jayare sva-parisada srila swami prabhupada
abhaya amrta para gati
tomara carana padma dhuli moro sreya-sadma
tahe mama nitya paranati
All glories to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He is always accompanied by his associate servitors, his internal nature is just like the sweetest nectar and externally he appears like fearlessness personified. I continually offer my full prostrate obeisances unto the dust of his lotus feet that are the all auspicious shelter and goal of my life.
sat jana vandita mama cira vanchita
tava seva parasade purila se hrdi sadhe
tava guna-sobha mana-lobha
The blissful service of the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada is glorified by the topmost saints and devotees. To obtain the unalloyed service of his lotus feet is the only cherishable goal of my life. That eternal desire is always being fulfilled by the nectar of His Divine Grace and therefore the beauty of his unlimited transcendental qualities continually charms my heart. Now my dear devotees please hear with great care and attention the narration of Srila Prabhupada-Lila-Smarana-Mangala-Stotram, the transcendental qualities and pastimes of His Divine Grace, the topmost servant of Srimati Radharani.
sri nandotsava-dine nija sakhi-gana-sane
premananda-nimagna sri radhe
sukha iccha parakasa daki nija priya dasa
kahilena “pura ei sadhe”
On the day when the grand festival of Sri Nanda Maharaja, celebrating the birth of Lord Krsna was being held, Srimati Radharani accompanied by Her sakhis, who were all deeply absorbed in the bliss of krsna-prema, called for one of Her dearmost servants. Srimati Radharani, the Absolute Queen of Vrndavana, spoke thus revealing Her happy thoughts, “You must fulfill one desire of mine.”
aji subha divasete mama krpasisa sathe
avatirne hao dharanite
sri kamala-dhani tatha tava gaura-seva-katha
On this auspicious day you must incarnate on the earth along with my blessings and spread Krsna consciousness in every town and village of the world. My very dear Sri Kamala (another name of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura) has already announced your coming and she has also predicted your devotional service unto My Lord Gauranga.
ista-devi-pade-nami tabe he sri krsna-premi
e dharara krora dhanya-kore
avatirna hoile nami sri vaisnava grha swami
That unalloyed servant of Sri Krsna (later to be known as A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada), who's heart was filled with the most inconceivable love of Godhead, paying obeisances and offering countless prayers at the lotus feet of the Supremely Worshipable Goddess of Fortune then appeared on the earth in the renowned Vaisnava family, headed by Sri Gaura-mohana.
(6 & 7)
nija putra-tare tini parama kalyana mani
prarthana karila sneha bhare
he vaisnava sadhu gana koro krpa anuksana
mora prana ei putra-pare
mama putra e abhaya yena radha-dasa hoy
nitya-kala seve radha-dhana
parama gaurava-bhange kirtana koruka range
tana guna bhariya bhuvana
Invoking the blessings of the Vaisnava sadhus upon his son, Gaura-mohana prayed to all of them with great sincerity, “O sadhus, O Vaisnavas please bestow your blessings upon this dear son of mine, who is my life and soul, so that he can become the servant of Srimati Radharani eternally serving Her, the Supreme wealth of life. Please bless him so that he can preach and sing Her qualities and glories in a most grand way, inundating the whole world.”
pare eka subha-kale tvadiya karuna bole
milila sri gurudeva-sathe
sri visnu-kirana dyuti sudivya karuna-murti-
rupa tumi herila tanhate
Afterwards, at an auspicious moment arranged by the grace of Srimati Radharani, Srila Prabhupada met his spiritual master (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura). He saw the divine grace of Srimati Radharani in his Gurudeva and understood him to be an effulgent ray of Visnu, His Divine Grace personified.
bhayahina pracaraka bhakti sadacara daksa
prabhu bara se dayita dasa
nija drdha citta-mate nama dila sva-sisyete
isa abhaya carana dasa
That great divine master Sri Varsabhanavi Devi Dayita Dasa (another name of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, meaning the servant of the lover of Sri Radha) who is expert at practicing pure devotional principles and who is a fearless preacher of the Divine Message of Godhead now conferred upon Srila Prabhupada the name Abhaya Caranaravinda according to his own firm self-confident character. The meaning of that name is that he is the servitor of the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead which are the abode of all fearlessness and hopes for the pure devotees.
