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Tamal Krishna Maharaja
By Abhay das
(Disciple of His Holiness Lokanatha Maharaja)
Dear Tamal Krishna Maharaja,
It’s taken me several weeks to get over the initial shock of your disappearance. It's unusual that I should be writing you as I am not your disciple or had very much of your association (we only met once. ) But anyone who is a member of ISKCON feels they know you. Seventeen years ago Servant of the Servant played an important part of my bhakta program. And now as a struggling householder, I always have a copy of TKG's Diary within arm's reach at home. I just open it up at random when I need a dose of Prabhupada to get me through the day. I must have read it one hundred times. And after reading I always end up thanking Krishna for sending you to take care of Srila Prabhupada in his last days. I truly believe that no one could have taken better care or showed more love than you. Thank God that you were there. Your Holiness was the greatest enhancer, facilitator, and protector of the sweet rasa that was Srila Prabhupada's final pastimes.
I like to think that I understand everything. That's why I joined this fine movement. It enabled me to make sense of everything and answer every question. But I cannot make any sense of your passing. No explanation, no intriguing mystical anecdote has given me any peace, closure, or clarity on this, and I feel I will get none.
I have a dear friend here in Murwillumbah, your disciple Nrsinghadeva dasa. After hearing the news, he spent a night without sleep, grieving and weeping. Early next morning he asked his wife who was leaving to dress their Lordships Sri Sri Govardhanadhari to "stick Krishna with one of the big pins a few times." When she returned, she said that when she looked into Krishna's beautifully smiling face, she realized you were with Him now and she couldn't fulfill her husband's desires. But I appreciated his mood.
So now who is going to present papers about Prabhupada to scholars and religious leaders? At a large inter-religious conference in Washington D. C. in 97, when discussing the reason for Iskcon's success, you said:
"How did this happen?How did one individual manage to launch a worldwide religious movement that was at once theologically and socially counter-cultural? Of course followers within the movement answer this question in theological terms: Prabhupada was the chosen vehicle to spread Lord Caitanya's message throughout the whole world in fulfillment of prophecies in scriptures and promises to his Guru. . . the single most important factor in the emergence and establishment of this movement was Prabhupada— his extraordinary spirituality, his scholarly productivity, his boundless compassion, his ceaseless energy, his audacious assurance, his shrewd judgment, his organizational skills"
Who is going to write like this?
Who is going to finish your Cambridge Phd. dissertation about Srila Prabhupada being the most important religious leader in the modern age?
And in whom shall we find such a dear servant of Srila Prabhupada?
Your Holiness recorded this in your diary on september 17 1977:
"Today, he (Srila Prabhupada) suggested that we call Mrs. Wallior, as one doctor had cured her father, who was supposed to have the same disease. I presented a number of arguments against calling another doctor and told why I felt at this time it was not necessary. Srila Prabhupada said "Your advice is always very nice," and he decided not to call anyone for now. I said I felt confident Prabhupada would remain to see the temple opening (Bombay) and go to Vrndavana also. This pleased Srila Prabhupada very much, and with great feeling he rubbed my head and said, "May your words be blessed. Bless me that I may fix up my mind."
And then you added;
"How can I, who am like stool, bless the pure devotee of the Lord?"
I mentioned earlier that we spoke only once. You may remember a meeting with managers in Mayapur after the '92 Navadvipa Mandala Parikrama. It was about improving the program. I had sometimes read to the devotees during prasadam through a tinny sounding Indian megaphone. You had noted my readings sounded like "nails scratching a chalk board." You then stopped, turning to me in front of many senior men including my Spiritual master and said, "Abhay, you are a sincere devotee" and continued with the meeting. It was out of the blue and something I don't hear very often. I'll always remember it.
Tamal Krishna Maharaja, as anyone who knows me can attest, I am not a sincere devotee at all. I am less than stool. So I would like to pray at your lotus feet to please give me a fraction of your sincerity to serve the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada. Please make me sincere. I don't have the right to ask, but I am hearing from all your followers that you are always kind to those who take shelter of you. Let me squeeze into this family. Please bless me in this way.
May we never forget you.
Your aspiring servant,
© CHAKRA 9 April 2002
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