By Your Mercy

By Your Mercy
By: Arjuna Das
Aug 29, 2011 — INDIA (SUN) —

An offering to Srila Prabhupada by Arjuna das.

Dear Srila Prabhupada,

Someone explained to me once that ‘ by your mercy’ , we can speak something on this day even though there may be some literary flaws. Just like a loving father appreciates the incoherent stammering of his young child as the child tries to express his affections, by your mercy, you appreciate our outpourings and heartfelt appreciations reposed at your lotus feet.

Your Divine grace is the personification of the bliss of Krsna’s mercy. You are the storehouse of compassion for the poor and suffering souls. You reveal divine knowledge, pure devotion, and ecstatic love of God, and you are the savior of the fallen souls. Therefore I pray to offer this mind, body, and very life at your lotus feet and always hope to chant the divine names of Sri Hari.”

‘By your mercy’ I am getting to understand more and more that your Divine Grace is truly the only light and love in this very dark, temporary world. You are the Supreme Personality of the servitor of Godhead.

‘By your mercy’, I was initiated some 38 years ago. You also gave me second initiation only a few months later. I can remember that when I stepped into your room to receive the gayatri mantra, I lost all material composure and just seemed to be floating over to where you were seated. You were so effulgent and so grave. Who can imagine, what deep ecstasy you were feeling at that time. Yet, you came out of trance to explain the gayatri mantra to me, by your mercy. And only by your mercy, even through all my lust, greed, and anger, I have practically never forgotten your divine lotus feet even for one day. Whether I am up or down, by your mercy, I continue to chant Sri Krsna’s divine Holy Names and cry out to you deep in my heart to please rescue me from certain circumstances time and time again. I pray to be monopolized by your pure love. ‘By your mercy’, you were always there and now, after all these years, it is amazing that I feel your presence more than ever, and this can only be, by your mercy.

In 1972 I asked you a question. I expressed how confused, overwhelmed, and disappointed I was that there were so many philosophies and interpretations of those schools of thought – what to speak of so many religions out there. How can I ever know God, or what was the truth? Who to follow? ‘By your mercy’, you explained that logic and argument will not help me. One logician may be better than another and may convert some argument and decision with a better logical conclusion. A philosopher cannot be a philosopher unless he differs with another philosopher. You said emphatically that we cannot decide from the books, or from philosophical speculation, or by argument and logic. You went on to explain how you follow the Bhagavad-Gita and that it is quite perfect in the matter of understanding God. Your Divine Grace suggested that I find some recognized authority and just follow in his footsteps. I thought you would push the point that I should follow you only, like so many other masters have said in the past. Instead, Srila Prabhupada, ‘by your mercy’, your reply was the defining moment in my existence. You said that your only wish is simply that everyone should understand and love God, because human life is meant for this purpose. So, if a man loves God more than anything else, he is the perfect man. You told me very lovingly that you wish that I may follow this principle and be happy! At that moment, I knew in my heart that I had found my eternal lord and master. At that point, I knew that Your Divine Grace had brought unlimited humility to perfection! I was raptured and captured, arrested by this mood.

When reading your Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, Srila Prabhupada, I became attached to the personality and name of Arjuna. I related with him on a few levels. In my neophyte condition I prayed to lord Krsna that He please give me this name at initiation or I might not be able to carry on. I wanted a sign that my prayers were being heard. When I approached your Divine Grace on that wonderful day of my initiation, I knew that the name offering would make or break me. I offered my obeisances, got up, and repeated the vows. I was so much in anxiety thinking about the name. But ‘by your mercy’, you handed me my beads, and with a beautiful smile that I remember till this day, you said, “Your name is Arjuna das!” The whole LA temple erupted in applause and cheers. I was stunned and simply dropped flat out at your lotus feet. It was the most ecstatic moment in my life! ‘By your mercy’, my faith soared sky high.

‘By your mercy’, you very kindly accepted the donations I was sending up to your room every few days. I was slowly giving up all the money I had come to LA with. I was detaching myself slowly but surely. I wanted to attract your attention. My faith, by your mercy, was increasing. You were very happy that this ‘nice boy’ was always sending up the cash! In your loving reciprocation you sent me down a beautiful picture of yourself and seemed to have signed it three times!! Your servant said that you gave me all your blessings. That could only be, by your mercy.

‘By your mercy’, I was distributing your books profusely. This was the engagement you told me most pleased you. Also, you mentioned to me that I should read and study your books and prepare myself fully for going back to Godhead. Srila Prabhupada, only ‘by your mercy’, can this ever take place.

During the occasion of Srila Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati’s disappearance day, you once again showered ‘your mercy’. I thought that at any moment you would just break out in ecstasy, because while you were speaking, so much loving emotion was there. After about 20 minutes of mentioning how much you appreciated us all in helping you with this mission, as you spoke these word’s, “because you are all helping me…….”, tears shot out of your lotus eyes, as you choked up. They shot out in torrents & we were all instantly stunned! We all tasted at that moment, a spark of real spiritual love, as we cried spontaneously along with you, and goosebumps appeared. That was only, Srila Prabhupada, by your mercy!

‘By your mercy’, I was able to come on quite a few morning walks in Hawaii. I remember you always calling the early morning surfers, sufferers!! Srila Prabhupada, truly my eyes adored you. I was absorbed at all your movements and gestures. What to speak of the words that were emanating from your lotus mouth. We could never keep up with your walking pace no matter how hard we tried! Your Divine Grace moved as if on a magic carpet! Thank you for letting me stay around and walk with you on the beach at Ala Moana park all those beautiful mornings. Thank you for letting me play the mrdanga as you sang Jaya Radha Madhava on quite a few occasions. Thank you for letting me catch all the flowers you would throw out from your Vyasasana, and thank you for allowing me to get in line twice to receive some maha sweets from your lotus hands. Thank you also for letting me chant japa along with you on the porch at the Hawaiian temple one afternoon. At that time I asked you what happens to a disciple that falls down. You immediately said that he was not your disciple. Then I asked what happens if that person starts following again. You contemplated for what seemed to be eternity and finally answered, “Then again he is my disciple.” This is ‘by your mercy’. “Disciple”, you continued, “means disciplined to follow. Disciple is contained in the word discipline.”

In 1976 in your Vrndavana room, ‘by your mercy’, you recognized and remembered me so lovingly as the boy from Hawaii!

I was trying to preach in a certain zone and there was some resistance coming from the GBC man stationed there, but, ‘by your mercy’, in order for the preaching to go on, you told me that preaching was beyond GBC ! What a revolutionary statement!

On this auspicious day, I pray that all the expatriates, the disenfranchised, those who have become bitter and hurt, those whose hearts are wounded, the women who felt pushed out and neglected, the ex-gurukulis, the youth, and any other devotees who are not presently serving for one reason or other be touched within their hearts, ‘by your mercy’, and once again join us in this sankirtan mission.

In closing, my dearest Srila Prabhupada, I also pray that, as I travel through the closing chapters in this life, please never let me stop appreciating your glories. ‘By your mercy’, please allow me always to remember your lotus feet. And please, Srila Prabhupada, never let me forget them, ‘by your mercy’…..

Your aspiring servant, Arjuna das

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