Offering prostrate obeisance to you, Srila Prabhupada, my eternal guide, preceptor and master, I offer also these heartfelt words on the occasion of your appearance celebration as Sri Vyasadeva’s very dear spiritual descendent and representative.
Dearest Srila Prabhupada, Friend of the Poor in Spirit,
I offer myself at your feet, which are like luminous lotus flowers bestowing the light of knowledge that brings sight to blinded eyes.
Years ago, at the end of a lecture you gave in the “City of Angels,” Los Angeles, I was surprised to hear you speaking of the French medieval saint Joan of Arc. When a woman asked you whether there was anyone similar to Joan of Arc in the Bhāgavatam, you first affirmed that you were familiar with her and then replied in a general and inclusive way: “Any activities of devotees, that is Srimad-Bhagavatam..”
You then explained the literal meaning of the word bhāgavata as pertaining to Bhagavān, and concluded:
So Bhāgavata can be expanded to any unlimited. So anything in relationship with God, that is Bhāgavatam. So if Joan of Arc, she was in relationship with God, she is also Bhāgavatam. You should expand Bhāgavatam in that way. Yes. [Lecture on Sri-Sri Sad-gosvami-astaka, Los Angeles, 18 November 1968]