March 31 2009

I recently received nine questions from devotees in the CIS so one by one I will post them with my replies.

Here’s number one from Bhakta Iskatel (Seeker)

“In Tamal Krsna Goswami’s Diary about the last days of Prabhupada


there is a passage dated 4 September 1977 which reads:

Prabhupada announced, “As soon as I get green card, I will go to New York.”
“How long will you stay there?” I asked.
“As long as you like.”
“Srila Prabhupada, you are just like a cow.  You will go wherever we lead you, but you never stop giving milk.”
“That is because I am a surabhi cow. …”

“My question is: can we take this last phrase of Srila Prabhupada as his revelation of his svarup – original form in the spiritual world?”


No. Because a disciple was using the cow as a comparison to Srila Prabhupada‘s work of preaching Krsna consciousness all over the world Srila Prabhupada agreed with the comparison, but made it more specifically spiritual by saying “That’s because I am a surabhi cow.” This statement has nothing to do with Srila Prabhupada’s svarupa.

There are different opinions about Srila Prabhupada’s svarupa but noone can say for sure because Srila Prabhupada did not specifically say what his svarup is.

One female disciple called Harsharani dasi in the late 1960s once wrote a poem about Srila Prabhupada which was published in BTG. Apparently Srila Prabhupada heard the poem and liked it. Both Govinda dasi and Malati dasi recall Srila Prabhupada’s response to the poem. He said of the author, Harsharani, “She has become advanced.” And he ordered that the poem be published in Back to Godhead, which it was.

Here’s the poem:

Dear Swamiji
I offer my respects unto the Lotus
Feet of my Spiritual Master,
Who is always herding cows
In Goloka Vrindaban with His
Dearmost Friend, Krishna.
Sometimes He is running barefoot
Through the forest chasing cows
And sometimes He is hiding behind
A tree waiting for Krishna to
Return with the spoils from
Mother Yasoda’s butter pots.
I offer my respects unto the Lotus
Feet of my Spiritual Master, Who is
Always thinking of what He can
Do in service of His Dearmost
Friend Krishna and never wanting
Anything in return.

Even so, we cannot say that Srila Prabhupada is a cowherd boy in Goloka. He did not specifically state that he was, and he may have just been appreciating the efforts of a very young and immature disciple to glorify him, and he liked her appreciation of the personal nature of Srila Prabhupada’s relationship with Krsna.

Without a direct statement from Srila Prabhupada I would not accept any claim as to what his svarupa is. We shall discover that when we are qualified to know and he wants to reveal it to us. In the meantime, we know that he is the empowered acarya for spreading Krsna consciousness all around the world and so we accept him as a shaktyavesa avatar and we try to serve his instructions. Simply by doing that we will attain all perfection. It is not necessary to know his svarup, at least while we are preaching and living in the material world.

Your humble servant,
Hari-sauri dasa

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