HDG's Offerings to Srila Prabhupada

The following Vyasa-puja offerings were written by H.D. Goswami in honor of his spiritual master, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Nama Om Visnu-padaya Krsna-presthaya bhu-tale Srimate Bhaktivedanta Swamin iti namine
Namas te Sarasvate Deve Gaura-vani-pracarine nirvisesa-sunyavadi-pascatya-desa-tarine

Srila Prabhupada left this world almost forty years ago. He left us a powerful, relevant, international movement and asked us to expand it, or at least maintain it.

In some ways, we did expand and maintain his mission. In other important ways, we did not. Prabhupada often explained that his strategy to make the world Krishna conscious depended on ISKCON’s success in the Western world, since the world follows the West.

Prabhupada often declared that his greatest satisfaction was that in each country, especially in the West, he had built a movement with local people. I often heard Prabhupada tell the press, “These are American boys and girls. I did not import them from India.”

Prabhupada also emphasized that his temples existed mostly for preaching and that Deity worship was meant to support the central program, preaching, by keeping the preachers strong in Krishna consciousness.

You may judge for yourself to what extent Prabhupada’s vision has been maintained in Western temples.

In its 50th year, ISKCON has much to celebrate, and much to rationally fear for the future. The best offering to Prabhupada, for those who serve in the West, is to help to rebuild a powerful Western ISKCON, an ISKCON that attracts thousands of intelligent Western people. This is the best way to glorify Prabhupada on his appearance day, and on the other 364 days of the year.

Every day, throughout the world, ISKCON devotees glorify Prabhupada as “pascatya-desa-tarine,” the savior of the Western countries. Let us glorify Prabhupada by making his words come true, since he wrote his own pranama mantra. It is not easy for any of us to spread Prabhupada’s Western mission, but that is what we must do.

His servant who keeps trying,
Hridayananda dasa Goswami
August 26, 2016

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Dear Srila Prabhupada,
I bow at your lotus feet and offer you my eternal gratitude for your supreme, eternal gifts.

One morning as we walked with you through Rancho Park in Los Angeles, you stopped to make a crucial point. As we gathered round, you dramatically presented Bhagavad-gita 11.33, where Krishna tells Arjuna to “just be the instrument for actions that I have already performed.”

Dramatically playing the part of Krishna, you said, “Arjuna, do not think that any of these soldiers will go home to their families. I have already slain them. Now if you like, you be the instrument and I will give you the credit. Otherwise, someone else will get the credit, for it will be done by My arrangement.”

This is the subtle art of Krishna consciousness. As Lord Krishna, and you, warn us, we should not think that we are the doers. And, yet, you and Krishna encouraged us to “take the credit,” and in Krishna’s words “gain the glory,” by enthusiastically acting as Krishna’s instrument.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, Tenth Canto, the glorious King Yudhisthira resolves this paradox when he tells Krishna, “I want to perform the Rajasuya sacrifice, which brings great power and opulence, so that the world can see the advantage and the glory of serving You."

Please help me embrace your transcendental offer, following in Yudhisthira’s and your footsteps. You often proclaimed the success of our mission so that people would see the glory of Krishna and join Him. Please empower us now with preaching potency and humility so that in the right consciousness we may act as your empowered instruments to spread your mission.

Your servant,
Hridayananda das Goswami
September 6, 2015

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nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhutale
srimate bhaktivedant-svaminn iti namine

namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine

Dear Srila Prabhupada,
I bow at your feet.

One morning in December 1973, as a disciple drove you to Venice Beach to walk, I sat with you in the back seat. All the way down Venice Boulevard, you instructed me on the importance of our American mission. On many occasions, public and private, you declared the sovereign importance of your western mission. If America and Europe accepted Krishna consciousness, the world would follow.
Before leaving this world, you stated that you had completed the first half of your western mission: Krishna consciousness was spreading dramatically throughout the western world. ISKCON made its voice heard In the national conversations of many western countries. Transforming the western world was a living, present possibility, not a prophecy to be fulfilled “someday” after we are gone.
As I write this, I am three and a half years younger than you were when you boarded the Jaladuta and journeyed to America. Only Krishna knows how many years more He will give me in this world. Considering the entire situation, I have dedicated myself to this:
I want to again see your western mission growing dramatically. I want to again hear an influential ISKCON voice in the national conversations of western nations. I want to again dream a rational dream that Krishna will transform the world within my lifetime.
Prabhupada, you are an eternally liberated soul with nothing to gain or lose in this mad world. Still for your selfless pleasure, I pray that more than ever you empower all those eager to dedicate their lives to the second Hare Krishna explosion in the Western world.

With eternal gratitude,
Your servant,
Hridayananda das Goswami
August 18, 2014

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Nama Om Visnu-padaya Krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta swamin iti namine

Namas te Sarasvate Deve Gaura-vani-pracarine

Dear Srila Prabhupada,
I offer my sincere obeisances at your feet. You magnanimously bestowed on us Krishna consciousness with a 'lifetime warranty.' Just as during your manifest presence on earth, so now after your external disappearance, you continue to make Krishna consciousness work for a burgeoning global community of Vaishnavas.

You are the perpetual reference point of purity, determination, fearlessness, and devotion to Krishna. History will inevitably throw up varieties of lesser persons claiming to know and embody 'the way.' It is you Prabhupada that save the innocent from such lesser leaders, As Krishna says in the Gita 3.21, people in general follow 'srestha', the best, most excellent, most distinguished person among them. Had Krishna not sent and revealed you as truly the best person, many one-eyed gurus would have ruled the blind valley of the modern world.

We continue our lifelong task of finding the most appropriate balance between the twin historical imperatives of preservation and adaptation. We must preserve intact all that is essential in our supreme tradition. Yet a movement may lose itself not only through deviation, but also through fatal attrition, caused by a failure to include relevance among the items to be preserved.

