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Farewell Letter to Jammie (James) L. Bernier
(on his early demise – 12-31-2012)

Posted January 5, 2013
Written by Langaganesa dasa (acbsp)

Jim,

James BernierI offer my deepest respects to you for having the honor and privilege of knowing and sharing our unique brotherhood, friendship, intimate camaraderie and partnership in life that we both enjoyed so dearly.

From the very beginning, we formed an unbreakable bond that cannot be weakened even in the illusion of apparent separation that “death” provides; it is simply another apparent ‘obstacle’ created by the illusory energy of the Lord’s.

In youth, we were always the invincible team in the neighborhood that lead all of the ‘play’ of the neighborhood kids; much of the mischief too. As we grew older, we were the first of our friends to get ‘jobs’, each having our neighboring newspaper routes which we delivered on our bicycles. In this way, we were expanded into society; each to garner experiences accorded to our individual natures. As our youth transformed into young adulthood, your outgoing nature manifested all of your best qualities which you continued to exhibit to the very last day. On the other hand, my introverted nature continued to draw myself deeper into the philosophical side of knowledge, consuming many books – studying many varieties of societies.

Then there was ‘the war’ which separated us so dramatically – Vietnam! In the immediate threat of being drafted into an Infantry Unit, I ‘volunteered’ for a choice-of-occupation: Helicopter Crew Chief; 6 months before high school graduation… You went on to study political science and history, while taking the majority-role as head-of-household – in my absence! I deeply appreciate your selflessness in embracing these responsibilities unhesitatingly, in light of the constant parade of caskets returning from war – expecting to hear my name amongst them; thank you so much for taking the reins!

Where your outgoing nature rectified itself in social organization – steeped in capitalistic competitiveness, and coordinated political activism; mine continued to search for the underlying natural coordination of social ‘similarities’ which rectify all apparent social differences – the basis of conflict. We would always embrace the balance of life inherently present in human nature and consciousness, despite its apparent inconsistencies in social interaction and nationalistic patriotism – each in our own way.

Over the years we have worked to establish many different projects independently from each other, as well as jointly. Mostly, yours have been independent enterprises; whereas, mine have been mostly through an international organization – although some we worked on together.

Incompleted Projects

I find it deeply disconcerting to realize the effort that you have invested in the preparation for your ‘retirement’ so that you could unrestrictedly address the issues involved in your unfinished, unresolved projects. I call upon your partners, partnerships and “TEAM” to pull together in your “spirit and fortitude”, to complete what foundational work you have left for them. Building upon the unique compatibility of the Team is their cooperative, and integrated vision (Strategic Vision) that has been their inspiration all along. I wish them all well in their individual and collective endeavors to complete all that they can – as I know that you do too, Jim!

In philosophical considerations, one always comes to the apex – religious doctrine. You have not been very religiously inclined, although you have proven to be spiritually motivated. The definitive difference between the two is: religion is doctrinal application of spiritual conclusions; whereas, spirituality is the inspirational motivation of the eternal relationship. Jim, your motivations have proven to be deeply inspired; and, expressed through a profound concern for the wellbeing of others.

The vast majority of theological doctrines profess to deliver the serious practitioner to a higher plane of consciousness; and, at the time of departure from the temporary body, to a higher plane of existence – Heaven or the spiritual realm, wherein God resides. Those self-same doctrines decry the failure of those who transgress these natural laws; resulting in their descent to a lower plane of consciousness; and concurrently, to a lower plane of existence – a hellish place where greater suffering is experienced. Jim, you operate at a level where your actions spontaneously reflect your concern, as well as provide a practical solution to complex problems, changing the situation into a learning experience.

Considering that the change-of-body that we call death, is experienced by the individual who undergoes the change, as simply a change of perspective in eternality; either a new field of activities on a higher plane, or a lower plane: The general consciousness of the transmigrating personality will continue developing their consciousness in the form and direction that their acquired affinity has revealed to their previous friends and relatives. Transparent to our perspective, you have developed a relationship to the Supreme Creator and controller – God – that determines your value to Him. As such, He has seen that your value can be best incorporated into His long-term plans (the BIG picture) by taking you from us (having completed your mission here), and re-integrating you into the BIG picture where your abilities will assist Him in preparing for our future arrival at your new destination. We can only hope to complete all that you have helped us to start here… Thank you so much for your association!!!

As always, your “Brother Louie”…

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Locan Prabhu’s daughter Rasa Priya passed away

Bir Krishna das Goswami: Locan Prabhu’s daughter Rasa Priya passed away approximately at 10:00 AM today (December 24th). She was listening to Srila Prabhupada chant Gaya Gaura Madhur Svare as she left her mortal frame. Certainly she has gone on to join Srila Prabhupada in his mission.

or last few months she has been surrounded by loving devotees caring for her every need. Especially Locan Prabhu and his wife Krishna Rati were there 24 hours a day caring for her, helping her leave this world remembering Krishna.

Rasa Priya was born right after her mother participated in Rathayatra in Los Angeles. Srila Prabhupada happily accepted the news of her birth and blessed her.

Throughout her life she has been dedicated to Srila Prabhupada’s mission. She taught many others the process of Kirtan especially how to play the mrdunga drum.

She was educated in the Krishna consciousness movement and pursued a carear in medicine. Just before becoming ill, she finished medical school with straight A’s specializing in three fields. Her desire to become a doctor reflected her compassionate nature.

When she was 18 years old she did the entire Vraj Mandal Parikrama barefooted. She has so much faith in Krishna consciousness that she drank from every single kund, and river in the holy dhama. Certainly by that act alone she has assured herself an eternal place at Srila Prabhupada’s feet.

Please pray for her and her family.

Your servant,
Bir Krishna das Goswami

See Postings with additional tributes on dandavats.com
http://www.dandavats.com/?p=11148

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In Memorium: Bhaktin Martha Kowalski
Posted October 6, 201

Bhaktin Martha Kowalski didn't know she was a bhaktin. She was my mom. It all started in 1971 when I was 14 and we were shopping in downtown Detroit and in the far away distance I hear the now familiar "ting, ting, ting". I rushed my mom towards it, it sounded like something I somehow heard before. My first in my life hariman party! They of course eagerly approached us, daughter of 14, and older mother of 51 (she had me at 37). I went crazy! We bought one, two, three if the Beatles were involved of everything!!! "It's a phase, my mom was thinking". Three years of involvement laster I think. Can't really remember, overnighters, almost ran away to New Vrndavan (really glad I didn't). My parents tolerated, but Bhagavan strongly discouraged me from full time joining (he was great with parents) I did tons of service, almost....got initiated.

Maya set in when the Bhagavan crew left Detroit for Europe in the mid 70s, including HH IDS (was at his first initiation!) but so much service to the Deities and my parents total support.

I remember in 1977, when the Sex Pistols (yes I dabbled in British Punk) were landing in US to do their first and only US tour, I heard my mom crying in the living room. The 6pm news was on and I ran in and said what's wrong and she said, (direct quote) "AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada has died." She cried. I remember thinking, "What will happen to ISKCON?"

Fast forward to 1989, I am a bored married soccer mom with one daughter, a non devotee husband and one on the way, and I just start pulling out my old things from the 70's. Oh oh. After I have Kevin, my niece who had been dining at Detroit ISKCON Govinda's tells me you have to start going there. So I go, when I walk in, it is just like 1972 all over again, the smell of grease, incense, and just Goloka. And the first person I see is Trishakti dd an old Detroit devotee who I saw become Trishakti (Bhaktin Heidi). Well, the rest is history.

Now Bhaktin Martha. I am her only daughter, her baby. She just figured it was destiny. She just rejoined up with me, in her simple way. In the Bible stories of Mary and Martha and Jesus, my Martha was a true Martha. She with permission of our head pujari, has for the last several years taken on the washing, folding and ironing the bathing cloths of Sri Sri Radha Kunjabihari. For many years until I got brahman initiation, she used to say, "I want to crochet Gaura Nitai and Krsna and Radharani sweaters because they have so many colds, why do they need so many hankies?" When she was younger, her and I would plant all the marigolds we planted in Detroit for garlands. She bought endless 100% cotton hankies for the Deities. I bought her one of those 40 rupee baby Krsna on a swing and she would rock it to sleep every night and sing polish lullabies to Him changing the Jesus to Krsna in the song. She modified all of her traditional Polish recipies to be strict NO Onions (never used garlic anyway -- I called her every day to check on her and I would say, Hare Krsna, and she would say Hari Bol! or Jai Prabhupada!
In her will, she wrote that she wanted to travel to Vrndavan with me, but couldnt take the flight so she wanted to go in a box, and be submerged in the Yamuna.
The day before she passed, she begged me to never separate myself from the service of Krsna, never say no to Krsna's seva, it is so precious, don't let small stuff at temple get you down because devotee association is so important, it is the most precious thing in this world. She said to promise her that I would always be engaged in service and never stop. Then she basically told me to go home because she wanted to watch dancing with the stars on tv, season opener.

We never expected her to go so suddenly. Just a few months ago Itook her to the temple for a ride and she saw a few devotees who she enjoyed very much and she loved garlands, they garlands her and offered her obeisances. She was so embarassed and pleased at the same time. She practically dedicated her retirement (she was a retired nurse) to serving me by babysitting me and this was a polish roman catholic lady, but the most progressive open minded, sound minded, intelligent person who understood the philosophy very deeply.

The day before she left I gave her a very fancy garland from Radhastami, along with another garland from Radharani from a dear devotee friends. We kissed and hugged goodbye like any other Monday night. She left last Ekadasi, September 25, at 5:30 a.m. The garland was right in her vision. I hope she was remembering Krsna, but I am certain she was thinking of the dearest things to her, her family, and to her, I was so much a intertwined as a devotee, Krsna had to be with me somehow. Even if it was a bathing cloth.

We covered her with maha garlands that my friends from the temple brought her and put Tulsi-devi with her before her cremation. My son, Kevin who is also a devotee and her best friend who cared for her at home until it wastoo hard and has been to Vrndavan with me once are trying to take her there as soon as we can raise the funds but as for now, she is here with me. I Please pray for this incredible woman who had the mercy to do so much intimate service of Sri Sri Radha Kunjabihari, Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, Sri Sri Jagannatha, Baladeva, Srimati Subhadra devi, Sri Nathji, Sri Bala Gopalji and the devotees at 8311 East Jefferson and Sri Devasadan Detroit ISKCON from 1971 - 2012, Mrs. Martha Kowalski who lived in this body from March 10, 1921 and departed at the age of 91 on September 25, ekadasi at 5:30 a.m. during Brahma Muhurta. All glories to her devotional service.

your humble servant, and her humble daughter,
Katyayani-devi dasi

 


Remembrance for Ishwarlall Manohar

17th June 2012 is Fathers and [I would like to] honour my father Ishwarlall Manohar who passed away in the care [of] Lord Jaganath on 9th August 2007. May Srila Prabhupada Bless you and may you take birth again in a family of Vaisnaves to continue your spiritual. If ever I get a chance to meet you dad know that I am indebted to you for bringing me into this world.

Love your Son.
Rasaraj Das.
ISKCON Cape Town -South Africa.


His Grace Madan Mohan Charan das (JPS) Passed Away

Madan Mohan Caran dasOn Friday May 11th, at 7:00 am, HG Madan Mohan Caran das, disciple of HH Jayapataka Swami left his mortal body and returned home, back to Godhead.

Madan Mohan Prabhu has been serving Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga at New Panihati Dham for the last 30 years.

Madan Mohan Prabhu moved from Kenya to London in the '70s. He was a pious Hindu who was busy in material life while raising his family. While in London, he had the great fortune of seeing His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.

It was not until he moved to the US in the early 80's, that he finally decided to become a devotee under the guidance of HG Balabhadra das acbsp. Although Madan Mohan Prabhu took to Krishna Consciousness at a later age, his dedication, enthusiasm, love for serving the Supreme Lord was impeccable.

He would spend all his time and energy helping our temple with it's finances. He was instrumental in getting our temple's mortgage paid in full. He pioneered several programs such as the Sunday Feast sponsorship, Krishna Bank, and Festival Arati Sponsorship. He also arranged and participated in the majority of our Harinam programs at Shopping Malls, home programs, and Hindu temples in our area. He was a member of our Weekend Warriors Book Distribution team also. He was a true example of a Vaisnava, willing to help young and old alike.

Six months ago, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Madan Mohan Prabhu spent every moment in preparing to leave his body as a true devotee. He surrounded himself with devotees chanting and singing the glories of the Holy Names. He moved his home altar into his bedroom and kept Srila Prabhupada's "Chanting Japa" playing constantly when devotees were not present.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, a son, three daughters, grandchildren, and many relatives here in Atlanta and abroad.

ISKCON Atlanta, New Panihati Dham, has lost a great devotee and friend.

We pray to our Supreme Lord, Sr Krishna, to bless his family, friends, and our community during this period of separation.

In the words of his guru maharaj, HH Jayapataka Swami: "Madan Mohan Caran dasa was a great vaisnava, he has gone back to Godhead..."

All glories to Guru and Gauranga. All glories to Madan Mohan Caran Prabhu.

written on behalf our community by
Her Grace Mahaguna devi dasi (JPS)

 

Cards and letters may be mailed to this home address:

Fatania Family
2880 Trotters Pointe Drive
Snellville, GA 30039

Posted on the Atlanta Hare Krishna Temple News site:
http://www.atlantaharekrishnas.com/content/blogcategory/1/40/


The Life of Devotion where Nothing is Impossible

Mother Natalia Kramorenko (1947-2011)


Before ISKCON

Mother Natasha was born and grew up in Ukraine during a communist era when religion was prohibited and merely saying the word “God” could make you lose your job. When she was studying to become a Biologist, she came upon a Biography of a talented scientist who was much glorified for his contributions to science and for his great mind but who was also condemned for believing in God. When Mother Natasha started reading his books, however, she understood that the complexity of the world that he described was impossible to have come about simply by mere chance. She realised that unlike government’s propaganda at that time, this scientist was absolutely right thinking that there is God behind this whole creation.

When Natasha was just a young girl, she contracted a most severe type of arthritis that crippled every part of her body for the rest of her life to the point that she could hardly walk, bend or sit. But her determination to find the answers to the purpose of life, to who we are and who is God was becoming increasingly strong. By the time she was in her early fifties, she has read Bible seven times cover to cover along with other books looking for answers.

Coming to Krishna Consciousness
In year 2000, a new Russian devotee from Montreal, Canada decided to expand his preaching by telephoning Russian people in various places including other cities to tell them about Krishna Consciousness. It is in this way that he was able to reach Mother Natasha who immigrated by that time to Ottawa, Canada. He briefly preached to her and told her that myself and my family could come to provide her with some literature to which she has agreed. I remember that when we came to her, although very cautious, she had many questions and she gladly took several Krishna Conscious books that we gave her. Obtaining the knowledge that she was looking for such a long time and being convinced by purity in those books, she very quickly took to Krishna Consciousness. The very first time she came with her mother to the temple; she was so happy and she talked to us for a long time about how she loved the temple and how Ottawa’s temple president, Shankar Prabhu, was so warm, welcoming and wonderful. From that time she started to grow very quickly in her Krishna Consciousness. She was studying it to every little detail and soon enough it was us who were coming to her to have our questions answered.  

Serving Krishna and devotees
For many years Mother Natasha was taking care of her elderly parents who were in their nineties and who have went through and survived some of the most important battles of World War II. She was cooking, cleaning, and providing all the caretaker services even when they were bed stricken in their last days. We were often quite amazed at how she could do that in her condition when it was her who was needing help, care and basic physical assistance. However, she went even further than that.  Devotees were often giving her Prasad to help her out with cooking. Taking advantage of this situation, instead of taking a break in cooking, Mother Natasha would invite people over to her house to serve them that Prasad and at the same time preach to them.

Being inspired by the way she came to Krishna Consciousness, Mother Natasha decided to preach through telephone as well, especially since she had difficulty moving without special transportation and arrangements. Although externally looking very weak and dependent, internally Mother Natasha had the strength like that of Hanumanji who is always engaged in the service of his dearest Lord Ramachandra. Just as Hanuman never thought of the obstacles that came on the path of his search for Mother Sita, similarly, Mother Natasha never cared for her bodily discomforts as obstacles in the path of her devotional service to Srila Prabhupada. She always tried her best to serve Prabhupada in whatever condition she was. In this way, she was calling and preaching to her family, friends and contacts in Ukraine and in Canada.

Similarly, Mother Natasha completely transformed the life of one Russian person in New York as well as the lives of his many friends and family members. Together with his friends, he was looking to find answers to various questions of life. Along the course of his entire life he deeply scrutinize many things: while living in the monastery he learnt Christian literatures, he got to know what was going on in the special KGB labs that dealt with the occult, Rabbi taught him Judaism, from Mullah he learnt Islam, he read many esoteric literatures and philosophies, he studied Buddhism and the teachings of Yoga Bhajan. He also studied for sever years under the Rosicrucian Order.
However, neither the religions nor various teachings from the West, nor the New Age philosophies were able to answer his deep questions. His first phone call with Mother Natasha had a very unusual impression on him. There were no edifying and schoolmasterly tones of an “all knowing guru”.  Her soft voice that was full of love for the One about Whom she was talking about, just simply stunned him. She promised him to send recorded lectures and books and from that moment his life gained meaning! Together with his friend, they were copying and distributing lectures to many souls. At that time, they only had a few books and they were lending them only for short periods of time. They would discuss with Mother Natasha whatever they read or heard in lectures. Their discussions sometimes lasted for more than an hour but he was ready to listen to her for days.  Mother Natasha was also helping them to get new lectures and books. Their life was changing every day. Due to their preaching, they were gaining new connections and friends. They learnt how to chant the Hole Name and conduct programs. Their new friends, who are now their god brothers and god sisters, were also calling Mother Natasha with their questions. Thereafter, this person from New York established a preaching system targeted towards newcomers and in this way he brought many more souls from various parts of the world to Krishna Consciousness.        
  
Mother Natasha was physically limited much more than many other people. She was basically constrained to her small apartment and to the occasional trips outside of it for the basic necessities and to visit the temple, which was not very easy for her. But her life story shows that if our desire to serve Krishna is very strong, nothing is an obstacle or as Srila Prabhupada used to say: "Impossible is a word in Fool's dictionary". Actually, every time before leaving the temple, Mother Natasha would stand for good 5-10 minutes or more in front of the murti of Srila Prabhupada to quietly but audibly pray to him. One time she revealed to me how Prabhupada was actually responding to her by moving his head.  

Aside from preaching, she would be very generously and regularly giving donations to the Ottawa temple and in some cases to the temples in Ukraine and India. Because of her donations, the temple in Kiev, Ukraine was able to purchase a vehicle to be used for book distribution. Even when she was not able to come to the Ottawa temple because of having to take care of her elderly parents or because of her own health, she would still send donations to the temple through my mom. She did this even when she was going through very difficult financial situations. Even up to now I still don’t understand how she was able to do it. I remember when we were going to get ready for the Ratha Yatra festival, she was the first one to send the donation even though she was not coming to the temple at that time. Shankar Prabhu used to say that although mother Natasha is not physically present at the temple, she is always here in spirit. In this way she inspired many devotees.  

Mother Natasha would often come to the temple by special transportation for disabled that would drop her off half an hour or an hour earlier. She always took those opportunities to clean whatever she could find. Though it was difficult for her to hold anything in her hands, with her little hands, she would clean whatever she could find until the slightest speck of dust was washed away.  Devotees were saying that she imbibed the mood of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu cleaning the Gundicha temple (Gundicha marjanam) in Jagannath Puri. She used put so much love and devotion in whatever she did. One time, while trying to reach one spot, she started falling and luckily, there happened to be a devotee nearby who caught her before she reached the ground. Her hand was bleeding from a deep cut and her white shirt was stained but she did not even want to show it to us. Devotees, including Shankar Prabhu tried to tell her that she does not need to do anything, but she continued with her cleaning service anyways.  

Mother Natasha did a lot of other services: she always helped my mom coming up with menus for Sunday feast and whenever some devotees would be sick, she helped with her knowledge about homeopathy and natural remedies. She loved serving devotees and paying obeisances to the devotees. She never failed to offer obeisances to any devotee that she would see whether it would be convenient or inconvenient, inside or outside the temple. She would try to bend as low as she could even though it was not easy for her.

She always loved kirtans and very often, especially when she would feel better, she would try to dance in kirtan by raising her hands and enthusiastically swinging them from one side to another while very loudly signing the Holy Names. One devotee girl who used to work in renovations, which was very demanding physically, would come to the temple after work feeling very tired. But then after seeing Mother Natasha’s enthusiasm in kirtan despite her physical condition, this mataji would feel so inspired that she would start to dance in kirtan as well despite her tiredness.

Mother Natasha had a very strong desire to do a lot more for Krishna and she would often say that she is not able to do any service because of her physical condition and her lack of English language. Devotees told her that she does not need to do anything because she is already doing so much simply by preaching through her example. However, she did not agree with that. Instead, with her enchanting smile, she would be giving away books, prasadam, pamphlets, tapes and CD with bhajans and mahamantra  to any new person that would come to the temple. She went through so much trouble preparing those packages and she would give them with such sincerity and love even to people who normally would not even take them. Touched by her love and wanting to reciprocate, some of those people not only took her packages but they also read the books, listened to the tapes and in some cases even posted Hare Krishna pamphlets all over their room. If some devotee’s wife or husband would not be coming to the temple, Mother Natasha would send them prasad and compliments. She would conquer people with her love. These are just summaries of only a few stories. Who knows how many more lives she touched?

Whenever she would be there with devotees, either in the car or at somebody’s home, she would always request us to tell some pastimes of the Lord or the devotees. She would engage everyone in telling pastimes by giving turns to each devotee. She taught us the urgency of diving deep into Krishna Consciousness without wasting any time. 

She never wanted to ask for anything or bother anybody and she always felt so much pain seeing others in pain. She felt very bad if sometimes devotees would clean her shoes in the temple room during winter. She could not climb the stairs herself and she would feel lots of discomfort if any prabhu lifted her with her chair to climb her through the steps.

Last days
When mother Natasha fell ill and became very weak, we were all thinking that she will recover and come back to us. However, she told us one day that Krishna said that very soon, within a week, He will take her back. She gave us her Krishna Conscious books and other belongings and her last donations to the temples in Ottawa and in India. We were amazed to see her humility, her absorption in the Lord and her state of happiness. She was apologising and condemning herself for being so firm and forceful in her actions and opinions. She was glorifying the devotees and she would not stop glorifying the Lord. Her glorifications were very beautiful and realised. She was also saying that there is nothing better than to be part of Krishna’s will and that she feels so fortunate and happy to be in this situation. It is very very profound to hear someone say how happy they are when they are just about to die and loose everything. I was crying at first but then hearing her speak in this way, even I felt happy and somewhat blissful despite the sadness of the immanent separation. Her happiness was contagious.

She did not stop preaching and thinking of others even up to her last moment. The evening before her departure, she was asking us to give some people Krishna Conscious music while saying that this is what she wanted to leave them in her memory.
She always wanted to do a lot more service than what her body would allow her, and it seems like Krishna now fulfilled her very intense desire.

He reasons ill who tells that Vaishnavas die
When thou art living still in sound.
The Vaishnavas die to live and living try
To spread a holy life around!
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur
Despite mother Natasha not being physically present with us, her life story is with us to inspire us in our Krishna Consciousness for the rest of our lives and beyond.   Her strong desire to serve the Lord transcended many of her physical limitations and she was able to touch and transform many lives in various parts of the world while sitting in her small apartment.

Written and prepared by: Anandamayi dd, Bhakta Anatoli, Bhaktin Keerthimayee Raja, Bhakta Andrey Slivchenko, Mother Shyamala Gopi dd, Hare Krishna Mani Prabhu and various other devotees who’s life she touched.
(For Questions, comments or if you might have anything to add, please email Anandamayi devi dasi at venurati@gmail.com)

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Remembering Tribhuvanath Prabhu
By Payonidhi das

Dear vaisnavas and vaisnavis,

Please accept my humble obaisences All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I just want to share some of my dealings with him [Tribhuvanath Prabhu]. When I first met Tribhuvanath Prabhu was at the airport of Dublin in 1993, I had been asked by HH Sivarama Swami to go and help the bookdistribution in Ireland. I had a very nice first impression about Tribhuvanath Prabhu and obviously he was a very old devotee, and the first TP in Bury place the first temple in London. Also later he was TP in Bhaktivedanta Manor, when he became TP he was only 18 years old and a very new devotee. He told me many things about his relationship with Srila Prabhupada.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPWFdQqacP4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxMKVLiZnbo&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYfciEpqlww&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwboZ1MvWnk&feature=related

He was very enthusiastic Kirtaniya and he really liked my enthusiasm for book distribution and asked me to be the sankirtana leader for Ireland. He once told me that Srila Prabhupada one day called him into his room at Bhaktivedanta Manor, and asked very seriously if the sankirtana devotees was also reading his books daily and not just distributing them. And he told Srila Prabhupada that the sankirtana devotees where reading his books but that he would convey Srila Prabhupadas concern that they did. Tribhuvanatha Prabhu liked very much how we sankirtana devotees where daily reading Srila Prabhupadas books and I had us listen to a lecture of Srila Prabhupada daily. During the Prabhupada marathon in 1993 Tribhuvanatha Prabhu promised that whoever would win the Prabhupada marathon in terms of distributing Srila Prabhupadas books would get a one volume CC,(all of the CC in one book).I won the marathon and did not somehow get the new CC but Tribuvanatha Prabhus used CC, with his handwriting inside it (his name etc). He used to read from this CC and sometimes he fell asleep on his chair in our small preaching center on Dame street in Dublin. I sometimes would wake up and seeing him sit with the CC in his hand sleeping , and ask him to kindly lie on the bed as he would get a better sleep. He used to do this every night I can remember, and like a concerned little brother I would then regularly ask him to please rest and place his CC on his desk. With much love and respect I remember my dear goduncle Tribhuvanatha Prabhu who like Aindra Prabhu left this world way to soon. Sometimes Tribhuvanatha Prabhu would lead mongal artik with a tambura( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanpura ) and the dancing and sweet singing of Tribhuvanath Prabhu would remind us all of Narada Muni, which was really great mercy. Today when holding this one volume of CC ,I think of my dear goduncle Tribhuvanath Prabhu, he is properly somewhere doing kirtana with Narada muni in his Gaura lila form Srivasa Pandita and other eternal associates of Lord Caitanya .

Your humble servant,

Payonidhi das

Article on dandavats.com

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Inspiring story of a devoee's father who recently passed away at the Bhaktivedanta Hospice

Kripa siddha Brajabasi
It was 20th Oct 2010. After the Class, I was talking to students at IIT
Kharagpur when I received phone call from my elder brother, Sunil who
stays in Baramati. "Come home immediately! Father's health in critical
condition". I reached home to meet my father.

Read Storyclick to open story

My father could not sit or stand or walk. He could not eat. He
could not move his limbs and he could not talk. He could not even recognize
me. He was showing all the symptoms of Alzhimers disease. He had become
very weak. He was completely in helpless condition. I realized laws of
nature are very stringent and there is no excuse. I remembered my father's
selfless sacrifice for me. He had been simple , humble and very
compassionate father to me. He never demanded anything from me. He had
always shown lot of love and affection to me. He had never ever scolded me
or beat me in my life. Even when I decided to quit my career as a Software
Engineer and join as fulltime brahmacari in ISKCON , he had happily given
his consent. Rather since childhood he had encouraged me in my spiritual
life. In vacation, instead of myself spending time in my relative's home ,
he arranged to spend time in holy place of Pandharpur staying in temple
there, bathing in holy chandrabhaga river. He had inspired me to chant
holynames of Lord Rama daily. He had always served saintly people . He used
to invite many sadhus to our home and arrange satsanga programs . He would
heartily give them charity and seek their blessings. I was wondering how do
I serve him in this most important phase of his life, when he was
approaching death. Premsvarupa Prabhu, Dauji kripa Prabhu , few family
members, relatives, villagers and myself , together did whole day Naam
Sankirtan. Harer nama harer nama harer naam eva kevalam , Kalau nasteva
nasteva nasteva gatir anyatha.

In SB 1.9.43 purport Srila Prabhupada states "Every man or animal
must die at a certain stage of life, but one who dies like Bhismadeva
attains perfection, and one who dies forced by the laws of nature dies like
an animal. That is the difference between a man and an animal. The human
form of life is especially meant for dying like Bhismadeva. " How can I
help my father to die like Bhismadeva in perfect Krishna Consciousness? I
discussed with HG Radheshyam Prabhu, Temple president of ISKCON, Pune who
arranged to talk to Dr Viswarupa Prabhu , Director of Bhaktivedanta Hospice
in Vrindavan.

Bhaktivedanta Hospice is "Back to Godhead Clinic " in Vrindavan
inspired by HG Archa vigraha mataji and supported by HH Giriraj maharaj and
HH Radhanath maharaj to help people die with dignity following in footsteps
of Mahajana Bhismadeva . Srila Prabhupada started "Back to Godhead"
magazine and his disciples have started " Back to Godhead" Clinic to assist
Srila Prabhupada in his mission of sending people "Back to Godhead".
Srila Prabhupada in letter to Dr Rajendra Prasad, The First President of
India , 21st Nov , 1956 states " Believe me or not, I have got the clue of
going "Back to Godhead'' just after leaving my present material body and in
order to take along with me all my contemporary men and women of the world,
I have started my paper "Back to Godhead'' as one of the means to the way.
Please do not think of me as an wonderful or a mad man when I say that I
shall go "Back to Godhead'' after leaving my present material body! It is
quite possible for everyone and all of us. "

In modern society people have become sophisticated animals and have made
elaborate arrangements for eating , mating , sleeping and defending but
there is no arrangement for dying with dignity . When I came to know about
Bhaktivedanta Hospice , I became extremely happy and hopeful. Dr Viswarupa p
called me on phone and asked me to bring my father to Vrindavan immediately.
I asked him about the charges and he replied "Official charges are 2000 Rs
per day plus medicine expenses. However you have given your life to serve
Krsna by being fulltime devotee in temple , you do not worry about finances.
You first bring your father here. Also get one caretaker ." HG Ramananda
Prabhu arranged for our journey to Vrindavan . All villagers and relatives
were against my father's journey to Vrindavan. They felt he may leave his
body on the way. However by prayers of devotees we could reach Mathura
safely.

