Srila Prabhupada's position as the Founder Acarya of ISKCON is a highly relevant topic which deserves most attention. I have to admit, for many years I was not deeply thinking about this - what it actually means. Often we mechanically repeat the words, but within our heart we don't have deeper realizations. After reading HG Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu's book on this topic did I start to more deeply understand its great importance.
Our present Gurus tend to make a much stronger impact on devotees than those who are no longer present in person. So Srila Prabhupada's absence of vapu needs to be compensated for by an ever deepening realization of vani. And this requires deep internal work for each and every member of our ISKCON society. Srila Prabhupada's presence has to be so strong, that it will not diminish even after all his direct disciples will have left this world. Prabhupada created the foundation, the functioning and vision of ISKCON as a global community aiming for the respiritualization of the entire human society - a very unique cultural revolution. Prabhupada was thinking big! His role is ongoing - his presence has to be felt in the life of every ISKCON devotee today, and for many centuries to come.
Being the Founder Acarya is not just a title - it is actually a transcendental system in order to protect, preserve and give longevity to ISKCON dedicated to the mass liberation of conditioned souls all over the world. Prabhupada's personal standards, principles of action and spirit have taken shape in an organization which he created. And each and every member has to internalize this spirit and take it to the very core of his/her own identity, and pass it on to the next generation. Then Srila Prabhupada's spirit will pervade ISKCON as the essence of its own culture, and its members become its visible embodiment in this world. We honor and learn from so many acaryas in our line, but Srila Prabhupada as the Founder Acarya will always be very unique. He will remain present, generation after generation, as the single prominent Siksa Guru. We can understand ISKCON to be like Srila Prabhupada's body, and the soul of this body is Srila Prabhupada himself. As long as Srila Prabhupada will remain in the center of our lives, ISKCON will remain alive. If we loose this Prabhupada consciousness, then ISKCON will become like a dead and useless body.
The Bangalore devotees kept me busy - I was also invited to visit the temple in South Bangalore and gave an evening program on the topic of Prabhupada being the Founder Acarya. And a new preaching center requested me to speak about Govardhana Puja, since they were celebrating it on the Sunday evening thereafter.
During my visit to Bangalore the sudden policy in regards to exchanging the 500 and 1000 Rs notes was introduced, which was an interesting experience. It was a shock to everyone, and for days people's minds were evolving around this topic - how to change and bank the old notes. And at the same time I could sense that people were proud of the courage Narendra Modi exhibited by launching this surprise. People expressed that it will be for the better of the country, and therefore they were willing to accept the inconvenience and even financial losses they might be facing. I once queued up at a bank for two hours to exchange some of my old notes - a newspaper reporter was there and eagerly took pictures of me. It was interesting to witness all the social exchanges going on in the queue - one fellow managed the entire group of people and helped everybody to fill in the forms and get the right info. And he took care of the elderly, who found it a challenge to stand for such a long time.....
On the 15th of November I flew on to Dhaka/Bangladesh....
Your servant, Devaki dd