Only you, Prabhupada, can bless us with the keen intelligence to properly balance preservation and adaptation. Only you can perfectly teach us to correctly discern the basic, the fundamental, the unchangeable, from the variable, protean, adaptable detail. We must earn your blessings by our genuine, earnest dedication to our own emancipation, and to that of the world. We must also balance attention to self, with attention to other souls. As Krishna teaches us in the Gita, and the Bhagavatam, in a world full of tensions, paradoxes, and competing just claims, we must find reasonable balance in all things.

On the holy day of your divine appearance, along with our expressions of gratitude, we congratulate you on your sublime descent to this world, your inimitable glorious deeds, and your immaculate departure. Kindly empower us more than ever to do your work in this baffled world.

Your eternal servant,
Hridayananda das Goswami
August 29, 2013

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nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhutale
srimate bhaktivedant-svaminn iti namine

namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine

Dear Srila Prabhupada,

It is said that "soft water wears away the stone." Your unceasing mercy, which springs spontaneously from your all-compassionate nature, gradually wears away the stone-like covering of our heart. With your pure, peerless Krishna consciousness you reveal the supreme reality of Krishna to all. With your unalloyed, unflagging determination to serve Lord Caitanya's mission, you ever remind us of, and inspire us to perform, our real duty in life.

Maturing and growing wiser in Krishna consciousness means to appreciate more and more your inestimable glories. You are the perfect teacher and friend, and on your Vyasa-puja day we beg to be useful in your mission.

Your servant,
Hridayananda das Goswami
August 10, 2012

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nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhutale
srimate bhaktivedant-svaminn iti namine

namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine

Dear Srila Prabhupada,
I offer my sincere obeisances to you.

In Krishna-lila, we find that various pure devotees enjoy different relationships with Krishna. We observe this principle when Krishna descends as Govinda, and also when He comes as Nimai Pandita to manifest the sankirtan movement. There is variety not only of rasas but of 'moods.' Thus among the servants of Mahaprabhu, some are bold, others meek, some innovative, others traditional.

As a pure devotee not different from Krishna, you accept and reciprocate the sincere devotion of varieties of ISKCON devotees. With great wisdom and foresight, you often insisted that within reasonable boundaries, we should respect the individuality of the diverse souls who come to you for shelter.

Everyone knows how you came to the West, how with pure devotion, you ingeniously established Krishna consciousness in America, and there upon throughout the world. You did this within a specific historical context. We, your followers, now struggle faithfully and creatively to continue your glorious legacy by trying to act with ingenuity and purity to keep Krishna consciousness relevant.

Before coming to the West, you strove with complete sincerity to spread Krishna consciousness in India, with results that did not at all satisfy you. Thus, you boarded the Jaladuta with a magnificent global strategy that you enacted with unique success. Your activities in India prior to coming West demonstrate, as you revealed to Giriraja Swami just before leaving this world, that both purity and intelligent strategy are needed to spread Lord Caitanya's divine mission.

On the holy day of Your Appearance, we pray that you bless us with purity and intelligence so that we can powerfully perpetuate your grand movement and serve you as worthy descendants.

Your servant,
Hridayananda das Goswami
August 22, 2011

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nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhutale
srimate bhaktivedant-svaminn iti namine

namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine

Dear Srila Prabhupada,

I bow at your lotus feet.

In your purport to Gita 3.30, you write, "The Lord instructs that one has to become fully Krishna conscious to discharge duties, as if in military discipline."

In our conditioned state it is natural that we, your followers, go through physical, emotional, and spiritual cycles in which our enthusiasm and energy for service wax and wane. Yet if we continue to faithfully serve you, we will steadily advance, even as we experience inevitable ups and downs.

With perfect purity, maturity, and compassion you, our loving spiritual father, guide us through life's struggles and guarantee the ultimate victory of those who remain faithfully engaged in serving your mission.

You are not merely a glorious theological category. You are a charming, inspiring, liberated soul with your own unique Krishna conscious personality. Learning to relate to you appropriately, we learn to relate to Krishna and other liberated souls. We prepare for our eternal life.

As always, on this day we thank you best by rededicating ourselves to the fulfillment of your selfless desires, which are truly the desires of Krishna Himself.

Thank you for everything, Srila Prabhupada.

Your servant,
Hridayananda das Goswami
September 2, 2010

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In 1971, I wrote to Srila Prabhupada asking if I could address him as my spiritual father. He wrote back saying that he was indeed my spiritual father, and that the Gayatri mantra was the spiritual mother. With the combination of father and mother, the disciple takes second birth. As we continue to receive the unstinting mercy of our eternal guide, Srila Prabhupada, we continue to grow spiritually, and indeed intellectually and emotionally, since all our faculties rest on the spirit. With our growth in Krishna consciousness, it is natural that we discover an ever more mature relationship with Srila Prabhupada, even as we learn to appreciate him with ever greater insight.

As Prabhupada progressively frees us from our blind attachment to our temporary bodies, and to this temporary world, we are able to increasingly appreciate his own spiritual purity and perfection. We can see with far greater clarity that Prabhupada's glory lies in his selfless devotion to Lord Krishna.

Once in a morning Bhagavatam class in New Dvaraka, Prabhupada said, "People give me credit for spreading this movement, but I take no credit. If, however, you insist on giving me some credit, then it is simply this: that I never tried to take Krishna's position." Srila Prabhupada is the only person I ever met about whom I can say with complete certainty, that everything he did, he did with no other desire than to please and glorify Sri Krishna. It is this pure Krishna consciousness that we worship and follow as we eternally serve Srila Prabhupada.

