Before we begin, we want to welcome Nitai Prabhu who has come from Radha Gokulanand Temple. Sikshashtakam Prabhu you please offer garland to him.
I am reading the offerings sent by His Holyness Jaydevait Swami Maharaja.
His Holyness Jayadvait Swami Maharaj writes ‘I only briefly saw the announcement about Shyam Krishna Prabhu before running after the train and I am slow to put together in my mind who is connected by with whom. So only just after our phone call did the pieces fall into place and I realized the family relationships. Please offer my condolences to his wife and sister. Shyam Krishna Prabhu was a staunch servant of Srila Prabhupada’s movement and especially of Sri Krishna Balaram. His sisters can be just proud of him. And we are all the poorer of losing his association. Hoping this finds you in good health.
Yours and in Prabhupada’s Service – Jaiadvait Swami
Offering by HG Krishna Chandra Prabhu
Hare Krishna - In this ISKCON Movement we are extraordinarily blessed to have many many special devotees. But even by ISKCON’s standards, I think HG Shyam Krishna Prabhu was quite remarkable. He had some very unique qualities which you find in different devotees, but to find varied qualities in one person was very rare. When I had my first meaningful meeting with him several years ago when he came to my office, just unexpectedly asked to meet, and he was still in the customs. And then he narrated a story about his life and thoughts and what he wanted to do. It is quite astonishing because he was trying to gradually be himself away from his very materially attractive position, because he was attracted to Krishna Consciousness and the difficulties he had even just to move out of that, it was quite amazing. He gave a glimpse of what kind of world outside we live in. Even I was also surprised. But what was remarkable about him was that, he wanted some views of mine. I gave some suggestions. I did not expect that he would not only carry it through but then unfolding part of his remaining life, a person with this background and these qualities, very tough person internally, very courageous externally, strongly standing up for his own convictions, he was prepared to go to any length to do that. Never spoke anything about it. Just a quiet type, always standing behind. At the same time I was quite amazed when he told me sometime later that he had stayed some four months in Vrindavan, completed his Bhakti Sastri and later he did his Bhakti Vaibhav, I believe, in Mayapur. He was really in one sense a kshatriya type but he was such a devotee at the core of his heart that he had a very deep attraction and understanding of the philosophy and which he used through his propensity to really completely staunchly stay with Prabhupada’s Movement in a way which was very very admirable. Though in Chowpatty, Bombay, we did not get a chance to very often see him in the last few years, but one thing was that he always took up those kind of services which were the most difficult challenging ones, which perhaps also had some risk involved. He was someone who did the dirty work. He was prepared to do it to be faithfully loyal to the leadership. That was his nature and it never went to his head. He had a very attractive smile, wonderful, just came from his heart. He had a very charming, aristocratic personality. At the same time he had these qualities of deep understanding of the scriptures. He was very tough person who was willing to do anything to protect the mission of Srila Prabhupada. And also very humble person. In his mind when he had made a what was an error of judgment perhaps in some personal aspects of his life, he was only partially perhaps to be blamed, but he stood up and he felt, he was so transparent about it, when he described it he just took it entirely upon his head and said it was completely my mistake. He is not somebody who is trying to evade and avoid it. So this kind of combination of things was such an attractive personality. And this date we always yearn that we did not get encough of his association. But his example was really wonderful and I feel greatly fortunate to have his brief association. I hope that we can live up to his standards of convictions. He dedicated every moment of his last 10 or 12 years to this mission. - Hare Krishna.
Offering By HG Anand Gopal Prabhu
Hare Krishna - HG Shyam Krishna Prabhu was a very very dear friend of mine. In fact, it is not that I had met him a lot number of times because geographically we were in two different parts. But the attraction that we had, the relation that we shared, I can only feel the loss now that he is not amongst us. His loss is not only to his family alone but even to ISKCON and especially to Krishna Balaram Temple. The kind of activities, I am sure most of us don’t even know what he has done for the movement, what he has done for Srila Prabhupada, what he has done for Guru Mahapraj. In fact, he started very very humble and very difficult childhood. But he had a very strong spiritual base right from the beginning. When he finished his graduation he stood 2nd in the Bombay University. And then lateron he took up govt. services and joined the Narcotics Department and he worked with Customs. Even during those days he was so bold that his officers always gave the most difficult assignments to him. And then later in the year 2002, he was introduced to the movement. Much before that, Radha Kund Prabhu had preached him. In fact I was there for the memorial in Vrindavan, last week and Parvati Mataji, she was giving an offering, she was mentioning one very nice incident which I like to share here. It seems that she asked him how did you get introduced to ISKCON Movement. He said when he was in the Narcotics Department, his assignment used to find out people who were moving with