Dr Avnish Prabhu of Bhaktivedanta Hospice had arranged for Ambulance
and stretcher with two devotees, Ramsingh and Hridesh to smoothly transport
my father from Mathura station to Bhaktivedanta Hospice , Vrindavan. All the
staff members lovingly welcomed my father and all family members. Initial
check ups were done. Devotees and staff were very loving, caring and
co-operative. They made nice arrangements for our stay , prasadam and other
necessary things. Rajiv was prompt facility supervisor who gave us
orientation of Hospice. He arranged to repair geyser in the bathroom on the
first day itself. Dr Avnish prabhu talked to all my family members
confidentially. He then gave us guidance on how to take care of my father in
loving, caring and sensitive way. Everyone felt that we are at right place
and at right time.

My father was allotted room no 7 in Hospice. Room was very spacious
and nicely ventilated. 6 of us who had come with father could easily be
accommodated in that room. Hospice staff provided us for warm beddings.
Toilet was very big. Whole bed of my father could go inside the toilet so
that we can give him refreshing bath daily. There was enough sunlight and
surrounding was pleasing due to presence of beautiful shade giving trees
(kalpa vrksas). Every day we could get glimpses of cows from nearby Goshala
and Madan Tera temple. Also we could hear sweet chirping of birds in early
mornings which reminded me of Srila Prabhupada's description of Vrindavan in
1970s.

Fathers bed was automatic. Initially father had developed bed sore. However
due to nice nursing care and air circulating bed , bed sore vanished. Due to
lying down position , he had developed lot of cough but by Dr Avnish's
expert treatment his chest became free from cough and he could breath
normally. Later fever ,pain and other such symptoms were effectively taken
care of. This relieved us of lot of anxiety and we could see father becoming
more peaceful. Dr Viswarupa p and Dr Avnish pr were available round the
clock for any emergency. Also nursing station and nurses were functioning
round the clock. Every day Chandan pr would come and inquire about our
prasadam requirements and provide timely prasadam. Everyday Divyavapu pr
would bring Mahagarland and Carnamrita of Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar, Sri Sri
Krsna Balaram and Sri Sri Gaur Nitai. Radhika mataji would come and read
Krsna book for my father or talk with my mother and sister. Bhallu , Birju
and Tinku would come time to time to clean the room and toilet. Bannerjee,
Sahabsingh , Anuradha and Vijayrani would come and give necessary medicines,
help in changing position of my father and do all sorts of menial services
to make my father comfortable. Suchismita , Purnima, Gajanan, Dhasaratha and
Netrapal were kind and caring nurses who periodically visited my father ,
did regular check ups and comforted my family members by their assuring
talks. Vallabh an IT professional was sick but came soon to restart 24 hr
Srila Prabhupada kirtan seva. We could hear Prabhupada kirtans and classes
by mere push of a button. Chaitanya Prema P , the administarator would come
in his noon free times to participate in kirtans. Everyone would enjoy his
sweet singing of vaishnava songs and Hare Krishna kirtans with rhythmic
Mrudanga beats. Premsvarupa Prabhu, an IIT pass out devotee was ideal
caretaker available round the clock to do any required menial or managerial
services besides daily performing melodious soul stirring kirtans in the
evening. Somil Prabhu, another IIT passout devotee serving as Gurukul
teacher in Vrindavan was sincere assistant to Premsvarupa Prabhu in all his
services. Atmsophere was completely spiritual and homely. It was kartick
month and many devotees all over the world had arrived in Vrindavan. BV
Hospice was inaugurated on 26th Aug 2010 by HH Giriraj Maharaj and my father
was first ISKCON patient. Gopinatha p , Brajasundar p and Akansha mataji
would bring many sannyasis , Srila Prabhupada disciples and many devotees
around the world to visit my father during their hospice visit. My father
became most fortunate by receiving prayers and blessings from so many
vaishnavas around the world. I feel this is the greatest blessing Hospice
offered to my father during his stay there.

We made 24 hours Krsna conscious schedule for my father. There used
to be complete morning program consisiting of mangal arti, narsimha arti,
tulai arti and chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra. Krsna Book reading in the
afternoon, Kirtans, bhajans and Damodarastakam prayers with Deep dan in the
evening. Prabhupada kirtans were played all throughout night. Many devotees
came to visit hospice and also bless my father with their prayers, chanting
and kirtans. Some of them were HH Subhag Swami , HH Jaiadvaita Swami , HH
Vedavyas priya Swami, HH Bhakti Rasamrita Swami, HH Sukhdev Swami , HH
Bhakti Purushottam Swami, HG Jananivas P, HG Pankanjangrhi P,HG Srutikirti
P, HG Yadubar P, HG Chaitanya Chandra caran P , HG Gauranga P, HH
Bhaktiratna Sadhu Swami, HG Revatiraman P, HG Sankarshan Nitai P, HG
Krishnananda P, HG Brajabihari P, HG Sankirtan P,HG Madhvacarya P, 24 hrs
kirtan party led by Gopal p, Gaursundar p, Advaita acarya p and Vrindavan
brahmacaris etc.

On 6th Nov, Premsvarupa p and myself participated in Srila
Prabhupada's Govardhan Parikrama lead by Deena Bandhu P in order to invoke
blessings of Giriraj on my father. we collected holywaters from Radhakunda,
Shyamkunda , manasi ganga and many other holyplaces during Parikrama. On 8th
Nov ,we went with Srila Prabhupada to 7 main temples of Vrindavan offered
hearfelt prayers for Father's Krsna Conscious departure. We brought
caranamrta from every temple and offered to my father. Revatipati Prabhu
brought Yamuna water. Daily my father's body was sprinkled with all these
holy waters and bathed in dust of Braja.

On 16th Oct , my father's health became more critical. Doctors and
devotees assembled and did all night kirtans to help my father remember
Krishna at this most important time of his life. Devotees from Vrindavan ,
Mayapur , Chowpatty , Pune and Kolkata offered their prayers. My sister
sponsored all deity services on 17th Oct to invoke blessings of Their
Lordships Sri Sri Krsna Balaram, Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar and Sri Sri Gaur
Nitai . HH Bhakti Purshottam maharaj offered special Puja to
Narsimhadeva at Mayapur, HG Jananivas P and HG Pankajangrhi P offered their
special prayers to Yoga Maya during their Brajamandal Parikrama to bless my
father. Anangamohan P offered special puja in Jagannath Puri . Vrindavan is
Cintamani Dham. Whatever we desire , Krishna inconceivably fulfills those
desires in Vrindavan Dhama. My father was chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra
and following 4 reg principles however he was not an initiated devotee .To
my great amazement and pleasure HH Radhanath Swami maharaj
called from America and spoke to him on mobile phone. He appreciated him and
offered his deep gratitude to him. He explained glories of Vrindavan and
service to divine couple Radha Krishna. He then chanted Hare Krishna
Mahamantra in his ears at this most critical time. Few hours later HH
Giriraj Maharaj also spoke to my father and chanted Hare Krishna Mahamantra
for almost 10 minutes in his ears. My special thanks to Viswarupa p for
making this special arrangements. I was simply awestruck to see all such
divine arrangements of Lord. I could not fathom the intense exchange of
love, affection and mercy bestowed on my father.

HG Deenabandhu p told that there are three types of brajavasis. One
who is born in Vrindavan, one who lives in Vrindavan and one who dies in
Vrindavan. By causeless mercy of Hari , Guru and vaishnavas my father
received great fortune of leaving body in Vrindavan on 18th Oct , Karthick
Dwadashi morning 9:18 am amidst devotees chanting Hare Krishna after duly
finishing the morning program consisting of chanting 16 rounds, Mangal arti,
narsimha Arti , Tulasi arti , Guru puja, Siksastakam , chanting 10
offences to holyname and Damodar astakam. Thus I gratefully remember my
father as Kripasiddha Brajabasi. All glories to Bhaktivedanta Hospice. All
Glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga.

Dr Avnish P, Saranga P and Krishna Baladev P of Vrindavan Temple
made all arrangements for final rites of my father. Dr Viswarupa acted as
priest. On 20th we had small memorial festival in Hospice which consisted of
katha, kirtan and wonderful feast . My brother's voice choked up during the
memorial festival when he commented : "We could not have served our father
so nicely at home. Even relatives won't do as much as all devotees did here
in Hospice. BV Hospice and its devotees have made permanent home in my heart".
On 30th Nov, in my hometown, Kalamboli, little village, 130 km from
Pune, we did 13th day rituals. Seeing HG Visnulok p performing Yagna, I felt
Krsna has blessed my father with Visnulok (Kingdom of God) . Murari Prabhu
gave Bhagavad Gita Class, Brahmacaris from Pune did kirtans, Kesidaman P
cooked big feast . All family members, relatives and villagers participated
in the program. My special thanks to HG Radheshyam P , HG Murari P and HG
Revatipati p to make above function successful.

Death removes everything that is false; death reveals to us our true
friends; death exposes our true priorities; death brings forth wisdm; death
educates us on on our fears and weaknesses; but most importantly, death
reminds us that these material bodies and material universes are not our
homes. Since death is calling you, don't fear or hide, but present yourself
and see what she has to offer . After all, she is a just, faithful, and
loyal servant of Krishna. (excerpt from The Beggar IV, meditation 15 by B.T
Swami)

My family members who were in great confusion and bewilderment at
home got great courage and strength to deal with this difficult crisis by
being in Hospice. My sister was in great anxiety. She had developed lot of
pain in stomach and all bodily joints due to tension. However as soon as
she reached hospice, she was wonderstruck to see such pleasing, spiritual
refreshing environment free from any depression and negativity. She was
inspired by association of senior devotees and counseling by Dr Visvarupa
Prabhu. Visvarupa Prabhu took special class for all my family members to
help them understand reality of life, nature of soul, glories of Vrindavan
wonderful braja lilas and fortune of my father. He answered all doubts of
all my family members. All of them felt fortunate to get opportunity to be
in vrindavan and help father to leave his body in Vrindavan. Later they did
Govardhan parikrama and Vrindavan Parikrama.

I arrived in Vrindavan on 29th Oct and departed on 22nd Nov 2010. I
am feeling happy and grateful at heart for having got opportunity to serve
my father in his last days and help him depart in best possible krsna
conscious way. My family members and relatives are now feeling happy and
proud of my being associated with ISKCON where one is offered so much of
genuine love, care and selfless service. They have increased their
commitments in Krishna consciousness.

I would like to offer my special thanks and gratitude to Dr Viswarupa p. He
was not just Director or doctor for me rather he was more like an elder
brother to me. He so nicely helped my father and all family members in all
phases - before arriving in hospice, on arriving in hospice, during my
father's departure , after my father's departure and after departing from
hospice. Even now he calls on phone to encourage and inspire us. He
personally acted as priest to carry out final rites of my father and he also
guided in performing sraddha and other formalities according to Gaudiya
vaishnava tradition. I also woud like to offer my special thanks to HG
Radheshyam P , HG Gauranga P and HG Dayaram P who offered their timely,
valuable support and guidance. My thanks to my brothers Sunil and Anil,
sister Nirmala, mother Ratnavalipriya mataji, rukmini mataji, shyamrao
for acting as sincere loving caretakers of my father.

It is said that to raise a child properly, it takes an entire
village. Similarly I feel to help person die gloriously it takes entire
community with Hospice Facility. After visiting Hospice Jananivas P
commented : "What a wonderful benediction to the world, hospice run by
devotees who actually know what is birth and what is death and how to stop
the karmic cycle and help the soul enter his eternal home, BHBTG" and HH
Loknatha swami commented : "There is art of living and there is art of dying
also, that is being practiced here in BV Hospice. Iskcon is more complete
now as this facility has come up here. And special feature is that it is in
Vrindavan, Ramanreti. Hospice is situated in in peaceful, blissful and
serene atmosphere making life and death easy ". One maharaj quoted from
Brhad bhagavatamrta that anyone who leaves his body in ramanreti, Krsna
leaves his play with cowherd boys and comes to receive that soul with loving
embrace.

My mother offered her gratitude by stating Abhanga(devotional poem)
of Tukaram Maharaj, saint from Maharashtra who went BHBTG in self same body
,while he boarded Airoplane from Vaikuntha in front of everyone's eyes. "
Yacha sathi kela hota attahas Sevataca disa goad vyava
Ami jato amuchya gava , Amucha Rama rama Gyava."
"I did all kinds of struggles just so that my last day would be sweet. So
today I am going BHBTG , kindly accept my humble obeisances". BV hospice is
helping to make last day sweet. All's well that ends well.

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Yasomatinandana Prabhu

Uploaded by radhagopinaths

My dear Godbrother Yasomatinandana passed away this morning in hospital from cancer of the stomach. He had seen his grandchild yesterday for the first time, and had said his farewells to all. Around 8.30 am, while his son Ramananda was chanting softly with him at his bedside, he fell silent, closed his eyes and peacefully departed. A blessed death! He joined us exactly one month ago on May 20 for our 40th Anniversary celebrations and Prabhupada Disciples Reunion, and was at that time 2 weeks into a course of chemotherapy. The photos here were taken on our kirtan cruise on Sydney Harbour where Yaso sung for us all for the very last time. We are happy that his pain was short-lived, and we are confident that Yaso has been able to enter into transcendence, having devoted the best years of his life to the sacred Sankirtana Movement of Sri Caitanya. Farewell Yaso. Thank you for your association. Thank you for your great kirtans. Thank you for your comedic brilliance and rapier-sharp wit. And thank you for those tens of thousands of sacred books you distributed in every town and village of Australia. We will miss you. - Kurma das ACBSP Raw footage captured by Prema and Vraj from the Kirtan cruise.

Read more In-Memorium at lotusimprints.com

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Padma dasiRemembrances of Srimati Padma dasi
May, 2011

Remembering Padma dasi by Nartaka Gopala dasi: nartaka@windstream.net

Srimati Padma dasi, a disciple of His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada, passed away on April 22, 2011 in San Diego,
California from colon cancer. Padma was a most remarkable and amazing
woman. She was one of our original Head Pujaris at ISKCON Miami from
1976 to 1983.

Padma was multi-talented and had a genius for creating spectacular
Deity outfits. Her husband, Charana Padma, had been in a rock band
prior to joining the movement and she used to sew creative outfits for
him. So Padma just transferred that talent over to the Deities when
she joined the movement in 1976.

She never let having a small baby be an excuse for not being able to
do other seva. When her son Rama was a baby he would be sleeping just
outside the altar door and she would be dressing the Deities.

Padma was a larger than life, one of a kind personality, always making
Krishna consciousness fun, appealing and interesting. Her and Akuti
made a pact with each other that if either of them ever fell into maya
the other would come and force them out of it!

Padma gave new meaning to the word dedication, and she put her heart
and soul into serving Gaura Nitai with so much love. I know that Lord
Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda see her as Their mother and are now
lovingly caring for her.

________________________________


Remembering Padma, by Sukhada dasi: sandraelsey@aol.com

I remember Padma, Carana Padma, and Radha Manjari coming to the temple in Miami
for the first time. They were so happy and enthusiastic about serving
Krishna. Padma told me that her daughter, Radha Manjari, who was only
2 or 3 at the time, would wake up in the morning and the first words
out of her mouth would be, “I want to go see Krishna!” They came often
as a result and pretty soon they moved in.

One day, shortly before I gave birth to my son, Ramananda Raya, at the
beginning of 1978, Radha Manjari came running up to me to tell me the
devotees were going to give me a bath and that it was a surprise. I
was a bit puzzled until I figured out she meant shower- a baby shower.
It was so kind of Padma and Vrindavanesvari to do that for me.

Padma was expert at whatever she did- whether it was cake decorating,
dressing the Deities, or cooking for the Deities. She approached
everything with the same determined, devotional mood. She was an
excellent mother to her two children, Radha and Rama and a loving,
caring disciple of Srila Prabhupada. There is no doubt that Srila
Prabhupada is taking good care of his daughter-I’m certain she is busy
engaged in service as we speak. Even though I moved to Hawaii in 1979
and had little chance for association with Padma for many years when
we met we just picked up from where we left off-service to Krishna and
his devotees. I love her and her family and hope that I’ll get a
chance to speak with Carana Padma, Radha, and Rama in the near future.

________________________________


Remembrances of Padma dasi by Vrindabaneshwari devi dasi: vrn108@gmail.com

My remembrances of my old friend Padma are from 1976 to 1979 in New
Naimasaranya Forest, Coral way temple, Miami, Florida. When Padma and
I met my son was 11 months old and her son was 13 months old. She was
a passionate personality, very vibrant and intensely dedicated to 2
things: her children and Deity service. She would decorate the temple
and do anything she could prior to 2nd initiation. She also new how to
sew and she was quickly learning how to use that talent for making
Deity clothes.

We became very close taking our kids out together and since I was a
temple cook and part time pujari we had a lot of common devotional
interest as well as doing children projects.

After her brahmin initiation she went full swing into dressing the
Deities daily as well as full-time seamstress for their Lordships Sri
Sri Gaura Nitai. Padma always loved to work with flowers, so she
would be very creative with her flower arrangements on the altar, to
enhance the beautiful atmosphere for Sri Sri Gaura Nitai as well as
give pleasure to the devotees. She also started creating very
beautiful hairdo’s for Goura Nitai, who became well known for Their
exquisite locks of well styled black wavy hair.

We had shared the experience of having a wedding ceremony fire
sacrifice together on Christmas day. The temple president Narahari das
like fire jajnas and after the book distribution marathon on Christmas
there were 4 couples previously married, who he selected to have a
fire sacrifice. So Padma and I did all the cooking, all the
decorations and worked all day for this occasion. When it was almost
time to be present in the temple we were not dressed or decorated at
all. Back then we did not give it much thought; we did a lot of
service and were in bliss, fully satisfied with that. I realized I did
not have a proper sari to wear so I ran to Sukhada’s home and asked to
borrow one from her. Then I ran over Padma’s home and asked if she had
any flowers for my hair. I stuck them in with little thought of how
they looked and she put some in hers, and off we went. I remember when
I sat down in the temple a brahmachari Mahasringha looking at me and
started laughing so I took the flowers out. Padma pulled it off for
her 5 minutes of decorating herself

We used to have our weekly ritual of going to the laundramat with our
kids and tons of laundry. The atmosphere was challanging and the kids
were very restless. She termed the occasional “laundry ananda”. We
concluded since it was so miserable that there must not be laundramats
or dirty laundry in the spiritual world!

Once when I was on sankirtan Padma was watching my son who was 3 at
the time. He ran across the floor and slipped and crashed into a low
table, completely splitting his eyebrow, separating it by about 1/2
inch. Padma didn’t know what to do and she was freaked out that on her
watch my son would have a permanent facial scar. My husband Madana
Mohan told her she was a seamstress and to pretend she was sewing
something and to piece the two together and seal it with a butterfly
stitch. She did a perfect job and it was not easy.

My memories of Padma are as a very vibrant outgoing personality who
was dedicated to Krsna’s personal service, and seeing that her kids
were happy, and doing both with great zeal and enthusiasm. Of course
she had her cynical side as did I and we shared that thru spiritual
affirmations about the miseries of the material world.

The last time I saw her was last summer in San Diego, we spent quality
time together, she shared her realizations and what she was going thru
with the illness, and treatment etc. I also saw her at LA Rathayatra
and she was her old vibrant self and I have a wonderful photo of that
moment.

Padma did an immense amount of personal service to Lord Sri Krishna
and his devotees and I have no doubt she is continuing doing that,
with out any more suffering from this material body. Hare Krishna,

Her friend,
Vrindabaneshvari dd

________________________________

Padma dasi’s Devotion by Narahari das howie@hawaiiweddings.com

Here are a few of my remembrances of Padma, however, I don’t think
they adequately reflect the transcendental nature of her service. She
was the emblem of dedication to the Deities, and she was like the
temple’s mother.

As a very young devotee and temple president, I remember being both
humbled and inspired by Mother Padma’s intense devotion to our
Deities, Gaura Nitai. In my neophyte stage, Gaura Nitai were more like
sacred dolls we were using to practice our worship. And the hope was,
one day we would be ready to serve Krsna directly. Somehow, I
instinctively knew mother Padma had a much higher realization. The way
she tirelessly sewed for the Deities always making Them new outfits,
and the way she meticulously dressed Them nearly every morning was
uplifting to our entire community. I can still see mother Padma’s
smiling face and the intensity in her impassioned eyes as she offered
arotika to our Deities.

When Mother Padma would come to me and request Laxmi for making new
outfits or purchasing new paraphernalia, there was no question of
refusing her. She was like the Deities’ mother, but with the softness
of a fragile little girl. If I would even think of denying her
something for Gaura Nitai, she would start out very self-controlled,
but in a matter of moments, tears would start gliding down her face.

As I look back nearly forty years later, it is obvious Mother Padma
knew right from the start, she was worshiping and serving Krsna
directly. Over the years I worked with mother Padma, she helped give
me a glimpse into the merciful and transcendental appearance of Krsna
and his various expansions in the form of Deities.

What I remember most about Mother Padma was that she was a wonderful
person and dear friend. I feel so blessed to have had her association.
There is no doubt in my mind that Krsna has made a wonderful
arrangement to bring Mother Padma back into his full time service.

________________________________

Padma dasi, a talented and generous devotee by Gopisvari devi dasi
gopisvari@yahoo.com

I met Padma in 1982 on one of my frequent business trips to Miami.
When I was informed by the Temple President that there was no Life
Membership room available, Padma kindly offered to take me in. We
became fast friends. She was energetic, upbeat, super-ambitious, and
one of those special devotees that is expert at any service she
undertakes.

She was my friend and mentor: off with the business suit, on with the
sari, and service to the Max. Whether she was serving Sri Sri Gaura
Nitai in so many capacities, serving her Guru, cleaning, or cooking a
veritable banquet for some arriving Swamis, she served with
extraordinary expertise and grace. It was my good fortune to be her
assistant and she taught me a lot.

I had the additional fortune to spend some time with her when she
moved with her family to Los Angeles, where I had been living for some
time. Our sons became friends and are so to this day.

My heartfelt condolences to her dear family. I feel certain that
she’ll be serving Sri Sri Gaura Nitai for eternity.

________________________________

Padma dasi, a Great Soul, by Gaura Purnima devi dasi msgora@gmail.com

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Our Mother Padma is a great soul who served the Miami Yatra with all
of her might. She easily surrendered to Sri Sri Gaura Nitai and
watched over Them as if They were her own children. She told me that
moving into the temple and performing devotional service was the
easiest thing she ever did. She needed no convincing. Our Lords have
reciprocated her devotion and service by blessing her with a sacred
and close family. Radhe Manjari, her beloved daughter and first born;
Ramachandra das, a true gentleman, and a loving, kind and a devoted
son; Lainey (our sweet Gaura Prachar, her heart shines purely through
her extraordinary eyes); and baby Sita, she stands firm on this Earth,
grounded, full of realization and intelligence, pure beauty. I would
also like to remember Mother Padma’s grandson Jay, very talented and
handsome and with good karma for having such an awesome female
lineage!

Padma, your children are a testament to your service and devotion.
Your humor and smile attracted my soul and saved the rest of me. I
stand back in awe, to this day, when I remember your creative genius
and your mystical nature. Thank you for mentoring me in the science of
Bhakti. Your life and teachings have been a true blessing in my life.
Loving obeisances to you, my friend.

One day while visiting Padma a month before she passed, she told me
that she had gone to a healer who could see beyond the five senses and
guide her with his visions. While reading her he told her that so many
guides and protectors were there, then he said to her, ‘Wait a minute,
I have never seen this before, Krishna just arrived and told everyone
to leave. He said He will personally take care of you. He said, “She
has surrendered to Me before and knows how to do it.” ’ This healer
had no knowledge of Padma being a devotee or her past experiences.
When she related this story to me, I felt relaxed and protected. The
time I spent with her just before she left, was full of laughter and
tears and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to reconnect with
her and her wonderful children and family.

________________________________

A Prayer for Padma and her Children by Bhuvana Pavani devi dasi

Dear Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, Best Friend of All especially those who
have been blessed by the mercy of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada,
certainly You have received Your servant Padma dasi into Your eternal
loving service. When I am told of the passing of my Godsiblings, I
feel as though these are very brave souls whose untimely passing is a
lesson to this fallen and frightened soul. To Padma I say, Thank you
for teaching me that I need not fear! Thank you for paving the way for
departing with Krsna’s grace! Krsna, please let Padma’s children know
that You are with them always in a loving way, waiting always to hear
them no matter what they need to express to You. Please let them know
that You are always there for them. Hare Krsna

I only knew Padma’s two eldest children, Radhe Manjari & Ramachandra.
I want to send them huge healing hugs.
Your fallen servant,
Bhuvana Pavani d.d.

________________________________

From Jaya Rama das:

I was always thinking that, at any time, Mother Padma would show up at
the Miami Dham and continue her service. She did so much first class
seva.

________________________________

Padma dasi (a poem by Akuti dasi) akutidasi@yahoo.com


“The Most Dynamic Lady” describes Padma the best
Creative, daring, and determined, are a few of the rest

Her personality and wit charmed even my mom
Who asked about her after years had gone

Everything she did, she added such a flare
From making “rooties” to styling the Deitie’s hair

She made every service a “real ball”
And had guts on sankirtan to match them all

Whatever we did together I’d pay to do again
A real lovable person, an unforgettable friend

Gaura Nitai were her Lords, and she took great care
Raising money, cooking, sewing 24/7 for That Pair

I’m sure They are now taking care of Her
Keeping her busy in Their service, that’s for sure

I pray to be able to do service with her again
In Goloka Vrndavan where it will never end


________________________________

From His Holiness Hridayananda das Goswami:

Srimati Padma Devi Dasi rendered exceptional, unforgettable service to
the beautiful Miami Deities. Padma dressed and adorned the Deities in
a uniquely beautiful way. Her talent extended to excellent gourmet
cooking.

Padma was a pillar of the Miami temple and her service brought joy and
inspiration to all the devotees and guests who participated in the
temple programs. I have no doubt that Lord Krishna will bless her in
every way and that she will continue to progress on her spiritual
path. I offer my sincere condolences to all the members of her family.

With best wishes,
Hridayananda das Goswami

________________________________

A letter to Padma from Tejaprakash das
Dear Mother Padma,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

When I heard the news about your passing just yesterday, I was very
surprised and saddened. I hadn’t seen you since the early nineties at
the LA Rathayatra. Whenever you came to my thoughts over the years
there was always a great fondness, respect and appreciation in my mind
for you. I remember all the selfless service you rendered to the Lord
while we served together in Miami back in the seventies. You cooked
and sewed so expertly for the Lord! You seemed to be a great mother
and wife with so much love for your children and husband. You have
touched so many hearts and are loved by many devotees, what to speak
of the Supreme Friend Lord Sri Krishna. I pray someday I will have
the opportunity to have your association once again.

Your servant,
Tejaprakash dasa


http://www.dandavats.com/?p=9592

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Memorial to be Built for Jayananda Prabhu in Mayapur
By Madhava Smullen



Jayananda & Srila PrabhupadaISKCON’s Governing Body Commission has accepted a proposal from
Vishoka Dasa of New Vrindaban, West Virginia, and Krishna-Mangala Dasa
of Russia that they establish a memorial for Jayananda
Prabhu—considered a modern-day saint by members of ISKCON—although he
passed away as far back as 1977.

“The GBC Body hereby thanks Vishoka Das and Krishna Mangala Das for
their kind endeavors in this regard and offers its blessing for the
successful completion of the project,” stated Resolution 303 in the
official GBC minutes of this year’s meetings in Mayapur, India.

Jayananda's Memorial, or Samadhi, will be located at the ISKCON
Jagannath temple in Rajapur, near Mayapur. "As Jayananda prabhu's
service to Lord Jagannatha is universally recognized, the GBC felt
that it would both be an extra honor and most appropriate for his
Samadhi memorial to be located at the Jagannatha Mandir," read the GBC
report.

Jayananda’s Samadhi will be around seven feet tall, and constructed
from marble. Early renderings of the design, by a professional devotee
designer, show it to be a smaller version of the samadhis of Vaishnava
Acharyas such as Rupa and Sanatan Goswamis, with a curved roof and
latticed windows.

The Mayapur Samadhi Committee will work with Vishoka and
Krishna-Mangala on the project, which funds are still being raised
for.

“Jayananda is a great inspiration to ISKCON—devotees still read books
about him and log onto websites about him, to get an example of how to
be better devotees and servants of Srila Prabhupada,” says Vishoka
Dasa, whose book, The Beautiful Life of Jayananda Thakur: Remembering
an American Saint was published in 2001.

Jayananda joined ISKCON in 1967 in San Francisco, where he was working
as a taxi driver. He helped found a temple there, and later was a
great driving force in putting on the first Ratha Yatra Festivals in
the early 1970s.

“He was known as Mr. Rathayatra,” says Vishoka. “He first made
Ratha-yatra successful in San Francisco, and then later in Los
Angeles, then New York. There are many devotees who are still inspired
to carry on Ratha-yatra because of the stories and influence of
Jayananda Prabhu.”

Jayananda was known for his humility, his dedication to Krishna
consciousness, and for being loved by everyone. There are many stories
about him which illustrate what an impression he made on others and
how much he inspired them.

When one young man came to visit the San Francisco temple and asked if
he could help, the temple president sent him to the trash area where
Jayananda was preparing the weekly trash run. Jayananda told the young
man, “I'm the garbage man around here. For years I've been watching
garbage men carry out trash, and now Krishna is giving me a chance to
do this for Him.” The young man helped Jayananda load the trash, and
then accompanied him to the garbage dump.

All the while he was thinking, “If the garbage men at this temple can
be so blissful, just imagine what the rest of the devotees are like!”
He soon joined ISKCON and became a devotee himself.

On many occasions, members of the public would express their love for
Jayananda—who had met them on the streets or while purchasing
groceries or other items for the temple. One said, “That man—he’s the
nicest and most pure man I’ve ever met.” Another told Chandan Acharya
Dasa, “Well, I don't know much about your philosophy, but if that
Jayananda is into it, it must be all right.”

