by Syamarani dasi
I met my amazing god-brother, Rasaraja Prabhu, at a harikatha/kirtana festival last Saturday evening, after not seeing him for over 10 years. One of the reasons he is amazing is that he was one of our Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja’s great sankirtana leaders back in the 1970’s.
Rasaraja Prabhu would leave with his party from his home base at Srila Prabhupada’s NY temple, and travel throughout America. His party would spend several months at a time travelling, their car or van filled with Prabhupada’s books. And at night they would sleep anywhere they could find, sort of following in the footsteps of the 6 Gosvamis, who slept under a different tree every night. Sometimes the party slept in corners of corridors of university dormitories, sometimes in their van, and sometimes here and there, and they weathered all kinds of weather in order to share the overflowing mercy of Prabhupada and his guru-parampara.
Another amazing thing about Rasaraja Prabhu is what he did after he met Srila Prabhupada’s bosom friend and siksa-disciple – our siksa-gurudeva, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja. He met Srila Gurudeva in the 1990’s, and he was, right from the get-go, very smart and very lucky. Practically wherever Srila Gurudeva traveled in America on his preaching touring, Rasaraja was there – filming Gurudeva’s discourses.
Sooo many incredibly wonderful videos …
When we met after so long last Saturday, I immediately remembered his filming and asked him where all his hundreds of videos are posted. He told me the link to his video page, and what I could alternately type on google to view those videos on YouTube. So I went to google the next day, typing “rasaraja vraja mandala parikrama” and “rasaraja on narayana maharaja,” and found sooo many incredibly wonderful videos, with great, clear sound and sharp visuals – and, O my God, what amazing, powerful content!
I am with the Gaudiya Girls SKP party right now, and together we now watch not only Gurudeva’s videos posted on purebhakti.tv, but also Rasaraja Prabhu, each morning or evening. As we look at Srila Gurudeva and hear him speak, we intensely feel that he knew when he was speaking that we would be watching him now, in June of 2014, and we feel like he is right there in his video, looking at us as we look at him.
In fact, as we turn on the video, we pray, “O Prabhu, you are not a video. You are Gurudeva yourself. We are with you now [in Badger California, or by Mana Sarovara, or anywhere else that he was speaking on the video] and you are directly speaking to us. Please shower your mercy on us so that we may realize the reality of what you are sharing and what you are instructing us, and so that we can place our doubts only in the bogus reality of this mortal world.” We had learned prayers like this from Srila Gurudeva himself, when he was teaching us how to read his books. : ) To read those lecture excerpts wherein Gurudeva teaches how to read his books, please go here.
I respectfully and enthusiastically invite you all to visit Rasaraja Prabhu’s YouTube Channel. It’s a new world. : )