Vyasa Puja Offering for the year 2018

My dear Srila Prabhupada,

Please accept my prostrated obeisances in the dust of your lotus feet. All
glories to Your Divine Grace.

nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada, who is very dear to Lord Krsna on this earth, having taken
shelter at His lotus feet.”

namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine
nirvisesa-sunyavadi-pascatya-desa-tarine

“Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami. You are kindly preaching the message of
Lord Caitanyadeva and delivering the Western countries, which are filled
with impersonalism and voidism.”

After the conveyance of the Juhu land was finally signed in October 1973,
you declared, “It was a good fight. Someone should write a book about it.”

And in Vrindavan in June 1977, you repeated the instruction when speaking
with Tamal Krishna:

Tamal Krishna: Always you came out victorious. Always. I have never seen you
ever defeated. In Bombay it was absolutely impossible. It seemed to be
impossible.

Prabhupada: Nobody encouraged. . . . Nobody, not a single man. Who could see
such a big project would come out?

Tamal Krishna: Only you could see that, you and Radha-Rasabihari.

Prabhupada: Nobody. Still, I was determined: “No, this place is very nice.”

Tamal Krishna: They should write a book about that.

Prabhupada: Yes, it is worth writing–history.

You had already instructed me, in February 1971, “You should write. This is
your first business,” and over the years you repeated this instruction, and
so I thought that you would want me to write that book about Juhu. As it is,
I am the only devotee who was intimately involved in the project from the
time you got possession of the land in 1972 to the time the temple opened in
1978.

So, with the encouragement and assistance of many well-wishers, I took up
writing about you and Juhu as my first priority. In doing so, I became
absorbed in your divine qualities, activities, and words, and I came to
understand you–and even events to which I was party–in new, deeper ways. I
felt like I was mining a limitless reservoir of precious gems.

Now, by your and Sri Sri Radha-Rasabihari and the devotees’ mercy, I have
finished writing the basic narrative of the book, entitled “I’ll Build You a
Temple”: A Good Fight and a Promise Fulfilled. In the process, I have come
to appreciate you–and your servants–even more, first and foremost those
servants who assisted you in the Juhu project, and also those who have
supported me in my efforts to write about it.

Your transcendental desire to establish a center of Krishna consciousness in
the remote Bombay area of Juhu was awakened even before you left for
America. When you would visit Sumati Morarji, you would pass the land and
think, “This would be a nice place for a temple.” Years later, Mr. Nair
offered to sell you the very same land, to be “profitably utilized for big
purpose, as yours,” and you brought Sri Sri Radha-Rasabihari from Their
residence in a posh flat in Akash Ganga, overlooking the Arabian Sea, to a
rented pandal on the property. From there They were moved onto a wood-plank
platform under cloth supported by bare bamboo poles; then, for the rainy
season, into a chatai hut with devotees; and on Janmastami 1972 into a
makeshift structure of bricks and asbestos sheets. But you had vowed to
Them, “I will build You a temple.” And finally, after years of struggle, we
were able to offer Their Lordships the temple you had promised.

You expressed your spiritual desire to build Sri Sri Radha-Rasabihari a
temple with great, intelligent endeavor. And in your purport to
Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.13.50 you explained, “The word svakarthanam refers to
great desires. As mentioned in this verse, the glance of Lord Visnu creates
the desires of the devotees. A pure devotee, however, has no desires.
Therefore Sanatana Gosvami comments that because the desires of devotees
whose attention is fixed on Krsna have already been fulfilled, the Lord’s
sidelong glances create variegated desires in relation to Krsna and
devotional service.” Thus in “a place where there was no temple, . . . a
devotee desired, ‘Let there be a temple and seva, devotional service.’
Therefore, what was once an empty corner has now become a place of
pilgrimage. Such are the desires of a devotee.”

By the strength of your desire, an overgrown plot of land in Juhu became a
place of pilgrimage and devotional service. And in the long process, you
engaged so many of us in devotional service. As you explained in your
introduction to The Nectar of Instruction, “This devotional service is a
sort of cultivation. It is not simply inaction for people who like to be
inactive or devote their time to silent meditation. There are many different
methods for people who want this, but cultivation of Krsna consciousness is
different. The particular word used by Srila Rupa Gosvämé in this connection
is anusilana, or cultivation by following the predecessor teachers
(acaryas). As soon as we say ‘cultivation,’ we must refer to activity.
Without activity, consciousness alone cannot help us. . . .

“We can offer many services with our bodily activities. But all such
activities must be in relationship with Krsna. This relationship is
established by connecting oneself with the bona fide spiritual master, who
is the direct representative of Krsna in disciplic succession. Therefore,
the execution of Krsna conscious activities with the body should be directed
by the spiritual master and then performed with faith.”

You engaged us, your disciples–and so many others–in devotional service
authorized by the principles of scripture and the instructions of previous
spiritual masters, developing Hare Krishna Land on a grand scale, and after
your departure, by your mercy, we were left with tremendous challenges of
work and responsibility–for our own spiritual benefit and for the benefit
of all those who would associate with the temple.

