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27 : More from the Vyāsa-Pūjā Books

As the author and compiler of this book, I am taking the liberty to include some of my own Vyāsa-pūjā offerings.

JSP: Vyäsa-püjä Offering, 1980 from Bhakti Vikäsa Swami

Vyāsa-Pūjā Offering, 1980

[Written on behalf of ISKCON Dhaka]

Dear Śrīla Prabhupāda,

Again on your Vyāsa-pūjā day we gladly take extra time from the duties you have given us to meditate deeply on your personality and the purpose of your mission.

How strange, the materialists will say, that we are making offerings to a person long since departed. Such sweet sentimentalism must be a fascination within the mind.

But no. Unlike material relationships, which are terminated by death, this relationship is deathless—and not just in name, nor simply as a philosophical theory.

Rather, the mature disciple sees with the eye of eternity. “I am eternal, my spiritual master is eternal, and he is inviting me to develop an eternal reciprocation of service and instruction.” Why? For the pleasure of the supreme eternal, Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

This rasa is not limited by respective positions in time and space. It is based on the consciousness—the serving mood—of the disciple, who is engaged by the perfect spiritual master, the pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa. It is solidified by the sincere determination of the disciple to continue acting as he is instructed by his paramahaṁsa-guru.

Śrīla Prabhupāda, your activities are certainly mysterious. We never believed that you would leave us when we were still so inexperienced. You left this world still unknown to its masses, before the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement’s full glory was established.

We have heard that for your early disciples, to print and distribute a few BTGs seemed like a momentous task. But you had given the order, and you provided the inspiration, the determination, and the know-how to make it possible. The same disciples who stayed faithful to your lotus feet now lead us in pushing, pushing, pushing on the message of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

New frontiers open, more bhaktas come, problems arise and are solved—the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement expands. The future is unavoidable. The Hare Kṛṣṇa movement is becoming huge, auspicious, and all-successful. And we, your disciples who a few days ago didn’t know how to hold a broom, must accept responsibility—responsibility for preaching, for book translation, publication, and distribution, for training bhaktas, for improved standards, for favorable public opinion, for internal purity, and for gorgeous Deity worship.

In the face of this enormous task, we feel ourselves utterly helpless. To you, the spiritual master without whom we wouldn’t even know what tilaka is, we offer our most grateful thanks. We can do wonderful things—but only if we pray to you, taking the position of menial servants and never becoming puffed up.

We pray that we may become ever conscious of your desire to bring everyone to Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet. We pray for the strength to throw off all petty material desires and to be fixed as your eternal surrendered servants. We beg for the mercy to chant your name and dance like madmen: Jaya Prabhupāda! Jaya Prabhupāda! Jaya Prabhupāda!

In millions of lifetimes, we cannot thank you enough for what you have done for us; therefore we simply offer ourselves at your lotus feet.

JSP: Vyäsa-püjä Offering, 1990 from Bhakti Vikäsa Swami

Vyāsa-pūjā Offering, 1990

There is a well-known Bengali song by the great Vaiṣṇava poet Basu Ghosh, a contemporary of Lord Caitanya, wherein he marvels, jadi gaura na hoito, tabe ki hoito?: “If Lord Caitanya had not come, what would have happened?” Based on this song, I composed my Vyāsa-pūjā offering for 1990. It goes as follows:

If Prabhupāda Had Not Come
If Prabhupāda had not come (who can imagine?),
what would we have done?
How could we have lived?
The science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness,
the ultimate limit of love of God . . .
who would have let the world know?

From “you are not this body” to
secret pastimes in the groves of Vṛndāvana . . .
entrance requires special expertise.
Who else but Prabhupāda could have
been empowered to empower others to understand?

So, sing, sing again! the glories of Śrīla Prabhupāda,
making the heart pure and simple.
In this ocean of birth and death,
such a merciful person . . .
we don’t find any other.

Without singing the praises of Śrīla Prabhupāda,
how can we survive? What is the point of living?
This fallen disciple
regrets that his heart is like stone,
and wonders by what misfortune
he is not attracted to his guru’s lotus feet.

