Letter for Shrila Prabhupada Vyasapuja 2016
Dear Shrila Prabhupada, please accept my humble obeisances at Your lotus feet.
cakshur unmilitam yena
tasmai shri-gurave namah
Nama om vishnu-padaya krishna-preshthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta swamin iti namine
Namaste sarasvati deve gaura-vani-pracharine
This year we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of ISKCON and I wish to live it dedicated to Your memory, Your teachings, Your endeavours and in spirit of friendship for Your dearest disciples.
ISKCON was Your organisational masterpiece, the vehicle by which in twelve intese years you brought five continents to know the value of the Bhakti Gudiya Vaishnava religious tradition, with particular reference to its literary masterpieces – like the Shri Caitanya-caritamrita, the books by the Vrindavana Goswamis and the best known Acharyas that succeeded them. In the footsteps of Shrila Jiva Goswami and Your guru Maharaja Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami, You accurately weaved an organic continuity through these books and the greatest Bhakti Vaishnava classics from antiquity - such as Ishopanishad, Bhagavad-gita, Narada-bhakti-sutras and Shrimad-Bhagavatam, which you wisely enhanced and modernised with your enlightening commentaries.
You prepared and completed this social, religious and spiritual project with Your entire life but you made it manifest during the last twelve years of Your glorious existence, at an age when most individuals retire from active life out of weariness and dejection. Just in those last years of Your earthly presence, You manifested your masterpiece: ISKCON.
Your masterpiece contributed to saving hundreds of thousands of young people from the desperation induced by a hedonistic lifestyle – an attitude that is irresponsible in so far as it is unaware of the extraordinary opportunity of having obtaining the rare gift of birth in the human form. As one of the many beneficiaries, I wish to express my immense gratitude and I do so by spreading Your teachings, remembering You on all occasions, public or private – and solemnly today, by celebrating Your sacred Vyasapuja.
This year, the day of your Vyasapuja falls on the fortieth anniversary of our first meeting.
My first darshana of Your Holy person in India, a memorable dialogue that change the substance and form of my life direction – as well as that of many people who, for Yours and Shri Krishna's mercy, and out of their good will, decided to follow me while I followed you as I still do. At the time of that existential turning point I was thirty-one; I was an idealist full of desires and hopes but without certitudes. Looking back on my life now, I identify my meeting with You as the most significant happening in my existence, its effects incessantly forging the centre of gravity of my consciousness.
Recognizing You right away as my guru, following and serving You without any interruption, shaping my life on Your teachings – all this activated a gradual process that transformed me on the inside and on the outside. My trasformation was spiritual and anthropological at the same time. A veritable revolution – entirely peaceful, beneficial and redeeming. Despite my human weaknesses, You inspired, governed and maintained constant the entire transformation process, day and night, during joy and sorrow. I feel for You immense gratitude and the intense desire to serve You every day with more sincerity and devout Love.
You didn't simply give me the Holy Name, You gave me the taste for a life in Bhakti through the example of Your life.
You were, are and will be my constant model of reference, in every time, place and circumstance.
You are my model in Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings.
You are my model as scholar of the Shastras You are my model as charismatic preacher in public.
You are my model as deeply compasssionate friend in private.
You are my model as disciple and guru.
You are for me infinitely more than sublime and wonderful ... You are the orthopraxy of Vaishnava Bhakti!
Despite my many imperfections, I ask Your blessings so that I may become Your loving servant and make Your work adequately known to the highest number of people and, through Your teachings, make them happily attain love for God, Bhagavan Shri Krishna.
Your servant disciple,