Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to our Dearest Srila Prabhupada. All glories to you, devotees of the Lord. Jai Sri Sri Radha Radhanath.
“I offer my respectful obeisances to Das Goswami who helped pioneer the mission of Srila Prabhupada in
the southernmost tip of the world. He is devoted to bhajan and is caring and affectionate to all those that
take shelter of his lotus feet.”
This beautiful prayer which is a pranam mantra for His Holiness Partha Sarathi Das Goswami was
composed in 2006 by His Holiness Indradyumna Swami with the help of His Grace Gopiparanadhana
Prabhu. It is an appropriate offering that captures the life of Maharaja.
Today whilst we celebrate the Vyasa-puja of one of Srila Prabhupada’s sons, we also acknowledge the 50
years of dedicated service to his spiritual master. Now 50 years later, particularly South Africans are very
much aware of the Hare Krishnas. Krishna consciousness has taken root in the southernmost tip of the
world and is with evidence blossoming. Off course there are challenges, and they won’t end. In South
Africa we now have 19 temples and centres, with the latest being opened in Klerksdorp this last Sunday, 1
October 2023. Add to this the almost 30 Food for Life kitchens, the ongoing Rath Yatra Festivals around the
country, it is easy to conclude that Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s prediction of the holy name will be heard
in every town and village is manifesting. Srila Prabhupada once famously told His Holiness Tamal Krishna
Maharaja that “preaching means there is results.” Without reservation, these results will feature in His
Holiness Partha Sarathi Maharaja’s report card.
For what we have now, and will certainly experience more in our lifetime, we got to acknowledge the
contribution of the pioneer preachers in our movement who have given their lives to ensure the
foundation is laid and firmed up. Knowing the mood of His Holiness Partha Sarathi Maharaja, we will cause
him a great disappointment if we didn’t acknowledge the contribution of his godbrothers particularly those
present here: His Grace Ramanujacarya Prabhu and His Holiness Indradyumna Swami. His Holiness Bhakti
Caitanya Swami and His Grace Medhavi Prabhu, who are not here this evening, continue to play a pivotal
role. And so do many of you devotees who rightfully earned the badges of honour in serving ISKCON for
long periods of time. His Grace Govardhan Seva Prabhu has been assisting ISKCON since the mid-1980s.
We’ve also had to say farewell to great personalities of our times who have done so much for our yatra.
Today though, we take account His Holiness Partha Sarathi Das Goswami’s 50 years of serving Srila
Prabhupada. The western glamourization of a 50-year jubilee is marked with gold. Lord Caitanya appeared
in a golden complexion full of love. Our Srila Prabhupada was earmarked to spread this cult of Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu all over the earth globe. Srila Prabhupada was a master organizer carrying sanctions from the
Brahma sampradaya. He had to engage embodied souls with appropriate puniya to help him distribute the
message of Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. For all of us present here today, our Partha Sarathi Das
Goswami Maharaja and his godbrothers and godsisters met the criteria and were selected. This is our
great, great fortune. Our greatest misfortunate would be to under-estimate this.
Maharaja, at the age of 21, left London for the southernmost tip of the world. He carried the burden of
planting Krsna Consciousness in a country that was at that time not open to diversity and strongly run by
Christian methods with a colonial mindset.
He established and managed a most successful tent campaign program for over 15 years in South Africa.
Today, many years later, you will still meet people who have either direct connection with the tent
campaign or have been influenced by someone that has been to the tent programs. During this time
Maharaja has been at the forefront of preaching in South Africa. His Holiness Bhakti Caitanya Swami at last
year’s campfire festival in the South Coast referred to Maharaja as the “personification of preaching in
The preaching and welfare of devotees in our yatra is so dear to His Holiness that he refers
to our country as his prabhu-datta-desh. In modern times, we celebrate success of wealth, the
accumulation of material things and perhaps fame. The real success, even in modern times, is the ability to
transform the hearts and minds of those seeking an end to the pendulum of life: happiness and distress.