drugs and try to catch them. In one such case when he was following this person, it seems that he had booked his room in Juhu Tample. So he used to follow him up. To catch him he used to go to the temple sit there for few hours, watch the kirtan, hear the bhajans and somehow the seed had started from those days. And later in the year 2002 when he decided – enough is enough, what he was doing was just a very difficult job. In fact I have dealt with the Customs Department. To be in that circle, it is very difficult to do your spiritual life and this together. When Devamrit Prabhu was giving his offerings, he said once when he was in Vrindavan he came and asked him ‘Prabhuji this is what is running in my mind, I would like to devote myself fully to Prabhupada’s mission. So Devamrit Prabhu said already you are taking so much of risk for the outside world, it would be nice if you can take risk for Srila Prabhupada now. And that moved his heart and from then he took Maharaj’s persmission and decided to devote his life to Srila Prabhupada’s movement. What I would like to emphasize now is his personality. He had a very multi-dimensional personality, a very unique, I mean I can count, in the whole of our movement, on fingers the number of devotees who could have such multi-dimensional personalities. I can specify this in three different …………. One is he was a kstriya, a warrior, a soldier. In the offerings in Vrindavan they mentioned that what they loved in him. They loved a soldier in him. Second was, he was a very sharp and very intelligent person. Thirdly, if the devotees are too much in management then their scripture reading and sadhana is, they are not upto, because of lack of time. But his scripture reading, his sadhana, his love for Srimad Bhagvatam was unimaginable. But, first his warrior qualities; what he has done for Krishna Balaram Temple is just beyond imagination. What he has achieved in the last four years. In fact wherever he went, when he was with Customs, what he achieved in those few years was just remarkable. What he has done here in the last four years is just, we cannot describe in words. Lots of devotees must be knowing parts of which he has done but when you compile the whole thing it is just unimaginable, the kind of guts he had, the kind of bravery he showed. Gaur Sunder Prabhu in his offerings was mentioning that in one of the incidents where there was a certain problem with the Radha-Damodar Temple, and our devotees were sitting there in the room, and some outsiders were trying to throw brahamcharies out, as soon as they picked up few brahmacharies Shyam Krishna Prabhu just got up like a lion and screamed at them and said ‘dare anybody touch me’. And seeing his strong, well built personality, when they heard him roar like a lion, they just left the place and ran from there. And many more such things he has achieved in Vrindavan in terms of bravery. He was ready to take any kind of risks, go to any extent for the temple because that was one of his warrior quality. In fact I was there just 7 days back before the incident happened. Me and Brajchandra Prabhu had gone to Vrindavan. And Brajchandra Prabhu asked him a very important question. He asked him ‘do you regret coming here to Vrindava after leaving your job. And guess what the answer was. He said ‘any one life time I had to take that decision, and I have taken it in this life time’. That was the kind of commitment, the dedication he had for the movement. Secondly, he was so sharp and intelligent. It is said that you might find a very brave person, you might find a very trained persons in future, but to find a person like him who was trained in excellence in his field from Customs, from Narcotics and Excise, will be very difficult combination. He was so sharp. I remember just 7 days before, at the end of December when we were standing in the courtyard of the temple, he was talking to us and like how these officers are trained to see everything happening around them, he saw one small young boy walking, must be in his early twenties. Immediately he called up the security and said three years we had put this boy in prison because he was doing mischievous activities then, and he is moving around again. So just imagine three years back he has seen some thing, and he saw this person in beard and he could recognize him. So that was his sharpness and his love for scriptures. It is just not that he was a warrior and wanted to be just in the front and take up problems. He used to get immersed in reading Bhagvatam. When he used to come to Bombay, he would ask ‘can you spent some time, and would like to come home and spent hours in reading Srimad Bhagvatam. Just like when I went now, after his passing away, I saw his first canto, there were so many markings on his book, the red markings, the blue markings, the stars, the important points. So we can imagine the kind of interest he had in reading Srimad Bhagvatam. Lot of devotees expressed in their offerings that he used to spent hours sitting with them discussing philosophy. I remember, me and Deepchandra Prabhu had spent at least from seven to twelve in the night discussing certain topics and went on and on and on. So he had multi-facet dimension; a warrior, intelligence and love for scriptures, love for his sadhana. Lastly, the kind of impression that he has left for his family, he preached his whole family His mother, his sisters, his brother-in-law, everybody is preached through him. His mother is chanting 32 rounds, sister is chanting. His wife, when I went to Vrindavan, she said my husband has given this bead-bag, I have to just chant, i have to read Bhagvatam, I have to preach. So this is the kind of impact he has given. He has left lot of impression on my life. He will always be my ………… ——— Thank you – Hare Krishna.