In spite of all opposition and obstacles, you remained perfect in Krishna
consciousness–an ideal sadhu. During one of your talks on
Srimad-Bhagavatam, you spoke about our situation in relation to a verse
describing the qualities and behavior of a sadhu:

titiksavah karunikah
suhrdah sarva-dehinam
ajata-satravah santah
sadhavah sadhu-bhusanah

“The symptoms of a sadhu are that he is tolerant, merciful, and friendly to
all living entities. He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides by the
scriptures, and all his characteristics are sublime.” (SB 3.25.21)

You perfectly exemplified the verse, and while discussing it, you explained
to us your inner mood and motivation, but you did so in such a way as to
include us:

“Here all the boys and girls, the devotees, they are concerned with
Radha-Krishna. That’s all. Their whole business, day and night, is
Radha-Krishna. From early morning, three o’clock, to night, ten o’clock,
their only business is Radha-Krishna. That’s all. Therefore they are sadhu.

“And so many people are criticizing. We are not getting the sanction to
build, because we have so many enemies. They say we are creating a
‘nuisance.’ We are chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, and that is a
‘nuisance.’ This complaint is going to the police. So that is very
difficult.”

Filled with emotion, you exclaimed, “Therefore a sadhu is advised,
Titikñavaù, tolerate! Tolerate all this nonsense! What can be done? We have
no other alternative but to tolerate. Nobody’s coming to help us. Our
business is so thankless. Because we are trying to create one temple, so
many enemies are giving hindrance: ‘You cannot do it.’ Therefore titiksavah.
You have to remain sadhu. You cannot become asadhu. You have to tolerate.
What can be done?

“At the same time, you have to become merciful. You know what has happened
in this place, Hare Krishna Land? So much attack by the police, by the
municipality: ‘Break this temple.’ We could have gone, concluding, ‘What is
the use of taking so much botheration? We have hundreds of temples outside
India. If people here are not liking, let us go away.’ No. Karunikah. We
have come to distribute Krishna consciousness. We must tolerate and give
this message to the people. Karunikah: very merciful, in spite of all
trouble.

“These American boys and girls have come to help me–not that they have come
because they are hungry. No. My mission is, ‘You Americans, you chant Hare
Krishna so the people of India will see, “Oh, Americans are also chanting.
Why not we?” ’ But unfortunately–such dull brains–that thought is not
coming. But still, we have to do it. We have to tolerate, and we have to
become karunikah, merciful.

“Why should you want to be merciful? Para-duhkha-duhkhi. Krpambudhir yas tam
aham prapadye. A Vaishnava understands, ‘These people are engaged like cats
and dogs in sense gratification. They are misguided, and in the next life
they’ll be punished. Let us do something for them.’ This is karunikah: out
of mercy. There is no question of getting something, money. No. We have got
sufficient money. But just to become merciful upon these fallen, conditioned
souls, who are suffering on account of becoming animalistic, without Krishna
consciousness, the preacher, the sadhus. . . These are sadhus–titiksavah,
tolerant: ‘Never mind. Whatever hindrances and tribulations they are
offering to us, never mind. Tolerate.’

“And suhrdah. Suhrdah means the heart is so nice. . . . The Vaishnava is
always thinking how a man can be saved from the clutches of maya. He has no
other desire. The Vaishnava is so kind that suhrdaù sarva-dehinam: he is
kind not only to the human beings but to all embodied souls–cats, dogs,
trees, plants, insects. A Vaishnava will hesitate to kill even a mosquito.
Sarva-dehinam. Not that ‘I shall take care of my brother only. I am good,
and my brother is good.’ No. Suhrdaù sarva-dehinam.

“And ajata-satravaù. When one is living in that way, as a sadhu, why will
others become his enemy? The sadhu does not create enemies, but people
become enemies out of their own character. How can a sadhu create enemies?
Krishna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja, and we are
simply teaching, ‘My dear human being, my dear friend, you become a
surrendered soul to Krishna.’ So what is our fault? So we don’t create any
enemy, but they become enemy. Why shall I create enemy? Suhrdah
sarva-dehinam. But they become, out of their own nature. . . .

“So we are in this society, human society, and because we are spreading
Krishna consciousness, the envious, who are more dangerous than snakes, are
putting so many impediments. But we have to tolerate. We have no other
alternative. You see? Ajata-satravah santah. Be peaceful. What can be done?
Depend on Krishna.

“These are the ornaments of a sadhu: titiksavah karunikah suhrdah
sarva-dehinam. You must know what is a sadhu. First, a sadhu is a devotee.
And if he is a devotee, then all the symptoms are there. Now, you find a
sadhu and associate with him. Then your path of liberation will be open.”

Srila Prabhupada, it has been our greatest good fortune to be able to
associate with you, a perfect sadhu. And by your words and example, you
encouraged us to try to become sadhus as well. And by the service of such a
sadhu as you, one actually develops the qualities of the sadhu.

Along with your desires as a preacher, you also had your personal commitment
and service to Sri Sri Radha-Rasabihari. “My dear Sir,” you had told Them,
“You just stand here, and I will build You a temple.” And you did. You
fulfilled your promise. And what a temple you built! And what a struggle to
do it! But you did it. It was a good fight, but you did it: you kept your
promise and built Them a temple.

All glories to Your Divine Grace, to your wonderful service to Sri Sri
Radha-Rasabihari and to all of Mumbai, all humanity, and all living
entities–including this fallen soul. And all glories to your servants, who,
by your mercy, are continuing your sublime mission.

mukam karoti vacalam
pangum langhayate girim
yat-krpa tam aham vande
sri gurum dina-taranam

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, the deliverer of
all fallen souls, whose mercy turns the dumb into eloquent speakers, and
enables the lame to cross mountains.”

Hare Krishna.

Your eternal, dependent servant,
Giriraj Swami