Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my most respectful and humble obeisance on this most auspicious appearance day of Your Divine Grace.
Srila Prabhupada, you are the beloved spiritual father of millions of souls on this earth now. People all over the world are beneficiaries of your transcendental labour of love, which you undertook when you walked on this earth. When Your Divine Grace landed on American soil in Boston in 1965, you appeared empty-handed to the material eyes of this world but your heart was loaded with faith in the holy name. You succeeded in spreading the glories of the Hare Krishna mantra and bhagavat dharma all over the world in a short span of 12 years. On arriving in Boston, Srila Prabhupada, you wrote a very moving poem in your diary. Some relevant portions of the poem are:
1) My dear Lord Krishna, You are so kind upon this useless soul, but I do not know why You have brought me here. Now You can do whatever You like with me.
2) But I guess You have some business here, otherwise why would You bring me to this terrible place?
3) Most of the population here is covered by the material modes of ignorance and passion. Absorbed in material life, they think themselves very happy and satisfied, and therefore they have no taste for the transcendental message of Vasudeva. I do not know how they will be able to understand it.
4) But I know Your causeless mercy can make everything possible because You are the most expert mystic.
5) How will they understand the mellows of devotional service? O Lord, I am simply praying for Your mercy so that I will be able to convince them about Your message.
6) All living entities have become under the control of the illusory energy by Your will, and therefore, if You like, by Your will they can also be released from the clutches of illusion.
7) I wish that You may deliver them. Therefore, if You so desire their deliverance, then only will they be able to understand Your message.
8) He will become liberated from the influence of the modes of ignorance and passion and thus all inauspicious things accumulated in the core of the heart will disappear.
9) How will I make them understand this message of Krishna consciousness? I am very unfortunate, unqualified and the most fallen. Therefore, I am seeking Your benediction so that I can convince them, for I am powerless to do so on my own.
10) Somehow or other, O Lord, You have brought me here to speak about You. Now, my Lord, it is up to You to make me a success or failure as You like.
11) O spiritual master of all the worlds! I can simply repeat Your message, so if You like You can make my power of speaking suitable for their understanding.
12) Only by Your causeless mercy will my words become pure. I am sure that when this transcendental message penetrates their hearts they will certainly feel gladdened and thus become liberated from all unhappy conditions of life.
13) O Lord, I am just like a puppet in Your hands. So if You have brought me here to dance, then make me dance, make me dance, O Lord, make me dance as You like.
And finally the last line in this poem is especially very moving. Srila Prabhupada, you express your humility,
14) I have no devotion, nor do I have any knowledge, but I have strong faith in the holy name of Krishna I have been designated as Bhaktivedanta, and now, if You like, You can fulfil the real purport of Bhaktivedanta.
“Signed—the most unfortunate, insignificant beggar
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami,
On board the ship Jaladuta, Commonwealth Pier,
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Dated 18th of September, 1965”
Reading this poem today, at a time in history when the Hare Krishna Movement is spread all over the world, while simultaneously looking back in time to 1965, when there was nothing of the Hare Krishna Movement except a trunk of books and your strong faith in the holy name, no one can escape the fact that your life on this earth and every activity of yours is a lila, or personal pastime between the holy name and Your Divine Grace.
Today, your lila with the holy name is continuing even more intensely all over the earth, transforming the hearts of millions through the chanting of Hare Krishna. Only fools think that your preaching project is over, and now we have to preach. But this perspective is soon set aside when one observes how your transcendental will is still acting in the lives of those who read your books. Just this fact alone is the proof that you never die. You live in your books, your lectures, your conversations, your deity, your preaching visions and ambitions, even more intensely than when you lived physically on this earth.
Your preaching spirit is unquenchable. Whether you physically walk on this earth or not, you are active in expanding the mission of Lord Chaitanya. You have chosen to act through so many of your followers to fulfil your visions by giving them inspiration, guidance and spiritual power to carry out the same. Only fools think you are gone and now we need a living guru. You taught the eternal principle that guru is always living. If someone says there is a need for a ‘living guru,’ it is certainly blasphemous, because while saying that, there has to be an assumption that there are also dead gurus. This is indeed a totally concocted theory.
