Connecting with Srila Prabhupada

Prabhupada connect
by Padmapani Prabhu

Yet many times we still receive letters asking us how to connect with Srila Prabhupada now that he is apparently absent from our material vision. This should not be a mystery, since after all, Srila Prabhupada is a bona fide spiritual master, i.e. a master of spirit.

“A pure devotee of the Lord does not live on any planet of the material sky, nor does he feel any contact with material elements. His so-called material body does not exist, being surcharged with the spiritual current of the Lord’s identical interest, and thus he is permanently freed from all contaminations of the sum total of the mahat-tattva. He is always in the spiritual sky, which he attains by being transcendental to the sevenfold material covering by the effect of his devotional service. The conditioned souls are within the coverings, whereas the liberated soul is far beyond the cover.”

(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 1.13.55, Purport)

So although, of course, this may be a little difficult to understand or appreciate for those of us still conditioned by the material nature, but Srila Prabhupada confidently assures us that we must be patient and faithful and that all spiritual truths will be revealed to us in due course of time.

“Please always try to remember me by my teachings and we shall always be together. Just like I have written in the first publications of Srimad-Bhagwatam, ‘The Spiritual Master lives forever by His divine instruction, and the disciple lives with him.’ Because I have always served my Guru Maharaj and followed His teachings, I am now even never separated from Him. Sometimes Maya may come and try to interfere but we must not falter, we must always follow the chalked out path layed down by the great acharyas, and in the end you will see.”

(Srila Prabhupada letter, 25/11/73)

So many of Srila Prabhupada’s first disciples never had any so-called personal or physical contact with him because his movement was spreading so far and so fast that such association was not always possible. So the devotees learned how to have Srila Prabhupada’s company through service and love.

There are so many quotes where Srila Prabhupada confirms the validity of this spiritual relationship between guru and disciple beyond mere physical presence or proximity. And so many devotees consequently learned and practiced the art and science of spiritual association even while Srila Prabhupada was physically present on the planet traveling here and there. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the bright faces and fulfilled hearts of devotees eveywhere were (and are) the living testament to this great spiritual truth and secret. Prabhupada told us that he is nondifferent from his picture, and so the simple worship of a Prabhupada photo was — and still is — enough to satisfy the devotees’ deepest spiritual needs. This is the mercy of the pure unalloyed devotee of Krishna.

“There is no difference between me and my picture. Therefore we should honor and keep pictures in that spirit. If we throw pictures this way and that way, that is offence. The name and picture are as good as the person in spiritual world. In the material world either picture or person, everything is illusion.”

(Srila Prabhupada letter, September 4, 1972)

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