The true influencer is able to alert you, that you are actually living this pendulum lifestyle and motivates
you to correct the situation. We refer to this as mercy. His Holiness Partha Sarathi Maharaja is a mercy-
Maharaja has not hidden the alleged blemishes of his temporary body. He speaks and writes of his ill
health openly. I personally know of people who take a lot of comfort knowing that even a swami battles
through bad bargains. In his journal Maharaja mentions that he sees himself as “trying to set the example
of one who tolerates weak health and sees it as Krishna’s mercy.” Despite his poor health, Maharaja
continues to inspire and motivate disciples and well-wishers to push against the tide and keep the
diligence of sadhana, reading and studying Srila Prabhupada’s books and working together to push this
ISKCON movement forward. His desire to see cooperation amongst the devotee community where we
function as a battalion of Srila Prabhupada’s soldiers is well known. Just take note of how many times we
have heard Maharaja say “strength in unity” or “tolerate, tolerate and cooperate.” Many of our temples
have these words placed in strategic areas to remind ourselves of the behaviour necessary to progress in
What about guru-groupism? Maharaja is always pointing out that Guru is plural. That we should always
consider siksa from other devotees. His Holiness is truly a fatherly person – a well-wisher, seeing far into
the future; guiding his children, his nephews, and nieces to remain united. By us holding onto the family
spirit, we can overcome differences and difficulties and it sets the foundation stronger for the 10’000 years
Maharaja continues to preach irrespective of his poor health. He has written many books, spends time
with his japa, studies and studies more, spends time in the holy dham especially Govardhan Hill. Maharaja
is noted for praying for the welfare of others. His altar and paraphernalia are testament to this. Many of us
have first-hand experience of this.
So, what lies ahead? As expected in the material world, His Holiness Partha Sarathi Das Goswami’s vapu is
in a diminishing state and we should be guarded against distraction and familiarity with him. In the Srimad
Bhagavatam, when King Malayadhvaja, a great devotee, had divided his kingdom amongst his sons, to
focus his full attention on Sri Krishna in a solitary place, Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport: “everyone
should be engaged in preaching the cult of Krishna consciousness. In other words, when disciples are
grown up and able to preach, the spiritual master should retire and sit down in a solitary place to write and
execute nirjana-bhajana.” Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura also affirmed this. Srila Prabhupada
continues in his purport: “Following this example, the devotees of the International Society for Krishna
Consciousness now render service as preachers in various parts of the world. Now they can allow the
spiritual master to retire from active preaching work. In the last stage of the spiritual master’s life, the
devotees of the spiritual master should take preaching activities into their own hands. In this way the
spiritual master can sit down in a solitary place and render nirjana-bhajana.” Dear devotees, the message
is clear from Srila Prabhupada. The devotees of the spiritual master, whether siksa or diksa, will need to
take on this responsibility of our founder-acharya’s disciples. Every intelligent person must support and
facilitate persons such as His Holiness Partha Sarathi Maharaja and his peers. This is our duty, our
devotional service – to support those that have dedicated themselves to preaching this philosophy.
The service of His Holiness Partha Sarathi Goswami Maharaja has been ably supported by His Grace
Sridama Prabhu, who has remained at Maharaja’s side for almost 3 decades. We are greatly indebted to
you Sridama Prabhu and pray for your wellbeing always.
On this momentous feat, and this applies equally to Maharaja’s godbrothers and godsisters, some are in
our presence, and those who have sacrificed so much over the years to push this movement forward, we
offer our gratitude and place our heads at your lotus feet. You are indeed the embodiment of sacrifice and
determination. We are eternally grateful and forever indebted to you. You are our masters.
All glories to His Holiness Partha Sarathi Das Goswami Maharaja. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories
to our Guru-parampara. Sri Sri Radha Radhanath ki jai! Hare Krsna.