by Rasamanjari Devi dasi

nama om visnu padaya krishna prestheya bhutale
srimate bhaktivedanta swamin iti namine
nama om visnu padaya krishna prestheya bhutale
srimate gour govinda swamin iti namine

Dearest Srila Gurudeva,

Hare Krishna. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and to your beautiful lotus feet. Please accept my eternal dandavat pranams. May your fame be spread all over the three worlds! Srila Gurudeva, i take shelter at your lotus feet.

Today is our day to eulogize you in the gathering of your swan-like devotees.

Prabhupāda: All this eulogization about me, people, outsider, may think that “This man is being flattered and he is hearing his own eulogization.” But that is not the fact. It is the test, how they are receiving the message sincerely and they (are) expressing their feeling. So it is going to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As it has come through the channel of disciplic succession, all these praises will also reach to Kṛṣṇa through that disciplic succession. So it is not personal thing. These things are required. Just like in the military training, they are taught by the officers in a different way, in so many ways. Similarly, this is also training of Kṛṣṇa consciousness so that the feeling of pure consciousness will reach to Kṛṣṇa.”

Dear Srila Gurudeva, i never saw you or heard about you even though i took initiation from Srila Prabhupada in 1972 and you exhibited your divine pastimes on the planet until 1996. Twenty-four years! How is that possible?

Actually i believe that due to my insurmountable material desires and overload of sinful activities i would have not understood you, would have undervalued you or worse, and that Lord Krishna was protecting me from this spiritually destructive course by keeping me in the darkness.

I also blame the ISKCON leadership because they did know about you but did not inform the society that there was actually a highly-advanced, pure devotee amongst us, who, if we had taken shelter of you, would have protected us from the fears, the losses, the deviations, the cheating, the abuses, the mistakes, the painful sufferings; so many troubles, individually and collectively, and put us firmly on the shining, fast path toward Lord Krishna.

Many of my god brothers and sisters did see you, even both my sons, Mandalibhadra das and Nitai Caitanya das saw you, but i lived far away from Temples and whenever you came to California, i missed seeing or finding out about you. I am very sorry for that. If there was anyone i should have moved heaven and earth to see, it was you.

Still, you mercifully came into my life just after your physical departing in a Back to Godhead article written by your disciples. They so nicely described your life and glories and the gravity of your disappearance that this miserable soul longed to have your association. Knowing it was too late, i felt your separation greatly. Just as Srila Prabhupada’s holy disappearance caused a great flood of tears unlike any feeling of loss within this world, a realization of eternal loss similarly came over me and i felt exactly the same transcendental feelings again…for you.

This divine experience is so perfectly described in Srimad Bhagavatam that i am including it here: “While she was serving her husband by massaging his legs, she could feel that his feet were no longer warm and could thus understand that he had already passed from the body. She felt great anxiety upon being left alone. Bereft of her husband’s company, she felt exactly as the deer feels upon being separated from its mate. Being now alone and a widow in that forest, the daughter of Vidarbha began to lament, incessantly shedding tears, which soaked her breasts, and crying very loudly. “O best of kings, please get up! Get up! Just see this world surrounded by water and infested with rogues and so-called kings. This world is very much afraid, and it is your duty to protect her.” That most obedient wife thus fell down at the feet of her dead husband and began to cry pitifully in that solitary forest. Thus the tears rolled down from her eyes. (Purport). Just as a devoted wife becomes afflicted at the passing away of her husband, when a spiritual master passes away, the disciple becomes similarly bereaved.” 4.28.46-48

Awhile after that heart-moving experience of you, i received 21 handwritten pages extracted from your blissful Embankment of Separation book, then i saw a big photograph of you with all divine glorification honorifics in a Hare Krishna World newspaper. There was a phone number and i wished to obtain a copy of your Embankment of Separation so i called and placed an order. You sent me Embankment of Separation, a collection of 8 cassette tapes and introduced me to some of your nice devotees. I began to listen to your tapes but your accent was difficult for me to understand. I remembered it was also hard for me to understand Srila Prabhupada at first, so i determined that by hearing more, everything would become clearer. So you devised a transcendental trick for me. Two of the tapes were labeled with different titles and i had chosen those two to listen to. After awhile i realized they were the same tape, that i had been hearing the same tape over and over and this sped up my listening ability. Good trick. Thank you for that.

Thank you for everything.

