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Eyewitness Accounts
From BB Govinda Maharaja 
and Uttama Sloka dasa
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From BB Govinda Maharaja:

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

Tamal Krishna Goswami left for Calcutta at 4:15 along with Vrindavanesvari and Kalasambara and a servant, Aghavit.

I sang mangala arati that morning, and during the Tulasi puja, Gopal Raja came running in and said that they had just had a phone call that there was severe accident and Tamal Krishna Goswami was unconscious.

I made an announcement to the assembled devotees, and we all prayed together for a minute. Then I ran out and joined Jayapataka Swami, Sivarama Swami, Jayadvaita Swami and Niranjana Swami in a car, and we left for the site, on the other side of Santipur in a place called Phulia. That is where Haridas Thakur was beaten and was tempted by Mayadevi.

Basically, the driver of Tamal Krishna Goswami's Tata Sumo went to sleep and sideswiped a big tree on the left side of the road at high speed. Tamal Krishna Goswami was sitting in the front left side, and Vrindavanesvari was sitting behind him. They took the direct impact.

The vehicle rolled and the side that Tamal Krishna Goswami was sitting on was crashed in on him.

Kalasambara said he managed to get out of the car and tried to help remove Tamal Krishna Goswami but realized he was dead. He pulled out Vrindavanesvari and then everyone got into the second car that had been following and proceeded to the Ranaghat Hospital.

Tamal Krishna Goswami was dead on arrival. Vrindavanesvari suffered severe head damage and was given minimal chance of survival. She died about an hour later on the floor of the women’s ward. When she died, Sivaram Swami and Niranjana Swami were singing kirtan.

Jayapataka Swami had to work through the situation with the police. We were trying to get immediate release of the bodies, but as it was an accident, they had to undergo a postmortem.

We tried to explain that he was an acarya. Still, they insisted they would do the minimal. Around 11, we carried his body to the morgue. After 12, the postmortem doctor came.

We had all papers signed by 3 PM and left that place. We arrived at Mayapur around 4:30. All of the devotees were waiting. The remains were taken to rooms at the back of the guesthouse and prepared for funeral.

Vrindavanesvari was taken to the Ganga and cremated.

Tamal Krishna Goswami was bathed, dressed, profusely covered with garlands, and then taken on a stretcher around the Deities. His remains were laid on the platform in front of Radha Madhava and all of the devotees filed past and had a final darshan.

He was then taken to Prabhupada's samadhi for darshan.

Then he was placed in samadhi. The site of his samadhi is on the left side of the parikrama path around Prabhupada's samadhi, just where the path turns off left to go to the grhasta area. It is an area designated in the master plan for samadhis.

Saturday there was a remembrance ceremony followed by puspanjali and a feast. We took prasadam where the GBC’s eat and Tamal Krishna Goswami's picture was at the top of the line. His picture was served first, and we all partook of his prasadam.

We are in a state of disbelief.

BB Govinda Swami

From Uttama Sloka dasa:

Dear Srila Gurudeva

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

Thank you for your reply. The last news, you probably already heard about Tamal Krsna Maharaja's departure. I can just add a few details since I went to the spot immediately after the accident happened. Your disciple Vrindavanesvari dd was also in the same car along with her husband Kalasamvara prabhu. She was right behind Goswami Maharaja so the same tree that hit Maharaja so badly also damaged her body a lot.

They were transferred to the nearest hospital, which happened to be a subdivisional hospital of the area and not very well equipped, so they put Vrndavanesvari on the floor, right on the top of her chadar. Her head was split and her entire body badly damaged, but she was still alive. Kalasamvara was sitting by her side on the floor, all in blood but still chanting.

This was the scene when I arrived there along with other devotees. We were completely shocked, but he was very sober and told us, "You'd better chant; otherwise, there is no use of your standing here."

When I asked him if he was feeling okay, he said, "We can worry about it later."

Apparently, Vrindavanesvari was unconsciousness, but as I could see she was trying to chant because she was opening her mouth. After a short while, she departed, but by that time BB Govinda Maharaja and Sivarama Maharaja along with Jayadvaita Maharaja joined our kirtan. Tamal Krsna Maharaja's body was there but we had to wait for the postmortem to be carried out since he had not died in a hospital.

By that day noon, we had both bodies released and drove them to Mayapur, and the final ceremonies were conducted. Tamal Krsna Maharaja's samadhi is right next to Srila Prabhupada's, as according to his will.

Vrndavanesvari's body was cremated by the side of the Ganges on the same day.

Kalasamvara says that they had long-standing relationships with Tamal Krsna Goswami, writing letters back and forth on chanting japa. When she departed, her right hand was fixed in japa mudra.

Your servant,
Uttama-sloka das

© CHAKRA 20 March 2002

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