Today we honor the disappearance day of Srila Prabhupada.
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ
I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my spiritual master opened my eyes with the torch of knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto him.
Dear Srila Prabhupada
On this most auspicious day, we are celebrating your disappearance, with remembrances and prayers.
There are so many days on the Vaisnava Calendar where we are celebrating some auspicious holiday or festival, but none of them are as important to me personally, as the two days when we honor your appearance and disappearance. There is no day more important to this insignificant disciple, then your appearance into my life.
The proper understanding of the disappearance of a Vaisnava was explained very nicely by you in a lecture given on the disappearance day lecture of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada on Dec. 13, 1973 in Los Angeles:
“So spiritually, appearance and disappearance, there is no difference. Just like in material point of view, if a person takes birth… Suppose you get a son born, you become very happy. The same son, when passes away, you become very unhappy. This is material. But spiritually, there is no such difference, appearance or disappearance. So although this is the disappearance day of Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, so there is nothing to be lamented. Although we feel separation, that feeling is there, but spiritually, there is no difference between appearance and disappearance.”
Also you have explained:
“As Lord Krsna’s appearance and disappearance are all spiritual, transcendental, they are not ordinary things, similarly, Lord Krsna’s devotee, His representative, who is sent to this material world for preaching the glories of Lord Krsna,… For the representatives of Krsna,their appearance and disappearance is also like Krsna’s. Therefore, according to Vaisnava principles, the appearance and disappearance of Vaisnava is considered all-auspicious.”
Bhaktivinoda Thakura also wrote a short stanza about the influence that a Vaisnava (a pure devotee of the Lord) carries in this world even after his passing:
“He reasons ill who tells that Vaisnavas die When thou art living still in sound! The Vaisnavas die to live, and living try To spread the holy name around!”
So, while it is natural for us to be sorrowful that Srila Prabhupada has passed away, we can know for sure that he will never pass away, for he is “living still in sound.”
You yourself has said, “I will never die. I will live forever in my books.”
Therefore your disappearance is not different from your apperance day and thus we have reason to celebrate. I pray that I may always remember you in the days and years yet to come, in the same way you remembered your spiritual master with this famous dedication in the Srimad Bhagavatam:
“He lives forever by his divine instructions, and the follower lives with him.”
Your insignificant disciple