by Janeswar dasa

namah om visnu-padaya krishna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate gour govinda swamin iti namine

he guro jnana-da dina-bandho svananda-datah karunaika-sindho
vrndavanasina hitavatara prasida radha-pranaya-pracara

Dearest, most worshippable Srila Gurudeva

At the beginning of this, my offering to Your Divine Grace this year, I offer my dandavats again and again at your divine lotus feet. Even though I am such a great fool, somehow I understand that my best interest is served in prostrating my body, mind and everything else at your divine lotus feet. There is really nothing else I can do.

Guru Maharaja, somehow and most fortunately, by grace, I know and understand that you are Sad Guru, the topmost of the Lord’s dear devotees, who has mercifully appeared in this mortal realm purely for the ultimate benefit of others.

In fact you are so dear to your dear Lord Sri Krishna that when the Lord decided to make His appearance in this world at this time for the compassionate upliftment of the fallen souls (such as your useless servant Janeswar dasa) and to keep up the prestige of Srila Prabhupada, the Acaryas and their divine preaching mission, He appeared in the form of Your Divine Grace before such souls. To your disciples therefore you are non-different from that Supreme Lord Sri Sri Radha-Krishna (Gopaljiu).

It was to serve your most dearly beloved Divine Master and Mistress that you came here as Acarya to preach the message of Mahaprabhu, joining Srila Prabhupada’s mission and staunchly re-establishing the Gaudiya siddhanta clearly therein. And yet in this society, perhaps inevitably (considering the absolute focus of the mission’s devotees on the society’s founder-acarya) you appeared to many as simply an ordinary ‘Indian’ devotee. You were seen as simply another Swami among many. Your true glory was hidden from view to the vast majority.

Still the uniqueness of your spiritual nature couldn’t be totally covered, even though many didn’t understand what they were seeing in Your Divine Grace.

Who did not recognize your very distinct and completely natural way of speaking Krishna katha with such great relish and also with complete knowing authority? Who didn’t notice your unique and all absorbing kirtan? And amongst those who were able to spend even just a few moments in your direct personal association who could fail to feel your most amazing loving compassionate personality? Your pure nature certainly shone through for all to see, though they often didn’t understand what they were experiencing.

Everything you said and did came from deep inside your heart, from your true spiritual nature and personality. (This natural uniqueness of yours made some uncomfortable, and I recall one devotee saying to you how ‘devotees’ thought you had a different mood to Srila Prabhupada, at which point I interrupted him saying how Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada Maharaja was also different from Srila Gour Kishore dasa Babaji Maharaja. Guru Maharaja, you were always totally natural. You were always your pure natural spiritual self. You had no need to copy anyone.)

And still, even for those devotees who were unable to appreciate you during your short presence in this world, simply by hearing from you, simply even by seeing you, Sri Caitanya Bhagavata explains that they have accrued such great spiritual merit that millions of their forefathers have become delivered from material bondage. You are such a personality.

On the other hand, for your greatly blessed dear disciples and followers you have taken on a most loving, kind and compassionate form. Whilst clearly and uncompromisingly presenting the siddhanta of Srimad Bhagavata Purana and Sriman Mahaprabhu, still you dealt most loving with each disciple according to his/her individual needs and level of advancement or surrender. You explained that your desire for your disciples is that “in this very lifetime, I want that you should get Krishna prema”. And most certainly as you are fully empowered by the Lord you can freely award the wonderful gift of pure loving devotional service unto whoever you so wish.

tomate se vaise sri-krsnera purna sakti
tumi se dibare para’ krsna-prema bhakti

So once again Srila Gurudeva, allow me to offer my prostrated obeisance at your two Divine Lotus Feet. I pray please Srila Gurudeva, you keep me always in this position, laying on the ground at Your Divine Lotus Feet. There is truely no-where else for me.

I am a most useless and foolish rascal, but I hope and pray that even so, I can render some little useful service for your pleasure. And yet, I seem totally unable to do anything of use at all, due to my sinful and offensive nature.

I often think of my dear godbrothers and sisters, and what they are doing for your pleasure. Every one of them is absorbed in your service, in remembering your teachings and beautiful pastimes.

Some of these dedicated Vaisnavas are serving you in obvious and glorious ways, such as by establishing your teaching of the pure siddhanta throughout Srila Prabhupada’s society and beyond – by preaching publicly, and also by printing/publishing and widely distributing your teachings, and by nicely presenting your wonderful life and pastimes. Others distribute your books, magazines, Cds, DVDs to the wider audience. Still many others are always preaching your glories directly and also through their actions.

Some of my godbrothers and sisters are dedicatedly serving your mission by managing, maintaining and serving in your projects and temples, and others by undertaking glorious building projects for your pleasure; for example the Dandabhanga Ashram Project, the Temple at Berhampur, the Gundicha Temple in Bhubaneswar and at your divine Sripat at Jagannathpur.

Still many other of these most wonderful devotees are serving you in their everyday lives by following your instructions closely in their bhajan and in their household lives, thinking day and night of how they can please you and serve your instructions..

All of these disciples of yours are great Vaisnavas and Vaisnavis and are very dear to you – as such are most worthy of my worship; all of them are great souls.

And yet unfortunately at the end of the description of the activities of your wonderful disciples comes one who has so far failed to serve you in any useful way. As you are well aware, that sad case is the foolish Janeswar dasa, me. But still I can say that deep down, somewhere under the many layers of ignorance that cover and infect me, there is a desire, inspired by my godbrothers and sisters, to somehow become of some use to Your Divine Grace.

When I examine the situation, embarrassingly, it becomes clear that amongst all of your disciples and followers, I am the one who will need the most attention from you in order to become of any use at all, and to stand any hope of becoming any kind of devotee. For this I need to be kept always at your Divine Lotus Feet. This I can now understand.

So on this wonderful day, Srila Gurudeva, all I can do is appeal for your continued mercy on me.

samsara-samudra haite uddharaha more
ei ami deha samarpilana tomare
krsna-pada-padmeraamrta-rasa pana
amare karao tumi’-ei cahi dana

Please don’t give up on me, because you have the power to deliver even the most useless and stupid of souls, and at some point soon I hope that I will be able to accept your mercy.

Your lowly Janeswar dasa.