In fact your pastime on this earth with the holy name has gone on to another mode, after 1977, a more merciful mode beyond physical limitations. There are thousands of mystical experiences and realizations every day, of devotees all over the world, of bountiful reciprocation of different kinds from Your Divine Grace. This is not at all surprising when we remember a conversation, you had with a reporter:
Reporter: What will happen to the movement in United States when you die?
Srila Prabhupada: I will never die!
Devotees: Jaya! Haribol! (laughter)
Srila Prabhupada: I will live forever from my books and you will utilize.
(SP interview, Berkeley, 17/5/75)
Indian Lady: …is that the spiritual master will be guiding after death?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, yes. Just like Krishna is guiding us, similarly spiritual master will guide.
(SP Lecture 23/09/69)
Srila Prabhupada, you revealed to this world the greatest secret of the good fortune of modern times, despite the most fallen nature of Kali yuga. You revealed in a lecture on Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila 20.245-255 in December 16, 1966, New York:
“So in this yuga, this Kali-yuga, incarnation is Lord Chaitanya, and the process of worship is this sound vibration. That is mentioned. In every avatara, every incarnation… Just like Lord Buddha. His name is also mentioned. And there will be another incarnation, Kalki. That is also mentioned. So they are mentioned, yugavatara. And shaktyaveshavatara. shaktyaveshavatara. All avataras, their mission is to preach the message of God. Avatara has no other business. The message of God. shaktyaveshavatara.”
This Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, this is also considered shaktyavesha avatara, the incarnation of sound. Incarnation of sound. It is described by Lord Chaitanya that kali-kale nama rupe avatara: “In this Kali-yuga, in this age, this incarnation of name—Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare—to give facility to the conditioned soul.” Namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-shakti. Shakti, this word is used, shakti. And from shakti, that energy, shaktya avatara. So this name is also shaktyaveshavatara.
Anyone who is chanting Hare Krishna is being touched by this most merciful incarnation of Lord Krishna, and thus gets access to all the pure spiritual energies needed to get liberated from this illusory world. This is a great reason for excitement and hope for the entire humanity. Krishna Nama, in His incarnation on earth, is most mercifully engaged in the lila of liberating millions of living entities on this earth. We can say that we are all recipients of the mercy of the Nama avatara. We have been personally touched by His mercy only due to Your Divine Grace, Srila Prabhupada.
The current time period is a golden period on earth, to be rejoiced and celebrated due to Lord Krishna’s absolute sound or Krishna Nama’s active lila on this earth in His materially audible sound form: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, the shaktyavesha avatara.
Though the greatest thing in the universe that is happening on this earth today is the lila of the shaktyavesha avatara of Krishna Nama, many innocent people on this very earth miss it out. It is purely in our hands, as your servants, to make the world aware of this by presenting the truth to the innocent. On hearing this, simple people will embrace the greatest truth of Krishna consciousness.
Srila Prabhupada, you are the current link of the mission of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Who is Krishna Himself, appearing 500 years back to inaugurate the Hare Krishna Movement on this earth. The wonderful spiritual revolution that led to millions of people taking to chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra, also establishes Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s proclamation and prophesies that Lord Krishna has appeared in the form of His holy names in this age and His name will be sung in every town and village. His names appear externally and tangibly as gross sound to enable us mortals vibrate them with our material tongues.
kali-kāle nāma-rūpe kṛṣṇa-avatāra
nāma haite haya sarva-jagat-nistāra
In this Age of Kali, the holy name of the Lord, the Hare Krishna mahamantra, is the incarnation of Lord Krishna. Simply by chanting the holy name, one associates with the Lord directly. Anyone who does this is certainly delivered.
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita Adi 17.22)
nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis
tatrārpitā niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ
etādṛśī tava kṛpā bhagavan mamāpi
durdaivam īdṛśam ihājani nānurāgaḥ
O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names, like Krishna and Govinda. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach You by Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them.
(Sri Shikshashtaka verse 2)
Srila Prabhupada you explained analytically how the merciful omnipotent Lord appears in our midst to our material perception as an incarnation.
“O completely peaceful Lord, although material nature, fruitive activities and their consequent material names and forms are Your creation, You are unaffected by them. Therefore, Your transcendental name is different from material names, and Your form is different from material forms. You assume a form resembling a material body just to give us instructions like those of Bhagavad-gita, but actually You are the supreme original person. I therefore offer my respectful obeisance unto You.”
