Part Three – The Practice of Pure Devotional Service, Chapter 13 – Pastimes and Instructions
In “A Few Words of Guidance,” we present some very special talks by two leading disciples of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda, further elucidating the proper Gauḍīya conception.
Chapter thirteen, “Pastimes and Instructions,” is a talk given by Śrīla Bhakti Pramoda Purī Gosvāmī Maharājā in honour of the 124th Vyāsa Pūjā celebration of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda.
Chapters fourteen thru seventeen, “Bhajana—Real and Apparent,” “Fools Rush in Where Angels Fear to Tread,” “Delusion and Divinity of the Devotee” and “Heart and Halo” are talks by Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhāra Deva Gosvāmī Mahārāja given at Śrī Caitanya Sārasvata Maṭha, Koladvīpa, Navadvīpa-dhāma.
Pastimes and Instructions — Chapter 13
“Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda, on noticing any deviance to the doctrine of pure devotion, would be prompt to refute all such opposing arguments. He had the unusual ability to still all opposition with his witty, fiery replies in accordance with the conclusions of scriptures.”
The most auspicious event of the 124th birthday anniversary of my spiritual master (now in his eternal pastimes), Oṁ Viṣṇupāda 108 Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura, will be on February 16th, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Pañcamī, the month of Māgha (Jan-Feb). This festival will be celebrated by all the maṭhas in a grand way. The advent of my spiritual master is called Vyāsa Pūjā. The other commonly known ‘Guru Pūrṇimā’ day is in the month of June-July. This is the day of the advent of Lord Vedavyāsa. The servitors of the Gauḍīya Maṭha, knowing the spiritual master as non-different in truth from Lord Vyāsa, every year celebrate his advent as ‘Vyāsa Pūjā.’ Lord Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu first established this worship of ‘Vyāsa Pūjā’ through Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu in Śrīvāsa Aṅgana, Māyāpura.
The word vyāsa means to divide, or in another sense, to expand. The complete Vedas were divided into four parts by Him: Ṛg, Sāma, Yajur, Atharva, and also works like Mahābhārata and the Purāṅas were extended by the Muni Śrī Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vedavyāsa. The spiritual master similarly performs this work of Śrī Vyāsadeva in delivering this knowledge to the conditioned living entities. For this reason, the adorations offered to him on his advent are called Vyāsa Pūjā. The Vyāsa Pūjā pastime of Śrīman Mahāprabhu has been explained by Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda in the Gauḍīya journal.
The scriptures say that the moment one feels detachment, from that time, freeing himself from the lures of material sense enjoyments, he relishes the taste for devotional service to the Lord without any consideration for the proper time in doing so. Then, being completely renounced from sense gratification, he takes to the shelter at the lotus feet of the spiritual master. Many refer to this acceptance or surrender at the lotus feet of the spiritual master as ‘Vyāsa Pūjā’.
This ‘Vyāsa Pūjā’ is required to be performed in all the four stages of life with more emphasis on the renounced order. The other meaning of ‘Vyāsa Pūjā’ is in offering everything to the service of the spiritual master, in doing works conducive to the fulfilment of his wishes. Our predecessor spiritual master, Śrīla Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākura, in his offering has humbly prayed:
“When will Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, who has established within this world the mission to fulfil the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet”
The Vyāsa Pūjā worship of Vyāsadeva ultimately means the same mood of surrender and faith to the predecessor spiritual masters.
Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda, even in his youth, was very attached to the chanting of the holy Name. When Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was the deputy magistrate at Rampur, he was a student of the 7th class in high school. Observing his avid absorption in the practice of service to the Lord, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura gave tulasī beads, and awarded him the initiation of the hari-nāma and Narasiṁha mantra. In the year 1881, in Calcutta, during the construction of their house there, named Bhakti Bhavān, a Kūrma-deva śālagrāma–śilā (Deity) was discovered in the earth. His intense desire for such worship, even though he was only 8 years old at that time, made his father teach him the proper method of worship, complete with the worship mantras. Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda always executed such Deity worship very rigidly while maintaining his code of conduct. I myself had the good fortune to see with my own eyes the Deity that was once worshipped by Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda in that house.
