124th Vyasa Puja 2020

HH Lokanath Swami Maharaja’s Homage to HDG Srila Prabhupada 2020

My dearest and most beloved Srila Prabhupada

Please accept my most prostrated obeisances at the dust of your lotus feet on this most auspicious occasion of your 124th Vyäsa-puja celebration.

All glories to you and your mission of delivering the universe!

Srila Prabhupada, as I sit to write this year’s Vyäsa-puja. offering, I am unable to remain oblivious to the fact that the world outside is gridlocked by an invisible enemy, the coronavirus global pandemic. More than two million people have been infected by the virus across the world. As the world is grappling with this pandemic, the full display of the five kinds of ajïäna-våttaya, ignorant engagements created by Lord Brahmä, have become evident in this virus outbreak: “self-deception, the sense of death, anger after frustration, the sense of false ownership, and the illusory bodily conception, or forgetfulness of one’s real identity.” (Srimad Bhagwatam 3.12.2).

All of these five engagements are universally applicable, and when we are conditioned no one can escape them. With all of these in full action, the excruciating suffering encompassing the world right now is plain but painful to see. In your morning walks, lectures, and books, you saw the future as utterly predictable in the ways that these ignorant engagements will play out. Now we are observing the fulfilment of your prophetic words about the exploitation of nature, including the slaughtering of animals and the consumption of even creatures like bats and rats. The resultant backlash of such animalistic tendencies and atrocities is presenting itself with intense fury. “Since I suffer when pinched or killed by others, I should not attempt to pinch or kill any other living entity. People do not know that because of killing innocent animals they themselves will have to suffer severe reactions from material nature.” (Srimad Bhagwatam 7.15.24, purport).

Clearly, we have hopelessly submitted to these ignorant engagements created by the Lord. The onslaught of the virus being experienced is proof that the conditioned souls have completely misused their independence. Srila Prabhupada, by giving us Srimad Bhagwatam you have given us insight into the situation we are presently experiencing.

We now see and understand how “the living entity prefers to misuse his independence and glides down towards nescience.” Although “the all-merciful Lord first of all tries to protect him from the trap, but when the living entity persists in gliding down to hell, the Lord helps him to forget his real position.” (Srimad Bhagwatam 3.12.3, purport) At this moment the world is at its lowest point. It’s easy to see the material world as a place of suffering and distress. Instead of realizing that the situation at hand is reminding us to mend our ways and become more Kåñëa conscious, we continue our forgetful ways. As you would often say, Srila Prabhupada, “We have forgotten our real identity and that we are part and parcel of the Lord.” Our fear goes beyond the coronavirus. Out of sheer fear, governments in countries across the globe have shut down all nonessential facilities, including temples. The one place where we can seek solace from the entanglement of our material lives, from the five ignorant engagements, is unfortunately now off limits. People feel as if they are being hunted down by an invisible killer, which has already taken the lives of more than 120,000 people worldwide. In each birth, we have tried to save ourselves but were left frustrated. I recall you saying, Srila Prabhupada, that our fear is due to not wanting to leave this world of “society, friendship, and love.”

We think we are invincible. The suffering that the body endures is addressed, and we believe that everything will be fine. But we deceive ourselves thinking we are better than we actually are, and play at being God, the real enjoyer. This is the greatest deception, because what we really need is Krsna’s help.

Srila Prabhupada, there is quarantine, self-isolation, and now national lockdowns. Practically everybody is living in suffocated anger and frustration. This anger has taken on many faces. Anger at being forced to “stay at home” against one’s will. Anger at being forced to adhere to rules that will hopefully curb the spread of this disease. Anger by those following the restrictions that is directed at those who do not. The disease has halted people’s socializing and crushed their material aspirations. People are now frustrated and avoid each other, as this disease drives them into the tiny dark holes they call “home.”

Srila Prabhupada, in your purport to Srimad Bhagwatam 3.12.3 you state, “Although he created the different influences of nescience, Lord Brahmä was not satisfied in performing such a thankless task, but he had to do it because most of the conditioned souls wanted it to be so.”