Offering By HG Anand Vrindavan Prabhu
Shyam Krishna Prabhu, I met him, I think last to last Vrindavan Yatra when we went. Basically I was not knowing who is Shyam Krishna Prabhu. Only Govind Prabhu told me and he introduced me. I was knowing his name and I was very eager to meet him and he was also very eager to meet me. We were not knowing each other. But only when we went last to last Vrindavan Yatra, in the first meeting itself we spent three hours together and our channel was meeting so nicely that immediately we understood that we can be very close friends. The first and most important which I really appreciate about Shyam Krishna Prabhu was that he was on the very top-most position materially and he had so many opportunities materially. He could be at the peak, and even at that level he said “that is it, I want to give 100% to Krishna Consciousness”. I being in the finance market and I sometimes remember, most of the devotees I used to counsel, I can say with my realization that it is extremely difficult. Even though devotees have everything, they know what is the goal of life, but even after knowing everything it is extremely difficult to renounce it. They will say ‘we will do both the things together, we will do side by side. But to give 100% commitment to Prabhupada, I could not see so many devotees. Shyam Krishna Prabhu was one of them. And because of that when I heard before last to last Vrindavan yatra that he said “I ……… every thing, whatever I have I will survive on that and I want to give 100% to Prabhupada. And it was not so that he was taking anything from the temple. I was shocked to see that even travelling also, whenever he used to go to all these legal departments, all the courts and all these places, he was spending from his own pocket. All travelling expenses, all hotel expenses, every where he was spending from his own pocket. This shows he was so much committed. No talking business, it was specifically by his actions, he was showing. I was shocked to see how much this person is committed that too within five years, so high standard and so many such incidents. Because after that meeting we became so close that he used to share with me regularly, every 10/15 days I used to get a call from him and we used to talk on Krishna katha. Fortunately last to last time, I think about 15 days back, he rang me up and we had a talk for one hour and 10 minutes. I did not know it was my last talk with him. It was so long talk and only Krishna Katha and something what he is going through it. How much tension, how much anxiety, and how much pressure he had. And he used to reveal everything to me. As we know the biggest challenge he had was Radha-Damodar Temple’s space. He revealed everything to me. So much pressure on him by all GBCs, all Gurus, all Temple Presidents. Everywhere all Prabhupada’s disciples, they were putting so much pressure on him that it was at Allahabad High Court, the judgment was going to take place. So everybody was completely on Shyam Krishna Prabhu that where he is and what he is doing. And everybody was just asking what you are going to do. Or are you going to get that place or not. I remember the day when the judgment was going to take place, in the night he rang me up and said prabhu I am so much in pressure, there is so much tension in my head that I am not able to even chant my rounds properly, I am not able to sleep right now. Can you do one thing. I said Prabhuji I will do everything – boliye. He said please chant for me so that I can do something for Prabhupada. I have the desire that I want to do so much. This is the time I can show my sincerity and commitment to Prabhupada. So the next day I came to the temple and I was telling to all the devotees please chant today we are going to get the judgment of Radha-Damodar Temple. He was in the Court. In between at about 9.30 or 10.00 I rang him up. I said where are you right now. He said I am in the Allahabad High Court in the room itself where the judgment is going to take place. I said when the hearing is going to take place. He said at 2 O’clock. I said OK prabhu at 2 O’clock I will be in my office but I will chant for you at that time. So at around 4.30 or 5 O’clock we got the judgment. He got the judgment in such a way that the Radha-Damodar place is going to be with us and we will be having the possession of it. Immediately I was so happy to note that immediately from Allahabad High Court itself as and when he got that judgment letter immediately he rang me up. I said prabhu we have got Prabhupada’s place and I said you might be the happiest person. What is your consciousness right now can you just tell me that. Because that was his happiest moment, he was so much happy, he said that you are the first person to whom I am giving ring right now that we have got it and tomorrow morning itself I am leaving for Vrindavan with this judgment so that immediately we will be taking the possession of Radha-Damodar Temple. So I asked him prabhuji what is your consciousness right now because you have done something by which Prabhupada will be so happy eternally. At that time he told me, it is very very touching, he said prabhu I could not do the service which all Prabhupada’s direct disciples did. I have done this service by which I can tell to Prabhupada that I am also one of your disciples. This is a token of my commitment for your movement. This is what he said. It really touched me at that time. There was another problem, you might be knowing, in Vrindavan there was some arrears of Vrindavan Land where we have a temple, there was some outstanding huge amount. Vrindavan corporation was demanding a huge amount for Vrindavan temple. And it was such a huge amount that the management and everybody in Vrindavan, they were just letting it out because it was very difficult for us to pay that amount. And it came to a stage that the Vrindavan Corporation was going to grab the property of our temple. At that time Shyam Krishna Prabhu was ………… out. He was telling that Devamrit Prabhu was so much in tension – how to collect this money, how to give this money. At that time he walked like a tiger. He did everything possible and finally it so happened that instead of giving the money, he took some loophole, I don’t know how he made some loophole, the decision came in such a way that instead of our giving the money we have to do collection from Vrindavan Corporation. And instead of putting a case on us, we put the case in such a way that we have to collect money from them. This was his beauty. I think we know that for Prabhupada’s Samadhi actually basically it is becoming a very prominent place. So the Municipal Corporation wanted to take that place and make shops over there, in that area so that they can earn more money. So they were putting lots of pressure on us. A stage came that Prabhupada’s Samadhi was going to get dismantle. At that