He Showed the Ideal of Seva by His Example
First of all, I offer my humble obeisance to my most beloved gurupāda-padma nitya-līlā-praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda aṣṭottara-śata Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja, by whose causeless mercy I got the chance to meet Śrīla Mahārāja. My humble obeisance to Śrīla Maharaja, to the entire guru-paramparā, all vaiṣṇavas and vaiṣṇavis. I pray to my beloved Gurudeva and all guru-varga that by their mercy I may be able to offer a tiny drop-like glorification to Śrīla Mahārāja, whose glories are like an unlimited ocean.
Even though I have no qualification to even see his glories and I am full of duplicity, still knowing that the Vaiṣṇavas are the most compassionate, I pray to Śrīla Mahārāja that by his mercy he may accept this as a service, remembering how he used to tell us that by glorifying and remembering the qualities of our guru-varga we are serving them.
The path of devotion is made of service, service is the life of bhakti, is bhakti itself, and I saw how even in the small period of time that I could be around him and mostly by hearing from those you associated with him, how his whole life, his every moment, every action, every thought was a service to Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas.
Even though I am conditioned and actually can’t see his glory, I remember how he mentioned when he was giving hari-katha, “I am sitting here, not because I am in a higher position but because this is my service”. I also remember hearing from his servants how much he wanted to serve, that even when very junior devotees came, he would try to do some service, by giving prasāda. What to speak of the affectionate service he rendered to our guru-vargas. All the great Vaiṣṇavas disciples of Prabhupāda Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī that he served.
I remember how much he would put emphasis on serving our guru-vargas by remembering their glories on their tithis, by this he gave us the mercy to get to know about so many special personalities. In my life, when I was going through a lot of confusion after Gurudeva left physically from this world, one day, I was feeling so lost and I felt a very strong inspiration to go and pray to the Vaiṣṇavas. I was in Navadvīpa, and I went to Prabhupāda Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s samādhi and to all the samādhis nearby. I remember that I didn’t even know who many of them were but by some mercy I knew that they were special and merciful, so they can guide me. I prayed for guidance and I felt that by their mercy sometime after I came in the proximity of Śrīla Mahārāja. Moreover, I remember after Śrīla Mahārāja’s samādhi ceremony, I went again to all this samādhis, and I felt so grateful to Śrīla Mahārāja that because he gave the mercy to hear their glories, even though being fallen, I felt close to them.
By remembering his nature of serving I pray that by his mercy one day I can also serve, real service, with affection, I pray that the tendency to serve that always shone in his life may also, by his causeless mercy, appear in my heart.
I remember how many times his answer to different questions was that by serving the devotees everything favorable will naturally come, or the bad things will naturally go.
I remember how throughout his hari-katha he used to give a glimpse of how the pure devotees see the reality, through the eyes of loving service. I remember how he would make deep points in relation to many things to show us the realm of devotion. Like for example, in general on Ekādaśī, one put emphasis in the fasting from grains or fully fasting, but he showed that this is not the most important. How the actual upavāsa on Ekādaśī is not the fasting but to reside near those ones who have quality, Vaiṣṇavas and Bhagavān in His form as nāma.
Even though I didn’t have the eyes but I remember how his servant, who actually used to associate with him used to describe how much careful he was with everything, how he would do everything with so much affection and with how much. Every act was like a sweet offering to the lotus feet of his guru. When I remember this, it makes me pray, even though with duplicity, that one day by his mercy I can also be like this, my every breath to fulfill my Gurudeva’s heart desire. To pray that by their mercy one day I can give up this nature of taking and learn to give, to serve.
I remember that he used to say that mercy goes after those who are serving, that even one can be praying for mercy, but mercy will only go after those ones who have the tendency to serve, so remembering this I pray to him to please give me the qualification, the desire and the strength to serve.
Offering my heartfelt obeisance to his lotus feet.
An aspirant of the service of Śrī Guru and Vaiṣṇavas