Once Śrīla Prabhupāda was standing at the entrance of the Śrī Caitanya Maṭha temple room and was viewing the Deities of Śrī Śrī Guru-Gaurāṅga-Gāndarvikā-Giridhārī. The doorway to the inner sanctorum was rather small and he was not having his spectacles at that time. A dearmost disciple, who was standing by his side, was thinking his spiritual master was not able to get a good view of the Deities from outside because of the small doorway. On hearing this, Śrīla Prabhupāda gave a chuckle and for the benefit of all, replied: “Do not attempt to see the Deities with these mundane, visual senses; instead try to obtain the necessary pure devotional qualifications so that the Supreme Lord will Himself manifest to us in person, for this type of meditation is superior.”
ataḥ śrī kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam-indriyaiḥ sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ
“The name, form, qualities and pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa are transcendental and cannot be relished through the material senses. But to one who performs pure devotional service to the Supreme Lord, beginning with the tongue, by chanting the holy Name purely, the Lord will personally manifest to such a devotee.” (Padma Purāṇa)
The glories of pure devotion have been declared in the holy scriptures, for it is the only way by which one can reciprocate lovingly or have the actual vision of the Supreme Lord.
Another day, Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda and his disciples were walking to Śrī Yogapīṭha from Śrī Caitanya Maṭha. On the way, some of his very dear disciples, smelling the foul odours from the sides of the track, began to tie some cloth over their noses.
It appeared as if they could not breathe properly and Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda, noticing this, started to laugh and commented: “This is a transcendental land full with absolutely pure spiritual scents, but your noses detect only the bad odours of this material world. Do not try to view this transcendental land with your material intelligence, this is non-different from the Supreme Lord.”
In mid-February of 1930 at Śrīdhāma Māyāpura, Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda held a spiritual exhibition called the Śrīdhāma Navadvīpa-Māyāpura exhibition, for a period of approximately one month. Many corrugated tin huts were temporarily constructed for this occasion and were unveiled ceremoniously by Sir P.S. Ray on his auspicious arrival. For the whole period of the exhibition, the sky remained clear by the immeasurable mercy of Lord Gaurasundara and His dear associate, the spiritual master. At the end of the exhibition, heavy winds erupted and tore those tin structures apart, hurling them away at a considerable distance. One such tin structure in its obituary flight, hit one of the domes of the Deity of Śrī Rāmānuja adjacent to the main sanctum and after shattering the concrete dome, fell on the side of the temple where a tube well was stationed. After the tempest had calmed down, Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda, examining the broken dome, commented that for the dome of one of our main spiritual masters to be broken, especially being the foremost ācārya of our Deity worship, could only be due to some grave offense in the Deity worship. True to his word, after an inquiry was conducted, it was discovered that the priest had committed a major offense in the Deity worship. He was immediately replaced and the broken dome renovated. Whenever there were incidents like theft from the temple, or when Śrīla Prabhupāda himself appeared unsound in health or even when disciples were experiencing some major disturbance from the norm, Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda would especially caution his disciples not to commit offenses against the Deity. The offenses to the Name, the holy dhāma (like Māyāpura) and the established Deities were the basis of Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda’s repeated warnings of caution to his disciples.
On the 23th of October 1936, Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda assigned the task of propagating the divine messages of Lord Caitanya in Europe and America to the late Śrīman Bhakti Sāraṅga Prabhu, one of his stalwart disciples. On the eve of his start for his first rendezvous in London, Śrīla Prabhupāda instructed him to worship the Deities of govardhana, sālagrāma and gomatī daily whilst there. The same day, at the temple hall of Bagh Bazaar Śrī Gauḍīya Maṭha, Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda, addressing a large crowd, delivered a fiery speech, enthusiastically extolling the preaching mission of Bhakti Sāraṅga Prabhu and showering his mercy upon him for his successful campaign—the mercy potency of Lord Gaurāṅga. Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda had firm conviction that only in the wide spread propagation of Lord Caitanya’s teachings via spiritual initiation and instruction, could the living entities ultimately attain their eternal welfare. Consequently, with untiring vigour, he began to preach accordingly, together with exhibiting model personal conduct.
Some time before, from March 1933 up to 1935, his disciples Śrīmad Bhakti Pradīpa Tīrtha Mahārāja and Śrīmad Bhakti Hṛdaya Vana Mahārāja had been in London and Germany. There, at various locations, by the holding of public speeches and letter correspondences, they were able to inspire many elite, educated people to become interested in the message of Lord Caitanya. With the consent of Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda, gradually the first London Gauḍīya Mission Society was formed and simultaneously the Gauḍīya Maṭha became established there. The chairman of the Society, Lord Zetland, used to discuss in his weekly meetings, the teachings of Lord Caitanya as inspired by Śrīla Prabhupāda. The preaching excursion to Burma resulted in a maṭha being established in Rangoon in 1935. However, the preaching was curtailed due to the political turmoil in Burma at that time. In many densely populated cities and holy places in India, Śrīla Prabhupāda personally, or through the media of his disciples, established Gauḍīya temples replete with Deity services. The doctrine of devotion of Mahāprabhu was taught and the importance of personal conduct was also stressed in the course of one’s devotion. Altogether sixty-four temples were established in India which were all listed in the weekly Gauḍīya periodical.
It was his innate desire to establish pedestals for the footprints of Lord Caitanya in at least 108 holy places where Śrīman Mahāprabhu had traversed by foot previously. This was to awaken remembrance of the Supreme Lord, Lord Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu. During Śrīla Prabhupāda’s presence, eight of such footprints became established and after his departure many more.
Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda used to participate personally in the circumabulation of the holy lands of Vraja and Navadvīpa. In Purī-dhāma specifically, he would hold excursions to all the main holy spots. Every year, the 16 krośa circumbulation of Navadvīpa was performed by him and to this day his disciples faithfully observe this regularly as a limb of devotional service. Śrīla Prabhupāda used to remark that in the circumabulation of the transcendental land, five main limbs of devotion are performed in conjunction with it, namely: chanting of the holy name, association of devotees, hearing the holy scriptures, residence in the holy land, as well as worship to the Deity form of the Lord. The fact that opportunities are presented to perform all these devotional practices together is the reason why he stressed that the circumambulation be performed with proper care and effort.
Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda became hard like a thunderbolt in seeing actions contrary to the principles of devotion and in favourable practices, he appeared soft like a rose.
In the engrossed hearing of the loving separation pastime exhibited by Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī in Mathura, he became overwhelmed with such agonizing separation that tears flooded from his eyes. His attraction for hearing about the pastimes of the Lord was phenomenal. He would continue in such discussions hour after hour, so much so that when reminded of meal-times, he would become annoyed. He would often remark of the famine existing due to lack of nectarine discussions on the Supreme Lord. As every expert physician requires to be consulted to give the proper diagnosis, similarly he would complain that his disciples did not give him enough opportunity to speak about the Supreme Lord’s pastimes. Thus, when questioned “how are you?” he would reply: “I am alright but these people do not indulge me in spiritual discussions, therefore I am unwell.”
Congregational chanting of the Holy Name was always relished by Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda but not from the lips of pseudo devotees whose songs contradicted spiritual conclusions (rasābhāsa). His real mood was revealed in the self-composed song he used to sing:
prāṇa ache tāra se hetu pracāra pratiṣṭhāsā hina kṛṣṇagāthā saba śrī dayitā Dāsa kīrtanaete āsa kara ucchaiḥ svare harināma-rava
“The real life of the devotee is exhibited in self-surrender to the Lord, devoid of all sense of false prestige.”
The songs of those not surrendered and intoxicated with false prestige, are like a dead body without consciousness and thus should not be entertained. This was his verdict. Unauthorized discussions of high spiritual subjects were not at all approved by Śrīla Prabhupāda. To always remember Kṛṣṇa at all times is productive of pure devotion. Love of Godhead is only attained by the pure chanting of the holy names, devoid of all offenses. Once that stage of offenceless chanting is attained, no other extra effort or purity is required in chanting the holy name. If one with all petty desires for gain, fame and prestige encompassing the mind, puts on a false show of spontaneous pure devotion that was only hypocrisy, it was extremely intolerable to him. He used to say:
mādhavendra purī bhāva-ghare curi na karila kabu sadāi janaba
The famous words of the great souls tell us, vidhi mārge vraja-bhave paite nahi śakti. One cannot attain spontaneous devotion by mere practice of devotion (sādhana). The actual gift of spontaneous devotion is awarded only by the intense greed to receive it, coupled with the blessings of proximity to a genuine teacher who is a resident of the holy dhāma. Pretentiously imitating the activities of realized souls is a disturbance to society, resulting in unqualified discussions. Premature attempts of spontaneous devotion are of no avail! The question may be asked from the context of the above verse as to what the real method of attainment is. The answer is revealed by Lord Gaurāṅga when He informs His confidential associates to deeply imbibe the following verse:
The word śraddhānvitaḥ used in this context, specifically refers to the faith that leads to the attainment of spontaneous devotion. Śrīman Mahāprabhu has stressed that the holy name is replete with all transcendental potency, being non different from the Supreme Person Śrī Kṛṣṇa. The holy name is pure, eternal, replete with all spiritual mellows and is like a wish-fulfilling tree. The process of attaining pure spontaneous devotion is by exclusive surrender to the lotus feet of the personified name, praying to Him with complete yearning and taking to the chanting with a fixed resolve. The cessation of offenses to the name produces final enlightenment in the aspirant.