God’s own personal existential substance or identity and personality and His names are non-different from each other. The first contains the second and the second contains the first. The Lord’s name which is non-different from Him, expands Himself as the sat-cit-ananda sound form of the Hare Krishna nama, resembling the Hare Krishna nama that we vibrate with our material tongue. Then He incarnates and resides in that fully spiritualized vibrating vigraha to receive the services offered to Him and to distribute His mercy. He is not limited by the limitations of the matter forming that vigraha. By the will of the Lord, this external spiritualized vibrational vigraha is invested or packed with all the spiritual energies of the Lord that always accompany the Lord to serve Him.
Such is the unlimited nature of the empowered sound vigraha. Although appearing to be limited to space and time and substance, He is making Himself accessible for the devotees to serve Him. He is omnipotent sound, and is beyond the limitations of space, time and substance. Only love and compassion of the Lord for the conditioned souls is the governing principle for the lilas of the incarnation, without any phenomenal limitations. Simply by hearing the vibration, by engaging our ‘attention’ on the specific details of the sound of such an incarnation, we are touching the Absolute Person. Specific details of the Absolute itself are the personality of incarnation. The specific details of this sound are non-different from God Himself since He has, out of His own sweet will, become these specific details as per the form of incarnation.
Thus you taught us the transcendental science of Deity incarnations and shabda incarnations by which devotees can understand that they never worship mere symbols or idols or stone or metal or material vibration nor any temporary personality of three modes of material nature. They worship and serve His transcendental personality, and not any material energy, although they are still in the dimensions of the material life, with material senses. Even the matter energy of the Deity is not just what our senses see, once the Lord enters it. That vigraha itself is the shaktyavesha avatara. Entire universal energies and sat-chit-ananda personal energies are connected to the purified matter body of the vigraha. It is no longer a separated chunk of matter though it appears so to our senses to be so, even materially. Even the entire material energy or viratrupa of the Lord is inside the matter body of every incarnation of God. Thus the incarnation of the Lord is absolutely complete in all aspects.
Thus the transcendental sat-chit-ananda nama avatara vigraha gives an opportunity for the devotees to serve Him in that form, by being tangible to his senses while chanting and hearing and serving and engaging, as He engages them in His lila of liberating jivas and causelessly gifting them Krishna consciousness. You have created this eternal fortune for people on this earth even when we are trapped in our conditioned state of existence. There is no way to measure the value of what you have given this world by your transcendental tapasya.
nāma cintāmaṇiḥ kṛṣṇaś
pūrṇaḥ śuddho nitya-mukto
‘The holy name of Krishna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Krishna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Krishna’s name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Krishna Himself. Since Krishna’s name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with maya. Krishna’s name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Krishna and Krishna Himself are identical.’
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita Madhya 17.133)
You taught that the sound vibration of Hare Krishna mahamantra is Chaitanya rasa vigraha. He is self-effulgent, unlimitedly loving, self-intelligent person, fully pure (purna shudda), eternally liberated (nitya mukta) and who is Krishna Himself appearing before us in that vibrational form of His name sound. And that holy name is infinite knowledge and infinite intelligence and infinite love of God Himself, inconceivably and mercifully descended into the vibration that we vibrate with our material tongue, because of the desires of His devotees. Thus God is the Hare Krishna external sound, and God is in the external Hare Krishna sound simultaneously. It is unbelievable that you have given us all the greatest fortune of being involved in the lila of the yuga avatara in the form of the Hare Krishna movement.
You have taught and demonstrated to the world, through the life transformations in thousands of devotees, that if the Hare Krishna nama shaktyavesha avatara is pleased by sincere devotional service of attentive chanting and hearing, then He enlightens them with pure self-knowledge within a very short time. It liberates them from misidentification with matter by awakening their spiritual intelligence, mind and senses. If we submit ourselves to the shaktyavesha avatara for association, the Lord will enter our life in all its details as we surrender to Him. Gradually He will mercifully reveal to us the absolute emotional vocabulary and language of transcendental world, and take us to that transcendental world.
You made our life so simple by giving us this eternal relationship with the shaktyavesha avatar through our daily service of chanting and hearing. You gave us the greatest opportunity of making it our aspiration of life to surrender and serve Him and His mission, every moment of our life. And you continually guide and empower us as His servants, to execute His will on this earth.