On another occasion, Murli-Krishna Dasa ran a temple vehicle into a
police car, damaging the fender. The policeman came to his window, and
said, "Oh, you know Johnny-ananda?" Murli said “Yes.” The policeman
replied, “That's okay then, you can go on.”

“I went to a store for some parts, for Ratha-yatra one year after
Jayananda passed away, and they asked about him,” recalls Bharat Dasa.
“I had to tell them the unfortunate event, that he had left our
vision. I saw tears in their eyes, out of love for him, and they gave
the parts free to me, in memory of him. Devotees, and people of all
walks of life loved him dearly.”

Jayananda’s guru and ISKCON’s founder Srila Prabhupada also held
Jayananda in great esteem and had a special place in his heart for
him. Once in 1976, while speaking about Krishna to a crowded room at
the New York temple, he spotted Jayananda entering and sitting down at
the back, behind all the devotees.

“Come up closer, to the front,” Prabhupada told him, speaking loudly.
Jayananda scooted forward a few feet. Again, Prabhupada said,
“Jayananda, please come up to the front.” Always reluctant to accept
praise or honor, Jayananda again moved up only a few feet. Prabhupada,
however, insisted a third time that he come to the front, and all the
devotees cleared a path for him, while the sannyasis at the front
moved out of the way to give him a nice seat. Finally, he accepted
their honor, although he always preferred to remain the servant of all
the servants.

Although Jayananda was not officially a sannyasi—one in the renounced
order—Srila Prabhupada addressed him as if he was, calling him
“Jayananda Maharaja.”

Devotees understood why when Srila Prabhupada later explained that
sanyasa means “complete surrender to Lord Krishna.”

Ten days after Jayananda had passed away at age thirty-seven on May
1st, 1977, Srila Prabhupada wrote to Ramesvara:

“Jayananda’s death is glorious… He has left his body very wonderfully,
and he has been transferred to Vaikuntha… Everyone should follow the
example of
Jayananda. I am very proud that I had such a nice disciple. If
possible Jayananda’s picture should be hung in the ratha of Lord
Jagannatha, and in all of our temples a day may be set aside for
holding a festival in his honor, just as we do on the disappearance
day of the other great Vaishnavas.”

No other devotee was bestowed this unique honor by Srila Prabhupada,
and therefore Jayananda is held in high regard in ISKCON.

So when Vishoka and Krishna-Mangala—who translated Vishoka’s book into
Russian and established the Russian language website
jayananda.ru—first began proposing the idea to perpetuate his glory by
building a Samadhi, it was welcomed by all devotees, including senior
leaders.

Traveling to India, Krishna Mangala discussed the project with
Mahanidhi Swami, author of the book “Gaudiya Vaishnava Samadhis in
Vrindavana.” The Swami found the idea a very suitable one for
glorifying one of the great Vaishnavas in ISKCON history. He also
suggested that the designers inscribe a quotation from Srila
Prabhupada’s May 1977 letter about Jayananda on the Samadhi—a
suggestion that will be used.

In September 2008, when Vishoka and Krishna-Mangala asked Jayapataka
Swami to support the Samadhi project, the GBC member was enthusiastic,
saying Jayananda was his “vartma-pradarsaka guru,” one who first
showed him the spiritual path.

“From my side, I am really happy to help them in any way to glorify
Jayananda Prabhu in the Holy Dhama,” he wrote, supporting the project.
“It is a good idea that actually was to be proposed earlier.”

Still, Vishoka and Krishna-Mangala feel that respect and recognition
for Jayananda Prabhu is fading throughout ISKCON in general, and they
hope that the Samadhi will introduce him to a whole new generation of
devotees.

“From year to year, the disciples of Srila Prabhupada who knew and
understood the position of Jayananda Prabhu are disappearing,” says
Krishna-Mangala.

“New generation of devotees don’t know much about Jayananda Prabhu and
not many of them are following Prabhupada’s instructions that his
disappearance be honored and that ‘everyone should follow his
example.’”

He adds: “In our movement we have so many different understandings,
opinions, even deviations. But by following the example of Jayananda
Prabhu, we can avoid deviations. Anyone can manufacture his own
methods, but Srila Prabhupada said that we should follow the example
of his ideal disciple. In my opinion this is very important for future
generations of devotees.”

Citing Jayananda as one of the leading pioneers of Ratha-yatras, books
distribution, prasadam distribution and street harinama-sankirtan in
the Western world, Krishna-Mangala explains that to glorify him is
very important for the entire Gaudiya Vaisnava Mission, because he was
the first Vaishnava Saint of the Western world.

“In this regard, we think that Jayananda Prabhu has earned special
treatment,” Krishna-Mangala says. “His Samadhi will be a great
inspiration for the whole Vaishnava community, and Srila Prabhupada
will be very, very glad.”

Devotees who would like to contribute towards the construction of
Jayananda’s Samadhi in Mayapur, either with finances, or professional
building skills, can contact Vishoka Dasa at vishoka@juno.com or
Krishna-Mangala Dasa at prahlada@mail.ru. The team is also looking for
an item of clothing, a bead-bag, or some other personal effect that
Jayananda used, so that they can bury it at the Pushpa Samadhi
according to tradition. If you have one of these and would like to
donate it, please also contact Vishoka or Krishna Mangala. Thank you.

http://news.iskcon.com/node/3557/2011-04-09/memorial_to_be_built_for_jayananda_prabhu_in_mayapur

Back to top


The Glorious Passing of Bhaktin Edna Galicia
by Vaisnavananda das (ACBSP)


Whenever someone passes away, it becomes a cause for bereavement and
lamentation. However, when a Vaisnava or Vaisnavi passes, it is a
jubilant and glorious occasion. This was highly exemplified by the
passing of my former wife, Bhaktin Edna Galicia.

Bhaktin Edna passed away blissfully on March 1, 2011 surrounded by
family and dear friends. I’d like to share some details about her life
and passing for the benefit of other devotees. Although Edna never
received formal initiation, she accepted Krsna consciousness
wholeheartedly. She raised her children as devotees and participated
in many temple functions; including the Women’s Mela held annually
back in the 80’s and 90’s at Murari Sevak, the Tennessee farm
community.

About ten years ago, Edna discovered that she had a liver disease. She
did not share the doctor’s findings with her family or anyone else in
order to spare them any anxiety. Over the years, her body gradually
deteriorated and soon she required a liver transplant to survive.
Shortly before the transplant was to be administered, she suffered a
stroke. The doctors stated that as a result of the stroke she was no
longer eligible to receive the transplant. Edna at this point realized
this was her time, and refused to accept any further treatment or
medications and bravely chose to peacefully meet her impending demise.

The family supported her in this decision and came together to help
prepare her for this trying event. Her son, Atmarama and Nehda, his
fiancée sat by her bedside for eight consecutive days chanting Hare
Krsna, hardly ever leaving her side only for ablutions and to take
short naps. The Govidam prayers played on continuously while her
daughters, Sita and Lila Krsna took alternate turns to read to her
from the Krsna book. Edna chanted Hare Krsna nonstop before going into
a coma.

I regret not having the opportunity to be with her at this final
moment of her life, however, I was able to speak on the phone with her
shortly before her passing.

When I state that her passing was glorious is because Edna in and out
of her coma spoke only of Krsna, calling out his name, “Oh Krsna, Oh
Gopala, everything is love, everything is so beautiful, the water, the
trees, other people…” she mentioned that she had seen others known to
her who had passed, and that they did not look the same but she could
recognize them. At first, I thought that she was delirious, but as I
further analyzed the content of her statements (and please forgive my
conjecture) I ventured to think that possibly Edna was having glimpses
of higher spiritual planes, who can say? However, the fact remains
that she was continuously chanting the holy name right before her
passing; she spoke only of Krsna and exhibited absolutely no fear and
fully accepted that this was her time to meet her maker, Lord Krsna!

We are all naturally sad that she has passed and has gone beyond our
mortal vision, however, we also deem this occasion to be jubilant,
because Edna, we are confident, as stated in Bhagavad Gita 8.6. has
gone to a better place.

Edna was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and most importantly a
sincere follower of His Divine Grace, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada.

All glories to Bhaktin Edna Galicia!
Vaisnavananda das (ACBSP)

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The Passing of Radhika Raman Das
By Yadhunandana Das


Radhika Raman Das (Paul Asanov) left this world on March 28, 2011, at
about 12:00 Moscow time, in Vrindavan. The holy river Yamuna took him.

Radhika Raman Das repeatedly became the best distributor of Srila
Prabhupada's books in Russia, giving these great spiritual treasures
to thousands of people. During the last Srila Prabhupada marathon he
distributed 2,750 books, and in all, in the few years that he was
doing sankirtana, he distributed 40,000 Srila Prabhupada books.

"Today we turn our prayers of farewell and separation to the blessed
memory of this wonderful and selfless Vaisnava who dedicated his life
entirely to the service of Lord Chaitanya's sankirtana. We express our
deepest and sincere condolences to Radhika Ramana Prabhu's relatives,
friends, and the entire Vaisnava community. We were friends with
Radhika Raman since childhood, since the 5th grade, - says Ananga
Govardhan Prabhu (Andrew Bezzubikov) , St. Petersburg.

"We were 13 or 14 years old. We attended the same school. It was
school No. 46 in Petrozavodsk, Karelia. We played basketball together.
Radhika Raman was a skilful and determined player. He even was in team
of Karelia and was the best play-maker, he was distributing, but he
played very effectively. After school we entered a railway college
together. Radhika Raman was a good student, all the teachers praised
him, and he graduated from college with honors.

He then spent two years on the railroad as NDT inspector - detecting
cracks and other faults in the rails and sleepers. And then he
suddenly went to Nemchinovka, Moscow, where there was a Brahmachari
ashram at that time.

As far back as 1998 he organized a group Uncola. We were the
vocalists. But he also played almost all the instruments. He composed
and arranged almost all the songs of the group. The style of our group
was something like funk. Though this innovative style was not accepted
then, the group was still quite popular in Karelia. We played on the
same stage with well-known groups such as, for example, Liapis
Trubetskoy.

Radhika-Raman was familiar with many famous musicians. We had been
already invited on tour to Finland, but Radhika-Raman left it all and
went to Nemchinovka. He talked to me sharing his secret: `I want to
live and will live in the brahmacari ashram! Such is my nature.`

He always believed that only sankirtana could help him, and was sure
that it will be so. Even his family name was expressive - Asanov.

We came to Krishna Consciousness through the books of Srila
Prabhupada, to be precise, the Bhagavad-Gita. Our mutual friend Leonid
had three copies of the Bhagavad-Gita on his shelf. I took one to
read, Radhika-Rahman took one and his brother Ivan also took one.

Vanya got carried away by the book more than the others. He began to
preach vigorously to his brother, the future Radhika Ramana and his
mom. (Radhika Ramana's mother received initiation from Bhakti Vijnana
Goswami Maharaj two years ago, her spiritual name is Shanti). We began
to observe all religious principles at once. We started looking for
Vaishnavas. We found the address of the temple in some esoteric shop
... And immediately we went there. There were Vaishnavas, and mataji
Sangita was the leader.

Radhika Ramana was treated in a respectful manner everywhere. He was a
born a leader, he radiated some kind of natural charisma. I even think
that he never changed. He was always like that. The only difference is
that he started using his energy for sankirtana .

He was always goal-oriented. I also had no doubt that one day he would
become a guru. When Radhika Raman retired from sports, his friends on
the team were very upset. However, he never let anyone cast in the
lurch. And as it turned out, five guys from the team joined the
Vaishnava tradition later, when they moved to St. Petersburg. And some
other childhood friends joined too, thanks to Radhika-Raman. They
accepted the teachings of Krishna very seriously, quit smoking and
drinking.

Radhika-Rahman was a charismatic leader. After he visited St.
Petersburg yatra last year, sankirtana there increased four times.
However, he never 'pressed' anyone on sankirtana, he simply smiled on
meeting. He easily got out of any difficult situation. It seemed that
Krishna personally helped him. He had an incredible intuition for
finding the right solution to a difficult situation. He always forgave
and was always kind. But during japa he was extremely serious. You'd
better not disturb him while he was chanting.

Where is he now? I have no doubt that he is with Krishna now. 100
percent! He chanted in such a way, that meant only one thing - he
spoke to Lord Krishna! "

Krishnadas Kaviraj Das, the leader of the Moscow Harinam festivals,
says: "Unbelievable, how much, Radhika Raman had changed over the past
couple of years. He was extraordinarily serious. I can not remember
when he was joking. He was totally focused on sankirtan and the holy
names of Krishna. "

At noon on March 28, according to witnesses, Radhika Raman was running
on the bank of holy river Yamuna above Kesi-ghat, and as if playing,
he was calling out to Krishna: "Where is Krishna? Where is Krishna?"

Vaishnavas called him: "Radhika-Raman, stop it, let's go take prasadam!"

"Ok, let me bathe once again", said Radhika-Raman. He dipped into
water and ... never came up ... His lifeless body was found downstream
too late.

There was only seriousness in Radhika-Ramana's life over the past
years. Thus it is unlikely that he cried to the Lord just in jest.

Back to top


The Passing of Radhika Raman Das
By Yadhunandana Das


Radhika Raman Das (Paul Asanov) left this world on March 28, 2011, at
about 12:00 Moscow time, in Vrindavan. The holy river Yamuna took him.

Radhika Raman Das repeatedly became the best distributor of Srila
Prabhupada's books in Russia, giving these great spiritual treasures
to thousands of people. During the last Srila Prabhupada marathon he
distributed 2,750 books, and in all, in the few years that he was
doing sankirtana, he distributed 40,000 Srila Prabhupada books.

"Today we turn our prayers of farewell and separation to the blessed
memory of this wonderful and selfless Vaisnava who dedicated his life
entirely to the service of Lord Chaitanya's sankirtana. We express our
deepest and sincere condolences to Radhika Ramana Prabhu's relatives,
friends, and the entire Vaisnava community. We were friends with
Radhika Raman since childhood, since the 5th grade, - says Ananga
Govardhan Prabhu (Andrew Bezzubikov) , St. Petersburg.

"We were 13 or 14 years old. We attended the same school. It was
school No. 46 in Petrozavodsk, Karelia. We played basketball together.
Radhika Raman was a skilful and determined player. He even was in team
of Karelia and was the best play-maker, he was distributing, but he
played very effectively. After school we entered a railway college
together. Radhika Raman was a good student, all the teachers praised
him, and he graduated from college with honors.

He then spent two years on the railroad as NDT inspector - detecting
cracks and other faults in the rails and sleepers. And then he
suddenly went to Nemchinovka, Moscow, where there was a Brahmachari
ashram at that time.

As far back as 1998 he organized a group Uncola. We were the
vocalists. But he also played almost all the instruments. He composed
and arranged almost all the songs of the group. The style of our group
was something like funk. Though this innovative style was not accepted
then, the group was still quite popular in Karelia. We played on the
same stage with well-known groups such as, for example, Liapis
Trubetskoy.

Radhika-Raman was familiar with many famous musicians. We had been
already invited on tour to Finland, but Radhika-Raman left it all and
went to Nemchinovka. He talked to me sharing his secret: `I want to
live and will live in the brahmacari ashram! Such is my nature.`

He always believed that only sankirtana could help him, and was sure
that it will be so. Even his family name was expressive - Asanov.

We came to Krishna Consciousness through the books of Srila
Prabhupada, to be precise, the Bhagavad-Gita. Our mutual friend Leonid
had three copies of the Bhagavad-Gita on his shelf. I took one to
read, Radhika-Rahman took one and his brother Ivan also took one.

Vanya got carried away by the book more than the others. He began to
preach vigorously to his brother, the future Radhika Ramana and his
mom. (Radhika Ramana's mother received initiation from Bhakti Vijnana
Goswami Maharaj two years ago, her spiritual name is Shanti). We began
to observe all religious principles at once. We started looking for
Vaishnavas. We found the address of the temple in some esoteric shop
... And immediately we went there. There were Vaishnavas, and mataji
Sangita was the leader.

Radhika Ramana was treated in a respectful manner everywhere. He was a
born a leader, he radiated some kind of natural charisma. I even think
that he never changed. He was always like that. The only difference is
that he started using his energy for sankirtana .

He was always goal-oriented. I also had no doubt that one day he would
become a guru. When Radhika Raman retired from sports, his friends on
the team were very upset. However, he never let anyone cast in the
lurch. And as it turned out, five guys from the team joined the
Vaishnava tradition later, when they moved to St. Petersburg. And some
other childhood friends joined too, thanks to Radhika-Raman. They
accepted the teachings of Krishna very seriously, quit smoking and
drinking.

Radhika-Rahman was a charismatic leader. After he visited St.
Petersburg yatra last year, sankirtana there increased four times.
However, he never 'pressed' anyone on sankirtana, he simply smiled on
meeting. He easily got out of any difficult situation. It seemed that
Krishna personally helped him. He had an incredible intuition for
finding the right solution to a difficult situation. He always forgave
and was always kind. But during japa he was extremely serious. You'd
better not disturb him while he was chanting.

Where is he now? I have no doubt that he is with Krishna now. 100
percent! He chanted in such a way, that meant only one thing - he
spoke to Lord Krishna! "

Krishnadas Kaviraj Das, the leader of the Moscow Harinam festivals,
says: "Unbelievable, how much, Radhika Raman had changed over the past
couple of years. He was extraordinarily serious. I can not remember
when he was joking. He was totally focused on sankirtan and the holy
names of Krishna. "

At noon on March 28, according to witnesses, Radhika Raman was running
on the bank of holy river Yamuna above Kesi-ghat, and as if playing,
he was calling out to Krishna: "Where is Krishna? Where is Krishna?"

Vaishnavas called him: "Radhika-Raman, stop it, let's go take prasadam!"

"Ok, let me bathe once again", said Radhika-Raman. He dipped into
water and ... never came up ... His lifeless body was found downstream
too late.

There was only seriousness in Radhika-Ramana's life over the past
years. Thus it is unlikely that he cried to the Lord just in jest.

Back to top


Sadanandi's Departure
Written by: HH Sacinandana Swami
Submitted by: Lilavilasini devi dasi, Terni, Italy
April 8, 2011

At the hospital bed of Sadanandi dasi -
reflections while trying to assist
my dying secretary in her final journey

Oh eternal soul
Trapped in a dying body
Now it's time for you to go.

Cut the rope of your remaining attachments
By the sword of devotion
And go - please go
Don't fear- yes, there were many tests on the way but you passed them all
Radha and Krsna are by your side - They are already waiting.

That is about as far I came in my little address to Sadanandi. I had just
entered the emergency ward and stood before her bed. It was obvious: She was
in her last stage fighting with death. Then suddenly I was overwhelmed by a
hurricane of emotions and, in the midst of tears, broke down.

Even in her state of coma, Sadanandi looked like an angel. She was breathing
heavily - apparently not noticing her surroundings. But I could sense - she
was still there. The soul was awake, even in her finished body.

The rest is quickly told: we sang for 8 and half hours the maha-mantra.
After a quick bathroom visit I saw how two nurses took out the second
patient, who had just died. His wheel-bed rolled by. Good that he heard the
Kirtan.
Sadanandi's Mother was there caressing her head and arm - crying and
preparing for the final good-bye.
'When will death come?', I asked the doctor when he removed the artificial
life-prolonging machines one after the other.
'Within the next 24 hours!', he answered with a sad smile (everyone liked
Sadanandi immediately). 'There is nothing we can do for her any longer. The
internal bleeding just can't be stopped. Her liver is dead, kidneys don't
work and then there is this dangerous virus, and..... Only one strong pain
killer is still administered.'

After 7 hours of maha-mantra, the male nurse Till came and wanted to speak:
'I congratulate you. What a wonderful atmosphere! I have never seen this
before. Most people who come here die alone. It is me who has to be their
best friend, their lover, father, mother, brother, sister - everyone in one
- because there are not many people who dare to confront the great unknown -
death.'
'Why is that?', I asked.
'Most probably because they are reminded of their own death - and then their
whole present life is questioned. Death always puts one disturbing question
with three fat question marks behind everything we do in our life. Is it
really worth it???

I was surprised of the depth of Till's answer - who quickly added: 'I wish
that when my time comes, people like you are around me, singing.'

Dear readers, how can I write down what happened next - who of you will
believe me? Please try:

One kirtan was so wonderful that I felt inspired to leave this world in my
mind, and go to Goloka Vrindavana. There, under a wish-fulfilling desire
tree, I entered the presence of the Divine Couple and presented Sadanandi's
case: 'Here is Sadanandi, my wonderful disciple. She was initiated in the
parampara where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared and where Srila Prabhupada
spread Krsna consciousness. All her devotional life was filled with service,
she was kind to all devotees and tried her best to increase her attachment
to You. She loved Your own home, the sacred forest of Vrndavan, and..... (as
I tried to find a point which was best describing Sadanandi, an idea came to
my mind) Yes, her most frequently used word was 'thank You' referring to all
the spiritual gifts she received. Kindly, kindly accept her.' At that moment
the Divine Couple seemed to smile, and Srimati Radharani took a flower and
handed it to Sadanandi. Then she said: "We are already waiting for you".
(Please don't get me wrong: I am not claiming to be directly in contact with
the Lord. It was in meditation only.)
Yayoo, yayoo, yayoo..... I was quickly pulled back to emergency room. One of
the monitors suddenly made noise to indicate that her heart beat had
accelerated. Maybe that was a good sign? It was around 10.30 PM when we left
the room. Something in me told me that Sadanandi dasi would prefer to start
her final journey in my absence. It is known that those who die suffer great
pain when they see people around them to whom they are most connected.

In the meantime, Gaurahari and Rangadevi had arrived to replace us. And at
00.30 AM - the beginning of the new day - the telephone rang in
Gaura-bhavan: Instantly I knew; Sadanandi had just left!! Gaurahari was on
the phone and described the last minutes of Sadanandi in these words: "as we
were doing kirtan, Sadanandi's breath became longer and longer. Her mother
had for a moment fallen asleep and her head rested on the shoulder of her
daughter. All of a sudden I felt inspired to glorify Srila Prabhupada and
her Deities with 'Jaya Prabhupada!' and 'Jay Sri Sri Radha Govinda!' and
then I sang glorifications to Krsna-Balaram and different places she liked
to go in Vrndavan. Sadanandi's breathing became very peaceful and, all of a
sudden, she opened her eyes wide and looked at me. She must have felt: now
is the time! I kept on singing 'Jaya Prabhupada!', 'Jaya Gurudev!' and 'Jaya
Radhey!' when she finally breathed her last.

Right after her departure there was an amazingly loving atmosphere all
around us and we felt that Sadanandi had gone on her divine journey back
home, back to Godhead..."

In closing this little article I want to say a deep heartfelt thank you
first of all to Elfie, the wonderful mother of Sadanandi, and then to our
little team in Gaura-bhavan who showed such a wonderful example of the
community of care: Gaurahari, Rangadevi and Bhanu-nandini dasi. Now I want
to also thank all the devotees who have visited her, like Gadadhar das and
the devotees from the Dharma castle, Amara prabhu, Nrsimha-priya, Suzanne,
Katja, Mr Klebig, Helmut, Marei ... etc etc

And I want to extend a hearty thank you to all the devotees who have prayed,
done kirtan etc. Really, I am moved. I think all around the world devotees
prayed and produced a supportive atmosphere of blessings. Thank you, thank
you, thank you. At this time we are naturally grieving, but in our hearts of
hearts we feel simultaneously happy. The journey went just like Sadanandi
always wanted her departure to be. Radha and Krsna were really with her all
the time.
And death lost its horror.

Sacinandana Swami

Ps. Let me end with a wonderful verse which comes to mind when I think of
Sadanand "Though engaged in all kinds of activities, My pure devotee, under My
protection, reaches the eternal and imperishable abode by My grace."BG 18.56
To a devotee who is thus engaged in Krsna consciousness the Lord is very,
very kind. In spite of all difficulties, he is eventually placed in the
transcendental abode, or Krsnaloka. He is guaranteed entrance there; there
is no doubt about it. In that supreme abode, there is no change; everything
is eternal, imperishable and full of knowledge. (Srila Prabhupada's purport
to Bg 18.56)

 

A personal word to the readers:

It is natural that one feels an increased sense of renunciation and
sincerity of purpose when a near and dear one leaves the body.
I am aware that most of you know Sadanandi personally - so deep feelings
will naturally move your heart - and lots of grief. But there is a
wonderful dimension in all of this: Krsna's plan.
In addressing you personally, it is important for me to share one point
which became very obvious to me: Her whole departure was really under the
care of Krsna. He kept His promise, that he will protect His devotees.
Of course, during the last year we were sometimes pained to witness the
failing struggle of Sadanandi to regain her health, but now in retrospect
all makes sense: Some old karmic debts were used by the Lord to detach her from this world
and attach her to Him. One of her last sentences to me was: "I think that I am ready to go now."
And a little later: "Yes, I want to go. More service is waiting."

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Accident victim remembered as smiling blonde from Krishna lunch

By Nathan Crabbe
Staff writer at The Gainsvile Sun

Submitted by Kardama Muni Das
Gainsville, Florida

Published: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 1:48 p.m. [The Gainsville Sun]
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 1:48 p.m. [The Gainsville Sun]

For hundreds of University of Florida students each day, Stacie Lavender has been a smiling face serving vegetarian meals at the Hare Krishna lunch on the Plaza of the Americas.

Lavender
Stacie Lavender (Photos courtesy of Gainesville Krishna House)

But Lavender has been absent this week, her face appearing Wednesday on pictures displayed at the lunch next to a book for people to write memories. The 21-year-old UF senior died Tuesday night from head injuries she suffered Saturday while learning to drive a motorcycle.

Lavender had worked at the Krishna lunch nearly her entire time at UF, starting as a volunteer and becoming an employee for the Gainesville Krishna House, which has served the meal for 40 years. Hanan Schwefel, director of the lunch, said Lavender was attracted first as a vegetarian before becoming interested in the Krishna philosophy.

"I always felt that she had a really deep sense of compassion for people and a mentality of giving," he said.

Schwefel said regulars called her "the blonde from Krishna lunch" and that she was known so well that she encountered people doing the Hare Krishna chant when they saw her around town. In the book set up at the lunch Wednesday, most of the entries mentioned her beautiful smile and bright personality.

"She was always ready with a smile for anyone coming through the line," said Jasmine Moorer, a UF junior who served meals alongside her.

"She had such a big heart, she wanted to share it with everyone," Moorer added.

Lavender was a sociology major and women's studies minor at UF, but friends at the Krishna lunch said she was training to become a paramedic. Police reported that she was being taught to drive her boyfriend's motorcycle when she apparently lost control and hit her head on a stairwell at a Gainesville apartment complex.

She was wearing a helmet, according to police. Schwefel said she had been unconscious since the accident. Doctors at Shands at UF concluded she had no chance for recovery, he said, so her family disconnected life support Tuesday and she died that night.

He said Lavender had become involved in meditating and other parts of the Hare Krishna movement. Believers view the body as a vehicle for the soul and that people are reincarnated, he said, providing some solace in her death.

"At the same time, we have feelings, and I feel deeply sad," Schwefel said. "I will miss her a lot."

Contact Nathan Crabbe at 338-3176 or nathan.crabbe@gvillesun.com.

 


Stacie Lavender: An Exemplary Krishna Lunch Worker
(May 1, 1989-March 15, 2011)


It was a shock for everyone involved with Krishna Lunch that Stacie
Lavender, a University of Florida senior, aged 21, who had worked with
Krishna Lunch for three years, was seriously injured in a motorcycle
accident and left her body a couple days later, when doctors
determined she could never recover and life support was cut off.

The nurses in the hospital were amazed that she had so many friends
coming to see her, wishing for her recovery.

As a server at the lunch, she was always in a jolly mood, and anyone
who got frazzled would be pacified by her kind words and behavior.

I did not know her very well, as I am not so social anyway, and as a
brahmacari it is not my business to get to know the girls too well,
especially the more attractive ones. I told her this semester, as I
had seen her helping out for so long, that I was impressed with her
steadiness in her service to Krishna Lunch, and I could see she was a
likeable person from her response. In January, she was sick for a
week, and then I went to Tallahassee the next week, so I had not seen
her for two weeks, and I told her I was glad she was back, and that is
probably the last thing I said to her before I left for Arizona. She
left her body the night before I returned to Florida. Not many of the
student Krishna Lunch workers, who are not part of the Krishna House
educational programs, sit and chant with us on the campus during their
breaks from serving, but she would from time to time, and I always
appreciated her making that choice. For a student to sit with the Hare
Krishnas and chant with them on the campus in view of all one’s
friends and teachers takes a certain amount of courage. As for what
she thought of me, her friends at Krishna Lunch say she liked my
dancing at the campus.

Kalakantha Prabhu spoke about the problem of death in general, and
Stacie’s death in particular, at the morning class a few days after:

Kalakantha Prabhu began by quoting many of the Bhagavad-gita verses
from Chapter Two, which describe the immortality of the soul, such as:
“Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these
kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be. As the embodied
soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old
age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober
person is not bewildered by such a change.” (Bg. 2.12–13)

He then described that in India, the body of the deceased is carried
on a procession so everyone sees. The body is taken to the
crematorium, which is on the bank of a sacred river, and in front of
everyone the body is burned. This creates a sense of detachment, which
lasts a day, a week, or month. Witnessing this repeatedly one becomes
serious about life. We are not allowed to do this in America, but
actually that is a violation of our civil rights.

We imagine we have entitlement to a certain duration of life and a
certain number of family members, and when that is violated, we become
indignant.

God acts for purposes higher than our own. He does not owe us an
explanation, and we are left to try to understand why. Sometimes it is
many decades before we get a clue to the reason why, and sometimes we
never do.

Srila Prabhupada said philosophy means to keep death at the front. He
also said material life means shock after shock.

Stacie’s death can be an occasion for us to understand the temporality
of our situation in this world and become sober and serious about
life.

Sam: “We should appreciate every day as if it is your last,” is
something that I have heard before, but now I am taking it more
seriously.

Kalakantha Prabhu: Once we take to Krishna consciousness, Krishna
takes care of us. It is not our karma anymore. For some reason,
Krishna plucked Stacie out of this situation.

