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March 2, 1975 : Atlanta

Satsvarupa: Srila Prabhupada's third and last day in Atlanta, was filled to the brim and overflowing with his distribution of Lord Chaitanya's mercy. It happened to be the appearance day of his spiritual master, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, and so in the morning, Srila Prabhupada held a special observance. The devotees placed a large picture of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati on a special vyasasana, and they hoped Prabhupada himself would perform the arati, although they did not dare ask him.

No one else stepped forward to perform the ceremony, however, and Srila Prabhupada could understand the hearts of the assembled devotees. "Maybe I should perform the arati," he said to Tamala Krishna Maharaja. "I should do it." "All the devotees think so, Srila Prabhupada. They would be very happy if you did." "Yes, I will do it." So Srila Prabhupada performed another rarely seen activity in Atlanta, as he offered each article, the ghee wick flame, the water and the conchshell, and so on, before the picture of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati.

That morning Srila Prabhupada spoke about serving the spiritual master in separation. "You should always pray," Prabhupada said, "that only by the grace of the spiritual master we achieve the grace or mercy of Krishna. This is the meaning of Vyasa-puja. As far as possible we have tried to give you instruction, books. But remain always faithful to the spiritual master and try to understand Krishna. Any other so-called understanding is simply a waste of time."


Reference: Prabhupada-lila - Satsvarupa dasa Goswami