Indradyumna Swami: Disappearance Day Offering – 2017 .
Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to you!
As always, this is a day of mixed emotions for me. On the one hand, there is the pain of separation. Although you departed from our material vision 40 years ago, it seems to me as if it was only yesterday. In material relationships, the grief one feels when a loved one leaves this world is often mitigated with the passing of time. But in transcendental relationships, the pain in one’s heart only increases with each day. The famous author George Eliot, wrote:
“Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depths of love.”
But as well as being a day of sadness, this day is also one of celebration because we know that you are with your beloved Lord, far from the miseries of this world of birth and death.
Or, are you? Knowing your deep compassion and love for the fallen conditioned souls I sometimes wonder. In 1975 in Paris, my godbrother Adi Shekar dasa asked you in an innocent way, “Srila Prabhupada, where will you go after you die?”
You closed your eyes for a moment and then replied softly, “I plan to go to the hellish planets to continue preaching the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.”
You spoke with such unparalleled conviction that for me you became the personification of the following verse:
narayana parah sarve
na kutascana bibhyati
api tulyartha darsinah
“Devotees solely engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, never fear any condition of life. For them the heavenly planets, liberation and the hellish planets are all the same, for such devotees are interested only in the service of the Lord.”[ SB. 6.17.28 ]
Srila Prabhupada, if Krsna fulfilled your desire to preach to the fallen souls of the hellish worlds, then please know that I am ready to join you at any time. My greatest and only pleasure in life is assisting you in your preaching mission in this world.
Sometimes people ask me, “Swami, where do you live? Where is your home?”
I always reply, “My home is wherever I am preaching on any given day, for home is where the heart is, and my heart is one with my master’s desire to spread the holy names far and wide.”
Srila Prabhupada, I am in the twilight of my life and thus my desire to rejoin you may come at any time. I am peaceful with this prospect and will leave this world with no regrets. Nevertheless, there remains a concern within my heart, and that is for the welfare of the younger generations of devotees that will be left behind to carry on your mission.
I have seen many a sincere soul in the ranks of the men and women who have taken shelter of your lotus feet either by birth or good fortune. Please bless them with your mercy so that they can continue to carry the torch of knowledge that illuminated the path of pure devotional service for my generation. Please give them a taste for the chanting of the holy names, the taste that carried many of my godbrothers and godsisters safely over the ocean of material existence to that place from which one never returns. Please grant them a sense of compassion for all the conditioned souls suffering in the ocean of material existence. May you grant them the wisdom to avoid the errors of my generation and the courage to face the fierce opposition that will most certainly come with the advancement of this age of Kali. And please give them the sense of loyalty to your movement which was the hallmark of many of the great souls of my generation, both those who were prominent within the movement and those who quietly dedicated their lives to Krsna consciousness.
I offer my respects to all of them and to all vaisnavas who are by nature the true well-wishers of all humanity.
sakala vaisnava-pade mora namaskara
ithe kichu aparadha nahuka amara
hoiyachen hoiben prabhur jato bhakta vrnda
vandana kori’ sabara charanaravinda
“I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of all vaisnavas, praying I will not commit offences in my attempts to please them. To all vaisnavas who have ever been, and to all vaisnavas who will ever be, I offer my obeisances to their lotus feet”[The poet Devakinandana dasa].
All glories to you Srila Prabhupada, my eternal well wisher!
Your servant in heaven or hell,