Citranga caitanya Prabhu's offering
from Chitranga Chaitanya Dasa
My dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Your Divine Grace.
While reading a verse from the first canto of Śrīmad‐Bhāgavatam and your wonderful purport, it
occurred to me what you meant when you often said “everything is in my books”. Even the most
debated issue in ISKCON since you wound up your physical pastimes, i.e., the “guru‐issue” has
been completely and satisfactorily dealt by you in that wonderful purport.
The verse speaks about how Śukadeva Gosvāmī appeared in the midst of great stalwart sages and
rishis who were surrounding Parīkṣit Mahārāj, discussing the most urgent duty of a dying man.
The verse SB 1.19.25 reads:
tatrābhavad bhagavān vyāsa-putro yadṛcchayā gām aṭamāno 'napekṣaḥ/ alakṣya-liṅgo nija-lābha-tuṣṭo
vṛtaś ca bālair avadhūta-veṣaḥ
ʺAt that moment there appeared the powerful son of Vyāsadeva, who travelled over the earth disinterested
and satisfied with himself. He did not manifest any symptoms of belonging to any social order or status of
life. He was surrounded with women and children, and he dressed as if others had neglected him”.
While the different sages, without agreement about the various processes of sacrifice, yoga,
austerity and charity in their attempt to give Mahārāj Parikshit the most appropriate instruction,
Śukadeva Gosvāmī came there of his own pure will. The words used in this connection are
yadṛcchayā, out of his own will (without being invited) and anapekṣaḥ, not dependent on anything
material or absolutely disinterested in the material world.ʺ
The way and manner in which you made your appearance in the Western world to spread Kṛṣṇa
consciousness is akin to the scene described here. To the confused and mis‐directed youngsters of
the world without any proper direction as to what is the purpose of life, your decision to shower
causeless mercy in the form of revealing the Vedic truth was such a panacea to your early students
in New York City. Everyone who heard you, deferred to your authority like the sages to that of
Thus your appearance in the Western world in many ways is similar to how Śrīla Sukadeva
appeared in the midst of the assembled sages on the bank of the Ganges. In fact, Śrīla Prabhupāda,
you are more merciful than Śukadeva who waited till all the great sages and rishis assembled to
make his appearance, where as you went to America not really knowing who would be interested
to hear Śrīmad‐Bhāgavatam. On your own volition and without any material motive, yadṛcchayā
and anapekṣaḥ, you visited Tompkins Square park daily and stood under that elm tree waiting for
people to come to you. The only difference was the quality of audience you faced. The people who
came to hear you were completely different from the kind of gathering Śuka Muni had. In spite of
Vyasa Puja 2011
ISKCON, Bangalore Page 21
that, you showered your grace on all of them. This is an unprecedented display of mercy of the
highest order…causeless mercy.
In the purport to the above verse you said,“ Śukadeva Gosvāmī never accepted any formal spiritual
master, nor did he undergo any formal reformatory performances. His father, Vyāsadeva, was his natural
spiritual master because Śukadeva Gosvāmī heard Śrīmad‐Bhāgavatam from him.”
Śrīla Prabhupāda, you introduced the concept of this “natural spiritual master” on these pages of
Śrīmad‐Bhāgavatam, giving a very clear insight about who could be our “natural spiritual master”
i.e., those who study and follow your teachings as given in your books. From your explanations, it
is clear that a natural spiritual master is not one by formality or ritual ceremony, but by the
dissemination of actual spiritual knowledge. In fact Lord Kṛṣṇa tells Sudhāmā Vipra ādyo 'ṅga
yatrāśramiṇāṁ yathāhaṁ jñāna-do guru: ʺThe person who bestows transcendental knowledge upon the
members of all the spiritual orders of society is oneʹs ultimate spiritual master. Indeed, he is as good as My
own self.”(SB 10.80.32).
From these revelations it is very clear that you are our “natural spiritual master” because all of us
received the seed of transcendental knowledge by studying your books. There could be no doubt
in anyone’s mind about this. Just as Vyāsadeva is an example of ʺnatural spiritual masterʺ of
Śukadeva Gosvāmī, because he learned Śrīmad‐Bhāgavatam from his father, you are our spiritual
master too. Can we not adopt this same criteria you espoused, to decide who is our spiritual
master? Shouldn’t one who studies Śrīmad‐Bhāgavatam through your transcendental writings and
takes up spiritual life seriously, be your direct disciple? I would answer this in the affirmative. No
one can occupy that position in my heart.
In spiritual life, it is important to recognize oneʹs ʺnatural spiritual master.” The sooner we
understand this fact, the more peaceful we become in our practice of devotional service. Thus, for
those of people who are serious students and practitioners of the teachings of Śrīla Prabhupāda, he
is their natural spiritual master. Your Divine Grace’s statement in that purport practically settles
all the debate about you being the sole dīkṣā guru in ISKCON.
Jai Śrīla Prabhupāda,
Aspiring to be your true disciple one day,
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