Lelihana devi dasi
My Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my most humble obeisances. All Glories to your lotus feet.
You are a very great soul. And I am completely insignificant. You know and understand how lost and fallen I am, and the reason for it. And how painful it is to be so. Yourself and your words are my only hope and solace.
I would like to glorify you by reciting some of your words that you have allowed me to always remember, and hope that others may be comforted and inspired by them also:
"Whenever a devotee is in distress or has fallen into difficulty, he thinks that it is the Lord's mercy upon him. He thinks, 'Thanks to by past misdeeds I should suffer far, far greater than I am suffering now. So it is by the mercy of the Supreme Lord that I am not getting all the punishment I am due. I am just getting a little, by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.' Therefore he is always calm, quiet and patient, despite many distressful conditions." Bhagavad-gita As It Is 12.13-14
"A devotee is naturally so humble and meek that he accepts any condition of life as a blessing from the Lord. A devotee always accepts punishment from anyone as the mercy of the Lord. If one lives in this conception of life, he sees whatever reverses occur to be due to his past misdeeds, and therefore he never accuses anyone. On the contrary, he becomes increasingly attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead because of his being purified by his suffering. Suffering, therefore, is also a process of purification." Srimad Bhagavatam 6.17.17
"Therefore, even in the worst condition, a devotee does not see that this thing is happening without the direction of Krishna. Even if he is an adverse condition, he does not feel any pain, because he knows that this adverse condition is also under the direction of Krishna. So, 'I am fully surrendered to Krishna, why I shall take this adverse condition as not mercy of Krishna? It is also the mercy of Krishna.' So, a devotee is not disturbed by adverse conditions. He takes that this is a gift of Krishna. It is Krishna's mercy. 'Although I am put into difficulty, it is Krishna's mercy.' So anyone who takes it that way, his going back home, back to godhead is guaranteed. Because he takes everything as Krishna's mercy. Just like Prahlada Maharaja. Prahlada Maharaja was so much chastised by his father. you know how he was put into difficulty in so many ways. But he was taking it as Krishna's mercy. He did not take it otherwise. So in this way, everywhere there is Krishna's hand." Recorded Lecture Excerpt. Srimad Bhagavatam Class 1.7.12 Vrindavan 1976
"My Dear Lord, any person who is constantly awaiting Your causeless mercy to be bestowed upon him, and who goes on suffering the resultant actions of his past misdeeds, offering You respectful obeisances from the core of his heart, is surely eligible to become liberated, for it has become his rightful claim." Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.8
This statement of Srimad Bhagavatam should be the guide of all devotees. A devotee should not expect immediate relief from the reactions of his past misdeeds. No conditioned soul is free from such reactionary experiences because material existence means continued suffering or enjoying of past activities. If one has finished his material activities then there is no more birth. This is only possible when one begins Krishna conscious activities, because such activities do not produce reaction. Therefore, as soon as one becomes perfect in Krishna conscious activities, he is not going to take birth again in this material world. A devotee who is not perfectly freed from the resultant actions should therefore continue to act in Krishna consciousness seriously, even though there may be so many impediments. When such impediments arise he should simply think of Krishna and expect His mercy. That is the only solace. If the devotee passes his days in that spirit, it is certain that he is going to be promoted to the abode of the Lord. Nectar of Devotion Chapter 10
"Devotees should always be happy with all the dealings of their master, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A devotee may be put into difficulty or opulence, but he should accept both as gifts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and jubilantly engage in the service of the Lord in all circumstances." Adi-lila 12.37 Purport Excerpt
So, Dear Prabhupada, thank you from the core of my heart for your enlightening and comforting words of wisdom. How wonderful you are. There is actually no end to your nectarean words that have saved us all.
I am praying for your mercy to be lifted back up to my proper position of devotional service in the association of Krishna's wonderful devotees. All Glories to you again and again and again.
Your insignificant and fallen servant,
Lelihana devi dasi