Nabadwip das walking with Srila Prabhupada in New York (1971). He is wearing the dark jacket.
The following was composed in 2009 by Sriman Nabadwip das Adhikari as a Vyasa Puja Offering to Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
namah om visnupadaya krsna-presthaya bhutale
swami sri bhaktivedanta prabhupadaya te namah
gurvajnam sirasi-dharyam sakyavesa sva-rupine
hare-krsneti mantrena pascatya-pracya-tarine
visvacarya pravaryaya divya karunya murtaye
radha-krsna-padambhoja-bhrngaya gurave namah
“I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is very dear to Lord Krsna on this Earth, having taken shelter at His lotus feet. Taking the order of his guru on his head, he became empowered by Nityananda Prabhu to act as a saktyavesa-avatara. He distributed the Hare Krsna mantra all over the Eastern andWestern world, delivering and uplifting all fallen souls. He is the best of millions of jagat-gurus, because he is the personification of divine mercy. He has distributed the sweet nectar of Srimad-Bhagavatam and the transcendental knowledge of Bhagavad-gita all over the world. He is constantly engaged in exclusive devotional service to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Srila Rupa Gosvami, and Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu. I offer my humble obeisances unto Srila Prabhupada, who is like a bumblebee always tasting the nectar of the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha and Govinda.”
nama-srestham manum api saci-putram atra svarupam
rupam tasyagrajam uru-purim mathurim gosthavatim
radha-kundam giri-varam aho! radhika-madhavasam
prapto yasya prathita-krpaya sri gurum tam nato ‘smi
“I am fully indebted to Sri Gurudeva, because he is giving me so many things. He is giving me the holy name containing the highest form of thought, aspiration, and ideal, and he is giving me the service of the great savior, the son of Mother Saci, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is like a golden mountain indicating the way to krsna-lila. And Sri Gurudeva has brought me to Svarupa Damodara, who is Lalitadevi, Srimati Radhika’s closest friend. Then he has brought me to Sri Rupa, who was ordered to distribute rasa-tattva, and then to Sri Sanatana Gosvami, who adjusts our position in relation to raganuga-bhakti. Gurudeva has brought me to Mathura-mandala, where Radha and Govinda have their pastimes; where the forest, hills, and every creeper, shrub, and grain of sand are uddipana (stimuli) to help me remember Radha and Govinda. He has given me Radha-kunda and Giriraja Govardhana, and aho!—he has given me assurance of all these, so I bow my head with deep respect unto his lotus feet.”
—Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Sri Mukta-carita
Srila Prabhupada, I heard you say on many occasions that after the departure of the guru, the disciple can feel his presence by following his instructions. And without a doubt this is quite true. But I feel that when you withdrew your manifested pastimes from this world 32 years ago, you took something with you, and because of this I am feeling deep separation. There is a precedent, however, for this feeling. After the departure of his gurudeva, Sri Raghunatha das Goswami wrote that he felt that the holiest of hills, Govardhana, appeared like a big python coming to devour him. And Radha-kunda seemed like the mouth of a tiger wanting to attack him. Remembering your many pastimes, I long for that future time when, once again, I can be in the presence of you manifest pastimes with more of a capacity and purity so that I can serve you without offense. You’re a ocean of mercy and I am forever in your debt.
You picked up even a wretch like me from a pit of ignorance and engaged me in your pure devotional service.What qualifications did I have? I had absolutely no qualification for your mercy. Jagai and Madhai had some qualification for mercy: they were born and raised in a high brahmana family, and they resided in Nabadwip-dhama. They saw and heard the singing of Lord Nityananda and Lord Caitanya.
Even after committing a great offense against Lord Nityananda, He still bestowed His mercy upon them.When Gaura heard that His Nitai had been struck by one of the brothers, He rushed onto the scene with His sudarsana-cakra in His hand, and He wanted to kill those offenders. But Nitai intervened and delivered both of the brothers with His mercy. Mercy over justice! Srila Prabhupada, your mercy is equal to Lord Nityananda’s, and this is not surprising. Your esteemed godbrother and friend, Srila Sridhara Maharaja, had declared boldly that you are the sakti-avesa of Lord Nityananda. That mercy I received from you, and you ordered me to distribute that mercy to others.
“The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above this sceptered sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings;
It is an attribute of God Himself;
And earthly power doth then show like God’s
When mercy seasons justice.”
—William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
In the summer of 1976, Srila Prabhpada, you asked me about my service. I answered by saying, “Srila Prabhupada, it is only by your mercy that I am able to do anything.” I can honestly say that you have given me everything. You gave me initiation into the chanting of the Holy Name, giving me hope for my deliverance. You said that the Holy Name descended from Goloka Vrndavana—golokera prema dana, harinam sankirtana—and that this Name will purify the chanter and eventually place him at the lotus feet of Radha and Krsna. At the time that you gave me harinama initiation, and the name Nabadwip dasa, you told me that Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in the holy land of Nabadwip-dhama, and that I was His servant. You taught that service to Mahaprabhu was the recommended process for attaining service to Radha and Krsna, and that we should not try to approach Them directly but approach Them only through Him. You wrote in your purport to Adilila 13.43 of the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta: sri krsna-caitanya radha-krsna nahe anya. “By worshiping Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu alone, one can relish the loving affairs of Radha and Krsna together. One should therefore try to understand Radha-Krsna not directly, but through Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and through His devotees.” And the best way to worship Mahaprabhu is through harinama sankirtana. Srila Prabhupada, you showed your disciples how to perform harinama sankirtana by performing it yourself.With an effulgence like the shining of a thousand jewels set in gold, you chanted and danced in ecstasy and inspired us to also dance with extreme joy, thus purifying our stone-like hearts.
After establishing the sankirtana movement and clearing the jungle of misconceptions (mayavadism, sahajiyaism, scientific speculation, etc.), you established Deity worship in your temples. You personally secured, installed, and trained your disciples how to properly worship Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, Gaura-Nitai, and Jagannath, Subhadra, and Baladeva. By your mercy, the day after receiving gayatri mantra diksa I was engaged in the service of cleaning the altar of Radha and Govinda in New York. Shortly thereafter, I began to do arotiks, and eventually dress Their Lordships. You taught by example how to cook so many nice food preparations to be offered, and you taught how to dance and sing in front of Their Lordships.
Being merciful to all conditioned souls, you brought Lord Jagannath, Subhadra, and Baladeva out of the temple, placed Them on a grand ratha, and paraded Them down the streets of many major cities—New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London, just to name a few. You did this just to give the fallen conditioned souls an opportunity to get some ajnata sukriti and eventually end their material suffering.Who can be more merciful than you, Srila Prabhupada? You traveled around the globe tirelessly, always making sure that the high standards you set for Deity worship were never slackened, and you also enlivened the devotees by your sweet kirtana and amazing lectures, which were always full of Vedic siddhanta and verses.
While doing all of this, you always found time to translate and publish your transcendental books—Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Caitanya-caritamrita, Nectar of Devotion—and in each and every book, you expressed your transcendental ecstasies in the form of your Bhaktivedanta purports. Srila Prabhupada, you showed me so much mercy by engaging me, right from the beginning of my devotional service, in the production and distribution of your divine literatures. Millions of books were printed and distributed around the world by your family of dedicated disciples.
Srila Prabhuada, I can’t conceive of making any advancement in devotional service without your mercy. Although I haven’t actively participated in your ISKCON institution for the past 25 years, I still nevertheless practice what you taught me by chanting every day, worshipping Their Lordships Nitai-Gaura, publishing and printing transcendental literature, reading your books, listening to your lectures and bhajans, serving the Vaisnavas, and preaching when the opportunity comes. Please be kind to this lowly disciple and embrace me with your merciful glance, or punish me as you see fit; but please do not ever neglect this humble servant of yours. I pray that you place me as an eternal dust particle on your lotus feet. Begging to be
your eternal servant,
An insignificant beggar,