Every year we offer some heartfelt words of appreciation to our founding spiritual teacher. For me, the lives of the saints settle all the doubts. Their stories are tangible proof that God really does exist.
Dear Srila Prabhupada
I close my eyes and picture the scene. It’s April 1966. Homeless, penniless and alone, you’ve relocated to the Lower East Side in search of “better opportunities” to preach. This is Skid row; the lowest of the low. Here you live, worship, study and teach. Its early evening, and your new residence, the rat-ridden 94 Bowery, is filled with buzzing acidheads, bearded bohemians, ruined alcoholics and disillusioned dropouts. The assembled participants have wandered into this makeshift temple in living protest against America’s good life of materialism. Sex, music, LSD, and meditation is what makes them tick. Half-a-dozen unconscious bums block up the foyer. A few of them have urinated on the floor while one is actually dead. You nonchalantly step by them, enter the room and seat yourself at the front. These confused souls are looking for real love, real happiness and real spiritual experience. Your expression exudes bottomless depth. You are not phased in the slightest. You know your mission. You know you have what they’re looking for. You know Krishna is on your side.
What a historic scene! Absolutely incredible! This has to be the ultimate exhibition of compassion, conviction and courage. Could such a thing ever be repeated? Srila Prabhupada, if you do embark on such a transcendental adventure again, please permit me to tag along. I’m ready to do whatever it takes.
On the order of your spiritual teacher, you shed 200 gallons of blood to help people find true happiness. No amount of social commentary, historical analysis or academic reasoning can account for the miracle of your life. If there was any doubt that God exists, your story well and truly puts it to rest.
Now all that’s left is to share that story with the world. This is the real adventure, the real business, the real purpose in life. There is so much work to do – towns, cities, countries and continents that are waiting to hear about Krishna and His pure devotee. I’m grateful beyond belief to be part of your glorious mission. I hope I’ll do something in this life to make you smile.
Begging to remain at your transcendental disposal,