by Raghava Pandit das

oṁ ajñāna-timirāndhasya
jñānāñjana śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī gurave namaḥ

nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate gour-govinda-svāmin iti nāmine

To my dearest Srila Guru Maharaja, please accept my lakhs and lakhs of sastanga dandavat pranams in the soft dust of your fragrant lotus feet again and again, even though I have no right to even approach such a divine, celebrated and effulgent maha-purusa such as your Self.

On this most sacred day of the year, we celebrate your avirbhava into this world and into our hearts. We get very wrapped up in making arrangements for the many devotees that gather, to show their love and appreciation and cook wonderful dishes for the pleasure of Their Lordships and Their servants, and at the end of all this we ask ourselves, “Did I even take a single moment to sit back and reflect on my good fortune? Did my heart fill with gratitude for all you have given me and continue to do so?”

I feel inadequate in trying to write a single word of proper appreciation and glorification of you, but in reading the many offerings by your disciples and godbrothers, my heart fills with joy and appreciation. The way in which you were able to touch so many in such a profound way! You left too soon as I was a baby, hardly able to walk or even crawl. So in trying to write these words, I feel it is a perfect opportunity to take a moment today and reflect on the good fortune that came upon me.

Without me knowing much about anything, what to speak of the path of bhakti-sadhana-bhajan, you came and snatched me and transported me from Amsterdam to Bhubaneswar, sat me in front of you to fill my ears and heart with the unprecedented sermons of the glories of the Srimad Bhagavatam and the nectarean prema-filled pastimes of Sri Gaura. Who in the world would think that this would ever come to an end? Just as I am still unable to comprehend how such transcendental fortune came upon me, I am still puzzled by your sudden demise.

So here I am, many years later and now decorated with a couple more bruises, scratches and scars I am still trying to walk. You have always continued to look after me, as you nourish all of your beautiful spiritual children according to their own individual needs. Like an expert physician you know exactly which medicine to administer and in what quantities. I know I have failed you many times, and I pray for your kindness and mercy to forgive me. Please don’t give up on me! You see only the good in everyone, however miniscule that may be, and that is my only hope and prayer. That if ever I may have rendered even a resemblance of devotional service, or even “just” some bhakti-sukriti, please only see that and magnify it, and ignore my many, many faults and shortcomings. Without your mercy there is no hope for me, and there is no hope for this world!

Srila Gurudeva, I am most grateful that you snatched me away, and I pray that somehow you use me in your eternal service to the Divine Couple Sri Sri Radha-Krishna and Sri Gauranga!

Your long lost servant,
Raghava Pandit das