time Shyam Krishna Prabhu again rang me up and said Prabhuji do you know what is the situation we have right now with us, so much pressure is there, Prabhupada’s Samadhi is in difficulty right now. They wanted to see that only the front side which we have the gate, the Municipal Corporation wanted to sell it and wanted to have shops over there. Again he fought so violently and we got that case in our favor. One after other, so much he was putting his intelligence in every where. I will give you one classic example which I was shocked to see how much this person is having a brain to utilize it in such a systematic way. When last time we were there in Kartik Yatra, at that time in the evening at around 6.30 or 7 there was a huge crowd for kartik arati and so many devotees used to come. At that time, you know that next to Radha-Shyamsundar when we come out, there is a place where many of the young boys and girls used to sit. And it was a very big distraction to everybody whosoever used to enter the temple. So he called me up and said do you see these people, they are biggest obstacles to our movement. They are not of the standard which Prabhupada wants, but because ours is a preaching movement we cannot tell them that you don’t come to the temple, but at the same time I want to see that they don’t try to sit here, take the darshan and get out from the temple. So I said but how you will do it. He said just see what I am going to do. What he did was, he called his assistant and he said that at this moment of time it is not possible for him to put something by which they cannot sit on this place and become a distraction. And it has to see that the full kartik month goes away in a very nice way. So what he did was every day the evening Aarati used to start at 6.30, every day around quarter to six or six O’clockc, he used to paint that place and put a board over there, so that whosoever comes to that place and wanted to sit there but could not sit because it was wet. And this system he followed for the whole month. This really takes intelligence to do every day and every week. I used to check it out whether he did it or not. And around 6 O’clock he used to paint so that it becomes wet, till the time it becomes dry by that time the Aarati is over, so nobody sits over there. This is his intelligence, so committed, so determined to do the things that are required to be done. And the most important thing which I was very astonished to see that threat was so much on him that a stage came in his life was that he was definitely insecure but he felt that his wife will also remain insecure because she stays alone. Because most of the time he was either in the temple or in the courts on in rally and his wife used to be there alone for the whole day. And Vrindavan is that type of a place where it is not secure. So he took the decision to send his wife to Bombay. He said in Bombay she will be more secure rather than staying in Vrindavan. So I said prabhu mataji will be more insecure in Bombay because you are not there. He said prabhu as far as Bombay is concerned I am doubly sure because Radha-Gopinath temple is there, our devotees are there, she will be more secure than in Vrindavan. I said prabhu but how much risk are you taking, you are not caring for your life, you are not taking any Laxmi, He said prabhuji I am sold out to Prabhupada. I want to give everything to Prabhupada; my last blood should be gone for Prabhupada. He was so attached. We were sharing so much with each other. He said prabhuji I want to chant together. I said Prabhuji how can we do it. He said can you do one thing, can you spare one week and come to Vraindavan. So one week what I will do, in three days we will sit together, nothing doing, we will hear Srimad Bhagvatam and chant 64 round together. That way I will improve my chanting because otherwise I don’t get time to chant seriously. In fact we planned also. This April I was to go and stay together and chant 64 rounds for three day and three days he said I will show you Vrindavan. We were so attached. In fact when I got the message, it was very difficult for me to absorb. I was thinking that because the death took place in Delhi, I was thinking it might be somebody else’s body but it should not be Shyam Krishna. The biggest thing by which I was getting inspired was at this small age 100% commitment, no compromise, giving everything – money, intelligence, mind, everything whatever he had he wanted to give 100%. And I was thinking this should be the surrender. It should not be in talking, actions speak louder. Not caring for the family. In fact I knew it. His wife was so attached to him, he was so attached to his wife. When he used to be in Delhi at least three to four times she used to give him a ring just to know everything goes alright. I used to say prabhuji how much you are struggling for Prabhupada. He said prabhuji the situation is such that it is required right now. It is better we stay alone. For Prabhupada I will do any thing. In fact I have lost my very close friend. I was getting so much inspiration from him because I was understanding the meaning of surrender in a true sense. So I pray that please give me the strength that I can follow whatever you have done in my own life. Thank you very much – Hare Krishna.
Offering by HG Yashomatinandan Prabhu
It was with a great shock and disbelief that I received the news of sudden and untimely disappearance of Shaym Krishna Prabhu. He looked such a dynamic, energetic, and healthy person that it is hard to believe that it could happen to a person like him. But who can understand Krishna’s arrangement. As explained in the 6th Canto of Srimad Bhagvatam ‘ we are all subservient to the will of the Lord just as a bull is controlled by a rope in its nose’ Yamaraj says ‘my dear servants you have accepted me as a supreme, but factually I am not. Above me and above all demi-gods including Indra and Chandra is the one supreme master and controller. The partial manifestations of His personality are Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva who are incharge of the creation, maintenance and annihilation of this universe. He is like the two threads that forms the length and breadth of the woven cloth. The entire world is controlled by Him just as a bull is controlled by a rope in its nose. Shyam Krishna lived a short but a very glorious life. As if to make his departure auspicious Krishna kept him engaged in His service in Vrindavan – His own abode. When a vaishnava leaves his body he is simply changing his service. It is like a transfer in the government job but it is a great shock for his old mother, a young wife and his sisters. I pray to Krishna to give them strength to tolerate this very difficult test He has arranged for them. I also pray to Lord to bless Shyam Krishna Prabhu to have more and more devotional service wherever He has taken him.
