I am very happy to hear that devotees are gathering together in Penang to pay their homage to His Holiness Bhakti Vrajendra Swami Maharaj and showing their love, affection, dedication and loving service to the cause of our society, mission of Sri ChaitnyaMahaprabhu and Srila Prabhupada. He is definitely a great soul, Mahatma... I know him from Birmingham from early 70's. He used to come to the Birmingham centre and whatever he gets, he used to help the centre as the temple used to have hard days during that period. Later on, he came to London and used to distribute book, to work very hard and everybody appreciated his service - because Srila Prabhupada says ISKCON is a preaching movement, and ultimately book distribution. Krishna says, "No one was or will be so dear to Me than one who preaches this Krishna Consciousness.
This is the best way." Srila Prabhupada says, "If you want to please me, distribute my books." So, here is His Holiness Bhakti Vrajendra Nandan Swami - I highly appreciate him, I am nothing in this respect. Once I went for a tour of U.K. up to Ireland for one month. Maharaj understood that I am not good in distributing books, so he gave me some other job- like putting money in the bank, giving lecture, cooking, giving class, etc. But I watched what he did- he used to work very hard, which I can never think of. This is love. Leader means, one who inspire others, himself setting up example and engage others. Here is His Holiness Bhakti Vrajendra Swami. He is setting example as a good devotee, dear devotee of Srila Prabhupada. He is all along a brahmacari. I used to enjoy joking with him, taking prasad, sharing views, ideas and spiritual knowledge.
I find Maharaj is very humble, tolerant, respecting others and not expecting any respect from others. A humble state in which state, one can always chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. I find in him as a person, who always try to find good quality in others, this is one of the rare qualities of a vaisnava. As far as I remember now, when I was sent to Bangladesh to make members, then my higher authority Prabhavishnu Maharaj asked me "SubhagMaharaj, you were asked by Srila Prabhupada to work for Bangladesh, this is your Prabhudattadesh. So, how about going to Malaysia and collect money, making life membership there? Malaysia currency as compare to Bangladesh currency is very high, so it will be very helpful." So on higher authority's direction, I went and Bhakti Vrajendra Nandan Maharaj was so kind that he will be driving me all around the country form north to south, all cities, and take me to Rubber plantations - to the managers and Palm state managers and the rich and the distinguished person's houses to preach and make them ISKCON life member. Maharaj used to work very very hard. I used to cook for both of us, staying in life-members house or some Hindu's house, sometime some temple and cook and eat together. I still cherish those days, when I will go to Maharaj house in Seramaban, where his aunt used to stay. We used to joke and used to eat iddiappam regularly, some sambhar.
Maharaj is well known for liking Prasad invitations and he will take us along with him. We used to joke and I have got a wonderful time with him. I think, I can learn so much from him, how to become humble, how to become prideless, how not to be agitated, to be tolerant and respect others. I pray to Sri Chaitnya Mahaprabhu, to our previous acharyas, Sri Panchtattva and the six gosvamis that Maharaj get their blessing. Maharaj is setting an ideal example to us- how to become a nice vaisnava, and the future generation of ISKCON, they can learn from maharaj's exemplary life. We can also enrich our bhakti, by following his footprints, and get the blessings of the Lord. So, he goes Back to Godhead and teaches us how to go to Back to Godhead. So, this is the auspicious day- 1st anniuversary of his Tirobhava(Disappearance). This is the proper way of showing our homage, respect, love, affection for him by making this Puspa Samadhi and for his disciples to remember his dedication and loving service to Sri Guru and the Lord, and to learn and make their life perfect and go back to Godhead. Hare Krishna.
Thank you very much.
HH Subhag Swami