today was the sri vyasa puja celebration for my guru (basically, his birthday party). here is the offering I wrote for him. and for those of you who know me and my reputation, yes, I cried. and then had a slight nervous breakdown afterwards upstairs. no one saw that, though.
Dearest Srila Guru Maharaj,
Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to you.
One of my favorite services is editing your Vyasa Puja offering to Srila Prabhupada every year. Editing the offering is different than just reading it because I have to really connect with not only the words you use, but also your sentiment and intention. The most important part of this service is making sure that what you want to say is clear and understood by your audience – this means I often have to read and re-read, and re-read again. It even sometimes becomes like a meditation. Getting the opportunity to meditate on your mood in serving Srila Prabhupada is a gift. I get to see year in and year out how dedicated you are to serving your Guru Maharaj and how you build your life and activities around fulfilling his desires. You are continually setting the example of what it means to be a disciple – and I, as your disciple, see through your dedication to Srila Prabhupada where I fall short.
Guru Maharaj, sometimes I feel like you have given up on me. Sometimes I think you must look at me and think I am a lost cause. A few months ago I found an old journal, and in it I had written something you said to me. It said: “Kadamba, I am always in your corner.” I realized that the Guru never gives up on the disciple. It is the disciple who gives up on him or herself. I don’t want to give up – on me, on you, or on Krishna. Please, Guru Maharaj, please keep setting the examples for me. Please continue to guide me – whether it is by gentle nudge or forceful push.
I am praying that one day I might be able serve you the way you serve Srila Prabhupada.
Always your servant,
Kadamba Mala devi dasi
photos taken by lenny zimkus/govardhan lal das. from sri vyasa puja 2007.