Dearest Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my unworthy, yet loving obeisances at your divine lotus feet. I wish to express my deepest gratitude that in spite of all my anarthas, inabilities and illusions, you continue to love me and accept me as your daughter and disciple. In spite of the complications of life in this earthly world, I continue to remember you daily and think of you with love, and sometimes with painful separation.
I pray for those occasional glimpses into the reality of the spiritual world, which is undoubtedly more enduring and more blissful than this world. Very occasionally when those glimpses come, and the window of perception opens -- even for a moment, I am graced with your divine presence and the waves of joy and realization that follow. It is for those moments of transcendence that I live--without them this life would be like dull cardboard, brittle and decaying. Your presence in my life is as essential as my very breath, and as I wrote so many years ago, "Your room was the whole world and you were all the people ... "
Two years ago, you graced me with your presence in a dream. At the time I was living with devotees near the Houston temple, working for my Dad in Texas. In the dream, I was driving my car in a parking garage, round and round, going in circles, when I heard your voice calling me, ever so clearly:
"Govindasi ... " so distinct, just as you called me so many hundreds of times, so many years ago. It was as if you were in the next room. The import was, "come out of this place, come with me ... " And in the next dream scene I was in some sort of aircraft, flying into Mayapur. Then I saw you there, in the distance, walking with some “Dignitaries" -- there were 4 or 5 Dignitaries walking with you, coming across the field behind the Mayapur temple. You were approaching the gateway of a very tall thatched bamboo-like fence.
In my dream, I went into the fenced-in waiting area by that gate, a sort of open-air foyer, to await your arrival. There in that waiting area were many old devotees, early disciples who were very dear to you ... all waiting to greet you upon your arrival. I remember seeing Malati dasi, and others from the early era. Many of your oldest disciples were waiting in the entrance way, and our hearts were full of joy! Our beloved Prabhupada was coming back!
Then I awoke ... and I wept, feeling your divine presence, and relishing once again the sound of your voice, and the nearness of your presence. I pondered the meaning of the dream, then the pain of separation enveloped me. Time passed, life became busy, and I forgot the dream, except on some rare occasions when I could still see you in my mind's eye -- walking across the Mayapur fields with some “Dignitaries.”
Then in March of 1996, nearly two years later, I found myself sitting in your thatched mud hut in Mayapur, your Bhajan Kutir, chanting japa. My trip to Mayapur had been a big surprise. It was arranged very amazingly: a dear Godsister had purchased my ticket, and another had arranged my accommodations. And against impossible odds, I got a train ticket to Calcutta, as India was celebrating huge cricket tournaments, as well as Holi, along with the Gaur Purnima Centenniel!
While sitting there at your favorite spot and chanting japa, a very wonderful thing happened! I suddenly felt as if you were very present, and you entered into my mind and heart, much as you did so many years ago in Hawaii, when you entered my heart and gave me a spiritual transmission. This was a divinely inspired darshan, an incredible gift, and you consoled me and instructed me, ever so gently and joyfully ...
"See," you said, "this is why I called you to come here, to see my Debut...to see my becoming the center again. And to answer all your tearful prayers ... " Realizations flooded my mind and heart, and then I suddenly remembered the Texas dream! I looked around and recognized the tall thatched fences that I had seen in my dream! These were constructed for the Mayapur festival, but I had never seen such fences before. Then I realized that the dream was a glimpse of what was soon to be ...
You were smiling and very victorious, almost laughing, and seeing me there, you reminded me of everything ... of the dream, of why I had come to Mayapur, of all my tearful letters and prayers. It was as if time stood still as I sat in your eternal presence, that "Sat Chit Ananda" experience you so freely gave during your years of teaching on Earth.
"See, this is why I called you to come here -- to see me become the center again .. and to console you and answer all your tearful prayers ...” You smiled as you spoke.