Offering by HG Shyamanand Prabhu
The only thing which came to my mind when very slowly the shock of what happened sunk in, and the way Shyam Krishna Prabhu had taken assignments and he was described as a warrior, as a frontline man, someone who walks his talk. That this was something comparable to the loss of Abhimanyu in the great Mahabharat war. Why is it that someone who could actually make big difference in the way in which elements were opposing the spread of Krishna Consciousness or sometimes it is just down right injustice, and why does Krishna take someone away. Of course there are no easy answers. One answer which, sort of, I gave myself to console is that those who are capable, just like we see in Srila Prabhupada’s preaching lila, those who took the greatest risks, Prabhupada rewarded them with responsibilities, and that further enabled them to use their talents which further enabled Prabhupada to give them more riskier tasks. And any time such personalities would be a given a call that leave everything and come here. And that is only consolation I can feel. There is something higher which Srila Prabhupada, the entire Guruvarg, Sri Sri Radha-Shyamsundar, they had demanded that someone like Shyam Krishna report to some other place for doing even higher service and to have spent some time with Him as many devotees have said that whenever he would spent time with, some devotees are here, it would mostly be how to improve your chanting, how to improve your reading. He was a very very avid reader and even the slightest ……… of philosophy or like what was discussed in today morning’s Bhagvatam class, he would be eager to hear it. And as Anand Gopal Prabhu pointed out, it is sometimes difficult to find some one who is interested in management and at the same time has that taste that relished in hearing Srimad Bhagvatam. I feel fortunate to have spent those few moments with someone as dear to Prabhupada and Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar as Shyam Krishna Prabbu. We hear that, many times we don’t know whom we are associating with. And only in their departure, the way of departure or the mode of departure and the kind of service they have undertaken, Krishna gives us a glimpse as to what these personalities are, how fortunate we are that Krishna has allowed us to associate with them. I pray to their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Gopinath, Sri Nitai Gaur Chandar, Sri Gopal that his family bear the burden and at the same time understand what a surrendered soul he was. Hare Krishna
Offering by HG Sankirtan Prabhu
I observed him in two phases of his life. First phase was like when he interacted with me first time that time it was beginning and I still remember Radhakund Prabhu brought him to temple. He along with his wife and his sister came. At that time Deities were in Gopalji Hall because of renovation. Radhakund Prabhu introduced them to me as I was in service of taking care of the guests. And at that time only I could see all of them quite sincere and interested in Krishna Consciousness. Later on I saw him more often coming to temple, more committed joining Counselee Group . and later on getting initiated. And I was quite happy to see that growth because usually ………………… they joined the Counselee group and development takes place. It was nice to see them that all of them were taking up so seriously. Later on I was not in touch with him personally, but I was getting information and knowing that he is getting more committed to ISKCON, dedicating himself and taking more responsibilities. Later on I could see his sacrifice and commitment to ISKCON. I saw him moving with his wife to Vrindavan and taking Bhakti Sastri Course. And was seeing that how he is able to sacrifice so much. First of all he gave up his lucrative job, his material comforts and even his health also. His wife simply followed like a shadow. Later on again we interacted almost like two years before and he was in Vrindavan and he had lot of services there, he was taking so many responsibilities and we had to meet him at ISKCON, Juhu for website development, because they wanted to develop their website – ISKCON Vrindavan, and I along with my friend Ashish Mehta and Advocate Abhay Ahuja, we went there and the meeting was early in the morning at 7 O’clock. Because that was the only time when Devamrit Prabhu had only one hour time slot. But all of us we went there on time and we could see the commitment, the interest that he is so much focused to do anything for this service to develop this ISKCON Vrindavan project. And we were observing what are the things in the website and my friend told that they have already done so much work because Shyam Krishna Prabhu along with one more devotee – Yadukuleshvar Prabhu, they have done so much and they have already developed a website. So my friend said that there is no need for developing separate website, we can just organize domain name and we did that. Recently also when he interacted with me, he was saying that we want to develop it further and there is so much work we could see. And just to get the feel of Vrindavan, my friend he had never been to Vrindavan, but he got some how or other this opportunity of serving Vrindavan Dham because of Shyam Krishna Prabhu for the website development. And he decided that we should go to Vrindavan and see what Vrindavan is. So my friends Abhay Ahuja and Ashish Mehta and myself, we had a very short trip to Vrindavan almost like two years before. And it was just three days we stayed there. Right from beginning our transportation from Delhi to Vrindavan, our staying facilities, prasadam arrangement, taking us to different holy places, all these things were very nicely, all well thought of and we were not having any kind of discomforts in Vrindavan. That time I saw his little different personality because he was getting more involved into ISKCON Vrindavan. This was my personal feeling, I felt it was too taxing. And I felt that may be he should come back to Chowpatty and do some service here. But it thought that since he is in Vrindavan he is now one of the Brajvasis. Without the mercy of Smt. Radharani no body can stay in Vrindavan for so long and perform such difficult services. I could resolve that he is so much committed, he is ready to do any thing for serving Vrindavan Dham. that was the level of commitment, means he was ready to take any kind of risk although it was so much mentally taxing and stressful. Still he was ready to tolerate all these things. Recently also I met him, again he was emphasizing and it was just focus on the service, there was no prajalpa and frivolous talk, but just how we can develop Vrindavan website, or any service related to Vrindavan, whatever is helpful, he went to devotees in general that he was ready to share. On this day I feel great separation from him, I feel that if have lost my brother. I am sure that his selfless service attitude, courageous fortitude and exemplary behavior shall continue to inspire ISKCON devotees for many generations to come. His Grace Shyam Krishna Prabhu ki jai. (49)
