2018 Your Grace to a Stranger
Dear Śrīla Prabhupāda,
Please accept my humble obeisances in the dust of your divine lotus feet. All glories to your Divine Grace.
A few days ago I was writing the outline for this offering based on a talk you had given in Jagannātha Purī in 1977. As I was preparing to write, I received a Viber message from Sanātanī Devī Dāsī, one of your Budapest book distributors and a truly wonderful Vaiṣṇavī. I read the message and it was so amazing that I decided to make it the basis for this offering and put the Purī talk off for next year. Her message read:
“Yesterday I met a man on book distribution, maybe he is from America but I’m not sure. He gave some lakṣmī and I gave him a Chant and be Happy and when he saw the book with Prabhupāda’s picture he said ‘I know this man’. I asked ‘You mean personally?’ He said, ‘Once, I gave the last money from my wallet to a Hare Kṛṣṇa temple and that night this man, Prabhupāda, appeared in my dream and he said ‘I will guide you and I will help you through your life.’ He said that this dream was a strong experience in his life. He was spending just three days in Budapest, but I invited him to Krishna Valley, maybe he will go. And of course he took the book. He was a very kind man. I was just thinking how merciful Prabhupāda is.”
Dear Śrīla Prabhupāda! If a little devotional service performed just once means you are willing to guide a stranger for life—no doubt to Kṛṣṇa—, then what benefit do you have in store for devotees who have given their lives, homes, and souls to you? This is just like Lord Brahmā’s prayers, where he makes the same observation about the fathomless reaches of Kṛṣṇa’s mercy:
“You have already arranged to give Yourself to Pūtanā and her family members in exchange for her disguising herself as a devotee. So what is left for You to give these devotees of Vṛndāvana, whose homes, wealth, friends, dear relations, bodies, children, and very lives and hearts are all dedicated only to You?”
I share Brahmā’s bewilderment. If this is what you give to a one-off donor, what will you give to those who give their everything? Your transcendental opulences bewilder me.
Therefore, on this glorious Vyāsa-pūjā day I can only bow at your lotus feet and, paraphrasing Brahmā’s words, admit that while some devotees may say they know all about Śrīla Prabhupāda, I can only say that your kindness and opulences are beyond the reach of my mind, body, and words.
Your amazed servant,