With What Can I Repay You?

Srila Gour Govinda Swami's Vyasa Puja Offering to Srila Prabhupada, 1988

My dear Srila Prabhupada, Please accept my most humble obeisances at your lotus feet.

Again, whenever I try to glorify you, I find myself wholly inadequate to express my debt of gratitude to you. It has been fourteen years since you picked me up out of the darkest region of material existence and put in my heart the seed of devotional service by your divine instruction and the divine message of Krsna consciousness. With what can I repay you?

In 1977, out of your causeless mercy you came to Orissa, Bhubaneswar, and stayed here for sixteen days in a very humble mud hut I had erected on the land donated to you, without expressing any sort of discomfort. At that time this place was an out -of -the -way place, without any modern amenities. Still, very gladly you stayed here, saying, "What Krsna has arranged for me is very good for me." I was going to arrange the State Guesthouse for your stay, but you refused to stay there.

You are so merciful. Very wonderfully you teach us by your actions. This is the real Vaisnava guru's way of teaching. By your actions you teach us to accept everything as the arrangement of Lord Krsna. In spite of all opposition at that time, you were so kind to lay the foundation stone of this temple in the auspicious day of the appearance day of Lord Nityananda. And during your stay here you had whispered in my ears,

"Gour Govinda, this will be one of the best temples in the world. You should stay here and see this project is done. You stay here, chant Hare Krsna, translate my books in Oriya, and publish them and preach…."

You have said many things to me. Still these words are resounding in my ears. Those words of yours are my most valuable asset. With this asset I am still living and staying here, tolerating many impediments, obstructions (to fulfill your desire), which are coming like thunderbolts to me. Please give me strength to withstand it. I am an unworthy fellow, unqualified person. Only your causeless mercy is required.

yogyata vicare kichu nahi mora, tomara karuna sara

It is some eleven years that have passed since you have laid the foundation stone of this temple. But still the project remains incomplete. This has been a great shock to me, because I have not been able to give you pleasure by fulfilling your desire here. I find myself very, very incapable and unqualified to do it. Again since your disappearance from this material world, I feel the pangs of your separation and feel myself very weak to withstand Kali's obstructions.

Please always shower your causeless mercy upon this unworthy servant of yours, because your mercy is my only strength. If I will be devoid of that strength, how can I overcome the obstacles put forth by material nature?

This is my only prayer: Please accept me as your eternal servant and shower your causeless mercy on me. I am your eternal disciple. Please inflict discipline on me always, so I will be able to serve you; otherwise it is not possible.

If someone wants to be successful in rendering service to a Vaisnava or guru, he should obtain the mercy of the Vaisnava guru. Citing Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's words, I may say,

ami ta durbhaga ati vaisnava na cina
more krpa karibena vaisnava apani.

"I am very, very unfortunate. I cannot recognize a Vaisnava. Please shower your mercy on me, because you are a Vaisnava."

Again, citing the words of Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, I offer my concluding prayers:

ki rupe paiba seva muni duracar
sriguru vaishnave rati na haila amar.
mayare kariya jayachadan na jaya,
sadhu-guru kripa vina nahika upaya,
adosha-darasi prabhho patita uddhar,
ei bara narottame karaha nistar.

"I am a very, very sinful person, duracara. I have no Vaisnava sadacara. So how can I get the opportunity to serve a Vaisnava guru? I am so weak that I have no strength to overcome Maya. Only the mercy of sadhu-guru is required. I have many faults; I have been committing many offenses. I am a very, very fallen soul. But you are adosa-darsi and patita udhare. You are so merciful that you always excuse the offenses, and you have come here to deliver the fallen souls like me. This time, please shower your causeless mercy on me and deliver me, and thereby I will be able to render pleasing service to you; otherwise I have no other way."

With this prayer at your lotus feet,
I remain your eternal unworthy servant,
Gour Govinda Swami

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