It was a great honor and pleasure for me to visit Dallas temple - one of the first temples which Srila Prabhupada established in the United States. It used to be a church - now transformed into the palace of Sri Sri Radha Kalachandji, Lord Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra, and Gaur Nitai. The temple room is arranged in royal style, and Their Lordships receive a high standard of worship with opulent dresses and jewelry.
HH Tamal Krishna Maharaja was the main spiritual leader in this community, and up to this very day there are many of his senior disciples here who maintain things nicely according to his desires and instructions.
The devotees kept me busy with a SB class, two bhakti vriksha programs in the evenings, the morning class on Rama Navami and the Sunday feast lecture. I also gave the seminar on the topic of "Sheltering Relationships" over Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Devotees were keenly interested in my two books, and 100 copies went out into devotees' hands and lives.
One morning I had the pleasure of visiting the school and did a little program with the children. How fortunate to be educated in a devotional atmosphere.....
Like in many temples throughout the US, most congregational members are Indian-bodied. In order to reach out to Western-bodied and Afro-American people, Nityananda Chandra Prabhu conducts once a week a program in his home just across the road from the temple - the Darshan Room. I was invited to give the talk, and I found myself in a wonderful atmosphere of all kinds of personalities from different walks of life. Some had come to attend this program for the very first time and found our talk on the topic of consciousness thought-provoking and stimulating. And their hearts were conquered by the delicious prasadam and friendly personal exchanges which concluded the get-together.
Srila Prabhupada did not only carry the message of Krishna consciousness all around the globe. He also created the foundation, functioning and vision of ISKCON as a global community aiming for the re-spiritualization of the entire humanity of this world. This is indeed a gigantic task - something which nobody ever took up before! Srila Prabhupada's role as the Founder Acharya is ongoing, and his presence has to be strongly felt in the lives of each and every ISKCON devotee for many centuries to come. "Founder Acharya" is not just a title, but a transcendental system to protect, preserve and give longevity to this institution dedicated to the mass liberation of the conditioned souls all over the world.
Srila Prabhupada's personal standards, principles of action and spirit has taken shape in an organisation he created. And each member has to internalize this same spirit, taking it into the core of their own identity. Srila Prabhupada's spirit has to become OUR spirit. In this way, his spirit will pervade this institution as the essence of its own culture. Then each and every devotee will become a visible embodiment of Srila Prabhupada's mood and spirit, and Srila Prabhupada's presence will be strongly felt. So each and every one of us should feel the weight of this high responsibility resting on our shoulders.
We honor and learn from many previous acharyas in our line: Rupa Gosvami, Jiva Gosvami, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, etc. However, Srila Prabhupada as the Founder Acharya has a very unique position, which will remain present generation after generation. He is the single and most prominent siksha guru for everyone in Lord Caitanya's Sankirtan movement for the future generations to come.
Srila Prabhupada stated that ISKCON is his very body. And the soul of this body is Srila Prabhupada himself. As we all know, a body is only alive when the soul is present. If Srila Prabhupada as the soul of ISKCON is no longer present, then ISKCON will become a dead and useless body. By becoming an embodiment of Srila Prabhupada's mood and spirit, his principles of action and standards we will never allow him as the soul of ISKCON to fade away and disappear....!
On the 17th of April I moved on to New Vrindavan......
Your servant, Devaki dd