Sri Vyasa Puja 1999
Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my humble obeisances on this most blessed day of your transcendental appearance.
nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine
namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine
Just a month or so before you left us Srila Prabhupada, I had the great fortune to be the recipient of your special mercy. At that time you beautifully displayed all the saintly qualities of a Paramahamsa Sadhu. Remembering this event strengthens me and deepens my appreciation and love for you. With your kind permission Srila Prabhupada, I would like to recall those special moments today. Your mercy is truly all that I am made of. Although I’m not doing much to spread your mission, I humbly beg you not to give up on me. There may still be a chance that I can do something. Please don’t kick me away.
Your insignificant disciple, Jaya Sila Dasa
The Srimad Bhagavatam. 3.25.21 presents six (6) essential qualities by which a Paramahansa Vaisnava is to be known.
The symptoms of a sadhu are that he is tolerant, merciful and friendly to all living entities. He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides by the scriptures, and all his characteristics are sublime.
With only a month or so to go before your final departure Srila Prabhupada, the kaviraja explained that you must have been experiencing excruciating pain. There was no flesh left on your body to cushion the nerves from pressing directly onto the bones… an unbearable condition. Personally when we are even a little sick our tendency is to avoid anything that may cause inconvenience or difficulty. But when a young disciple came to see you in your final days Srila Prabhupada, you didn’t consider your own discomfort; you tolerated all bodily pains just to fan this disciple’s tiny spark of Krishna consciousness.
You instructed your servant to “bring this young boy to my room.” Why? What could you possibly have to gain from speaking to a young neophyte disciple? You already knew that you would be leaving very soon, so you weren’t interested in utilizing the few dollars guru-daksina that had been offered, or in the possibility of receiving some bodily service… you already had so many personal servants. What was your motivation for calling me? The obvious answer is “cause less mercy”.
You cared so much for you disciples (and all conditioned souls) that your very life’s breath was dedicated to creating our good fortune. You asked me what service I was doing and seemed pleased that I was enthusiastic to bring ghee to India. It was obvious that you were physically exhausted, but you sat and listened and then instructed me to continue making money so that it could be used for book distribution. Your final act of mercy before reclining back onto your bed was to offer me the huge tulasi garland that you were wearing (a leaf of which I still keep in my ‘Prabhupada locket’). You had absolutely no obligation to communicate with me at all. You weren’t seeing anyone. But you couldn’t help yourself; you called me to your lotus feet and bestowed your causeless mercy upon me. I can never repay you.
(3) A friend to all living entities
“A friend in need is a friend indeed”. Your actions clearly demonstrate that you are the ‘real friend’ who knows what is in our real self-interest. Krishna is known as ‘suridam sarva bhutanam’ the friend of all living entities. In Bhagavad-gita you write that the Lord’s pure devotees know and pursue the Lord’s purpose of delivering the conditioned souls even more than the Lord Himself. Even during your last days with us, when most sadhus would be absorbed in thoughts of their own personal (or impersonal) salvation, your meditation was how to be the eternal friend. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, my dear most friend and eternal spiritual master.
(4) He is no one’s enemy
You never considered yourself to be anyone’s enemy. You always worked for the spiritual benefit of all others, even when there appeared to be some conflict of interest. Your words of chastisement were only aimed at raising the beneficiary to the spiritual platform. Although I was a bumbling young fool, you didn’t see me as someone who had come to disturb you… rather you took it as another opportunity to continue rendering unmotivated and uninterrupted devotional service. Like the Lord… you could only see the good.
(5) He abides by all the sastras
You lived as the person Bhagavatam. And up to your last breath you translated and gave your purports on the book Bhagavatam. In your final days you absorbed yourself in hearing Srimad Bhagavatam… following the ultimate instruction to always be absorbed in Hari-kirtan. The basis of your life was Bhagavad-gita, and your only solace in times of difficulty was Sri Caitanya Caritamrita. Only by seeing through the eyes of sastra (sastra caksus) you often explained, can one return to the lotus feet of the Lord. As the great Acarya for the modem age, you taught us by your example of always living according to the sastras. We sincerely thank you for the opportunity to follow in your footsteps.
(6) All his characteristics are sublime
Your thinking; feeling; and willing; your intelligence; the way you walked holding your head high; your smile; your every gesture… was always connected to Krishna. When you called me to see you back in October 1977, 1 had the direct experience of being smiled upon by someone whose characteristics were all sublime.
Wonderful Krishna! … Wonderful Prabhupada!
Jaya Sila Dasa