This needs no more corroboration than the fact that this Hare Krishna Movement was started by Srila Prabhupada in a New York storefront, facing a park populated by hippies engaged in all kinds of sinful activities. They were the first recipients of the mercy of the holy name incarnation in the western world.
As in your poem, while you had prayed to Krishna to use you as a puppet, the holy name used you as the glorious spiritual master or Jagad Guru or Acharya to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world. You have made millions fortunate, and continue to do so, by making them participate in Krishna-Nama Lila on this earth. All glories to Your Divine Grace! The service that you were blessed and empowered to do by Lord Chaitanya in distributing the Hare Krishna mahamantra, is unprecedented in the transcendental or Puranic history known to us. Just as Srila Haridasa Thakur was called Nama Acharya, it is only appropriate, Srila Prabhupada, that you be known as the Nama Prachar Acharya of the modern age.
Srila Prabhupada, you said that this Hare Krishna Movement will usher in a golden period on this earth. The dawn of such a golden period is already being witnessed by those who have started serving the holy name incarnation in the form of sankirtana and japa of Hare Krishna.
How this golden period will bring about great happiness on earth is explained by Your Divine Grace in one of your Bhagavatam purports:
“The holy name of the Lord is so powerful that whether it is chanted jokingly or seriously the effect of vibrating this transcendental sound will be equally distributed. It is not possible at the present moment to perform repeated yajnas as Maharaja Parikshit performed, but it is within our means to perform sankirtana yagna, which does not cost anything. One can sit down anywhere and chant Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. If the surface of the globe is over-flooded with the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra, the people of the world will be very, very happy.” (Purport SB 4.24.10)
“So, Bhagavad-gita or Srimad Bhagavatam or Krishna’s name, Krishna’s form, Krishna’s pastime, anything about Krishna – they are one. Abhinnatvān nāma-nāminoh. Abhinnatvan, that is not separated. Therefore, by chanting this Hare Krishna mahamantra, you directly contact with Krishna. Abhinnatvān nāma-nāminoh. Krishna is the nāminoh, and Hare Krishna mantra is His name. But they are abhinna. Otherwise, how this Hare Krishna movement is being so quickly appreciated all over the world? Because there is no difference between chanting of Hare Krishna mantra and meeting Krishna eye to eye, face-to-face. There is no difference. Simply one has to realize. The more you become purified by chanting this Hare Krishna mantra, you see Krishna face to face.”
So by chanting this Hare Krishna mantra, even the lowest of the mankind, naradhama, he can become a sadhu. “What is evidence how one can become sadhu simply by chanting?” Yes. Narottama dasa Thakura says, papa tapa yata chilo, hariname uddharilo tara saksi jagai and madhai. Just see how Jagai-Madhai became sadhu. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, by introducing this sankirtana movement, He is making everyone sadhu. This is Krishna consciousness movement. Everyone is becoming sadhu. Bhajate mam ananya-bhak.
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.13 — February 20, 1976, Mayapur)
Srila Prabhupada, you have created an exciting opportunity for everyone to participate in this Krishna Nama’s mission on earth. This is an eternal privilege. It is a mission, even larger than that which Krishna performed 5000 years ago. It is a mission on earth with God as Krishna Nama and Your Divine Grace and Lord Chaitanya as our leader. You are actively involved in inspiring your visions into your followers to distribute the mercy of the holy name.
Yours is not a call to devotees to become aloof and involve in bhajana all day long, but a call to involve everything that the world has to offer, as long as they align with His desires, to serve Him. A good japa of 16 malas in the morning, as instructed by Your Divine Grace will give us divine engagement for the whole day under the guidance and empowerment by the holy name directly; just as much as Arjuna did, in his service to fight for Krishna. Blessed are we who are inspired by Your Divine Grace to serve the mission of the Lord.
Srila Prabhupada, you were specially chosen by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to do the work of taking the sankirtana movement to every nook and corner of this world. In a morning walk conversation on January 4, 1976 in Nellore, devotees asked Your Divine Grace a question:
Devotee : Prabhupada, they said that if Chaitanya Mahaprabhuwanted Krishna consciousness in the Western countries, why didn’t He go there Himself? That’s what they told us.
Prabhupada: So He left the credit for me. (laughter)
Devotees: Jaya! Haribol!”
