HH Lokanath Swami Maharaja’s 111th Vyasa-Puja Offering to Srila Prabhupada

Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my most humble obeisances at your lotus feet on the occasion of your 111th divine appearance day. All glories to Your Divine Grace.

On 3rd December 1975,as your Indian, Canadian and French disciples sat before you, you conducted the fire yajna for the sannyasa initiations of Lokanath, Sridhara and Prthu-putra in the Krsna Balarama temple courtyard in Vrndavana. On 3rd March 2007 we conducted another sannyasa ceremony in the same Krsna Balarama temple courtyard to award sannyasa to your dear disciple Janananda Prabhu. We decided to conduct this ceremony to commemorate the sannyasa ceremony that you had conducted 32 years ago.
When it was time for Janananda to change into his three piece sannyasa suit, we suggested him to use the same room, at the left side of the temple entrance; the three of us had once used to change into our sannyasa robes.
Then when it was time to give a lecture I decided not to manufacture new lecture but to repeat your own words: “Preaching is also not very difficult because you haven’t got to manufacture anything. Everything is there, and it is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s  order . Caitanya Mahaprabhu also took sannyasa at a very early age, twenty-four years old only. So he has practically shown by his activities how to preach Krsna Consciousness all over the world. And he gives order to everyone, ’amara ajnaya guru hana tara’ ei desa’: ‘In whichever country you may live, it doesn’t matter. Try to deliver them by becoming their guru.’
“If you follow it strictly, you also think of Krsna yourself, and you teach others, ‘My dear Sir, my only request is that you think of Krsna,’ nobody will kill you. If he doesn’t follow, he will appreciate you, ‘Oh, these sannyasis are very nice. They are advising to think of Krsna.’ Then you become guru. Simple thing…”
It was a perfect lecture because it was your own lecture. After 32 years it was still the most relevant for the occasion.
After the ceremony in 1975 we had followed you into your living quarters wanting to know our new names. You responded saying “add Swami to your names.” Following your footsteps we named the candidate Janananda Goswami, because sometimes if the candidate was married before, you would give him the title of Goswami. This way we spent the whole day in full Prabhupada consciousness.

Recently on Rama Navami day the grand opening of Heaven on Earth Project took place in Mumbai, fulfilling yet another of your dreams. It was the grand occasion with thousands in attendance. On this occasion I was reminded of your inquiry regarding Juhu temple guest attendance.
I was visiting your Divine Grace at Kartikeya Mahadeviya’s place. You inquired from me how many visitors were attending the evening arati and kirtana at Juhu temple. I replied, ” These days a lot of visitors are coming,  Prabhupada.” “Oh? So, how many?” you wanted to know. I informed you that around fifty to sixty people came every evening. “Oh, so many!” you exclaimed, expressing great satisfaction.
Today the Juhu property attracts thousands of visitors every day. At any given moment there must be 50 to 60 people taking darsana of their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari. If you were pleased in 1973 with our tiny evening program attendance, you must be pleased hundreds of times over by the preaching going on at ISKCON’s Juhu property now. And what to speak of additional numbers at Radha Gopinatha temple at Chowpatty and at Radha Giridharii temple at Mira Road?

During last Kartika it was 4:20 am as we drove along the lonely road towards Govardhana. The early morning hours were cool and misty. Suddenly the driver of the Tata Sumo spotted a tree lying across the road. He braked and swerved to miss the tree, and as a result the car tipped over and rolled.
I was caught by my left hand, which was stuck in the side of the seat. The weight of the car held me tightly. Although the rest of my body was free, I could not move. I was desperate to get out.
There is only one other time I can recall being in a similar situation. It was 15-20 years ago, when on that occasion my right hand was grabbed by our Padayatra elephant, Laxmi. The elephant held me in its grip for about 15 seconds. I was struggling, but there was no way I could free myself. Only by the elephant’s kindness was I released.
After the car crash, the other devotees in the vehicle jumped out, and realizing I was stuck attempted to lift the car. After a few minutes, I was pulled out, feeling relieved.
Srila Prabhupada, as I contemplated after my narrow escape from the incident, I began to think and reflect more deeply that, actually, I am caught tightly by the grip of the Lord’s illusory energy.
It is like my life has been extended. It has made me sober and has transformed me. It has brought me a little more closer to the Lord, your Divine Grace and the devotees.
Time is limited. Time is Krsna. It should be spent to gain Krsna and nothing else. There is no time for anything else but Krsna’s interest.
The situation reminds me of an analogy. Just as a rich man who has a lot of money at his disposal doesn’t have to be so worried how often and how much he spends, but the poor man has to think twice while spending every penny because he doesn’t have  so many pennies at his disposal, I feel that I am becoming a bit elderly, and just got a little extension of time here on this planet. One in this situation must be very frugal while spending that time.

Your Humble Servant,
Lokanath Swami.


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