In your divine presence, realizations began to flood my mind. I saw that you had called me to come, in the dream, (even though I had not understood) to come to see your debut, your coming into the Center of ISKCON again. You let me know my prayers are being fulfilled.
For so many years, you were shoved aside, and chaos, confusion and duplicity reigned.
I always prayed that "Oh Srila Prabhupada, you must be the center, then all problems will be automatically solved." But I never knew how it could happen; things had gone so far astray. Now with your divine vision, I saw that the Centennial Celebration was going to be a “Debut Party!” I saw that you are coming back! Just as you would come and go so frequently during your years on Earth. And tears coursed down my face, tears of love and joy ...
Then joyfully, I asked you about the problems since you left ... And you gave me the vision to see that all these people, good or bad, are being engaged by your Grace. Even they are not perfect, and many problems exist, they are meant for holding things together until your reinforcements arrive. And those whose desires for money, fame, or power were greater, they got it. But nevertheless, you remain fully in control. You and Krsna. Though some persons may be thinking otherwise, you are very much in control of the situation. You see through everyone and everything, just as you did when present before our physical eyes.
You then told me, "No one should resent anyone, for they are only acting according to their nature, just as you also are doing. Everyone is acting within the limitations of their nature. Some persons may be greedy for money or power, it is true, but they will be corrected in time. But they may also do some service in the meantime." And I understood that eventually you will lead us all to purification and the lotus feet of Lord Krishna. All are working according to God's will; Krishna is “rearranging our karma" and restructuring our natures.
"It is necessary to speak the truth, but without anger or malice -- even if others have malice, we should not have malice," you instructed.
"Many persons have served sincerely and endured much hardship, and are acting now as leaders. If they misuse their positions, they will be corrected just as surely and just as severely as those past leaders were, and just as surely as those who have gone before them.” You then said, "Changes are made by those with vision, but it doesn't happen overnight." Tearfully, I offered my humble obeisances and asked what instructions you have to give me, and you replied:
"Do your book, 'Srila Prabhupada, the Early Days' ... "
"But Srila Prabhupada," I replied, "it will only be criticized, as so much of what your disciples have said has been criticized ... "
Again, you said, "Write your book. It is important for the generations to come ... " On hearing your voice, Srila Prabhupada, I was able to hear and understand things more from your point of view, from a place of genuine compassion--as you so clearly see us and our natures, whether we are slaves to lust, greed, or anger. I understood how, in spite of our anarthas, you are utilizing our energies to serve Lord Chaitanya's mission. I was able to experience forgiveness and to realize we are all eternally connected to you, both old devotees as well as new ones.
I realized that you are the Jagat Guru of the Earth planet, that your jurisdiction is the fallen souls of Kali Yuga, and that you are some very great Divine Personality working closely with Lord Chaitanya to bring about the fulfillment of the Yuga Dharma ... “In every town and Village...”
I realized I do not know who you are. Lord Chaitanya said he would send His “Commander in Chief”, but who is that Personality? Who can know, who you are, that you can turn the hearts of millions of people all over the world? By meeting you even in your Vani form, by reading your books, people have become accomplished devotees. Who can possibly understand who you are or your real position in this lila of the Golden Lord?
You used to say, "Krishna Conscious is so simple,” “ saranagati.” “It is simple for the simple hearted, but made complicated by the crooked." That is, by those who wish to utilize the path of Bhakti for personal gain of name, fame, and greed. After your darshan, I felt convinced that this is truly the beginning of a new era for your ISKCON Society. My mind filled with memories of you in 1968, sitting in your room and slowly turning your Atlas World Globe, planning the expansion to countries all over the Earth. And I remembered the verse:
“In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium."
I remembered how in 1968 you told me of your plans for a World Samkirtan party, at a time when we had no money even for renting our small flat in Montreal. And you wanted to build an auditorium for bhajans and cultural events, at a time when there was no money, no manpower, nor prospects of such things. You foresaw everything; you “Hunted the Rhino." Yet you had no pride or egoism about anything, as worldly persons have when success comes from some great achievement. You would often say, “So, we shall make our plans, and then we shall see what Krishna desires ... " Your attitude was always one of humility. You would say, "We are simply trying and if Krishna wants it will be successful, and otherwise, whatever Krishna desires." You saw Krishna at every moment and in every action.
