Diary of a Traveling Monk
Volume 9, Chapter 12
August 14, 2008
By Indradyumna Swami
Dear Bhakti Caitanya Maharaja,
Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I would like to offer some words of praise on your auspicious Vyasa-puja day. Please don’t feel that it is inappropriate even though such glorification is generally given by disciples and I am your Godbrother.
In Srimad Bhagavatam, Prahlad Maharaja says that a devotee should see his advanced Godbrothers on an equal footing with his spiritual master. Just as we need the help of our spiritual master to understand the Supreme Lord, we also need the help of our Godbrothers to appreciate and serve our beloved spiritual master.
Because you are a bona fide spiritual master yourself, there are many qualities we can all appreciate in you. I wish I were there today to hear your disciples extol your devotional qualities and the service you have given throughout the many years you have been a devotee.
One outstanding quality that I see in you is your ability to present our Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy in a way that is both authoritative and appealing. Through the ages, the Lord and our acaryas have gone to great lengths to keep this philosophy intact. This is one reason Prabhupada was so intent on having his books translated and widely distributed. He once said that even if all the temples were to fall into the ocean, at least his books would be present to guide humanity in Krsna consciousness.
It is not easy to preserve an ancient culture in a quickly changing world. But if we, as devotees of Krsna, can properly maintain the Lord’s teachings through writings and the spoken word, any sincere seeker of the truth can have the opportunity to revive his dormant love for the Lord, even in the advanced stages of Kali-yuga.
Thus your presentation of our philosophy in a scholarly and attractive way all these years has been a great service to the Lord and our guru-parampara. I have said many times that you are one of the best speakers in ISKCON. I sometimes lament that your lectures are not more widely distributed for the benefit of devotees and non-devotees alike. I know how much I have benefited from them, and I wish others could have the same opportunity.
I also appreciate your great love for and service to the holy dhama of Sri Vrindavan. Your parikramas and lectures in the dhama are legendary. The goal of all our philosophy is, of course, to awaken our love for Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His Vrindavan lila. Srila Prabhupada established the Krsna-Balarama Mandir in Vrindavan just to give his followers the chance to understand and awaken this special love for Krsna.
You, like several others among my Godbrothers, including Deena Bandhu Prabhu and BB Govinda Maharaja, have been attracted by these uniquely sweet pastimes of the Lord. Thank you for helping others capture that mood through your parikramas. It has done a lot for me. I consider you one of my Vrindavan gurus.
I was happy that I could render the service of giving you your Govardhan-sila, but in reality it is you who have given Govardhan to me. By following in your footsteps and preaching the message of Krsna consciousness around the world and taking the time to live in Sri Vrindavan dhama, I feel that I am coming closer to pleasing Giri-Govardhan. I pray that one day by His mercy I may be granted eternal residence in that transcendental abode.
So today, on your auspicious Vyasa-puja, I thank you for everything you are doing for all of us. Please continue to lead the way in showing how we can please our founder-acarya, Srila Prabhupada, and Sri Sri Radha-Radhanath.
On this auspicious day I offer you my prostrated obeisances. I also offer my humble obeisances to each and every devotee who is present at your Vyasa-puja celebration.
srinvanti ye vai guru tattva gatham
gayanti yatnair hari nama mantram
arcanti sadhum guru devatam ca
caitanya bhaktah kali kala madhye
“In the midst of the age of quarrel, the devotees of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu hear songs concerning the characteristics of the bona fide guru. With much endeavor they sing the great mantra of Lord Hari’s names. They adore the saintly devotees of the Lord and the bona fide guru.”
[Srila Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya,
Susloka-Satakam, verse 81]
Your admiring Godbrother, Indradyumna Swami