Submissively offered to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda on the occasion of his Vyāsa-pūjā celebration, 1990, by a fallen disciple,

Bhakti Vikāsa Swami

JSP: Vyäsa-püjä Offering, 1991 from Bhakti Vikäsa Swami

Vyāsa-pūjā offering, 1991

“Śrī Guru Caraṇe Rati”

nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine
namas te sārasvate deve gaura-vāṇī-pracāriṇe
nirviśeṣa-śūnyavādi-pāścātya-deśa-tāriṇe

Dear Śrīla Prabhupāda,

Please accept my humble obeisances in the dust of your lotus feet.

All glories to you, Śrīla Prabhupāda! You are our worshipable deity (SB 11.2.37, 11.3.22). ISKCON is your body, BBT is your heart, and lakṣmī collections are your blood. Only you cared so much for Kṛṣṇa that you “kicked on his face with boot” His imitators and detractors! Thus not denying the dust of your triumphant lotus feet even to the demons.

Śrī guru-caraṇe rati, ei se uttama-gati, je prasāde pūre sarva āśā. The topmost achievement in spiritual life is devotion to the lotus feet of Śrīla Prabhupāda. By his mercy all spiritual aspirations are fulfilled.

Śrīla Prabhupāda, you are the personification of Lord Caitanya’s causeless mercy. Lord Caitanya wanted Kṛṣṇa consciousness spread all over the world, and you did it.

I was one of many who you picked up. I was wandering aimlessly, endlessly throughout the universe, in 8,400,000 species of life. By undeserved good fortune, I happened to be in a human body at the same time and place of your brief appearance in this universe. You found me, loitering unhappily, and picked me up.

I was suffering so much. Not a little, but a lot. Not briefly, but eternally. Being a demon, envious and mischievous, in the “lowest of men” class, I was perpetually being cast into the ocean of material existence, in various demoniac species of life. Sin and selfishness were all I knew. There was no possibility of my attaining Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Who was Kṛṣṇa? I had no knowledge of or inclination for Him. How was my wretched existence redeemed, being washed to the shore of your lotus feet? The only answer is: “causeless mercy.”

You saved me. You saved all of us. It was you, no one else. You are our only hope—hope for the hopeless.

I was a street dog; you, a Vaiṣṇava aristocrat. What did you have to do with me? But you picked me up. Indeed, you did not hesitate to pick me up. Being still filled with an astonishing repertoire of ghastly material desires, I am still so far from Kṛṣṇa. I know that my lack of advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot be very pleasing to you. But still I am not despondent, because I have got you. Now I am a dog with a master (sanātha-jīvitam). A dog is kickable, but somehow you haven’t kicked me away yet. So I shamelessly beg you now to give me the mercy of the severe kicks of rectification, which I so badly need.

Śrīla Prabhupāda, unless you kick me into shape, how am I ever going to control my mind? Although I am a nonsense and continue to be, still whatever I am, I have surrendered to you. Now please kindly do whatever is necessary to make me Kṛṣṇa conscious. My own struggling attempts are all useless.

I do not have much scriptural or any other knowledge, I’m not austere, I’m always losing in the struggle to control my mind, I’m insensitive to others; like this, I have so many disqualifications. Hopeless case. But (in one sense) I do not even care too much because I’m relying on your causeless mercy. I know that you are very merciful and that if I can just stick to the principle of trying to please you, then I won’t need to do anything else; my whole life will be perfect. Tomāra karuṇā sāra: your mercy is all that I am made of. I know that if I just stick to your lotus feet you will gradually set all my wrongs right, by your causeless mercy.

Śrīla Prabhupāda, your causeless mercy is manifested as service to you. There is no possibility for my advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness outside the scope of your service. Attachment to your lotus feet means service to your lotus feet. I pray to Kṛṣṇa to bless me with such attachment. Service to your lotus feet is the greatest opportunity, the greatest challenge, the source of all bliss, and the life of all your disciples. Without it, we would certainly drop back very, very deeply into material existence.

Śrīla Prabhupāda, you always stressed service. Your eternal occupation is to expand the service of the Lord by training disciples in a service attitude (Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā 1.44 Purport). Scholars translate the word bhakti as “devotion,” but you translated and lived it as “devotional service.” What made you unique among your Godbrothers was your attitude of service to your spiritual master. You only wanted to serve. You did not want to waste even a moment. You did not aspire for material comforts, facility, name, position, glory, or anything else. When they came as a by-product of service, you matter-of-factly accepted them, without giving them much importance. What was important to you was service to your spiritual master.

