Srila Prabhupada - The Embodiment of Simplicity

14th September 2014 • Srila Prabhupāda

Radhanath Swami

Being simple is a very very great opulence in this age of Kali. Srila Prabhupada was so simple. He really didn’t want anything for himself. He just wanted to serve. He just wanted to speak the truth.

Recently I was reading Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa Puja offering in 1973 in London. There were hundreds and hundreds of devotees from all of the European continent and the UK coming to surrender to him, to glorify him on the day of his appearance. This is the day after the installation of Sri Radha Gokulananda in Bhaktivedanta Manor. So it is an especially big big festival. It was a glorious festival. And Prabhupada’s Vyasa Puja address was absolutely amazing. First of all he explains how this worship is not for a man, this worship is for Ved Vyasa and the guru is the representative of Ved Vyasa. His qualification is - he is speaking the words of Ved Vyasa. He is not giving what he has. He is giving what Ved Vyasa has given. He is simply the medium in whatever worship is through the guru going to parampara, to Krishna. And then he was explaining the principle of parampara. He quoted Caitanya-caritamrita and he said you will be happy to know that our Pradyumna has just helped me to complete Sri Caitanya Caritamrita. And everyone said ”Jai Jai Jai”. ‘Actually Pradyumna did all the work. That’s why I called him Pandit Mahashoy. Mahashoy is the name that jiva Goswami gave to Narottamdas Thakur. It’s a very very elevated name. I have given him the name Pandit Mahashoy because so much of my literatures are based on the Sanskrit language and he used to help me to edit the Sanskrit’. In fact he said that it is because of Pradyumna’s hardwork that Caitanya Caritamrita is now available to all of you’. He was praising his disciple. And then he started praising Pradyumna’s wife Arundhati because she helped in the proofreading and other things. And then he started praising other grihastas who were doing so much service.

And then Srila Prabhupada said ‘actually I am an old man’. He said ‘my Guru Maharaj when I was twenty five years old he ordered me to take the message of Lord Caitanya to the western world. He said that. I did it. When I was seventy years old I really took up this mission. He said, I should have done it then at twenty five but better late than never. I’m seventy years old. I’m very old man. How much can I do? It is because of all of you, it is because of all of my disciples who are working so hard, who are so dedicated that this movement is spreading throughout the world. And Srila Prabhupada was explaining what the qualification of a guru is? He said, ‘You could all be gurus. Just selflessly repeat the words of the previous acaryas and you will be empowered to do great things’.

I found this great and very amazing. The world is coming to glorify him and he’s taking no credit at all. He’s giving all credit to his guru. He’s giving all credit to his disciples. He’s speaking about himself in such a simple way and by doing so he’s teaching us what is actual simplicity? - To be humble, to give all respects to others. Of course we understand about Srila Prabhupada.

Who he really was? Who are these disciples who were helping him? How did he lift them up? How did he take them from a derelict condition of material attachment and sinful culture and bring them to the platform of very very sincere dedicated Vaishnavas. It was by his love, by his compassion, by his knowledge, by his empowered spiritual energies. He saved people’s lives. Prabhupada said he shed buckets of blood to make each devotee Krishna Conscious. And after shedding buckets of bloods, heart attacks, strokes, sea sickness, all this poverty, all kinds of difficulty to make each person a devotee, - he gives all credit to the devotees. So simple!