~by Rukmini Walker
This is my offering to Srila Prabhupada for this year 2020:
Vyasa Puja Offering
namah om visnupadaya krsnapresthaya bhutale
srimate bhaktivedanta svamin iti namine
namaste sarasvate deve gauravani pracarine
nirvisesa sunyavadi pascatya desatarine
Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Today as we ‘shelter in place’ due to the corona virus, we must bow at your feet again and again and thank you for the unprecedented shelter you have given us. You have created our good fortune, and good fortune for a misguided world, that without you, remained baffled.
Just as Hanuman, the great servant of Lord Ram, slipped into Lanka, the kingdom of Ravana, unnoticed in a tiny form and set the whole city on fire, while the evil Ravana prepared to wage war…
In the same way, you entered New York City, the Kingdom of Kali, anonymously, as a penniless, elderly Indian swami—as our government waged war on Vietnam, and we, the youth, waged war on our government. We wanted to create a revolution against the system, but the revolution you sparked…
“…full of transcendental words directed toward bringing about a revolution in the impious lives of this world’s misdirected civilization…” (SB 1.5.11)
…has changed the course of human history, beyond anything we could have fought for, or imagined.
Without the shelter of your compassion, and your sheltering words of wisdom, we, the youth of the 1960’s counter-culture, were perhaps the most impious and misdirected the world had ever seen.
The revolution you sparked has been noted by renowned scholars as well. Professor A.L. Basham writes in his, A Cultural History of India:
A new aspect of the counter-attack from the East is the importation not only of the mystical gnosis of India, but also her simple faith. This is chiefly the work of what is generally called the Hare Krishna movement, founded by Swami Prabhupada. This society now has branches in many of the larger cities of the West and its adherents follow the rituals of the devotional Vaisnavism of the Chaitanya Sect of Bengal…The movement…is historically very significant, for now, for the first time since the days of the Roman Empire, an Asian religion is being openly practiced by people of Western origin in the streets of Western cities.
The simple faith he refers to is the revolutionary faith you bestowed upon us and upon the world: that we are immutable spirit, beyond this world of matter, and existing eternally as Krsna’s loving servants.
Under your shelter, the people of the world are experiencing a revolution in consciousness: realizing the purpose of life, ending their suffering, and reawakening joy in consciousness of Krsna.
You warned us that this world is a place of danger. Now, at a time when the whole world is sheltering in fear of the corona virus, we hold your lotus feet to our hearts as our only real and fearless shelter.
Aspiring to be an eternal servant of your revolutionary and divine instructions,
Rukmini Devi Dasi