I bowed in joyful gratitude, thanking Lord Krishna for you,Srila Prabhupada, and thanking you, Srila Prabhupada, for coming to deliver us from darkness, and igniting in our hearts the spark of Bhakti.
Steeped in the joy of Srila Prabhupada's presence, I realized that when we think of a great soul, or of God, Their presence and virtue enter into us. If we light a fire, it will give heat, whether we understand it or not. When we remember Srila Prabhupada, his pure nature covers us in delightful waves.
On the other hand, if we think about a person who is impure, we will be enveloped in them and their flaws. The effect is immediate. If we remember great saints, their spiritual power will affect us immediately. If we remember a person with anger, lust or infatuation, then we will experience those things, but when we remember God and Guru these qualities do not arise.
Even if a person does not have full knowledge of the nature of the Guru, still by remembering Srila Prabhupada, his power is felt. Srila Prabhupada can be experienced by those who never met him in the physical world. We see that many who never met him are his devoted followers. By chanting his mantra, by reading his books, by chanting Hare Krishna, many have experienced his presence and continue to do so. And through his devotees, especially, his blissful form is felt. Srila Prabhupada is able to give joy to all. We disciples are mediums for others to experience Srila Prabhupada shining through us. People feel inspired when we talk of Srila Prabhupada and read from his books.
Yet we must remember that this inspiration does not come from us. It is coming directly from Srila Prabhupada, from his spiritual shakti. To remember Srila Prabhupada makes one's heart glow with joy, one's hair stand on end, and one's mind fill with the love and peace of Bhakti. Pure Krishna consciousness flows in every memory of him. By hearing about his activities, all pain and difficulties are removed. Simply by Srila Prabhupada's remembrance. These feelings are more fully experienced when we have a mood of refuge at his lotus feet. When our offering of ourselves is complete, then his waves descend upon us. This is the nectar of love, the nine fold forms of devotion. One may call it refuge or even bhava; all names and forms of devotion are within the Guru.
It is only through the Grace of Srila Prabhupada that the Lord can be experienced. Through Srila Prabhupada, the greatness of Lord Krishna can be known. His darshan should be desired, his form and words should be our constant meditation. His remembrance and the experience of his presence is all important.
A person may know a lot, but still not know everything. Like someone who knows how to play a tape recorder, but when the batteries are low, he doesn't know how to put the new ones in. So even if someone tells me how to run it, then what can I do if I don't know about the battery cells. The real Guru knows how to change the cells; we may only know how to run it. So we stand before Srila Prabhupada and say,
“Dear Srila Prabhupada, I don't know anything. You are the Master. My mind has failed, please now change the cells ... "
THIS IS REFUGE IN THE LOTUS FEET OF SRILA PRABHUPADA. IN THE END YOU HAVE TO OFFER YOUR SOUL, AND THAT IS CALLED “SAMARPAN." YOU CAN FEEL COMPLETE TRUST IN OFFERING YOUR SOUL TO THE LOTUS FEET OF LORD NITYANANDA, AND YOU CAN FEEL COMPLETE TRUST IN OFFERING YOUR SOUL TO THE LOTUS FEET OF SRILA PRABHUPADA. WITHOUT THIS, THERE IS NO JOY, NO AIM IN LIFE. SUCH GREAT JOY IS FOUND IN THIS OFFERING. IT IS BEYOND ALL OTHER TREASURES. AND IT WILL LAST FOREVER. OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH SRILA PRABHUPADA IS ETERNAL, AND IT WILL FLOURISH AND NOURISH US ETERNALLY. AND IT IS AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE, AT EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY.
Your loving daughter and disciple,