Offerings to Srila Prabhupada

 

 

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August 13, 2001

 

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

be given.

 

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

clean.

 

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

causeless mercy.

 

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

the center".

 

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,

Jayaradhe dasi

 


We think we have met your goodness 

by the will of providence

 

Vyasa Puja offering 2001- by Visoka dasa

Dear Srila Prabhupada, all glories to you.

We think we have met your goodness

by the will of providence just so that

we may accept you as captain of the

ship for those who desire to cross the

difficult ocean of Kali. (SB 1.1.23)

 

You 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.

When 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.

Many 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.

Sometimes 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.

And 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.

That 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.

Then 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!

Your lowly servant, Visoka dasa

 


 

Mercy Ship 

c.1993, mahaksadasa

You came into my life from oh so far,
Riding through my mind in Subhadra's car,
Without a single purpose but to save the world.
Your Song has more power than all the missiles they have hurled.

All the holy men came to show the way.
Many people listened to what they had to say.
Some of them insane, some just went to other things,
Not knowing the difference between soldiers and Kings.

They wanted to steal my mind, take away my land,
A trade for a philosophy no one can understand.
They prey on people' greed, take advantage of their fear.
They say anything the people want to hear.

Tricks, treachery, cheap words, and smiling nods,
Are needed to convince the ignorant they are gods.
Crime, poverty, death, gods exposed as fools,
Tossed around like ants into giant whirlpools.

But You did not come to advertise Your name.
You had no pressing needs to strive for selfish fame.
You have what you are given, and to me You bring,
Matchless Gifts, if I would only dance and sing.

You have gone back to Vrndavana, left me all alone,
On these streets of Armageddon, weary to the bone.
Yet You leave Your loving Lifeline, waiting for my grip.
Through these dreadful waters, You guide the Mercy Ship.

 


No Time

A poem for Srila Prabhupada

by Kalakantha dasa

You preached in Delhi tea stalls,
Of knowledge most sublime,
And often took disdaining looks,
From men who had no time.

No Time! I'm very busy,
No Time! I'm running late!
For they had dates with Yamaraja,
And wouldn't make him wait.

How foolish were your countrymen,
How fortunate were we,
To take the time to learn from you,
The science of bhakti.

One boy became your student,
His elders told him, "No,
You shouldn't bother Prabhupada,
He's busy now, you know!

"No time," they said, "He's traveling.
No time! He's writing, too.
Just read his books and find out what
He has to say to you.

In no time you departed from,
Your vapu form, it seemed,
And left behind your teachings so,
The world could be redeemed.

In no time nineteen years went by,
Your boy became a man,
Awash in countless daily tasks,
A family demands.

You sit within the temple room,
Your books rest at your side;
You have all day to listen to,
Each soul that comes inside.

"No time! I'm very busy.
No time! I'm running late,
Your busy man thinks quickly,
As he rushes to his date.

How odd the twist of irony,
How cruel the hand of fate;
He doesn't find the time he had,
As a new candidate!

One day it strikes his turbid skull,
In no time he returns,
To sit before your lotus feet,
To think of all he's learned.

In no time he has understood,
You dwell within his heart,
Though he may fail to think of you,
That won't make you depart.

"No time right now? That's quite all right.
Come see me when you can.
In no time you will preach with me,
For that is Krishna's plan.

When will that blessed day arrive!
With service all around,
Each step a dance, each word a song,
And no time to be found!

by Kalakantha dasa

 

 

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