Offering By HG Gaurang Prabhu
HG Shyam Krishna Prabhu was very very close friend and whom I considered to be one of the most committed warriors in Srila Prabhupada’s movement. I used to hear about Shyam Krishna Prabhu in the initial days from Govind Prabhu and he would tell me that he was an officer from the Customs and he chased so many smugglers and caught them and this and that. These are things we have seen only in movies. So you never like believe that. I would see him and then by seeing him it did not appear like, he could be someone like that. And whenever we meet he would speak about how to study Bhagvtam, and he would ask how to study this, how to study that. Even in the initial preaching which was going on in Thane in one of the flats which he had very kindly given for the devotees to use through which so many wonderful devotees got connected to the movement. In 2003 like some of the devotees from Chowpatty went to Vrindavan and that was like one of the first time, some temples from outside Vrindavan were trying to help Vrindavan, this was July of 2003. So Govind Prabhu, myself and six other brahmacharies were there and Shyam Krishna Prabhu had come there to do his Bhakti Sastri. So what had happened was, here in Bombay he had been involved in chasing some criminals and one of the very very notorious drug dealer. He had gone straight into his den where all this huge amount of Cocaine and all of these drugs were kept, very fearlessly. And when that gangster had his hands behind and he was talking with a knife in his hand but his hands were behind and he turned around and Shyam Krishna was behind him and he just put hand cuffs on his hands. Such a big gangster, he was literally caught alive and he could not do anything. And he was extremely angry because of the way he was caught. He just took like a vow that I will do something to you and it was becoming very intense. So also he had the opportunity to study and a calling. So he came to Vrindavan at that time. He was just telling me that he has desire to study Prabhupada’s books deeply and therefore he is here. I said why have you left such a wonderful environment in Mumbai, nice congregation of devotees and come here to Vrindavan. He said because this is Sri Vrindavan Dham and I want to study Bhakti Sastri. Then I did not have a desire but because he was there and he was like, appear to be very new, so I told him a little big that there are problems here also. And the problems here in Vrindavan and it is not so easy that is why we are here. When he heard that he said then it is all the more reason that I should be here. He said that I am just thinking how we can serve Srila Prabhupada’s movement to the best of our capacity. We stayed there for a month and it was very tense for us, personally for me. I could not imagine any one trying to do something substantial to change the situation there because it was beyond any one’s capacity at that point, it appeared. And HH Radhanath Maharaj had written long letter expressing the desire of how things should improve in Vrindavan. I personally came back with hands raised thinking that it is an impossible situation, no one can ever do anything about it. But as many devotees have spoken, Shyam Krishna Prabhu, he had that spirit. He had that spirit of kshatriya and he also had the training in the Customs, so he was also a well trained warrior. Like during one of his interactions with some one like posing to be a devotee and trying to sell something there. And Shyam Krishna Prabhu was in charge of security. Just one interaction and this person was trying to act smart, so Shyam Krishna Prabhu just told him O.K. behave yourself otherwise there will be difficulty here. He said to Shyam Krishna Prabhu that you do not know who I am and I could lot of things and I could also be very aggressive. Shyam Krishna Prabhu said O.K. you may be aggressive but please know that I am professionally wicked. That man really got scared, packed up and left and never showed up again. He said that compared to the kind of things he was dealing before he joined Krishna Balaram Temple, he saw so much of underworld and so many different kinds of activities that comparatively this is not as intense but it is intense in a different way. So very rarely we find someone who has this kind of training with this kind of keen intelligence. He had the courage, he had the competence, he had the character, every thing was there. And plus he had spent his whole life in such a way that he could, kind of, retire early or even have that detachment to do that and spent full time, giving his 24 hours to Srila Prabhupada’s movement in Vrindavan. Very very rare to find such a combination. I would tell him, Shyam Krishna Prabhu, the kind of service you are doing is something we can’t print in our flash, because it is something which only Srila Prabhupada knows and some of the leaders in ISKCON will ever know. So he was intensely feeling that we have to protect Srila Prabhupada’s Society. He would go out of his way to develop relationships. But because we were all temple devotees and he had expectations that devotees should come from Chowpatty and should help. So sometimes I would try to keep a little distance because I knew that the more I