Radhanath Swami Offering to Prabhupad
I am so grateful to all of you, for kindly coming tonight to make this most auspicious occasion all the more glorious. Srila Prabhupad… we want to decorate him with a garland of millions and millions and billions of flowers; each flower, a devotee willing to give their lives to assist him in his loving mission of spreading pure love of God, Krishna consciousness throughout the world. I would like to read something very beautiful that perhaps no one has heard before.
Srila Prabhupad’s conviction in the blessings of his spiritual master:
Recently I was in New York city for Jaganatha Rath Yatra and just days before, one devotee who had Prabhupad’s original two diaries, told that he had these diaries. One was that of the Jaladuta and the other was the first year that he was living in America. At this time, Srila Prabhupad, he had no money, he had no support, no friends, practically no place to stay and his God brothers and his well wishers in India were pleading with him, ‘you are old, you are 70 years old. The mission that you have embarked upon, spreading sanatana dharma, Krishna consciousness in America, it is impossible. We have tried it, cannot be done, come home.’ Srila Prabhupad had only one thing. He had the blessings and the instructions of his spiritual master and that gave him infinite strength and determination to continue on. What we are about to read in this confidential diary reveals some of the internal conditions and experiences that Srila Prabhupad had to go through to bring Krishna consciousness to our lives. When someone does something very, very difficult and performs great struggle to help us, we are naturally indebted. What Srila Prabhupad did for us, we have an eternal debt and we should be willing to give our life, our soul, our everything to pay even a particle of that great debt.
An excerpt from the diary of Srila Prabhupad:
This is a passage – February 3rd, 1966, Thursday. Srila Prabhupad writes ‘today there was a very nice demonstration of tape record Sankirtan by me. It is all grace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Haridas Thakur said that the transcendental sound of Hari naam would even purify the hearts of birds and beasts. Today, this statement of Thakur Haridas is corroborated, confirmed. These Americans cannot even understand a word’s meaning of the Sankirtan and yet, they were so much attracted. It is all Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s power; there is no credit for me.’ Srila Prabhupad is teaching us here the true qualities of a disciple and a devotee. Although what he did has never been done before in the history of mankind, but yet this is not something that he expected to be published to show the world his humility. This was his own thoughts, confidentially revealed that ‘no credit is for me.’ Whatever progress is made in Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s movement, he declared it to be the mercy of Sri Chaitanya. And yet we expect credit for what we do. We are like insects in what we are doing compared to the astronomical service of Srila Prabhupad and we want to take credit. But Srila Prabhupad took no credit. He gave all credit to his Gurudev and Krishna. And Srila Prabhupad explained that this was the actual secret, reason why he was so empowered because he was simply the humble messenger of Gurudev, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati. I want you to please listen to this next passage very carefully. I hope that by reading it, it will change your lives forever more and understand the true glory of Srila Prabhupad’s divine mercy.
Sunday, march 6th, 1966.
Sunrise at 6.30. Sunset at 5.53. Moonrise at 5.28.
Today, whole day passed at Munroe Ananda ashram. In the morning there was kirtan and it was very much appreciated. Return for Munroe at 6 pm. Talk with Mr. Mazid of Iran, interested in spiritual rejuvenation for the world. Took lessons for more than 1 ½ hours. According to Mayapur panjaka, today is Adivas day of Gaur Purnima. Devotees at Vrindavan and Navadvip are enjoying the celebration. I am here alone without any devotee companion but I have come here to serve the Lord and not for personal happiness. I am prepared to live in hell even if I am able to do service to the Lord. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wanted that His mission should be propagated all over the world and that is my objective. I do not mind the inconvenience personally felt. And under this particular passage, Srila Prabhupad signed ‘A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami.’
Maharaj says, ‘Please give Prabhupad’s mission your lives’:
I don’t believe I can say anything after Srila Prabhupad’s divine words. What we see what he went through, what type of struggle to be even bereft of all association of devotees, to live with the lowest classes of society; and on this day of Gaur Purnima, he was meditating on the wonderful celebrations that his God brothers and all the other vaishnavas were enjoying. But he was alone, sitting in a little room; nobody even knew that he existed. But he didn’t mind because it was Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s desire that the Holy name be spread throughout the world. The perfection of our life is simply to strive to follow in his holy foot prints and make the mission of our Gurudev our life and soul. Today on Srila Prabhupad’s most auspicious appearance, he has appeared in those most wonderful and glorious murti to give us an opportunity to engage in his personal service and by his divine presence; he will receive our offerings with great joy. The offering I would like to make to Srila Prabhupad, this evening, is the offering of all of your lives at his lotus feet and there is nothing that will bring him greater joy. Please give his mission your lives. Thank you very much!
At this time, we will perform pushpanjali where we all offer flowers to Srila Prabhupad the way it’s done… someone can distribute these two baskets of flowers. First, I will chant word by word the prayers of Srila Prabhupad’s pranam mantra and everyone kindly repeat very, very loudly with great feeling after me and when I say, ‘esha pushpanjali’, everyone kindly with great feeling and devotion, offer your flowers at the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupad. We should know that at one occasion, Srila Prabhupad, during the vyas Puja of his spiritual master, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati, he said that ‘this celebration should not simply be an offering of flowers. When we are offering our flowers, we should know that these flowers are symbolic of our hearts, of our consciousness and of our lives.’ Through these flowers we should meditate upon offering our body, our mind, our words and our very lives to assist his wonderful mission in the service of his lotus feet. After the pushpanjali, immediately we will begin Srila Prabhupad’s Maha Arati. This is perhaps the most glorious Arati of the year. So we should chant so tumultuously that the whole world may hear the glories of the holy name. What will please Srila Prabhupad more than this? You should dance very joyfully. Now we are going to offer these flowers three times, so offer one-third at a time. In Chaitanya Charitamrita, Srila Prabhupad has written that ‘the purpose of the preachers of the Krishna consciousness movement is not simply to defeat people with philosophy and arguments. The purpose of this Krishna consciousness movement is that the preachers induce everyone to chant the Hare Krishna Maha mantra.’ So let us bring the ultimate joy that Srila Prabhupad experiences by lovingly and intimately together in a united mood of service to chant the holy names.