Honolulu Temple Vyasa Puja Offering 1976

By Kailasa Candra dasa

All victories and glories to Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya 108 Sri Sriman A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, our beloved spiritual master. You are translating the cream of the Vedic literatures in so many languages throughout all parts of the world so authoritatively and exquisitely that you are single-handedly destroying the voidism and impersonalism that has the world in it's stringent clutches.

We think that we have met Your grace by the will or providence, and thus we accept you as captain of the ship (karna-dhara) for those who desire to cross the dangerous ocean of Kali, which destroys all the good qualities of a human being. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.22)

The dust of your lotus feet touching our heads converts us from ravaging zombies (jivanchava) to respectable human beings. This dust is extended in the form of your perfect instruction. This instruction is the breeze that inflates the sails of our human boat, allowing us to ply forward, across the turpid waters of the evil Kali, toward the safe and sublime shore of the spiritual sky.

Mild Hawaiian spring breezes wafted through the temple room windows. The sense of peace and satisfaction was due to the presence if the Panca-tattva in their full glory, dressed in the opulence of multicolored silk embroidered with glittering silver sequins, some square, some star-shaped, some round. You sat placidly, dearmost Srila Prabhupada, emanating deep yet comforting knowledge; the regal purple background of the plush vyasasana providing an exemplary picture of your actual stature.

"We are interested in just one moon. I am looking for one moon. There are so many stars in the sky, but the light from just one moon is of so much more value. We are looking for just one moon."

You had said this before. Such repetition is glorious, only adding to the effect. You are the soothing, cooling personified moonshine of Lord Nityananda. The impersonalists are so much fond of the dazzling brahmajyoti because this brahmajyoti is the effulgence of the transcendental body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Everyone is looking for Krsna. Sunlight is a direct reflection of this brahmajyoti. Moonlight is the direct reflection of sunshine. The predominating deity of the moon controls everyone's mind, and in the presence of soothing moonshine, everyone feels freedom and relief from the pangs of material existence. You are the pure reflection, the empowered representative of Lord Nityananda Rama, the original spiritual master. Thus your realized words expertly cut through the darkness of our avidya, our ignorance. Although we know that we are implicated when we hear and read them, if we are sincere, we do not feel anxiety but soothing relief. Such is the effect of the transcendental moon which brightens everything amidst the age of darkness. Ignorance becomes dissipated and destroyed.

Now you want that there be just even one more moon. This you are asking of us. Full knowledge is there in all living entities but, caught from time immemorial in the clutches of the bewildering energy called maya, it does not manifest -- or sometimes manifests only minutely. Thus so much darkness, some scattered stars, but you are looking for just one moon.

Hawaii is the best locale in the world to practice spiritual life. One can live on as little as two coconut dobs a day. This you have stated. Hawaii is the best place to absorb oneself in material happiness also. But pouring water on a fire while trying to ignite it is the strategy of the deluded. For one who is trying to realize spiritual ecstasy but has not abandoned material hankerings, Hawaii is not the best place.

We have seen you prosper here, and display all the transcendental qualities of the pure devotee. Thus you have allowed us to prosper also. By Krsna's grace, ISKCON -- Honolulu has been presented the opportunity to afford you an opulent mansion located in one of the best valleys of the city, a valley noted for it's many churches and low crime rate. There are beautiful mango trees on and near the property. You have written to us, "and everyone knows how fond I am of mangos." The shade of the immense banyan tree in the backyard provides strength and vitality. While walking atop the open veranda which adjoins your room and overlooks a circular hedge of more than thirty tulasi trees, you once glanced toward the vegetable garden in the near north. Seeing the devotee working there, bare-chested and basking in the morning sun, you said to him from above, "be blessed."

But of all your prosperity, the most invigorating display of your opulence here was in the supremely important matter of your writing. Your pace was phenomenal, never before seen. Leaving almost all of the public lecturing to your disciples, you would speak from the vyasasana only on Sunday evenings, presenting the information that after death one may, on the planet of the plutonic king, relish embracing the red-hot form of a woman in he is so much immersed in that activity during life.

So much of the rest of the time you would translate. Later we would read the description of the hellish planets in the Fifth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam and, at the culmination of the work, also experience your unprecedented acknowledgement, "Completed in the Honolulu temple of the Panca-tattva, June 5, 1975." You would sit in front of the deity and tell us that this mixing business should not go on. It is not the policy of the moonlike devotees.

In Hawaii it has been all too prevalent. So many have come; so many have gone. This we have seen.

The platform of pure devotional service is detailed in the Twelfth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita. The very first quality of a pure devotee is listed there. Advesta: nonenvious.