interact the more he will try to ask for some help or something. But from his side he was so eager to develop relationship, to really open up his heart. I was very happy to hear Anand Vrindavan Prabhu was reciprocating so closely. But sometimes we would be inhibited because of this, that, we would just feel that it is practically impossible for us to help beyond a certain capacity. But he was going full steam and the kind of activities he did for Devamrit Prabhu is just unimaginable. Another aspect of his personality, as some devotees mentioned, is his taste for Srimad Bhagvatam. He did Bhakti Sastri and then he went to Mayapur. I found him in Mayapur and said what you are doing here now. He said no I want to study further and I want to study the Bhagvatam also. One time he was going through a lot of difficulties and he was so intensely affected. He was getting very very disturbed. So he just took the Srimad Bhagvatam, went into seclusion and he studied the whole Bhagvatam, only translations, in one week. He was reading like 6 to 8 hours in a day. And he came and told me that now I am feeling peaceful after studying Bhagvatam. So I said how could you study so much and he said that I just shut myself and I just go through this verse to this verse, and in this particular shastra the whole method is also given, that if you want to finish Bhagvatam in one week; first day you read from this verse this canto and this verse this canto. Then from second day you start from that verse and end on this verse, start on this past time and end on this past and the whole breakup is there, if you want to finish in one week. If you want to finish in o ne month another breakup is given. If you want to finish in three months another breakup is given. I said my god I have been here full time for 14 years, never heard of anything like that. He said I will get you all the quotations. So he brought all the quotations and gave me also. And I was so amazed to see, as our Anand Gopal Prabhu was saying that, such a combination of intense kshatriya spirit but also such taste for Srimad Bhagvatam. We hear the word ‘Rajarishi’, we think of like someone who is extremely brave and powerful but at the same time very shastric. So he had a very very shastric ………….. to his personality and he would always tell me, my favorite book is Madhurya Kadambini and I have made many notes, I have sent some of the notes to Anand Gopal Prabhu, take it from him. And it is really explaining the science. He had such appreciation for Vishvanath Chakravati Thakur, how he is explaining the science of bhakti so deeply. He was a very serious introspective sadhaka. So normally we would tend to think of someone kshatriya like to be aggressive and this, not thinking too much, just going ahead and doing blindly. But his speciality was, he would think about everything, all the pros and cons and the consequences of his act well in advance. He was way beyond so many of the people whom he was working with, in terms of his vision and also in terms of hi speed. No one to match with his speed also, he was so fast. Once it so happened that recently during the Vrindavan Yatra, before the Vrindavan Yatra there was so much pressure that at one point of time he also got offers again from the Intelligence Agencies to come and join. So he was calling me now and then, discussing what do you think I should do. To be honest I just said that Vrindavan is too difficult and its too complex, so you might as well join the government. Because it looks like ‘no hope situation’. Then he came one day and said, I was taking a bath in Rrishikesh, and I had kept my bead bag with me and after the bath I was trying to wash my beads, and the beads left my hands, and then I jumped into the river to retrieve my beads because they were the beads given by Maharaj. He was totally bewildered what to do. Then he was following the beads along the bank because it was such flow of the Ganges and he was following running along the bank, and then at a certain point he was praying intensely ‘my dear Lord I am sorry that I may have thought something offensive or something negative but please get me these beads back. Then somehow from the middle of the bank there was one branch which was hanging out and that caught the beads. Then he got the beads back. Then he said this is Krishna’s sign that I should not give up the vows that I have given to Prabhupada and Maharaj, and may be because of this, this has happened. So now I am convinced I am not going the leave Vrindavan, I am going to live and die in Vrindavan. So he was just totally committed. Recently during the Vrindavan Yatra when we were there, he just came to me in the kitchen and said I have an intense desire, I said what is that, he said I want to take Brahman initiation. So I said you are already having more than 100 cases, always in the courts, running here and there, legal, security, land dealings, where do you have tome to worship any deities. He said no, there are so many problems in the deity department, I want to do cleanup. So I said O.K., I will ask Maharaj. Then he called again in 15 minutes. I mean he was so, once he got into some thing, he would be so intense you could not just avoid him. So again he called me in 15 minutes – did you talk. I said I am still here in the kitchen and Maharaj is out with the devotees. Against 15 minutes he called. Practically in 2 hours he called 10 times. Finally I was forces and then I went and asked Maharaj, he said no problem, you just get a recommendation from Devamrit Prabhu. So I called him up and said yes, Maharaj has agreed, you can take the Brahman. He said ‘you don’t realize what you have done for me, this has been my meditation for so many years now that I have to enter there and do something. I said I know so many people who take Brahman initiation to worship the deities and they have desire to decorate like this, decorate like that, you may be the first I know, who wants to get the Brahman initiation for kshatriya purpose. He said “well Prabhupada has said that the heart of the temple is the Deities, and unless that is set in order things will always be in turmoil. So he was like focused totally