Srila Prabhupada’ transcendental voice – Part 1

Srila Prabhupada’ transcendental voice – Part 1

A twenty-one-year-old boy was diagnosed with soft-tissue sarcoma,
malignant cancer. The doctors said he wouldn’t survive more than a
year. His father, a dear friend of mine, gave him Srila Prabhupada’s
bhajans and classes, which the boy kept on his bedside and heard all
the time. He often screamed in pain, yet confessed to all of us that
the only relief and succor he finds is, in the soothing voice of Srila
Prabhupada. He was emphatic that this voice is from a different
dimension- it’s not material. During the last six hours of his life,
the young man screamed so loud in pain that his cry was heard even two
blocks away. Yet, the chanting of Holy Names and hearing of Srila
Prabhupada’s kirtans filled his heart with peace.

Externally it may appear that Srila Prabhupada is like any other human
being who lives on planet earth for some time, assigned to an
existence of suffering in this body. Yet, Srila Prabhupada was so very
different. His absorption in Krishna and his loving devotional service
to the Lord make his instructions and writings so potent, that they
transform thousands of lives every year. The sound he spoke and penned
is from a transcendental realm.

When a pure devotee of Krishna chants the Holy Names, it may appear to
be ordinary chanting like anyone else. It seems he’s chanting a
material sound vibration; in fact it may not even be melodious or
attractive. Yet, it carries a special potency. That’s because the pure
devotee is united with Krishna, in the spiritual realm. Therefore when
he chants, it’s not the sound of this world. He veritably imports the
transcendental sound from the spiritual realm. Therefore, when we hear
Srila Prabhupada or other pure devotees chanting Hare Krishna, we are
actually connecting to a sound vibration that doesn’t belong to this

Often, when I hear Srila Prabhupada’s classes, his resounding yet
reassuring voice fills my heart with peace. When he says ‘sooooo’ with
an extended ‘o’ in its pitch, I feel the presence of a loving
grandparent in my life. His ever-watchful instructions appear fresh,
even after fifty years since they were first spoken.

I often wondered how come a discourse given five decades ago appears
new today. I found my answers in the Ramayana.

To be continued…

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