His servant,
Hridayananda das Goswami
August 17, 2009

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nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhutale
srimate bhaktivedant-svaminn iti namine

namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine

My simple prayer is that Lord Krsna bless me to be an enthusiastic member of Srila Prabhupada's sankirtana party.  Srila Prabhupada's pure loving service to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu inspired the Lord to reveal Himself in the most powerful and enchanting way.  We can all participate in that unique revelation by enthusiastically assisting Srila Prabhupada in his unique service to the Lord.

Sincere service to Srila Prabhupada in his sankirtana activities quickly and easily elevates us beyond the predictable misery of selfishness.  Service to Srila Prabhupada is the best way to water the root of our existence, and thus achieve eternal peace and happiness.  Let us try to put his pleasure above our own, for only thus will we be happy in this world and the next.

Srila Prabhupada's pleasure is sublime and selfless; he seeks the eternal happiness of all living beings.  Trusting in his mercy and that of Lord Krishna, let us rededicate ourselves to his mission, which is identical to that of Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai.

From one who aspires to serve him,
Hridayananda Dasa Goswami
September 5, 2007

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nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhutale
srimate bhaktivedant-svaminn iti namine

namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine

At this time every year, we gather our thoughts and our communities to honor our spiritual leader, Srila Prabhupada.  Because our impurity blocks our vision of Krishna in the heart, Krishna sends his pure devotee as the external, visible form of the Supersoul, to guide us on the path back to Godhead.

As we mature and advance in Krishna consciousness, our appreciation for, and devotion to, Srila Prabhupada naturally grow in proportion.  Ultimately it is Srila Prabhupada's wish that we mature to the point of being able, as he was, to simultaneously preserve and adapt the great tradition that he so wisely and faithfully revealed to us.  We must preserve Krihsna consciousness as it is.  Otherwise, we betray the spiritual science.  Yet we must present it in a relevant way, so that it lives and breathes as humanity's yuga-dharma.

Only through Srila Prabhupada's great mercy will we successfully grasp and implement his deep will to his satisfaction.  On this day especially, let us pray for that specific mercy.

His servant,
Hridayananda Das Goswami
August 17, 2006

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nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhutale
srimate bhaktivedant-svaminn iti namine

namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine

I offer my sincere obeisances at the lotus feet of my pure spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada.  As we grow and mature in our knowledge of the material and spiritual worlds, one simple, central fact remains constant in our lives: it is by the great mercy, kindness, and wisdom of Srila Prabhupada that we will achieve real success and happiness in life.

His greatest gift is knowledge of himself, for to know even partially the exalted nature of the Lord's pure devotee is to know Krishna in the most sublime way.  Indeed, one cannot know Krishna without knowing His pure devotee.

To dedicate our lives wholeheartedly to Srila Prabhupada's mission is the natural, satisfying response to his glories.  Gratitude, prudence, bliss, and love all compel us to put aside our trivial pursuits and strive for his selfless, incomparable, contagious pleasure.

His eternal servant,
Hridayananda Das Goswami
August 28, 2005

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I offer my respectful obeisances at the lotus feet of His Divine Grace Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Astottara-sata Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Each year at this time, we search our hearts and minds to discover and articulate the special form and manner in which the perennial flow of Srila Prabhupada's mercy has manifest at this specific historical moment, both in the world and in our individual lives.

In devotional service, for all things there is a season.  There is a time to act and a time to wait, a time to speak and a time to keep silent, a time to pray and a time to obey the answers to our prayers.  In the Bhagavad-gita, Arjuna, speaking to this general topic, asks Krishna why, or in what circumstances, a realized soul will stay or go, or speak, and in what language.  The Lord answers that in all circumstances, the enlightened soul will act without selfish motive, that is, in pure Krishna consciousness.

It is Srila Prabhupada's special mercy, which  have to come to realize more and more recently, that as the transparent via media to Lord Krishna, he will show the sincere soul how to act, or refrain from acting, without selfish desire, soely for the pleasure of the Lord.  This is of course the ultimate gift of Srila Prabhupada; pure devotional service.

Thus we sing, sri-guru-carana-padma, kevala bhakati-sadma: "the lotus feet of Srila Guru are the abode of pure devotional service."  Thus it logically follows that by serving those feet we achieve Lord Krishna, free of the pain and foolishness of material existence.

On this most blessed day, the divine appearance day of Srila Prabhupada, I pray that he continue to teach me the ways of pure devotional service, for only in such purity can we truly be useful to Srila Prabhupada and thus to Lord Krishna.

His reluctant but persevering servant,
Hridayananda das Goswami
September 8, 2004

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Dear Srila Prabhupada,

Please accept my humble obeisances at your lotus feet. In your famous poem of 1935, glorifying your own spiritual master, you wrote about him:

The oldest of all,
but in new dress;
miracle done,
Your Divine Grace.
This is the miracle of your peerless preaching: that you have come as the empowered representative of the oldest of all teachers, Lord Krsna Himself, who first imparted Vedic knowledge to Brahma, yet you have dressed this primeval message in a language, style, and method that are appropriate to the contemporary world. You have revealed the adaptive power of eternal Vedic culture, that it is truly a universal spiritual science and not an ancient ethnic or sectarian tradition.

Now I pray to you that you bless us with this adaptive power, intrinsic to Vedic culture, which you manifested in such brilliant fashion. Because you are the founder-acharya of ISKCON, we who follow you must discover adaptations that both conform to the basic standards you set and remain within the boundaries you drew.

In the famous Vyasa-puja essay you wrote to your spiritual master, you cited the Vedic phrase phalena pariciyate, “[a thing] is measured by its fruit.” During your mission on earth, you often and ardently expressed your desire for a particular fruit: the wide distribution of love of Godhead, the broad expansion of the sankirtana movement. You clearly envisioned ISKCON as a movement that could and should provide mature spiritual leadership to the world. You specified that by achieving prominence in America, ISKCON would achieve great influence throughout the world. The challenge then before us is to bring you that fruit which you desired out of your own pure love for Krishna.

