HH Lokanath Swami Maharaja’s 112th Vyasa-Puja Offering to Srila Prabhupada

Dear Srila Prabhupada,

Please accept my humble obeisances at your lotus feet. All glories to you on this auspicious occasion of your Vyasa-puja!

We recently attended the ICC meetings in Mayapur. During a presentation made by a representative of the GBC Succession Committee on the newly developed ISKCON Leadership Training Course, the presenter stated that our current group of leaders will only be with us for the next ten to twenty years.

Then Bhima Prabhu countered: “No. Not ten to twenty years: five to ten years”.

This is the situation that ISKCON is now living in. The sword is hanging over us. The departures of your senior devotees are regular occurrences. The leaders are preparing for a transition. It appears that we are at a juncture, a sandhya, a period of change.

The leaders are being encouraged to write their last wills and testaments. We want to make sure that everything is taken care of. In addition to all the material assets of our society, our leaders want to leave a legacy of devotees who are competent to carry on the management of your movement, who are spiritually qualified and dedicated to your mission. They want to prepare the second generation and gradually hand over the administration. Everyone is trying to get their act together, both individually and collectively.

It is time to get serious. Dead serious. I’m also doing my part in preparing for the inevitable.

Recently, Radhanatha Swami gave an inspiring class in this regard in Mumbai. Maharaja said, “This is a wakeup call. Get out of your slumber. Get out of your routine. We should consider that today is our last day. If you knew that today was your last day, what would you make sure that you would do before the end of the day?”

As I stay busy with all the practical services needed to push on yoursankirtana movement, and also make sure that my services will be successfully assumed by the next generation—in the midst of all this I am thinking about my progress in the realm of chanting the holy name.

One thought dominates my mind: “How is my chanting? How is my performance of chanting the holy name? Am I developing attachment to the chanting?”

I am reminded of a verse from Siksastaka:

nayanam galad-asru dharaya
vadanam gadgada-ruddhaya gira
pulakair nicitam vapuh kada
tava-nama-grahane bhavisyati

“O my Lord, when will my eyes be decorated with tears of love flowing constantly when I chant Your holy name? When will my voice choke up, and when will the hairs of my body stand on end at the recitation of Your name?”

I’ve made mistakes and done many wrong things. However, from “day 1”—the day of my first initiation—to this day, one thing that I have done right is to follow your instruction to “Chant 16 rounds daily.”

So, quantity-wise, I think I have performed well. But where is the quality? When will I achieve it—the goal of chanting attentively? “Chanting like a baby crying for its mother”?

When will I perfect my chanting? If I could do only one thing right, I would like it to be my chanting, since the quality of our chanting the holy name permeates all our activities and consciousness. If I could chant the holy name perfectly, I could become free from envy and offenses.

Name ruci, jive daya, vaisnava-sevana: When one has a taste for the holy name, one develops more compassion for the jivas. When one becomes free from offenses to the Vaisnavas, offenses rooted in envy, hatred, and false competition, the spirit of rendering genuine service to the vaisnavas awakens.

I’m writing this offering from ISKCON’s Jagannatha temple in Mayapur. I heard a devotee’s realization that chanting in the holydhama is like making a more economical local call vs. an expensive long distance call.

But do I have enough paisa even to make this local call? I’m calling, but is my call sincere enough, and is the Lord hearing? Is He responding?

If I have any paisa or credit in my account, Srila Prabhupada, it is only due to your mercy. It is not possible for me to call Krsna directly. You are not only financing my account, but you are also the operator, connecting me to Krsna. Without your mercy, I cannot reach Krsna

Krsna se tomara, Krsna dite paro,
Tomara sakati ache
ami to’ kangala, ‘Krsna’ ‘Krsna’ boli’,
dhai tava pache pache

“Krsna is yours; you have the power to give Him to me. I am simply running behind you shouting ‘Krsna! Krsna!’”

On this blessed occasion of the anniversary of your divine appearance day, for all the services I have rendered I pray that I may be remunerated with the benediction that I may be able to chant with undivided attention and full affection for the Lord’s holy names.

My hope is that in ten or twenty years, or in five or ten years, when I am no longer in a position to write these Vyasa-puja offerings communicating with you and reporting to you, I might become eligible to catch up with you in the association of Krsna.

Srila Prabhupada, please bestow your causeless mercy upon me so I may chant offenselessly and attentively.

Your impoverished beggar,
Lokanath Swami: When one has a taste for the holy name, one develops more compassion for the jivas. When one becomes free from offenses to the Vaisnavas, offenses rooted in envy, hatred, and false competition, the spirit of rendering genuine service to the vaisnavas awakens.


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