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Farewell

Monday, 15 October 2007 / Published in Indradyumna Swami, News / 5,048 views

Diary of a Traveling Preacher

Volume 8, Chapter 11

October 15, 2007

By Indradyumna Swami

“Farewell”

Dear Nirguna prabhu,

Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I am following the news of your departure from this world due to cancer through the Dandavats website, as well as through devotees who are coming to Vrindavan from Mayapura Dhama. The website has a telephone number and an invitation to call you and say farewell. However, it is too painful for me to say goodbye that way. I prefer to write. In this way it’s easier for me to reveal my thoughts and express the way I feel.

Like all devotees, I’m saddened by your imminent departure. Although you and I have known each other for only a few years, I feel we have developed a strong bond of affection. I remember when I visited Prabhupada Village in North Carolina a few years ago you gave me a gift of several thousand dollars. It was a significant donation from a simple householder like you, and I was very touched. You spoke highly of my services and I was humbled. I remember inviting you to visit our festival tour in Poland. Like many, you expressed an eagerness to attend; my experience has been, however, that few actually do. So I was delightfully surprised when a few months later you wrote to say you were actually coming that summer.

Curious, I began asking various devotees more about you. I am happy to report that each and every devotee I contacted in America had only praise for your many years of service to our beloved spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada. Time and again I heard you glorified as a long-standing book distributor, humble devotee, loyal ISKCON follower, and, most significantly, a Prabhupada Man. I became elated that you would join us on the tour. And join us you did! As soon as you came you were giving classes, going on harinama, preaching in the Questions and Answers tent, and helping in any way requested of you. Many tour devotees remarked how enthusiastic you were. It was our good fortune that you visited several times over the years. On behalf of all the Polish festival tour devotees, I thank you very much.

As I hear about you going through this final challenge, I can only admire the example you are setting. Your courage and your faith in Krsna at this momentous hour is outstanding. I noticed the same in our godbrother Sridhar Maharaja before his departure. It gives me confidence that I, too, can follow in the footsteps of such godbrothers and be fearless at the time of death. I believe such fearlessness is due to detachment from all the temporary things of this world and a genuine love for the spiritual master and Krsna. Such realizations come only after a lifetime of sincere and dedicated service.

I remember also seeing the same courage and faith in my disciple Vraja Lila dasi when she left her body a few years ago. Her words to me, just days before she passed away, remain in my heart like a beacon of light illuminating the path from this world to the next. I offer them to you as a meditation in your final hours:

My dearmost Spiritual Master,

I bow down to your lotus feet. All glories to you.

Everything is going away from my hands; every material hope which I had. But I am still a child in spiritual life. I wish I had a little love or spiritual bhava within my heart. But I have deep, firm faith in you. I am happy because of this faith, and I’ll be keeping it as a great treasure. It gives me another kind of faith to be back in the spiritual world and attain the service of the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha-Syamasundara. And this kind of faith is faith in real things which, I am sure, are existing and are just waiting for me at that side of the door. I am indebted to you so much that you are guiding me in my spiritual life, although I feel so much separation from you.

Your servant, Vraja Lila dasi

* * *

My dear Nirguna prabhu, we have only our guru maharaja, Srila Prabhupada, to thank for guiding all of us safely back to the spiritual world. And for the service you have rendered in this lifetime you can be assured of eternal service to his lotus feet in that transcendental abode. Therefore, you have nothing to lament as you prepare to leave your diseased and pain-ridden body. It is for those of us who will remain to lament our prolonged existence in this miserable world. But while we are here, let us try to follow your wonderful example in preaching the glories of the Lord until the end.

Please tolerate any pain and inconvenience you will endure in these final days. It is something we must all experience, without exception. Know for sure that Srila Prabhupada is waiting for you. He once wrote me, “Yes, I am also missing my guru maharaja, but I always feel that he is watching over and protecting me.”

Thank you for your brief association in this lifetime. I only wish I had had the honor to meet you earlier. I hope to be blessed with the good fortune of serving with you in a future lifetime. Or perhaps, by the causeless mercy of Srila Prabhupada, we may meet again soon in the spiritual sky . . . where all walking is dancing, all talking is singing, and there’s a festival every day.

I love you and will miss you dearly.

Your servant, Indradyumna Swami

Indradyumna.swami@pamho.net www.traveling-preacher.com

Appeal for Manipur Manimandir
Srila Prabhupada Murti

4 Responses to “Farewell”

  1. SuresvaraACBSP says :

    Dear Indradyumna Maharaja,

    Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    You were wise to say good-bye to Nirguna Prabhu in writing. And compassionate. When I called him to say good-bye yesterday, it was very difficult for him to speak. When I asked him how he was so fearless as death was approaching, his three-word response said it all: “Faith in Krishna.”

    One reason Nirguna was able to join you on the Polish Tour was that Krishna had just dismantled his family life. Instead of becoming depressed or trying to recoup, he wound up his affairs and hit the road to preach. Like yourself, a true sankirtana soldier.

    Thank you for beautifully expressing what all of us who know Nirguna feel: sad that he’s leaving us and happy for his golden opportunity to go home.

    Bravo, Nirguna, the Golden Dancer awaits you…With brotherly love from your servant,
    Suresvara dasa

  2. SuresvaraACBSP says :

    Thank you, Maharaja, for beautifully expressing what we feel for Nirguna Prabhu–sad he’ll be leaving us, happy he has such a golden opportunity to go home. We are moved and purified to hear one sankirtana soldier saying good-bye to another. Bravo to Nirguna. The Golden Dancer awaits his humble heart…Ys, Suresvara dasa

  3. Trai das says :

    Dear Nirguna Prabhu, Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    Since I probably won’t get to see you again in this life. I just wanted to say a few words. We were only toghther very briefly in Atlanta back in about 1988 but your association was so inspiring that when I heard about your condition it all came back to me. You were so dedicated to book distribution that it inspired me to go out. I am also still going out here in Italy where I have been living and preaching for the last 25 years or so I hope to follow in your footsteps as it seems that Prabhupada gives special mercy to those who gave themselves to distributing his books. I am sure that Prabhupada is waiting for you to help him in some other mission to save the conditioned souls somewhere. I’ll pray for you that you will make it there safe and sound and you pray for me that I can come there with you all some day and distribute books again with you and all the other members of Srila Prabhupada’s Sankirtan Party.

    Srila Prabhupada’s book distribution kijay!

    Your servant Trai das

    ps please offer my obeisances to Janmastami Prabhu and Madhava Maharaja who are so kindly staying by you

  4. Omkara dasa says :

    Dear Nirguna Prabhu,

    Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    I also wanted to express my heartfelt gratitude for having your brief association on sankirtana two years ago while distributing at the Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, TN. I was very impressed and inspired by your enthusiasm and dedication to your spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada. Recently I came back from a travel sankirtana trip to Atlanta, GA. I went there for a music festival called the Echo Project. While there I met quite a few people who had already gotten books before, so I asked them which books they had. They said it was a thick book that started with a K and the description of the person who gave it to them matched you exactly. When I said Krishna Book they immediately said “YES! I love that book, it is so amazing! Do you have any other books? I want one!” They were all very inspired by your preaching and association and were itching for more books about Krishna. Thank you for your dedicated preaching. You remain an inspiration for me.

    Your aspiring servant,
    Omkara dasa

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