Dear godsiblings, well wishers and supporters of His Holiness Suhotra Maharaja please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to guru maharaja. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to Lord Gauranga.
My name is Rupa Vilasa das. I was favored with Suhotra maharajas grace when he accepted me as his disciple in 1997. I am eternally grateful for this, although that gratefulness had its ups and downs. I have not been too good of a disciple.
A spiritual master is an exceptional person in the life of a disciple. He leads, corrects and explains complexities. A spiritual master enables us to approach Krishna.
Due to my ignorance, I have been trying to avoid my spiritual master through all those years. I have been doing that for example by taking up devotional service which seemed suitable to me, in time which suited me. And I did not even notice when I ruined my own spiritual life. I have a term for that - I have committed a suicide in my spiritual life.
In Sri Isopanisad it is said that a person who do not utilize a human life for a purpose of self-realization is described as killer of the soul. Because I have committed so many offenses to the feet of my spiritual master and Vaishnavas, I have committed a spiritual suicide.
Because I was feeling contempt for myself and did not want to disturb devotees, I broke with them and a process and I drawn in the ocean of ignorance. Sometimes when I recalled Krishna, I was requesting Him so, I remember that He is God and that He controls everything. While doing that I was again passing the spiritual masters feet over.
Mayas influence was so strong that even when my guru maharaja Suhotra Swami left this world it did not affect me. What was left was to cry and to feel sorry for myself.
Suddenly, a new ray of hope appeared. I am again on the path, but is it a devotional service, yet? I do not think so. Wonderful devotees reached to me, helped me without scorning me. I again picked up chanting but a despair teared my heart. How could I fix that? How could I apologize? Who could forgive me, since my guru maharaja is not here?
I missed Vyasa-puja day again, last year. I thought that was enough! What I was doing? Where was I going?
April 2010 - third anniversary of guru maharajas departure. Due to my wonderful wifes inspiration, wife who always supports me in my spiritual life, and with the help of devotees from Stargard, we organized anniversary celebration. A few words about guru maharaja, slide show, modest prasadam - but I could only cry.
And then something unexpected happened! Dayalacandra Prabhu joined us during the anniversary. He sang wonderful bhajan, told several maharajas pastimes and together we commented on the slide show. During that time we started to talk about organizing Suhotra maharajas Vyasa-puja. All the present devotees present were very enthusiastic.
We were contemplating it for several months. Where to organize it, how many people could take part, who could do it? The Vyasa-puja date was chosen in an almost mystical way, but I will write about it later. We advertised on Polish devotees websites and Facebook that on November 21st will take place the 60th Suhotra Swamis Vyasa-puja and that everybody is invited.
Stargard is a medium size town located far away from the main devotional centers (Wroclaw, Warszawa). Despite that quite a lot of devotees came. I was in panic, but again my wife came to my aid and told me that the more devotees participate the better.
A week before Vyasa-puja we made a precise plan. There would be a bhajan, speech, slide show, fire sacrifice, puspanjal, guru puja, arati, kirtan and feast. Time quickly passed, and a day before Vyasa-puja I again had doubts how to glorify guru maharaja. After all, I left him. How could I do it?
While returning from my work, I passed by an old man on the street who told the other one: There is nothing worse than to live in the past. I heard it loudly and distinctly. I even stopped because I felt as if those words were directed to me. I proceeded home thinking about what I had just heard.
Every day we hear hundreds of words. They come in through one ear and come out through another. We do not pay much attention to them, even more when they are spoken by materialists. But those words rang like a bell. I am sure that these were the words of my spiritual master. It was an answer to my question, what could I do with myself? What could I do? Be Krishna conscious, learn the lesson and do not look back. You have so much to do. The day before Vyasa-puja in Stargard arrived Trisama Prabhu (from Walbrzych), Rati Manjari mataji (from Legnica), Mathuranatha Prabhu (from Slawno) and Ravilocan Prabhu (from Warsaw) in order to engage themselves in more time consuming devotional service.
The day of Vyasa-puja.
Krishna premi mataji and bh. Zbyszeks apartment. From an early morning, there was a lot of commotion. Everybody was hurrying up to be ready before the ceremony starts. There is not much time left till noon. We have to build an altar. This service belongs to my wife Ekanga Radha and Malgorzata mataji. We need to invite the deities and Srila Prabhupada, we need to prepare the place for a vyasasan, we need to clean and cook.
There is an incredible spiritual atmosphere in the air. Devotional service with the intent to please maharaja, Srila Prabhupaa and Sri Krishna brings satisfaction which can be seen on the faces of all present devotees.
The door bell rings. New devotees arrived. This time Dayalacandra Prabhu, Rocan Prabhu, Gauranga Avatar Prabhu. Jay!!! Short greetings and literally within few minutes a sweet bhajan begins. Gauranga Avatar Prabhu chants Sri guru carana padma. Tears are coming to my eyes.