I feel you. I think of you and feel you like a very dear relative, like a loving, caring mother, like a beautiful, pure, fragrant, soft, tender and full, ever-fresh white flower. I feel you whenever i think of you, when i hear you and see your photographs. I feel you and Srila Prabhupada like Father and Mother. i wish i thought of you all the time, along with Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada seems like my perfect and brave authoritative father, you feel like my quietly nurturing and sheltering mother, and It feels very nice to think of you both.

Some of your devotees have helped me to appreciate you. Thank you for that. I notice some of your new, un-initated followers are moving so fast–going closer to you than me and i feel left behind, ashamed, and wish to somehow rectify myself and come closer, too. I pray for this. Please help me, Srila Gurudeva.

Srila Gurudeva, hope you won’t mind if i tell you I feel very sad when i see some of your disciples fighting amongst themselves because i know it must be extremely painful for you and you took immense spiritual effort to save them and spoke to us about how Srila Prabhupada wants a society without envy, even requesting that it would be our Centennial gift to him. They, we owe you everything. We can try to repay you by focusing more on you and becoming like you so we can come closer to you, and you and Srila Prabhupada can rescue us all.

daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī
mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante
māyām etāṁ taranti te

“My divine energy consisting of the three modes of material nature is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.” A Vaiṣṇava should take care of those who are bewildered by this māyā instead of becoming angry with them, because without a Vaiṣṇava’s mercy they have no way to get out of the clutches of māyā. Those who have been condemned by māyā are rescued by the mercy of devotees.

vāñchā-kalpatarubhyaś ca kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca
patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaiṣṇava devotees of the Lord. They are just like desire trees who can fulfill the desires of everyone, and they are full of compassion for the fallen conditioned souls.” Those who are under the influence of the illusory energy are attracted to fruitive activities, but a Vaiṣṇava preacher attracts their hearts to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa.” Bhagavad-gītā 7.14

Srila Gurudeva, I feel sorry that some of your disciples have gone far away; you must be crying for your children who have gone…and even crying for me who can’t seem to come any closer, Gurudeva! Please give me one drop of your mercy!

I am really unfortunate Srila Gurudeva. I am not crying for you or Srila Prabhupada. My stony heart is just ruined and destroyed by bad association with my pagala, avaisnava mind and greedy senses. You started the Crying School, and the feelings of hoplessness, helplessness and crying in the heart really start in the Krishna Consciousness Movement with you. Srila Prabhupada’s disciples may as yet find the concept of crying in the heart confusing, but Srila Prabhupada and the Vaisnava Acaryas spoke of it. When will my crying for you and Srila Prabhupada begin, oh merciful master?

“Just like the Gosvamis, when they were in Vrndavana, they were feeling this bhava. Hey radhe vraja-devike ca lalite hey nanda-suno kutah. And they were simply searching after in the Vrndavana forest. Hey radhe, “Radharani,” vraja-devike, “all the gopis,” hey radhe vraja-devike ca lalite he nanda-suno: “O the son of Nanda Maharaja, Krsna.” Kutah, “Where you are all?” This is bhava. “Where you are all?” Sri-govardhana-kalpa-padapa-tale kalindi-vane kutah: “Where you are? Are you near the Govardhana Hill or some forest on the bank of the Yamuna? Please let me know.” Ghosantav iti sarvato vraja-pure khedair maha-vihvalau. In this way they were searching after Krsna, “Where is Krsna? Where is Krsna?” and crying, ghosantav iti maha-vihvalau, just like madmen. This is Krsna consciousness. This is the highest perfection of Krsna consciousness, when one will be mad after Krsna, “Where is Krsna? Where is Krsna? Where is Krsna?” That is… Caitanya Mahaprabhu also showed us that way. The Gosvamis also showed us that way.

Therefore Srila Narottama dasa Thakura says that we must follow the Gosvamis and their servant. Ei chay gosai janr — tanr mui das: “I am not going to be a servant of anyone. But a person who has taken the six Gosvamis as his master, I become his servant.” Ei chay gosai janr — tanr mui das. “Why I shall become anyone’s dasa? But if somebody is the servant of the Gosvamis, then I become his servant.” Ei chay gosai janr — tanr mui das, tan-sabara pada-renu mora panca-gras: “Their dust of lotus feet, that is my food.” SB 6.1.39

The dust of your lotus feet, the dust of the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada and the dust of any of those who have taken Goswami’s like you and Srila Prabhupada as their master, i’ll become their servant; that is my only hope.

Radhe, Radhe. Jai Sri Sri Radha Gopal Jiu

All glories unto you, Srila Gurudevaji!!
Happy, Happy Appearance Day!

lowly servant in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Rasamanjari Devi dasi