There are many symptoms of nescience; there are many contradictions labored under by the conditioned soul. Just like of one has stomach problems due to malfunctioning of his nerves in that area. He may take so much trouble to eat correct and properly combined foods along with balanced exercise and rest. But if the nerves leading from the brain to the stomach are pinched by a sublaxation of the vertebrae, what is the use of all such remedies? He must go to a chiropractor and have his spinal column put back in order. Then everything will go on nicely.

Similarly, we have to get to the root of our contamination, not just try to neutralize the symptoms, leaving the dirt underneath the rug. This is what you are giving us with this bhakti-yoga system. The other yoga or so-called yoga methodologies on this planet today don't come to grips with the root reason of our undesirable existence here. Almost all of their constituents are impersonalists and voidists. Although they might be able to have their relative truths securely established within, and although they are able to gloss over some of the symptoms of their contamination, thus manifesting some seemingly good qualities which will flicker and fail in the clutch, until they come to the platform of accepting the personal existence of the Supreme Truth and acting accordingly, their initial contamination remains. The system of devotional service you are so mercifully extending to us might not contain as many artificial austerities as some of the other more popular methods and concoctions, but only a few fortunate and rare souls will actually take this medicine. It is a medicine that cannot be compromised. You relentlessly rip away at our illusions, revealing things as they are. Not everyone really wants to know what they need to know. Some will come, and some will go.

You are teaching us what we have forgotten. We are originally all pure spiritual souls. But our eternal function is not God, but dasa, dasa, dasa, loving servitorship to God. Subordinate. We fell from that position due to our original sin. The Christians also have this concept of original sin, but when you ask them to elucidate matters, they cannot. This is because their system also allows that despicable leeway to ultimately balk. The reason for our falling from the spiritual world was due to our original envy and pride toward Lord Krsna. We thought, "why do I have to serve Krsna, I am just as good as Krsna." Thus we were sent down to get covered over again and again in the masquerade ball called samsara, the excruciating cycle of birth and death. Our original light has now become covered by so many curtains, all linked to one another very systematically and scientifically. You are forcing us, your disciples, to realize and remove that original curtain so that we won't be forced to entangle ourselves only with subsequent symptoms. They will be lifted automatically, and thus by your grace, our moon will burst forth in full glory.

You are the eternal well-wisher of all living entities. Your mercy cannot be fathomed. You have taken the most fallen and have rejuvenated their God-given powers of intelligence and strength. But, by the eternal presence of minute independence, the jiva servitor can elect to turn his face from you, and futily try to imitate the eternal enjoyer. Thus for the soul still affected by the coverings of gross and subtle bodies, devotional service is like a razor's edge. Some are following strictly and cleaning their faces so meticulously perfect, while others are suffering so many knicks and cuts. The most damaging misuse of this potency you are bestowing is guru-aparadha (hathi-matta, the elephant offense) and vaisnava-aparadha, offense to your devotees. These things ultimately surface because of the original sinful seed: envy.

You have written about this in your purport to verse of Srila Rupa Gosvami's Upadesamrta (The Nectar of Instruction) as follows:

"This Krsna consciousness movement is a transcendental science, and there is no room for jealousy. As soon as one becomes envious, he falls from the platform of paramahamsa. If we consider the bodily defects of a Vaisnava, we should understand that we are committing an offense at the lotus feet of the Vaisnava, which is very serious. For a neophyte especially, considering a pure devotee from a material point of view is very injurious. One should try to see the internal features and understand how he is engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Those who think that Krsna consciousness is limited to a certain section of people or devotees are generally prone to see the external features of the devotee. It is also an offense to consider the empowered Vaisnava an object of disciplinary action. It is offensive to give him advice or try to correct him."

In the Caitanya-caritamrta purports (Madhya 1.218-220 / Madhya 11.103) you have added:

"When a Vaisnava sees that another Vaisnava is a recipient of the Lord's mercy, he becomes very happy. Vaisnavas are not envious. One who is envious of the success of a Vaisnava is certainly not a Vaisnava himself, but an ordinary mundane man and should not be respected but rejected. There are many jealous people in the dress of Vaisnavas in the Krsna consciousness movement, and they should be completely neglected. Unfortunately, in this age of Kali, there are many mundane persons in the dress of Vaisnavas, and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has described them as disciples of Kali. He said, 'kali-cela.' He indicated that there is another Vaisnava, a pseudo-Vaisnava, with tilaka on his nose and kanthi beads around his neck. A Vaisnava acarya is self-effulgent, and there is no need for any court judgment. A false acarya may try to override a Vaisnava by a high-court decision, but Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that he is nothing but a disciple of Kali-yuga."