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī, in his commentary, explains the following verse:
“The word śraddhānvitaḥ is not applicable to the faithless or those who persist in committing offenses against the holy name. The mellows of love are beyond the imagination of Goddess Lakṣmī. It is not by mere intelligence or discrimination that it can be obtained. The only sure way is the obediance to follow the path chalked out by the gopīs of Vraja and not otherwise.”
Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda never did approve of such intricate discussions by the unqualified, always giving priority to the chanting of the holy name. Similarly, Śrī Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s song couplet is enlightening:
viddhi mārga rata jane sva-adhinata ratna-dine rāga mārge kāraṇa pravesh
Here this verse is extolling the glories of the rigid devotional service in practice, ultimately giving us natural entrance into spontaneous devotion. Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda has commented on the 7th verse of Upadeśamṛta, saying:
The characteristics of the holy name are compared to sugar candy, and ignorance is compared to jaundice (excess bile). As a jaundiced person is unable to relish the flavour of sugar candy, likewise the conditioned materialistic living entity is unable to taste the nectarean bliss of the holy name due to ignorance. In taking to the chanting of the holy name sincerely and endeavouring with right efforts, the sweetness of the name becomes apparent and eventually will lead to the dissipation of all unwanted desires.
Further on, the explanation of the 8th verse of ‘Upadeśamṛta’ reads:
The lay aspirant should tame his mind, which is outgoing and restless, with the chanting of the holy name, pastimes, form and qualities of the Lord in a determined way. Side by side, hearing and remembering these attributes of the Lord should also be practised. The increased attraction for such activities as it blossoms, will automatically give one the qualifications to perform spontaneous devotion, gaining immortality. It is important to remember that premature practice of high devotion can lead to the upsurge of low and base instincts of the individual causing him to stray away from the spiritual path.
Common people, under the deception of trying to sing about the pure mellows of devotional service, are only creating opposing mellows (rasābhāsa), which was detested by Śrīla Prabhupāda. Further, he sternly opposed those who eked out a livelihood by the reading of the holy scriptures like ŚrīmadBhāgavatam, or the exhibition of installed Deities in order to collect their own maintenance.
Even though the ritualistic priests (smārta) may differ, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, a main leader in the Gauḍīya Madhva line, has confirmed that all persons, irrespective of caste, can, by the process of spiritual initiation be elevated to perform the worship of the Deity of śālagrāma-śilā. Spiritual initiation involves five rites (tāpa, puṇḍra, nāma, mantra, yāga). Śrī Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa has defined the yāga mentioned above as Deity worship in his holy treatise Prameya Ratnāvalī. It is interesting to note that many of Śrīman Mahāprabhu’s associates, although being from other castes underwent the ritual of ‘brāhmaṇa’ initiation and had brāhmaṇa disciples.
Dīkṣā vidhānena dvijatvaṁ jāyate nṛṇām—actual brāhmaṇa hood is born from the spiritual initiation process (dīkṣā). (Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 2.12)
This is the foundation of the daiva-varṇāśrama system i.e. divisions of labour and class in one’s stage of life only by the basis of devotion. The only criteria for actual qualification in this human life is devotion to the Supreme Lord.
