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I offer my deepest prayers and respect to Mother Vrindavaneswari, who along with His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami, passed away a month ago in Mayapur, India.
I live in New York City, where six months or so ago, thousands of people perished in a sudden attack from terrorists, but this one came straight from the heart. For sure this one is much different— leaving one’s body in the dham as opposed to leaving one’s body in downtown New York.
But a great general in ISKCON and a mother loved dearly in New Zealand is just too much to bear. It seems we are really one family, because how come I am affected by it? I am not related in any sense of the word. What era are we entering now?
Love and respect to ISKCON Dallas, Philippines, and New Zealand.
Pretending to be a devotee,
Our sister, daughter, aunty, niece, cousin, wife, and mother, but most of all our friend.
We have been remembering you over the last week or so with candles, cards, and flowers. The special moments we have all experienced with family and friends, the grief we now share.
Through our lives we take each other for granted. Losing someone so close, none more so than you, Dianne, is a real wake-up call for all of us
We all have our own thoughts and cherished memories of you, and as we are sad we won’t be able to hug you and see your smile, we know we can still have a chat from time to time.
You chose to follow your heart in Krishna consciousness, which was hard for us to comprehend at first, but over time we saw how happy this made you.
On Tuesday evening the devotees of New Varsana held a ceremony in commemoration of Vrndavanesvari. Devotees and family members arrived from all over Australasia. The evening began with mellow bhajans and enthusiastic kirtan of the holy name. Between 5.00 pm and 8.00 pm, devotees and family shared their memories of Vrndavanesvari in an attempt to bring some form of closure to the deep-seated grief and unbearable sense of loss we all feel.
Many heartfelt and tearful exchanges were shared in a mixed mood of awe and intimate affection. The program was completed with the most amazing feast you could ever imagine, a fitting feast for a great stalwart master in the kitchen and then a totally empowered kirtan for the 9.00 arati until about 10.00 pm. Devotees remained huddled in small groups reminiscing into the wee small hours of the morning.
Glories of Srimati
I was most blessed by being able to spend time with Vrindavanesvari these last six months as I was living in New Varshan. Sometimes she travelled around to make money for devotee projects and to sustain her family, but mostly she was on the farm and each morning would be at mangalarati wrapped up in her chaddars, absorbed in the kirtan, and then she would sit and chant japa until greetings without fail unless she was cooking breakfast.
She and I talked for hours on many occasions about the Holy Name and the joys of chanting. These were ecstatic sessions and ones I will never forget. She had become grateful for the personal traumas in her life, as through them she had taken complete shelter of the Holy Name, and this was a fixed and constant source of strength to her. The opulence of Queen Kunti, gratitude for Krisna's presence in her life, was certainly hers. From this, her love for anyone she came into contact with shone through, and her caring was always so practical, detailed and appropriate— genuine and personal
I am terribly saddened by the sudden tragic passing of His Holiness Tamal Krsna Goswami and Vrndavanesvari devi dasi and the injuries suffered by her husband and the driver of the taxi en route to the Calcutta airport. I offer my sincerest, deepest, and most heartfelt condolences to all the devotees of Lord Krsna who will suffer pangs of separation and grief at the disappearance of these two great and humble devotees. I joined ISKCON in 1991 in Berkeley, California, and had the very good fortune and opportunity to meet His Holiness on more than one occasion, and always looked forward with great enthusiasm to his visits to the Bay Area. I am deeply shocked by this horrible mishap.
Although I am also a disciple of His Holiness Tamal Krsna Goswami, I would like to say something about the glorious passing of Srimati Vrndavanesvari Mataji. I do not have the full details of her life as I have only known her since 1994, but I will say what I do know.
Vrndavanesvari was probably one of the most sincere devotees I know. She was always trying to use every second to develop love for Krsna. Her chanting was always very fervent, and she was always eager to associate and serve senior devotees. Since I joined in 1994, at the age of 16, she has been like a mother to me. She always said I was her baby.
She came to Mayapur this year to associate with Tamal Krsna Goswami, with whom she has a siksa relationship, and I am not surprised that they left their bodies on the same day. I remember once he said to her, "I don't know what it is about you and me. There’s just a very strong connection."
Few Words about Vrndavaneswari
I would like to write a few words about Vrndavaneswari, who was the great friend of so many of us here in New Zealand. Words cannot really express how sorely she will be missed by all of us, especially of course her 13 year old son Raghunatha and her husband Kalasamvara. Is is almost unbearable that we won't have her association again in this lifetime. I'm sure many other devotees will wish to express their appreciation of this wonderful devotee also.
Vrndavana had developed an extraordinary attachment for chanting the holy names. That she left us in the place where Haridas Thakur, the harinama acarya, was tested by Mayadevi and beaten in 22 market places was certainly fitting. She always said to me that chanting was her only shelter, and it was clear she had experienced great shelter and spiritual realisation through her chanting. In her passing she is an inspiration to all of us to recommit and dedicate ourselves very seriously to the process of absorption in the holy names.
Glories of Vrndavanesvari
Vrndavanesvari Mataji will be greatly missed by all the devotees of New Varshana, Auckland, New Zealand. She was an inspiration to everyone in many ways.
She was a very generous person with her time, money, and affection. Many devotees gained great comfort knowing that she was there to listen to them, comfort them and provide them with good counsel.
She is famous for her devotional cooking. Whenever she cooked, you could tell she put everything into pleasing the devotees. Pizza rolls were popular items on her menu, and sweets were her specialty, especially her three-tiered carob cake with whipped cream and jam. I will always remember her serving devotees at feasts after community-working bees — taking great pleasure in getting devotees to take more cake.
Above all, she will forever be remembered for her absorption in chanting the
Go to the "In Memoriam Page"
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