Dear Disciples and Followers of Bhakti Charu Swami,
Please accept my condolences. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I know many of you personally and I ask that you forgive me for not personally writing all of you, but take this as a personal letter to each one of you.
We are a family of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters and cousins, and aunts and uncles. The pain any one in the family feels is the pain we all feel. The concerns that any member has becomes our concern. And the love your father had for you is the same love we offer you.
Many of my godbrothers and sisters have already offered you their help, shelter and guidance in any way may you need. I would also like to make the same offer. I know Maharaja would have done this for my disciples had I departed before him, so this is the least I can do. I also know that this is what it means to be a member of ISKCON; we are all here to help one another.
After Prabhupada left, we recognized one of our biggest mistakes was that we didn’t take time to grieve. We thought we needed to jump into action to immediately push our movement forward with increased energy and enthusiasm. And although the intention was good, it was not the right thing to do at the time. We needed time to grieve; we needed time to adjust; we needed time to reflect on what this event meant and how we would live our lives now. We didn’t take enough time to do this and it created many problems for us individually and as a society.
Prabhupada’s passing was the worst day of my life. I was so affected that for a moment I wished I had never met him; that way I wouldn’t have to suffer his loss. Losing someone dear can make us crazy like this. But in our saner moments we realize that we can only be in pain because we were fortunate to have had the association of this great personality.
It took me a while to understand and experience how Prabhupada never left, that he is always present with us in his service and instructions. You will also come to gradually realize and experience this and you will experience a special closeness and sweetness that you couldn’t even experience while Maharaj was present with you. I can’t say when this will happen, but it happen.
Maharaja emphasized over and over the importance of taking shelter at the feet of Srila Prabhupada. If there was ever a time to fully embrace this instruction, it is now. You are all sheltered by Srila Prabhupada and you are still sheltered by Maharaja. And you are still living within your family of ISKCON where you can reach out to so many devotees who can help you now in these difficult times and in the future. And if I can be one of these helpers, then please reach out to me.
I pray that Krsna and Prabhupada will help you through these difficult times.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada