oà ajïäna-timirändhasya jïänäïjana-çaläkayä
cakñur unmélitaà yena tasmai çré-gurave namaù
Srila Prabhupada came to this world to fulfill the prediction of Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself. Krishna appeared again, soon after His Vrindavan pastimes on this planet, in order to make us understand the secret of Krishna’s Vrindavan pastimes. He came to give us the rare gift of Krishna prema or Vraja prema. So this is how Krishna made this arrangement so that we can experience this loving relationship with Krishna and the residents of Vrindavan. Appearing as a devotee and assuming the loving devotional mood and complexion of Srimati Radharani, Krishna appears as Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu and distributed Krishna prema.
namo maha-vadanyaya krishna-prema-pradaya te
Krishna prema, which is rare for Lord Brahma and even rare for Lord Shiva, was distributed by Krishna as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Although He distributed this prema only throughout India, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu made a prediction that this Krishna consciousness movement will spread all over the world, in every town and village, and in order to fulfill that prediction, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sent Srila Prabhupada. And through Srila Prabhupada’s amazing achievements, we can see that this was a special arrangement made by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. At the age of seventy, Srila Prabhupada came to America, and within a short period of 10 years, Srila Pabhupada spread it all over the world. We cannot even imagine, even conceive of what an amazing achievement this is. Like, while we are spreading Krishna consciousness, Srila Prabhupada had already made all arrangements everywhere. Still, we find it difficult to establish even one temple; it takes us years to establish one temple together, but Srila Prabhupada, within 10 years, established 108 temples. How was it possible? No one in the past had ever achieved such a thing. So the more we dwell on Srila Prabhupada’s achievements, the more we probe into what Srila Prabhupada has done, the more we recognize what an amazing spiritual personality Srila Prabhupada is. In this way Srila Prabhupada came to bless this world. Srila Prabhupada came to fulfill the prediction of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, literally fulfill the prediction of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, that this Krishna consciousness movement will spread all over the. When the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself says that every town and village, then we have to accept that as it is. It literally means every town and village, and it will happen. Srila Prabhupada, of course, came at a very late stage of his life, therefore he did not have much time. Still, whatever he achieved is the most amazing miracle that has ever happened, and at the same time, Srila Prabhupada created an amazing arrangement so that this Krishna consciousness movement would continue to spread even after his disappearance. And that arrangement is the establishment of ISKCON.
Prabhupada came and remained on this planet about 12 years after he arrived in America, and he made the arrangement that this mission would continue: His mission, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission, Krishna’s mission would continue even after his disappearance, and that’s why he established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. And we are seeing today after 41 years after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance from this planet, Krishna Consciousness is spreading. It is another amazing phenomenon. Generally, after the disappearance of a founder of an organization we see that his institution collapses but that did not happen in ISKCON. Even after 41 years of Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance, this institution has not only remained, but is expanding. And for that, Srila Prabhupada made a very special arrangement in order to keep the institution intact and to survive all kinds of onslaughts. He made the special arrangement of his position in this institution as the Founder Acharya and the collective concept of management through the GBC.
So because of that arrangement, this institution survived and it’s continuing. That’s why you should always remember that you must keep this institution intact, one of the most important responsibilities that we have is to protect this ISKCON because if ISKCON remains, the Krishna consciousness movement will continue to spread. On the other hand, if ISKCON disintegrates then the preaching mission will stop. We, the members of ISKCON; we, the leaders of ISKCON, must remember this very, very important consideration.
Srila Prabhupada appeared on a very special day, the day after Krishna’s appearance. Krishna appeared on Janmastami, and the day when Krishna’s appearance was being celebrated as Nandotsava, Srila Prabhupada appeared. That’s why this day is very, very special to us. We are actually worshiping the representative of Srila Vyasadeva, and Srila Prabhupada is Vyasadeva’s most perfect representative. He is distributing the message of Vyasadeva. Vyasadeva is the literary incarnation of Krishna. Krishna appeared as Vyasadeva to distribute his Vedic wisdom. As Kali Yuga begins, a very dark age actually begins. Therefore, Krishna made the arrangement that before Kali Yuga begins, the Vedas would be kept in a secure way. Krishna made the arrangement through Vyasadeva so that people would be able to understand the message of the Vedas. They are presented in such a way that people in the age of Kali who are extremely atheistic and unintelligent, always troubled by all kinds of material difficulties, and on top of everything extremely lazy (could understand). Therefore, very systematically, Vyasadeva presented the Vedas in four different sections: Rg, Sama, Yajur and Atharva. Then he gave all kinds of dharma sastras, then all kinds of the spiritual instructions, then the Upanisadas, Puranas, Samhitas, and all the other sub-branches of the Vedic wisdom. Vyasadeva very systematically presented these scriptures. Then he gave in the form of Mahabharata, the history of the royal families of this world. Then he presented Vedanta Sutra, but still Vyasadeva was despondent; he felt that his mission was improperly accomplished, and at that time, Narada Muni came to him and told him that He did not glorify the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the sublime, most effective, and profound way.
Then Vyasadeva gave the natural commentary of Vedanta. The Vedas were converged into Vedanta, and then the Vedanta was explained in the form of Srimad Bhagavatam. So these two literatures are extremely important for us: the essence of all the Puranas and the essence of all Upanisads. Based on these two literatures, Srila Prabhupada gave his teachings with his Bhaktivedanta purports. In this way, we can see that Srila Prabhupada is actually an ideal representative of Srila Vyasadeva, and he in that way can also be considered the personification of Vyasadeva; he appeared to distribute this most sublime spiritual wisdom, the results of which we are seeing.
The perfect manifestation of Vyasadeva’s work has become personified or manifest in the form of Srila Prabhupada’s presentation. Vyasadeva gave the Vedas, but Srila Prabhupada made them available to everyone in the age of Kali so that they can take advantage of this spiritual presentation and understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So that is why this particular day of Srila Prabhupada’s appearance day that we celebrate as Vyasa Puja is important to us. Actually, Vyasadeva’s mercy is becoming perfectly manifested through the appearance of All Glories to His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada ki Jaya! Gaura Premanande Hari Hari bol!
(The content of this E-magazine was based on a Lecture given by His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami on 17 June 2014 in Los Angeles)
(Compilation & editing by Hemavati Radhika dasi)