Memories by Dhruva Maharaja Prabhu

Posted on September 15, 2010

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I first met Padmalocana prabhu, who recently passed away from Mayapur, in 1978 in Vrndavana, but our closest times together didn’t take place until 1981.
At that time I became inspired to learn more about Lord Krsna’s chlidhood pastime places, and went to Vrndavana to do research about those locations. One of the first books I came across in that process was Padmalocana’s Cintamani-dhama. There weren’t very many books in English, but “Padma” had learned to read and speak some Hindi, even back then, and we soon began traveling together throughout Vraja visiting places where Lord Krsna had performed His divine lilas.
How can I describe the experience of the two of us traveling to Kokilavana or Khadiravana thirty years ago, when most Vraja villagers weren’t accustomed to seeing Westerners? Those times have long passed, the culture is completely transformed now, and it seems almost dreamlike to recall those adventure-filled events.
At one point Padmalocana became extremely sick while living at the Bhaktivedanta Swami Goshala. However, he didn’t want to go to the hospital and insisted on seeing a “doctor” he knew in Varsana. Another devotee, Asurari, and I transported the barely- able-to-walk patient by bus to Varsana, and somehow dragged him along the path all the way to a small kutir above Maan-mandir where Ramesh Baba lives. A man simply named “Brahmacari” lived there and agreed to treat Padma – and also arranged for Asurari and me to live with a family in the village of Citra devi at the bottom of the hill.
For an entire month we lived in that small Vraja village, subsisting on the charitable Vraja rotis and subjis various family supplied as we performed madhukari from home to home, while Padma rested and was treated on the hills of Varsana. It was an ideal location, for one could see out over the land for miles and sweet breezes constantly blew to create a pleasant atmosphere. I believe this must have been one of the ingredients that brought Padmalocana back to health, and we finally traveled back to Vrndavana and to the Krishna-Balarama Mandir when he recovered.
For most of the 1980’s we lived in, and traveled around Vrndavana, but then the currents of time changed and I moved to Mayapur and finally Jagannatha Puri, whereas Padmalocana moved to Maypaur, wrote a book titled Audarya-dhama, and became a stalwart resident there. Every time we visited Mayapur I ran into him either on the banks of the Ganges, riding his bicycle around the ISKCON complex, or in the temple of Sri Sri Radha-Madhava and Panca-tattva. He was not a flashy, charismatic character, but always loved to hear about Radha, Krsna, Lord Caitanya, or Srila Prabhupada. He lived his entire adult life in one of the holy dhamas where Lord Krsna or Lord Caitnaya performed Their pastimes, and, as mentioned in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, this is one of the five most important activities in devotional service. I’m sure that his steadfast determination to serve the Lord has now borne fruit, and that he’s passed to another realm to once again live in some holy place where the Lord’s pastimes are being eternally enacted. All glories to Padmalocana, a wonderful example of service to bhakti-sakti!

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Posted in: Padmalochan