2001 None To Match Śrīla Prabhupāda
Dear Śrīla Prabhupāda,
Please accept my humble obeisances in the dust of your lotus feet.
Today is your Vyāsa-pūjā day, but for me, every minute, of every hour, of every day is an attempt to offer similar expression of love to you. In fulfilling your orders to be Kṛṣṇa conscious and give the same to others, I am constantly meditating on you by way of your vāṇī. It is only such service that mitigates the pain of separation from your vapu.
Śrīla Prabhupāda, in the tenure of my service I have seen many Vaiṣṇavas, had the opportunity to meet some, and even heard discourses from a few. There is no one like you! No one!
No Vaiṣṇava equals your learning, your kindness, your humor, your empowerment, or your devotion to Kṛṣṇa and guru.
Last night, as I was returning from the temple accompanied by some devotees, I looked up at the clear night sky of New Vraja Dhāma. It was an impressive panorama of twinkling lights representing the external potency. I stopped and looked, absorbed in thoughts of you. Then I said aloud, “In recent memory I have not been to any of the innumerable stars, planets, or galaxies up there. But I am sure that of all the devotees who are wandering in all those places for the welfare of others, there is none to match Śrīla Prabhupāda.”
As soon as I said that, I heard a wonderful voice resonate within my heart, “There is none to match Śrīla Prabhupāda!” Simultaneously, all the devotees responded at once, “No one equals Śrīla Prabhupāda!” Here was Kṛṣṇa and the Vaiṣṇavas confirming my proposition.
Retiring to my room, I opened the Caitanya-caritāmṛta and began to read Sanātana-śikṣā. In Madhya-līlā, Chapter 20, verse 61, I saw the following verse and took it as conclusive confirmation:
akṣṇoḥ phalaṁ tvādṛśa-darśanaṁ hi
tanoḥ phalaṁ tvādṛśa-gātra-saṅgaḥ
jihvā-phalaṁ tvādṛśa-kīrtanaṁ hi
su-durlabhā bhāgavatā hi loke
“O devotee of the Lord, the purpose of the visual sense is fulfilled simply by seeing you, and to touch your body is the fulfillment of bodily touch. The tongue is meant for glorifying your qualities because in this world a pure devotee of the Lord is very difficult to find.” (Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya)
Śrīla Prabhupāda, a devotee like you is very, very difficult to find. That I had the good fortune to see you, to touch you, to hear from you, and to share your mission seems inexplicable. The only reasoning I can consider is yours: “I have created your good fortune!”
As I continue to wander here and there in your service, I know that I will meet none to match your shadow. I simply pray that I will develop the good sense and spiritual insight to appreciate the uniqueness of Your Divine Grace, as it continues to expand before my eyes and within my heart.
Your lowly servant,