Today was the Vyasa Puja of my Guru Maharaj, His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami. Since my husband and I are his only disciples here in Miami we celebrated at home, watching the festivities on, cooking and dressing our Deities in Guru Maharaj’s favorite color (royal blue), and finally feasting! Today was also Srila Prabhupada’s Arrival Day- when he came to America and saved all our wretched selves. Guru Maharaj loves Srila Prabhupada so much that he wants to spend his birthdays glorifying him. And we love Guru Maharaj so much, we cant help but celebrate his appearance day 🙂

I want to take this opportunity to glorify my Guru Maharaj, who is an ocean of mercy. I know this because he took mercy on me. I saw so many times, when I had been shut out by so many devotees, he still saw some good in me and took a chance on me. He still had confidence in me in times when I lost all confidence in myself. He was the only person willing to pick me up when my whole life came crashing down. How do I repay someone as kind as him? He is the perfect example of Vaisnava etiquette. He is so intelligent. So caring and loving. I thank Krishna for bringing him to me. I thank Guru Maharaj for looking past all the dust and dirt and grime and seeing me for what I am. For seeing my potential. For giving me the bravery to be more me than I’ve ever been. How do I thank someone like that?

Except with my life.

Once, when I was sitting in class, Guru Maharaj was speaking and suddenly someone came in. I saw Guru Maharaj’s reaction, he looked up, and seeing who it was, he beamed a bright smile, welcomed the devotee and then continued with giving class. But in that moment, I thought, if Guru Maharaj could beam like that when I walked into a room, just once, and think to himself “there is Prema-Rupa, she is a good girl.” my life would be complete. I have literally sacrificed my entire life, my entire future, just to gain even a moments favor from Guru Maharaj. Because he took a chance on me. He believed in me. And I dont want to disappoint him. Once in class he said, “if anything needs to be done then you should be the one to do it yourself.” I have taken that instruction to heart and that is why I am here, in service to my Guru Maharaj. And hoping just one time he will smile at me, remember my name, and say that I am a good girl.