"One must be considered bereft of the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu when he criticizes the Krsna consciousness movement now spreading all over the world or finds fault with this movement or the leader of this movement."

The Lord's most recent appearance in the world was five-hundred years ago when He instructed us by playing the role of the ideal devotee, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When the most powerful impersonalist of the time, Prakasananda Sarasvati, heard about Lord Caitanya's chanting and dancing, he displayed his envy by telling his numerous followers that the Lord was only a sentimentalist and a magician. Prakasananda further instructed them not to listen to the Lord, thus, in the name of knowledge, doing the greatest disservice by misleading others from the path of the Absolute Truth. Impersonalists are always envious. Prakasananda would preach that the Supreme does not have a mouth, legs, or eyes, indirectly saying that God is dumb, lame, and blind. Because of such preaching, Prakasananda Sarasvati was attacked with leprosy.

You are the spiritual master of the universe, yet we have seen those who have become careless with this razor's edge approach you with sliced and bleeding jugular veins. They are not limited to one race or locale. In India, those who willfully disobeyed the orders of your spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, are the most notorious. Although their foul action, or lack of action, force your divine guru to depart early from this world, they have no humility. They envy you because you have followed. Such men are cursed and should be avoided like crocodiles in a swamp.

It is a known fact that, due to tight customs and quarantine surveillance, there are no snakes or tigers present in the lush tropical environment of Hawaii. But Bhaktivinoda Thakura has said that a man who cannot be controlled by the higher instruction of Krsna consciousness cannot me tamed. There is no such quarantine here for such a man. So many of them are sleeping in the darkness of this age. By delivering your message properly, they might be able to turn toward and become delivered. But for those who are pretending to sleep, whose minds wear the cloak of envy and the turban of greed, there is no possibility of becoming awakened. This we have seen.

You have told us that the material world is likened to a beehive. All the bees are scurrying about for the available honey, but, in the process, they are suffering the bites of one another. It is impossible to envy Lord Krsna in His realm because He doesn't allow it. One is immediately shipped down and packed up in the immense material straightjacket. Therefore their business becomes envying and destroying one another.

You have shown us clearly that this material world is a battle. Prabhupada, please allow us to accept you fully as the captain of our ship. Sometimes Kali, the evil symbol of sin, or his servant, throws a wave which tumbles and bewilders us atop this invaluable boat. Without your merciful guidance, we would have been long lost in that horrible ocean. Instead we are seeing, slowly but surely, that all good qualities are coming now as long as we abide by your order in this war against the illusory energy. You are requesting this of us. We are thus becoming more enthusiastic and confident. We thus are shining more brightly daily. As long as we remain serious and sincere, as long as we do not allow envy to reenter our hearts, the pock marks of the moon do not detract from it's splendor.

You are in pure and ecstatic love of Krsna. Hawaii, Chicago, Geneva or Tokyo, it does not matter. Everywhere for you is Vrndavana, and you create the Vrndavana atmosphere for everyone anywhere you go. We, the devotees of ISKCON -- Honolulu, pray that you allow us to ply this boat properly to it's destination and manifest our true moonlike nature. After all, it is your desire, and our only business is to eternally fulfill your desires, although our debt to you can never actually be repaid.

Your servants at ISKCON -- Honolulu

Sukadeva dasa adhikari, Jagamohini-devi dasi, Madhurya-lila / Satyadeva dasa adhikari, Mahaguna-devi dasi, Maitreya, Murali / Satananda dasa adhikari, Kadamba-kusumapriya-devi dasi, Rama-laksmana / Sasta dasa adhikari / Jagad dasa adhikari, Bhaktin Nancy / Harivallabha dasa adhikari, Sakhi-devi dasi / Bharata dasa brahmacari / Kani dasa brahmacari / Gopiparanadhana dasa brahmacari / Laksmana dasa brahmacari / Niscinta dasa brahmacari / Piyusahanti dasa brahmacari / Bhakta-jana dasa brahmacari / Munisvara dasa brahmacari / Adi-karta dasa brahmacari / Kailasaccandra dasa brahmacari / Mark Hains / Kusa-devi dasi, Atmarama / Herapancami-devi dasi, Tara / Sukhi-devi dasi / Samharina-devi dasi / Bhakta William / Bhakta Steve / Bhakta Bob / Lilananda dasa brahmacari / Jyotir dasa / Aniruddha dasa brahmacari

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Quotes from the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are copyright by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust