My Dearmost Pitaji,
I offer my heartfelt obeisances unto the shelter of your parental love, devotion, affection, dedication, protection, lifelong guru nistha and seva.
All glories to Akhanda Guru Sri Nityananda! All glories to Sri Caitanya! All glories to Jagat Guru Srila Prabhupada!
Being raised by you, was being raised by the Vani of Sri Guru Parampara. It is such a glorious upbringing and gift of the rarest birth and opportunity.
All of my childhood play carries memories of Sri Guru, Vaisnavas, Krsna and the supremacy, purity and upliftment of transcendental sound vibration. Sitting on your lap, I always heard Srimad Bhagavatam and Krsna Book. Sleeping, waking and playing, I was always hearing Srila Prabhupada.
You taught by example. Even the tiny insect received the compassion and mercy of the holy names. Even the homeless person who carried a terribly unpleasant odor, who came unbathed as a beggar in the temple of the Lord, was served with respect and kindness, equal to everyone else and fed a sumptuous feast of Krsna prasad to their full satisfaction. They also received the benefit of having large amounts of very potent incense offered on their behalf.
I weep profusely with gratitude for your sacrifice, austerity and adherence to Srila Prabhupada’s instructions. I weep with gratitude for my good fortune. You served me as a parent with so much love, that now, I feel the great loss of the opportunity to serve and give back to you. To truly offer my respects and give back to you, is to live a life of spiritual practice and endeavor on the path of Bhakti and fulfillment of my soul’s eternal dharma. To truly honor you, is to take fully to following in the footsteps of our guru parampara as you have done and exemplified in your lifetime of service.
Even your arranged marriage was accepted by you in a mood of service to your spiritual master. You followed his instructions on how to create children by way of the garbhadhana samskara process. Your faith in following the words and teachings of Sri guru and shastra qualified you to become a parent.
Srimad Bhagavatam explains:
gurur na sa syāt sva-jano na sa syāt
pitā na sa syāj jananī na sā syāt
daivaṁ na tat syān na patiś ca sa syān
na mocayed yaḥ samupeta-mṛtyum
One who cannot deliver his dependents from the path of repeated birth and death should never become a spiritual master, a father, a husband, a mother or a worshipable demigod.
Bhagavad Gita expains:
yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi
yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam
“O son of Kuntī, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me.” This is bhakti. Unless one is devoted, he cannot give everything to the Supreme Lord. Unless one can do so, he cannot become a spiritual master, husband, father or mother.
Separation from you is the pain of feeling separation from a Vaisnava.
You fully flourished in your seva and chanting of the holy names while carefully gaurding against the ten offenses. The instruction of Sriman Mahaprabhu given by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura of “aparadha-sunya haiya laha Krsna-nama” (Free yourself from offence and just chant the holy name of Sri Krsna.) was carried by you and taken to heart. More than this, you humbly and affectionately offered praise to the Vaisnavas. You always saw the good and glories in others therefore, those qualities also belonged to and decorated you. You always gave encouragement, kind words and help to those in need.
You followed the principles of Srila Rupa Goswami by accepting what is favorable and rejecting what is unfavorable to Bhakti and remained in the association of auspicious persons.
You very much appreciated Krsna’s attractive bodily features and you used to send me photos along with your comments of His decorated navel, painted body and other beautiful parts which had attracted your mind and speech. You glorified Radharani and Her sweetness and mercy.
You saw all babies, girls and women to be a reflection of myself, your daughter and treated them with respect and a protective, fatherly mood. I witnessed and also heard accounts from persons who personally experienced this.
As my loving father, no matter how old I became, I have always been the beneficiary of your affection and instruction in a childlike position. To my surprise though, in your humility, you would invite me to share any realizations with you as if I had something which you could learn from and as if I were on an equal platform to speak tattvas and siddhantas to you. When I shared anything for your happiness, you thanked me as if you had tasted and realized something new and you appreciated and treasured it. I always heard from devotees who had seen you, that you gave the message that you were very proud of me. This causes me to weep profuse tears. I am becoming more and more proud of you every day, the more I learn about you and hear accounts of your service to Hari, guru and Vaisnavas from others.
You surrendered to Sri guru and Krsna while tolerating great difficulty. You always preached the glories of the Lord and are yourself, the recipient of the Lord’s special mercy. He induced you to completely let go of the material world because you sincerely desired to serve Him in His eternal abode. He brought you closer and closer to Him and the goal of going back home, back to Godhead. Because you earnestly desired, you willingly accepted a lifetime of austerity and faithfully offered your heart, words and body in the service of the Lord.
In the words of Srila Narottama Dasa Thakura:
guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete koriya aikya,
ār nā koriho mane āśā
śrī-guru-caraṇe rati, ei se uttama-gati,
je prasāde pūre sarva āśā
“Make the teachings emanating from the lotus mouth of our spiritual master one with your heart, and do not desire anything else. Attachment to his lotus feet is the best way to make spiritual advancement. His mercy fulfills all desires for spiritual perfection.”
You have certainly done this Pitaji. I celebrate your life as a complete success.
With humility, intense separation and regret that I did not have the opportunity to give back to you in service, and with ever increasing love and affection for you as my father as well as a Vaisnava,
– Your daughter Vanamali Devi Dasi