In response to the dark side of the Lord’s creation, which consists of the five kinds of nescient engagements, Brahmä next created the four Kumäras—Sanaka, Sananda, Sanätana, and Sanat. They were enlightened and guided by their father, Brahmä, and entrusted with the four principles of spiritual advancement, which would offset the ignorance of the conditioned souls, enlighten the world, and ultimately set them free. You describe these four principles in your purport to Srimad Bhagwatam 3.12.4:

[S]äìkhya, or empirical philosophy for the analytical study of material conditions; yoga, or mysticism for liberation of the pure soul from material bondage; vairägya, the acceptance of complete detachment from material enjoyment in life to elevate oneself to the highest spiritual understanding; and tapas, or the various kinds of voluntary austerities performed for spiritual perfection.

Srila Prabhupada, following in the footsteps of the four Kumäras, you are representing Krsna in the Brahma-Madhva-Gauòéya disciplic succession. You were endowed with wonderful qualities, like that of the four Kumäras. The movement that you founded, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, is a benediction for this world. Now it is your teachings that will help us come out of this pandemic. It is your teachings that will counteract the present situation and secure the future for us and for humanity as a whole.

You once told us, “There was a big plague in Calcutta. So one bäbäjé went from door to door, house to house, and he had all the people—Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Parsi—chant Hare Krsna. After that the plague was driven out.”

Srila Prabhupada, you gave us the holy names of the Lord, which we vowed to chant daily. They may shut down the temples, but they’ll never shut down the chanting of the holy name. Through the use of modern communication technology, I am engaging in a daily japa session with devotees in more than a thousand locations across the world. All over the glove, other disciples and grand disciples of yours are preaching and reaching out to the world in even bigger and better ways. As a result, thousands of people are now listening to kathäs, kértanas, and discourses in their homes. We are encouraging devotees to convert their homes into temples, and we are appealing for the people of the world to spiritualize, now that socializing is not allowed. You showed by example that prayers are powerful, so, with your blessings, we Hare Kåñëa devotees are praying for the complete well-being of the whole world. These transcendental sound vibrations will permeate the ether and purify the collective consciousness of people globally.

Srila Prabhupada, you correctly predicted the present suffering:

So you are suffering. You are maintaining so many slaughterhouse, and when it will be mature, there will be war, the wholesale murder. Finished. One atom bomb – finished. You’ll have to suffer. Don’t think that, “Innocent animals, they cannot protest. Let us kill and eat.” No. You’ll be also punished. [Class on Srimad Bhagwatam 6.1.32, 31 May 1976, Honolulu]

You taught us how to prepare food, how to offer it to the Deity, and how to then honor that sanctified food. You gave us the right food to eat. The world needs this sanctified food more than ever. People are trapped jobless and starving. The massive prasädam distribution project in Mäyäpur that you initiated in the 1970s has proliferated globally, and ISKCON temples in India and other branches worldwide are distributing prasädam to those impacted by the lockdown.

The education that is imparted today teaches one to remain bound in ignorance. When we ignore something, it means we become ignorant of that. Worldwide, the Lord is ignored; hence we are in this horrific situation.

oà ajïäna-timirändhasya jïänäïjana-çaläkayä
cakñur unmélitaà yena tasmai çré-gurave namaù

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance, with the torchlight of knowledge.”

Srila Prabhupada, you educated us on behalf of the Lord that real knowledge is not about storing masses of unnecessary data but rather having the wisdom to see every human being with equal vision and to become attached to Kåñëa. The world has trained us to be ignorant, but you, Srila Prabhupada have given us the knowledge to alleviate that ignorance. You have so mercifully given us your books, lectures, room and morning-walk conversations, and more than seven thousand personal letters. We also have many biographies of you. Through your life and teachings, the world is getting your direct personal association and instructions and getting armed with prescribed knowledge to counteract the onslaught of the calamities of the material world, like the current pandemic.

We are eternally grateful that you, Srila Prabhupada, have given us the proper karma-free diet of sumptuous prasädam, along with devotional service, transcendental books, the potent holy name, enlightening knowledge, and accurate understanding. As the world worsens and your mission becomes even more relevant, I am renewing my vows to you,

Srila Prabhupada, to carry forward your mission with energy and enthusiasm in whatever time I have left. I most humbly beg at your lotus feet for your mercy and blessings, so that I may fulfil all that I have pledged to do.

Your humble servant,
Lokanath Swami


If you are you a Disciple/Aspiring Disciple of H.H. Lokanath Swami Maharaj and want to serve him, then you can join Lok Web Services to take care of his online presence via websites and social media. To connect with us please fill in the following form and we shall shortly revert to you. Click Here