By Vaisesika Dasa
Please accept my humble pranams at your feet. All glories to the founder/Acarya of ISKCON and his unparalleled books.
Srila Prabhupada made our lives exciting. He pushed us and he was definitely not accustomed to thinking small. In thinking of what my life was like while Srila Prabhupada walked the planet, I often recall a famous quotation from Helen Keller: “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”
Life with Srila Prabhupada was and still is a daring adventure.
After arriving in America, at times, Srila Prabhupada barely had enough money to pay his rent. Even during these lean financial times, he wasn’t at all poor. He carried the most valuable currency of all: absolute faith in the words of his guru and Krsna. He took every risk for Krsna. He was fearless at all times.
Because of this, when meeting Srila Prabhupada, young people — with little or no worldly training — became emboldened and went out to conquer the world on Krsna’s behalf. And they did it!
They were convinced that by following the order of their guru, they would not fail. They were correct.
Young boys and girls traveled the world, meeting dignitaries and rock stars, opening temples, making hit albums, organizing festivals, and publishing and distributing millions of magazines and books.
Remembering the miraculous accomplishments of all these devotees, I’m reminded of another quotation, this one by Goethe:
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back– Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
Speaking of boldness, in 1975 the BBT was moving too slowly to keep up with Srila Prabhupada’s translating. The manuscripts for the Caitanya Caritamrta had been sitting for some time without being published.
Then on a morning walk at Venice Beach in Los Angeles, surrounded by senior devotees and the heads of the BBT, Srila Prabhupada suddenly said that he wanted all seventeen volumes of Caitanya Caritamrta published within two months.
Until that time, the BBT had only been able to publish one book every four months. Now, Srila Prabhupada was ordering that all seventeen be finished in two months! The head of the American BBT, Ramesvara dasa, shocked upon hearing Srila Prabhupada’s order, replied, “Srila Prabhupada, I think that’s impossible . . .”
Upon hearing this, Srila Prabhupada suddenly stopped walking. He planted his cane in the sand and said, “Impossible is a word found only in the fool’s dictionary.”
The devotees were practically speechless.
But as Srila Prabhupada’s order began to sink in, Ramesvara dasa and the other devotees began to feverishly plan how they would execute his order.
With this, the famous Caitanya Caritamrta marathon began. For the next two months, the devotees worked practically without sleeping or eating to publish the seventeen volumes in just two months.
In Bhagavad gita 3.15, Lord Krsna says “the all-pervading Transcendence is eternally situated in acts of sacrifice.”
Human life is not for working hard for bodily maintenance, but for reawakening our eternal relationship with the Lord and then going back to Godhead. All this can be achieved by acts of divine sacrifice.
The best sacrifice is to please the pure devotee. Fortunately for us, we’ve been given that chance. Srila Prabhupada has left us with as much service as we like – if we like. It is entirely up to us.
Let us be bold in his service.
Don’t hold back.
Go Go Go!
With gratitude, Your servant, Vaisesika dasa