Srila Prabhupada explains the liberation that the family members of
devotees get is that they get to become devotees.

Jude [Stacie’s boyfriend]:

I never saw Stacie sin, although she was surrounded by it.

I felt that Krishna blessed me and her family that we were able to
handle her unexpected death much more peacefully than would be
expected.

Duane: Her family and friends appreciated her compassion and other
good qualities and became more inclined to adopt them.

Kalakantha Prabhu: Her sister said every time Stacie spoke to her and
her husband she talked about Krishna Lunch.

That Sunday for the Krishna Lunch Sunday Lunch program we had a
memorial service for Stacie. I made my pineapple-almond coconut sweet
for the feast. Many people spoke very nicely, but I did not take notes
as I got there late and there was little room to sit. I stood outside
the door listening in. I recall Stacie’s sense of adventure, her
friendliness, and her compassion were qualities repeatedly coming up
in the speeches. When she and her friends went skydiving, she wanted
to be the first one out of the plane. She would talk to new people for
hours to get to know them and would be happy she made another friend.
Malati, who was a Krishna Lunch server who came to America from
abroad, said that Stacie told her, “Now that you are in America, you
are going to have to learn how to say ‘Hi!’ to people.” Before Stacie
trained her up, people thought that Malati was upset with them because
she never smiled or greeted them. Duane said that he never met a
person who could tolerate her own distress to the extent that Stacie
could in order to help other people. Hanan said Stacie asked to learn
how to meditate, and he taught her to chant Hare Krishna, a practice
she would do an hour or two each morning. He also mentioned she told
him she planned to focus more on her spiritual life after her
graduation, when she would move to a new situation.

Hanan once saw Stacie doing some service that was not given to her,
but which needed to be done. When Hanan asked why she was doing it,
she replied that one of the devotees had told her, “If you see
something that needs to be done and no one is doing it, it becomes
your service.” When Nic heard that, he recalled that he was the one
who gave her that advice. Nic also said Stacie became vegetarian when
she was just eleven or twelve, and that because her parents would not
cook vegetarian food for her, she learned to cook for herself. Once
Stacie told him that she chanted Hare Krishna sixteen times around the
string of beads, as do the initiated Hare Krishna devotees

To go to Krishna Lunch, and beyond that, to work for Krishna Lunch,
and then to try chanting Hare Krishna as a meditation, all were part
of Stacie’s life of adventure, and they all benefited herself and many
others who came to Krishna Lunch and even worked for Krishna Lunch
because of her enthusiasm for it.

Acts of devotion to the Lord, such as chanting His names and eating
and distributing food offered to Him, are remembered by Him eternally
and ultimately culminate in one’s spiritual perfection. As Krishna
says in Bhagavad-gita 2.40: “In this endeavor there is no loss or
diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from
the most dangerous type of fear.”

So I rejoice in these acts of supreme good fortune of hers, and in the
fact that she shared her fortune with her friends, many of whom came
to eat and some of whom came to work with Krishna Lunch, thus getting
permanent spiritual gain.

Stacie’s sudden exit reminded me that any of us can leave this world
at any time, and so if we want to say anything to anyone or do
anything for anyone, today is the best time, for we may never get
another chance.

We might also remember that our acts of devotion to the Lord are our
only imperishable asset, and so we should take our spiritual practice
with utmost seriousness. The date of life’s final exam is not given
and may be sooner than we think or wish.

http://krishnamonk.blogspot.com/2011/04/travel-journal76-gainesville-and-st.html

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George Svobaba
H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami : Friday, March 11th, 2011


I had almost forgotten about George Svobada. George was a regular
comer to our ashram in Toronto. I had got to know him when he'd visit.
Long-haired but groomed, full-length beard. Very mannerly and
generally reserved.

George originated from Czechoslovakia and rendered a valuable service
to the people of his country. In the 1970's, he translated Srila
Prabhupada's "Bhagavad Gita As It Is" into his language. It is still
in print and used today.

He made another important contribution. He had written a road
accommodation guide in the local language for global backpackers. As a
traveler himself, he was able to explore all the cheap but decent
hostels and hotels for the adventurous.

I got to know George more personally in '96 when he joined me for
walking on the Trans Canada Highway. When he heard I was taking up
this mission his free-sprited side shone through. He hitch-hiked and
searched until he found me. He stayed with me and my companions of the
time for a couple of days for the experience and then moved on.

George repeated this venture in 2008. He sought me out and we trekked
that same highway, the longest road in the world. I recall then him
telling me of a recent trip he took from Cochrane, Ontario, on the
Polar Bear Express, which takes you to the base of James Bay, a domain
for the most fearsome bears on the planet. George said,"When I got
there I didn't want to pay for any bed and breakfast or a hotel. I
slept outside in the wilderness."

"What was that like?" I asked. "Weren't you scared?"

"No! Whatever happened to me, it was okay. I was safe."

This morning, when I was making my way through the temple room in
Mayapura as devotees were chanting on their japa meditation beads, I
was recognized by a male devotee from the Czech Republic who said,
"Maharaj, you might not be aware but George Svoboda is not with us
anymore. He passed away in a most unique way. His body was found
frozen in the mountains of Germany."

The news of George's passing - a dear friend and walking companion -
did hit me hard. On second thought, "That's probably the way he wanted
to go."

And so with a peaceful mind I pray that this true yogi has moved on
and with the Gita's telling to His abode where you stay with Him
forever.

http://thewalkingmonk.blogspot.com/2011/03/friday-march-11th-2011.html

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Harivamsa Prabhu
March, 2011

The following is a letter written by His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami to
Krishna-purna Mataji, the wife of Harivamsa Prabhu, in relation to
Harivamsa Prabhus’ passing away last week.

——————————–
My Dear Krishna-purna,

Please accept my blessings. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I can well imagine how you are feeling. I can well imagine how this
sad incidence has effected everyone who knew Harivamsa. All these
happened so suddenly. At times I find it difficult to accept this as a
reality. When Harivamsa told me that he was going for an operation, I
took it for granted that it was a minor operation and he would be back
in a couple of days rectifying his physical defficulties. He also told
me that the success rate of that operation is 98%. At that time he did
not seem to be concerned about himself at all. Rather, he was more
concerned about you and mostly spoke about your health condition and
asked me to speak to you and request you to take care of your health.
It is due to his request that I phoned you at that time and asked you
to take care of your health.

It is such a loss for all of us. He meant so much to me. His service
attitude was so exemplary and his nature was so affectionate. Whoever
he met he left such a lasting impression on him. It makes me feel so
sad to think
that his wonderful association will not be there anymore.

I was thinking of writing this letter to console you, but now I can
see that I myself have started to express my own anguish. I can see,
in spite of all our wisdom, at a time like this we cannot help but
become affected by our own loss. Therefore, I see the need to become
truly Krsna Conscious by applying our spiritual wisdom.

When I received the news from Pranabandhu Prabhu, I was in the airport
in Dhaka, with a group of devotees, waiting to catch a flight. I broke
the news to them and started to chant. It was a very soft and sedate
kirtan, and in my mind’s eye I could see that Krsna was leading him to
the spiritual sky. I felt a great peace within my heart and I told to
myself, “if that is what he achieved, then I should be the happiest
person in this world.” However, at the same time, I also reasoned
within me whether it was just a fantasy, but then it dawned in me that
if a person like Harivamsa, who had been such an exemplary devotee,
does not make it back to the spiritual sky, then who will ever have
any faith in the efficacy of this process. He has sure made it back to
Godhead. And we are indeed fortunate that somehow or the other we were
related to him.

I was waiting to find out when his memorial ceremony will take place.
Now that I got to know, I made my booking – I will arrive in London on
13th morning at 7:00am by Emirates. I look forward to seeing you soon.


Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
Bhakti Charu Swami

http://www.bcswami.com/2011/03/15/the-passing-away-of-harivamsa-prabhu


 

Passing Away of Harivamsa Prabhu
By Damodar Krsihna Das
March, 2011


It is with sadness that we received the news of the passing of
Harivamsa Prabhu on Wednesday 9th of March.
He has been a very dedicated devotee of Sri Sri Radha-Gokulananda at
Bhaktivedanta Manor UK for many years. We will leave it to his close
friends and mentors at the Manor to describe the glories of that
service. But what many devotees may not be aware of, is that he also
performed significant service to our London Lord Jagannatha.

For the first time in 2001, we were able to hold the Snana Yatra of
Lord Jagannatha in a large marquee at Bhaktivedanta Manor. With more
than 1200 devotees bathing Their Lordships, a queuing system had to be
implemented. Harivamsa Prabhu enthusiastically came forward to help
organise and assemble the barriers and assist the devotees in the
queue. He also organised donation boxes and took care of all the
donations. After the festival he would help clear up and clean until
late in the evening. He continued this service until 2008 when Snana
Yatra returned to the London Temple at Soho Street.

In 2004 we were fortunate in being able to offer Their Lordships three
chariots for the first time in London. This meant we needed two more
cart guides or flag men. Harivamsa Prabhu eagerly took up the service
of Lord Jagannatha’s cart guide. Although we call them cart guides,
they are actually cart co-ordinators. This service involves liaising
between the cart stewards, the driver, winch man, brake man and rope
pullers to facilitate the safe and smooth passage of the carts. From
under the cart it is not always possible to see where to steer because
ones vision can be blocked by the crowds. Similarly from the position
of the winch man one cannot always see if the canopy can clear a
particular tree or lamp post. The cart guide has to give directions
for all these movements. There are approx. 1500 devotees with each
cart and the cart guide together with the cart steward team leader are
responsible for their safety. Harivamsa Prabhu performed this service
from 2004 until 2010.

From 2005 onwards Harivamsa Prabhu also helped the set up crew in
Trafalgar Square from 7am to 10am. This is quite heavy work involving
the erection of tents and barriers and the deployment of tables and
chairs. From 10am he would attend at Hyde Park for the start of the
procession.

After the end of the procession at 2.30pm Harivamsa Prabhu would rush
back to the Manor to perform his regular Sunday service throughout the
rest of the afternoon and evening.

To distribute approx. 18 thousand plates of prasadam at Rathayatra
requires 36 large 240 litre barrels together with 50 serving buckets
and spoons. On the Monday after Rathayatra these have to be cleaned
ready to be taken back to the Rath Warehouse. From 2006 onwards
Harivamsa Prabhu insisted on helping with this service, which takes
two devotees from 10am until 5pm.

In 2008 he visited the Rath Warehouse to see the rebuilding and
refurbishment of Lady Subhadra’s chariot, and again in 2009 to learn
how the chariots are loaded and unloaded onto trucks.

Always enthusiastic, cheerful and friendly, Harivamsa Prabhu will be
remembered for his wonderful service. We pray that Lord Jagannatha may
shower His blessing upon him.
Harivamsa Prabhu ki jaya!

Your servants,
Titiksu dasa and Damodara Krishna dasa
On behalf of the London Rathayatra Team

http://www.dandavats.com/?p=9382

 


Bhadra Priya Devi Dasi

The Departure of Bhadra Priya Devi Dasi, Srila Prabhupada’s daughter
By Nirmala dasi


Bhadra PriyaBhadra Priya joined ISKCON in 1972 in Montreal, Canada. Shortly
thereafter she moved to the temple in Toronto where she was initiated
by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada in 1973. She did many different
types of service including nam sankirtan and book distribution. One
special service that she was known for was cooking milk sweets for
Radha Ksira Cora Gopinath for up to 10 hours each day. She was really
absorbed in this service and was especially happy when she was able to
create a different type of sweet for the Lord’s pleasure.

She traveled to India with Laxmimoni and spent several months there.
She helped Laxmimoni make a vyasasana for Srila Prabhupada in New
Delhi. She took many photographs of Srila Prabhupada and one day he
stopped and asked her about her camera.

She also met Yamuna devi at this time and was engaged in washing
Yamuna’s cooking pots in the Yamuna river with sand and frayed ropes.
Yamuna devi praised her for cleaning the pots so thoroughly and
removing all the black spots from the bottom of the pots which was of
particular importance to Srila Prabhupada.

In the mid 70’s she moved to New Vrindavan and joined the traveling
Sankirtan party. Everyone wanted to travel with her as she was a quiet
and kind devotee as well as a competent and safe driver and was a lot
of fun to be with. She did this service faithfully and dutifully for
years.

In the mid eighties Bhadra Priya participated in Radhanatha Swami’s
University preaching programs. She would prepare five course feasts
for hundreds of students. She would pour over cook books and meditate
on how to make the presentation as attractive and delicious as
possible.

In 1986 she moved back to Toronto and eventually worked for the
Toronto transit system for about 15 years. During this time, she
delved deeply into religious and metaphysical teachings. Ultimately,
this greatly strengthened her conviction that Krishna Consciousness as
presented by Srila Prabhupada is the absolute truth.

In January 2008, she was diagnosed with very advanced cervical cancer.
In January 2010 she moved to the Alachua community where she received
daily care and deepened her relationship with Srila Prabhupada, Lord
Krishna and the devotees. With determination, desire and the Lord’s
arrangement, she lived a great deal longer than expected. She
dedicated herself to making it to the temple each day for class and
Darshan as long as she was able. When that was no longer possible, she
found great joy visiting temples around the world on the internet to
see Their Lordships and hear Srimad Bhagavatam.

For the last year of her life she lived at Sita Rama ashram (home of
Devarsi and Nirmala) where she received care from them and Sumati. One
of her inspiring endeavors was to begin a reading club that took place
four days a week. She seriously studied Krishna Book and Srimad
Bhagavatam with her spiritual family; this was her greatest joy until
her departure. She remained sharp and determined throughout this time.
Even on the day of her passing the reading club stood around her bed
and read to her. While not able to speak she appeared happy and
satisfied.

Monday, February 7, 2011 was the day of her departure and a most
auspicious day; it was Vasant Pancami, the appearance of Srimati
Visnupriya Devi, Srila Raghunatha Dasa Goswami, Sri Raghunandana
Thakura and Sri Pundarika Vidyanidhi. It was also the disappearance of
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Saraswati Puja. This day truly
signified a day of new beginnings.

Bhadra Priya entered the active phase of dying that morning. The stage
was set for a miraculous passing as Lord Nrsimhadeva and Tulasi
Maharani arrived along with holy waters and holy dust. Devotees took
turns holding pictures of Srila Prabhupada and Radhe Syam in front of
her. She lay on her bed surrounded by loving friends who were holding
and stroking her. The room filled with the celestial sounds of the
holy names throughout the day and evening until after her passing at
11:40 PM. The atmosphere was spiritually surcharged with an outpouring
of love and gratitude for our Lords, Srila Prabhupada, the devotees
and the mercy Bhadra Priya Prabhu was receiving.

On February 10th, Srila Advaita Acarya’s appearance day she was
cremated and then honored that evening with kirtan, a feast and
remembrances of her qualities, her life and how she deeply touched the
lives of her friends.

Some of her qualities that were appreciated are;
She loved serving the devotees.
She always rallied for the underdog.
She was very determined and gave 100% to whatever she was doing.
She was generous, kind and extremely loyal.
She was direct and straightforward in her dealings.
She was very conscientious and appreciative.
She was extremely clean, neat and organized.
She diffused difficult situations with her humor.

Though we weep in her absence, we take solace knowing that she
continues in her devotional service to Srila Prabhupada and Lord
Krishna.

Yours in service
Nirmala, Sumati and Devarsi das


 

In Tribute to my Sweet Godsister, Bhadra Priya devi dasi:

I just received news of the passing of my dear Godsister, Bhadra Priya devi dasi. I met Bhadra Priya in Montreal in the early 1970's. She was seriously interested in learning more about Krishna Consciousness and would repeatedly invite me to her apartment in order to have lengthy philosophical discussions. The authenticity of her spiritual search was reflected in the many earnest questions that she would pose. These probing questions were always expressed in such a gentle and thoughtful way, and as time went on, I came to realize that this was the natural state of her beautiful spirit. Her heart was one of deep and ever abiding sincerity. By the Grace of Guru and God, she eventually joined the temple and blossomed into one of the many beautiful flowers in Srila Prabhupada's garden of disciples. I was very blessed to share her association as we prayed, chanted, danced and worshipped together. The flame of inquiry always burned bright in her heart and never flickered. Although she was very weak and struggled with ill health, in the last few conversations that I had with her, she again posed many questions that I attempted to address in a letter. I would like to share that letter and have included it below, as it was truly the fruit of her spiritual inquiry. The very last question that she posed to me was: "Will I ever get to see you again?" It was the first time that we shared a very long silence together.

"The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand: the angels come to us, and we only know them when they are gone."
George Eliot


My dear beautiful Godsister,

You are being tried in such a profound way but it sounds like you have the prayers and support of many loved ones. It sounds as though you are spiritually strong -- having your physical temple in a state of collapse and disrepair is so very humbling. This type of experience can be an invitation to enter more deeply into the mansion of your soul, your true temple of everlasting beauty and grandeur, the place that will never be touched by all of this physical corruption. The only true cure is to surrender your entire consciousness to the Sound Incarnation of God, and take up residence in the many grand rooms of your inner temple within the Eternal Spiritual Sky. This is where we are filled with the life of the everlasting spirit and where we find the strength to endure endless heartbreak while still living in these worlds of dark limitation.

I am touched to know that you have been so fortunate as to have shared the blessing presence of a loving partner for 17 years. The loss of the gift of physical companionship leaves one feeling so open, so raw, so deeply shocked at the fragility of this tiny throbbing physicality – the shocking finality of it all – so quick, so brutal, so complete. In truth, you will never share a farewell with someone that you have loved deeply as you will always have a home in each other’s spiritual heart. If you can somehow allow for such intense feelings of vulnerability, eventually…eventually… it will turn into a blessing grace – and you will be imbued with an unshakable sense of the divine, that can never be taken away by anyone or anything, not by sorrow, sickness, abandonment, or death. This grace will produce many blossoms rich with fragrance and allow the tenderness of compassion to expand. The preciousness of each moment will become more apparent. As the heart softens, it will become moist and fertile ground for the seed that Srila Prabhupada has planted within your spiritual heart – the seed of the Sound Incarnation of God. It will fructify and bear many spiritual blossoms and fruits. The Transcendent Glorious Body of God will be revealed through the spiritual vibration of the Mahamantra, and all that we have thirsted for since before the beginning of time will be quenched and fulfilled.

This life is poignant in all of its bittersweet flavors. It is exquisitely and painfully beautiful. Every moment is eternity’s convergence place. All of the multitudinous heavens and hells, all of the knowledge and ignorance shared by generations of living beings throughout long history, as well as all of the unseen future generations that are yet to come -- it all bears upon our consciousness. And yet, in the core of every simple unassuming moment, there arises an ever-present invitation to the Supreme Transcendence. We are offered that gracious invitation nanosecond after nanosecond, as the sands of time so quietly slip through the hourglasses of our lives.

Oh, how we sicken and are spoiled by the excess of so much abundance, the lush opulence of millions upon millions of heartbeats throbbing their repeated rhythms through our fleshy veins!! We seem to be endowed with unlimited breaths, with unlimited moments ahead of us, so we feel that we have the luxury to compromise the quality of these many small moments. We feel that there is no harm in squandering their potential by daily indulging in reckless words, thoughts, feelings, and actions based upon the false identification with our body, mind and emotion.

Each moment of life has the potential of being distilled down to the most precious elixir of surrender, each and every word, each and every drop of sweat, each and every beat of the heart, each inhalation followed by every exhalation.

This earthly domain is not always as it seems – seeming blessings later become seeming burdens and that which seems to afflict us so mercilessly many times becomes the goad to our greatest blessings. And what afflicts us mightily is our sense of mortality. We can study death, we can question death, we can philosophically contemplate its many faces, at times fearing its awesome power, in lonely times even longing for the release that results from its embrace, but if our impulse to spiritual service is primarily inspired by the death that is all around us, if that is the goad that inspires our chanting, then we inadvertently become Yama bhaktas without even realizing it. We cannot allow death to be the source of our motivation to love Krsna. If we do, then we run to God out of a fear, out of dread and loathing of death, instead of attraction and love for the Supreme.

Adoration is the oxygen of survival at every level of our being. There is a worldwide famine of adoration. We have forgotten how to renew ourselves in the fire and the divine light of the Supreme Personality of God. We are all enamored with the unique possibilities of human consciousness that are inherently available within this realm. It is so easy to become lost in this Grand Adventure of Life as we revolve round and round the mysterious rosary of disintegration, longing, regeneration, and transformation. It is only when we finally come to rest in the grace of transfiguration – the place where time stops – the place where past, present, and future converge, the place in which all of the manifold stories of our little lives, our cherished myths, our unspoken dreams, and our fascination with the archetypal templates of the higher mind, lose their power to fascinate us -- that our life streams will be free and will become as one unified throbbing heartbeat of consciousness. It is then that the spiritual vibration of the Name of God can descend upon us, flooding every part of us until we stand transfigured with reactivated spiritual senses.

As a devotee of God, we are given the opportunity to step off the edge of this spectacular phantasmagoria known as the world and fall in love with Krsna, to fall in love with the Supreme Spiritual Personality in the realm beyond all of the vain imaginings in these multitudinous realms of matter.

Chanting is a process of deep surrender – it is biological prayer as our bodies pray their hope, their pain, their joy and wonder at the mystery of this world. Our fingers repeatedly rub the wooden rosaries blessed by the force of our Spiritual Master’s realization. Chanting is the place where the mental body can no longer betray the voice of the spiritual heart. The world of the spiritual heart is not limited to what we can physically see and hear. We all have spiritual senses but they are temporarily sleeping. The spiritual heart that is shared by all beings can never be destroyed, can never be burnt by fire, or tortured into silent banishment and submission, or locked away and imprisoned within the squalid walls of the dark and tiny psychological and cultural prisons of mans own making.

Chanting is the way the spirit soul is able to breathe. Sometimes we chant in distraction, other times we chant in peace, sometimes our chants are full and rhythmic, and at other times we chant in the throes of a full and desperate longing as we struggle for a union that is larger than ourselves. When we surrender so fully to the Mahamantra that our breath is finally taken away, then that is when we will have the truest form of respiration – the respiration of ecstasy. We will no longer be subjected to the limitations associated with bodily identification. We will be transported in spirit. We will no longer be asleep but will be awake to see and hear with our spiritual senses.

Whether a day is typical or not, it really makes no difference when one considers that the possibility of death is always there waiting for each and every one of us. A typical day, for any human being, is at best a high-wire trapeze performance in which one must precariously balance on the thin rope between the forces of life and the forces of death. The tension of having to maintain continuous aerial acrobatics in the struggle to stay alive while simultaneously knowing that death might take us at any time --well, that takes a tremendous toll on each and every one of us. We are expected to meet innumerable daily responsibilities for a series of tomorrows that are not guaranteed to us. The ante of the trapeze act is always increasing as we try to incorporate more and more difficult balancing acts like buying homes, starting businesses, getting married, having children, and returning back to school. The endless paperwork that consumes our time as we collect more and more possessions is like the many objects that a skilled trapeze artist piles upon his head to make the performance more exciting. Every new object added to the pile intensifies the demands of an already delicate balancing act.

It never really ends. We must live with full accountability, meeting innumerable responsibilities as though we will be here forever and yet, we know completely well that at any moment we might fall off of the trapeze rope of life and tumble into the unknown experience of death. The tension between these strange dichotomies is present with us at every moment. The most important thing that any of us must do on a typical day is be aware of this predicament and keep our spirits in order so that we are as fully prepared as possible to meet our own physical demise. Keeping our spirits in order means keeping our priorities clear so that we can not only throw ourselves fully into each moment of life but we can just as well be ready to let it all go when death arrives -- and with no regrets.

The activity of cultivating this awareness produces a certain kind of appreciation that allows the seemingly ordinary moments of life to become richer. No matter what it is that we find ourselves doing, this awareness allows us to be more satisfied by finding the poignant sweetness hidden in the present moment. It serves to enrich the potential of each ordinary moment lifting it from the humdrum to the extraordinary. It rescues us from seeing the so-called mundane errands and tiresome everyday tasks of life as an inescapable dungeon of drudgery. It births the poet, the artist, and the eternal servant in each of us, allowing us to live more fully, more creatively upon the trapeze. This awareness nurtures us into the fullness of each moment of each day. It enables us to have grace under fire, to have the courage to live with dignity in the face of our collective demise, to have the compassion that allows us to forgive the neurotic behavior that this difficult trapeze act engenders in us all, and to have gratitude for the few moments that we all share together before falling off the rope of life.

The barometer of our fullness can be measured by one simple question: If I were to die today, would I do anything differently? When the answer becomes a resounding "No", then we will know that we have found an authentic sincerity from which we can surrender to the Sound Incarnation of the Supreme Person. We will no longer be in danger of living like a Yama bhakta. The precious moments of this life will be like myriad white petals falling from a mature plum blossom tree -- softly floating with the silent purity of falling snow, gently drifting down towards the dark body of the earth. All of life’s experiences will have come to full flower, mature in their poignant beauty, all of their fragrance ready to be gathered up in a basket for offering, knowing that their ultimate destiny was always to finally let go, to surrender to the Supreme Godhead.

Always your Godsister,
Candra devi

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Leaving Us Today

Dear Vaisnav, you are leaving us today
To take part in a much greater play
Fleeing from this world, a mix of sweet and sour
To ascend to the realm of the Higher Power.

It's hard for those who knew you well.
It's not for us to say or for us to tell.
We can't be greedy demanding your presence
We take from you and capture the essence.

Inspire you did and that we'll remember
From the start of the year to the end of December
You were loyal, determined, fixed, and straight
And overall your devotion was great.

You have cut the bonds, to join the One with the flute,
The One who claims He's the very root.
Let's sing! Let's dance! seeing you off
Let's be elated which is never enough

Bhaktimarga Swami
(in dedication to my godsister Bhadra Priya)


 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Prayers for Bhadra Priya devi dasi

*** UPDATE - Feb 8, 2011 - We have learned that Bhadra Priya devi dasi passed away last night at around 11:00pm EST under very auspicious circumstances. She was surrounded by devotees doing kirtan, led by HG Bada Hari das. Devotees will still be gathering this evening (Feb 8, 2011) to have kirtan and japa to pray for Bhadra Priya devi dasi. We hope you can join us. ***

Bhadra PriyaWith heavy hearts, we would like to call for all devotees in our community to pray for Bhadra Priya devi dasi who is in an active state of leaving her body. Bhadra Priya devi dasi joined the Hare Krishna movement in Montreal in the early 1970's and was then part of our Toronto community for many years.

Bhadra Priya prabhu has been dealing with life-threatening cancer for a few years now. It prompted her return to Krsna consciousness after many years of living away from a temple and she is currently in Alachua, Florida, surrounded by devotees. In recent years, she joined us here in Toronto for many festivals, programs and events in our community.

We ask for all devotees of our Toronto Hare Krishna community to pray for her during these final stages of her life. Hare Krishna.

http://iskcontoronto.blogspot.com/2011/02/prayers-for-bhadra-priya-devi-dasi.html

 


Pruthvi Raj Passes Away
by Shyamsundar Das

With a heavy heart, we wish to inform that a very special soul, Mr. Pruthvi Raj, the Father of Guru Dhyana & Guru Nishtha Matajis, has recently left this world peacefully. All the devotees at the Hare Krishna Dham offer their prayers for the departed soul.

Posted on Radha Nila-Madhava e-News Letter


The Passing Away of a Friend's Mom and Why to Always Keep a Bhagavad Gita Handy
December 21, 2010

Bhagavad GitaThis weekend one of my best friends' mom passed away. Truly a gem of a lady that was pious, happy and caring. We all called her auntie out of respect but she truly was a loved auntie.

At these difficult times it is hard for people to swallow philosophy when they are wallowing in sadness. This was expecially since she passed away out of country just days before she was to return to North America. On top of that she had just recieved a clean bill of health from the doctors. Before coming she was going to attend a birthday party for her brother in Chennai and also decided to go to their native rural temple a few hours away. After doing some puja they were outside the temple and she complained of not feeling well and my friend's dad thought she was exhausted. But she actually passed away right on temple steps in the lap of her husband.

My friend initially handled it well since he was immersed in making arrangements but by the time we met he was full of regrets and realizations of "could haves", "would haves" and "should haves". We were saddened and besided remorse could not muster much else up. Then the invetible questions started coming up including, suppose they had made it back here and suppose she skipped making the trip to the temple, would she still be with us. Anyhow, after condolences we parted each others company.

Later on that night he could not sleep and sent an email thanking for everyone's support. He then sent an email with some of his readings on the internet...his quest for answers. What ensued was a series of late night emails in which he turned to the Bhagavad Gita for answers. I ain't no vaishnava scholar and still simply trying to be a worthy devotee, but wanted to try to provide solace. A few days earlier I transcribed my dad's note for the Gita Jayanti entry in which 2.13 was quoted "As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change." So I quickly borrowed this and other quotes. Thank Krishna for Vedabase since I was able to cut and paste words from Krishna Himself and Srila Prabhupada that may have helped relieve his suffering. After some time he was tired enough to go to bed.

The next day we went over to try to help him pack and see him off since he was off to India to make the final arragments. I had no intention to preach further since I did not feel it was the time or place and was not sure even if the support went too far the night before. To be honest we were having a hard time coming to grips with the loss.

However he brougt up the Gita and the late night email conversation and wanted to print out a chapter of the Gita to read on the way. He was trying to ask which chapter to print out and I am sure his intent was to print out one of the many short versions, summaries or abbreviated translations found on the internet. I told him to hang on for a minute and went out to the car and grabbed a Bhagavad Gita As-it-is. (After not having enough copies during a political launch party I vowed to always have some in the car and bought a case and spread a few in each car). I gave it to a very appreciative friend and he seemed to literally hug it. Another long time friend of theirs from out of town reached for it and at the moment you could feel and see how much the Gita was needed. I am certain he is going to read it on the way.

So the Gita was being readily recieved in a period of difficult circumstances. During the conversations and remorse this son, husband, father and friend was having many realizations and so were many of the other friends that turned up to support him in this difficult period. One realization I kept thinking about is how rare this human form of life is and how important it is to get it right this time around...

Finally, my earnest prays for the soul of this pious lady and may her soul return to Krisna's abode.
As Krishna says, "That supreme abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by fire or electricity. Those who reach it never return to this material world." (15.6)

~ Indresh
In memory of Gautham Auntie.