radha-kunda tatangane ati antaranga sthane
ela tana sandra premavesa
gadha anuraga-mane sarva-atma nivedane
mathe tule nila gurvadesa
In the most intimate place of the madhurya pastimes, namely Sri Radha-kunda, His Divine Grace experienced the full ecstasy of krsna-prema. Whole heartedly surrendering unto Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura with intense love His Divine Grace received upon his head the most holy order of his Gurudeva, “If you ever get money print and distribute books.”
rupa-saraswati-srota guru iccha-ajnamata
premabhare kirtana karite
pradarsila e jagata sakala saubhagya yata
ase garo guru-nistha hate
By singing and preaching with great loving devotion that sublime message of his Gurudeva, which is pure devotional knowledge of the Rupa-Sarasvati (Rupanuga) stream, His Divine Grace has shown to the world that all good fortune manifests from adherent devotional service unto the lotus feet of Sri Guru.
(12 & 13)
sri sri radha-damodara sri jivera mandira
prabhu-datta nija kutirete
ara rupa-samadhite vraja-raga avesete
bhajana korila rasa-prite
suddha-bhakta-ratna-mani rupe nitya-kala tini
sethaya rahena virajita
yetha radha-pada-seva dhari rasa-murti-sobha
nirantara hana prasphutita
In the temple of Sri Jiva Gosvami, namely Sri Sri Radha-Damodara Mandira and Sri Rupa’s samadhi, in his rooms given by his divine masters, His Divine Grace performed his bhajana in the loving devotional mood of the vraja-gopis.
His Divine Grace lives eternally in his place of bhajana as the precious gem among the pure devotees where the loving devotional service of Srimati Radharani constantly blooms personifying the beauty of divine ecstatic mellows.
(14, 15 & 16)
parama suhrda haye gaura-prema-vani laye
pascatya desete aila jabe
bhai boli sri krsnere sambodhiya samadare
pratharna korila ei tabe
bhai tava punya habe radharani khusi habe
dhruva ati boli toma tai
labhive se bhagya aro yadi tumi khusi koro
bhagya-devi-rupa sri radhai
sri siddhanta sarasvati- rupa dhari se srimati
more ajna dila pracarite
se iccha purna koro amara vacana dharo
tabe pari tahare sevite
Leaving behind the sacred land of Vrndavana and taking a great risk in his old age, His Divine Grace came to the western world as our Ever Well Wisher carrying with him the message of gaura-prema, love of Lord Gauranga. Upon his arrival he earnestly prayed to Lord Krsna addressing Him as ‘bhai’ (O Brother) in an intense loving way.
“O dear brother, my dear and intimate friend! I tell You this in a most definite way. You can achieve some invaluable merits by pleasing Srimati Radharani. You (Lord Krsna) can really attain even more fortune if You can now please Her, the Supreme Goddess of all good fortunes.
Srimati Radharani Herself in the form of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura ordered me to preach Her message. Therefore please take my word and advice and fulfill Her desire; then only can I attain success and serve my guru fully.
(17 & 18)
atula saubhagya-kani tanra ei divya-vani
sri nama sri saci-putrasraye
sri svarupa sanatana rupa-prabhu guru-gana
sabe maha krpanvita hoye
ama-bhakta sabakare dena pravesadhikare
vrndavana-govardhane kabhu radha kunda-pane
parama abhista siddhi dane
The mine of incomparable good fortune is the message of His Divine Grace: “If someone takes shelter of krsna-nama, and Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the son of mother Saci, along with their dear associates, Sri Svarupa-damodara, Sanatana Gosvami, and Sri Rupa Gosvami: They being greatly pleased with such a person bestow upon him entrance into the embrace of the dear associate servitors of Srimati Radharani at Govardhana, Vrndavana, and sometimes at Sri Radha-kunda; blessing them with the supreme fulfillment of the ultimate goal of krsna-prema.
