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Nityananda Enter Srila Prabhupada’s Body?
by Eka Buddhi dasa
The following quote was announced after the lecture given for Lord Nityanada’s Appearance Day: "Srila Prabhupada was able to do so much in America because at one point during his journey on the Jaladutta, Lord Nityananda entered Prabhupada’s body and gave him the power to accomplish so much. Lord Nityananda stayed in his body until the time of Srila Prabhupada’s leaving, at which time Lord Nityananda departed from his [Prabhupada’s] body."
At first glance this is a sweet, inspiring story. However, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but something bothered me about it, so I approached the devotee who had quoted it and requested its pedigree.
He said he had heard it from a Swami who had heard it from Sridhar Maharaj. The explanation was that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati gave the instruction to preach in America to all his disciples and yet Prabhupada was the only one who was truly successful. And if it was not for Lord Nityananda entering his body, and thus empowering him, how could you explain Srila Prabhupada’s success when so many other disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta had failed? Again, nice story at first glance, but I’ve just figured how to explain this nagging feeling in my heart.
To use this as an explanation of Prabhupada’s achievements takes away from him as a great soul and puts the responsibility of action on something unattainable by man. Something that has to be waited for and is bestowed upon rather than achieved. This represents a passive relationship to higher forces (Krishna).
Srila Prabhupada seemed to be preaching the opposite: One must work with his heart and soul out of love for his spiritual master and then the Lord will see his sincerity and give him all His support. Srila Prabhupada did this. He truly gave his all. He did not wait for the benedictions to start flowing in. He worked hard and risked his safety and comfort for our benefit, and to put this in the magic-pill packaging of the "outside force," takes away from the significance of a great man working selflessly in the service of his spiritual master.
I wake up in the morning by the grace of the Lord. I breathe, walk, and am fed by the grace of the Lord entering my body and giving life. And I and all of us could probably accomplish as much as Srila Prabhupada if, and only if, we had the commitment, strength of character, and faith that he exhibited and which caused us to follow this great soul. It is not that we have to wait patiently for some outside source to give us power and motivation. That powerful source is in each and every one of us (refer to that illustration of animals people, etc., with little tiny Krishnas in the center of their chest). The spiritual master knows this, he has tapped into that source, and because he is magnanimous (dictionary definition— "Noble of mind and spirit: generous in forgiving; above revenge or resentment; unselfish, gracious...from Latin, magnanimus, ‘great-souled’ "). His only desire is to link others to this source, Krishna.
Srila Prabhupada exhibited steady determination, fixed consciousness, compassion, etc., and thus Lord Nityananda eagerly facilitates a pure desire to serve. As many of us have experienced, it is not so easy to have fixed determination. There are obstacles at every step, often as many coming from our godbrothers as are coming from our impure hearts. It was no different after Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s passing, and yet Srila Prabhupada plowed through. We all have that same mercy of our spiritual master equally distributed among us (sama: a devotee is equal to everyone) but those who the Lord sees striving hardest is most dear to him.
Until we see that benediction from Srila Prabhupada, in the line of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, that teaches us how to be pure and that latent empowerment to perform welfare work for everyone, not only in ourselves but also in our godbrothers, we will be sitting around for lifetimes waiting for Lord Nityananda to enter our bodies and not a whole lot will get accomplished. For more, pull out your folio and punch in "as one fans paddy" and "asara."
© CHAKRA 4 March 2002
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