Devotees have impressed me with their readiness to do devotional service, to glorify guru maharaja. They came from places almost 500 km away in order to be with us. They did not even asked for a glass o water but instead they immediately engaged themselves in the service. Bhajan was lead by Dayalacandra Prabhu, Rocan Prabhu and Gauranga Avatara Prabhu. We could listen to melodies played by guru maharaja.
Shortly after, all devotees are present. Isanghri-seva from Szczecin joined us. The class was given by Trisama Prabhu. He recollects and glorifies guru maharajas preaching. He speaks how much maharaja has done for Polish yatra. He consolidates our conviction that our relationship with guru does not end with the departure of the spiritual master. It continues because it is eternal. When I hear that, I feel happiness in my heart and my conviction that I still have a chance for a new relationship with guru maharaja becomes fixed.
After the class, Rocan Prabhu leads the slide show. It is a picture story from the journey to Gandhaki to find the sila. Suhotra maharaja is a tour guide and the trippers are Rocan Prabhu, Martanda Prabhu and Rasalila mataji. This is an unlimited nectar to my ears. I listen attentively to all those stories describes in such a wonderful way. It seems like an ordinary trip of 3 disciples and their spiritual master but in unusual settings. Watching those pictures and listening to Rocana Prabhu was a source of happiness for us and helped all of us to come closer to Suhotra maharaja and to some degree to understand maharajas intentions which he had by the end of his stay in this world. Suhotra maharaja ki jay!!!
After the slide show, it is time for yajna. I am starting to get nervous This is a small room and there will be a lot of smoke. It will not be nice. But wait What is happening? When our wonderful priest Trisama Prabhu recites the mantras, lights up the fire and pours the ghee we do not see even a thin trickle of smoke! That makes me wonder.
The yajna is assisted by Suhotra maharajas disciples: Dayalacandra Prabhu, Isangri seva mataji, Rocan Prabhu, Mathuranatha Prabhu and myself. We can hear nostalgic bhajan by Gauranga Avatara Prabhu. He is the husband of our godsister Kaveri mataji. He is a real gandharva. The mood during yajna is surcharged with spirituality. We can feel guru maharajas presence. Devotees shyly drop some tears, hiding emotions. I will not forget that. And then, it started to rain after the yajna
Time is passing by. It is a time to offer a feast to the considerably sized group of deities. During the offering devotees begin a kirtan. Although it is only four square meters but there were quite few daredevils. Loud maha-mantra chanting flows in ether through an open balcony door.
Next is puspanjali, guru-puja and maha-prasadam offering to guru maharaja. All devotees were cooking and everybody prepared something. Due to devotees mercy I could take part in that service to guru maharaja. That is a great mercy and honor for me. I am begging to forgive all my offences and I am falling to maharajas and devotees feet begging for mercy.
After honoring guru maharaja, next is gaura arati. Devotees chant happily. They show their dancing skills for the pleasure of our Lords Sri Sri Gaura Nitay, ki jay! In the end there is a feast - tasting the mercy of the Lord in the form of prasadam. There were many preparations but nothing was wasted.
Trisama Prabhu shared with us what he had heard from Bhakti Vidya Purna maharaja regarding Vyasa-puja celebration. Choosing 21st of November as a date of Vyasa-puja was not accidental. It was a last day of Kartika and Vrindadevis appearance day. And Bhakti Vidya Purna maharaja gave us his blessing to proceed with Vyasa-puja on that day. Fire sacrifice was also done according to maharajas instructions. He also said that it was a very auspicious day and was very glad that Vyasa-puja would take place and gave to all the participants his blessings. Those words spoken by Bhakti Vidya Purna maharaja confirmed to me on what position is our spiritual master and that what we do for him is appropriate. Thank you Trisama Prabhu for sharing with us this nectar.
It is time to say goodbye. Thank you all for coming, giving us your association and for the great service you did on that day. Tired but happy we left home. Although some time has already passed since then, I still feel great happiness in my heart that I could again serve my guru maharaja, my godsiblings and all the assembled devotees. I hope that our effort has pleased guru maharaja. I do not cry out of despair anymore, but I cry out of joy that I have such wonderful spiritual master. Suhotra maharaja ki jay!
Thank you for joining forces in devotional service. My thanks and obeisances go to: Dayalacandra Prabhu (Wroclaw), Isanghri-seva mataji (Szczecin), Rocan Prabhu (Wroclaw), Mathuranatha Prabhu (Slawno) shooting pictures, Trisama Prabhu (Walbrzych), Gauranga Avatara Prabhu with his wife Kaveri mataji (Walbrzych), Rati Manjari mataji (Legnica-Wroclaw), Ravilocana Prabhu (Warszawa), Mahasyana Prabhu (Szczecin), Yogavati mataji (Szczecin), Krsnapremi mataji with his husband bh. Zbyszek (Stargard), Vaikuntha Prabhu (shooting pictures) with his wife bhn. Ma³gorzata (Stargard), bh. Jacek with his wife bhn. Edyta (Stargard), and my wife Ekanga Radha.
Thank you Purnaprajna Prabhu for translating text.Hare Krsna.
Rupa Vilasa das