If we water down your movement to popularize it, or if we lack the mature realization to make it relevant—in either case—we will not fulfill your vision. Therefore I humbly pray to you on this day that you bless us with the power to preserve intact and compromised your divine mission, while at the same time keeping it relevant, appealing, and successful.

Your servant,
Hridayananda das Goswami
August 21, 2003

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Dear Srila Prabhupada,

Please accept my respectful obeisances at the dust of your feet.  As always, the annual call to write an offering to you awakens a deeper desire to fulfill your desires.  You wrote to me once, asking that I read your books and explain them in my own words.  You challenged us in your Los Angeles garden by saying, "What is the use of your being American devotees if you do not do something wonderful to spread Krishna consciousness?"

Your pure desire, which you so often fervently declared, is that America take Krishna consciousness seriously.  It was not your desire that ISKCON and its devotees be a laughing stock in America or in any other country.  You have given us a perfect philosophy with a perfect practice.  Now it is our sacred task to present this Krishna consciousness in an appropriate way that earns the respect of intelligent, reasonable people in America and throughout the world.  We beg you to make us your pure instruments as we proceed in this most important mission.

Your servant,
Hridayananda das Goswami
September 1, 2002

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I offer my earnest obeisances at the lotus feet of His Divine Grace Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Astottara-sata-Sri-Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is most dear to Lord Krishna in this world, having achieved full shelter at His lotus feet.

Once, in the mid-seventies, we sat with Srila Prabhupada in his garden in Los Angeles on a lovely summer evening. At one point he looked at us sitting at his feet and boldly said, “What is the use of your being Americans unless you do something wonderful to spread this movement?”

Those words entered my heart and have continued to boldly challenge and inspire me to this day. In Srila Prabhupada’s first pranama mantra, we glorify him by saying Srimate, literally “unto Srila Prabhupada, who possesses Sri—opulence, beauty, good fortune.” In his second pranama mantra, we glorify him with the words gaura-vani-pracarine, “unto Srila Prabhupada, who is preaching the message of Gaura, Lord Caitanya.” The word pracarine, which we translate as “preaching,” literally means “unto one who is causing [the message of Gaura] to go forth.” We also glorify Srila Prabhupada as pascatya-desa-tarine, “unto the savior of the Western countries.” The word tarine, which we translate as “unto the savior,” literally means “unto Srila Prabhupada, who is taking [the Western countries] across,” that is, across the material ocean to the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna.

We do not chant these words as a mere formality, simply because Srila Prabhupada is our spiritual master. Rather, he powerfully demonstrated by his practical deeds a unique and inconceivably marvelous ability to cause the message of Lord Caitanya to go forth into the world and to bring the Western countries across the material ocean to the lotus feet of Lord Krishna.

Today at sunset, as I returned home from my evening walk after chanting the Gayatri mantra, which he gave to me, I reflected upon the relationship of his bold command to us in his garden and these words of his pranama mantras. It became more profoundly clear to me that we can fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s desire that we do something wonderful only by surrendering ever more sincerely and completely to his lotus feet. For it is Srila Prabhupada who possesses Sri, full success in the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, it is Srila Prabhupada who most perfectly sends forth Gauranga’s message, and it is Srila Prabhupada who will bring these Western countries, and the rest of the planet with them, across the material ocean to the lotus feet of Lord Krishna.

I might also state here that just as Srila Prabhupada expected his American disciples to do something wonderful, it is safe to say that each loyal follower of Srila Prabhupada should hear Srila Prabhupada saying to him or her: “What is the use of your taking birth in, or preaching in, Africa, or Europe, or South America, or Australasia, or India, or East Asia, or Southeast Asia, or Canada, or any other place, unless you do something wonderful in that place for the glory of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu?” And then we should all remember that our ability to do something wonderful depends directly and completely on our ability to surrender ourselves at the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada. And so glorious and merciful is Srila Prabhupada, that even when our efforts to surrender are inadequate, as they almost always are, he will bestow his causeless mercy and aid, enhance and complete our surrender so that we may share in the bliss and the glory of his pure love and pure service for Lord Caitanya.

Falling at the feet of Srila Prabhupada in a sincere attempt to find shelter there,
His servant,
Hridayananda das Goswami

*  *  *

nama om visnu-padaya Krishna-presthaya bhu-tale
Srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine
namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine

Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Again and again I offer my humble obeisances at your lotus feet. By your blessings, we gradually advance in Krishna consciousness, and thus we gradually advance in our ability to appreciate your perfection as an extraordinary pure devotee of Lord Sri Krishna. When we begin the process of Krishna consciousness, we understand you imperfectly, indeed immaturely.

Of course, even when we were young practitioners, you blessed us so we could grasp certain basic truths about visnu-tattva, guru-tattva, etc. But a young beginner tends to think and act with a zealous enthusiasm that protects his or her tender young creeper. As one’s faith grows stronger, one becomes more thoughtful and wise.

I have often experienced that as we mature in spiritual life we transcend our immature notions of the Guru and Krishna. As in all stages of bhakti-yoga, there is danger here. One may foolishly believe that one’s own immature vision of you, Srila Prabhupada, was your actual nature, and thus in rejecting one’s own youthful fanaticism, one may tragically, disastrously criticize you.

I do not hesitate in declaring that you were, and are, a perfect loving servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. All your actions are perfect because they are all performed in perfect Krishna consciousness. My humble prayer on this glorious day is that you give us the knowledge and strength to serve you properly, to understand you well enough to represent you as you would be represented.

