Dear Jayapataka Swami and dear devotees,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Whenever I think of my dear godbrother His Holiness Jayapataka Swami, I
think of how "fired up" he is - how absolutely enthusiastic for preaching
seva and how he ignites us also.

"Become Fire" - is His Holiness Jayapataka Swami's motto.

In Germany there is an almost forgotten legend which I would like to tell
for the pleasure of His Holiness and the devotees. It tells us about a small
candle that did not want to burn. "Whoever burns," it said, "comes to ruin.
Better to remain cool!"

Its neighbor, a large candle who often offered its light, however, had a
different viewpoint: "If you don't burn you will remain dead without ever
having lived. You will simply remain wax - and only wax - forever. You can
only get to know who you really are once you start to burn."

But the small candle was afraid of pain and death, but especially it was
afraid of change.

"The benefits of burning can't be explained in words," insisted the larger
candle with an enigmatic smile. "You have to experience it. Only someone who
surrenders himself becomes himself."

And then the larger candle did something unexplainable: it lit up!

Seeing its neighbor fill the area with a soft golden glow, the small candle
felt its resistance melt away and bravely leaned over to light its own wick.
It quickly found that the more it burned, the more it transformed into
light, and it found itself burning as if it was willing to turn all the
world's darkness into pure light.

And as the legend goes, by discovering fire it became fire. Much later it
also discovered who had lit its neighbor in the first place, but that is for
another story.

The burning-candle legend reminds me of the time I spent time with my
exalted spiritual master, listening to his every word. Once, in Vrndavana,
he sat with a few disciples on the bank of the river Yamuna, facing a
boatman who had tied his boat to a pole at the bathing ghat. "Without being
fire, you cannot enter fire," he said. "Without being Brahman, you cannot
enter Brahman. If you sit near the fire you will become warmer, warmer,
warmer until finally ... An iron rod placed in fire first becomes red-hot
and then becomes fire. Similarly, if you always stay in touch with Krishna
you will become Krishnaized. Without being fully spiritualized, nobody can
enter the spiritual kingdom."

As he urged us to "become fire," the glowing sun moved toward the western
horizon, as if she was willing to ignite the earth ... just like a candle.

I strongly feel that great Vaisnavas like Jayapataka Swami are spreading the
light or fire of Krsna consciousness and that our only way to show our
gratitude is to also become "fired up" and also ignite the light of Krsna
consciousness in many people's lives.
Let me pay my most humble obeisances to the lotos feet of our dear Maharaja
and humbly request that he always keeps on blessing me with his kindness.

Your humble servant
Sacinandana Swami
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