Many vivid proofs are mentioned in scriptures regarding this. The low class dog-eater surrendered to Lord Hari with mind, body and speech is most superior, while a brāhmaṇa devoid of devotion to Lord Hari is considered fallen. (c.f. Bhāg. 3.33.6) These statements confirm the efficacy of devotion. The natural function of the soul is to serve the Supreme Lord. Logically, one who engages in this natural function, is immediately elevated to the caste of brāhmaṇa and more. The fruitive workers who maintain their superiority through seminal birth, are rejected by the devotees of the Lord. Śrī Kṛṣṇa Dāsa Kavirāja’s famous verse in Caitanya–caritāmṛta (Antya-līlā 4.66) reads:
nīca-jāti nahe kṛṣṇa-bhajane ayogya sat-kula-vipra nahe bhajanera yogya yei bhaje sei baḍa, abhakta-hīna, chāra kṛṣṇa-bhajane nāhi jāti-kulādi-vicāra
“The person who practices devotion intensely is more superior irrespective of caste or creed. To consider a devotee as belonging to some particular caste or creed is a hellish mentality.”
“A person born in a low family is not unfit for discharging devotional service to Lord Kṛṣṇa, nor is one fit for devotional service simply because he is born in an aristocratic family of brāhmaṇas.”
“Anyone who takes to devotional service is exalted, whereas a non-devotee is always condemned and abominable. Therefore, in the discharge of devotional service to the Lord, there is no consideration of the status of one’s family.”
Once, a huge public debate was organized in Baligha, Midnapura, to decide the position of high caste brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas. Śrī Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, appearing unsound in health, send his son to the meeting, empowering him to protect the dignity of the Vaiṣṇavas. The meeting was presided by Śrīman Madhusūdana Gosvāmī and Śrī Viśvambharānanda. Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda, delivering an expressive, erudite lecture, explained both concepts in great detail, ultimately proving uncompromisingly the superiority of the Vaiṣṇavas above the born brāhmaṇas. He was thereby given a standing ovation and all the saintly people present there became greatly overjoyed in the confirmation of Śrīman Mahāprabhu’s teachings.
The printing press was an important tool utilized by Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda, for the wide publicity and propagation of spiritual literatures. He would refer to it as the big drum (bṛhad-mṛdanga) whose sound could not only go a long way, but remained for some time. In his boyhood, while assisting his father Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in his publications, Śrīla Prabhupāda gained much experience in proof reading and other works relating to the press. Consequently, with the establishment of many presses, he published many books and periodicals, i.e. the weekly Gauḍīya, Bhagavad-gītā with commentary, Jaiva Dharma, Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Bhakti-rasamṛta-sindhu, etc…
Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda used to be vigilant in the proper service of Śrī Dhāma Māyāpura, the transcendental birth place of Lord Gaurahari. In Yogapīṭha and Śrīvāsa Aṅgana, he experienced many divine experiences. He had the vision of Sarasvatī River in seeing the river Jalaṅgī. Similar visions were perceived by Śrī Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. The confluence of the river Sarasvatī and Gaṅgā in Śrī Māyāpura (Triveṇī) was especially dear to him. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura had forecasted that an extraordinary temple would be constructed in Śrī Yogapīṭha. To confirm the prediction of his father, Śrīla Prabhupāda, with the help of his wealthy disciples, constructed a huge temple there. During the excavation for the temple, a four handed Deity of Viṣṇu was discovered in the earth. Later, this Deity was identified as Adhokṣaja Viṣṇu with Śrī and Bhū potencies by him, according to different arrangements of weapons and symbols in the hands of the Deity. An expert archaeologist, Śrī Rama Prasād Chandra, verified the Deity as being very old. Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda commented later that this Deity was formally worshipped by Jagannātha Miśra. This beautiful Deity is being worshipped at present in Śrī Yogapīṭha, Māyāpura.
To illumine and increase publicity about the holy land, Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda used to invite many eminent and dignified people to Māyāpura time and again. Every year was highlighted with the Navadvīpa parikramā, simultaneously followed by the birth anniversary celebrations of Mahāprabhu. Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda had planned that from Yogapīṭha to Candraśekara Bhāvana in the North and up till Huloor Ghāta at the extreme South, all the area of land be named actual Māyāpura. His prophecy was that all this will be in future the locality of devotees of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and many temples of Lord Kṛṣṇa will be constructed. The auspicious sounds of gongs, bells and drums would be a constant daily affair.
Śrīla Prabhupāda used to remark that Lord Gaurasundara was eternally performing congregational chanting and dancing with His associates in this holy land of Māyāpura. Even today the mystical sounds of gongs and drums can be subtly heard all of a sudden by a very selected few. Śrīla Prabhupāda personally experienced this many times.