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The passing of Prahlad Nrsimha das (Paul Ignozza)
By: Nartaka Gopala Dasi
December 20, 2010

(In the photo below there are 3 devotees: Krishna Rupa on the left, Siddhavidya with his back turned to the camera, and Prahlad Nrsimha is on the far right.)

Prahlad Nrsimha is the devotee on the rightSriman Prahlad Nrsimha das passed away on Saturday, December11, 2010 at about 2:10 PM in Port Charlotte, FL. He was a disciple of HH Hanumatpresaka Swami, and most of his devotional life was spent at the Miami Temple.

He actually saw Srila Prabhupada in person in New York in about 1967 or 68. He told us that Prabhupada looked him in the eye and he was so impressed that he knew he should give his life for this mission. But he was not ready to surrender at that time.

He began spending more time at the Miami temple in the early 90’s, and in 1992 he traveled with Siddhavidya das, Tara das & five other devotees on their Grateful Dead Prasadam Tour, as they drove all over the NE United States for six weeks following the band and distributing books and prasadam at all their concerts.

He moved into Miami temple in 1994 and stayed for six years straight, serving as a handyman and doing whatever was needed with a good service attitude: fixing vehicles, taking out garbage, etc. He used to donate large quantities of farina & dal for the Deities & devotees.
But the seva he did most was harinama sankirtana. He went on street harinama six days a week (and Sundays at the temple) with Siddhavidya das for 6 years without missing hardly a day. That’s almost 2000 times and that is a lot.

Everyone knew him as Bhakta Paul because he did not take diksha till the last year of his life. His Guru Maharaja jokingly called him “the mode of ignozza”. And once in his humility Maharaja said, “He is more advanced than I am.”

Prahlad Nrsimha’s profession was detailing cars and apparently the chemicals got to him. He passed away from some type of cancer. He was 61 years old. He was lovingly cared for in his last days by his good friends Robert and also Rachel at a Hospice Center. He had not eaten any solid food for 48 days. He was weighing about 70 pounds. Siddhavidya das & Sankarshan das drove the 3 hours from Miami to chant for two days with him. When he passed he had a Deity garland in his lap, neckbeads on, and japa beads in his hands with a Prabhupada CD playing. We request all the devotees to please say a prayer for his eternal soul.

http://www.dandavats.com/?p=9137

 


 

Prahlad Nrsimha Das Passed Away in a Hospice in Florida

December 19, 2010
Submitted by: New Vrindavan Communications

Prahlad Nrsimha DasSankarsana das: Paul Ignozza (recently initiated as Prahlad Nrsimha das by Hanumat Presaka Swami) passed away from this world at the age of 61 on December 11 shortly after 1 pm in a hospice in Port Charlotte, Florida. He suffered a long debilitating illness of squamous skin cancer which was very painful the last year of his life. He was an active member of the Miami temple for many years and served at other Florida temples as well. On December 9 and 10 Siddhavidya prabhu and me visited Prahlad Nrsimha. He was lying motionless on a recliner bed in a spacious room in the hospice. His body and face were emaciated and he appeared to be in an almost comatose condition. Half of his head was wrapped with a bandage to contain open sores and his exposed eye was shut tight. When we entered his room we announced ourselves and told him we brought him a garland from Radha-Vrajabihari and caranamrta from the Miami temple. I placed the garland across his abdomen and he lifted a bone like arm and put it on top of the garland. I then poured a little water caranamrta into his mouth and he managed to swallow it. Over the next several hours and into the following morning we chanted kirtan and read from the Krsna book to him (Siddhavidya had been doing this with Pralad Nrsimha regularly over the phone the last few months). Occasionally his breathing would lapse for long periods between breaths making us wonder if he had breathed his last at times. We hoped he would pass in our presence hearing kirtan or Krishna’s pastimes. Nonetheless a CD repeatedly played of Prabhupada chanting the bhajan “vande ‘ham sri-guroh sri-yuta-pada kamalam…” which commenced with the mahamantra. Prahlad Nrsimha left the details of his passing to a good local friend Robert Nelson who carefully made the arrangements according to Prahlad’s wishes. Robert also asked us for any further details which devotees observe and we added a few. Most of Prahlad Nrsimha’s ashes will be taken to India within the next few months to be merged in one of the sacred rivers there.

Prahlad Nrsimha’s spiritual life began as a teenager on the streets of New York city when he exchanged eye contact with His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. At that time he was a brimming youth but he felt Prabhupada’s glance questioning his purpose in life and in his heart he thought he had met his guru. Later on he followed through very admirably on his spiritual quest.

For a great portion of Prahlad Nrsimha’s professional life he ran his own car detailing shop in Port Charlotte, but his real life was Harinama. During a six year period from 1994 to 2000 he lived at the Miami temple and made weekly visits to Port Charlotte to do a few jobs at his shop. He was active, multi talented and likeable and he had time to do a variety of temple services until it was time to go out on Harinama with Siddhavidya prabhu and other devotees. Out on Harinama Prahlad Nrsimha was in his element being happy to chant, share a smile, and always ready to encourage others to be Krishna conscious.

On the home front we gave Prahlad Nrsimha the nickname “the good egg” because he was always doing selfless good deeds for others. Once when being referred to as “the good egg” he quipped “There are so many rotten eggs in this world, so I might as well be one good egg”. A few examples of his selflessness I remember was when I had car trouble he analyzed the problem, told me where I could order the parts at the cheapest price, and then he put the parts in himself and refused to take a cent for it; if a guest came to the temple it was common to see Prahlad Nrsimha engaging the person in talks about Krishna with a smile on his face; whenever he turned up things started happening because he took the initiative to do the needful.

Robert made the observation that Prahlad Nrsimha had no self pity during his ordeal of living in pain at least for the last year of his life. He took no pain killers and just tried to focus his attention on Krishna. We pray for his successful sojourn back to the spiritual realm where we hope to enjoy his wonderful association again. Prahlad Nrsimha prabhu ki Jaya!!!

http://www.dandavats.com/?p=9120


Srila Prabhupada's Disciple, Marutvati Devi Dasi, Passed Away
-- Radhadesa (Belgium)
December 16, 2010

Dear Prabhus,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Marutvati Devi DasiWith great sadness in the heart we have to inform you that Her Grace Marutvati mataji, wife of Hare Krsna dasa Prabhu and disciple of Srila Prabhupada, has left her body at 8.20 am in her house surrounded by her family members who were chanting.

In the late 1970's she was sankirtan leader of the girl's party in Holland and Belgium. In 1981 she married Hare Krsa dasa Prabhu.

We pray to Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha that Marutvati Mataji can continue her devotional service in the spiritual world. Tonight and tomorrow night we will have bhajans in Radhadesh from 8 to 9 pm.

Your servant,
Hrdaya Caitanya das

Article on Dandavats about Marutvati Mataji


Vidagdha Madhava Das Passed Away in Dallas, Texas
Submitted by: New Vrindavan Communications
December 15, 2010

 

We regret to inform you that His Grace Vidagdha Madhava Prabhu has passed away. Vidagdha Madhava Prabhu (disciple of H.H. Tamal Krishna Goswami). He left his body on Friday (12/10/10). Our condolences to the family and friends of Vidagdha Madhava Das.

 

Vidagdha Madhave PrabhuYour servants at Vaisnavas C.A.R.E.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


HG Dadhiharta Prabhu (ACBSP) Passes Away
November 28, 2010

Dadhiharta PrabhpHG Dadhiharta Prabhu (ACBSP) left his body at Saranagati--Vancouver, Canada
By Akrura Das
:

Hare Krishna Maharajs, Prabhus and Matajis,

Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupad, Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga.

HG Dadhiharta Prabhu was an excellent devotee and a great friend. He was an absolute ‘papa bear’, a bundle of joy. Crying face He will surely be missed for a long long time… I am sure he is in the shelter of Srila Prabhupada wherever he’s gone. He set an example of having firm faith in the instructons of Srila Prabhupada. It is a great loss to our devotee community. Devotees like him are very rare. He spent the last few decades at Saranagati, engaged in cow protection. Thank you very much for your association and mercy you have bestowed upon, a completely undeserving soul like, me, Dadhiharta Prabhu. You gave me hugs, you gave me encouragement you were always looking for ‘good’ in everyone and putting up with all my bad qualities. You always had a way to put a positive twist in everything, no matter, how non-positive the environment may have been. I don’t know how to thank you prabhu, for everything. Please forgive any offences that I may have made to your grace knowingly or uknowingly.

Aspiring to be Your servant in service to Srila Prabhupad
Akrura Das
Co-TP ISKCON Vancouver
Chair NATP
Deputy GBC.


 

A Very Wonderful Devotee, Vrinda Devi Dasi, Left Her Body
By: HH Bhakti Caru Swami
November 26, 2010

lotusWith a heavy heart I inform you all that one of my first disciples from
Germany, Vrinda Devi Dasi, left her body on 17th November. It was indeed
very sad news, however, it was very auspicious that she left her body on an
ekadasi day. The scriptures say that when one leaves one’s body on an
ekadasi day one receives very special mercy of the Sri Krishna. She had been
a very wonderful devotee and Krishna has naturally rewarded her in a most
suitable way.

I first met her in around mid eighties in Germany, in the Heidelberg
temple. Those days I used to visit Germany quite frequently. She came to see
me with one of her friends, who later became initiated as Hema-manjari Dasi.
At the very first meeting she told me that although we were meeting for the
first time, she already knew me quite well and she wanted to take initiation
from me. I was a little surprised at that approach, and told her that we
have to first get to know each other properly. She accepted that suggestion
and insisted that I have to give her the opportunity to get to know her.
That is how the relationship started. From then onwards whenever I went to
Germany I used to spend time with her. Some times when I was passing through
the airport but did not stop in Germany she used to come to the airport just
to meet me. She was quite influential and she managed to get special
permission to come right inside the airport, beyond the customs and
immigration. She not only did come to see me but she used to bring all kinds
of things for me - food-staffs, woolen sweaters, scurf, socks, electronic
gadgets. I used to get quite annoyed with her at times, because, I generally
like to travel light, and besides that since I was on transit, I had to
carry all those things as hand luggage. But what to do. Whoever, knew
Vrinda, knew how she was - she had her own way of doing things and there was
no way to make her act otherwise.

She was just like a mother to everyone. Always so caring, always so
concerned. She had a deep respect for me as her spiritual master, but even
then she did not spare me from subjecting me to her motherly domineering
attitude. Although I used to treat her with great respect due to her age and
wisdom, sometimes when I would chastise her she would take it with a quiet
composure of an obedient girl.

Although quite old, she used to come to India quite frequently to be with
me. In this way she became quite popular among the devotees in Mayapur and
Calcutta. Whoever she came across she won his heart by her charming behavior
and caring attitude.

We all will miss her. I pray to Krishna that He rewards her most wonderfully
for her sincere dedication to His lotus feet. And I wait for the day when I
will have the good fortune to meet her again.

Her funeral will be on 26th November at 11 am. I asked the devotees of Sri
Sri Radha Madan-mohan temple of Ujjain to have a 24 hour kirtan and a very
nice feast in her honour.

Bhakti Charu Swami

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Anandini Devi Dasi Passed Away

November 12, 2010

Hare Krishna,
Please accept my humble obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada.

The prayers and blessings of the Vaisnava's are the only shelter in this world.... through those blessings all good fortune flows.

My sister, Anandini dd passed away suddenly last night. She has been fighting cancer, but this was an unexpected turn for the worst. In the past she had the good fortune to spend some time in the yatras of Italy, France and Spain and maybe even the UK. It was a relatively short time and then she distanced herself from devotees for some years, although lately she was chanting and reading again.

Anandini was a grand-disciple of Srila Prabhupada having received his mercy through the mercy of his disciples. She served in the kitchens most of the time she lived in the ashram, and helped Adiraja dasa with testing the recipes of The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking back in the day. Her service may seem insignificant considering the short time and the span of her life. Still I fondly appreciate that the photo of a scrumptious plate of prasadam she lovingly prepared has been used in the BTG to invite guests to the Sunday feast for these many years.

When reminded of that a few months ago she was deeply touched to still be of small service to Srila Prabhupada and Krsna. Even a small grain of sand cast in Krsna's service is appreciated by Him. We have been given the gift of fearlessness by Srila Prabhupada, even a brief connection with Lord Chaitanya can do that. She had said recently that she knew this life would now be less than normally expected and she was ready for that. It is my prayer that Krsna helped her in those final sudden moments to move in His direction.

Few probably remember her, but some might. In any case, I am requesting that the Vaisnava community hold her and her family in prayer and good wishes for her spiritual progress this day.... no step on this path is in vain, even one that is later covered in fault or obstacles.

Your humble servant,
Kanti dd
(acbsp)

 

 


A Tribute To Srikant Prabhu
By Ramabhadra Das for ISKCON News on 13 Nov 2010

 

srikantSrikant das Prabhu a wonderful Vaisnava devotee of Lord Krishna and a dear friend, father, and father figure for some wonderful Vaisnhava devotees of Lord Krishna passed away from our association according to the will of Lord Sri Krishna Wednesday evening 7:15pm in Brooklyn New York.

Srikant Prabhu joined ISKCON at the famous Hare Krishna Land Radha Rasabihari Mandira Juhu Beach Mumbai, after meeting ISKCON devotees at Kumbha Mela in the late 1970's. Srikant Prabhu excelled at devotional cooking and was the chief cook of the Radha Rasabihari Sweet shop. He cooked for many large ISKCON Juhu festivals and also performed very expert devotional bhajans with an exceptional sweet deep devotional tone to his spiritual voice.

In early 1997 when visiting ISKCON Juhu Sridhar Swami recommended to me that I bring Srikant Prabhu to Radha Govinda Mandira in Brooklyn New York to be our chief cook. Srikant Prabhu came in April 1997 and served to the great satisfaction of Sri Sri Radha Govindadeva's congregation. Srikant Prabhu was married to Nirmala devi dasi and they had two wonderful children Sanatana dasa and Vrinda dasi. Srikant Prabhu loved and cared for his family very much.

His cooking, singing, and devotee training he gave us were all triple A quality, the finest. Srikant Prabhu was without doubt the best ISKCON cook who came from India I ever met. When the service task became more demanding like when we would have to cook for a large festival with hundreds and thousands of Vaisnavas on Sri Krishna Janmastami, New York Ratha yatra, Srila Prabhupada Vyasa puja, etc., then Srikant Prabhu would rise to the occasion like a super cook and make the best most delicious prasadam. He would regularly cook hundreds of devotional food preps for Srimati Radharani on Radhastami, Caitanya Mahaprabhu on Gaura Purnima, and on other special days.

Srikant Prabhu was a master at cooking sweets and training other devotees how to cook. His brahminical skills were all very excellent. He told me he could make more than 50 types of sweets and he would make them attractive and delicious, a quality reminiscent of a famous Bengali Sweet Market.

Srikant Prabhu's famous 11am prasadam brunch served the morning after New York ratha yatra every year was attended by as many as 1,000 hankering and hungry for Krishna prasadam Vaisnava devotees who eagerly waited in a long line for Srikant's Krishna prasadam. He would cook as many as 18 preparations for that morning brunch and that is the morning after he cooked for as many as 10,000 persons at the ratha yatra. He was a skilled kitchen manager and organizer of many devotees, young and old.

Srikant Prabhu's 90 minute Janmastami Golden Kalash Radha Krishna Maha-abhisek super sweet bhajans, accompanied by his close friends and bhajan students always filled our hearts with profound devotional mood. Srikant Prabhu worked as a loving friend and inspiration to some of the best North America ISKCON youth, dedicated bhajan Vaisnavas, especially Ananta Govinda das and Acyuta Gopi dasi of Sri Sri Radha Govinda Mandira. Srikant Prabhu's heart belonged to Radha Rasabihari but Sri Sri Radha Govindadeva stole his heart on many Sunday nights and special festival day's as he chanted his sweet melodious devotional Hare Krishna bhajans.

Upon his return from visiting Vrndavana Dhama earlier this year he began to complain of some heart disturbance to a few devotees. In mid-July in New York City he experienced pain in the chest and went to Bellevue Hospital to be examined. That began a four-month battle with his health that no one wants to endure. After more than two months in various Hospitals I came to know that our dear friend Srikant Prabhu was diagnosed with a very serious type of congestive heart failure.

Wednesday afternoon November 10 at approximately 5pm Srikant Prabhu a wonderful Vaisnava and our very dear friend collapsed in cardiac arrest on his way to a doctor's visit. Ramabhadra das and Jagat Pati das were by his side as he was revived by the doctor who administered CPR. Srikant Prabhu succumbed to a second final attack at a hospital emergency room at 7:15pm November 10, 2010. Devotees arrived within 5 minutes of his departure. Dr. Niyati Trivedi and Palaka das arrived first and began chanting Nrsimha prayers into his ears. Chandrasekhara Swami, Ramabhadra das, Gauranga Prema das, Krishna Mohan das, Nila Madhava das, Adideva das, Ananta Govinda das, and Satya devi dasi arrived a few minutes later and Ramabhadra das immediately placed Sri Giri Govardhana and a sacred Nrsimha Pavitra on Srikant Prabhu's head and heart as he began a Hare Krishna kirtan. A very emotional kirtan by as many as ten devotees continued in the emergency room bedside of Srikant Prabhu for an unprecedented four hours.

Other devotees also came into the emergency room to see Srikant Prabhu. Dr. Niyati Trivedi did her internship at this hospital and said generally they give family members a few minutes and take the body away. The hospital staff was very kind, and Ramabhadra das heard a doctor say to one patient "do you like the singing"? There were more than 20 patients in that emergency room.

After three and a half hours of heartfelt kirtan, chanting of Brahma Samhita, and Caitanya Caritamrta verses from Adi Lila Chapter One, the devotees bathed Srikant Prabhu's body with warm water, decorated him with Gopi Chandan and Tulasi, dressed his body in new cloth, placed Nrsimha Pavitra around his neck, and fresh Sri Sri Radha Govindadeva prasadam flower garlands and Srimati Radharani's flower Bouquet in one hand and his Japa Mala in the other hand. A sweet Hare Krishna kirtan concluded the outpouring of love for Srikant Prabhu.

At this time we want to offer our deepest appreciation with respect and love to Srikant Prabhu for all the joy he gave so many of us with his mature devotional service. The devotees of Sri Sri Radha Govinda Mandira love Srikant Prabhu very much and we will miss him very much until we all meet again when he leads us in Hare Krishna Kirtan at the lotus feet of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai and Sri Sri Radha Govindadeva in Goloka Vrndavana Dhama.

Sunday night, November 14th from 6pm until 9pm at Sri Sri Radha Govinda Mandira we will have a devotional tribute to Srikant Prabhu. Since he always gave us such wonderful prasadam feasts, we will prepare and offer a 25 course Sunday love feast to Sri Sri Radha Govindadeva and all Vaisnavas in attendance.

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In Memoriam for Purnacandra Goswami
There Are Too Few Like You

By Indradyumna Swami

Dear Purnacandra Goswami,
Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

It was with great sorrow that I heard about your sudden departure from this world. Although we regularly hear about these things in sastra and are constantly preparing ourselves for such inevitable events, somehow when they actually happen we seem totally unprepared. And so it is that I can hardly believe you are no longer among us.

Your departure leaves a deep sadness in my heart. It is said that time heals all wounds, but this maxim does not hold true with the departure of Vaisnavas. In fact, the wound only becomes deeper as we remember their personalities and the contributions they made to this historic movement, which is establishing the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world.
No doubt your departure was auspicious because you have gone back to Godhead. Be that as it may, you have left us - your godbrothers, disciples, and friends - lamenting. Your return to the spiritual world is a gain for the devotees of that transcendental abode but a tragic loss for us. Not only for us, but for all the conditioned souls who might have met you, had you stayed a little longer.
A devotee of your caliber is always focused on the mission of his spiritual master: to shed light on the science of Godhead for the benefit of others. When such a preacher departs, that light goes out, and the world becomes a little darker.

You and I were friends. Some people say such things casually: “Oh, so and so is my friend,” or “Yes, I know him. He’s a friend of mine.” But friendship in Krsna consciousness is not a casual thing. It is a special blessing of Krsna to be cherished as dearly as life itself. It is not based on shared material desires but is established on and matures through service to guru and Gauranga. It goes deep and is relishable because of the blissful experience of preaching Krsna consciousness together.

The camaraderie that you and I shared in our preaching in England, Russia, and India was always enlivening for me. We seemed to have a natural attraction to each other, even though we were different in many ways. But it is said that opposites attract. I tend to be outgoing and social, whereas you, because of your humility, were often shy and reserved. Still, as different as we were, we shared many interests, such as kirtana, lecturing, and annual visits to Sri Vrindavana Dhama.

In fact, it was your strong attraction to Vraja bhakti and your determination to achieve it by spending as much time as possible in Sri Vrindavan Dhama doing bhajana that endeared you to me. You would spend many a Kartika in the dhama studying sastra and chanting the holy names with fixed attention.

Because you were well read, you had a deep understanding of the scriptures and a unique ability to communicate this to others. That was evident in the classes and seminars you gave, which were always popular with the devotees. Because of your limited preaching field, you were not well known within our ISKCON movement, so I was happy when the GBC acknowledged your abilities and had you convene and chair the Sastric Advisory Committee.

I’ll never forget the time your sastric knowledge saved my lowly self from embarrassment. One Kartika I joined a large parikrama party going to Visrama Ghat on the border between Vrindavana and Mathura. It was headed by Radhanath Swami and attended by many other illustrious godbrothers: Deena Bandhu Prabhu, Bhakti Caitanya Maharaja, BB Govinda Maharaja, and others.
Hundreds of devotees from around the world had filled the many buses that took us on the parikrama. By Krsna’s arrangement I was sitting next to you. At one point we received a message from Radhanath Swami saying that all the godbrothers would be asked to speak for a few minutes. I immediately became anxious because I knew little or nothing of the pastimes that took place at Visrama Ghat.
When I mentioned this to you, you smiled. “Write down what I tell you as notes,” you told me, “and you can use them when you speak.”

You went on to describe the pastimes at Visrama Ghat in great detail with many anecdotes and realizations as revealed by Visvanath Cakravarti and others. You suggested I read the notes until we arrived at the holy place so that when I spoke about the knowledge you’d shared with me it would seem natural. Just before we arrived you quizzed me on everything to be sure I knew it all by heart.
When we arrived at Visrama Ghat, some seven hundred devotees sat down at that auspicious place, with the godbrothers facing them in front. I was called on to speak first. As I took my place at the microphone I glanced over at you, and you winked, giving me assurance that everything would be all right. I began to speak, and because I had read my notes repeatedly the lilas and pastimes flowed easily from my mouth. It was a wonderful, transcendentally satisfying experience.

Afterwards many devotees complimented me on my talk, even Radhanath Swami. “I had no idea,” he said, “that you were such a rasika devotee with such deep realizations and understanding of sastra.” In all honesty, I had no choice but to tell him the truth, that I had learned these things from you just an hour earlier.
So I was saved from having to show my lack of knowledge, and I thank you once again. Though younger than me and with fewer years of devotional service in this lifetime, you were in fact more advanced than me in every way. I find it regrettable that you did not receive the recognition you deserved during your lifetime. Sometimes such acknowledgement places a devotee in a better position to share his knowledge and realizations with others, who benefit from his saintly association.

There are too few like you, Maharaja, too few willing to sacrifice anything and everything for preaching the mission of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Especially after taking sannyasa, you were busy all day every day in various ways, sharing your good fortune with others.

I will miss you. Your godbrothers and godsisters will miss you. Your disciples will miss you. And the people of Bosnia, Croatia, and Russia will miss you though they know it not. In reality, a great catastrophe, a great calamity, has befallen society: a capable and faithful Vaisnava who was doing the highest welfare work has departed. Hundreds of billions of ignorant souls cannot compare with one humble Vaisnava like you.

The world does not know what it has lost. We know, however, so we are remembering you and keeping you close to our hearts. But I do not feel that we are alone. The service rendered by you and by other devotees like you will be recognized by the denizens of the higher planets. Why not? Surely your spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, recognized you, and he is the sum total of all the demigods.

On the day of your samadhi ceremony, I, like many others, offered you my final respects and my most humble prostrated obseisances. I would consider it my great fortune should I serve alongside you in a future lifetime.

Your servant, friend, admirer, and godbrother,
Indradyumna Swami


 

Appreciating Purnacandra Goswami
Submitted by New Vrindavan Commications.
November 30, 2010

Submitted to dandavats.com by Su-gita Vani devi dasi

Purnacandra GoswamiIn a year that has witnessed the untimely departure of several of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples, the latest to leave us is H.H. Purnacandra Goswami.

His samadhi will come up in the gosala gardens of the Krishna Balaram Mandir in Vrindavan. To those who were familiar with Maharaj’s personality, this venue, with its peace and quiet, complete with cows and monkeys, appears to be the perfect choice for his samadhi.

His outstanding abilities as a preacher, his vast knowledge of sastra and his deep love of Vrindavan have already been written about and spoken for.

In this piece, we will attempt to describe the techniques he had evolved to extend spiritual care to devotees in trouble. His methods were subtle and sophisticated. They were clearly developed over time and combined the precision of a surgeon with the sensitivity of the artiste and musician that he was.

Our siksa connection with him goes back six years. Pre-occuppied as we were with the challenges posed by our fledgling teaching seva, we never made the effort to catch up with him when he visited India annually during this period. Our first darsan of Maharaj took place late last year, during karthik at Govardhan.We met him again, for the last time, at his vyasa puja in Russia in March.

Although there was a steady stream of sastric enquiries from our side over these six years ( sometimes submissive and at times challenging ), and detailed replies from the other side, we can honestly say that, it was only two years ago that we made a serious commitment to him. At that time, circumstances arose that helped us to take full shelter and to surrender.

Because he was equipped with vast experience of the various problems that devotees have faced in our movement, he could anticipate trouble.

With hindsight, I can confidently say that he had laid out a safety-net to catch and save me, long before I actually fell.

Armed with unflinching loyalty to Srila Prabhupada and determination to prevent devotees from leaving, he has helped many like me.

He did not lose sight of the big picture - of the Lord’s plan - why Krishna might be exposing a devotee to certain negative experiences in spiritual life. He did not kick-start the crisis although he must have seen it coming. He was patience personified and saw himself as nothing more than an instrument.

Once the storm had broken over our head, he was fully involved and yet he remained detached. Never aloof or impersonal, yet giving just the right amount of support , not an iota more or less - in this way, he warded off our becoming excessively dependent on him in the future. Such self-restraint could only have come from deep integrity.

In most cases, because of the way Maharaj extended himself to those in need, the whole problem turned into a wonderful learning experience.

Once the process of healing was concluded and the devotee back on his feet, Maharaj would caution ( with a dash of humour ), “Remember, always expect the worst and hope for the best “.

All those whose lives were touched by his have come away enriched by lessons learnt in the vaishnava qualities of integrity, humility, selflessness, patience, compassion and forgiveness. He taught us by example, how to bridge the gap between theory and practical application of these lofty concepts.

He demonstrated how it is possible to work within the organization and at the same time retain a highly independent and thoughtful approach to every issue. He was able to do this because he understood perfectly that freedom and creativity go hand in hand with bhakti.

Purnacandra Goswami’s book, “ Unspoken obstacles on the path to bhakti “ ( 2002 ) is available at the Mayapur Institute mens’ office and with the author of this post. She can be contacted at su-gita.vani.jps@pamho.net.

 


Farewell To Purnacandra Goswami
By Yadunandana das for ISKCON News on 12 Nov 2010

The ceremony took place on the 9th of November, the day of Srila Prabhupada's departure, in the Moscow temple. A few hundred devotees attended, among them were Niranjana Swami and Nitay Caitanya Goswami.

Purnacandra Goswami's body was carried around the Sri Sri Doyal Nitai Saci Suta temple three times, after which a puja was offered to Maharaja's body, and then devotees sang kirtan and said their goodbyes, while senior devotees shared their memories of Maharaja. Srila Niranjana Swami told about Srila Purnacandra Goswami's sublime qualities, how the understanding of the inner substance of vaisnavas as well as of other people's was of first importance to Him. He also understood the inner substance of the events that were taking place in this world.

Jaya Madhava Das, disciple of Srila Prabhupada who has been living in Moscow since quite a while, reminded us how important it was for Purnacandra Goswami to be distributing Srila Prabhupada's books and preaching the glory of the Holy Name.

Bhakti Vigyana Goswami's address which He has sent from India was read to the audience. Bhakti Vigyana Goswami said over the phone how deeply Purnacandra Maharaj was concentrated on Sri Krishna, on Vrindavan, on the Holy Name of the Lord. "He was helping many people become more serious in their spiritual life, helped them to understand the beauty of Krishna consciousness."

Orphaned disciples of Purnacandra Goswami expressed their feelings of infinite grief and at the same time of heartwarming happiness. No, they did not lose Maharaja, but they aquired a deeper understanding of this sublime soul. They are certain that Maharaja has reached what He was aspiring for. Ranchor Das asked all Vaisnavas to use every second of association with our spiritual masters, and to use every possibility of rendering service to them. Otherwise we will be so sorry later that we did not use such an opportunity that was given to us. There were also words of confidence that Purnacandra Goswami will certainly meet with His disciples again, when the time comes.

Kirtan in honour of Purnacandra Goswami was led by Niranjana Swami. Then the time came for pushpanjali, the rain of flowers. Beautiful flower garlands were laid on the body of Purnacandra Goswami, as well as garlands of Tulasi Maharani leaves from Aindra Prabhu's deities. His body was washed with tears of sadness. Everyone cried. Niranjana Swami could hardly hold back tears.

Purnacandra Goswami's body was lifted and carried to the car, that was to reach the place of cremation before sunset. Before His last departure from the temple Vaisnavas held a kirtan which allured even the iron heart of the catafalque's driver. He was watching the singing people and in his eyes one could see his soul awakening.

