(Jayananda Prabhu as a small boy)
From work in progress, from Jayananda Thakur volume two,
There is no “one up man-ship” in the spiritual world
by Vishoka Dasa
All devotees are saints, to some degree, and all devotees are to be worshipped as Vaisnava saints. Yet still, Jayananda is in his own unique category of saints. The last impression Jayananda would want, is for us to suggest that he is somehow “better” than others, that he is higher than other devotees. This is totally “anti-Jayananda” and we would not try to imply that. Jayananda always thought of himself as subservient to all devotees, always praising others above himself, always thinking of himself as the “servant of the servant.” In our Vaisnava world, to think “better than others” is the most fallen and degraded mentality. There is no “one up man-ship” in the spiritual world. Lord Caitanya said there are no big or little devotees. We are only saying that Jayananda is unique, because his life is continuing to inspire multitudes of devotees in their spiritual life, even after these many, many years from that time of him being physically with us. All saints are happy when another saint is giving spiritual sustenance to some devotees, there is no envy among saints, like there is here in the material world.
Srila Prabhupada said that he was always thinking of Jayananda, and Srila Prabhupada said that Jayananda was the perfect example for us to all to follow, our acharya. He is not one who might eventually fade from the collective memories of devotees in the far future. He remains in a special category, which does not take away any importance of the many other saints in Srila Prabhupada's movement, nor does he ever want to be in some special platform of recognition. Fame will follow a devotee of Krishna, even when that devotee has no desire for it, even though he tries to reject all forms of special recognition, which naturally follows him with folded hands. A bright beacon light of sainthood shines perpetually over such devotee, throughout history, despite his rejection of any kind of limelight. Jayananda was such a devotee, being always humble and unassuming, content to remain a humble servant in the background, always praising other devotees above himself, the perfect example to follow, an acharya for all times, and he accomplished things that we could never hope to imitate.
He is our ISKCON Saint, and his name and deeds will shine forever. His glories will live forever in the hearts and minds of future generations of Krishna devotees, far into the future of Lord Caitanya's glorious sankirtan movement.
Dhanistha Dasi says-
"I pray to Jayananda the Saint. He needs no
canonization for us to recognize his qualities
steeped in love and compassion."
The concept of time, of past, present, or future have no meaning for Vaisnava saints, nor does the physics of three dimensional space or distance of material points create a barrier between them and those who beseech them. There is no situation when we pray to the Vaisnava saint, that he is too far away, or he cannot hear us. Saints have a spiritual internet connection, through Krsna dot com, where they can receive and send spiritual communication from any point of the universe, material or spiritual.
Mahaksa dasa says-
"Yes, your dear teacher, Jayananda Thakur,
writes so nicely. The Vaishnavas can
do this, they have the ability to write from
other worlds for our benefit."
Before I was meditating on my renewed connection with my dear brother, Jayananda. Now I am realizing the benefit of praying to Saint Jayananda, as the acharya that Srila Prabhupada writes about, and so I can pray for my service attitude to improve, to become a better servant to Krishna and Srila Prabhupada. I also wish to pray for myself, of course, for my advancement in Krishna consciousness, to become a better devotee, a better human being. The realization is there that all devotees can pray to Saint Jayananda as acharya, and this is "the whole process" of making advancement in Krishna bhakti.