April 26, 1999 VNN3701
The Mood Of A Real Preacher
BY SWAMI B.A. PARAMADVAITI
EDITORIAL, Apr 26 (VNN) Dear Friends,
Dandavats Pranam. I had to share this story with all of you. This is the love which could solve all our problems. Read it and cry.
daso smi B.A. Paramadvaiti
"It is so difficult to bring one person from the clutches of the illusory energy into the realm of devotion. One person came to us, and somehow we have sent him back to the material world. That one person means more to me than all these buildings and everything else here."
Written by Srila Bhakti Kumud Santa Maharaja
Once Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati Thakur Prabhupada sent his disciples to preach in a distant part of India. As the preaching was going on successfully, he instructed them to open a math there.
So his disciples were working night and day to open the math on an auspicious day, as instructed by Srila Prabhupada. Right before the opening of the math and the installation of the deities, Srila Prabhupada was to arrive there with his entourage, so a lot of service needed to be done.
In the meantime, an unfortunate incident took place there. One brahmachari devotee was seen acting improperly with a woman who was staying near the property. So his senior Godbrothers chastised him heavily. The next morning, that brahmachari could not be found anywhere. Srila Prabhupada's disciples felt sad and repentant; they thought perhaps they had been too harsh with him. They looked everywhere for him, but he still could not be found. Even though the devotees were not happy about this, they did not have too much time to look for him.
Srila Prabhupada arrived before the opening of the temple, and he was extremely happy to see the new building and all the arrangements. When he saw so many people interested in the mission, he praised the preaching effort of his disciples. All the disciples were very happy to see that they had been able to please Srila Prabhupada. Suddenly Srila Prabhupada asked, "Where is......? I don't see him anywhere." The devotees told him what had happened.
Srila Prabhupada became very sad. He said, "It is so difficult to bring one person from the clutches of the illusory energy into the realm of devotion. One person came to us, and somehow we have sent him back to the material world. That one person means more to me than all these buildings and everything else here."
Seeing Srila Prabhupada's mood, his disciples became very sad and remorseful. They talked among themselves: "We have caused some pain to Srila Prahupada, and we have to rectify it . We have to look for him and bring him back here." They thought about it a lot, but did not know how they could search him out, as they had already tried and failed. But Sripad Hayagriva Prabhu (later Srimad Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaja) did not want to give up. He always was fiercely determined to carry out Srila Prabhupada's wishes, and he displayed extraordinary intelligence and resourcefulness in doing so. Suddenly he said, "I know where to find him. One day a devotee's watch broke, and he immediately repaired it. So he knows how to repair watches. He must be working for a watch repair shop." So they went to look for him in all the watch repair shops in the city.
After they had gone to many shops, one shop-keeper, on being given the description of...... said he was in the back room. So they went to the back room an found him there. Seeing them, he started crying: "Krsna has answered my prayer. I have been so miserable since I left the math. Yet I was too embarrassed to come back. So I was praying to Krishna night and day that somehow He would take me back there, even though I didn't know how."
So the devotees said, "Yes, you will have to come back, because Srila Prabhupada is missing you greatly. Please forgive us for chastising you." Then..... said, "No, I am the one who should ask for forgiveness." Then they were all crying, and the shopkeeper was very moved by the scene.
Srila Prabhupada was very happy to see his lost disciple, and the disciple was completely overwhelmed realizing the glory of his merciful Gurudeva. It is he who told this story to others for the rest of his life.
(Excerpt translated from The Bengali memoir of Srimad Bhakti Kumud Santa Maharaja)
He still lives in Calcutta Behala and is 86 years old.
From the beautiful Photo book about the founder of the Gaudiya Math.'Prabhupada - Sarasvati Thakura- You can order it for US$60.- from Mandala Media 1-800-809-3792
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