sri radhika priyankari sri kartika-masa bari
giriraja hrdayete smari
tiho aprakata hoila nitya lila pravesila
raje jeta radha-sange hari
Completing his missionary activities in the western world Srila Prabhupada returned to Vrndavana. Accepting the month of Karttika, which is non-different from Srimati Radharani, bearing Giriraja Govardhana in mind and embracing the lotus feet of his most worshipful Lord in the core of his heart he made his disappearance from this world and entered the nitya-lila, the eternal loving pastimes of Goloka where Lord Govinda is always effulgently present with His Dearmost Srimati Radharani.
ei pantha pradarsane siksa dila amargane
kon vastu-siddhi laksya haiya
kori basa govardhane dainya atma-nivedane
labha sri radhika-ganasraya
By showing us his disappearance from this world in the month of Karttika and by revealing his desire to go to Govardhana Hill he has thus shown us the path which leads to the fulfillment of the ultimate aim and object of life, that is to obtain supreme shelter in the camp of Srimati Radharani's associate-servants with humble self surrender, residing always at Sri Govardhana.
kabe tana aprakrta bhava-guna-bibhusita
satya kori e vastave amari sampada habe
e jivane dani sukha sima
When will that day be mine, in some distant lifetime, when the beauty of His Divine Grace's transcendental life, possessed by the qualities of pure love for Sri Sri Radha-Krsna actually become my only wealth giving me a taste of the highest happiness? O when will that day be mine?
(22 & 23)
sakala hrdaya diye sutivra akankha loiye
se ase rohi mui hina
kabe sei bhagya habe e jivana dhanya habe
kabe mor asibe se dina
pranabari pratisthane tari krpa-saktyadhane
labhi eka-nistha tanu-mana
e dina sevaka tanra guna-gantha-sambhara
kori jabe satata kirtana
Let us always pray to remain the humble and obedient servants of His Divine Grace. With a burning heart, filled with an intense longing for his association, this poor and lowly insignificant beggar humbly prays for that fortunate day when the life of his servant will be empowered by His Divine Grace with firm determination so that I may with one pointedness, not caring for anything else, constantly sing with my body and mind the sweetest glories of Srila Prabhupada’s unlimited transcendental qualities and pastimes.
Let me offer my most respectful and humble obeisances to the lotus feet of my spiritual master His Divine Grace Sri Jagat-guru Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Sri Srimad A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Let me also offer my most respectful and humble obeisances to all of Srila Prabhupada's eternal servants, paraphernalia, and pastimes. By the boundless mercy of His Divine Grace, vast numbers of conditioned souls are being drawn to the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Sri Radha-Govinda.
I humbly bow my head in the dust of the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada and sincerely pray that he will accept me as one of his eternal servitor associates.
The disciples of Srila Prabhupada worship His Divine Grace as the dearmost servant of Srimati Radharani in the line of Sri Rupa Gosvami. I must therefore beg forgiveness at the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada and before all of you, the listeners and readers, for any fault or offense that I have committed in my attempt to glorify His Divine Grace.
sarva-vaisnavera pa'ye kari namaskara
ithe aparadha kichu nahuka amara
If I have committed any offense when dealing with so many subtle and exalted things about the great personalities, please, Nityananda Prabhu, absolve me of that offense and restore me to my normal position.
We shall always remember Srila Prabhupada, our eternal father, as the empowered representative of the most glorious and beautiful queen of Sri Vrndavana, Srimati Radharani, and we shall forever aspire for the shelter of his lotus feet. What follows are eight transcendental remembrances of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's manifest pastimes in Sri Caitanyadeva's ongoing sankirtana-lila, all of which point to his eternal service in the camp of Sri Radha.
His Birth – An Eternal Resident of Goloka Vrndavana
It was Nandotsava, the day after Janmastami, the advent day of Lord Krsna, when Srila Prabhupada appeared in this world in a small village on the outskirts of Calcutta. It was a very auspicious day and all the people in the three worlds were engaged in a wonderful festival celebrating the birth of Sri Krsna-candra, who had advented at Sri Vrndavana-dhama almost five thousand years before. At this auspicious time, Srimati Radharani, the queen of Vrndavana, called her dear servant and said, “Please go to earth and give them Krsna's mercy.” Thus her own servant was sent to this world to spread Krsna consciousness in every town and village. Who else but the dearmost servant of Srimati Radharani could be worthy of such a task?