There were no obstacles to the last journey of Purnacandra Goswami on this day. Vaisnavas who accompanied the body to the place of cremation say there was no traffic and no waiting in the crematorium. In the hall of goodbyes of the crematorium they started a kirtan that has never been heard in that place before. Srimati Gauri amazed with her singing the workers of the crematorium whose hearts have hardened with the everyday sight of death. Looks like they, too, understood finally what is the real life, that is different from the blind and useless existence that most people of today lead. On Thursday Moscow Vaisnavas have gathered for an evening of remembrance, dedicated to the great and humble servant of Srila Prabhupada- Srila Purnacandra Goswami Maharaj.

Maharaja's ashes will be taken to Vrindavan where His samadhi will be.


Funeral Service Held for Purnacandra Goswami

Submitted by: New Vrindavan Communications
November 11, 2010

purnacandra goswami

purnacandra

purnacandra service

The Last Darshan of Purnachandra Swami -
Srila Prabhupads Disappearance day -
Moscow Russia 2010
By Jaya Madhava das (acbsp) Moscow Russia

Dear world wide community of devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances, All Glories to- His Divine AC Bhaktivedanta Swami- Srila Prabhupada. All glories to H.H. Purnachandra Swami HDG Srila Prabhupada’s `Disappearence day’ this year in Moscow Russia was a heavy sober reminder of spiritual loss to all the devotees in Moscow iskcon. By Lord KRSNAs arrangement an unusual event took place here. There was the celebration of two departures / ‘disappearence day of devotees’ in iskcon Disappearances, of Our Beloved Srila Prabhupada and his beloved disciple my Godbrother Purnacahndra Swami. The ceremonies were lush and loving with Kirtan’s,bhajan’s ,Flowers and Push punjali and artiks and words of appreciations. His HH Naranjana Swami and myself were the only two Godbrothers present at the ceremony 1st in a huge hall like tent next to the Moscow iskcon temple. Hundreds of Russian devotees attended the days and evenings ceremonies. The ceremonies took place at 2 separate places and times, HH Purnacahndra Swami’s, emotional and somber ceremony took place in the start of the day in the morning and Srila Prabhupada’s in the afternoon and evening. This was necessary as Maharaj’s body had to be cremated the same day. So it happened that two intense emotional spiritual loss experience’s took place on the same day.Thats a rare event in iskcon anywhere. A few’s word about H.H.~Purnachandra Swami~ He spend many of his later years in iskcon preaching in the former Soviet Union, Moscow in particular. I personally knew him for many years and I will miss him. I was always so happy to have his kind friendship, humble and genuine association, Purnachandra Swami really cared about his Godbrothers and Godsisters and lived his life for serving and helping the devotees and later in his life serving the Russian iskcon devotees. He was an wonderful example for us all. Purna chandra was attached to no material things,only the holy names of GOD HARE KRSNA Maha Mantra and to Srila Prabhupads iskcon and its devotees, He was attached to following Srila Prabhupads instructions to the letter. Maharaj was attached to preaching, encouraging book distribution and massive Hari Nams in Moscow to all the Russian devotees and he lead the example. His personal example of real humility and real dedication to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Prabhupada’s iskcon society and its devotees ,is a shining example of a true Prabhupada man and he will be dearly missed by his Godbrothers and Godsisters and disciples and Russian devotees who knew him. Posted here is His Last Darshan. HDG Srila Prabhupada Ki Ji HH Purnachandra Swami Ki Ji


http://www.dandavats.com/?p=9029


Purnacandra Goswami Passes Away
Submitted by New Vrindavan Communications

By ISKCON News Service for ISKCON News on 5 Nov 2010

PurnacandraOn the 4th of November, 22:25 PM Moscow time Purnacandra Goswami passed away. It is a great loss for the entire ISKCON community.

On October 15th Maharaja was hospitalized with internal bleeding, and from September 19th he was in coma. Despite deep coma he manifested some signs of consciousness every time when devotees would come to him to chant the holy name.

Purnacandra Maharaja joined Srila Prabhupada's movement when he was 17 years old. For more than 38 years he served ISKCON with great dedication. His knowledge of the Vedic scriptures was vast and profound. For many years he was teaching Bhakti-sastri course and many other courses to the devotees.

He had very deep attachment to Sri Vrindavana-dhama. He divided his preaching time between Russia and Balkans, but Karttik he would always spend in Vrindavan. Over the last few years he was writing a book dedicated to Lord Krishna's pastimes in Vrindavana. He was always deeply absorbed in the holy names. The concentration and intensity with which he would chant the holy name every day was incomparable.

Read more:


Purnacandra

 

Please go to Dandavats.com for postings and comments.

http://www.dandavats.com/?p=8985

 

 

 



 

LATEST UPDATE on Purnacandra Goswami's Health
October 30, 2010

Submitted by: New Vrindavan Communications

Dear Devotees,

Dandavat pranams. Jay Srila Prabhupada!

HH Purnacandra Maharaja is still in coma and it seems that there is not much that the doctors can do to get him out of it. He is on life support, but the doctors at this point are not talking about discontinuing with life support.

The problem in Moscow is getting the right information from the doctors because they are reluctant to speak about his predicament as Maharaja is an American citizen, without any 'legal' representative in Russia. The devotees (HH Niranjana Swami and now the devotees in Moscow), however, have managed to contact Maharaja's father who is willing to give the 'power of attorney' to a devotee in Moscow, and this will give his 'guardian' an opportunity and (most importantly) authority to speak with doctors and get more information about the chances for his recovery.

Doctors have checked his reflexes and it seems that Maharaja is responsive, which is a good sign. As to the chances for his full recover, we have to wait and see and, most importantly, depend on Lord's mercy.

At the moment, devotees, with the help of some highly placed people in Moscow, are trying to arrange for Maharaja an Mp3 player, so that he could listen to bhajans, which was initially very difficult to achieve as Russian authorities were very strict on this point (no foreign object in the reanimation department). It might be possible to arrange for a priest/devotee in the room as well (who could read to Maharaja).

Maharaja is in the best hospital in Moscow, and devotees are doing their best to help him out: by being in touch with the doctors, praying and holding daily kirtans, trying to connect with friends of devotees at high places who could help out, etc.

Furthermore, on the recommendation of Shyamasundara das (the astrologer) there special homas are being held for HH Purnacandra Maharaja (to bring Purnacandra Gosvami back from the coma and to restore him to full health) in Srirangam, India.

Please, continue with your prayers, so that our merciful Lord (if He so wishes) may speed up Maharaja's recovery and give him many more years of service in the sankirtan movement.

Your servant,
Yugal kisora dasa

This is a video made in honor of Maharaja. If unable to see the video on the left please visit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpDV2go0ZHo

 

 


The passing away of Devaki Mayi
Friday, November 5, 2010
Submitted by: Lilavilasini devi dasi Terni, Italy

Dear Devotees
PAMHO. AGTTGASP. TLASG&SG

Few hours ago our dear Devaki Mayi left her body during the auspicious month
of Damodar at 8pm in Guayaquil-Equador on 5th November. At that time in
India was 6:30am the time when devotees/sadhus do meditation and chant
auspicious mantras and that particular day the whole of India was getting
ready to celebrate one of the most important days know as the festival of
lights or Dipavali. This festival also represents the way we need to clean
our hearts to be able to receive our eternal father Sri Krishna in the same
way the inhabitants of Ayodhya cleaned, decorated and illuminated the whole
of the city of Ayodhya to receive Lord Ramachandra.

It is something incredible how this little Vaishnavi Devaki Mayi with just
20 years and with such a simple, beautiful and kind personality united in
prayers devotees from every corner of the world. She left us so many good
spiritual teachings and remembrances. Yesterday in Mayapur was announced
about devaki before the evening Puja to Lord Damodar and all Dham Vasis
offered their lamps and kept her in their prayers, In Malaysia where I am at
the moment devotees sang bhajams for her, even someone from a Royal Family
asked me for her photo and prayed for her, the ambassador of Venezuela
called me few time asking for her, Prabhupada disciples Amogha prabhu and my
parents, to mention just a few of so many people around the world who showed
their love and support for Devaki and her family.

At the moment Devaki was leaving her body she was surrendered by devotees
who were singing mantras to her, including her parents, in-laws, husband and
someone very special, her own Spiritual Master Srila Jayapataka Swami who
with the help of a mobile phone was also singing for her next to her ear.
What auspiscios way to leave the body! It was a mixture of sadness but also a
lot of joy because we know she is going back home, back to Goaded.

My condolences especially to Guru Maharaja, her parents Kanu Pandit Prabhu
and Isarani mataji, her husband Ekanath prabhu, brother in-law Manohar Shyam
prabhu and in-laws Maha Bhagavati Devi Dasi and husband and all friends and
family.

 

I also want to take this opportunity to approach the community of friends
who can send a little economic contribution to Ekanath prabhu because this
unexpected incident generated expenses of about $ 20,000 U.S. and I think if we
all contribute a little we can give him this practical support which is much
needed.

The bank account for any contribution please send directly to prabhu Ekanath:
(ekanath.gaura.jps@pamho.net):

 

Bank: BANK OF AMERICA
Name: EDUARDO LLASER
Branch: GAINESVILLE FLORIDA USA
Account No.: 005508365006 CHECKING ACCOUNT
Swift code: BOFAUS3N

Any donation is welcome and if you send it, please let me know or let
Ekanath prabhu know so we can ensure the donation will reach into the account.

Thank you. .
Your humble servant,
Marici das


 

October 16, 2010
From Lilavilasini dd in Terni, Italy.

HARE KRSNA,

By the desire of Lord Krishna, HH SRI SRIBHUTI KRISHNA GOSWAMI MAHARAJA passed away from this world on October 15, 2010. Funeral was in Sridham Vridavan at 11:00AM the 16th of Oct.2010.

 


 

On behalf of the family of HH Sri Sribhuti Krishna Goswami Maharaja:

H.H. Sri Sribhuti Krishna Goswami Maharaja departed for the spiritual world on Friday 15th October 2010 at 1.05PM. Although he was undergoing treatment in hospital Maharaj was throughout his stay preaching to staff and spreading the glories of the Holy Name and the glories of Sri Radharaman ji, his beloved Deity. He encouraged and engaged all staff in harinam sankirtan and won their hearts.

At the same time of his departure his wife saw Sri Radharamanji enter the room and hold Maharaj ji by his hand.

Maharaja lived in Sri Vaijayanti Ashram in Vrndavan, where the Sriman Madhva-Gaudeshwar-Vaishnava Peetham was originally established. He established branches of Sriman Madhva-Gaudeshwar-Vaishnava Peetham in cities like Amritsar, Jalandhar,
Chandigarh and Jaipur. He had been delivering Bhagavat katha since the age of 14 and was spreading the message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world tirelessly, through his captivating discourses on various scriptures like Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharata, Srimad Bhagavatam, Sri Ramayana, and Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita. He delivered kathas in USA, Canada, London, Switzerland, France, Italy, and in many other parts of Europe and many devotees would gather to listen to his captivating lectures. His magnanimity, soothing advice and genuine concern for all made him distinct amongst spiritual leaders.

He was the son of H.H. Atul Krishna Goswamiji Maharaja, an erudite scholar and a reputed orator in India. Srila Prabhupada would often come to this ashram in the early days to discuss Bhagavatam with HH Atul Krishna Goswami ji Maharaja and would spend time at the library that existed then in the courtyard of Vaijayanti Ashram. HH Sribhuti Krishna Goswami would always glorify Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON and recall his early memories of Srila Prabhupada.

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In Memory of Jaya Sena Das
Submitted by Kardama Muni Das
Alachua, Florida (U.S.)

Hare Krsna! Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

The devotees at Murari Sevaka will be holding a memorial ervice, glorification & feast for Jaya Sena Das, ACBSP, who left his body yesterday, October 20, 2010. The service will be held on Saturday, October 23, 2010 and will start at 11:00am. Please join us!

Donations are being accepted in memory of Jaya Sena Das and will be used for his final expenses. If you would like to donate, please send your check to either of the two following addresses, and please indicate that this is in memory of Jaya Sena Das.

ISKCON Murari Sevaka
PO Box 108
Lynchburg, TN 37352
ISKCON Alabama
4000 Penny Street
Huntsville, AL 35805


Your association would be greatly appreciated.

Hare Krsna!

Your servants,
The Murari Sevakas


As I recall Jayasena Prabhu gave me my first BTG in downtown Atlanta long before I moved in the temple. Whenever I was downtown - which was often, since I was in college there - the devotees were chanting, and Jayasena Prabhu was distributing the BTGs. I would sometimes cross the street to avoid him, but he had some knack for ambushing me no matter where I was. Those BTGs and the street chanting forever changed me.

"Any gentleman will give a quarter," Prabhupada said. So, Jayasena Prabhu made me at least that much of a gentleman in the estimation of Srila Prabhupda. So for that, I owe him a debt of eternal gratitude. He was stalwart in so many ways. He had been quite ill for decades - kidneys, I think. I had no idea he was near the end.

I offer sincere prayers to Srila Prabhupada, Nitai Gauracandra residing at Murari Sevaka, Panca Tattva and Gaura Nitai who he faithfully served at New Panihati, and to the line of acaryas for his eternal engagement in devotional service.

Kardama Muni Das
Alachua, Florida (U.S.)


Submitted by: Lilavilasini Devi Dasi Terni, Italy
October 4, 2010

Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble obeisance. All glory to Srila
Prabhupada! All glory to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga!

harshitadeviBy the desire of Sri Krishna, my maternal grandmother by the name of
H.G. Harshitadevidasi Mataji (ACBSP) who was a duly initiated harinama
disciple of Srila Prabhupada, passed away unexpectedly on 1st Oct. Friday,
2010 at 11:00 a.m. She took initiation from Srila Prabhupada in March of
1977 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The precise time of her departure was:

The month of Ashvin, Krishna-paksha, Variyana yoga, Aardra Nakshatra, and Ashtami Tithi.
She passed away in Vallabh-Vidyanagar, Dist: Anand, Gujarat, India. The
administration of ISKCON temple here presided over by H.G. Saccidanandadas
Adhikari Prabhu (LOK), is taking care for the funeral ceremony to be
held on Tuesday 5th Oct 2010. in Dakor [the place only 35 kms from our place
where the original Dwarkadhish/Ranachora Raya deity installed by King
Vajranabha (the great-grandson of Lord Krishna) in Dwarka is currently
presiding].

My maternal grandfather by the name of H.G. Rammurtidas Adhikari
Prabhu (ACBSP) is also a disciple of Srila Prabhupada. They both had taken
initiation in the March of 1977 in Mombassa & Nairobi, Kenya, Africa. They
established two ISKCON temples: one in Mombassa, Kenya in seventies and
after the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada they established the ISKCON of
Vallabh-Vidyanagar in 1985.

Mataji passed away at the age of 67 yrs

and without any apparent trouble. She had bronchitis, exteme low blood pressure
and due to partial heart failure (pre-angina for the third time in the same
week) she passed away in full conciousness but very smoothly without even
knowing that she is departing. She was in I.C.U. at the time of departure.

At the last moment she told the doctors and nurses that Lord Krishna in the
form of Srinathaji (the worshipable deity of Sri Madhavendrapuri Goswami
traditionally worshipped in Gujarat province) will bless you spiritually for
the care you have taken of me. Immediately after remembering Lord Krishna in
such a way she passed away. Also, she didn't recall any family member at the
time of demise.

Mataji had a unique taste of service. She made
approximately 500 or so outfits/dresses of Radha-Krishna and Gaura-nitai
deities for various ISKCON temples in Kenya and also in Vallabh-Vidyanagar
since past 35 years of her life. The residence of Mataji where she lived for
about past 27 years is known as 'Sri Caitanya Sankirtan Kutir'. We have
deities of Sri Radha-Krishna, Gaura-Nitai, Laddu-gopala, and Giriraja
Govardhana silas at our home. She made tonnes of outfits for Them also. That
is the service she liked very much. Even while she was admitted in the
hospital last week she was sewing and knitting the garments for the deities.

The contact numbers in India are: 1) +91 (0) 9316970600 (H.G. Rajsuyadas
Prabhu (GKG) - T.P. of ISKCON of Ludhiana, Punjab, India - the son-in-law of
Mataji) and/or +91 (0) 9898136101 (H.G. Ramamurtidas Prabhu (ACBSP) - the
husband of Mataji) .

Please pray to Srila Prabhupada and Sriman Mahaprabhu to kindly bless
the departed soul that whereever it goes it remains in the company of pure
devotees of the Lord always immersed in the service of Their Lordships Sri
Sri Radha-Shyamsundar, Sri Krishna-Balarama, and Sri Gaura-Nitai.

The link of Harshita devi dasi's initiation record is:
http://www.prabhupada.com/OLD-site/disciple.php?letter=H

In service of vaishnavas,
Radhakrishnadas Brahmachari (GKG),
Sri Caitanya Sankirtan Kutir,
Vallabh-Vidyanagar, Dist: Anand, Gujarat, Bharat 388120

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Rasajna Devi Dasi

Rasajna dd & Rukmini dd

Two lovely Vaisnavis, Srimate Rasajna devi dasi and Srimate Rukmini devi dasi at the Japa retreat in upstate NY. May, 2008.

 

Rasajna's Ashes Are Being Flown to Vrndavana and a Big Feast is Planned
By: Bhumi Devi Dasi
September 22, 2010

 


Dear Devotees and Friends of Rasajna,

This year during Kartika Rukmini (ACBSP) Vishaka (ACBSP) Malati and Sumati, (all godsisters of our dear Rasajna) will be making their way to the holy dhama of Sri Vrndavana-dhama with the ashes of Srimati Rasajna. Sumati (who took care of Rasajna during her illness) called me today to ask me if I would get the word out that they would like for the devotees to help finance a big feast in Rasajna's honor to be distributed freely to the residents of Sri Vrndavana-dhama and all the pilgrims who come to the Krsna Balarama Mandira during the month of Kartika. They are anticipating well over a thousand people honoring Rasajna's feast and need to raise over a thousand dollars to make this feast possible. We only have a few weeks until these ladies leave for India, so if you would like to donate, I will give you Sumati's address where you can send donations of any amount.

Here is Sumati's address where you can send your donations and I am also leaving her email address in case you have any questions for her.

Sumati devi dasi
Carol Bruck
PO Box 1756
Alachua, FL
32616


Email: sumatidpd@gmail.com

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Memories of Citra Devi Dasi
Submitted by Lilavilasini Devi Dasi
Terni, Italy
September 6, 2010

Dear Prabhus, PAMHO AGTSP Here is a text which is a compilation of the memories of Citra Devi, who quit her body on July 23 in New Mayapur, France. Thanks for posting it with her photo.

Your servant,
Gaurangi Devi Dasi

Citra Devi Memories
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MEMORIES OF CITRA DEVI DASI

Citra DasiThe following article is a condensed version of the memories of Citra Devi that devotees shared the day of the ceremony we did in her honour in New Mayapur, France, on Sunday July 26. A few devotees who were not present also added their testimony. There are also a few dreams and murti stories that Citra Devi had shared with me.
Hridaya Caitanya Prabhu, the GBC for France, wrote a letter on Dandavats.com explaining the circumstances of Citra Devi’s departure from this world on July 23, 2010.
Your servant, Gaurangi dasi

Very determined and fixed up in her services to the Deities and Tulasi Devi

Tested as soon as she joined the temple

Concepcion Gomez - originally from Spain - arrived in New Mayapur about twenty years ago. At the time she was young and pretty, in her late twenties, and was wearing colourful saris and much jewelry. She was tested as soon as she arrived in the temple when the man she came with left very shortly after. She was faced with the choice to either leave with him or stay with the devotees. Despite the fact that she was very attached to him she decided to stay.

Kalakanthi dasi : “I knew Citra Devi from the beginning because I joined just after her.
We had a close relationship at that time because, as we were making garlands together, and she talked to me a lot about her life and all kinds of things. When she had to choose between her lover and Krishna, she told me ‘I want to be a good devotee’, and she kept repeating this all the time.”

No question of her saying “No”

At the beginning she was making all the garlands for all the murtis by herself – a total of six large ones and four small ones- after having picked the flowers herself.
Kalakanthi dasi : “I always recall how in the dead of winter, when there were no more flowers to pick up outside to make garlands, I used to ask her, ‘Citra, what do we do today?, and she would reply, “Mix color!”. And we started to laugh together. During that period we suffered together, as there was no means to do anything. She was already isolated.”

Visesa dasi: “Not long after she got initiated and started to do puja on the altar. Citra Devi has always been very fixed up and regular , and we did not have to worry whether she would come or not to do her service. After her morning pujari services were over, she never went to rest again. All the other devotees wanted to have a free day, but Citra Devi never wanted a break, something I rarely saw during all the years I spent in New Mayapur. Once she had developed a disease, a fibroma, and the doctor had sent her to the hospital for an emergency operation. After which she quickly resumed her service, as there was no question of her saying, ‘No, I cannot do it.’ A few years after she joined she put on the white sari of a renunciate Vaisnavi, shaved her head, and discarded her jewelry. “

Gauda Mandala das : « For many of us Citra Devi was the exemple of a fixed up devotee, nistha. We can make up many stories about our spiritual advancement, but nistha is somebody who is very fixed up, who never miss their sadhana or their devotional service.”

Citra Devi was indeed very determined to do her service to Krishna Balarama and the other deities in all circumstances. Without missing a single day in more than twelve years she was taking excellent care of around 30 to 50 tulasi plants, even when it was very cold. When she dressed Krishna and Balaram, her favourite murtis, everything was first class. They always looked wonderful, with elaborate turbans and matching jewelry. Devotees really appreciated the colourful drawings she was painting on Their forehead or cheeks: attractive patterns of dots, flowers, birds, fishes, or whatever designs matched the outfit of the day. Once she painted very large cows on Krishna’s cheeks and forehead to match the Cow Outfit.

More serious tests: a broken hip and the Parkinson disease

Visesa dasi: “A few years ago, she broke her hip and had another operation. I thought it was going to be terrible for her, and that she would be totally crushed because of not being any longer able to dress Krishna and Balarama, her favourite deities. When I went to visit her at the hospital, she was not depressed, she had accepted things as they were. When she came back to the temple we wanted to put her in the large and comfortable sannyasis’ room, but she did not want to go there. She preferred to stay in her tiny room which did not even have a bed or a mattress - we had offered her one before, but she had preferred to sleep on her mat with a few blankets. She was very austere with her body, but she finally accepted to move to the sannyasis’ room so the chiropractor could properly take care of her. As soon as she was able to she started to make garlands again sitting at the desk there. Later on we reorganised the pujari room behind the altar, and put a high table so she could sit on a chair while dressing the small deities of Radha Govinda Madhava and bathing the Govardhana sila. “

About four years ago she developed the Parkinson disease, a crippling disease characterized by muscle spasms and rigidity, tremors, slow movements and loss of control over many parts of the body. The doctor had told Citra Devi that happily her brain had not been touched.
Visesa dasi: “Even though she was very handicapped – she could not walk properly and her hands were trembling all the time– she was doing more service than everyone else.
In winter I was telling her, ‘Do not go outside to pick up leaves for the garlands, you may break your other hip. We’ll send someone to pick them for you.’ She was very stubborn and refused our offer, but eventually accepted it. Citra Devi was very responsible. This year she did not go to India because last winter, while she was in the dhama, most of the tulasi plants she was caring for had died. She said she would go if the weather was fine and if there was no danger for tulasi.

The past few years Citra devi was faithfully caring for the many tulasis and making her three small garlands- one for the small Radha Krishna, one for Giriraj and one for Nrsimhadeva, despite her hands that were constantly shaking. Devotees were amazed and wondered how she could manage, especially pulling the thread through the needle. Even in that condition she was still making beautiful embroideries on the napkins for the Deities. Once she had told Sita Thakurani, “You must be very attached to do your service no matter what”. She demonstrated that herself by making her garlands till the very end: she brought them in the pujari room the very morning of her departure.

A corner of Vrindavana in New Mayapur

Besides taking care of the deities on the altar, Citra Devi also took care of her own deities in her room. She had many, a small set of Radha Krishna, one of Gaur Nitai, a few others, and about twenty salagram silas, including two of Giri Govardhana, which a brahmana from Radhakund had given her. With her Radha Krishna deities and her Govardhana silas she had created Vrindavana in New Mayapur, and she lived in that world. Even with her hip problem and her Parkinson disease, she had gone to Nepal last year with two French vaisnavas to get more salagram silas. Lalita Madhava das: “At that time things were hot in Nepal, and other devotees had been arrested by revolutionaries, who wanted money from them. Happily, everything went fine for us; we took a special small plane from Katmandu to the Gandaki river, where we can find the silas. Citra Devi knew how to recognize the different salagram silas. She picked up about a dozen; she gave most of them to devotees, and kept two for herself.”

Other services in the temple

Citra Devi’s role in the temple was not limited to puja, garlands and caring for tulasi.
Mathura Vrindavana  dasi: “At one time I was also living in the castle in a room that was not far from hers. Once I had made leek soup, and she came to see me to ask me never to cook leeks in the temple again. I don’t think it bothered her personally, but she probably did not want that smell in the temple. So I never cooked leeks again in the castle. Later on, whenever I happened to do some in my own home, I would always think of her.”
Gauda Mandala das: “Every morning I used to walk in front of the table where she was making her garlands. She always had something very precise to say, ‘The temple has not been cleaned since two days, etc’ She was the gardian of the East. She always knew whatever happened in the temple, whether everything was in proper order, even while remaining in her room upstairs. Even though she was keeping the maha burfi in her room, she never ate any of it; she would distribute it to the devotees and would wait till someone offered her some.”

Self-satisfied, reserved, and hiding her suffering

Visesa dasi: “We’ve been working together in the pujari room since twenty years. We had a few quarrels together, but it was exceptional; it passed very quickly and we became friends again. I thought that she was telling me everything, but it was not the case, and I had no idea of what was going to happen. She was very self-satisfied, reserved. We could not know what went on in her world. I was very open with her, but she did not confide in me completely. I admired her for being able to stay alone, because I’m not capable of doing it myself. When I asked her how she managed on her own, she used to say, ‘I do like that, and if I feel too lonely I just go downstairs. I like my peace of mind.’
I’m very affected by what happened, she was such a close person. We have not been able to see her suffering. I have a shock when I go through the garden, as I have the feeling that I’m going to see her with the little plastic bag into which she was putting her flowers.”

Many wonderful Vaisnava qualities

Enjoying talking about Krishna

Each time Columbian-born Padasevana das visited New Mayapur he spoke in spanish with her for a little while. “With Citra devi, I could talk about Krishna, which is not the case with all the devotees. We also talked about her silas, and she always asked me news of the few tulasi plants she had given me over the years.” Several devotees said that when they approached Citra Devi, they felt some obligation to think about Krishna and talk about Him.
Caitanya Bhagavata das : « Whenever I would pass by her, I could not help but greet her with respect, as I felt she was deeply absorbed in meditation.  Sometimes I asked her, ‘How are you doing, Citra Devi?’ and she would reply, ‘All right’. Even though we all knew bout her problems, she did not talk about them. She was very self-effacing and discreet person. I was fascinated by her because I had the impression she was coming from another planet. Citra Devi was very intelligent, she saw and understood everything. He was deeply linked to Krishna.” Citra devi’s service to Krishna was indeed all her life. Devotees felt her very detached from her body and from this material world, and she never thought of going back there . Trying to use all her talents in His service, she also did nice paintings and drawings she would sell to get money for her trips to India.

The incarnation of austerity

Citra devi was the incarnation of austerity, which she exhibited in many ways and occasions.
At the beginning she was staying in the same room with Madana Manjari and Kalakanthi, who recalls, “Every morning Citra Devi was getting up à 3 am, and she was switching the light on all of a sudden, which was a shock for Madana Manjari, who was shivering with cold, and me, who was pregnant at the time, but Citra Devi did not back up for anything, sleep or cold.”
Gaurangi dasi : “ When I was seeing the tiny room in which she lived , without a mattress or heating - there was a kind of hole in the floor gathering heat from the pujari room below, but it was insufficient in the freezing cold of winter- I was impressed and a little scared at the same time. I don’t know how she managed to live in that tiny space with her altar and many silas, with just a small shelf for her clothes and books and a corner for her mat and blankets . It would have been a tremendous austerity for me to live like that, but it did not bother her, she was so absorbed in her service. She never seemed concerned or affected by all the problems, revolutions and changes constantly taking place in New Mayapur. One president was following the previous one, but Citra Devi was still doing her service, no matter who was the new leader.” When she was in Vrindavana, she would sometimes stay in very austere ashrams where widows were staying. One devotee recounted how at the beginning of one Vraja Mandala Parikrama she had sprayed her ankle very badly, and blood was flowing. He thought that the parikrama was over for Citra Devi, but, as a perfect yogini, she continued. She limped during the entire parikrama because of her injured and swollen ankle and refused to take the jeep for sick devotees. She must have had a very tough time during the whole month of the parikrama, but she was very determined to do it. “

Caring for devotees and animals

As a genuine devotee Citra Devi also loved Krishna’s devotees; she was always kind to them, and showed she was thinking about them by giving them in a loving way little packs of maha burfi or cookies. Whenever Citra Devi was asking Syamasakta dasi how she was doing, it was not just an empty formula. Syamasakta really felt that Citra Devi was very sincerely concerned about her and that she did care.

