Celebrating 50 Years by Radhe Shyam Das

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.

dasa-goswaminam vande



sthapakam srita-vatsalam

“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

South Africa.” 

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

Krishna consciousness.

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.

dasa-goswaminam vande



sthapakam srita-vatsalam

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.