In the hope of one day transcending my glaring imperfections, I remain
Your servant,
Hridayananda das Goswami

*  *  *

nama om visnu-padaya Krishna-presthaya bhu-tale
Srimate bhaktivedanta-sväminn iti namine
namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine

Srila Prabhupada,
In the stormy sea of this world, your lotus feet are the safe and tranquil harbor. In the quicksand of all doubting all, your faith in us is the spiritual engine of our progress. In an age of sanctimony, your sacred leadership is the gold standard of purity. In the pain of illusion, the balm of your image, voice, example, and order bring back reality.

Kindly keep me on your caravan as it boldly wends through the gloom of Kali and crosses the risky river bordering the worlds, until at last its blessed passengers alight in perfect peace at the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.

Your hopeful servant,
Hridayananda das Goswami

*  *  *

On the occasion of the divine appearance day of His Divine Grace Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya 108 Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, let us all offer our most respectful obeisances at his lotus feet.

We purify ourselves by glorifying Srila Prabhupada. And when we induce the world to acknowledge his glories, the world will also become purified. The basis for harmonious relations among people is to give up envy and enmity toward one another. This can be done by learning to worship the bona fide acarya, who comes to this world as the intimate agent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna.

The world must come to understand that Srila Prabhupada led a sinless life fully devoted to the loving service of the Lord; that he exhibited unprecedented compassion upon the fallen souls and gave his life so that they might have life; that he fearlessly and boldly presented the highest knowledge of God, the soul, and this world, based on the most sublime and holy scriptures, the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam; that he created a wonderful worldwide mission to engage all the fallen souls in practical works of devotion, for their own salvation, and so that others might also be saved; that he implored us to work together in a spirit of selfless devotional service to the Lord, Krishna.

Our perpetual duty is to spread the glories of Srila Prabhupada, for those who appreciate Srila Prabhupada can easily understand the glories of the Absolute Truth, Lord Sri Krishna, and thus they will gain an eternal life of bliss and knowledge in the highest abode of the Lord.

Falling at his lotus feet,
His servant,
Hridayananda Dasa Goswami

*  *  *

Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my most respectful obeisances at your divine lotus feet.

As the years advance, the desire grows to know you as you really are. You once wrote to a disciple that just as when a person sees the clouds moving across the moon he thinks he sees the moon flying in the sky, so when a neophyte sees the external appearance of the spiritual master he thinks he sees the spiritual master as he is, but he does not see the actual form of a great devotee.

Our prayer on this occasion is to be blessed with increasing Krishna consciousness so that we may behold your true glory. Even this prayer we must offer in a spirit of wanting to serve you with increasing love and appreciation, and not with a desire to enjoy your glories.

You are surely present here with us, but you are certainly not limited to our association. Undoubtedly you are engaged in various ways in the Lord’s loving service, and we can only imagine how many worlds you are saving, just as you are saving this one. Our fervent wish is to go back to home, back to Srila Prabhupada, the pure loving servant of Lord Sri Krishna. Let us eternally assist you in your mission, wherever it may take you.

Falling in the dust of your lotus feet,
Your servant,
Hridayananda Dasa Goswami

*  *  *

nama om visnu-padaya Krishna-presthaya bhu-tale
Srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine
namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine

Dear Srila Prabhupada,
On June 22, 1975, in Los Angeles, you declared that if your disciples were able to take positions as professors of philosophy and religion in the American universities, that this would “save America” and make America the true leader of the world. You declared this while discussing a proposal that we establish a Krishna conscious program of studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. You also stated that this program would “take some time” to manifest. Now, by your causeless mercy, it appears that this program’s time has come, and we are simply begging at your lotus feet that you kindly shower your blessings so that America can be truly be saved and lead the world to spiritual salvation.

With the passing of years, we see more and more clearly that Lord Krishna is our only true leader and that you are His pure and greatest representative. Only Lord Krishna and His pure devotees enjoy perfect intelligence, and therefore we humbly beg to be your willing and worthy servants.

Eternally at your feet,
Hridayananda Dasa Goswami

*  *  *

nama om visnu-padaya Krishna-presthaya bhu-tale
Srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine
namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine

The Vyasa-puja celebration in honor of His Divine Grace Om Visna-pada Parama-hamsa Asotottara-sata Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is a splendid opportunity to remember the glories of the Lord’s most confidential servant in this world. Lord Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita:

janma karma ca me divyam evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so ’rjuna

“One who thus knows in truth My divine birth and activities does not, upon giving up the body, come again to material birth, for he comes to Me, O Arjuna.”

The pure devotee of Lord Krishna is on the same spiritual platform as the Lord Himself, and thus surely by knowing in truth the transcendental birth and activities of Srila Prabhupada, the Lord’s eternally liberated associate, we will not come again to birth in the material world. To go back home, back to Srila Prabhupada, means to go back home, back to Godhead, for Prabhupada is the transparent via media of the Lord. Thus it is stated in Vedic sastra:

yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy artha prakasante mahatmanah

“If one who has transcendental devotion for God, and as much for the guru as for God, then surely to such a great soul all the declared meanings of the Vedas reveal themselves.”

Once Srila Prabhupada stated, “Do not try to see Krishna without the guru, and do not try to see the guru without Krishna.” Thus the holy appearance day of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada is a unique opportunity to remember Lord Krishna by remembering His pure devotee. The many offerings in this book provide us the best opportunity to remember Srila Prabhupada today by hearing from those who have given their lives to him and serve him directly, intimately, and with love.

