Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!
In Srimad Bhagavatam 3.13.4, Sri Vidura speaks the following verse
śrutasya puṁsāṁ sucira-śramasya
nanv añjasā sūribhir īḍito ’rthaḥ
pādāravindaṁ hṛdayeṣu yeṣām
Persons who hear from a spiritual master with great labor and for a long time must hear from the mouths of pure devotees about the character and activities of pure devotees. Pure devotees always think within their hearts of the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead, who awards His devotees liberation.
Srila Prabhupada mentions in his purport that the transcendental students must not only hear about the activities of the Lord, but they must also hear about the transcendental qualities of the devotees who are constantly thinking of the lotus feet of the Lord within their hearts. A pure devotee of the Lord cannot be separated from the lotus feet of the Lord for even a moment. Such pure devotees of the Lord are as glorious as the Lord; they are, in fact, recommended by the Lord as more worshipable then He Himself. Worship of the devotee is more potent than worship of the Lord. It is, therefore, the duty of the transcendental students to hear of pure devotees, as explained by similar devotees of the Lord, because one cannot explain about the Lord or His devotee unless one happens to be a pure devotee himself.
Thus we understand the paramount importance of hearing the glories of the pure devotees of the Lord and by hearing about their qualities and activities, we understand the way of the Vaishnava behaviour and by trying to follow in their footsteps, our life attains perfection. The memorial service for our beloved spiritual master H.H.Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj was held in Sydney on 24th April 2010. In that wonderful program, our beloved godbrother H.G Devakinandan Prabhuji from Singapore, the most beloved disciple of our Guru Maharaj gave a wonderful speech glorifying Maharaj. As described by H.G.Viraja Krishna prabhuji, H.G Devakinandan Prabhu is one hundred per cent dedicated and obedient to our beloved Maharaj without any other ulterior motives and thus hearing about Maharaj from Devaki Prabhu has the great effect of purifying us. I am trying to post the transcription of some of the points spoken by Devaki Prabhu about Maharaj for the pleasure of everyone.
1. Friendly and loving dealings: Maharaj had loving dealings with one and all and very often we found that Maharaj would be so friendly that if he were to sit in an autorickshaw in Dwaraka, after a while, Maharaj would just know who the driver was, where he came from, how many children he had and after everything, Maharaj would always bless him and request him to chant and read. This was his mood.
2. Strict and expert dealings: Maharaj, for those who had worked with him, he was very kind and loving but when it came to preaching or building temples he could be quite merciless. He had the same attitude that we read Srila Prabhupada had about building temples. Very strict on time. Very strict on Lakshmi. Not a cent should be spent more and not a cent should be spent less. Every time we presented the budget to Maharaj, and how much we would spend, myself and H.G Vaishnava Seva Prabhu would be sweating for half an hour making sure we had all the figures before him and then from Rajkot, we will call him in Nasik. We would give him 10 or12 breakdowns of amounts and he would listen to all of them and then put down the phone saying, "Very good, very good." We would be relieved. Within the next ten minutes, Maharaj would call back and say, "Devaki, the sixth amount, why is it so much? Something is wrong somewhere". Then we would really sweat. I will say, "Maharaj, please give me 5 minutes" and put the phone down. Then I would ask Vaishnava Seva Prabhu to pick up the phone and talk to Maharaj. Maharaj had such an amazing memory. Being a lawyer, I do not know why I had to deal with Lakshmi. Maharaj would say, "As far as you are so bad with Lakshmi, that is your qualification. If you are any smarter, you would take the money. I know how bad you are with figures". So Maharaj was always trying to keep us in balance. He was very pakka with whatever he did. Very expert.
3. Very conscious of time: The day we finished the Dwaraka temple construction and we had the opening ceremony, myself, HG Vaishnava Seva Prabhuji, and devotees who had worked with Maharaj we thought we will take a week off, take some time to chant our rounds, be with Maharaj and spend time. That night when everyone had left, Maharaj said, "Tomorrow we go to Rajkot". He was not going to sit back on his laurels. He immediately made the next move. He was very conscious of his time. He kept saying "my time is coming anytime. It could end any time. I am living on borrowed time. Please do not waste the time" and the next day after he finished building Dwaraka temple, he left for Rajkot. He never sat on his laurels. He never said, "This is very nice. Let me take a break." Immediately he got us to go to Rajkot.
4. Faith in Srimad Bhagavatam: In Rajkot, the gate opens and then there is land and there is no one there and we asked Maharaj what to do? Maharaj said, "Very simple. You just put a mat there. Take your karatals and just chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Then you take your Bhagavatam and start chanting Kunti maharani’s prayers and Bhishmadeva’s prayers. After that you just serve some prasadam to whoever is there guarding the land and then you just come back", and this we did for almost every two weeks he sent us there. When we asked Maharaj should we move around and meet some people, Maharaj said, "Nothing to do. You sit there and read Bhagavatam and chant Bhagavad Gita. In due course of time, everything will come if Krishna wants."
5. Always abiding by Krishna's plans: When Maharaj came to Dwaraka, again he came without a plan. He had no plans. Maharaj is very famous for not making plans, or making plans and changing them at least 10 times in one day. Sometimes 3 times in one hour and we will be completely perplexed because he would keep changing, changing and changing and all of us had to change and change and change. Once when I asked Maharaj, "Maharaj, why do you change your plans?" He said, "Devaki, I am trying to hear the inner voice of Krishna. When Krishna changes His plans, I have to change my plan. So don’t blame me. Blame Krishna." (laughter)
Krishna willing, I shall try to post the transcription of the other wonderful pastimes of Maharaj which Devaki Prabhuji so lovingly shared in Australia in the forthcoming mails. Our heartfelt thanks to H.G. Viraja Krishna Prabhuji for inspiring us to share this.
Thank you very much.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi,
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