Srila Prabhupada’s Journey West

By Srila Sridhara Maharaja

When he was going to America, on the journey he expressed his feeling to play with Krishna in sakhya-rasa: kata bane chutachuti bane khai lutaputi sei din kabe habe mor, “Running and frolicking in the many forests of Vraja, I will roll on the ground in spiritual ecstasy. O when will that day be mine?” This was his “Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Krishna.” When he was passing through the Atlantic, he gave vent to feelings that may be the salient points in his Vraja lila. It struck me like that, Vrindavana sakhya-rasa.

When he departed from this consciousness of worldly preaching propaganda, then he is there. It is clearly expressed in these sayings there in the Atlantic. He discovered the unmanifest (aprakata) pastimes in Vrindavana, and in Vrindavana he established Krishna-Balarama and Gaura-Nitai. That is indicative of sakhya-rasa. From this we can conclude that he is in sakhya-rasa, and he has entered into those pastimes. This is my understanding about his present position. He has expressed himself, his eternal position, the acme of his aspiration. In Vrindavana he has established Balarama and Krishna and Nitai-Gaura, and he is saying like that, Nitai-Gaura are Krishna and Balarama. It’s almost clear that he comes from that group. And now he’s again there. Hare Krishna.

He expressed his own position in eternal lila in his poem. I conjecture like that. Hare Krishna! In his diary in Bengali he wrote, “Today I cooked some bati-caccari. It was quite delicious. So I ate something. Today I expressed my inner feelings to my friend and wrote a poem about that.”

And that friend came to his aid. He was so earnest in his prayer to Krishna that he might be able to discharge the duty that had been given to him by his Guru Maharaja that Krishna came down to help him, his friend helped him in this propaganda work. So saktyavesa-avatara. I take him; I cannot but take him to be so.

Addressing Krishna he wrote, “You are my eternal friend. Forgetting you, I have come to this world and I have been suffering the kicking of Maya, the goddess of misconception. If you come to help me in this campaign, then after finishing this I can again join you. When I shall be united with you again. I shall wander along with you the whole day in keeping the cows in the forest. Running this side and that side in the jungle, in the forest. And then, lutaputi, to fall on the ground in different shows of play. I aspire after that day. I have got this good chance to serve my Gurudeva. For that reason my heartfelt appeal to You is that You please come to help me. I am Your eternal servitor; therefore, so much aspiration I have got for You. You, no other, are my only resort.”

So after performing this service, he aspires after a life in the cow-keeping lila of Krishna, and he is appreciating that sort of friendly service of Krishna very much from the core of his heart, his aspiration after finishing his worldly preaching campaign.

I take it that Nityananda Prabhu has given some special recognition to the section of the suvarna-vanik community from which Swami Maharaja has come. He has special grace for that particular section and the preaching about Gauranga, and this is mentioned in the scriptures. The suvarna-vanik are the most favorite section of Nityananda Prabhu. It is mentioned in the sastra, Caitanya-bhagavata. I thought that Nityananda Prabhu is also in charge of preaching about Mahaprabhu’s glory. So I took it that Nityananda Prabhu must have awakened some special dedication in him in his last days which helped him to inundate with such an inconceivable magnitude, the whole of the world.

About the Author

2 Responses to Srila Prabhupada’s Journey West

  1. Jai Srila Prabhupada, who left for his preaching campaign the day after Baladeva purnima! His campaign was bold and infused with the power of Balaram, while being merciful and soothing to the destitute, like Nitaicand! Jai Srila Sridhar Maharaj, who shed light on Prabhupada’s bhava, and declared his status as saktyavesa-Nityananda vesa!

  2. This is such a wonderful article. How can anyone disagree with such a thorough analysis from a superlative vaisnava and dear friend of our Srila Prabhupada.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