Before I came into contact with your teachings I was very unhappy, very confused and I was frightened. I didn’t understand why there was so much suffering in the world. Everywhere I turned I saw cruelty and pain, misery and hopelessness. Nothing made sense to me. Nothing seemed to have any meaning. I had no idea what my life was meant for. Like everyone around me I tried to find some satisfaction in sense enjoyment but my feeble attempts were always met with frustration. I constantly felt like something was missing. I looked for answers in the writings of mundane philosophers and charlatan gurus. I sought enlightenment by smoking ganja and taking LSD but instead of having any spiritual realizations, I only became more perplexed and entangled in material life. Just when I was about to give up any shred of hope I found a copy of Back To Godhead Magazine in the summer of 1969. Every word and every picture struck a chord so deep within me and I knew that I had found what I was looking for. I had found the Absolute Truth. I was immediately convinced that you were the perfect spiritual master and I knew that I had to become your disciple. I began visiting the temple at 61 Second Avenue in New York City and soon after I moved in.
Srila Prabhupada, you saved me from a life of misery and ignorance. You gave me hope. By your mercy the seed of bhakti was planted in my heart and from that moment there was no turning back. I continue to stumble and succumb to the illusory energy but by your grace I have never lost faith and hope and every day of my life I am feeling so much gratitude and appreciation for being delivered by you into the light of Krishna consciousness.
It is customary for the disciple to express his appreciation for his guru on Vyasa-Puja day and my only wish is for you to accept this poor fallen beggar’s offering at your lotus feet on this auspicious day celebrating your appearance in this world.