He Lives Forever
Posted September 7, 2004
Recently, while discussing Srila Prabhupada and his glories with a younger devotee, I was surprised to hear him say, "You're so lucky. You got Srila Prabhupada, but what about us?" Startled by hearing such a despondent remark by a newcomer who should be brimming with hope and enthusiasm in Krsna consciousness, I proceeded to explain that Srila Prabhupada is, in fact, as present now as he has ever been. Throughout his books, letters and conversations, Srila Prabhupada emphasized this point again and again, so there should be no cause for misunderstanding.
In 1975, when asked by a reporter in Berkeley what would happen to the movement after his departure, Srila Prabhupada replied, "I will never die. I will live forever in my books." In the Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi-lila 1.35, purport), Srila Prabhupada explains, "There is no difference between the spiritual master's instructions and the spiritual master himself." Further assuring us all, Prabhupada spoke the following words just prior to his departure in 1977: "If I depart, there is no cause for lamentation. I will always be with you through my books and my orders. I will always remain with you in that way.
Fortunately, we don't have to go far to hear this same message repeated for our benefit. A Vaisnava is an ocean of mercy, and no matter how much one may drink from that ocean, the mercy is always available. There is no shortage or deficiency on the spiritual platform, and therefore we can all rejoice in our shared good fortune. Srila Prabhupada is so kindly offering his spiritual blessings to one and all:
"As far as my blessing is concerned, it does not require my physical presence. If you are chanting Hare Krsna there, and following my instructions, reading the books, taking only Krsna prasadam etc., then there is no question of your not receiving the blessings of Lord Caitanya, whose mission I am humbly trying to push on." (Srila Prabhupada letter, 30/6/74)
Everywhere we look in Krsna consciousness, we can see the mercy of Prabhupada. He personally delivered to us the Hare Krsna mantra, the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Caitanya-caritamrta, Krsna Book, Nectar of Devotion, the arca-vigraha (Deity form of the Lord), numerous temples around the world, Vaisnava association, Krsna prasadam, over 7,000 letters -- and the list goes on and on. In fact, we cannot escape the network of his causeless mercy and love upon the fallen souls of Kali-Yuga. He has personally flooded the entire world with Krsna consciousness.
Although it may appear that such a great personality has come and gone from the world stage, he has promised us that we can still have his personal association if we have faith in his words and instructions:
"But always remember that I am always with you. As you are always thinking of me, I am always thinking of you also. Although physically we are not together, we are not separated spiritually. So we should be concerned only with this spiritual connection." (Srila Prabhupada letter, 13/11/69)
As we hear more and more from Srila Prabhupada himself, and as we accept him into our hearts, we will experience his transcendental presence and love. Prabhupada used to say that when we eat to our full satisfaction, we do not need a certificate from others saying that we are full. We will know it ourselves. Similarly, when we have made the Prabhupada connection in our own lives, there is no room for doubts or uncertainty.
"He lives forever by his divine instructions, and the follower lives with him."
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.