As discussed, Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda worked tirelessly to propagate the pure devotional messages of Śrīman Mahāprabhu through books and journals. Primarily, through his four main printing presses and help of other presses, he printed over 100 books and different journals in English, Bengali, Oriya and Assamese languages. The propagation of devotion was not only through the length and breadth of India, but many disciples went to foreign countries to preach under his bidding. Unfailingly as a daily vow, he used to chant one lakh names of the Lord (64 rounds) and his instruction to all his disciples was to do likewise. Keeping this vow intact, he would allot his times incredibly to cover all his preaching schedules and literary work, being a source of inspiration to all who came in contact with him.
Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda, on noticing any deviance to the doctrine of pure devotion, would be prompt to refute all such opposing arguments. He had the unusual ability to still all opposition with his witty, fiery replies in accordance with the conclusions of scriptures. He posed as the awesome figure of non-compromise to pure devotional ideals. To adjust or compromise with concocted deviant philosophy or to show indifference when there was overlapping of mellows, was never tolerated by him. His strict code of behaviour was always according to the instruction of Śrīman Mahāprabhu: asat saṅga tyāga—ei vaiṣṇava ācāra—To completely avoid association of the materialistic sense-enjoyers and the non-devotees, atheists.
The absence of such a dynamic leader has caused the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava world to go through many troubled situations.
Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda had extraordinary knowledge about the secrets of the disciplic succession. The compilation of Vaiṣṇava Mañjuṣā Saṁhitā dictionary was begun regarding different varieties of knowledge about the devotees of Viṣṇu. However, only four editions were completed and published. His memory powers were astounding. The moment he would speak, many fresh and interesting ideas would be revealed, such that it would leave the audience spellbound. Previously, I would be trying to note all these ideas with a deft hand, still I would miss out on many points. Later, Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda personally would rectify such writings.
The very name ‘māyāvādī’ was quite unbearable for Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda to hear. Some people used to contend that Śrī Prakās-ānanda Sarasvatī, after receiving the mercy of Lord Gaurāṅga, became known as Śrī Prabhodānanda Sarasvatī, who was the author of the famous devotional treatise Śrī Śrī Rādhā Rasa Sudhanidhi. This was vehemently rejected by Śrīla Prabhupāda. He explained that the spiritual master of Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī was his own uncle, Śrīla Prabhodānanda Sarasvatī. He used to stay at Śrī Raṅgam and was the follower of Śrī Rāmānuja. He is not to be mistaken with the other Prakāsananda who was from the Śaṅkarācārya sect and staying in Benares.
At the close, before his entrance into his eternal pastimes, in the morning he requested Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Mahārāja to sing Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī-pāda of Śrī Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākura, and Navin Kṛṣṇa Prabhu to sing Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s Tumi daya sagara tarayiteprani. This was the commentary of the 2nd verse of the Śikṣāṣṭakam. After giving this instruction to sing, Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda began to repeat his famous counsel, already mentioned, previously (Dec. 23th): “Implicit obedience to the preceptors laid down by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī through the medium of the spiritual master is the wealth of our devotion.”
In this instruction, he outlined the true method of our devotional practice as well as the real disciplic succession. Furthermore, in hearing the song of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura (tuya dayaechana parama udara), Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda clasped his hands to his forehead and profuse tears of humility rolled down his cheeks. These personal gestures reminded us of our lamentable plight in not having any attraction for the holy name. The name has all potency and is not dependent on time or purity of the chanter. Faith and unalloyed surrender only prevails. We acutely became conscious of all these facts by his gestures. He further reminded us again to follow Śrī Śrīla Rūpa and Raghunātha’s teachings through the medium of Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākura.
Finally, Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda gave his blessings openly to all present as well as to those who were not present and advised them all to perform devotional service to the Supreme Lord and the service of pure devotees, specially by the method of propagation of his divine literatures.
Our most worshipable spiritual master Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda has bestowed his affectionate blessings not only to his disciples, but to his grand-disciples and all those who will in the future come to this line of disciplic succession. There is no cause for loss of hope or fear, for Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s line will never cease. This is the assurance of Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda, the world teacher. He is eternally present among us. He is my Lord birth after birth, he is my only source of strength and those following in his footsteps should take his merciful instructions on their heads by mutually cooperating with each other, with Jagat Guru Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda as the centre, and try to fulfil his desires in serving the mission of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. All perfection will be attained on pleasing Śrī Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda.
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