So on this day of Nanda Mahatsova, The day when Nanda Maharaja celebrated the festival, the birth of Krishna- Srila Prabhupada appeared in this world – therefore they also gave him the name Nandu, nickname Nandu -because he appeared on that day, but otherwise his parents called him Abhay. And that name stayed with him because his spiritual master later named him Abhay Caranaravinda. He specified it more, his father had called him Abhay , which means to be fearless, but his spiritual master called him Abhay Caranaravinda (one who is fearless because he is taken shelter under the Lotus Feet of the Lord) – and that he showed throughout.
Sometime I have thought that one could glorify Srila Prabhupada and say he was a pure devotee and he gave his whole life to Krishna and in the end he went back home to Godhead – but I would not be satisfied with such glorification because I thought that if you were to glorify Prabhupada for going back to Godhead, then something is missing namely..that Prabhupada had never left Godhead! …
He never left Godhead for a moment, he’s always with Krishna..always – and therefore we understand that Srila Prabhupada was an extraordinary devotee.
Bhavananda told us once Srila Prabhupada mentioned to him, that while in the spiritual world Krishna came to him and said that I want you to go to the material world and Prabhupada said:
“ ‘Oh no, I don’t like austerity’
And Krishna: ‘No, no problem, you don’t have to do much, all you have to do is write books and I will do the rest, of course we also know that Prabhupada had also told that in his previous life he was a doctor and he was sinless.’”
Ok maybe he came from the spiritual world and first was a doctor and then came here but by his own words Prabhupada came from the spiritual world.
Still we are not emphasising that as the main point of Prabhupada’s glory, certainly we will do so, but the main point of Prabhupada’s glory is his connection with the spiritual master – because he himself stated that if there is any reason to why this miracle happened to him, that he was successful and others were not, was because he cent per cent followed the orders of his spiritual master. So Prabhupada clearly gave all credit to his spiritual master.
Sometimes when he was glorified he would say that the moon is reflecting the light of the sun and it looks like an illuminary in the sky, in the same way if you see any qualities in me – know them to be the good qualities of my spritual master. And we can understand that that was not just some hollow phrase, some empty words…rather that Prabhupada felt like that. He felt that:
All I did was try , try and fulfil the orders of my spiritual master, that’s all I tried to do.’
Prabhupada, ofcourse it is also said, that he was seen by the pujari in Adavaita Acharya’s house in Shantipur and he would come there as a grhasta before going o the west- and he would sometimes sit there and chant, and during the chanting would cry. So this pujari noted that that this man came several times and was chanting there for a long long time and that sometime s he would cry. So oneday he asked him, why are you crying and then he said:
‘My spiritual master has gave, me an impossible order…I don’t know how to execute it! So we can see that Srila Prabhupada who by the influence of his friend went to meet a a sadhu. At that time Abhay was not to inclined to the sadhus because his father used to maintain many sadhus and they were not so serious sadhus – therefore he thought that these sadhus are wearing saffron clothes but where is their dedication, so therefore I have no desire to see such sadhus. But his friend was forcing him to come. When he met Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarsvati Thakur he immediately got that order:
“Preach Krishna consciousness in the English language, you are an educated young man and you should preach Krishna in the English language. “
And that was the order, and that was the order that made him cry – I’m also giving an lecture in English one might say, give a few lectures in English and order is fulfilled – any other one?!…but we can see how Prabhupada took that order and how serious he took that order.
Of course in the Gauday math it was commonly understood that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta desired that preaching in English would go on, and he wanted to the preach to the western world and that he had already sent disciples to the western world – they had some success but not something deep and something lasting to transform the western world. But Prabhupada took this mission and embraced it I his heart.
It is said that in the commentaries of the Bhagavad Gita, Srila Vishvanatha Cakravati Thakur, there is a reference to surrendering to spiritual master – and there one truly must become an instrument of the spiritual master. Srila Prabhupada said that that was a life changning experience from him- when he read that it struck him like a thunder bolt! And it also stayed with him and from that day on he was completely fixed: “Yes I must fulfil the order of my spiritual master!”
(Kadamba Kanana Swami ,Croatia Sep 2010)