The same year as Srila Prabhupada's appearance (1896), Srila Thakura Bhaktivinoda's introductory book in English, Sri Caitanya: His Life and Precepts, appeared at McGill University in Canada. This was the first book about Sri Caitanya to reach Western shores. Shortly after that, Bhaktivinoda also predicted that a great soul would soon come to fulfill Sri Caitanya's prediction from Caitanya-bhagavata –
prthivite ache yada nagaradi-grama
sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama
“In every town and village in the world, the holy name of Krsna will be sung.”
That Thakura Bhaktivinoda's first publication came to the West in the same year that Srila Prabhupada appeared in this world as ‘the ambassador to fulfill the prediction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’ is felt in the hearts of Srila Prabhupada's eternal servants as an eternal transcendental truth.
Srila Prabhupada is always situated in eternal pastimes of the divine couple Sri Sri Radha-Govinda in the transcendental realm of Goloka Vrndavana. Thus the place of Srila Prabhupada's appearance in this mundane world is considered non-different from Goloka Vrndavana.
“To teach others by example how to be a faithful disciple of sri guru, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited the birthplace of Isvara Puri at Kumara Hatta and collected some earth from his birthsite. This Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu kept very carefully, he used to eat a small portion of it daily.” (Caitanya-bhagavata Ch. 12)
Let us therefore eternally worship the auspicious day and the auspicious place where Srila Prabhupada manifest his humble appearance in this world.
His Father – A Pure Devotee of Krsna
Gaura-Mohana De, a pure devotee of Krsna, desired the very best for his son. “Please bless him,” he used to say, whenever holy men used to visit his home. “Please bless my son that he will become a great devotee of Srimati Radharani.”
Srila Prabhupada said, “My father also trained me and instructed me to his best capacity, and he prayed for me that Radharani may be pleased upon me, and I think by my father's blessings and grace, I may have come to this position, and I have gotten into relationship with His Divine Grace Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja also by his mercy. So it is Krsna's grace that I got a good father and also a good spiritual master.”
What else did Gaura-Mohana desire for his son? “He should learn to play mrdanga very nicely and he should engage in the worship of Sri Sri Radha-Govinda.”
Srila Prabhupada's father made all these arrangements: mrdanga lessons and Deities of Radha-Govinda for Srila Prabhupada's childhood worship. In due course of time, everything became wonderfully manifest in Srila Prabhupada, as per his father's transcendental desires.
What wonderful arrangements the Lord makes for his pure devotees. Let the holy remembrance of Sri Gaura-Mohana De, the father of Srila Prabhupada and a pure devotee of Krsna, be ever present in our thoughts.
His Guru – ‘My Guru Maharaja was a Vaikuntha Man’
Srila Prabhupada said, “The ideas I imbibed from my father in my childhood days were later on solidified by my spiritual master, the eternal father, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.”
Who was Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, the spiritual master of our beloved spiritual master? The eternal ego of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura is disclosed here in these two beautiful prayers:
su-vicaraka iva jivaka iti sadhubhir-uditam
pranamami ca caranantika-paricaraka-sahitam
“O Dayita Dasa, your divine personality exists within the spiritual realm, and your manner of movement is quite gentle while your divine figure fondly engages in the Lord's srngara-rasa pastimes. In addition, your external appearance radiates the prestige of a dignified renunciate – far superior to any class of demigod – and possesses the intelligence of a pure devotee. Every aspect of your distinct personality is exactly parallel with those magnificent devotees Srila Sanatana, Srila Raghunatha Dasa, and Srila Rupa Gosvami. Due to your wonderful and precise judgment, the devotees have declared that you are the life-image of Srila Jiva Gosvami. On your auspicious appearance day, I humbly offer my respects unto the tips of your lotus toes in the association of your favorite servitors. O Gurudeva, you are the dearmost object of King Vrsabhanu's daughter, Srimati Radharani.”