You once explained how you had wondered how it was that you, among all your Godbrothers, had become successful. Several of your Godbrothers were deeply learned scholars, pleasing orators, and renowned sannyasis. Unlike you, many had extensive personal association with Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. How then, among all of them, had you alone been successful? “When I analyze,” you explained, “I see that of all my Godbrothers, only I had full faith in the order of our spiritual master.” You quoted, guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete koriyā aikya, āra nā koriho mane āśā: “My only wish is to have my consciousness purified by the words from the lotus mouth of my spiritual master.”

Let us have faith in your words, Śrīla Prabhupāda. And let us serve you single-mindedly. This is our paramparā. We need not waste time debating what is or is not paramparā; we have only to hear from and serve the paramparā. If we can collapse at the end of everyday exhausted from a full day’s service, only to get energy to serve you again—then that is causeless mercy. May our days and our lives be like that. Life without service to your lotus feet is not life at all; it is living death. If we can’t serve you, then what is the use of sustaining our lives?

Śrīla Prabhupāda, you taught us guru-bhakti. Not a ritual, not something that had to be done just because the śāstras say so, not something to be legislated or speculated on, but alive, powerful. You were attached to your guru, you showered down mercy on us, and we actually loved you.

“Love” is a very inadequate term. That very simple, natural, and deep relationship of the soul, a spontaneous but continuous outflowing from the heart, continues to increase even in the physical absence of the object of love (in this case, yourself). Such love, though long forgotten, buried deep in our hearts, is the very essence of our existence. Such love, even in the first stage of development, easily defeats the petty so-called love of this material world. Even though unimaginably wonderful in the beginning, it continues increasing even more unimaginably up to the point of actual love—love of Kṛṣṇa—and even then goes on increasing. Such love you ignited in our hearts, then kindled with your words, activities, gestures, encouragement, and chastisement, until our hearts blazed with the desire to serve you and your beloved Kṛṣṇa.

The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement spread all over the world because of your love. Your love was for guru and Kṛṣṇa; you desired to satisfy them in all respects. And we desired only to serve you and your Kṛṣṇa. You sacrificed everything to please your guru, and you instilled the same spirit in us. Otherwise how could the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement spread as it did? It was materially impossible.

But you did not stick to the material. You were from the world of the unlimited. You did not think that service to guru meant giving a few lectures, initiating some widows, and indulging in theoretical conversations about advanced levels of devotion. As you wrote, “A great heritage brings responsibility in the matter of proper discharge of duties.” (Bhagavad-gītā 2.14, Purport) Being the disciple of none other than Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, the incomparable, transcendentally mighty, sunlike effulgent ācārya, you always felt that you had to do the unlimited, and Kṛṣṇa responded unlimitedly. You mercifully gave an unlimited number of souls a glimpse of the unlimited. Despite being on the platform of empowered unlimitedness, you always considered yourself a humble servant of your spiritual master and felt keenly your bond of relationship with him. Thank you, Śrīla Prabhupāda, for being a real ācārya, not just teaching by words, but by your very life. You are the “ācārya in the true sense of the term, who is authorized to deliver Kṛṣṇa.” (Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā 1.47, Purport) You are undoubtedly such a self-realized spiritual master.

Śrīla Prabhupāda, you have written in your purports to Bhagavad-gītā As It Is: “Satisfaction of the self-realized spiritual master is the secret of advancement in spiritual life” (Bhagavad-gītā 4.34, Purport) and “One should accept the instruction of the bona fide spiritual master as one’s mission in life.” (Bhagavad-gītā 2.41, Purport) When you first read these instructions in the Sanskrit Gītā commentary of Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, they entered deep into your heart and shaped your whole life’s mission. You trained your disciples like that also, so that when I was mercifully allowed to join this movement, the devotees kindly instructed me: “In everything you do, always think how to please Śrīla Prabhupāda.” The whole movement was powering ahead on this simple but infallible principle.

