Dearest Srila Guru Maharaj,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to you on this most auspicious day.
It’s hard to believe another year has gone by. It feels like it was just yesterday that I saw you walking up the stairs at the home program where I first met you. And it definitely doesn’t feel like sixteen years ago that we were planning your 50th birthday vyasa puja celebration. Sometimes I come across pictures from ten or fifteen (or more!) years ago of you, and sure, I think you look younger, but I’m always surprised, because you have always seemed the same to me. Your energy and dedication to your own sadhana as well as your preaching in Srila Prabhupada’s mission never falters. It never takes a break. Even when you “take a break” at Govardhana for Karttika or go to your place in upstate New York, you’re not really taking a break. You increase your chanting and your sadhana. You somehow do more even when you seem to be doing less! Year after year I have seen you continue to keep the faith, walk the walk of a true guru and sadhaka, as well as adapt your preaching approach and style based on your audience without ever compromising your message, intention, or loyalty to the parampara. What more could a person ask for in a guru?
I sometimes make jokes or complain about how bad my karma is or how I have the worst planetary alignments and I am always suffering so much. But when I think about how lucky I am to have you as my guru, I realize how ungrateful I am. Krishna has given me the best guide for spiritual life and I all too often squander His gift – the gift of you as my guru. I want to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to you because somehow you got stuck with me as your disciple. I am clearly getting more out of our relationship than you are and for that I will be eternally sorry. I can only hope and pray that you will continue to tolerate my nonsense and that the burden of me will not become too heavy. I know that it is mostly you dragging me along this path of bhakti, but I promise to try to get up and jog behind you more often.
Always and eternally your servant,
Kadamba Mala devi dasi