Aspiring to become the servant of his servants,
Hridayananda Dasa Goswami

*  *  *

nama Om Visnu-padaya Krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
Srimate Bhaktivedanta Swamin iti namine
namas te Sarasvate Deve Gaura-vani-pracarine

Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my most respectful obeisances at the dust of your lotus feet. This year we approach you with special joy and gratitude in our hearts. You have mercifully blessed us with such nice service in the divine mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The book distribution parties are rolling along, and suddenly an international network of devotee scholars has come forward to join hands in establishing a Bhaktivedanta University, the kind that you wanted. All this is your mercy.

Thank you, Prabhupada, for making this world tasteless to your servants. Thank you for inspiring and empowering us to chant the Lord’s holy names in ecstasy. Thank you for providing us with all that a living being requires to achieve the highest perfection of life in Krishna consciousness. May we yet beg you, Prabhupada, to accelerate the flow of your mercy so that in the very near future we may see your true glories blaze forth in this dark world. Please, Srila Prabhupada, give your mercy now so that your humble servants may fulfill their deepest desire, and see the world worship you as the greatest of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. Srila Prabhupada ké jaya!

From his hopeful servant,
Hridayananda Dasa Goswami

*  *  *

nama Om Visnu-padaya Krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
Srimate Bhaktivedanta Swamin iti namine
namas te Sarasvate Deve Gaura-vani-pracarine

sri-guru-carana-padma kevala-bhakati-sadma,
bando mui savadhana mate

We must worship the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada with great care, since his lotus feet, manifest as his divine orders, are the abode of pure loving service to Lord Krishna. We have no real home in this world but the lotus feet of such a pure devotee.

On the roads in Bengal, the “Caution” signs, in Bengali, say savadhana, literally sa-avadhana: “with caution, with attention.” On the road back to Godhead, we must observe all caution and take all care to strictly follow the orders of Srila Prabhupada.

jahara prasade bhai e bhava toriya jai,
krsna-prapti hoy jaha ha'te

All anxiety, all troubles are part and parcel of bhava, material existence, and we can free ourselves from all such problems by the mercy of Prabhupada, for by his mercy, we attain Krishna Himself.

guru-mukha-padma-vakya cittete koriya aikya,
ar na koriho mane asa

We must agree totally with the instruction that emanates from the lotus mouth of Prabhupada, and we must aspire to nothing more.

sri-guru-carane-rati ei se uttama-gati,
je prasade pure sarva asa

The greatest goal in life is to become firmly attached to Prabhupada’s lotus feet, and by his mercy all our desires will be fulfilled. This is a practical fact, and those who are developing their attachment to Prabhupada’s feet experience this fully in their lives.

In this way, on the appearance day of His Divine Grace Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya 108 Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, let us meditate seriously and profoundly on his glories, that simply by unflinching attachment to his lotus feet, the most fallen soul achieves all perfection of life.

His eternal servant,
Hridayananda Dasa Goswami

*  *  *

Falling down straight like a rod, I offer my repeated obeisances at the lotus feet of His Divine Grace Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya 108 A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Growing up and then growing old in Krishna consciousness are both sublime, eternally beneficial experiences, and they are simply due to his causeless mercy. As he wrote of his spiritual master (and how much more we could say of Srila Prabhupada), “If you had not come, who would have told / the message of Krishna, forceful and bold? This gives us a life anew and fresh...miracle done, Your Divine Grace.”

How refreshing and enlivening it is to the soul to be busy, busy, busy in your service, Srila Prabhupada, without a moment left over for meaningless thoughts. As we grow in Krishna consciousness, we can only become more and more amazed by your character, your teaching, your practical counsel, for they are all constituted of pure and limitless Krishna consciousness. To render you eternal devotional service, you who are the purest servant of Krishna, is the least we can do. Thank you Srila Prabhupada.

Trying to serve your servants,
Hridayananda Dasa Goswami

*  *  *

Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my most humble obeisances in the dust of your lotus feet.

This year, O master, I bring you a song and a prayer. The bright song is of your own making, for it is the glories of your divine mission, growing and reaching into the depths of many millions of hearts. The prayer is a fervent wish that this fallen place called America be allowed by Your Grace to train hundreds and thousands of its brightest children and send them forth in a great second coming of sankirtana, chanting the holy names, and especially distributing the true touchstone of the age, your divine books. My prayer ends with a humble plea, that you bless me to serve your servants and their servants, all those who sport in the waters of this second wave.

Falling again and again at your lotus feet, I remain,
Your hopeful servant,
Hridayananda Dasa Goswami

*  *  *

My dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my most respectful obeisances at your lotus feet. All glories to you and to the sankirtana mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, which you have preached and expanded so perfectly all over the world.

On the material plane, small children naturally worship their father, but as they grow up, they manifest their own desires and come to pursue their own path. But the blessed child of a learned father learns to deeply love, and to follow, his worthy father.

How fortunate we are to have you as our eternal father, for your spiritual qualities truly have no limit. There is no end to your purity and depth, your simple honesty that springs mightily from the fully realized vision of an eternally liberated soul.

Let us, your spiritual children, boldly prove to the world that you are the Supreme Lord’s own and dearest agent, the merciful rain cloud come to extinguish the blazing fire of birth and death that engulfs the stupid world.

If only, by your kindness, we may transcend our internal conflicts and again become lions in the chase, and not merely at home, relentlessly stroking the great mrdanga till its divine booming tones save every innocent soul, and put the demonic ones to flight.

As I grow older, Srila Prabhupada, I see more and more that all I could ever desire is to follow your footsteps. All the qualities I aspire for, I see in you, and the solution to all my problems is to listen seriously to your instructions and obey them. You are a perfect person, an ideal person, a pure devotee of Lord Krishna.

Praying to be useful in your mission, I remain,
Your servant forever,
Hridayananda Dasa Goswami

*  *  *

nama Om Visnu-padaya Krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
Srimate Bhaktivedanta Swamin iti namine
namas te Sarasvate Deve Gaura-vani-pracarine

yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado
yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto 'pi
dhyayan stuvams tasya yasas trisandhyam
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam

Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my most humble obeisances in the dust of your lotus feet.