nite yasmin nisante nayana-jala-bharai snata-gatrarbudanam
ucchair utkrosatam sri-vrsa-kapi-sutaya-dhiraya sviya-gosthim
prthivi gadhandhakarair-hrta-nayana-manivavrta yena hina
yatrasau tatra sighram krpana-nayana he niyatam kinkaro 'yam
“At the close of night, early morn, there were thousands of devotees freshly bathed and loudly wailing, their eyes overflowing with sorrowful tears of hopelessness. Srimati Radhika, that radiantly beautiful queen of Vraja and daughter of King Vrsabhanu, had summoned her intimate servant Sri Dayita Dasa to return to her divine camp, their personal family. Now in the absence of Nayana-mani Manjari, the earth planet has been vacuumed into the deepest, vacant darkness. Oh! With no further delay, kindly accept this fallen soul as your servant. O Dayita Dasa, I am hoping against hope to be embraced within the fold of your divine company.” (Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Deva Gosvami Maharaja)
Let the transcendental memory of Srila Prabhupada as the eternal servant of the servant of Sri Sri Radha-Govinda become our exclusive meditation and bhajana.
His Guru's Instructions – Radha-kunda-Print Books
Srila Prabhupada often spoke about the instructions of his Guru Maharaja to preach and publish Krsna conscious literature. Srila Prabhupada was especially fond of mentioning the story of how he received his most important instructions from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura at Sri Radha-kunda. Srila Prabhupada recalled that at the time Srila Bhaktisiddhanta was feeling some dissatisfaction in regard to some disciples competing over who would live in which rooms in the newly constructed temple in Calcutta.
While walking along the banks of Radha-kunda, the place of the most intimate pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Govinda, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura revealed his mind. “I think it would be better to sell this temple and the marble and print books.” Then, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura turned to Srila Prabhupada and said, “If you ever get money, print books.”
Srila Prabhupada told this story many times and he would usually add these words: “And so, I am doing. Printing books is our first business. Print books and distribute them all over the world and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu will bless you.”
In great humility Srila Prabhupada used to say that his only qualification was that he had firm faith, guru-nistha, in the order of his spiritual master.
The ultimate conception of the spiritual master in the Gaudiya sampradaya is that the guru is the representative of Srimati Radharani. Srila Prabhupada saw his Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, in that way and that is the standard that we are to adopt if we are to enter deeply within the ocean of Krsna consciousness.
Let us always worship the holiest of holy places, Sri Radha-kunda, and let us always remember the instructions of Srimati Radharani to her most confidential servant at that most holy place.
His Holy Place of Bhajana – The Radha-Damodara Temple
Once in Vrndavana Srila Prabhupada informed a small group of his devotees of something very sublime, “I live eternally in my rooms at the Radha-Damodara temple.” The real substance of this statement is of course only fully known to Srila Prabhupada himself, but we can feel with our heart that this clearly indicates that Srila Prabhupada is an eternal member of the camp of Srila Rupa Gosvami.
In his small rooms overlooking the samadhi of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Prabhupada used to execute his daily bhajana of chanting the holy name of Krsna and writing the Bhaktivedanta purports in Srimad Bhagavatam. Srila Prabhupada also informed us that, “I got inspiration for going to the West simply by performing my bhajana and praying before the samadhi of Srila Rupa Gosvami.” There he did his bhajana and there he daily sang Narottama Dasa Thakura's song, Sri Rupa Manjari Pada. It is in this song that we find the highest aspiration of the followers of the Rupanuga sampradaya in the service of Sri Radha.
The Radha-Damodara temple is located within the rasa-mandala of Sri Vrndavana-dhama and it occupies a most exalted position as the place of highly confidential lila of Sri Sri Radha-Govinda. It was here also that the renowned devotee Srila Jiva Gosvami prepared transcendental literature on the science of Krsna-consciousness.