Srila Prabhupada, you spent several years in intense Nama bhajana at Sri Radha Damodar temple in Vrindavan before leaving for the USA. Your Divine Grace has stated that you live there eternally, in your bhajana kutir at Sri Radha Damodar temple, the very same place where the bhajana kutirs and samadhis of Srila Rupa Goswami and Srila Jiva Goswami are situated. Srila Prabhupada, you have said that spot is the most sacred spot in the universe. I am eternally grateful to you for taking ISKCON Bangalore to do some service of renovation of Rupa Goswami’s samadhi and bhajana kutir. It is your personal service to Rupa Goswami, and you are kindly engaging your servants to serve the most sacred spot in the universe.
Today the chanting of the Hare Krishna Nama by the lips of a pure devotee is available to one and all. By divine arrangement, electronic technology was utilised to capture by recording of the sound vibrated by Srila Prabhupada. This is a unique good fortune of people of the modern age. Anyone who has developed respect for His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada and your servants, just by hearing this recording, can get initiated into transcendental service of the Hare Krishna Nama and achieve perfection in life. This recorded chanting is eternally vibrating to enter the hearts of the conditioned souls of this age.
Such are the good times on this earth today that Lord Chaitanya and Srila Prabhupada have unleashed as the Hare Krishna Movement all over the world. Anyone who has heard from Srila Prabhupada to chant Hare Krishna, by simply repeating purely the Hare Krishna Nama with faith to others, can also transmit this mercy. Kindly give us the strength to make it our life’s mission to engage more and more people in chanting the Hare Krishna maha mantra.
We were entangled in so many sinful deeds and were misled souls of the modern world. We were greedy and mad after sense gratification and wealth. You have blessed us fallen souls exactly like Haridas Thakur blessed the prostitute and situated her in the highest spiritual status of perfection. By your causeless mercy alone was it possible for such a transformation.
Today millions of us who have fallen into the dark age of Kali are being blessed by coming in contact with the Hare Krishna Movement. The age of electronics/technology that has manifest today is only by the Lord’s will to facilitate Lord Chaitanya’s prophesy to bring about a Golden Age of Kali yuga. Technology will enable one to hear the holy name and hundreds of lectures directly from the lips of Your Divine Grace. You have left behind your wonderful books about which you said:
These books I have recorded and chanted, and they are transcribed. It is spoken kirtanas. So book distribution is also chanting. These are not ordinary books. It is recorded chanting. Anyone who reads, he is hearing.
(Letter to: Rupanuga, Mayapur 19, October, 1974. )
If one sits back and thinks, one cannot imagine the potentially immense good fortune available to anyone today, if one gets to read the books of Srila Prabhupada and decides to surrender to Srila Prabhupada, taking him as one’s eternal spiritual master, to attain love of Godhead.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu instructed everyone to become shiksha gurus: yare dekho, tare kaha Krishna upadesha. Your Divine Grace wanted everyone to become guru on this basis and spread Krishna consciousness. Let us all, as disciples of Srila Prabhupada, use the power of all organisational strengths to distribute in a large scale, prasadam, holy name and your books. And give a chance to everyone on the earth to taste the nectarean sat-chit-ananda mercy of the sound incarnation of Lord Krishna – Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Please give us the strength to please you, Srila Prabhupada, by distributing the eternal gifts that we have received from Your Divine Grace.
Thank you Srila Prabhupada, for giving us the Hare Krishna Nama Prabhu and giving us most beautiful Deities of Sri Sri Radha Krishnachandra at Bangalore, Sri Sri Vrindavan Chandra at Vrindavan, Sri Sri Radha Madhava at Ahmedabad Sri Sri Krishna Balaram at Jaipur and Mysore. An opportunity to serve Prahlada Narasimha, Srinivasa Govinda and Nitai Gauranga, and enabling us to offer our humble service in a most tangible manner.
To be successful in serving His mission, Lord Chaitanya’s only dictum is trnad api sunicena, taror api sahishnuna and amanina maanadena kirtaniya sada hari. Being humbler than a blade of grass and more tolerant than a tree and not to expect any respect for oneself but ready to give respect to all. Srila Prabhupada, to gain these two qualifications is impossible without your causeless mercy. On this auspicious day, I offer my loud crying prayers at your lotus feet, “Please, make me more humble and tolerant, please make me more humble and tolerant, please make more humble and tolerant.”
Nama Prachar Acharya – His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada ki jai!
Your eternal servant, aspiring to be always at your lotus feet,
Madhu Pandit Dasa