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The Passing of Rupa Manohara
By Yugala Kishor dasa

Rupa Manohara (above) passed away in Gainesville, Florida, on July 2, 2001

Dear Devotees,

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

On Sayana Ekadasi Day, July 2, 2001, Rupa Manohara Prabhu left this world, in Gainesville, Florida. He was survived by his wife, son and daughter: Mother Draupadi, Sri Rama and Vrindavaneswari.

Rupa Manohara Prabhu joined ISKCON in 1977 in Guatemala City, Guatemala, in Central America. And both him and his wife, Mother Draupadi became duly initiated on 06/01/79. He had a very pious family, as his sister also became initiated. He served Srila Prabhupada’s movement by engaging in book distribution, harinama-sankirtana and as a pujari throughout Central America and Mexico. However, he was well known for his culinary skills and thus cooked for many Deities. In Guatemala he served Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai. In El Salvador he also served Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai. In Mexico City he served Sri Sri Radha-Madana Gopal. In Guadalajara (Mexico) he served Sri Jaganatha, Sri Baladeva and Srimati Subhadra Devi. In Monterrey he served Sri Sri Gaura Nitai. In Houston (Texas) he served Sri Sri Radha Nila-Madhava and in Dallas (Texas) he served Sri Sri Radha-Kalachandi. He also served Sri Sri Radha Vrajabhihari in Miami, Florida and eventually he and his family settled here in Alachua, Florida.

His Holiness Hridayandana das Goswami: “Thank you for informing me of the auspicious passing of Sriman Rupa Manohara Das. He was always a sincere devotee, a gentleman, and a faithful disciple. I am sure that Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna are with him and will take him to a very pleasing, spiritual destination.”

Yugala Kishor dasa: “I met Rupa Manohara Prabhu in 1978. Then I joined ISKCON in September of the same year and ever since, we met and serve in different occasions and different temples. Besides being a dedicated servant in ISKCON, Rupaji was an exemplary grhastha. Although he was dedicated to raising two children, he was also very much realized in terms of spiritual matters. He was also a very mature person regarding matters of this world. Rupaji was indeed a true friend to me, for during my hardest times in life (divorce and loss of children), he was there for me either with a phone call or by opening his doors to me. I spent a month and a half with him, prior to his traveling to Brazil, and two months before departing from this world. At that time, we talked a lot. He had very personal and unique realizations about Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna. I am so grateful that he shared them with me, for such insights have also enriched my life. In the end, I was also there at his bedside, witnessing his departure. During my last 24 years I have numerously read, and heard (and preached it myself) the classical preaching line ‘We are not the body’. Nevertheless, my witnessing of Rupa Manohara Prabhu’s departure was the final touch in my realizations about it. It also made me understand that differences of opinion, fights, disagreements, resentments, hatred and grudges become wholly meaningless, pointless and utterly useless. Then I realized that if all of this stuff is so meaningless during death, why should they be meaningful during life? As Srila Prabhupada wrote it so succinctly: ‘The whole materialistic advancement of human civilization is like the decoration of a dead body. Everyone is a dead body flapping only for a few days, and yet all the energy of human life is being wasted in the decoration of this dead body’. Thanks to Rupa Manohara Prabhu’s vivid example, I now fully understand that indeed I am not the body, but rather a servant of the servants of Srila Prabhupada’s mission. Finally I need to state that I will not be able to forget his cooking and am not ashamed to declare that his malpura sweets brought me ISKCON.”

Ramanya dasa: “It was an honor to have had his association for many years. I was impressed by his brahminical standard in his cooking and his steadiness and punctuality. I think he was a very faithful follower of Srila Prabhupada, based on what I observed and what he personally told me in many occasions. He stated to me that Prabhupada gave us everything in his books. And that is something I will always remember. During his final days, HH Indradyumna Swami visited Alachua and lectured at the temple. In the lecture, Maharaja narrated that Srila Prabhupada once padded him in the back and said: ‘You are going through so much trouble serving me. But in the end, it will be nice and sublime when you go back to Krishna’. Rupa Manohara told me that such statement uttered by Srila Prabhupada made a deep impression in his heart.”

Yadu dasa: I have arrived in the City of Rajahmundry, coming from small town known as Kovvur; and while crossing the bridge, I offered my prayers to Mother Ganges, humbly requesting her to make Rupa’s journey, an auspicious one. I was overcome by a deep sorrow, when I remember that a month ago, June 2nd, the day of Nirjala Ekadasi, I was about to write a letter to Rupa, but was unable to do so. I think it was Paramatma who was inspiring me to write some words to Rupa. . . That’s why I feel a deeply agrieved. My prayers are with Rupa during these sensitive days of the departed soul. I dedicate to him all my vratas and studies during this period, and pray to the Supreme Lord Vishnu that He may grant him the next stage of life, full of love. I also pray to my Sri Sri Radha-Krishna Deities so that They mercifully show him once again all Their glorious and enchanting Archa-vigraha forms.”

All glories to the devotees of Lord Vishnu.

© CHAKRA 16-July-2001

“It was an honor to have had his association for many years.”

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