Bali-mardana and Upendra kept Srila Prabhupada informed of the latest developments on campus. Prabhupada was happy to hear of the university success, describing it as “engladdening”. He continued to stress to them the urgent need of spreading Krsna consciousness amongst Australia’s youth; Srila Prabhupada said:
Just try to convince the younger section about the importance of this movement and how this one single venture can solve all the problems of the world. Krishna consciousness is not dry. It includes all the varieties of human cultivation of knowledge. We can give direction in politics, in sociology, in religion, in philosophy, in arts, in music; in aesthetics … It is complete. Simply we have to administer this novel idea to the people in general, very magnificently.
Srila Prabhupada had chosen well to describe Krsna consciousness as a “novel idea”. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura had used the same term, implying “something hitherto unknown, new or unusual”, in his last instructions sent in a letter to Prabhupada only two weeks before leaving this world in 1937. “I have every hope,” he had said, “that you can turn yourself into a very good English preacher if you serve the mission to inculcate the novel impression of Lord Caitanya’s teachings in the people in general, as well as philosophers and religionists.”
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s “great hope” was no empty wish. He had read and appreciated a poem written by Prabhupada in 1935 in which he had proved that he understood the mind and mission of his spiritual master. In the poem, Prabhupada described the plight of humanity:
We fallen souls,
Paying most heavy
The illusions toll.
The only hope
His Divine Grace.
The fallen souls had forgotten their original service relationship with God. They were thus loitering in the material world. And, just as a confidante of the father sometimes visits a wayward child with a message to remind him of his real home, Prabhupada described his spiritual master as a messenger from Lord Caitanya.
Message of Service
Thou has brought.
A healthful life
As Chaitanya wrought,
Unknown to all
It’s full of brace,
That’s your gift.
Your Divine Grace.
It was clear that Krsna consciousness was this previously unknown “message of service” — and reviving the sleeping souls to their real waking identity as Krsna’s long-lost servants, was the business of the Vaisnava preacher. Fully awake, the fallen souls could therefore taste this previously unknown life, Krsna consciousness, as “full of brace”.
Prabhupada had concluded his poem:
The line of service
As drawn by you
Is pleasing and healthy
Like morning dew.
The oldest of all
But in a new dress.
Your Divine Grace.
Krsna consciousness was sanatana dharma, the eternal religion, and as such could accurately be described as “the oldest of all”. But the powerful preaching mission of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati in the shape of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s International Society for Krsna Consciousness was now appearing in the world, “in a new dress”.
Just as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura had great hope in Srila Prabhupada, Prabhupada now had great hope in his young disciples in Australia. Now it was up to them to “administer this novel idea to the people in general, very magnificently”. Prabhupada gave a hint about the “magnificent scale” of things to come in Australia. “I wish,” he wrote to Bali-mardana, “that you establish at least 10 centres in Australia or in the adjoining islands. That is my desire.”
Biographies and Glorifications of Srila Prabhupada-The Great Transcendental Adventure-‘This Novel Idea’– Early Days, 1968–1970-Kurma das
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