Despite being inducted into and nurtured in such Prabhupāda consciousness, in course of time I became deluded by imaginary notions of being spiritually advanced. I gradually deteriorated into subtly looking for ways to try to enjoy Kṛṣṇa consciousness in self-centered ways. By your mercy, however, you did not reject me, and the self-introspection which followed my inevitable dissatisfaction led me once again to realize my dependence on the dust of your lotus feet.

So this is my conviction: that the only way to understand the Absolute Truth, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is to follow you completely, without any deviation. I do not have to read a million books, grow a beard, stay up all night, or artificially try to become a gopī. I just have to follow your simple and straightforward instructions. That’s all. It’s really as easy as that. Others may say or think or do what they like (and even say, think, or do so many things in your name), but for me at least, as far as this one tiny soul is concerned, my path is very clear: follow your instructions (without introducing half-chicken logic), read your books with full faith that this is one-hundred-percent truth (sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye yan māṁ vadasi), and pray to you constantly for guidance to follow you correctly. Step by step, I entrust my life to you, Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Śrīla Prabhupāda, I’m such a long way from Kṛṣṇa, but I know that if you are pleased with me, then, as and when you wish, you will give me Kṛṣṇa. By your causeless mercy you keep us going, and by your causeless mercy you will one day introduce us to Kṛṣṇa, face to face. Kṛṣṇa se tomāra, kṛṣṇa dite pāro, tomāra śakati āche: “Kṛṣṇa is yours; you have the power to give Kṛṣṇa.”

As you write (in your purport to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 5.1.10): “By the blessings of a Vaiṣṇava, everything is possible.” This statement gives me hope. Indeed I have based my whole life on it.

You also write (in your “Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Kṛṣṇa”):

tomāra se śakti pele, guru-sevāya bastu mile
jīvana sārthak jadi hoy
sei se sevā pāile, tāhale sukhī hale
tāra saṅga bhāgyate miloy

If you bestow your power, by serving the spiritual master one attains the Absolute Truth—one’s life becomes successful. If that service is obtained, then one becomes happy and gets Your association due to good fortune.

Thus, by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa one gets guru, and by the mercy of guru one gets Kṛṣṇa. Of course, to get direct service to Kṛṣṇa is a very great and rare achievement. I do not have such a bold ambition as for now.

This is my desire, though it may be selfish: I just want to see you. Śrīla Prabhupāda, maybe it is a foolish desire. You said that personal association is for fools. Śrīla Prabhupāda, I am a fool. I want to see your lotus feet and place them on my head at least once every lifetime. I want to leave this body meditating very intensely on your lotus feet. And then, although I cannot ever deserve it, I request that I may be brought into your presence wherever you are and that you will kindly place your lotus feet on my head and cast your merciful glance upon me. This is my ambition and desire.

Śrīla Prabhupāda, I pray to you for the strength to check my madness. I do not want that when the time comes to quit this body, I will have to lament a wasted life. I cannot expect to achieve much, but I want to be able to honestly present myself to you and say, “I tried.”

Śrīla Prabhupāda, you identified yourself as a soldier of Kṛṣṇa. You prayed to Kṛṣṇa for the benediction to fight for Him up to the last breath, as Arjuna did. So please induct me as a soldier in your army. Please push me into the preaching fight, despite my unwillingness—“With Prabhupāda and Kṛṣṇa on the battlefield of life.”

Śrīla Prabhupāda, you have many disciples. All have their realizations of you and their relationship with you. In the future, more and more souls will come to the umbrella shade of your lotus feet. I am just one of many, many duḥkhīs who by your causeless mercy have become sukhī. Śrīla Prabhupāda, please keep a place for me also in the dust of your lotus feet.

Your still fallen but ever hopeful servant,

Bhakti Vikāsa Swami

After submitting this offering I thought more about the statement that at least at the time of death when I meet you I want to be able to honestly say, “I tried.”

Will Prabhupāda be satisfied with that? Will “I tried” be enough for a sannyasi? Śrīla Prabhupāda has left the legacy of preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness to his disciples, especially the sannyasis. He said that his sannyasis should do even more than he—make more followers, publish more books, and establish more ISKCON centers. (Śrīla Prabhupāda-līlāmṛta, Ch 38)

Kṛṣṇa consciousness must be established as the world’s major religious force, Māyāvāda must be smashed, bogus incarnations of God must be exposed, and atheistic scientists must be put where they belong (on the garbage heap—unless they come to join our dancing party). Farm communities also must be established, so that people can live with us, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, feel secure and happy, and prepare to go back to Godhead. Vedic culture to replace cat-and-dog life. Books translated and placed in every home.

