Please accept my prostrated obeisances at your lotus feet. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. And all glories to your service.
I could speak for many days about your service to Srila Prabhupada and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and for many hours about how you have helped me personally. But today I wish to focus on one area in particular in which you have helped me—my writing, which Srila Prabhupada said I should take up as my “first business” and which thus is my most important service.
Some years ago, you told me that I should bring out a book every year, and for three consecutive years I faithfully did that, publishing Watering the Seed (revised and expanded), Many Moons: Reflections on Departed Vaishnavas, and Life’s Final Exam: Death and Dying from the Vedic Perspective. Then one year at the Sadhu Sanga Kirtan Retreat, in my talk I mentioned some things related to the Juhu saga. Afterward, when I came down and sat next to you, you took my hand in yours and said, “I never heard many of these details before—you must bring out your book about Srila Prabhupada and Juhu as soon as possible.”
I took your instruction to heart, and for the last several years I have focused on that project. When the book was almost ready, you wanted to know what the title would be, and you gave some advice to make it shorter, and in the end I accepted one of your suggestions for the title: I’ll Build You a Temple: The Juhu Story. Now, with your encouragement, the book is almost ready to be sent to the BBT for printing.
Related to my writing is my base in Carpinteria, and here too you have given me valuable advice. You said that I should not burden myself and my small staff by having many programs there; rather, I should go out for preaching programs.
My writing is also inspired by my Deities. You were instrumental in my getting Sri Sri Gandharvika-Giridhari, you gave me Gopisvara Mahadeva, and you were involved in the establishment of the worship of Sri Sri Nitai-Gaura-nataraja and Sri Sri Radhika-Radhika-ramana.
There is no end to my debt to you, which will take me many lifetimes to even begin to repay—but that makes me very happy, because I want to serve Srila Prabhupada with you life after life. As Srila Prabhupada wrote to a disciple who asked about our relationships in ISKCON, “As to your question concerning whether relationships between devotees are eternal, the answer is ‘yes.’ This is confirmed by Sri Narottama dasa Thakura: cakhu-dana dilo yei, janme janme prabhu sei: ‘he is my Lord birth after birth.’ ” We are eternally connected in Srila Prabhupada’s service.
Your eternal, grateful servant,