Kalakanthi dasi : “When Mira was a baby, very often it was Citra Devi who would pick her up from under the bed where she had crawled while I was doing service in the backroom. One day I was so tired that I fell asleep and did not hear Mira even though she was screaming right in my ears. Citra Devi came to take care of her. When I woke up, she was standing there, with Mira in her arms, comforting her. Then she left without putting on airs, as if it was the most natural thing to do “

Kalavati dasi told the following story, which further illustrates Citra Devi’s caring mood and humility: “This happened in New Mayapur at the beginning of May of this year. It was very cold in the castle, around 13°C, because the central heating system had been stopped in the spring. As I was expecting my seven year old grandson Shyam to come stay with me for a couple of days, I had started a fire in the wooden stove in Srila Prabhupada’s room. That’s where I installed him with his books and computer while I was getting ready to go on the altar to do the 6 o’clock offering and the evening arati. When I was showered, clean and dressed, ready to go, Shyam arrived in my room with a funny look on his face and an unusual wa y to walk. His pants were half pulled up and he looked very embarrassed. The bad smell emanating from him made me understand the problem, but since I had to go on the altar right away, I gave him clean clothes and directed him to the shower, telling him to manage by himself.
As I was going down the stairs I met Citra Devi in front of the toilet’s door, and she showed me the big mess Shyam had just done. There was stool everywhere, on the floor, on the toilet bowl, etc. I asked her whether she would mind closing the door and putting a note on the door, and told her I would clean up the mess after my service on the altar. In the evening, when I went to the toilets to do my “duty” I was very surprised to see that the toilets were super clean, spic and span. I could not believe my eyes. When I saw Citra devi the next day, I asked her if she had cleaned the toilets, and she said “yes” in all simplicity. I thanked her, but she answered in a light and amused tone, ‘Bah! No problem! I’m used to do it! With Jagannath (another young boy) it happens all the time, and it’s always me who ends up cleaning his mess. ‘ I could not believe my ears! I would never had thought that such a clean pujari could have done such a thankless task, especially that it was not her responsibility. These are the kinds of small details which Krishna notices, more than all the rest. I’m sure she will get His mercy; Krishna sees the good and the efforts one makes, and Citra Devi did tons of them. “

Citra Devi also loved animals, particularly cats, and we have many of them in New Mayapur. Visesa dasi: “When she chanted her rounds outside, the cats would follow her, because she was taking care of them. I heard that at times she was taking some of them to her room to show them her many salagram silas. Sometimes though she was saying that she had to get detached from these cats.”

Asking for forgiveness to the devotees before her departure

After Citra Devi’s departure, devotees started to talk about her, and many said that she had asked them forgiveness for her offenses.
Gaurangi dasi : « Two days before she left, on the vyasa-puja day of my Guru Maharaja, she was sitting at her table making her garlands, and she asked me to forgive her for her offenses. I was wondering why she was doing it at that time since we did not have a quarrel or a misunderstanding recently, which very rarely happened between us anyway. I just put my arms around her shoulder, reassuring her that she could not commit offenses. As I was very busy that day, I did not think more about it, until later when other devotees told me she had done the same thing with them. I then understood that she was planning to go for good.”
Sita Thakurani dasi : «  I quarrelled with Citra Devi many times, but she always told me things with love. Two days before quitting her body she asked me to forgive her. She said, ‘Sometimes I’m cold and distant, maybe I’m offending the devotees. By seeing Citra Devi asking for forgiveness, I told myself I should also do the same and ask the devotees forgiveness for my offenses…. In fact, by asking devotees to forgive her offenses, she was doing it for the act she was about to do which would have consequences for them.”

About a month ago a visiting Vaisnavi asked Citra devi if she was not suffering too much with her disease that was getting worse. Citra Devi had replied, “I don’t think about it, I think about Krishna.” However, despite her austere tendencies, her strong attachment to Krishna and her services, Citra Devi had also confided in someone that she needed a friend. To another one, she had expressed her anxiety of not being able to do much service any more. She probably knew that as her Parkinson disease would progress, she would be able to do less and less and would need someone to take care of her many hours every day. Not too long ago one devotee taking care of old people had offered to help her if she needed, but Citra Devi had declined her offer.

Devotees’ thoughts and feelings

Raymond (A friend of the devotees) : « I did not know Citra Devi very well from a human point of view, because we just greeted each other cordially; however, I knew her very well as a spirit soul. A few days ago, I had come to New Mayapur, and I had crossed Citra Devi on the stairs outside. As usual, we greeted each other with a ‘Haribol’ and ‘How are you?’ This time, however, I had the feeling that she would soon leave this world. Whenever I would meet Citra Devi in the castle, it was not anymore the ‘Domaine d'Oublaise’ , it was the ‘Nouvelle Mayapura’. Citra Devi was representing the typical inhabitant of Vrindavana. I could not help but see her like that; this thought was imposed in my mind, without my will being able to change it. Citra Devi did not evoke the image of a worldly person. She was a nun, a sadhu.”

Gaurangi dasi : «Citra Devi, the way you left your body is forcing us, the devotees living in or around New Mayapur, to reconsider our real priorities: to really take care of all those who have taken shelter of Krishna, accompany them in their trials, mourning, diseases, joys and pains. It is also what pleases Him the most. Citra Devi, you were not the only one to feel lonely in this community. How many suffer from isolation and the feeling of not being valued and appreciated, and take shelter of things detrimental to their spiritual lives? What is the most important in a community? Its walls, its number of hectares and buildings, or its members? Some of us have their family, or their little circle of friends, but overall it’s pretty much everyone in their own little corner. How many times do we invite each other for prasadam, to watch a devotional movie together, or just to know each other better?
Yes, I know, we are all very busy with our services, jobs and families, and many of us are getting old and tired. We’re just a small group of devotees trying to take care of a huge project and many deities. But it does not take much to show a little sympathy : give a phone call to see if everything is all right, share a quote or a realisation, lend a book, a CD or a DVD (useful for our spiritual life of course) , offer some flowers or vegetables from our garden, or just say a few words of appreciation. Asking for forgiveness after having had some harsh words or gestures costs only a little sacrifice to our false ego, but it’s so hard to do it.
So now, Citra Devi, in memory of you, let’s all try to make a difference, however small it may seem, for all the devotees still alive around us. Let’s give them our flowers while they can still smell them. ”

Mathura Vrindavana dasi : «  To be able to love each other, to really be here for each other, these things come up all the time, and I know why they do. It’s because it is the greatest challenge we are facing in fact. In itself it’s not an enormous challenge to distribute many books. But the daily challenge of loving the person who is right next to us, with his mind and all his weaknesses, it is the greatest challenge. I dare to hope that if there had been more love between ourselves – let’s for a moment imagine this community producing more love- that Citra Devi would still be with us today.”

Dream and stories of murtis told by Citra Devi

The desire trees of Goloka Vrindavana

One night I was dreaming that I was seeing trees made of crystal, desire trees. They were amazing. I got closer to these trees, and on the same tree I could see all kinds of different flowers. There were thousands of flowers, all shining and effulgent. When I looked on the ground I also saw many things shining there. I was telling myself it was not real, it was then that I realized it was Goloka Vrindavana.

I saw the small murtis of Radha Krishna shed tears

In 1996 there were not enough pujaris to take care of the murtis on the altar. So the temple council decided to take the small Gaura Nitai to Poland; and they even thought of putting to rest, for good, the small deities of Radha Krishna. The day they had taken that decision, even though I still was not aware of it, I saw the small murtis of Radha Krishna shedding tears, and I was wondering what was going on. Only later on did the devotees told me that the small
Gaura Nitai had to leave for Poland. At that moment I thought that Radha Krishna had been sad to see Gaura Nitai leave.
The day when Gaura Nitai were supposed to go, the arms of the small marble Krishna broke at the place where they had been glued, as they had been broken before. But it was a Monday, and all the stores were closed around, we could not even buy some glue. So the devotees left the small Radha and Krishna with His arms broken, and put Them to bed all day long. Seeing everybody crying, I understood that Krishna was trying to tell us that if we put Him to sleep, everybody would be sad and cry. So I told the temple council that I did not agree with their decision of putting the small deities to rest. I had to insist a lot, and finally they decided not to do it. I thanked Krishna a lot.

Krishna et Balarama also feel heat and cold

This happened during a very cold winter. That night there had not been any heating in the temple for the murtis, and I was thinking They might have been very cold. In the morning I touched the hand of Balarama, and it felt warm like a real live hand; at that moment all the hairs on my arms stood on end, and I realized that Balaram was a normal person. It’s the only time I had that kind of experience.

Another time it happened on a hot summer day, about fifteen years ago. I was on the altar with Anupama Dasi, a Polish devotee. That day the devotees had put a velvet outfit on the Deities, and I asked Anupama to remove the velvet shirt because it was too thick. She replied that we should keep it because it was going to rain. The weather was very hot that day, and when I undressed Krishna and Balarama in the evening I saw that Krishna’s armpits were soaked with perspiration. I called the other pujaris to show them what happened, but they all thought I was joking. They all put their hands to see if it was true they also noticed that He was wet everywhere, especially under His arms and on His head. When they saw it was true they were all very amazed. In fact Krishna’s head perspired like that almost all summer long. He was all shiny, and He even had drops of sweat.

Sri Sri Krishna Balaram ki jaya!
All glories to Citra Devi Dasi, Their dedicated servant!

 


PASSING AWAY OF H.H.Svayambhu Swami
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hare Krishna Please accept my humble obeisance . All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

It is With a heavy heart that we inform you that His Holiness Svayambhu Swami, a disciple of HH Gaura Govinda Swami, passed away from this world today (11.08.2010) at 4:15pm in Bhubaneswar, Orissa.

He had been very actively involved in ISKCON for many years and after Gaura Govinda Maharaj's disappearance took sannyasa from HH Bhakti Swarup Damodar Maharaja.

We request the devotees to pray to Sri Sri Radha-Madhava for his safe journey back to Their lotus feet. HARE KRISHNA

Thank you very much.

Your humble servant,
Bhakti Purusottama Swami

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Letter of condolence at the death of and appreciation for Citra Devi Dasi
Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 8:11 AM

By: Hrdaya Caitanya Prabhu, GBC for France: New Mayapur

Dear Vaishnavas,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

We are profoundly saddened that in New Mayapur on Friday 23 July in the early morning hours (around 1:00 am) Citra mataji committed suicide by setting her body on fire.

Citra mataji joined ISKCON in Spain more than twenty years ago. For many years she has been serving Their Lordships at New Mayapur with great dedication and in a very devotional mood. Her life was very simple and centered around Krishna. She lived in a room in the castle and had no other aspirations than to serve the Lord with whatever means she had.

Two years ago she became physically more limited in her service because she underwent a hip operation, and to make matters more difficult, she became afflicted with Parkinson's disease, a crippling disease characterized by muscle spasms and rigidity, tremors, slow movements and loss of control over many parts of the body. She thus had to give up her cherished service of dressing Sri Sri Krishna Balarama; gradually she had to phase out of all her pujari services, but she nevertheless continued making garlands and was even taking care of Tulasi devi as much as she possibly could.

Her suicide attracted much attention from the legal authorities who eventually understood that Citra mataji's death took place of her own accord. The senior devotees in New Mayapur are dealing with this in as mature a way as possible. Of course it is understood that for devotees, suicide is not an option.

The general consensus among the devotees is that Citra's motivation for this dreadful decision was that she felt herself becoming a burden to others. It seems that because of her physical limitations, suicide by fire was the most accessible means. This terrible incident should also be taken as a lesson that ISKCON Europe's devotees must start to seriously consider what we need to do in order to provide proper facilities for our devotees who have served for a lifetime, but who can no longer do so. Aged and sickly devotees should not become so isolated that they become overwhelmed by the idea of themselves being a burden.

Although suicide is generally considered a seriously sinful act, I agree with Praghosha prabhu who said that "Because Citra mataji was a devotee and performed so much service, whatever the standard 'punishments' are for living entities committing suicide will not be so stringently applied in her case."

Let us remember with great appreciation the decades of dedicated service performed by Citra mataji, and let us pray that the Lords she worshiped so lovingly will intervene in such a manner that she will quickly be able to have more and more opportunities to find shelter in Their devotional service.

Your servant,
Hrdaya Caitanya das

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His Grace Aindra Prabhu

July 16, 2010

Sent in by Daivisakti Devi Dasi
Vrindavana, India

He reasons ill who says that Vaisnavas die,
When thou art living still in sound!
The Vaisnavas die to live,
and living try To spread the holy name around.

Aindra PrabhuHis Grace Aindra Prabhu Attains the Spiritual Realm.

With extreme anguish we inform the devotees of the disappearance of His Grace Aindra Prabhu on the night of July 16, 2010. He was alone in his room worshiping His beloved Deities when apparently there was a gas leak from his cylinder. Some devotees heard a sound and there was some smell, but no one knew from where it came. Devotees knocked on Aindra's door, but there was no response all night. His door is very thick, and there is one trap door in it. In the morning when Aindra didn't come to the temple to dress Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara, the devotees then could understand that something serious had happened. With difficulty they broke open the trap door, and only one devotee, Adi Kesava Das, was small enough to enter the room. When he entered he saw that the entire room was black and there was disturbance everywhere. It appeared that Aindra might have lit a match in the room and that caused the gas in the air to ignite and burn the room. Aindra was behind the altar. It looked as if he had tried to open the window, but was unsuccessful, so he offered his obeisances behind Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, and left his body in that position. When Adi Kesava found him, Aindra was already long gone, and his body was still offering obeisances.

At this moment the formalities are under way to bring Aindra Prabhu in procession to Sri Yamunaji. The entire Vaisnava community will surely lament at the disappearance of such a stalwart kirtaniya who inspired the world with akhanda kirtana. His saintly guidance and example as a pure and devoted disciple of Srila Prabhupada has certainly qualified him for express entry into the eternal lila of his beloved Lords, Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara.

More information will be posted throughout the day.

There are photos of Aindra Prabhu's altar and room (before the incident) at the following site:
http://www.salagram.net/sstp-AindraBabaACBSP.html

The official website of the 24-hour kirtan: http: http://www.24hourkirtan.com

Official Report on Departure of HG Aindra Prabhu

Aindra Prabhu's Funeral Ceremony at the Yamuna River Vrindavan, India
Warning: The contents of this video shows the cremation ceremony of Aindra Prabhu. These scenes may be disturbing to some viewers, especially young children.
 

Podcast by Sivarama Swami about Aindra Das
 

Aindra Das Chanting at Vrindavana Krishna Balarama Temple
 
 
HG Aindra Prabhu -
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Final Update from Vrindavan
By Lakshman (das) Vrindavan (IN)

A brief about the final moments and departure of HG Aindra Prabhu :

HG Aindra Prabhu often performed bhajan until the dead of night. On the night of 16th July 2010, he probably did the same, and never knew it was his last day. Probably to cook some bhoga to Deities, he ignited the gas stove unknowing the gas leakage. It ignited the room making a mild blast as well because the pujaris Rupa-Sanatan Prabhu and Vraja Rupa Prabhu, chanting on the terrace, heard an explosive sound from his room. They ran down and knocked at the room, but none opened. The blast gave minor burn injuries to the skin on face and the left side of his chest, while items kept near the door caught fire and kept ablaze. Unable to find a way out, Aindra Prabhu took to the refuge behind the Gaura Nitai Deities in his room. He kneeled to Gaura-Nitai in supplication and remained in dandavat. Perhaps due to lack of oxygen, he became unconscious and finally departed this world leaving behind the body in the same position.

On 17th of July 2010, Aindra Prabhu didn’t turn up to the Krishna-Balaram temple to adorn the Deities for it was his turn on Saturdays. Therefore, Adi Keshav Prabhu went and knocked at his room. At about 7.15 AM, Adi Keshav Prabhu informed Sanak Sanatan Prabhu, “It seems, Aindra Prabhu’s room is locked from inside and there is no response after knocking for a while.” I was standing beside Sanak Sanatan Prabhu and overheard the conversation. We rushed to the spot. Sanak Sanatan Prabhu took a piece of pipe and knocked the door strong and holed it. Through the hole, Adi Keshav Prabhu and I kneeled in the room and called aloud, “Aindra Prabhu, Aindra Prabhu…,” but none replied. We smelled gas and cautious not to light a lamp. We located him behind the Gaura Nitai Deities and found him in supplication doing dandavat. Seeing him unmoved, we first removed the Gaura Nitai Deities, opened the door, and took Aindra Prabhu out. We were preparing to take him to hospital, but Adi Keshav Prabhu felt the body was cold and lifeless. He checked the pulse, heart beat and breath, and felt that Aindra Prabhu left to Goloka.

Time too sung the glories of Aindra Prabhu :

Aindra Prabhu lived in Vrindavan for the past 24 years to rejuvenate this glorious place with his inspiring 24 hour matchless kirtans as his Guru Srila Prabhupada instructed him. He usually performed sankirtana in the temple between 6.00 - 6.30 PM in winter and 6.30-7.00 PM in summer. He was finally rested on the bank of Yamuna and his funeral pyre was also lit at the same time he often begun his sankirtana-yajna. His life was full of glories blessed with the science of astrology and numerology, and it is noticeable as the numbers too stood in salutation chanting his glories.

Glorification of the memories of Aindra Prabhu :

All devotees of Vrindavan assembled at Krishna-Balaram Temple 8.45 AM on 19 July 2010 for glorifying the cherishing memories of HG Aindra Prabhu and it continued up to 1.30 PM. The disciples of Srila Prabhupada and senior devotees in Vrindavan briefed the wonderful activities of HG Aindra Prabhu and his contribution to sankirtans, and a highlight of it is as follows:

HH Prabodhananda Sarasvati Swami said, “Aindra Prabhu carried out the instructions of Srila Prabhupada single-handedly with the kirtanas and influenced many people and especially the devotees of Vrindavan. Only by chanting kirtan, one can achieve everything in this age. We must learn from his splendid example how to reach the Godhead perfectly affirmed to the instructions of one’s Guru. Aindra Prabhu chanted Hare-krishna-mahamntra to his full capacity. Once I said to him, “Thank you for complete dedication to Harinam kirtan” Aindra Prabhu said, “Thank you for your kind words.” Krishna will award a splendid life for Aindra Prabhu in Goloka Vrindavan for his exceptional dedication to chant His holy name.”

HH Radha Raman Swami said, “To purify myself, let me speak something about Aindra Prabhu. He was a perfect example of bhava-bhakti and exhibited the nine symptoms of bhakti-rasa. Aindra Prabhu was a tireless speaker and sometimes his Bhagavata lectures continued up to 10.30 AM in the morning starting from 8.00 AM. Some listeners sneaked out for the morning prasadam served at 9.00 AM and they returned only to find Aindra Prabhu still on tirelessly. He developed perfect Krishna prem lovingly attached to Vrindavan Dham. He left USA to live in Vrindavan and in 1986 he arrived here. Once I saw him with a kamandalu and on enquiry he said, “I got it from one of the babaji’s.” Such was his respect for devotees. Unfortunately we didn’t associate with him as a great devotee, although he deserved a greater service than we did. HH Radha Raman Maharaj also conveyed the deep sorrow of HH Radha Govind Goswami about the return of Aindra Prabhu. Maharaj said Ill-health prevented HH Radha Govind Maharaj to be present in this session, but praised Aindra Prabhu as a perfect bhakta who chanted Harinam kirtan exceptionally well twenty-four hours a day all through his life as Srila Prabhupadaji wished. Let him rest at peace eternally in Goloka and associate in the nitya-lilas of Gaura-Nitai and Radha-Shyamsunder.”

HH Bhakti Visrambha Madhava Swami said (letter read out by Pancagauda Prabhu), “It was shocking for me to believe the news of return of Aindra Prabhu. I first met him in February 1995 and congratulated him for his exceptional capability in chanting the Harinam and asked how he could derive so much inspiration? He said, “Chant with perfect attention the holy name, the name of Krishna.” Now he has been called back to Goloka eternally. It is a sad day unfortunately for the whole world. It is Radha-Shyamsunder’s plan to bring him back, but for us it is a great loss.”

Thakurani Mataji said, “I arrived in Vrindavan fifteen years ago. One day I was cleaning the temple and moved the furniture. Kirtan was on then. Suddenly, a man thundered at me and said, “I am a singer you know, I cannot tolerate this noise.” Gradually, I was attracted to Aindra Prabhu’s exceptional style of tireless kirtans and he always advised us to perform the chants and engage in devotional service. Even great devotees had to undergo extreme sufferings like Haridasa Thakura and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Aindra Prabhu’s departure was the plan of the Super Personality of Godhead, Radhkrishna. His loss is painful to all of us, but he set a perfect example for many to emulate.”

Daivi Shakti Mataji said, “Aindra Prabhu’s departure shocked me. He was a great inspiration to me and many others. His kirtanas were absorbing and perhaps hard to imitate. Radhakrishna took him away eternally. All of us feel the loss and I miss him so much. Like Aindra, we should also engage in kirtanas and reading Vaishnava literatures to receive the opportunity to engage in eternally serving Radha-Shyamsunder.”

HG Bhuvanesvar Prabhu said, “Aindra Prabhu and I have arrived in Vrindavan to live in Vraja Dhama. He had exceptional strength and capability to be busy in Harinama sankirtana for twenty-four hours a day and he inspired many people including myself. He was planning to board a bus to sing kirtans. He followed the round the clock kirtanas as Prabhupada instructed him. He made it not 100 percent, but 200 percent. He can just make it go, go and go in the Brahmacari Ashram. He was perfectly dedicated to Srila Prabhupada until he fulfilled Prabhupada’s mission. His loss shocked me and many of us, but his perfect departure from here and return to Godhead is again a great example.”

Manjari Mataji said, “Aindra Prabhu’s departure is shocking to all of us and especially to me because I regarded him as a great example to follow. Once he said, “Eternal associates with Krishna are joyful like the Gopis.” He was a staunch brahmacari. Once I asked, “What is the mood of Prabhupada?” Aindra Prabhu said, “I have no experience. We understand the eternal mood of Caitanya Mahaprabhu from Caitanya Caritamrta. It may be Prabhupada’s mood as well.” He wanted us to understand that Prabhupada came to give us Krishna. I believe chanting is the eternal mood of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Prabhupada returned distributing parama bhakti towards Radhakrishna. He wanted us to learn Gaura Nitai’s life and become a Gaura-bhakt and perform His wishes.” Devkinandan Prabhu said, “We are sad about Aindraprabhu’s sudden departure to Godhead. He always said, “Chanting of Harinam or sankirtana is the mission of life.” He simply carried out the instruction of Srila Prabhupada to maximum perfection possible for a person. When it came out from Prabhupada and Aindra Prabhu, it was blissful and awakening. I saw people dancing in ecstasy while Aindra Prabhu chanted amazingly. People never missed his kirtans because it was full of loving bhakti. Aindra Prabhu had great enthusiasm about kirtan and serving devotees. He was a picture of perfection to many devotees. He visited us and showered his blessings and gave nectarine lectures, and I cannot forget the blissful experiences with him. He perfectly followed the six principles of devotional services. With least preparation, he gave hours and hours of lectures. He explained the philosophy in a simple way easy to understand and he had profound knowledge of the Vedic scriptures. His material body transformed into a spiritual body and now serving eternally in Vrindavan Dham. His feelings are always with us and he taught us to recite Harinama offenselessly. He showed perfect love and simplicity free from anger. Following him, we can develop perfect bhakti and reach Goloka and meet him.”

Srimati Mataji said, “It was shocking to all of us the great departure of Aindra Prabhu. Yuga-dharma is aware to all devotees. Aindra Prabhu understood it and followed it perfectly. He continued his morning kirtans for four and half hours tirelessly. I felt his presence strongly and wondered how it was possible! I regret his absence very very deep. His chants, sankirtana and the Vaishnava style of living were pouring influences to many devotees. His enthusiasm was extremely rare. Such a devotee is special discussing hours and hours glorifying God and we all wish to serve as he taught. His loss is a great miss and may his soul rest in peace with Radhakrishna.”

Matsya Prabhu said, “Aindra Prabhu’s sudden departure is a great loss to us. He taught us to remember him always. Although he was exceptional in bhakti and sankirtana, he didn’t give me a way to do it. He taught us how to approach the Lord and take up devotional service. His personality is revealed in his book (the book is still under print and not yet published). He served in Vrindavan and Mayapur and learned perfectly how to approach Radhakrishna. His explanations are great giving minute details. Let his soul rest in Goloka enjoying the wonderful pastimes of Radhakrishna.”

HG Premkishore Prabhu said, “The loss of Aindra Prabhu is hard to believe for all of us and especially to me. He talked about very high things. He taught us how to head to deal with spiritual devotion. It is difficult to be Krishna conscious. Day in and out, he encouraged devotees in perfect devotional life and recite the Harinam sankirtana. He taught us how to chant the Hare Krishna Mahamatra tirelessly. With his message, we should take up to perfect bhakti. He minutely showed an example what it takes to surrender. At the moment of death how to remember Krishna, and Aindra Prabhu was perfect in it. He was very simple and followed his Guru perfectly. He has reached the eternal abode of Radhakrishna and enjoying their nityalilas. Radha Sundari Mataji said, “Aindra Prabhu arrived to Vrindavan to keep alive the twenty-four hour kirtana. Anyone met, he called, “come and come for kirtans.” He was always a special master to many young devotees. He often said, “You cannot go away. Come and enjoy the glories of Vrindavan.” When I asked what simplicity means, he said, “Simplicity means what Krishna tells from the heart.” When sought about how to approach the Lord, he said, “You have to first get Gaura Nitai’s mercy.” Once he said, “You know the way I want to die?” I meddled, “Why talk about it now, a long way ahead.” Aindra Prabhu said, “I want to be alone at the lotus feet of Gaura Nitai.” Aindra Prabhu was special to all, but I felt he was very special to me. His loss is a shock to me, an irreparable loss. May his soul rest in peace in Goloka Vrindavan.”

Mahamantra Prabhu said, “Aindra Prabhu did excellent kirtans and he always reached Vrindavan at around 6.00 PM. and I always attended his kirtanas from behind close to him. He joined ISKCON in 1973 from Washington D. C. He reached Vrindavan in 1986. There are so many fans of Aindra Prabhu. He attracted very much love from people and he had sub-connection with Prabhupada. Once I enquired, “Did Prabhupada give you sannyasa?” He said, “Prabhupada gave me sannyasa.” I said, “Prabhupada noted you devotees who can chant well.” Whenever he chanted, all those listened to him were drawn to the ocean of bliss. His loss is hard to believe. May his soul rest in peace and enjoy the blissful pastimes of Gaura-Nitai and Radhakrishna in Goloka Vrindavan.”

Mahadevi Mataji said, “It was with great regret that I learned Aindra Prabhu’s sudden departure. He was a man of extremely special behaviour and he loved everyone and all who met him too loved him. He was an inspiration to many and especially I earned formidably from him how to chant and how to surrender to Krishna. I was encouraged by Aindra Prabhu’s influence. He had such a fine nature and RadhaShyam decided to take him back. I miss his association deeply. May his soul rest in peace with the blessings of Radhakrishna and Gaura Nitai.”

Giridhari Prabhu said, “The disappearance of Aindraprabhu was hard to believe. Once I asked him, “Please tell me the best way how can get bhakti?” Aindra Prabhu said, “Eat prasadam and always chant, Hare Krishna Mahamantra.” Once he said, “I’m surrendered to Radharani.” He actually was perfectly surrendered to Radharani.” Day by day dandavat is a perfect way of surrendering to Gaura-Nitai and Radhakrishna. His supplication to Gaura-Nitai at the last moment was his test of success. His return was properly arranged. Even if he is away, his presence is always in Vrindavan. Let him enjoy the nitya-lilas of Radhakrishna at Goloka Vrindavan.” Preetidasi Mataji said, “Aindra Prabhu influenced me very much and his return is hard to believe. His association always gave me so much confidence and it is hard to explain. He left all of us and all the salagramas he made, and it is hard for me to forget him. He was so much to me and his presence and directions gave me so much inspiration. Whenever I asked, how can I receive perfect devotion, he always answered, “chanting and self surrender are the best. I gave everything in my book.” Let him rest at peace and let him be one of the eternal servants of Radha-Shyamsunder.”

Bhagavad Puran Prabhu said, “The loss of Aindra Prabhu is irreparable and his presence was a thrill to all who met him, and I derived great pleasure from his association. Many people and I have been inspired by his Harinam-sankirtan. His kirtans attracted many wherever he went. Let his soul rest in peace and let him serve Radha-Shyamsunder in Goloka Vrindavan forever.”

HH Lokanath Swami said, (Pancagauda Prabhu read out the message ), “I was shocked and shattered by the sudden departure of Aindra Prabhu. Hearing this news, I took shelter of kirtans. He excelled in his kirtan and bhajan. He distributed the blessing of Prabhupada in New York for eight years. Then he moved to perform kirtan in the Krishna Balaram temple at Vrindavan. Once when Prabhupada arrived, he asked him, “What are you doing?” I am doing Harinam-kirtan and book distribution.” The best of gosti anandi is the best of bhajan-anandi. He had a unique style of performing kirtans. Aindra and kirtan have become household words. We shared platforms together in Vrindavan and Mayapur. He inspired me and he was one of my spiritual hearers. Hopefully I join you wherever you are.”

HG Pancagauda Prabhu concluded the gathering and said about Aindra Prabhu, “His is a great loss to all of us. He was unique in kirtans and well supportive. Let him be at peace with Radha-Govinda and enjoy their glorious nitya-lilas forever.”

At 1.30 PM, bhogas and puspanjali were held. At 2.00 PM, a sumptuous feast was held in memory of Aindra Prabhu and prasadam was distributed too those gathered.

Again the devotees of Vrindavan convened at the Krishna-Balaram temple at 7.30 PM and many devotees spoke their cherishing memories about Aindra Prabhu. The assembly continued up till 11.30 PM. Many were in tears when they spoke of their lost friend, inspirer, leader, master, and guru. Even though Aindra Prabhu was a loss to the Bhuloka-Vrindavan, he will be a great gain to the Goloka Vrindavan and we cherish your glories in the depth of our hearts. Aindra Prabhu left us drinking the nectarine anitya-lilas in this mortal world, but he will be enjoying the nitya-lilas forever with Radha-Shyamsunder. Let Aindra Prabhu ever live in the memories of the devotees of Vrindavan and the Vrajavasis. Let Aindra Prabhu’s inspiration spread far and wide all over the globe through the recorded CDs of his masterpiece and his book expected to be published soon.

 
AN OFFERING OF THE HEART
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by Radhanath Swami

AN OFFERING OF THE HEART by Radhanath Swami

As the effulgent sun of Sri Aindra Prabhu’s divine personality has risen in the spiritual world of Goloka Vrindaban, the sun of his physical presence has set in Gokula, the Vrindaban of this world. And we cry in separation.

The glorious life of Aindra Prabhu personifies determination and devotion, all aimed exclusively for the pleasure of Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara. His heart floods like the Yamuna while being inundated by the monsoon of Srila Prabhupada’s Divine Grace. His love for Vrindaban is the life of his soul.

