Offering for the year 1982

Dear Srila Prabhupäda,

PLEASE accept our prostrated obeisances at your lotus feet. All glories to Your Divine Grace.

This year you have revealed many things to us about the paramparä system as well as about Your Divine Grace personally. We have realized that we are completely dependent on Your Divine Grace and have no access to God or Vedic transcendental knowledge except through you.

You have revealed that one is a bona fide spiritual master in disciplic succession only if one is completely surrendered to one’s own spiritual master. We think that perhaps Your Divine Grace is the only such spiritual master following Srila Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvati Thäkura in the disciplic succession from Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahäprabhu. Srila Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvati Thäkura had so many disciples, but we must distinguish who is actually his disciple on the basis of who has carried out the order of the spiritual master. Being disciple is not simply a matter of taking initiation and displaying a certificate advertising that “I am initiated.” Being a disciple means being fully surrendered to the lotus feet or transcendental instruction of the previous ächärya. Only one who has actually carried out the order, taken up the mission, captured the mood and followed the example of the previous äcärya can be considered his bona fide representative in the disciplic succession.

 

In examining the followers of Srila Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvati Thäkura according to this criterion, we find that you are certainly the most surrendered servant of Srila Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvati Thäkura and thus his dearmost disciple and certainly the best qualified to be accepted as his bona fide representative in disciplic succession. Srila Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvati Thäkura wanted the mission of Krishna consciousness preached outside of India. He openly ordered his disciples to go out and preach, and during his presence he even patronized some disciples to go abroad, but among all of his disciples, only Your Divine Grace took up the instruction seriously and actually succeeded in spreading Krishna consciousness throughout the world. Srila Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvati Thäkura also wanted his disciples to print and distribute many books on the science of bhakti-yoga. Who in the history of the world has written so many books, such divine literature, printed in such large quantity and distributed so widely as Your Divine Grace? By examining the activities of his disciples one can ascertain who is actually the disciple and true representative of Srila Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura.

We may also add that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thäkura predicted that a great personality would appear who would spread the mission of Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu to the West and that the time would come when the Bengali devotees and their Western brothers would gather in Mäyäpur and chant “Jaya Sacinandana! Jaya Sacinandana!” Similarly, Lord Caitanya Himself predicted, Prthivite ache yata nagaradi gram/ savatra pracara haibe mora nama: in every town and village of every country of the world His name would be sung. We feel that Your Divine Grace has been empowered by Krishna to fulfill the predictions of these great personalities. Krishna-shakti vinä nahi tära pravartana: “Unless empowered by Krishna, one cannot propagate the sankirtana movement.” (Cc. Antya 7. 11)

 

Not only were you successful in following the order of your Guru Mahäräja and propagating the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu during your personal presence, but even now you are spreading Krishna consciousness to every town and village with success and speed beyond expectations. Even in communist countries and Muslim countries devotees are chanting Hare Krishna and reading your books. In fact, your followers have become so powerful and so popular in Russia that the Russian government has declared the Hare Krishna movement to be one of the major threats to their youth. Similarly, your disciples have translated and published Bhagavad-gitä As It Is and many other books into Chinese, and are distributing these books and making Chinese devotees, so much so that Tamäla Krishna Goswami recently performed the first initiation ceremony in China. Even in Pakistan we are preaching among the Hindus and Muslims with great success. Therefore we see that you are actually the bona fide disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvati Thäkura and therefore the bona fide äcärya to represent his mission—the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu and the six Gosvämis—as the world äcärya or jagad-guru. Anyone who follows you sincerely, being fully surrendered to your instruction, can also be accepted as äcärya, and one who claims to be your disciple but deviates from your instructions is actually useless and most unfortunate.

 

You have also revealed that you are the literary incarnation to reveal the Vedic knowledge to all people in this age. “My books will guide the entire human civilization for the next ten

thousand years.” During your personal presence, you personally guided the entire International Society for Krishna Consciousness in its affairs, and still you are guiding this great movement by your instructions, training and personal example. “Everything is in my books.” So many times since your disappearance we have faced very difficult problems, but in every case your books have given us the answers. (In fact, whenever we tried to take guidance from another authority—simply trouble!) You are guiding the movement meant to guide the world. “Unless one is empowered by the higher authority, or advanced devotee, one cannot write transcendental literature. The words of Krishna and the disciplic succession that carries the orders of Krishna are actually authoritative.” Thus Lord Krishna is actually speaking through you for the enlightenment of all souls at all times and in all circumstances in this age. Your books are not the ordinary creation of a mental speculator, but they are the divine creation of an empowered personality. Therefore even Your Divine Grace used to like to read and relish these sublime literatures. (One day in Amritsar we had seven preaching programs, beginning from 7:00 in the morning and lasting until 11:00 at night, but when we returned to the äçrama after the last program we looked into your room and what did we see?—Your Divine Grace reclining on your seat and listening to the tape of your last lecture! You never tired of speaking about, hearing about or glorifying Krishna.)

 

Once you cautioned us not to go to the Gaudiya Matha to purchase books, even those by your own spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvati Thäkura. You said, “Do not try to jump over me to my Guru Mahäräja. Whatever was given by my Guru Mahäräja is given by me in my books, but in just the suitable way for your understanding. I am your shiksha and diksha guru.” The teachings of Lord Krishna, Srila Vyäsadeva, Lord Caitanya, the Gosvämés, and all the previous äcäryas as well as your own spiritual master are included within your writings. But just as the message of Srimad-Bhägavatam was made sweeter by the touch of the lips of Sukadeva Goswami so the teachings of the entire disciplic succession have been made sweeter by your touch and are therefore relishable for all souls in this age.

 

You have also revealed that you are no ordinary spiritual master because “you saved us.” Who could be more kind, more merciful and more sublime than you? Although we are such low and fallen rascals, always committing offenses and blunders in your service, still you accept us as your eternal servants and try to rectify us and purify us. We have no qualifications to serve you. Actually, we are simply thinking of our sense gratification, how to serve our tongue and belly and genital, how to enjoy this world forever; but although we are thoroughly engrossed in material nature, entangled in her complexities and wallowing in her filth, still you are so kind that you lift us out of this material mess with your transcendental instructions. “He lives forever by his divine instructions, and his follower lives with him.”

 

You said that your greatest contributions are your books and your temples. In Juhu we have seen the fabulous creation of the Rädhä-Rasavihari temple, and although our efforts are full of defects, still by your transcendental potency in establishing this wonderful temple, hundreds of thousands of people are coming every weekend and every day and appreciating the beautiful smiling faces of Sri Sri Rädhä-Rasavihari, bowing down to Their lotus feet and rendering some service to the great cause of Krishna consciousness. Your potency is so great that even after your disappearance and even in spite of our faults your preaching is going on. So whatever may happen to ISKCON, whatever may happen to your disciples, your kirtana will go on, your beating of the big mridanga in the shape of your authorized books, and your glorification of Sri Sri Rädhä-Rasavihari.

 

But as you said to one devotee when he raised the question of “if ISKCON fails…”—you pounded your fist on the table and replied, “ISKCON will not fail! Anyone who thinks that ISKCON will fail is faithless. He is an atheist.”

We pray that we may always remember your lotus feet and remain fully surrendered to your divine instructions. Jaya Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivräjakäcärya Asatottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda ki jaya! ISKCON founder-äcärya Srila Prabhupäda ki jaya! Jagad-guru Srila Prabhupäda ki jaya!

 

Your servant,

Giriräja Swami