came in the form of the misconception of the true quality
and equality of devotional service, and the subsequent minimalization
of the glories of devotional service. Though you stated that when
Krsna is there Lakshmi is there, that when one serves Krsna all his
or her needs, both spiritual and material, are met, money drives were
created, and emphasis was put on glorifying those who brought back
the most. You taught your disciples to value humility as an integral
part of being a devotee and chanting Hare Krsna. So boosting the ego
of any devotee is a violence. Working behind the scenes is the
perfect place for any devotee, and helps keep his or her service more
intimately between self and Krsna. While it is wonderful and natural
to appreciate devotional services, the devotees really should not be
publicly singled out for glorification. Rather, together we should
try our best to keep you and Krsna at the center of glorification.
Service is its own reward. I am simply nostalgic for a time when
wrapped gifts were for Krsna on his birthday, and when devotional
service was not mundanely measured. It is my understanding that
George Harrison only ever wanted to be just one of the devotees, and
certainly it is not for anyone to judge that the millions he gave has
been greater service than the one who keeps the devotees' toilets
Srila Prabhupada, I truly believe, with all the heart I can muster,
that what pleases you most is when the simplicity of a family of
devotees, where all are humble servants, is in effect. I wish to be
able to thank you by offering you my desire for your mission, as you
have demonstrated it, to be strenuously revived, in full, wherever it
has been deviated from. I wish for all to feel the mood of Bhakti you
showed us. I glimpsed that world of harmony and bliss when I played
alongside devotees decorating Subhadra's Ratha cart a couple of weeks
ago. Such enthusiasm. I sensed distinct harmony created by each
person's feeling so fortunate to be there, and my heart swelled in
the company of such souls and to feel your mood so alive. I glimpse
that same world in the temple decorations. Someone put so much Bhakti
into that. I see your world when one of your oldest sanyasi
disciples emphasizes the chanting of the mahamantra in kirtan, and
calls forth some of the old tunes, which are timeless and never
hackneyed. I see it in the older devotee mopping the kitchen floor.
Oh, I saw it so much last night in the gently sober faces of the two
devotees who placed Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda's silver shoes on the
heads of the devotees. And I saw it in the equally peaceful and
reverent face of my brother, whose eyes never left the proceedings
while he awaited his chance to bow his head and receive such rare and
Your great gift of devotional service is apparent in these little
things, in these small, natural, and humble acts, where, at least in
those moments, there exists a "competitionless society with God in
May we each carry on or reinstate your legacy, in whatever capacity
we are able, whether in the big temple or in our homes hundreds of
miles away, and see your message spread in its pure undiluted way,
far and wide.
All glories, all glories, all glories to you, Srila Prabhupada!
With all the love I can muster,
your aspiring servant,
We think we have met your goodness
by the will of providence
Puja offering 2001- by Visoka dasa
Srila Prabhupada, all glories to you.
think we have met your goodness
the will of providence just so that
may accept you as captain of the
for those who desire to cross the
ocean of Kali. (SB 1.1.23)
are the eternal captain of the lotus ship of Lord Caitanya’s mercy. We
were so fortunate that you picked us up from the ocean of maya and gave us
shelter aboard your ship. This ship named “Iskcon” was plying smoothly
through the treacherous waters of Kali-yuga, with your beautiful vapu and
your eternal vani always there to help us weather the various storms of
maya. We held on for dear life to your dhoti and battened down the
hatches, and although you warned us of the power of the ocean of maya,
sometimes to our great sorrow, a mate would lose his grip and be swept off
the deck into the waters, lost again to the sea. You said that we have
declared war on maya, and sometimes there would be causalities.
the storms subsided, we would host over the harinam-sankirtan lifeboats,
and thus we would venture out into the sea of Kali and proclaim the
glories of Lord Sri Krishna with loud banners and cheers. We threw out
lifesavers, in the forms of BTG’s and your transcendental literatures
and mantra cards to the suffering souls of the sea, scooping up the lost
swimmers, and often by your potency, we would reel in a few floundering
souls and take them back to the ship.
