The Vyasa-puja festival has gone by. The Kingsday is still hurting our feet. And now you can re-live the experience or find out what was happening in the hills of Radhadesh and the streets of … more
Honouring the Spiritual Master
The second Trayodasi in the month of Kartika marks the day of Sripad Jayadvaita Swami’s Vyasa Puja. For many years, Kadamba Kanana Maharaja was personally present with Jayadvaita Swami in Mayapur for the celebration. This year, however, he happened to be in Durban, South Africa. To honour the occasion, a very sweet and intimate program was arranged.
Maharaja spent all of Sunday afternoon, till the early hours of Monday morning, writing his offering. The devotees of Sri Sri Radha Radhanatha Temple gathered in Srila Prabhupada’s room, huddled in front of the vyasasana where a large picture of Sripad Jayadvaita Swami stood. Rajasekhara Das (KKS) led the initial kirtan. After Jayadvaita Swami was offered sandalwood pulp and a fresh champak garland, Kadamba Kanana Maharaja called for various devotees to speak.
Bhakti Brhad Bhagavata Swami was also present. He appreciated how Srila Jayadvaita Swami personified the sutra, “Essential truth spoken concisely is true eloquence.” Mother Prasuti, a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, commented that Srila Jayadvaita Swami was “all of Srila Prabhupada’s books manifest in a walking form!”
Kadamba Kanana Swami explained that Jayadvaita Swami never intended to be an initiating spiritual master and therefore he prefers to keep occasions like Vyasa Puja private. Jayadvaita Swami, however, was involved in many important services in South Africa with regards to BTG and his trademark “table tennis” style question and answer sessions at Ratha Yatra. In recent years, Jayadvaita Swami has also based the headquarters of BBT Africa in South Africa. He has become very much part of the South African Yatra and is well-known and appreciated by the devotees. For these reasons, a close-knit program in his honour was appropriate.
Kadamba Kanana Swami also read his offering, pausing to interject many interesting and insightful comments.
[quote]When it came to making his pranama mantra, he said, ‘This srimate doesn’t work, the meter doesn’t work: ‘srimate jayadvaita swamin iti namine’ doesn’t work. So we’ll have to change it. And anyway srimate means one who possesses transcendental beauty and qualities. I don’t have any.’ And that’s why he changed it to “gurudasa jayadvaita”. He said, “At least when I hear it I will remember my real position.”[/quote]
Although lamenting his absence from Mayapur for the official occasion and the rasa purnima which follows, Maharaja mentioned,[quote]Now my service to you is not to conquer new frontiers. My service to you is to restore my health, maintain it and from that platform carry on preaching. I’m working on it. That is part of my offering to you.[/quote]
Maharaja glorified Srila Jayadvaita Swami in intricate detail that was noteworthy. He spoke about Jayadvaita Swami’s mood of reuniting Srila Prabhupada’s family of disciples and quoted from his (JAS’s) cutting edge BTG articles designed to expose illusion. He also focused on Jayadvaita Swami’s “eternal service” as an editor.
[quote]Krsna sent an editor ‘to edit the unchangeable absolute truth’! You’re Prabhupada’s trusted man. ‘They can say what they want to say but let the books be of the highest standard.’[/quote]
Maharaja mentioned Jayadvaita Swami’s both famous and infamous seminars like ‘Food for death’ and the ‘Hopes and horrors of household life.’
[quote]For you, the scriptures are practical because you have practised and realized them. Your words are like lightning bolts cast into darkness exposing everything at a glance with one stroke.[/quote]
Kadamaba Kanana Swami also touched on Jayadvaita Swami’s spirit of sacrifice in serving as a BBT trustee.
[quote]A sadhu in a world of management is not at home but you do it as a service to Srila Prabhupada. You’re not one to shy away from trouble. Your example gives me strength to make my own sacrifices.[/quote]
He also mentioned how Jayadvaita Swami was ‘breaking ground in Africa’.
[quote]I think that the future of BBT Africa is gigantic. The Africans are eager to read these books. The influence of BBT Africa has given more substance and direction to our preaching. It is a giant step forward. After kirtan and prasadam, now books. That’s the strategy.[/quote]
Srila Jayadvaita Swami is well known for his strong sense of renunciation. It was refreshing to hear Maharaja’s perspective of this particular quality of his spiritual master.
[quote]Once in Kartika, I prepared your room with a thin mattress on the floor. You looked at it with disgust, ‘A foam mattress!’ ‘It gets cold at night,’ I responded. Upon your request I got you a small, thin carpet with a bed-sheet on top. After some days, though, you developed a cold. Without telling you I put an identical carpet on top of the first one. You never complained. Your spirit of simplicity and renunciation is not artificial; it is consistent in all circumstances and is a natural part of your being.[/quote]
Maharaja seemed touched at how this quality of renunciation in Jayadvaita Swami was surcharged with taste.
[quote]You sit in the temple for damodarastakam, relishing the kirtan. You teach Bhakti Sastri again and again, going through the Gita. You always carry the small edition with just the sanskrit verses and chant them somewhere along the way. When I prepare for courses in Srimad Bhagavatam, with a pencil going through the purports, I discuss the section with you and you already know the relevant details. You’re absorbed. No, it is not dry renunciation! It is renunciation filled with higher taste. I became your disciple to learn from you how to be a devotee. I’m also trying to learn from you how to take advantage of the sannyasa ashram and develop love for Krsna.[/quote]
Srila Jayadvaita Swami’s attachment to the holy name was highlighted. Kadamba Kanana Swami noted how he was chanting in the early morning, again at midday and once more at night. During the day there would be soft kirtan playing in his room. In this way, the holy name was always on his mind.
[quote](In Slovakia) You spoke about chanting Hare Krsna and you explained that the rudder of a ship is just a small piece of metal in comparison to the size of the ship. Yet that small piece of metal, the rudder, determines the direction of the whole ship. In the same way, the tiny tongue which is only a small piece of our body, determines our destiny. If we simply engage the tongue in chanting Hare Krsna and discussing the glories of Krsna and His devotees then our destination will be the spiritual world.[/quote]
Lastly, Kadamba Kanana Swami glorified his spiritual master’s mood of mercy.
[quote]As your disciple, I encounter my short comings in every aspect of devotional service. ‘It’s hard for old dogs to learn new tricks’, is my latest excuse. Anyway, there is so much mercy in this movement. I may be proud and stubborn but I am committed to fulfilling your desires. Please engage me in your service. I often contemplate that I haven’t done very much to push on this movement. I like the point Burijana made after 40 years of service, ‘Srila Prabhupada, I don’t have anything extraordinary to report but the one thing I can say is I’m still here.’ But I must say that I like my service. Thank you very much for giving me a wonderful life.[/quote]
After the offerings, Maharaja meditatively led the guruvastaka prayers as the devotees offered petals and obeisances unto that great soul, a bold General in Srila Prabhupada’s army, whose mood of mercy brings incredible fortune to many. All glories to His Holiness Jayadvaita Swami!
Here is a recording of the offering that Kadamba Kanana Swami gave. We apologize for the poor quality but hope that you will relish it anyway!
If you cannot view the slide-show below then click here to visit flickr!