I may sentimentally burst in on Śrīla Prabhupāda, but will he not sternly ask me, “What have you done?” I guess he might either send me back to make up for all that I should have done but didn’t, or send me on to “try” somewhere else.

Śrīla Prabhupāda wants to liberate every conditioned soul in the material world. And the only meaning of my existence is to do what he wants. So whether Prabhupāda is satisfied with my service or not, it seems that I’ll be serving forever here in this material world.

But what I’m really afraid of this: after leaving this body, I go to see Śrīla Prabhupāda and he doesn’t even look at me, because I’m such a rascal. Even worse, what if he doesn’t even agree to see me? But I shouldn’t feel too hopeless. Śrīla Prabhupāda has already accepted me. Even though I’m so rotten, unless I were to reject him (which I have not the slightest intention of ever doing), surely he won’t reject me.

JSP: Vyäsa-Püjä Offering, 1993 from Bhakti Vikäsa Swami

Vyāsa-Pūjā Offering, 1993

Somehow or other, to my great disappointment, this did not get printed in the Vyāsa-pūjā book. Anyway, here it is now, offered at the lotus feet of Śrīla Prabhupāda.

The 1992 Vyāsa-pūjā book seems to be the best yet. Many of the offerings of the senior devotees express deep, mature realizations. Most hearteningly, the understanding of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s pre-eminent position in ISKCON, his incomparable status, and of our smallness before him, seems to be widespread even amongst the initiating gurus of ISKCON today. Many great souls are traveling here and there, carrying the flag of Kṛṣṇa, repeating Kṛṣṇa’s words as received through Śrīla Prabhupāda, and thus purifying the world (vaiṣṇava-kṣitī-pāvana). With this encouragement, I sit to write my Vyāsa-pūjā offering for 1993.

nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine
namas te sārasvate deve gaura-vāṇī-pracāriṇe
nirviśeṣa-śūnyavādi-pāścātya-deśa-tāriṇe

Dear Śrīla Prabhupāda,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to your lotus feet.

As the people of the world prepare to burn, bomb, and bludgeon each other into nonexistence, the inevitable finale of a mad atheistic civilization that tried to replace God with machines; as the secular liberals and pseudo-intellectuals raise their hands in useless horror, crying, “Oh no, oh no”; the Vaiṣṇavas still try to spread your message.

Will the world listen? Maybe a few. But it may be too little, and too late. If only they would listen to you, Śrīla Prabhupāda!

You gave everything. How to live peacefully, accepting nature’s gifts, relying on Kṛṣṇa and making Him the goal of life. But they took you as “another swami,” someone to maybe show a little curious respect to but certainly not to be taken very seriously.

You warned them, but they did not care to hear. The karmic fruits have become so heavy that we can hardly imagine what horrors lie ahead.

And after that? Will the survivors again pay lip-service to God and slip back into Māyāvāda, deftly avoiding Kṛṣṇa?

Or will they at last accept you as the real teacher, the one who gave all the answers, the world savior who brought the light of the Bhāgavata to guide us for the next ten-thousand years?

That depends a lot on us. Will we recognize your pre-eminent glories as the greatest devotee in the modern age? Will we glorify you throughout the universe? Or will we also not listen to you? Will we say, “Maybe Śrīla Prabhupāda didn’t mean this, he meant that?” Will we also avoid you, mix up your teachings with those of less realized sadhus, rationalize you, and marginalize you?

Śrīla Prabhupāda, your glories shine like the sun. Those who are honest cannot but be overwhelmed at the tremendous, incomparable good you have done to human society by giving us Kṛṣṇa as He is. The owls close their eyes in the day and “wisely” elaborate on the nonexistence or only relative importance of the sun. Śrīla Prabhupāda, I am a rascal. You know that. But I pray from you the blessing that I never be such a rascal as to leave your lotus feet or think the shade of your lotus feet to be only a relative factor in my spiritual advancement. I also pray for the blessing to be always aware of my duty to you to try to spread the message of Kṛṣṇa as you spoke it, confident in the hope that sanity will some time prevail, and that the world will recognize who you are and finally start to listen to you.

