Memories by Anindita Devi Dasi

Posted on June 1, 2010

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Vrndavana Lila mataji and Padmalocan Prabhu have been a very important part of my Krishna conscious life. There’s a lot I would like to write about Padmalocan Prabhu, but here are a few of my memories:

Padmalochana prabhu has meant a lot to me as it was in my relatively initial days of Krishna consciousness (2001) that I got to know him, mainly through his powerful Bhagavatam classes. Later he became like a father to me, always watching out for me and telling me what to do and what not to do. His classes were always so packed with the intensity of his devotion and the compassionate urgency he felt for us who were still trying to enjoy this material world. I would be so absorbed in his classes that when I spoke to devotees after the class was over, I would be repeating his class almost word-by-word! I remember him once saying, “If we want to go back to Godhead we must fully surrender at some point, so why not NOW?” I was so inspired by that and spent many days thinking about it, and I still do.

I lived in Mayapur for about 8-9 months with my ex-husband, actually in a room just above Padmalochan Prabhu’s in the Youth Forum. We had the good fortune of having many conversations with him on different subject matters of Krishna consciousness. He always made life seem so simple because his own life was so simple as it was completely focused on service to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna.

When we decided to move back to Bangalore, Padmalochana prabhu tried hard to convince us to stay in the holy dham, but for several reasons the decision was already made that we would leave. The day we were going to leave, Padmalochana Prabhu came up to our room with some prasadam sweets that Vrndavan lila mataji had made and he requested us repeatedly not to leave Mayapur. I felt so touched that this wonderful soul had considered us worthy enough of his attention and was so humbly expressing this gesture of love. I also felt ashamed that he had
personally come to our room and was almost begging us not to leave, and there was nothing I could do about it.

While in Bangalore, at one point I desired to sustain myself just on book
distribution and quit my job, I expected that Padmalocan prabhu would encourage me with this plan ( I was thinking, “I am going to ‘just surrender NOW’) but to my surprise he did not. He advised that I keep my job and also distribute books so that I won’t be in any financial anxiety and can practice Krishna consciousness peacefully. He knew that I was only being naive and I was not really ready to completely surrender.

I would keep him updated with whatever I was doing, I would share with him my experiences on book distribution, my struggles at work, my successes with preaching and ask him questions on different aspects of Krishna consciousness, and he was always there to support me with his instructive and encouraging mails. When I started tutoring students at home I told him how I was hoping to also make them devotees and he advised me to have the students water Tulasi Devi every day so that they would develop a desire to hear about Krishna. His faith in tulasi devi was very inspiring and has helped me to depend on her more and more. When I took my parents and brother to Mayapur once, we went to see him. He spent a long time talking to them, it was a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere and he also advised them to worship tulasi devi by simply watering her everyday. My parents still follow this instruction of his to this day.

He and his wife were always in touch with me by email. If I did not write to
them for a while, one of them would always write to me and ask how I was doing.
Once I wrote back saying that I was so bad at keeping in touch with people and I was apologising to them for not writing for a long time, and he wrote back saying “Don’t do that. Please keep writing to us and let us know what’s going on.” He certainly was not just another person in my life and I am very grateful to him for being such a wonderful friend, father and spiritual guide.

Padmalochan Prabhu, please do stay in touch. I will sorely miss you.

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