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Until We Meet Again

Thursday, 25 September 2008 / Published in In Memoriam, Indradyumna Swami / 3,992 views

Diary of a Traveling Preacher – Volume 9, Chapter 16 – September 2, 2008

By Indradyumna Swami

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My dear Godbrother Sridhar Maharaja,

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

Today is the celebration of your Vyasa-puja. It is a day of mixed feelings for me: I am happy to remember your exalted service to Srila Prabhupada, and at the same time I am sad. I miss your association and friendship more than you can imagine.

Despite our intimacy I always considered you my respected Godbrother and held you in the highest esteem. I remember my good fortune in the early
1980s, when as a new sannyasi, I traveled with you throughout Canada and the USA.

During those three months, I served you as a menial servant and you reciprocated by training me in the life of the renounced order. Although this life is strict and demanding, you made it fun by showing that real pleasure is in service to guru and Gauranga, and although at times our schedule was intense, your jolly mood created an atmosphere of light-heartedness.

You were older and more advanced, but you were always kind and encouraging in many ways. I especially remember something you said to me one day: “Indie,” you said, “before you took sannyasa, most leaders in our movement had never heard of you. I remember you as a grhasta chanting and dancing through the streets of Paris. Now, suddenly you are in the renounced order and a great asset to our movement.”

Thank you for those kind words, Maharaja. They still reverberate in my heart, though many years have passed. We all need the encouragement of our Godbrothers and Godsisters, and when such words come from a devotee of your caliber, they are especially meaningful.

Being a well-wishing friend, you offered not only praise but also chastisement. You were direct and to the point, not compromising in your presentation or practice of service to the Lord. Once you scolded me for placing some laksmi on the ground. “How dare you place the consort of the Lord on the dirty ground?” you said.

I feel especially blessed that I was able to help you in your final days. I met you in London just before our journey to Mayapura, your final destination. Again I was able to render menial service, as you were incapacitated and rapidly declining in health.

I was amazed that despite your pain and discomfort you remained upbeat while instructing your disciples, who had come to see you for the last time. The airplane trip was long and hard, but I watched you take the time to preach to people who came to you with questions about Krsna consciousness.

I’ll never forget the wonderful reception the devotees gave you in Mayapura. They knew you were coming to the holy dhama to leave your body, and they rushed to greet you and express their appreciation for your years of service. Our car slowed to a snail’s pace as everyone surged forward in a show of love.

How proud I was of you! How grateful I was to Krsna for arranging such an acknowledgment of your service!

Now you are gone, and the days of your association are no more. Your humor, which could light up the darkest day, is a distant memory. Your example as a dedicated disciple of our Guru Maharaja is no longer present for those of us less inclined in service. It’s harder without you here to inspire us. It’s difficult for your disciples, it’s difficult for your Godbrothers, and it’s difficult for the souls who would have benefited from your association had you stayed longer in this world.

Your last words to me were, “Happy trails, until we meet again.” Because you’ve gone ahead of me on the trail of serving our spiritual master, you’ll once more be in a position to guide me.

Ultimately, one goes where his heart takes him. Thus my heart goes out to you with the hope and expectation of seeing you again. I look forward to that day with great anticipation.

so ‘py ascaryamayah prabhur nananayor yan nabhavad gocaro yan nasvadi hareh padambuja rasas tad yad gatim tad gatam etavan mama tavad astu jagatam ye nye py alankurvate sri caitanya pade nikhata manasas tair yat prasangot savah

“Because the wonderful Lord never came before my eyes, and because I never tasted the nectar of service to His lotus feet, I simply pray to attain the jubilant festival of the association of those great souls now decorating this world whose hearts are fixed at Lord Caitanya’s lotus feet.”

[Srila Prabhodananda Sarasvati, Sri Caitanya-candramrita, text 50]

Your servant in separation, Indradyumna Swami.

Indradyumna.swami@pamho.net www. traveling-preacher. com Audio lectures: www. narottam. com

3 comments

  1. 0
    Pita das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    All Glories to His Holiness Sridhar Maharaja with great affection I always remenber you Maharaja and feel your blessing on me , I am very very grateful to have had your sweet assoication I pray to you to help me again gain Srila Prabhupada’s Vapu as you have.
    your servant
    pita das

  2. 0
    Gaurav Mittal ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Our self is different from body. Due to maya, our self identifies itself with body, mind, senses and their extensions in this world like money, family etc. Mind thinks I am this body. It is attached to this body, senses and the sense objects. Due to mind, people accept that they belong to this world comprising of external body etc instead of accepting that they belong to Krishna.

    One becomes saint when one realizes oneself as spiritual part and parcel of Krishna. One realizes that he/she is not body but beyond body. Such person experiences happiness from within and becomes equanimous as body and external matter doesn’t affect the self.

    So, one becomes pure devotee by going beyond body and seeing self as part of Krishna instead of this world.

    It is interest to note that Pita Das wants to gain SP’s vapu. That shows that he does not understand vapu is different from self and due to identification of self with vapu, one is bound.

    One can ask: We worship body of Krishna. How is that different?

    There is no difference between Krishna’s body and Krishna Himself. He does not take avatar with material body. But our body is different from our self. That is very important fact to realize.

  3. 0
    Pita das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Gaurav Mittal
    Haveing the personal assoication with Srila Prabhupada ,His Divine Graces Vapu, is the future perfection of all of Srila Prabhupadas disclips , we whom have tasted His Divine Graces assoication in this life ,are all eager to have again his eternal assoication ,with Krishna directly this is not some sentimental illison but our real distination .

    All the followers of Srila Prabhupada will attain Srila Prabhupadas assoication by the Divine Grace of thier connection with Srila Prabhupada and that of the entire Guru Parumpara, as well as Shree Shree Radha Krishna Gour Nitai ,when we become quailifed to enter into Thier eternal pastimes ,in thier service, in our real eternal forms.

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