Damodara generally means bound by the ropes of love of Mother Yasoda. But there is another meaning of Damodara which is known only to the followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Damodara means bound by the love and affection of Srimati Radharani. So great is Srimati Radharani's love for Krsna that she has captured Krsna and bound her Lord making him Her exclusive property and servitor.
The Radha-Damodara temple now stands at that place where Lord Krsna became a slave to the love of Srimati Radharani, where he bowed to her holy feet in radha-pada-seva, and this also is the eternal place of service and bhajana of Srila Prabhupada.
Let us always remember the Radha-Damodara temple, the place of holy bhajana of Srila Prabhupada and let us never forget his most exalted position as a servant of Srimati Radharani in the camp of Srila Rupa Gosvami.
His Arrival – You Will Obtain Your Good Fortune
When the good ship Jaladuta was crossing the Atlantic Ocean en route to Boston Harbor on Sept. 13, 1965, Srila Prabhupada composed a beautiful prayer in his native Bengali language. The refrain appeals to Sri Krsna, who is bound by Radharani's love.
krsna taba punya habe bhai
e-punya koribe jabe radharani khusi habe
dhruva ati boli toma tai
Commenting on Srila Prabhupada's poem, Srila Sridhara Maharaja once said:
“I consider him to be a saktyavesa-avatara and this is confirmed in his writings on his spiritual journey through the Atlantic. How he arrived in America, the nature of his beginning the movement, his intense degree of dependence and dedication to Krsna, and how much he made himself empty of any other desire than the order of his Gurudeva corroborate that Krsna came down to help him. In his poem Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Krsna, we find him pleading with Krsna, 'My dear brother, your good fortune will come to you only when Srimati Radharani becomes pleased with you.' Seeing his Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, as Radharani's delegation and his order as her divine service, he humbly submitted that he did not feel himself worthy or fit to discharge the divine service, so he enlisted Krsna in the service of his guru. He had completely dedicated himself to the purpose; he was so earnest in his prayer to Krsna that divine force came down to help him. Otherwise, it is impossible. It is not an ordinary thing that anyone can do, rather the highest thing was extensively taken down to the lowest position, to the fallen souls. It cannot but be the divine power, embodied and in a great intensity and magnitude! So, saktyavesa-avatara, I cannot but take him to be so.”
The longest journey begins with the first step and certainly any and all progress in Krsna-consciousness begins by first approaching Srimati Radharani. Just as all the planets revolve around the pole star, Dhruva-loka, so divine service revolves around Sri Radha. Therefore, with emphasis (dhruva) Prabhupada wrote, dhruva ati boli toma tai, emphatically imploring Krsna, “You will only be happy if Radharani is pleased; therefore, You must help me to do Her service.”
It is the desire of Srimati Radharani to spread Krsna-consciousness all over the world and it is the desire of Sri Krsna to spread the glories of Srimati Radharani amongst the surrendered souls. Both these elements are present in the very beginning of Srila Prabhupada’s attempt to start the Krsna-consciousness movement in the Western world.
Once Srila Prabhupada commented that, “Krsna alone is not so beautiful.” The meaning is that without Srimati Radharani by his side Krsna is incomplete. The ultimate truth is that Radha and Krsna are together eternally-they actually never separate even for a moment. As Krsna never takes even a step out of Vrndavana, similarly Krsna never leaves the side or Srimati Radharani even for a moment. The two are eternally united.
The pure devotees of Krsna never desire to enjoy separately with Krsna-rather they eternally desire to serve the divine couple Sri Sri Radha-Krsna by attending to all their needs or transcendental necessities.
Let us always remember the lotus feet of our divine master, His Divine Grace, who has obtained the greatest fortune from the Supreme Lord Krsna by the grace of Srimati Radharani and who is eternally engaged in their most intimate service.
