Vyasa-Puja Offering to Srila Prabhupada
by Rasananda das
Dear Godbrothers, Godsisters and Friends,
August 21, 2003, C.E., corresponding to Krsna Paksa Navami (ninth day of the fortnight of the waning moon) of Hrisikesa month, Gaurabda 517 (the 517th year of the era of the avatara of Lord Krsna in golden form, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu), is the 107th appearance day anniversary of our eternal Spiritual Master, Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Astotara Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the most confidential dear servant of the Supreme Lord, Krsna. He appeared where the Ganges' flow purifies the whole universe and he, as a son of the Ganges, dutifully took up the duty of purifying the minds and hearts of all the conditioned souls of this world who are fallen into the deep pit of ignorant, sinful activity, just as a good and dutiful father unhesitatingly accepts it as his duty to nurture and protect from all harm his own sons and daughters. While a great powerful man of this world may have up to a hundred sons or so, His Divine Grace accepted every fallen devotee and every ordinary man who somehow or other was attracted to the Lord in the form of His sankirtana movement or himself, just as a father accepts a son, no matter how far away he has strayed from the warmth, understanding and happiness of the life in his father's house. "He built a house in which the whole world can live" means that by his compassionate teachings, everyone in the world is eligible to enter the strong house of Krsna bhakti, which protects the practitioner against any and all of the evil goings on of this world.
Engagement in devotional service according to the instruction of a confidential servant of the object of devotion, Krsna, results in the very rapid destruction of all sinful reactions from past life, just as a forest fire destroys all the trees, shrubs, creepers, grass, herbs, flowers and all living creatures that cannot fly or flee fast enough, in its path. The practice of devotional service is the only way to get out of the sufferings of material life. The body is a machine destined to wear out and break down. And the mind is also material and subject to the same. No amount of research, medical intervention, social arrangement or any kind of humanitarian endeavor can slow or prevent these actions of material nature, which operates according to the universe's divine design. All thoughts and actions in this world not directed to the goal of approaching the Supreme Truth can have no beneficial result as surely as no endeavor by any living being can influence the relentless progress of material time. Though God, Krsna is the most powerful being in the whole creation, material and spiritual, bhakti is more powerful. For the sake of a surrendered devotee, Krsna will preserve a whole planet otherwise doomed by the sinful actions of its other inhabitants. For the sake of His devotee, He stops the actions of material nature when necessary, so inconceivably powerful is devotional service. And it is pure devotees of the caliber of His Divine Grace alone who can distribute devotional service throughout the universe.
Krsna is always thinking of the fallen souls -- when they will return to Him -- and the spiritual master, who is fully fulfilling the desire of the Lord that they be awakened from their darkness and be put on the path of back to Him, is most dear to Him. He declares that worship of such devotee spiritual master is more pleasing to Him than worship of Himself. No one who considers himself a devotee should remain in the company of persons who neglect and disrespect such a pure devotee spiritual master. Whatever spiritual assets such negligent, disrespectful persons possess, very soon is lost and they go to ruin and it is a spiritual injunction that no one should remain in the presence of one who is about to fall into the abyss such as that to which offenders of such pure devotee spiritual master go.
In the form and activities of pure devotees of the caliber of His Divine Grace are seen all the twenty-six qualities of a devotee enumerated by acaryas in full: krpalu - mercy, akrta-droha - humility, satya-sara - truthfulness, sama - equality to all, nidosa - faultlessness, vadanya - magnanimousness, mrdu - mildness, suci - cleanliness, akincana - being without material possessions, sarvopakaraka - performing welfare work for everyone, santa - peacefulness, krsnaika-srana - surrendered to Krsna, akama - being free of material desires, aniha - indifference to material acquisitions, sthira - being fixed in devotional service, vijita-sad-guna - completely controls the six bad qualities - lust, anger, greed, etc., mita-bhuk - eating only as much as required, apramatta - being sober, not inebriated, manada - respectfulness, amani - pridelessness, having no desire for prestige, gambhira - very grave, karuna - compassion, maitra - friendliness, kavi - poetic, daksa - expert, mauni - silent in nonsense, titiksavah - toleration, forbearance, karunikah - very merciful, suhrdah sarva-dehinam - being the well-wisher of every living entity, ajata-satravah santah - having no enemies, being very peaceful and sadhavah - following scriptural injunctions. He is thus the perfect being in this universe who should be emulated by all mortal beings.
Single-handedly he went to the west and spread the chanting of the maha-mantra: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, recommended by all Vedic literatures as the yuga-dharma. The spiritual process of this age. Loudly, softy or silently, chanting of this transcendental formula purifies and destroys sin just as fire consumes fuel. Single-handedly he introduced and saw to the perfection of the process of deity worship, also an absolute necessity in this age. Whether out of stone, wood, metal, paint, jewels, earth or the mind, the Lord manifests Himself to accept worship and service from His devotees.
He translated and wrote purports to the most important transcendental literatures and saw to their wide distribution. He spoke and had recorded thousands of hours of transcendental sanga. He sang and played harmonium, mrdanga and karatals in accompaniment to the songs of the great Vaisnava acaryas -- full of the essential meaning and bhava of all the revealed scriptures. Now these vibrations are readily available through the technology of the day as if in direct fulfillment of his guru's statement that all the mechanical, electronic and so on technologies of the modern age, though developed by asuras, are meant for the propagation of the Lord's purpose.
In every aspect, such a devotee as His Divine Grace is cent percent a fulfillment of the will of the Supreme Lord.
On this day of his appearance, I offer my respectful obeisances to him a thousand times.