This is the story of how His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada acted as one person’s intimate spiritual guide from the revolutionary first days of the Hare Krishna movement to the months just before Prabhupada passed away. Through heart-warming vignettes and lessons learned we share in the Hare Krishna movement’s early pioneering days from Buffalo, New York, to the Far East, and the author’s attempt to follow his most glorious master.
Initiated by Srila Prabhupada in 1968, in 1970 Bhurijana Dasa and his wife Jagattarini Dasi opened ISKCON’s first Hong Kong center. Throughout the 1970s they met Srila Prabhupada in Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii. At their last meeting in 1976, Srila Prabhupada asked Bhurijana to focus on teaching. He taught for seven years in the US, then founded the Vrindavana Institute for Higher Education, where he taught writing, teaching, and Srila Prabhupada’s books. He also organized ISKCON’s first sastra degree courses.
He has written Japa, Surrender Unto Me, The Art of Teaching, two detailed overviews of Srimad-Bhagavatam: Unveiling His Lotus Feet and The Backward Glance. He is currently writing a final volume, on cantoas 5-9, in the Bhagavatam series. Since 2000, Bhurijana has been a presenter at the VIHE’S retreats in Govardhana and Varsana.
My Glorious Master was written as an offering to Srila Prabhupada
in 1996, the year ISKCON celebrated the centennial anniversary
of Prabhupada’s birth. The nine years I describe — 1968 to 1977 -
start from my twenty-first birthday and end several months into
my thirtieth year.
In 1994-1995, when I was writing this book, 1 was able to
meditate on these earlier events in my life with enough distance
that a drop of balance seeped into how I viewed them. But how my
comments would change were I writing this book today!
This is a revised edition, but I chose to leave how I described
the events and my comments on them from the ‘90s essentially
as they were written because they accurately document my life at
the time the events occurred and my thoughts on those events
two decades later.
What I did change from the first edition: 1 added a number of
previously unpublished photographs. I also edited some of the
language used in the first edition to make some things clearer. I
corrected several inaccuracies that had inadvertently slipped into
the original text. And especially, I softened a few of my comments
and attitudes that twenty years later now seem too absolute. On
one occasion I deleted an event unessential to my story to soothe
a disagreement between God brothers.
I was helped in this revision, as always, by my wife, Jagattarini Dasi, who discovered a treasure of letters she had written
to her mother in the ’70s during the time she was in Los Angeles
and we were together in Hong Kong. She also uncovered a transcript of the interview she gave Satsvaripa Dasa Goswami for
his biography of Srila Prabhupada. Both these primary sources,
plus her critical reading of my book, proved helpful in the book’s
Reading again about events that happened almost forty years
ago but remain foundational to my life today was sometimes de-
light full and sometimes confronting. As I reviewed the actions and
thoughts of a less mature version of myself, | saw the complexity of my conditioning and my own simpleness, my arrogance
and my innocence, my passion and my sincerity. But what most
touched my heart was seeing again the guidance Srila Prabhu-
pada so benignly and consistently bestowed on this fallen soul.
Remembrance of it brought me easily into his intimate, deep,
Actually, this focused reminder of his presence in my life was
the greatest benefit 1 received from revising My Glorious Master.
I pray that as you read, you too will be touched by Srila Prabhu-
pada’s compassionate concern, strength, and sweetness.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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