Sripad Aindra Prabhu Appearance Day
Lord Hari eternally dwells in that place where truly exalted, spiritually advanced souls sing in the mood of pure devotion. The holy name of Sri Hari alone is everything.
One such devotee whose soulful, enthusiastic, enchanting and spiritually surcharged kirtans made all the devotees feel the direct presence of Krishna himself was Sripad Aindra Prabhu.
Born and brought up in the countryside in America, in a very liberal household, Sripad Aindra Prabhu was from his very childhood an expert musician and was inclined towards spiritual realization. Although in his childhood he was exposed to various influences of this age of kali, as soon as he came into the association of devotees, within a very short span of time he gave up all his relations in this material world and took the process of Krishna consciousness to heart. In the year 1973, Aindra Prabhu joined the International society for Krishna consciousness and dedicated his entire life to the movement for the pleasure of his spiritual master Srila Prabhupad. In the beginning years he was engaged in distributing books, performing sankirtan and also helping with deity worship, till the year 1986, when he visited Mayapur for the festival marking the 500 hundred years of Mahaprabhu’s birth. In Mayapur he had a desire to start a travelling Sankirtan party but for various reasons this idea of his did not manifest and he came to Sri Vrindavan dham, where he was to spend the rest of his life in the service to the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar.
In Vrindavan, Aindra Prabhu, a perfect example of a devotee having Guru nishta, fulfilled the strong desire of Srila Prabhupad to have 24 hour kirtan in Krishna Balaram temple in Vrindavan. In the year 1986, on the auspicious occasion of Vijay dashami, Aindra Prabhu re-inaugurated the singing of the sweet holy names of Krishna and ever since then this Kirtan has never stopped. At the time of his starting this service, which although previously started but was discontinued due to the lack of devotees who could maintain this taxing but tremendously important service, the chanting of the Mahamantra which is the Yuga dharma in this age of kali, Sripad Aindra Prabhu used to single handedly manage most of the Kirtan during the day and night, singing for hours on end. Seeing his unflinching determination to fulfill the desires of his Spiritual master was truly inspiring to many and slowly but surely he build the 24 hour Kirtan mandali, which is still carrying on this service very nicely with the blessings of Aindra Prabhu, who has inspired millions all over the world to perform Prem Naam Sankirtan. Today, being inspired by him so many devotees have taken up seriously performing Harinaam all over the world. Along with doing hours of Kirtan, Aindra Prabhu used to also chant a lot of japa, which he used to consider equally important as Kirtan and would inspire and instruct his followers to also be serious about their japa along with kirtan.
Another beautiful service that Aindra Prabhu used to perform, was the Shringar seva of their lordships Radha Shyamsundar. He started this service in the year 1989 and was dressing the deities for eight months after which he stopped for some time, just to resume this service after Mukunda datta prabhu became the head pujari. It was in 1994 that he again came on the altar and introduced a new way of dressing the deities, a way, in which the deity’s dresses would flow very beautifully suggestive of them dancing. Ever since then he would dress the deities twice a week and on festival days with Mukunda datta prabhu. Although their lordships are exquisitely beautiful themselves but when Aindra Prabhu would dress them, due to his service being anointed with pure love and devotion for them, the deities would appear most attractive and would steal the hearts of the devotees. Along with serving the deities in the temple he also worshiped his personal deities Sri Sri Nitai Sachisuta, Srimati Radharani and hundreds of Shaligram shillas with a heart overflowing with devotion.
Not only did he have Krishna bhakti within his heart but he also was always very eager to bestow it upon others who were sincere recipients of his instructions. He would extensively discuss topics of Vraja bhakti and Rupanuga bhajan with devotees personally and also in the Bhagwatam classes that he used to give for long hours, way past the usual time limit, as there was so much he had, that he could share, and wanted to bless the devotees with the gems of love of godhead that he had in the treasure box of his heart. Not only did he discuss esoteric subject matters of Raganuga bhakti but also was a staunch follower of Vaidi bhakti, following the Chatur maas vrata very strictly and performing all the other limbs of devotional service.
Although Aindra Prabhu is no longer physicaly present with us today but his entire life sets an example in front of us of how we should strive to please our spiritual master, how we should serve the holy names, how we should develop love and affection for the lords in their deity form, how we should always be immersed in Hari katha and how we should single pointedly aim to reach our goal of going back home back to godhead. Regardless of how much we may say in his glorification, It is but a drop of the unlimited ocean of good qualities that he is, so today on the occasion of his appearance day we pray at his lotus feet to please bless us all with Naam ruchi and Guru nishta.