Thursday, October 26, 2006

Srila Prabhupada's Disappearance Day in Kiev

Notes on Srila Prabhupada's Disappearance Day Lecture by Krishna-kripa Dasa

There were three Prabhupada disciples in Kiev , but all declined to give the morning lecture, two being sick and the other feeling unqualified, and so I got to speak again about Srila Prabhupada. I was enthusiastic from the previous night, although I had only slept a total of at most five hours, one and a half of them in the van coming back from Charnigov. The class went for almost two hours, but I can only remember some of it now. I went through the different verses of Gurvastakam relating them to Srila Prabhupada's life. For the second verse, I told how Prabhupada had been feeling ill, but participated in the London Ratha-yatra, dancing ecstatically the entire 4 km route. To see Prabhupada dancing, made the devotees even more wild than usual. A policeman realized this and told Prabhupada's servants to stop him from dancing, but the devotees did not like the idea of a policeman telling such a liberated spiritual personality as Prabhupada what he should do, so they did nothing and Prabhupada danced the whole time. For the fourth verse, I told about how Prabhupada came into the middle of a kirtana when the devotees were chanting the Gurvastakam prayers, and he mentioned that he liked verse four the best. That verse tells how the guru is pleased that the devotees offer nice food to the Lord, and they are satisfied to take the Lord's remnants as prasadam. I also told how Srila Prabhupada kept a jar of gulabjamons, or ISKCON bullets, as the devotees call them, in the storefront temple, to keep his followers from frequenting the ice cream and doughnut shops. The fifth verse tells how the spiritual master relishes the loving affairs between Radha and Krishna . I mentioned that some people look to other sources for more realization about Radha and Krishna, but before they do that they might consider how dear Srila Prabhupada is to the divine couple for establishing Their worship in a hundred temples all over the world and how great his realization of Their glory must actually be to be blessed with that service. I also included some points I made the previous night in Charnigov, as no one had heard that lecture. It was very nice to remember Srila Prabhupada and to help others remember him on his disappearance day, and I was grateful that I was given the rare opportunity to speak about Srila Prabhupada on that auspicious day.

Several Devotees Speak in the Evening about Srila Prabhupada

Niranjana Swami said Srila Prabhupada prayed to Krishna in a mood of helplessness, “I wish you to deliver the people, but whatever is your will.” Srila Prabhpuada created ISKCON and left the boat of his teachings which will benefit humanity for years to come. Srila Prabhupada was confident that anyone who chants sixteen rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra and gives up the four sinful acts will attain Krishna 's mercy in this life. We have to follow Srila Prabhupada back to Godhead. Although Srila Prabhupada's disappearance was a cause of lamentation, he left his teachings in his books.

Dhanesvara Prabhu explains how Srila Prabhupada was everything for his devotees who felt that their parents, their government, and their society had let them down. The devotees mostly were under thirty and felt greatly dependent on Prabhupada's guidance. Prabhupada gave them permission to pray, “Dear Krishna, if it is your desire, keep Srila Prabhupada here with us.” Personally Srila Prabhupada was indifferent to staying or going. Srila Prabhupada once said, “You cannot imagine the bliss I was experiencing in Vrindavana.” Yet he came to the West and so many people became devotees because he desired it. Similarly, we must also desire that people be delivered.

Sri Nataji Prabhu, a senior brahmacari, knows Srila Prabhupada through his books and followers. Sri Nataji felt bad when his guru left, but hearing the pastimes of Srila Prabhupada which the devotees told at Krinnitsa, he felt a personal connection with him. Seeing his compassion we should be inspired to spread his movement. I read Srila Prabhupada's books and hear his tapes, and I love them.

Bhagavatacarya Prabhu, temple president of our Danesk temple, recalls Prabhupada said, “If you want my association, read my books.” He laments the decline of book distribution in recent years, and he prays to Srila Prabhupada to be able to help his mission.

Acyuta Priya Prabhu, regional secretary for Ukraine , reminds us that we should always meditate on great souls like Srila Prabhupada. He tells a story related by a priest at a temple in Santipura at Advaita Acarya's residence. The priest said that one gentleman would come regularly who wore a white dhoti and would chant very intently, bow down, and thank the priest for his service. He stopped coming for a while, and then later came as a sannyasi. The priest inquired about him and he explained that his spiritual master had given him an almost impossible mission to spread Lord Caitanya's teachings in the West and that the next day he was leaving Calcutta by boat to America . Later the priest saw some Western devotees, which was a new sight for him. One showed him a BTG magazine and the priest saw a picture of Prabhupada in it and recognized that he was the gentleman who had visited his temple. He came to Mayapur and told the devotees that story.