Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my most humble obeisance at your lotus feet on this most auspicious appearance day anniversary of Your Divine Grace.
In the Srimad Bhagavatam, Parikshit Maharaja says:
muktānām api siddhānāṁ nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇaḥ
su-durlabhaḥ praśāntātmā koṭiṣv api mahā-mune
“O great sage, among many millions who are liberated and perfect in knowledge of liberation, one may be a devotee of Lord Nārāyaṇa, or Kṛiṣhṇa. Such devotees, who are fully peaceful, are extremely rare.” (SB 6.14.5)
This verse clearly declares that pure devotees are extremely rare even among millions of liberated and perfected beings. Is it not the greatest fortune of this world, that a pure devotee like you came from the spiritual world just to deliver the fallen souls in fulfilment of Lord Chaitanya’s mission?
All the transcendental qualities of a pure devotee described in the scriptures are to be found in your personality. But among all the qualities, your humility shines brilliantly. Let me mention a few instances of your humility, so that I may glorify you on this most auspicious occasion.
You have been fully empowered to preach by your spiritual master because of your humble attitude towards him. You expressed this in your offering to him on the occasion of his Vyasa Puja in February of 1936: “Personally, I have no hope for any direct service for the coming crores of births of the sojourn of my life, but I am confident that some day or other I shall be delivered from this mire of delusion in which I am at present so deeply sunk. Therefore, let me with all my earnestness pray at the lotus feet of my divine master to allow me to suffer the lot for which I am destined due to my past misdoings, but to let me have this power of recollection: that I am nothing but a tiny servant of the Almighty Absolute Godhead, realized through the unflinching mercy of my divine master. Let me therefore bow down at his lotus feet with all the humility at my command.”
On board the Jaladuta, you offered the following prayer to Lord Krishna with a deep sense of humility:
“Although my Guru Mahārāja ordered me to accomplish this mission, I am not worthy or fit to do it. I am very fallen and insignificant. Therefore, O Lord, now I am begging for Your mercy so that I may become worthy, for You are the wisest and most experienced of all.”
In the early days of the Hare Krishna movement, even the young devotees in New York who were just beginners in Krishna consciousness could understand that you are the pure devotee of Krishna as described in the scriptures. One of them (Jadurani Dasi) recalls, “In your quarters in New York City in 1967 you once told me, from The Nectar of Devotion, how the jīvas who are pure devotees have 78% of Kṛiṣhṇa’s qualities. So, I smiled and said, ‘So that means you have 78% of His qualities?’ You looked surprised. ‘Me?’ you questioned, ‘I am a conditioned soul.’”
In perfect humility you offered all credit to your guru for the success of the Hare Krishna movement as you have stated in the Preface to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is: “If I have any credit in this connection, it does not belong to me personally, but it is due to my eternal spiritual master, His Divine Grace Om Viṣṇupāda Paramahaṁsa Parivrājakācārya 108 Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja Prabhupāda.”
As the perfect acharya, you teach by your own example how a disciple should offer gratitude to his spiritual master. At Hamburg, on the fifth of September in 1969, while receiving Vyasa Puja, you said, “I was also misled in so many ways. But my spiritual master saved me, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja.”
In the foreword to the book, Science of Self Realisation, your disciple Mukunda Gosvami recollects, “One day, after someone had asked, ‘Are you God?’ Śrīla Prabhupāda replied, ‘No, I am not God—I am a servant of God.’ Then he reflected a moment and went on. Actually, I am not a servant of God. I am trying to be a servant of God. A servant of God is no ordinary thing.’"
In line with the teaching of Vaishnava humility by all the previous acharyas in our sampradaya, you have written in a purport to the Srimad Bhagavatam verse 4.12.33 “The Kṛiṣhṇa consciousness movement is spreading now all over the world, and sometimes I think that even though I am crippled in many ways, if one of my disciples becomes as strong as Dhruva Mahārāja, then he will be able to carry me with him to Vaikuṇṭhaloka.”
Even though you are the thirty second acharya in this glorious parampara, in an arrival address on the twentieth of June in 1975, you said, “I have no personal qualification, but I simply tried to satisfy my guru. That's all.” In another Bhagavad-gita class, given in London on the third of August in 1973, you said, “It is not that I am very much qualified. The only qualification is that I have tried to execute the order of superior authority. That's all. This is the secret of success.”
In a letter to your disciple Devananda, written on the twenty eighth of September in 1968, you have described the ‘humble service spirit’ thus, “The description given in these books, are not mundane speculations, but they are authorized versions of liberated souls, presented by our humble self. So, the strength is not in us, but the strength is in the Supreme Lord. And we have simply to present them without any adulteration, in humble service spirit. That is the secret of success.”
In yet another letter to Karandhara, written on the ninth of January in 1973, you attribute the success of the movement to Krishna’s blessings due to the sincere work of the devotees, “Therefore, I can understand it is simply Krishna's blessing us for your sincerely working on His behalf. Actually, that is the secret of my success, not that personally I have done anything wonderful, but that because those who are helping me are sincere, they have done the work, that is the reason for our success all over the world where others
have failed. A little sincerity is very difficult thing in this age of hypocrisy and bluff, but I am so fortunate that Krishna has sent me all of you nice boys and girls who are sincerely working.”
Srila Prabhupada, I consider myself very fortunate to have received your causeless mercy, by which I have got shelter in your movement. Most importantly, though I am undeserving, I have got the invaluable association of your sincere servants. I pray that you continue to shower your unlimited causeless mercy upon this fallen soul. Only then may I be able to give up my false pride and become a humble servant of your sincere servants. Such sincere servants are working tirelessly to push forward the world-wide movement you have established to distribute Lord Chaitanya’s gift of Krishna consciousness.
Begging to always remain in the service of your lotus feet,
Your insignificant disciple,
Stoka Krishna Dasa
President, Hare Krishna Movement – Chennai, Vice President, ISKCON – Bangalore