From Dānavīr Goswami to Çréla Prabhupäda

With all humility, I offer my most humble repeated obeisances to the divine lotus feet of Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura Prabhupäda’s self-effulgent disciple who is my beloved spiritual master, Oà Viñëupäda Paramahaàsa Parivräjakäcärya Añöottara-çata Çré Çrémad Abhaya Caraëäravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda, the founder-äcärya of ISKCON. 

My spiritual master is karuëa—compassionate to all the fallen souls. Who else would have come to Culver City (Los Angeles) to drag a wretched fool such as myself off the beach and give him a permanent place among the Vaikuëöha devotees? His compassion is also demonstrated by his dissemination of hundreds of millions of books full of transcendental knowledge meant to save all fallen souls. He opened and maintains hundreds of centers, which are spiritual hospitals for the suffering patients of this world. 

My spiritual master is a source of great pleasure. To be in his divine presence was an indescribably blissful experience. One of my godbrothers, Tribhuvanätha Prabhu, put it nicely when a devotee said to him that being with Çréla Prabhupäda was like being in the spiritual world. Tribhuvanätha Prabhu replied, “Çréla Prabhupäda is the spiritual world.” But that pleasure did not stop upon His Divine Grace’s departure from our sight when he returned to Goloka. It continues for everyone fortunate enough to take his association through his väëé, or instructions. 

My spiritual master delivers the end of knowledge (vedänta), beginning with the etymological meaning of the word (veda and anta). He teaches the difference between matter and spirit and the controller of both. He enumerates the material elements that bind the living entity, and he gives the means to extricate oneself from material entanglement—bhakti-yoga. He delineates the different stages of devotional service, culminating in kåñëa-prema, and provides us with protective guidelines for avoiding the pitfalls on the path. 

My spiritual master teaches science (vijïäna). He humbly denies that he is a scientist and instead claims that his only qualication is that he has faith in the words of Kåñëa, Vyäsadeva, and his spiritual master. But isn’t Kåñëa the greatest scientist? And isn’t Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté a walking encyclopedia and renowned astronomer? My gurudeva learned science from them and passed on the same knowledge with his own added realizations. For example, on the strength of the Bhagavad gétä’s assertion na jäyate mriyate vä, “Neither it is created; neither it dies,” His Divine Grace concluded that anyone proposing to create life from chemicals is a fool because the soul is not created, na jäyate. He also expressed doubt about the American moon landing on the strength of the Vedic version, which states that the moon is a heavenly planet requiring great piety to attain. 

My spiritual master is expert and humorous (vidagdha). Once in Melbourne he was speaking to Dr. Copeland, Professor of Modern Indian History, explaining to him the system of parampara (disciplic succession). Çréla Prabhupäda stressed that the real guru must present the same message that was passed down from the predecessor teachers, without adulteration. To illustrate his point and distinguish between real and false teachers, he said that he did not tell people, “Give me thirty-ve dollars. I give you mantra, and within six months you become God.” The professor acknowledged the honesty and good humor as well. On another occasion, a devotee’s mother was complaining that Çréla Prabhupäda did not teach his disciples mundane subjects. She argued that his movement should not just teach Sanskrit but should also teach Latin. In reply His Divine Grace commented to her, “Yes. It will be better. If you also join, then we’ll have full understanding.” The mother laughed and said, “You have a sense of humor.”

 My spiritual master is a chivalrous hero (véra). Who else leaves his home at age seventy to start a movement in a foreign country, with no money and no acquaintances on the other end? Once arriving he boldly told the young people of New York that they should renounce their prized drugs and illicit sex and instead worship Kåñëa.

My spiritual master is my best friend (suhåt). He doesn’t cheat me but always tells the truth. He continues to forgive my innumerable mistakes made minute by minute, and although my heart is as dirty as coal, he keeps trying to forge into a diamond by the re of his kindness.
I can never repay my debt to him, but at least I pledge to remain faithful to his mission and, for whatever it’s worth, engage myself in preaching his message in line with his last letter to me. He wrote: Go on preaching with vigorous enthusiasm and increase your program for bringing new men to live in Kåñëa Consciousness. You yourself must be ideal in following the rules and regulations, rising early, and restricting eating and sleeping. The less a person is concerned with material enjoyment such as eating, sex and sleeping, the more he is spiritually advanced. If the “devotee” himself lives like a hog or dog, how can he preach? 

Çréla Prabhupäda ké jaya

Dänavér Goswami

Robert LessengerVyasa Puja Offerings to Srila PrabhupadaFrom Dānavīr Goswami to Çréla Prabhupäda With all humility, I offer my most humble repeated obeisances to the divine lotus feet of Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura Prabhupäda’s self-effulgent disciple who is my beloved spiritual master, Oà Viñëupäda Paramahaàsa Parivräjakäcärya Añöottara-çata Çré Çrémad Abhaya Caraëäravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda, the founder-äcärya of ISKCON.  My spiritual master is...