Lessons from the Twenty-four Gurus - Part 19

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

In continuation of our discussion on the topic "Lessons from the Twenty-four Gurus", we were meditating on the below qualities that we need to learn from one of the spiritual masters of avadhuta brahmana - Ocean.

1. prasanna — pleasing;
2. gambhīraḥ — very grave; 
3. durvigāhyaḥ — unfathomable; 
4. duratyayaḥ — unsurpassable;
5. ananta-pāraḥ — unlimited; 
6. akṣobhyaḥ — not to be disturbed; 

We had a peek into the quality of being prasanna (cheerful and pleasing), gambhira (grave), ananta-pāraḥ (unlimited) and akṣobhyaḥ (never disturbed) in the last few mails of this series. Today we will try to delve into the next quality durvigāhyaḥ (unfathomable).

5. durvigāhyaḥ - unfathomable: Ocean is so vast and deep that even centuries of research has made scientists completely insignificant.

a) Every gallon of sea water contains an average of four ounces of salt. And there’s enough salt in the world’s oceans to cover the entire surface of the earth with a layer of salt more than 147 feet thick! But scientists are not quite sure how all that salt got into the oceans.

b) More than a century of oceanographic research has revealed that oceans play a critical role in regulating earth's weather and climate, house extraordinarily diverse plants and animals, provide food and medicines, and significantly influence the creation and ever-changing appearance of our coastlines. However, the scientists are still paddling at the surface of this immense entity.

c) Its sheer size is intimidating. Even at jet speeds, we ultimately have to sleep (or read a couple of books) while traversing the ocean. And breadth is just one of their dimensions. The ocean's depth is even harder to fathom.

These are just a tip of the iceberg. Pure devotees and their activities are also unfathomable just like the ocean. We cannot estimate the depth of their knowledge and realization as much as we cannot measure the depth of the ocean. Some of their activities will be inconceivable and even bewildering but because they are directly and fully engaged in Krishna's service, whatever they do pleases Krishna. We have the example of Srila Prabhupada in front of us.

1. When all other saints and sadhus were strictly following the traditional principle that one should not cross the ocean or preach in the mleccha countries, he defied the tradition and preached the message of Bhagavat-gita all over the world.

2. When everyone else would be satisfied just to retire in the old age and play with their grandchildren, he started a worldwide movement that took the world by storm. And that too with just 40 Rs!

3. Even though he was very sick many times, still he would continue with his travel all over the world and preach tirelessly. 14 world tours in a short span of 10 years that too at the age of 70-80!

4. He wrote so many books in such a short time that a normal human cannot write for his entire life time.

5. When he got the land in Juhu for the Bombay ISKCON temple, everyone was criticizing him for purchasing land in an area largely occupied by the fisher men and in such a far away land from the city center. At that time Prabhupada replied, "You do not know. Soon there will not be an inch of land available in this area." Everyone who visits the temple now will realize how true are his words.

There are innumerable such instances where Srila Prabhupada showed us how unfathomable and inconceivable he was and it is not possible to list them all here.

We had many such instances of our Guru Maharaj too who completely bewildered us by his inconceivable activities. Just to quote one example, so many times devotees who were personally serving him, had seen him critically ill, gasping for breath and completely wiped out. When they try to take him to the hospital, he would forcefully deny and ask them to just recite Bhagavat-gita/Bhagavatam and to the devotee's surprise very soon he would get his breath back, will look as if nothing has happened and then to the complete astonishment of the devotees, will go on to give Bhagavatam class for 4-5 hours non-stop.

Pure devotee's activities are unfathomable because they are fully charged with loving devotional service unto the Supreme Lord. Srila Prabhupada beautifully says in his purport to SB 9.4.68: vaiṣṇavera kriyā mudrā vijñeha nā bujhaya. Even the most learned or experienced person cannot understand the movements of a Vaishnava, a pure devotee. No one, therefore, should criticize a pure Vaishnava. A Vaishnava knows his own business; whatever he does is precisely right because he is always guided by the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

This quality of being unfathomable behooves us to simply accept the glorious activities of the pure devotees of the Lord as it is with awe and reverence and worship them with earnestness to bestow us with a drop of eagerness to render service to the Lord. Trying to get into the logic or reasoning behind those unfathomable activities spoils the pleasure of relishing it just as it is with the pastimes of the Supreme Lord.

At the end of the day, we just have to feel transcendentally proud to have born very near to the age when great acaryas like Srila Prabhupada and our Guru Maharaj appeared and gave us this transcendental mercy of unalloyed bhakti unto Lord Sri Krishna. If not for their mercy, we cannot read a single word of Srimad Bhagavat-Gita or Srimad Bhagavatam what to speak of understanding and preaching that message?

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Kalacakra Krsna das and Sudarshana devi dasi.