As the devotees of ISKCON continue to chant their daily sixteen rounds and follow the four regulative principles, and as they continue to faithfully serve your divine mission, the devotees gradually advance in Krishna consciousness, moving steadily toward their full maturity in pure love of Godhead. As the devotees grow up in spiritual life, they can more and more appreciate your unique transcendental qualities, your extraordinary degree of Krishna consciousness.

You are fully qualified to be the founder-acarya of ISKCON, since you are situated on the highest platform of spiritual understanding. In countless ways, you set a perfect example for all humanity. By following you, all people can advance directly toward the perfection of their lives, pure Krishna consciousness, for there is no obstacle, no mistake or imperfection in your path.

How fortunate is ISKCON to work under your direct shelter! How blessed is service unto your lotus feet! You have demonstrated the truth that you are indeed non-different from your Society, and that Lord Krishna will always protect and guide your faithful followers, since you yourself are the most faithful follower of the previous acaryas. On the blessed day of your divine descent into this world, we humbly pray that we may remain forever at the shelter of the lotus feet of the faithful servants of your lotus feet. Please manifest the glory of Krishna here on earth so that all conditioned souls may discover their real, eternal life in Krishna consciousness.

Falling in the dust of your feet, I beg to remain,
Your tiny servant,
Hridayananda Dasa Goswami

*  *  *

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is very dear to Lord Krishna, having taken shelter at His lotus feet. Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Sarasvati Gosvami. You are kindly preaching the message of Lord Caitanya-deva and are delivering the Western countries, which are filled with impersonalism and voidism.”

Srila Prabhupada once emphasized that love begins with obedience. Love for Krishna grows through obedience to the merciful command of the spiritual master. Srila Prabhupada, the towering founder-acarya of Lord Caitanya’s own ISKCON, has given us a simple, sublime program. It is perfect for our own Krishna consciousness, and it is perfect for preaching powerfully to the lost souls of this age. And we must simply obey him.

This is my understanding of all things, and I pray at the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada to increase and strengthen this transcendental knowledge, and to thus fix me forever as a truly humble servant of His Divine Grace. There is nothing more or greater to desire. And to achieve such mercy is the greatest of all acquisitions.

His eternal servant,
Hridayananda Dasa Goswami

*  *  *

On this most auspicious day, the appearance day of His Divine Grace Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Astottarasata Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, I am once again faced with my own poor-heartedness, my inability to properly glorify my own spiritual master, who is the great spiritual master and founder of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s ISKCON.

Prabhupada’s purity is such that simply by remembering his divine appearance day, and one’s duty to properly worship him on this day, one immediately remembers one’s own dull and humble position. Many times I have sat to write a Vyasa-puja offering to Srila Prabhupada, and now, thinking back on what I have felt and written previously, I do not think that in my fallen condition I will have much new to say. Perhaps one humble realization is worth passing along to those fortunate persons who will read and hear these many offerings to Prabhupada.

I offer this simple fact: We must worship and glorify Srila Prabhupada by serious dedication to his divine service. Everyone has heard this point, and I myself have stated it in many previous Vyasa-puja offerings. Therefore, I can only submit at the feet of the Vaisnavas that by the causeless kindness of Srila Prabhupada, this year I feel an extra inspiration, a special comprehension of this simple, yet all-powerful fact – that we must surrender to Srila Prabhupada by selflessly dedicating and rededicating ourselves to his preaching mission, and our loving service in spreading his mission will truly establish and clarify his glories throughout the world.

Yes, of course it is true that the path is fraught with dangers, that we become lazy, selfish, foolish, and even crazy due to the pernicious atmosphere of this age and our own woeful impurity. Still, the mercy of Srila Prabhupada is so sublime that it will lift his sincere followers over the monstrous obstacles placed in our path by the illusory potency of the Lord.

A comfortable life in the domestic spirit is a great obstacle both for householders and sannyasis. A cheerful, loving willingness to forego such ease and comfort and undergo personal inconvenience for the sake of our beloved master is certainly the right medicine and the right nectar to bring us to a happy, pure life of eternal loving service at the lotus feet of Lord Krishna.

Praying for the mercy of the Vaisnavas who truly love Srila Prabhupada, I remain a tiny servant at the feet of his servants.
Hridayananda Dasa Goswami

*  *  *

On this most auspicious day of Srila Prabhupada's divine appearance in this world, those who remain faithfully engaged in his service may truly aspire to understand his glory. Bhaktivinoda Thakura sings, "How can my earthly words describe / that feeling soft and broad?" As we reminisce on moments spent with Srila Prabhupada or hear bona fide stories of his activities, we relish the spiritual continuity of our lives, through him, and measure our place on the path back home, back to Godhead, by contemplating, honestly, how much we love him, how much we've done exactly what he asked of us.

The future is the road to Prabhupada, who stands at Krishna's side. Thus, we gather within our heart all that he told us to do and, firmly bound and lead by those very orders, push on our mission, push on our journey. How fortunate are those who, firm on the path, are not seduced by mundane careers, "varnasrama" sex, or a shameless chopping envy of Prabhupada's own ISKCON body.

Now, on this most blessed day, newly inspired, let us pour abundantly, and all around, the cleansing waters of singular devotion to Srila Prabhupada. Let the crystal streams of obedient love dash away the dust and dirt of discord in the holy community of his unflinching servants. Scorning the putrid couch of sense gratification, let us joyfully dance in the flowery meadows of sankirtana, and gathering strength in the enchantment of that dance, let us pin the earth, as a well-earned medal, on the divine chest of Srila Prabhupada.