Aindra Prabhu was infinitely beyond being a musician. He passionately renounced all of the charms of the material world to exclusively dedicate his heart and soul to chanting the Holy Names of God. Day and night his entire being was engrossed in the names of Radha Shyamasundara.  He breathed for kirtan. His heart beat for kirtan. Lord Chaitanya empowered his kirtan with an inconceivable sweetness, power and musical skill that attracted our hearts like no other. While singing kirtan Aindra Prabhu’s emotions would erupt like a volcano of devotion that inundated and mesmerized our hearts.

I believe every stone, brick and pillar of Krishna Balaram Temple and every tree and particle of sacred dust in Raman Reti is permeated with the sound vibration of Aindra Prabhu’s devotion. If we open our hearts we will hear. Aindra Prabhu exported the sweetness of Vrindaban’s love throughout the world and we are forever grateful.

As thousands of devotees cry upon the realization of his physical loss, I feel at a loss for words. Aindra Prabhu was so dear a friend and Godbrother to me. The kindness, love and encouragement that he always showered upon me are a treasure that I pray to remember forever.

Aindra Prabhu, your beloved Lordships, Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara have now brought you into Their eternal pastimes. We celebrate your life with tears of gratitude.

 
In Memory of Aindra Prabhu:
Morning Class by HH Kadamba Kanana Swami,
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Prague July 17, 2010

Submitted by New Vrindavan Communications

We received news Aindra Prabhu unexpected suddenly left his body in Vrindavana.

In Vrindavana, what happens is Krishna’s plan. Of course, the ideal way to leave one’s body is surrounded by loving devotees chanting the holy name, but that is not always the case. I was thinking of Lord Rsabhadeva, the divine incarnation who appeared to establish religious principles. After he became a mendicant, his body burned in a forest fire. It is not our Vaishnava practice to enter into the cause of death so much. Sometimes people speculate, like when Tamal Krishna Goswami left his body, that it must be some negative reaction. But that is not true, as with Rsabhadeva. Instead, we look at the positive. Aindra Prabhu was allowed to do service in Vrindavana. When Krishna-Balarama temple was started in Vrindavana, Srila Prabhupada expressed a desire that 24-hour kirtana be organized. He wrote to Hamsaduta Prabhu suggesting how it could be done. I was part of the management from 1978 to 1984. We tried many times to establish it but did not have enough people. Practically from his first days in Krishna consciousness, Aindra was doing kirtana as his service. In New York City he would chant with other devotees on a flatbed truck. In 1986 he started the akhandita [uninterrupted] kirtana in Vrindavana. Before that, in ISKCON, we did not have a culture of just sitting down and chanting Hare Krishna for hours. It was not a particular kirtana style so much as a kirtana culture that he inspired. [Later Maharaja elaborated: Madhava Prabhu, from Switzerland, was inspired, then Sivarama Swami, B. B. Govinda Swami, and Sacinandana Swami. You can trace it all back to Aindra Prabhu.]

As many with musicians, Aindra was eccentric. His room had Vrindavana clay on the floor, 108 silas, Gaura-Nitai, depiction of rasa-lila, tamala tree remnants, etc. Every two months I would come from Mayapur to Vrindavana, and I would see him. At 1990 I became temple president in Vrindavana. The GBC asked me to ask him what his asrama is, and when I did, he looked at me with his piercing eyes, and said, “I am a brahmastha vannyasi.” His dress was also eccentric and some people complained. Many artists are eccentric, and I took it like that.

But there was a very serious side to Aindra Prabhu, chanting many rounds of the holy name and studying Prabhupada’s books and the books of the Goswamis. He would ask questions after Srimad-Bhagavatam class that were penetrating. He had a lot of inner strength and could live a life of great austerity. Although people complained about his personal dress, he excelled at dressing the Deities. Especially for the festivals, he would dress Them. He had a deep connection, which was a real thing. Imagine Aindra would have come to Prague. He would draw huge crowds. Wherever he would go, he would attract many people. But he did not want to leave Vrindavana. He was disturbed by once having to go to Nepal for visa issues. Thus he applied for citizenship, which was hard to get for one from the Vrindavana area. But he got it. The Deities were pleased with him because he sang for Them, and so They let him become a resident.

Once I was chanting my remaining rounds in the temple, and one Bengali devotee was making a lot of noise, so I advised him to be quiet, saying “The deities are resting.” Aindra Prabhu, who was also there, said, “No, He is not. That is what Mother Yasoda thinks.”

As a temple president, sometimes it gets tough. Sometimes you are on top of the elephant, and sometimes the elephant is on top of you. Once I had one of those intense days. I took rest, only to be awakened at 11:00 p.m. at night by Aindra, who said, “Come on. It is rasa purnima. Come let’s celebrate.” I came to his room, and in addition to other festivities, they had this incredible feast served at 11:00 p.m. at night.

Because he was serious about serious things, we took him seriously. He was serious about his chanting, japa and kirtana, and about his renunciation. He was not after fame. His dedication to the Deities was transcendental, day in, day out, year after year. That is perseverance. Srila Prabhupada says perseverance is source of faith. There is no doubt that Aindra sang for the pleasure of the Personality of Godhead, and there he stands out. Some imitated him, the same dress, the same style of bhajana, etc., but few showed the seriousness he showed in his dedication to Krishna consciousness.

His contribution to ISKCON is a lasting one. Before, kirtana was something wild. Ayodhya-pati Prabhu used to play the whompers on the ground and grab devotees by the kurta and swing them around. Srila Prabhupada had started with sitting and doing the swami step. But when one saintly lady from Vrindavana led kirtana, and Srila Prabhupada began jumping in the kirtana, from that day, kirtana was wild and full of enthusiasm, and that spread all over the world. And even when it was sitting down with the harmonium, it still had the rocking nature. But from Aindra Prabhu we learn to deeply meditate and an element of peaceful chanting. I say “an element” because he could also get wild. We learned something from Aindra about chanting the holy name and meditating on Krishna, and he has greatly contributed to the maturing process, because he taught so many along the way.

His leaving us was unexpected, but it is also a manifestation of grace, because he left this world in Vrindavana. It is not an ordinary departure but one earned by devotional service. The externals are insignificant. We are looking at how he pleased Radha-Shyamasundara.

When such news reaches us, there is shock, and for those who know him, there is sadness. But from the spiritual point of a view, it is a success story—that someone from New York took the devotional service seriously, and he fulfilled Srila Prabhupada’s desire to establish 24-hour kirtana in Vrindavana.

“He reasons ill that Vaishnavas die when thou art living still in sound. The Vaishnava dies to live, and living spreads the holy name around.” Through his recordings, he will remain with us.

Srila Prabhupada explained that if one lives the life of devotee in Vrindavana, he will go back to Godhead. However, if one lives a materialistic life in Vrindavana, he will become an animal in Vrindavana for one life, and then go back to Godhead.

Q: How can one be fixed like Aindra, disregarding external circumstances?
A: That one is so different as Aindra, but yet so fixed, indicates a benediction from the previous life. Those who can fix themselves on the eternal platform are highly advanced, and we take shelter of them. One may show great enthusiasm in service, but when it gets difficult, things change. That means the connection with Krishna is not so strong.

I have one young doctor disciple in South Africa. She has to see people dying every day. In this world, when things get serious, we say it is a matter of life or death. But for us, it is Krishna or maya. That is more important than life or death. Those who have fully accepted this are leaders, regardless of their position, because of their firm faith. We see that these people found some service for Krishna, and they did it. We may not be so advanced. But by their association, we can gain strength to do some service seriously for Krishna.

Aindra Prabhu’s most significant contribution is that he took a desire of Srila Prabhupada [to have 24-hour kirtana in Vrindavana] and he really developed it.

 
Tribute by Jayati Radhika Devi Dasi
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for the ISKCON Ladysmith South Africa Youth Group

Our Dearest Lordships Sri Sri Gaura Nitai,

Now that our most dearest and most loved kirtaneer , Aindra Prabhu has reached your lotus feet, bless him eternally to serve you, as he served as an example to the world that the holy name and only the holy name can be our salvation. His chants inspired our youth and others who had no interest in spiritual life nor the taste for the holy name… When the name Aindra Prabhu came to be known more and more young people have been drawn to Srila Prabhupadas movement as they listened to his vibrant kirtan chants on his 24 hour kirtan…and now they are trying to follow his example.

Yesterday was an emotional time as as the youth in Ladysmith South Africa paid homeage to this kirtaneer… although they had not met him.at all , yet he had made a huge impact to their hearts . We pray that as na eternal servant of Our Dearest Lordships Sri Sri Gaura Nitai that Aindra Prabhu will bless us to continue to appreciate and relish the Holy Name.

Your aspiring servants,
Jayati Radhika Devi Dasi
for the ISKCON Ladysmith SA Youth Group

 
In Honor of His Grace Aindra Prabhu -- Understanding His Sudden Departure
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Sent by HH Giriraj Swami on behalf of HH Virabahu Prabhu

From Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.6.27:

evam krsna-mater brahman
nasaktasyamalatmanah
kalah pradurabhut kale
tadit saudamani yatha

SYNONYMS
evam -- thus; krsna-mateh -- one who is fully absorbed in thinking of Krsna; brahman -- O Vyasadeva; na -- not; asaktasya -- of one who is attached; amala-atmanah -- of one who is completely free from all material dirt; kalah -- death; pradurabhut -- become visible; kale -- in the course of time; tadit -- lightning; saudamani -- illuminating; yatha -- as it is.

TRANSLATION

And so, O Brahmana Vyasadeva, in due course of time I, who was fully absorbed in thinking of Krsna and who therefore had no attachments, being completely freed from all material taints, met with death, as lightning and illumination occur simultaneously.

PURPORT

To be fully absorbed in the thought of Krsna means clearance of material dirts or hankerings. As a very rich man has no hankerings for small petty things, so also a devotee of Lord Krsna, who is guaranteed to pass on to the kingdom of God, where life is eternal, fully cognizant and blissful, naturally has no hankerings for petty material things, which are like dolls or shadows of the reality and are without permanent value. That is the sign of spiritually enriched persons. And in due course of time, when a pure devotee is completely prepared, all of a sudden the change of body occurs which is commonly called death. And for the pure devotee such a change takes place exactly like lightning, and illumination follows simultaneously. That is to say a devotee simultaneously changes his material body and develops a spiritual body by the will of the Supreme. Even before death, a pure devotee has no material affection, due to his body's being spiritualized like a red-hot iron in contact with fire.

From Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.16.37:

PURPORT

When something is arranged by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one should not be disturbed by it, even if it appears to be a reverse according to one's calculations. For example, sometimes we see that a powerful preacher is killed, or sometimes he is put into difficulty, just as Haridasa Thakura was. He was a great devotee who came into this material world to execute the will of the Lord by preaching the Lord's glories. But Haridasa was punished at the hands of the Kazi by being beaten in twenty-two marketplaces. Similarly, Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, and Prahlada Maharaja was put through so many tribulations. The Pandavas, who were direct friends of Krsna, lost their kingdom, their wife was insulted, and they had to undergo many severe tribulations. Seeing all these reverses affect devotees, one should not be disturbed; one should simply understand that in these matters there must be some plan of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Bhagavatam's conclusion is that a devotee is never disturbed by such reverses. He accepts even reverse conditions as the grace of the Lord. One who continues to serve the Lord even in reverse conditions is assured that he will go back to Godhead, back to the Vaikuntha planets.

 
Govinda Maharaja’s offering of love and farewell to Aindra Prabhu
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July 18th, 2010

Submitted by New Vrindavan Communications
July 19, 2010

May Krishna’s holy name, which is a reservoir of all transcendental happiness, the destroyer of Kali-yuga’s sins, the most purifying of all purifying things, the saintly person’s food as he traverses the path to the spiritual world, the pleasure-garden where the voices of the greatest saints, philosophers, and poets play, the life of the righteous, and the seed of the tree of religion, bring transcendental auspiciousness to you all.

Sri Rupa Goswami, Padyavali, 19

This was a favorite verse of Srila Akinchanna Krsna dasa Babaji Maharaja, which he always sang in his mangalacarana before chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.

I thought of this verse today while thinking about you. Yes, Aindra Prabhu, I was thinking about you all day long.

The verse glorifies the name of God, and blesses us all with transcendental auspiciousness, the awakening of pure devotional service to the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna.

In a sense, this verse was the “mission statement” of a dedicated and selfless kirtaneer of your stature.

1. You gave your life in “dedication with conviction” for sharing the ocean of transcendental happiness of Sri Krishna nama sankirtan with countless souls suffering the miseries of material existence;

2. You dedicated your life to present the “Only and Final” solution for ending the sins and tribulations of Kali Yuga through the performance of Sri Krishna Nama Sankirtan;

3. You humbly and mercifully cried out with a bleeding heart to humanity to purify their existence through accepting the association of Sri Krishna through the performance of Sri Krishna Nama Sankirtan;

4. You were always the chief servers of the luscious feast of Sri Krishna Nama Sankirtan to all of the pilgrims on the path back to Goloka Vrindavan;

5. In your kirtans you were the tour guide to the transcendental pleasure gardens where the faithful can rest while hearing the sweetest voices of the greatest saints extol the glories of Sri Krishna Nama Sankirtana and the exquisite glories of Krishna Bhakti;

6. By liberally bestowing the holy name you presented the real, eternal existence in the lives of the righteous and saintly vaisnava devotees of God;

7. And as a humble gardener you planted the seed of the tree of religion deep within the hearts of millions of people throughout the world, while sitting in front of the deities in Vrindavan;

8. And by showing the true life of humble servant of Sri Krishna’s holy names, you evoked eternal auspiciousness for humanity.

Aindra, Kali Yuga is dark and becomes darker day by day. Krishna Nama is the brilliantly blazing torch in the darkness of the Kali night. You, My dear godbrother, have been one of the great torch bearing sons of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, our Guru Paramapara, and Sri Caitanyadev and His associates.

Aindra, I bow down to you praying for your unconditional vaisnava grace. Please bless me that one day I may chant the holy names of Sri Krishna with a pure heart, with the smallest fraction of the love and single minded dedication which you have always shown us.

My brother, all glories to you. You have gone to Radhe Shyam. You have gone to Srila Prabhupada. Please tell them I wish to come as well … but it will take me much more time to have the correct heart situation to finally go.

We are feeling sorry you are not here, and we are feeling joy at your success. Well done, well commenced, well executed Aindra. You focused only harinama, Thakurji seva, Bhagavat. You have made the grade and we already miss you.

If by chance there is internet up there, or even post card, please stay in touch, because we all love you, and miss you, and direly need your support to reach there.

Please say little prayers, on our behalf to the young important citizens there. Please pull the strings and get us there too!!

Aindra, till our next meeting,

May the love, peace and grace of Sri Krishna sankirtan bathe your precious soul.

Daso’smi,

BB Govinda Swami

 
An Offering On The Disappearance Of His Grace Aindra Prabhu
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Posted by Mukunda Charan

nama om visnu padaya krishna presthaya bhutale
srimate bhaktivedanta swamine iti namine
namas te saraswate deve gaura-vani-pracarine
nirvisesa sunyavadi pascyata-desa-tarine

My Dear Aindra prabhu,

Please accept my prostrated dandavat obeisances at your lotus feet. All glories to Your Divine Service and all glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I don’t really know what to say because I can’t really separate my experience of Krishna consciousness from you, Aindra prabhu. It is like part of my spiritual experience is now gone. Yet, in a strange way, it is still here. And that ‘spiritual experience’ is you.

Your Prayers To The Dust Of Vraja capture the mystery and depth of the Vrindavan experience for me. In fact, I cannot separate my experience of Vrindavan from your presence there…in the 24-hour kirtan, in front of Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha-Shyamasudara and Sri Sri Krishna-Balarama. What will Vrindavan be without you, prabhu? I feel like one of the goswamis has left our presence.

I remember asking you a question the first time I met you in 1997. ‘How can we be humble?’ You replied, ‘By serving great souls, like the six goswamis. Like Srila Prabhupada. We have to accept Krishna consciousness in parampara , disciplic succession.’ I have asked you many questions since then and your answers cut deep through the maya of conditioned thought. Aindra prahu, you are a genuine sadhu. Sadhu means ‘to cut’…the knot of material attachment in the heart.

I appreciate the way you took me under your wing in Kartik 2007. You were so kind to me and gave me a lot of attention. Every time you saw me you encouraged me to get involved or initiate harinam-sankirtan, the congregational chanting of the Holy Names of Krishna. I never left your room without a rasagulla or some other delicious prashadam from your Deities. And I always left with two or three copies of each of your CD’s, especially Prayers To The Dust Of Vraja . One time, when I offered a donation you said, ‘Place Laxmi at the feet of Mahaprabhu.’ Whenever I receive donations, I place them at the feet of my Deity of Mahaprabhu. I am thankful that I was able to make a small donation last year when Arne visited Vrindavan. And, where I am able, I will continue to support the 24-hour Kirtan.

Visiting your room in the brahmacari ashram is something I cherish and will do so until the rest of my days. Sitting there with Your Grace, Govinda and several other devotees was like being with Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. A sense of excitement. A glimpse into a more esoteric, off-beat space of Krishna Consciousness. You would have devotees read from Rupa Goswami’s Govinda Lilamrita and would relish detailed descriptions of Radharani’s nose-ring or similar poetic descriptions. What a treat to be there, relishing Krishna consciousness with you and your associates.

Last time I was in your room you told me about your new book, Kirtan Is Bhajan: The Heart Of Book Distribution . You mentioned that book distribution is like the Krishna playing his flute; and kirtan, in the Temple, is like Krishna’s rasa dance. Then you said, ‘They are playing the flute, but there is no rasa dance.’ In other words, we are distributing the books, but there is no kirtan in the Temple. Harinam and book distribution go hand-in-hand, you taught. You informed us that this was Prabhupada’s method of spreading the movement in the 1970′s.

You also mesmerized us with your esoteric descriptions of japa . The chanting of japa was an intimate offering of love between the devotee and Krishna. Unlike kirtan, japa is performed alone, in a kunja (a forest-grove), between the beloved (the devotee) and the lover (Krishna).

I remember proudly announcing to you in 2005 that we had been performing Harinam Sankirtan in Cape Town every day for three months as an extension of a collective Kartik Vrata. You replied, ‘How may of you are performing nam-kirtan?’ I said, ‘About 12.’ And you replied, ‘Why not 112? In Prabhupada’s time we would do Sankirtan with over 100 devotees.’

You also defined what is Sankirtan. First it was Harinam-Sankirtan, chanting in the streets with the accompaniment of musical instruments. Then it became book distribution. Then incense. Then paintings. You emphasized that Sankirtan meant congregational chanting of the Holy Names of Krishna – not the sale of incense and paraphernalia. You also emphasized the principle of madhukara (receiving in charity): ‘Only go to the person once. Don’t go all the time.’

I appreciate your straightforwardness. A devotee gave me a whole lot of your lectures and, although you are considered controversial at times, everything you said made sense and was backed up by sastric references or exact quotes by Srila Prabhupada. That makes your lectures very authoritative and it is understandable that you would find detractors – since you could back up your realizations with accurate references to sadhu , sastra and guru .

I remember standing next to you at Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s Pushpanjali Ceremony during His Disappearance Day in 2007. We both had those sweet-smelling red rose petals in our hands. We were quite far from the Vyasasana. Our flowers were falling way short of the Vyasasana, over the heads of the devotees in front of us. After the last pushpanjali, you turned around and looked at me, ‘Anyway, it’s the thought that counts.’ That was reassuring.

I had the good fortune of being in Vrindavan in Kartik 2007. I was standing by the Temple entrance near Radha Shyamasundara, watching the 24-hour kirtan. You were standing next to me. I was so happy to be in Vrindavan. The atmosphere at Krishna-Balarama Mandir was electric. Every night was an ecstatic festival of chanting and dancing before the Deities. I was wondering why I had not been to Vrindavan in Kartik for so many years. I turned to you and said, ‘Vrindavan in Kartik. There is nothing higher.’ You looked at me and said, ‘Oh yes there is!’ You know of something higher. And now you must be experiencing bliss beyond our, and perhaps even your, comprehension.

You were offering dandavat obeisances to your Deities while your body was been scorched by flames. What tolerance! What surrender!

I am going to miss you, Aindra. Vrindavan will never be the same for me again. Your kirtans and your tunes – which are on the tongues of most devotees all around the world – are going to mean more to me now that you are departed. I will try to follow your instructions with respect to chanting and sharing the Holy Names with others.

These are just some thoughts, by way of an offering on Your Disappearance Day, my dear Aindra prabhu. I see in you all the qualities of great souls described in the Vaishnava scriptures. I see in you total dedication to the process of bhakti, Prabhupada and Krishna. Please be merciful upon us. Give us the shade of your lotus feet. For your fame is spread all over the three worlds. And we take shelter at your divine lotus feet.

Vrindavan will never be the same without you. Then again, you are always in Vrindavan.

His Grace Aindra prabhu ki jaya!
His Grace Aindra prabhu ki jaya!
His Grace Aindra prabhu ki jaya!

 

 
To Aindra Prabhu
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by HH Giriraj Swami

My dear Aindra Prabhu,

Your sudden departure is a great loss for us all. Your kirtans and words gave shelter and enlightenment to devotees and ultimately the world. We have lost a dear friend and well-wisher. I shall try to follow in your mood of service.

Kindly bless me. Hare Krishna.

Your servant,
Giriraj Swami

 
In Loving Memory of Aindra Das
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by Kaustubha das

The musician was Aindra das. An American who had given up his citizenship to settle in Vrindavan with an unbreakable, one pointed focus - to sing before Radha Syamsundar until the day he died. Aindra had complete conviction. Conviction that Vrindavan was no ordinary village - it was the highest spiritual abode. Conviction that kirtan was no ordinary music - it was the divine name, descended from above, non-different from Radha and Krishna. He had no interest to be anywhere else or do anything else. He was convinced that by sitting in that spot he could change the world through his song.

Aindra das lived in a room on the third floor of a school for boys, adjacent to the temple. His entire life was comprised of the practice of Krishna bhakti. He would read, discuss and contemplate the esoteric bhakti scriptures in that room, late into the night. He would perform the sacred bhakti rituals in that room with the utmost sincerity. At four in the morning, he would enter the temple to observe the mangala-arati, and then he would step into the temples sanctum-sanctorium to perform the service of alankara, dressing the divine forms of Radha Syamsundara. Although Aindra dressed himself practically in rags, his refined fashion sense was expressed through the exceptional artistic beauty of his service to Radhe Shyam. Later he would take a little rest, then back to kirtan. Every evening he would sing in the temple to the delight of thousands.

Of course it was kirtan that Aindra was known for. How to describe it? It would often start gently - so delicate and soft. As the subtleties of the melody became more apparent and everyone became more confident in responding, you could feel the kirtan grow. It might be slow, graceful and ornate, but you could begin to feel the power just beneath the surface. Soon, under his meticulous direction, the drum beat would grow. Aindra always had a team of fantastic drummers. They would travel across the world for the privilege not just to play for him, but to learn from him. Or more precisely, to try to somehow capture just a bit of his realization and love of kirtan. As the beat grew and his voice gained strength it would become clear that although the kirtan was slow, it was massive. It was an elephant struggling to stand, sluggish but powerful. Step by brawny step the elephant would push forward, growing in strength. This kirtan was a thing of beauty. You would feel your heart pulled along through so many emotions. Joy and pain, wonder and regret, all were sublime in his kirtan. They were so satisfying, nourishing, edifying to the experience of bhakti. Nightly, large, international groups of people would join together in song and become one - one group united in devotion. Smiles and tears, so many varieties of dance. It was always a joy to see large groups of Indian villagers enter the temple on pilgrimage and take such delight in his kirtan. He never failed to astonish them, this white-boy with such deep devotion, playing their folk music with more energy and skill then they had ever seen. The joy in the faces of the ladies as they raised their arms, and danced. The village men, smiling with their missing teeth, clapping their hands, throwing back their heads and crying out. And the kirtan would just keep growing. It was epic, heroic, relentless, all consuming. He would sing, then he would roar. The earth would shake, until finally - JAYA JAYA SRI RADHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE SHYAM!

Like almost everyone, musicians commonly desire fame or prestige. Their performances serve their egos. Not Aindra. He was completely committed. His sole purpose was to glorify Radha Syamsundar and engage the whole world along with him. Through devotion he received the blessing to uplift everyone in his presence. He became the most incredible musician, composer and singer I’ve ever heard. He showed by his example how one can become a vibrant manifestation of divine grace if one simple wants nothing else.

Spiritual practitioners go through their ups and downs. We struggle to find footing, a place where we can grow. Aindra’s practice was solid and fixed. Year after year, I could always count on him being there, doing what he always did - what he only did - kirtan, kirtan, kirtan. When I would sit on that checkered marble floor, Aindra on my left, Prabhupada’s samadhi behind him, Radha Syamsundar on my right, the sun going down over the temple courtyard, without fail I would say to myself, “There is absolutely no better spot to be on the face of this Earth than right here, and there is absolutely no better engagement than this, right now”. The exquisite melodies. Night after night. Everyone submerged. Those times were so incredibly precious. The beauty, the love - we were sitting in the presence of God.

Aindra prabhu, you have changed the world through your song. So many follow in your footsteps from all the corners of the globe. It’s hard to believe that we won’t see you again. There was no one like you. Sitting near you before Radha Shyamsudar and singing my heart out with all the Vaishnavas have been some of the finest moments of my life. You will be missed beyond what my words can express. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for all that you gave us. Till the day I die you will remain a tremendous inspiration.

ALL GLORIES TO AINDRA PRABHU!

Kaustubha das

 

 

 


Vicitravirya Prabhu Passes Away

Haribol prabhus,

VicitraviryaThis evening (July 15, 2010) at 7:18pm, Vicitravirya prabhu passed away in

very peaceful and blessed circumstances. His departure was very gentle in the presence of his children and devotees with Srila Prabhupada's kirtan. We had been able to make all the preparations, offer our prayers and encourage Vici to place himself solely in Prabhupada's hands. We will miss him dearly, but are relieved that he is free of such a debilitated condition and is now on his way to continue his service to the sankirtan movement.

Vici discussed the plans for his funeral and it will be held in a crematorium in Cardiff. A while after the cremation, there will be a memorial service at the Manor. We'll keep you informed of the arrangements.

Thanks again for all your prayers and messages. They not only gave solace to Vici but also to his children and family.

Your servant,
Akhandadhi das


Shaping our movement in Britain:
Vicitravirya Das

Article and picture of Vicitravirya Das on Vaishnava Voice


Vicitravirya Das
On August 12, 2010, His Holiness Giriraj Swami wrote:

"At yesterday's memorial program for Vicitravirya Prabhu, we learned of his unparalleled contribution to establishing Srila Prabhupada's mission in the UK. At he end of his life he said, “When you get this close to death, you see that it is not what you thought it was. All our life we fear it, but when you are this close you see that it is not the end; it is a portal, a portal to opportunities beckoning you. It is not something negative or destructive. . . . It reveals the essence and purpose of our life.”

Vicitravirya Prabhu ki jaya!
Hare Krishna. 

July 16, 2010

For me, Vicitravirya Prabhu was one of those charming "lava-matra" people. Just a few moments in his company changed me. A real gentleman, scholar, and sweet singer for Krishna. We are a little poorer without him now, but oh so much richer for having met him. One of Prabhupada's gems. I long to meet you again, Vici. Hare Krishna!

Suresvara dasa
Hawaii (U.S.)


Podcast by HH Sivarama Swami:

A few recollections of Vicitivirya Prabhu who left his body last night in Wales, in the company of family and Vaisnava friends July 16th, 2010

 

 

 

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In Memory of Betty Brett-A Very Special Soul
By: Caitanyadev
Submitted by: New Vrindavana Communications
June 29, 2010

I would like to mark the passing away of Betty Brett a kind soul who although she would not class herself as a devotee was very favorable to the devotees and ISKCON.

I met this kind and gentle soul whilst looking after her grandson and when he passed away we remained in touch and we had many long talks about the bible, gita and the true meaning of faith and surrender to an authority, what marks a true religion and one on a religious path from those that simply claim.

I recall once she was explaining her love for the Pope and his meaning to her but was lost in the search for words; so I shared how we felt about Srila Prabhupada and my own Guru Maharaja based on my own personal realizations and our understanding of scripture. I recall the smile on her face “Yes Yes that’s it that’s how I feel”; she was so happy to have scripture to back up and explain her feelings.

And this for me was one of her key qualities, she loved to hear and ask many questions she loved the quotes from Srila Prabhupada especially, and she also loved the devotees remarking how if the whole world was full of devotees there would be true peace and love.

But most important every time I visited there would be two questions asked, two very important questions; How’s your prays? (by this she was referring to my japa) and are you following the instructions properly of your spiritual master? She viewed both very important and lead by example in her own surrender and following the instructions of the pope.

Although she did once say that if she had her life over again she would love to be a devotee.

Even when faced with adversity and attacked in her own home, her faith was not compromised simply saying “I don’t know why it happened but god wanted it to, may be I have something to learn”; Betty asked me about this on several occasions and accepted the Vedic conclusion on Karma, even loving the picture of Krishna seeing it not as an idol but a way of affirming faith and connecting with God.

In many ways she was more a devotee than some who with pride call themselves devotees, ever gentle always welcoming the devotees and giving them the same respect she gave the pope and fathers in the church; always looking for ways to serve rather than be served.

And so on Sunday after a long fight with the material body as it aged and decayed her spirit soul left this temporary shell moving on to a new one; and I greave for a dear friend who kept me fixed on devotional service but also challenged and asked so many questions; who loved seeing Krishna and showed great hospitality to the devotees.

I pray a simple prayer that Krishna by his causeless mercy gives this special spirit soul all facility to return home.

To my dear friend Betty Brett, devotee, I say goodbye for now until by Krishna’s mercy our paths cross again.

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Bharini devi dasi

Dear Devotees,

We wish to send our condolences to a very special Vaisnava, Krishna Doyal Das, whose dear wife, Bharini devi dasi, passed away on Friday, May 7, 2010 in the holy dhama of Mayapur, India. Bharini devi was a very sweet devotee and special soul. She was a very loving wife and mother. One of their sons, Sridhar Das, lives as a brahmacari in the ISKCON Phialdelphia (U.S.) temple. Their other grown children also live in Mayapur. Please pray for this wonderfully devotional family as they feel the loss of their dear wife and mother.

Thank you.

Your servants at Vaisnavas C.A.R.E.

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