Preserving Srila Gurudeva's Legacy
"SO THAT IT SHOULD NOT GO AWAY FROM THIS WORLD"
A Spoken Instruction
On a cool, damp morning in April 2005, bundled in his well-worn saffron-colored jacket, along with matching knit cap and gloves, Srila Gurudeva stepped outside his place of residence in order to take his daily japa walk.
He was greeted immediately by a large group of devotees, many from the local Murwillambah farming community where he was staying, others from various locations around the world, who had followed Srila Gurudeva to this stop on his annual Australian tour.
As Srila Gurudeva walked slowly along the rural road, chanting softly on his japa beads and occasionally holding up his hand in benediction, the devotees maintained a respectful distance, seeking not to disturb his meditation but anticipating the moment he would begin to engage them in question and answer. When he finally stopped his stroll and spoke his first words, they were intended to illuminate the topic of his last evening’s discourse on Sri Raya Ramananda Savmad, or the conversation between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and his devotee Raya Ramananda from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta.
During the next half-hour, Srila Gurudeva queried the gathered devotees for their comprehension of his recently spoken lecture, endeavoring to elicit deeper and deeper understandings of Sriman Mahaprabhu’s conversation Sri Raya Ramananda at the bank of the Godavari River and also of the His intimate exchanges with Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami in the Gambhira in Sri Jagannatha Puri, where the Lord stayed continuously during the last twelve years of His manifest pastimes.
His ability to elucidate the highest Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy was astonishing to everyone present there—as was his reverence for Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. Gurudeva boldly declared that if all other scriptures chose to become unmanifest but only a single copy of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta remained, then all knowledge lost could be restored.
Sensing their amazement, Srila Gurudeva acknowledged that his revelation of these truths was unprecedented—that although highly qualified acaryas had appeared in the past, none had explained everything to the extent that he was doing. Wanting his followers to recognize the infinite value of this contribution, he added:
“You should try to take this in your hearts, and if qualified devotees are there, you should express....I know that you cannot repay, never in a thousand births. Understand? [Laughing] You cannot repay--I know. You can repay only that you should keep these things [motioning to his heart] and to qualified audiences you should give this so that it should not go away from this world.”
The gathered devotees became visibly somber, trying to internalize the meaning of his words. As Srila Gurudeva returned to his residence, they offered their prostrated obeisances.
(Authored by Kundalata Dasi (Las Vegas))