Please give me the benediction of becoming an effective preacher of the Vaiṣṇava cult. I know that this is no small thing to ask! Inspired, effective preaching requires purity, realization, and compassion. The world needs hundreds and thousands of preachers. Therefore you requested all your disciples to become preachers. You will be happy to award such a benediction if we are actually sincere to receive it. I especially ask to become an instrument in the pāṣaṇḍa-dalana department—helping to fulfill your ambition of driving atheism out of the world by establishing Kṛṣṇa consciousness as it is: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja.

Even more specifically, I seek your blessings to write for Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa inspires different devotees to serve His mission in different ways. It may be presumptuous, but I feel strongly the urge to write. It is not easy to write properly for Kṛṣṇa. Writing is fighting. Strong, clear expression is required. False egoism or speculation will defeat our purpose and publicly declare our foolishness. My writing should be to lead others to the path you have shown us. My egoism should not stand between the reader and your message. Transparency and purity are needed. That is difficult to attain. Therefore I request you to kindly infuse your spirit in every letter I write. I should not write to please scholars or sycophant-collectors, but to please you. Without your blessings, my writing will be devoid of potency, and therefore useless. Please bless me to always remember this. Please bless me also that my writing not be too much inhibited by the headaches that have disturbed me for the last few years.

Dear Śrīla Prabhupāda, please bless me to always do what is pleasing you. This may sound like a very straightforward and ordinary request, but these days even senior devotees who had much association with you, and have stayed in your movement all these years, have different opinions over what or what not to do. To bust ghosts, or not? Whether or not to directly attempt for elevated, intimate levels of devotion. What is the origin of the jīva, anyway? These are important questions that in your personal presence would be resolved with just a few words from your lotus mouth. Now we are not sure—or rather, we have different parties all sure differently. What we can be sure of is that you wanted preaching, book distribution, harināma in every town and village, Kṛṣṇa recognized as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and atheism smashed. We can also be sure that if we dedicate these short lives to pleasing you by these activities, you will be kind upon us. Our first, main, and only business is to please you. No one (hardly anyone in ISKCON, anyway) disputes that. But sometimes there are transcendental (hopefully) differences over how to please you.

Even in your manifest presence, devotees would sometimes do something they thought would please you but that instead incurred your wrath. Learning to please the self-realized spiritual master is the essence of spiritual life, but it may not always be so easy, especially in his physical absence. So please guide us that we may be intelligent enough (not overintelligent!) to serve you exactly as you desire.

Śrīla Prabhupāda, please bless us that our hearts may be soft and loving. Isn’t that what Kṛṣṇa consciousness is all about, anyway? Often, in the hurly-burly of ISKCON life, we forget who our friends are and become inconsiderate, unkind, and hard-hearted. For all our advancement, seniority, and respectability, we seem to be far from the simple, open-hearted dealings that so attracted us when we first joined. Of course, simply mouthing a prayer, or even getting it printed in the Vyāsa-pūjā book, will not change much. We have to work on cleaning our hearts and examining our motives. Please bestow your mercy that we may construct your house so that the whole world will be welcome and happy to live in it. Developments only of bricks and stone will not serve your purpose.

Śrīla Prabhupāda, please bless me with pure devotion at the lotus feet of your beloved Lord Kṛṣṇa. Please bless me with a taste for hearing and chanting the holy names. Please bless me that my heart be free of envy and lust.

Vyāsa-pūjā offerings are meant principally for glorification, not so much for begging boons. Rightly or wrongly, I have made many requests from you in this offering. You once said in a conversation (September 12, 1973) that your blessings are already there, we just have to take them and fight. Your blessings are there, but unless we remember that everything is going on by their power, we will lose them and thus lose everything. Therefore, as a young child is always anxious not to lose sight of his mother, I am asking never to lose sight of you. My final request this year is that I always remain as if a child protected by your lotus feet, and that I always act as a responsible son to help preserve the legacy of the father.

Your rotten servant,

Bhakti Vikāsa Swami