a time we would look out on the horizon and see some ship mates riding
their surfboards, merrily skiing on the waves, as your ship plied smoothly
through the murky waters. These souls were exercising their constitutional
natures of being of the tatasva-sakti category, or the “marginal
potency.” Thus they were demonstrating their intrinsic “marginal
potency” by regulating their activities to the peripheral boundaries, or
keeping themselves on the marginal fringe of devotional activities. They
would try to squeeze out a few more drops of fleeting pleasure from the
vast waters of Maya, and simultaneously hold on for dear life to their
lifelines, and then some times they would haul themselves back up on deck
whenever there was a feast or major appearance day. After a sumptuous
feast and a little “left side down” they would swab the decks for a
while and then sneak back out to their surfboards. Someone pointed them
out, saying, “Look at the surfers, Srila Prabhupada,” and you sagely
corrected him, “sufferers,” and we all grinned at each other.
we anchored in coral reef bays and played water sports in tranquil waters.
We would sooth our parched desert-like tongues with the flow of the
nectarine Ganges waters of Lord Caitanya’s transcendental pastimes. In
those transcendental lagoons were lotus flowers of singing, dancing and
loud chanting of Krishna’s holy name, our only abode of transcendental
pleasure. All the devotees were like swans, ducks and bees, as the
ever-flowing Ganges water of harinam-sankirtan produced a melodious sound
that gladdened our ears. Sometimes we held great festival days with huge
colorful tents and lavishly decorated boats, headed up by your stalwart
devotees, Jayananda Prabhu and Visnujana Swami. Sometimes, we would get
distracted by the monkeys swinging in the trees, and you would always save
us from such monkey business with your nectarean instructions.
then all powerful Kala wielded His razor sharp revolving disc, and our
merry sailing eventually came to naught. The storm squalls came, tyrannous
and strong, chasing us down along, down into ice cold dooms of stagnation.
As we would read in your eternal books, “Everyone is sleeping in the
darkness of Kaliyuga, but when there is a great acharya, by his calling
only, everyone takes to the study of the Vedas to acquire actual
knowledge,“ and you said that when that great acarya leaves the planet,
then chaos ensues, and so that came to pass.
great storm hit full force, and some slipped and fell out into the dark
waters. Then a great calm ensued and a dark overcast shrouded the sky.
Engulfed in dense darkness, we huddled down below deck, our frames
trembling, while the omen-bearing Albatross lay lifeless on deck. We were
struck down, dead in the water, idle as some painted ship on a painted
sea. There was heard a faint peg-leg tapping, marking time on the deck,
and someone faintly whispered “Ahab.” And someone else said,
“illusory whales.” A faint flickering apparition of some yellow-stool
Doubloon caught our eyes, and many a rumor harkened of the harbinger of
death, the white monster of the sea, who could destroy an entire ship with
a single blow. You always said that destruction can only come from within.
And so fear and trembling overcame us running, as we forgot your blessed
vani and your dear Lord Sri Krishna too many times, and the Albatross of
ill-luck hung round our necks.
the golden forms of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda came dancing across
the path of our weary eyes, the two brothers shining as brilliant as the
moon and sun rising simultaneously on the eastern horizon, chasing away
all darkness from our hearts. And then you appeared again as the two
Bhagavatas, the book Bhagavata and the person Bhagavata, and you and your
books once again illumined our collective hearts, and we took courage to
man the ship and plough on through the darkness, steering out for the dawn
of light once again. Again to man the life boats and lifesavers, again
pulling aboard drowning souls, again the bird o’ luck flew, and again
your life-breath filled our lungs, and again we saw you Srila Prabhupada
as our eternal captain and dearmost friend. Again sacred service you gave.
Again we all proclaimed in loud voices singing, Jai Srila Prabhupada, Jai
Srila Prabhupada, all glories unto you, all glories unto you, our eternal
captain of the ship, Jai Jai Srila Prabhupada, all glories to you, all
glories to you!
lowly servant, Visoka dasa
You came into my life from oh so far,
All the holy men came to show the way.
They wanted to steal my mind, take away my
Tricks, treachery, cheap words, and smiling
But You did not come to advertise Your name.
You have gone back to Vrndavana, left me all