Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Srila Prabhupada Appearance Day Offering 2009

Srila Prabhupada Appearance Day Offering
By H.H. Radhanath Swami

I am grateful to be here on this most auspicious occasion of Srila Prabhupada’s Vyas Puja. Yesterday we celebratedJanmastami. Krsna appears in every yuga as the yuga avatar. He has numerous incarnations that come into this world. But only once in a day of Brahma, which means his day and night, which is described as 8 million 630 million years, Krsna appeared in His original transcendental form of Goloka, which is the highest planet in the spiritual world, with his most intimate devotees, Yasoda, Nanda, the sakhis, the sakhas. The special feature descended into this world just to attract the hearts of the conditioned souls into the intimate, loving pastimes of Vrindavan Dham, something that no other avatar can give.
And in that same day of Brahma, in the Kali Yuga that follows, Caitanya Mahaprabhu appears, with the original form of Krsna coming to taste the love of Srimati Radharani. And through the Harinaam sankirtan, to distribute that love to the whole world. Sometimes Srila Prabhupada would talk about Lord Caitanya and Lord Krsna’s descent as being very recent. Considering 500 years or 5000 years compared to 8 billion 630 million years – it is very recent.
H.D.G A.C Bhakti Vedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada is the first person, the empowered person… took the culture ofVrindavan as Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda revealed, as Sri Radha and Krsna manifested it, he took that to the whole world. For the first time since Krsna and Mahaprabhu, every day the sankirtan movement and the doors opening to Sri Vrindavan dham, the doors open to the whole world. That is the uniqueness, the specialness that SrilaPrabhupada has done. And more than that, who Srila Prabhupada is.
Srila Prabhupada stayed at Sri Radha Damodar temple, his neighbors were Sri Rupa Goswami, Sri Jiva Goswami. It was there that he translated the Srimad Bhagavatam into the English language, for the first time in history with the authorized commentaries, coming down from the previous acaryas. It has never been done before. It is the SrimadBhagavatam that reveals Krsna’s Vrindavan lila to the world.
Some days before we celebrated the anniversary on which Srila Prabhupada climbed the Jaladutta. 13th Augutst1965, Srila Prabhupada ascended the steps of that cargo ship. There were only 5 people who came to see him off and some of them were people he was staying with. Not prominent at all.
All he brought with him was a bag of cereal, an umbrella, his japa beads, 40 rupees and his boxes of books - SrimadBhagavatam. That was his mission to reveal Vrindavan to the world. Within about a week, when the ship was in the middle of the Arabian sea, he had 2 heart attacks, severe sea sickness. There was no doctor, no medical possessions, he couldn’t even write his diary. Finally after 5 days of suffering in that way, he wrote I had just crossed through a struggle between life and death. And then he writes that, “I am so far from Sri Vrindavan Dham. I am feeling such deep separation from Sri Vrindavan Dham. And my Lords Govinda, Gopinath and Radha Damodar. But my spiritual master Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, has ordered me to do this, based on the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu”, and then Srila Prabhupada writes, “I had no qualifications to carry out this order, I am completely depending upon their mercy, so far from the Sri Vrindavan Dham”.
In those feelings of separation which Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu bought, Vrindavan in his heart, to the Bowery in the lower east side, to San Francisco, to London, travelled the world 14 times. This was the sacrifice for the most exalted mission in the history of humanity to take the treasure which Lord Sri Krsna and Srimati Radharani descended to give us, to take that mission of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda Prabhu descended to give us, excess to the pastimes of Vrindavan and experience the love of residents of Vrindavan. Srila Prabhupada knew exactly how to do it and he did it. He prayed on the Jaladutta to Krsna, “Just make me a puppet, and make me dance as you want me to dance.”
Parampara means a disciplic line of puppets. We are all here to be puppets. Srila Prabhupada never took credit for anything he did, although he risked everything. He did such immense service, but he always said this is all by the mercy of Gurudev, Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati. And in one Vyas puja in London in 1973, the day after RadhaGokulananda was installed by Srila Prabhupada in the Bhakti Vedanta manor. Devotees from all over the world came to celebrate that appearance day. And what is interesting was that Srila Prabhupada was giving all credits to his disciples, to his grihasta disciples especially, he was talking about how he had just come out with Sri CaitanyaCaritamrita and all the credits goes to Pradyumna das whom he called Mahasoya. And then he started speaking about several of his disciples who did extraordinary service in carrying out Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati’s mission.
Srila Prabhupada as Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur has said, “He will do everything in due course. He planted the seed of pure bhakti to Sri Sri Radha and Krsna in millions and millions of hearts throughout the world. He had complete faith in Srimad Bhagavatam, complete faith in the holy name. He said that no one else had any confidence that he would succeed and no one else would come to his help in any way, in his old age after such severe heart crisis, his wish fulfilled and he did it and he gives all credit to his disciples and his Guru maharaj.
Mahajano yena yatha sapantha.. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, that “the path of perfection is to follow in the footsteps of great souls.” Srila Prabhupada thought us how to love in his purest, richest spiritual way.
Considering the exalted, rare and unique mission of Srila Prabhupada, we should feel ourselves so absolutely grateful and fortunate that we could help in any small way. He is the person who has come to this material existence for the first time in the history, only once in a day of Brahma to bring this Vrindavan consciousness to this world and we have a chance to assist him. It should not be taken lightly. One devotee Sthoka Krsna Prabhu – he was just married and had a baby, suddenly he got cancer and he was going to die within months, he was emaciated, he was paralyzed. He never asked “Why is this happening to me? who is going to take care of my baby daughter?” His questions were – “Why? Why did I have the great fortune? I didn’t deserve it, to chant the holy names of Krsna, with Srila Prabhupada devotees, … studying the SB with Srila Prabhupada, why was I allowed to associate with the devotees of Srila Prabhupada. Why I was, upon so many opportunities to assist Srila Prabhupada, in the supremely glorious mission.” He was simply grateful. We may have problems, we may have social problems, we may have health problems, and we may have relationship problems. In material world, these problems – they are very insignificant, compared to the full glorious luminous opportunity we have, in this mission of Srila Prabhupad to help in a small way we can, to be an instrument, in his compassion. Thank you very much!

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