A Letter to Srila Prabhupada

Shyam Gopal Das - September 7, 2004 10:34 am

I wrote the following to Srila Prabhupada, because today is his appearance day. I would like to share it with you and hope I won't offend anyone by doing this. If I have made any false/offense statements, please let me know.




Dear Srila Prabhupada,


please accept my humble obeisances.


Writing to you is not an easy accomplishment for me. While I sit behind my computer thinking about what to write, I am reminded how I got in touch with Krishna consciousness. It was ultimately due to you who followed Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's vision to the utmost. Empowered by Nityananda Prabhu, you sailed over the oceans and landed in the darkest regions. With your torchlight of knowledge and devotion, you lightened the inner gardens of those souls you met. Serving you, they spread the movement even further reaching many souls and ultimately me.


More than ten years you blessed the western world with your physical presence. Much has happened since you disappeared. And much could be said about it. Rather, much should be learned. You left so many teachings to those who were never able to personally associate with you, like me. The danger is that I put these books high above my head, which I do in praise, but fail to understand what is taught within. Your teachings are not passive, they should be lived. Merely playing your lectures and reading your books is not enough. I should do my best to understand them and to live them. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura said in this regard: "The student is to read the facts with a view to create, and not with the object of fruitless retention. Students like satellites should reflect whatever light they receive from authors and not imprison the facts and thoughts just as the Magistrates imprison the convicts in the jail! Thought is progressive."

I feel pain in my heart when I see people putting you on a high pedestal and instead of coming closer distance themselves from your teachings. Sri Guru is a satellite, not a mere container. Looking at my Guru Maharaj, Srila BV Tripurari Maharaj, I find this too be true. He embodies your teachings together with your beloved Godbrother, Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj's teachings. Now it is my duty to become the satellite of your satellite.


Writing this, I am reminded of how hard I found it to approach you. You seemed so distant, so far away. I never knew how to view you. Then my Guru Maharaj found me and showed me how the Guru-parampara system works. Thanks to his mercy, I feel a little bit closer. And I have realized by serving my Guru Maharaj I'm serving the whole parampara, and thus, you too. Now, I just wish for the day that I will serve my Guru Maharaj and the whole parampara. Please let my inner garden be lit, and the flowers blossom, so I can offer my heart unto my Guru Maharaj.


the aspiring servant of the servants of your servants,


Syama Gopala dasa

Swami - September 18, 2004 4:01 pm

I came across the followinge. I think Sri Jiva says it all here.


tad evam kalau nama kirtana pracara prabhavenaiva bhagavata parayanatva siddhir darsita, "On the strength of preaching nama sankirtana in Kali-yuga one becomes seen as a siddha parama-bhagavata." (Bhakti-sandarbha 274)


Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!