Although a few of my beloved masters-the incomparable commanders of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's army-acted on stage, the majority served from behind the curtain. One who has truly performed sadhu-saftga will be blessed with the ability to grasp the proper method by which to honor such Vaisnavas and thereby recognize and appreciate their tremendous contributions. Otherwise, one's condition will be like that of a young child who, upon watching a television program, sees only the actors appearing on-screen and remains unaware of the laborious efforts of show's many contributors working off-camera. Indeed, his disinterest during the closing credits reflects his ignorance.
In his poem Vaisnava Ke, Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thalcura Prabhupada has described that the main impediments to bhajana are kanaka (wealth), kamini (objects of desire) and pratisthii (prestige). Although abandoning the thirst for kanaka and kamini is certainly not without its challenges, the thirst for pratisthil, Maya-devi's final assault, is even more formidable. Its sub-tlety allows it to remain deeply rooted in the heart without being detected by others or, tragically, even oneself.
pratisthasa dhrsta svapaca-ramani me hrdi natet
katham sadhu-prema sprsati sucir etan nanu manah
sada tvam sevasva prabhu-dayita-samantam atulam
yatha tam niskasya tvaritam iha tam vesayati sah
Sri Manalj-giksit (7)
In this verse, Srila Raghunatha clasa Gosvami has explained that the imma-culate sun of prema, divine love for S'ri Krsna, will never rise in the heart as long as a hankering for pratisthd dwells there. Are the sincere practitioners on the path of bhakti then hopeless? "No!" Srila Dasa Gosvami assures us. "There is a way!"
He explains, "sadd tvath sevasva prabhu dayita samantam atularh-always serve our Prabhu's incomparably powerful commanders." These words refer to the beloved (dayita) and incomparably (atularit) powerful commanders (samantam) in the armies of either Prabhu Sri Krsna or Mahaprabhu Sri Caitanyadeva-such as Sri Rtipa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami and others. However, many different meanings arise in my heart when I read, remember or recite this phrase.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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