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H.D. Goswami’s 2003 Vyasa Puja Offering to Srila Prabhupada


Dear Srila Prabhupada,

Please accept my humble obeisances at your lotus feet. In your famous poem of 1935, glorifying your own spiritual master, you wrote about him:

The oldest of all,
but in new dress;
miracle done,
Your Divine Grace.
This is the miracle of your peerless preaching: that you have come as the empowered representative of the oldest of all teachers, Lord Krsna Himself, who first imparted Vedic knowledge to Brahma, yet you have dressed this primeval message in a language, style, and method that are appropriate to the contemporary world. You have revealed the adaptive power of eternal Vedic culture, that it is truly a universal spiritual science and not an ancient ethnic or sectarian tradition.

Now I pray to you that you bless us with this adaptive power, intrinsic to Vedic culture, which you manifested in such brilliant fashion. Because you are the founder-acharya of ISKCON, we who follow you must discover adaptations that both conform to the basic standards you set and remain within the boundaries you drew.

In the famous Vyasa-puja essay you wrote to your spiritual master, you cited the Vedic phrase phalena pariciyate, “[a thing] is measured by its fruit.” During your mission on earth, you often and ardently expressed your desire for a particular fruit: the wide distribution of love of Godhead, the broad expansion of the sankirtana movement. You clearly envisioned ISKCON as a movement that could and should provide mature spiritual leadership to the world. You specified that by achieving prominence in America, ISKCON would achieve great influence throughout the world. The challenge then before us is to bring you that fruit which you desired out of your own pure love for Krishna.

If we water down your movement to popularize it, or if we lack the mature realization to make it relevant—in either case—we will not fulfill your vision. Therefore I humbly pray to you on this day that you bless us with the power to preserve intact and compromised your divine mission, while at the same time keeping it relevant, appealing, and successful.

Your servant,
Hridayananda das Goswami
August 21, 2003