The servant of his servant,
Hridayananda Dasa Goswami

*  *  *

That colossal, roaring faith—
That pure, bright, burning love—
That fierce, fearless, courage—
That is all you, Prabhupada.
Stepping off the Jaladuta,
You took a giant's bold steps
On these lusty Western lands,
Towering over the trivia
Of our rowdy, metallic success,
Exposing the emptiness
Of our festering, famished hearts.
Then your giant, verbal hands
Tore open the floodgates of love's healing ocean.
The original, natural, medicinal, eternal yoga,
Love of God, gushed jubilantly forth from heaven,
Down to our wild, feverish hearts,
And cured them.
And your mighty, devotional arms,
Limbs of a better Atlas,
Held mortal earth and spiritual sun
Too together, bringing
God's face to man and mortal to Him,
Joined in the sandalwood-fragrant, sanctified
Reconciliatory mansion of your presence,
To you, Prabhupada—
Infinite bows and obeisances, on behalf
Of our dwarfed universe, illumined by you,
The official eyeball of God.
And even I, O holy master,
Grabbed timely by you, while
Gallantly gulping, like the prince of mules,
Poisoned barbs called mortal love,
Clasping hard their slicing edge
To my stupid bosom,
Replete with barking sobs, reeking tears,
For all the wicked things lost
Already, in a brief, tenebrous life.
In the midst of all that, Prabhupada—
You saved me too, you save me, and always
Will save me, dear, most dear Prabhupada.

Hridayananda Dasa Goswami

*  *  *

nama om visnu-padaya Krishna-presthaya bhu-tale
Srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine
namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine

Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my most humble obeisances in the dust of your lotus feet. On the occasion of your most blessed Appearance Day, I respectfully beg to offer two poems, about you, at your lotus feet.

Reflections on Salvation, Even in Modern Times

Executive, peon
shapely, deformed
fabulous, hideous
all, all adorned
with the fabrics
of earthly complexion
stepping out all ghostly cadence
the beat of highly drugged drummers
Time, time, the tide
moving clay feet
to the funeral beat
for the fool, the wise fool
the savage,
the bosom and hairy breast
the drummers, their beat
and their cadence repeat:
Time, time, and the tide

But darkest clouds
split and drift
sky blue, blazing beams
break through
the world’s gloom
killed by light, people
sigh and smile
Thus the sun, sun, glaring glory, God’s
own ray, right arm
His eyes and tongue
O Prabhupada! Light of God!
To kill the world’s doom—
Through the clouds
Your honest arms
wrapped around our maddened chest
Close, close to the precipice
Thwarting the hell-bound drummer
The vulgar pit
held foaming at bay
The bloody dagger
tucked neatly away
by your mercy
O lord! O master!
And on, with you
To the Orchard of Love
Home and abode
With Krishna above
Forever bliss, foreverness
All known and nothing unknown

Meditation on Prabhupada in His Mayapur Room

One month in 1976
I was your secretary
I came to you
in this very room
That day
I arrived, I ran
to you
with my impulsive poem
jubilant, singing
the glories of green
golden Mayapur
I didn’t know
how to cook for you
to massage you
to prepare your correspondence
to handle your affairs
that bothered
you, to relieve you
that I didn’t know.
But you let me come
to you, to be
with you
February, 1976
in this holy, holy room.
O Prabhupada!
How gracefully,
you moved
your ruling hands, rolling
deftly your silver and
hardwood cane, but more
your godly eyes, piercing
perfect words, in this
holy, holy room.
Like God’s own
omnipotent, serene
decisions, conclusions,
stately just, justice,
spoken quite
like God, by you,
to the godly men
and ladies, there
in holy Bharata land,
in this very holy room.
How far has time
taken me from you?
O Prabhupada!
How very much I worshiped you,
I loved you Prabhupada,
but heartless wheels,
cold time’s gears,
took me far from you.
Rudely rolling on,
graceless age
hardens the simple heart,
and rolling farther
breaks the heart it hardened,
humbles grave conceit
of one who came to you,
to give his youthful love
when it was soft, only to
you, because you
were everything to me
in this tearful, holy room.
Amends, amends repent
repent! Time, ironic
to supply a precious
moment to undo the
darkening drift of time.

Your insignificant, fallen servant,
Hridayananda Dasa Goswami

*  *  *

The greatest of all
Devotees of God,
Please hear our call
Srila Prabhupada—
Fallen and weak, we
Have no love for God,
Please hear our plea
Srila Prabhupada—
Like thunder your mighty voice
“we’re not this external form!
Human life gives us the choice
to love God, for that we’re born!”
And Krishna is God! Krishna!
Supreme Personality
Of Godhead: Krishna...Krishna!
Mere parts-sparks of Him are we!
Prabhupada! Prabhupada! Your lotus feet
Give the shelter of almighty Krishna,
With whom we have vainly tried to compete,
Entangling ourselves in Maya’s fishnet.
Save us, Prabhupada Prabhupada save me!
Free us from lust, greed, the madness of pride.
In loving service to you we are free
And come at once to the Vaikuntha side.
All glories, all glories to the greatest Prabhu!
Right-hand man of God on high, almighty Krishna—
Absorb us in your great mission, make us like you,
Prabhupada! Bring us to rest at the lotus feet of Krishna.

Hridayananda Dasa Goswami

*  *  *

All glories unto His Divine Grace
The ever-Lord of my heart
Whose bold hands kindly unknit
The soul's misguided material embrace

Whose clear words cut off this false affair
With some heartless mental midnight void
Whose love and glory crisscrosses the earth
Delivering God to those who dare

O thou eternal agent of Caitanya
Whose heart can never stray from His heart
Who devastates the lie of formless gods
And hurls us at the feet of dear Gauranga

Hridayananda Dasa Brahmacari

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