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Reflections

LVI: IF HE HAD NOT COME

Diary entry dated 4th April 2020:

This morning, I was listening to some kīrtana tracks which used very contemporary genres of music as a medium by which to share the holy name with listeners. The names of the Lord are constantly expanding their influence across the world, and nothing can stop this expansion, for it is Kṛṣṇa’s desire that His name be heard in every town and city.

I reflected that this had all been made possible by Śrīla Prabhupāda. He changed the world in such a profound way, and continues to do so even now. In a mood of gratitude to Prabhupāda, I wish to share my Vyāsa-pūjā offering for 2019 (dated 24th August):

Dearest Śrīla Prabhupāda,

Please accept my humble obeisances at your lotus feet. All glories to you on this auspicious day of your Vyāsa-pūjā.

According to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 8.7.44, “Great personalities almost always accept voluntary suffering because of the suffering of people in general. This is considered the highest method of worshipping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is present in everyone’s heart.”

Prabhupāda, it brings tears to my eyes to think of how much suffering you took on in order to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness throughout the world. When you were close to leaving your body, the doctors said that a person in your position should be screaming in agony due to the pain, but you were still dictating the Bhāgavatam. And why were you doing that? Because you understood that the greatest agony is that of forgetfulness of Kṛṣṇa, and that giving them transcendental knowledge is the only way to relieve the conditioned souls of that agony.

Like a parent calling their child home when it’s time to leave the playground, you came to teach us that we don’t belong in this world, and that there’s another world out there – a place where misery and death are nothing but a dream and happiness has no end. And, most importantly, our eternal friend and well-wisher, Kṛṣṇa, is there right now, waiting to welcome us back with open arms.

In his song “Yadi Prabhupāda Nā Hoito,” your disciple Jayapatāka Swami says, “If Śrīla Prabhupāda had not come, what would have happened? How could we have passed our lives?”

I’m certain that if you had never come to the West, the situation in the world would be far worse than it is now. I also know that if you had never come, I would be passing my life uselessly, drowning in an ocean of emptiness and depression. Although words will never be sufficient to describe my debt to you, please know that I’m eternally grateful to you for pulling me out of that ocean. Adding to Jayapatāka Mahārāja’s words, I say, “Where will the world find a more compassionate soul than A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda?”

Prabhupāda, we both know that despite my gratitude towards to you, I often take you for granted, putting your teachings aside in order to engage in sense gratification – please forgive me for this. Sometimes I miss Kṛṣṇa and bitterly regret my decision to leave Him, but at other times He is the furthest thing from my mind. Since I’m still materially conditioned, I guess this is understandable, but I find it disturbing nonetheless.

Last week, I came across a quote from another of your disciples, Bhakti Tīrtha Swami, which said, “By focusing too much on our misfortunes, it will reinforce our problems rather than eliminate them. On the other hand, if we try to help someone else or try to go beyond our own immediate situation, we will see that Krishna will give us the help we need and even take away our own particular issues.”

I personally found this to be very relevant, as I have a tendency to fall into self-pity and become fixated on my problems, rather than using my valuable time to help others. Prabhupāda, you always put aside your personal difficulties to alleviate the suffering of others, and since my desire is to be your instrument, I also need to develop that same mood. Please shower your blessings upon me so that I can be successful in this endeavour.

Your servant always,

Nikhil

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