O friend of the poor and lord and master of the devotees,
All tribute to you, the dearmost servant of Lord Caitanya and Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. All tribute to you on this most auspicious day of your Vyāsa-pūjā
A happy day for all the world when you appeared by the grace of Kṛṣṇa to spread the saṅkīrtana movement of Lord Caitanya in every town and village! How bright the future looked, when you walked among us, to lead us on to victory! But then our hearts fell deep and sank when you vanished from our sight. And life since then, I sadly say, has never been the same.
By your order every chance was there to remain by your side, but then the darkness fell. Illusion overcame me, and my heart filled with pride. I forgot that I am only a servant whose position is very low. I began to think myself very advanced, like the glow-worm who becomes enamoured by his own lustre when the moon is out of sight. I thought I had become the highest among men, a paramahaṁsa; and even worse, I thought I had always been. The desire to take position burned like a fire within. I wanted to be the guru! That was my greatest sin. I thought I should be worshiped, and I would become the redeemer of men. What foolishness it was! And all these things have caused me pain. But who am I to blame? I am the greatest fool, and I hang my head in shame.
Had I only remembered my real position as the servant of my master’s desires. Woe is me, woe is me! You, Śrīla Prabhupāda, were the most selfless servant of your spiritual master, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, and you sacrificed everything in his service. Had I actually understood your great humility I could have saved myself from the demon of my pride. Seeing that I was falling, you tried to save me by sending your more sincere men. But I could not recognise my brothers as my actual friends, and in fear they were all my enemy—I kicked them all away. And now I am alone, and māyā is all around. Only you can save me. Please let me try again!
Having cried out my heart to you, I see a future hope. Like a loving father, tirelessly you work to save the fallen. I see your form in golden hue, and my heart fills with joy. With your head held high and your cane steadfastly in your hand, you stand above all, the leader of your men. Your words dispel the clouds of doubt: “Preaching is the way.” By the power of your mighty pen the demons fall away, and from their ashes rise again a host of saintly men. Like a great army they are going out to conquer maya, carrying your books in hand. You, Śrīla Prabhupāda, are the master of saintly men.
But who am I, and where am I, and what am I to do? And then your solemn words, I remember when you said, “You are Jagat-Guru Dāsa, the servant of the spiritual master of the world.”
Thank you, Śrīla Prabhupāda.