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Chapter 128: Devotional Service Means Pleasing Kṛṣṇa; Sandesa and Rasgulla

Śrīla Prabhupāda Uvāca 128
Devotional Service Means Pleasing Kṛṣṇa; Sandesa and Rasgulla

September 27, 1972 ISKCON Los Angeles

The following is an excerpt from a letter I wrote to Kīrtanānanda Mahārāja three weeks after leaving New Vrindavan and becoming Śrīla Prabhupāda's personal servant:

"I am beginning to understand that anything in connection with Śrīla Prabhupāda is truly nectarean. It is his causeless mercy that I have finally found a preaching engagement I am really attached to—that is, telling other devotees about the glorious activities of our beloved spiritual master. Every word spoken and every step taken by him is a source of pleasure for thousands of disciples around the world. It is Prabhupāda alone who can turn wretched lives into something worthwhile. He accepts the most insignificant service as a great deal.

While engaged in talking about New Vrindavan during Prabhupāda's massage yesterday I mentioned how we used to do cow arotika. At that point, Prabhupāda frowned. I asked if they were okay to do and he said, 'No.' I asked if there was anything special to do for the cows. He said, 'Keep them clean, brush them nicely, bathe them, and also you can polish their horns and hooves.'

Prabhupāda also received your sandesh yesterday. I put two on his plate last night at his request, along with pineapple and hot milk. He bit into one and said, Kīrtanānanda Mahārāja made first-class sandesa.' He then said how sandesa and rasagulla are called 'Bengali sweets' and how they are 'standard.' He has been criticizing L.A.'s making of concocted sweets—sweets with puffed rice, carob, powdered milk, food coloring, and peanut butter—in different combinations that he did not care for. He said, 'I have given you sandesa, rasagulla, and sweet balls. These are standard sweets and are very good. Why do they go to these different things?'

So, last night I made cheese and turned it into sandesa this morning. I gave him one of the sandesh you had made and one I had made with his lunch. He ate both. When he was finished, I asked him how the sandesa was. His face lit up and he said, 'Did you make them?' I told him what I had done and he said they were very good. I am really happy because sandesh is one of his favorite sweets."

Śrīla Prabhupāda, absolute truth never changes. Twenty-five years have passed since I wrote this letter to Kīrtanānanda Mahārāja. By your causeless mercy I have rediscovered "a preaching engagement I am really attached to." I pray that I never again let so many empty years pass by without attempting to glorify my magnificent spiritual master. Please give me one more opportunity to prepare sandesa for your lunch. In this way, I can relish how you kindly encourage me by opening your eyes wide and exclaiming, "This is very good."