His Message-A Matchless Gift – We Have Come Here to Receive the Greatest Gift
The matchless gift that His Divine Grace so graciously gave to his disciples, followers, and ultimately the whole world is nicely expressed by Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami in the following prayer to his spiritual master. What we find expressed here by Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami is truly the essence of the mission of His Divine Grace and the most refined understanding of the substance of our Gaudiya sampradaya.
nama-srestham manum api saci-putram atra svarupam
rupam tasyagrajam uru-purim mathurim gostavatim
radha-kundam giri-varam aho radhika-madhavasam
prapto yasya prathita-krpaya sri gurum tam nato 'smi
Here Dasa Gosvami prays to his Gurudeva, and if we can understand the things represented in this verse, we can say that we have understood Srila Prabhupada’s message. By the grace of His Divine Grace, we have received the highest conception of the Holy Name of Krsna and the shelter of Sri Caitanya. Sri Caitanya's personal secretary, Svarupa-damodara, is none other than Sri Lalita Sakhi, the closest friend of Sri Radha, who canvasses widely on her behalf. By Srila Prabhupada’s grace, we have come to her shelter and also the shelter of Sri Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis. By their grace we can become acquainted with our eternal place of service at Govardhana and sometimes be called to Radha-kunda in the service of Sri Sri Radha-Madhava.
Let us always remember the lotus feet of His Divine Grace, who is the giver of the matchless gift of eternal joy in the hearts of his surrendered servants and who is a torchlight of inspiration to all the members of the Gaudiya sampradaya in the matter of spreading Krsna-consciousness all over the world.
His Departure – Govardhana & Karttika
After preaching Krsna consciousness around the world fifteen times in only twelve years, His Divine Grace lastly returned to Sri Vrndavana-dhama where he manifest his final pastimes before our eyes and gave us his last instructions.
His Divine Grace showed us many things by his personal example and inspired us to continue preaching this Krsna-consciousness movement all over the world. Then in the month of Karttika a few days before Govardhana-puja, His Divine Grace suddenly manifest a great desire to go to Govardhana Hill. It came almost as a shock to the devotees who could not tolerate the idea that His Divine Grace might make such an arduous journey. Then with the help of Krsna Dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Prabhupadas desire was relaxed, at least from the external point of view.
What was it that His Divine Grace was teaching us or what did he actually express by telling us that he wanted to go to Govardhana Hill? It was not simply Govardhana Hill that can be reached by either car or bullock cart to which His Divine Grace desired to go, but it was the infinite play of his eternal Lord in the service of Sri Radha at Govardhana to which he desired to return. As Dasa Gosvami realized when Sri Caitanya gave him the govardhana-sila and gunja-mala, “Mahaprabhu has given me a place at Govardhana in the service of Sri Radhika,” so His Divine Grace instructed us about these truths through his disappearance.
Karttika is the most revered time of year in Vrndavana because it represents the month of Srimati Radharani, and Sri Govardhana Hill is the place of unlimited eternal, intimate pastimes of the Divine Couple Sri Sri Radha-Govinda. His Divine Grace was being called to return to those wonderful pastimes of divine love.
The days and moments past and the devotees stood by helplessly--then suddenly the only meaning in our poor lives disappeared from our sight. Our most beloved guide, master, father, and friend had returned to the side of his most worshipful Lord – simultaneously, he had entered our hearts forever. The devotees shed an ocean of tears, yet to this day we have not extinguished the fire of separation felt for his affectionate and reassuring presence. How shall we maintain our lives now?
His Divine Grace expressed his inner desire to go to Govardhana Hill and he chose the time of Karttika, the month of Srimati Radharani, for his departure from this world. Thus he has shown us the way and he has drawn the whole world to Govardhana Hill and the Karttika festival. This we have understood by our practical experience, as yearly thousands of devotees from all over the world celebrate Karttika in Vrndavana and circumambulate Govardhana Hill.
Let us always remember our Divine Master, His Divine Grace, as an eternal servant and resident of the eternal pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Govinda and let us carry the impression of his lotus feet and his instructions in the core of our hearts and continue on, as he so strongly desired, to become pure devotees and to spread the Krsna-consciousness movement to every corner of the world.
Everything is possible by the will of Radha and Krsna, and His Divine Grace is also always present before us. His Divine Grace has given us the assurance and blessing that through his instructions he will be by our side at every moment. May we all be blessed with his everlasting memory and his transcendental association via faith, surrender, and transcendental loving service.