knowing what to do and I was just to ask him, are you thinking of coming back, had enough. I started telling him that I can see that here practically everyone is worn out fighting, you seem to be the only happy person fighting it out here. Everyone seems to be like that as they say “thakgaye”, totally tired after this fight. He said, somehow, because I am trying to protect Srila Prabhupada’s movement here, the more I spend the time, I mean, now when I read 10th Canto and when I see those past times when Kamsa is sending demons after demon, I can relate with that. I am feeling lot of ecstasy reading those past times. I can understand that how much Prabhupada wants this place to become first class. He had practically read most of Prabhupada’s quotes regarding what Prabhupada wanted for the Krishna Balaram Mandir. So most of the leaders in ISKCON, in India especially, considered him invaluable. Even in recent problems when some of the leaders got Implicated in various kinds of problems, it was his intelligence and vision which actually got them out of serious difficulties, otherwise ISKCON would have to spent several crores of rupees. I mean several crores of rupees just to get out of the problems and probably a few lives also, because we were dealing with really ruthless elements. But because of his vision and the way he could understand the case, his expertise in legal affairs, something cannot be matched even by getting thousands and thousands of devotees. Therefore it is practically impossible to calculate the loss which ISKCON Society has suffered and what to speak of the loss personally I feel in the loss of a very close friend, and also many other devotees who were connected to him. He was very attached to HH Radhanath Maharaj. He would always show, he would have a thread around his right hand, he would say, before going to Vrindavan, Maharaj tied this on my wrist. It is by the mercy of Prabhupada and Radhanath Maharaj I am getting energy to do something here. He was extremely attached to the idea that I have to serve this mission with my life and soul. Therefore we can only pray that we get small fraction of that kind of commitment, total 100% dedication and commitment, not expecting anything in return. In fact as one of the devotees mentioned, when he would express some of his frustrations, I would tell him that why don’t you atleast take your travel allowance, atleast produce some bills and get some of those other things, why you have to give everything including travel. Even part of the money for the court cases he was giving. So his kind of commitment is unimaginable, we cannot even fathom. Whenever I would call him, his ringtone was ‘Govindam Adi Purusham’. So the day after he disappeared I was in the Sringar Aarati and whenever now I hear Govindam Adit Purusham’, it immediately reminds me of him. On the other hand he was very aggressive with elements which were opposed to ISKCON, but at the same time with the devotees he was so soft, so loving that any one who came close to him because really attached to him. He had this vision, he was telling me, one day he was sitting with me and said you are one of the top targets for maya. I said what do you mean, what happened. He said “I am telling from strategy point of view, if I were to hit someone how I would calculate. He said Lord Chaitanya’s mission is filled with people who are fighting against maya, and so all of you brahmacharies here are preaching and creating more warriors to fight against maya, therefore, naturally you are the number one targets. So therefore, based on that I feel that you have to be extremely careful. He was also concerned that the brahmacharis remain protected. Even when some of our devotees went there he made sure that brahmacharis are given proper facilities. He practically risked his life in many ways to protect the Gaurvani Asharam. Prabhupada Vani Asharam where Gaursundar Prabhu and other brahmacaris were staying, and they was constantly being attacked. There were goondas coming and shoot outs and this and that. He was right there because he knew that this Brahmachari Asharam has to be protected, So of course it could go on and on, but I only pray to Srila Prabhupada that he gives his special mercy to his family members and gives them strength to bear this loss which cannot be calculated. His Grace Shyam Krishna Prabhu ki - Jai
Offerings by HG Devamrit Prabhu from Vrindavan
With Shyam Krishna Prabhu’s departure, Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir in particular and ISKCON in general has lost one of its very brave warriors. He was a real soldier of ISKCON willing to do anything for the temple. He was f earless, resourceful, dynamic, intelligent and above all such a wonderful and sincere devotee. He loved to read Srila Prabhupad’s books and discussed philosophy. On many occasions we would get carried away in philosophical discussions and we would reluctantly had to return to discussions about the particular services at hand. Somehow due to the nature of his service, the philosophical, devotional and softer side of his personality was not much revealed. I remember him being so concerned about individual devotees that he would go to great lengths to help them either with medicines or anything else. He was also very generous and big hearted. Having worked with him closely for four years, departure has now created a sense of loss that is very hard to fill. I pray to Sri Sri Krishna Balaram that They may kindly keep him always at Their lotus feet, engage eternally in Their service. All glories to Shyam Krishna Prabbu.
Offering by Giriraj Prabhu
Hare Krishna - it is said that when somebody is not around you, you realize the real value of that particular person. At least with me that thing has happened after Shyam Krishna Prabhu has left. Somehow I kept in touch with him through his father’s illness when he was admitted in Bhakti Vedanta Hospital. That time I came to know how much he was affectionate, how much he was soft hearted, how much he was caring for his family members. This one aspect he would always share with me, in fact in our last meeting he told me that Giriraj Prabhu after my father’s illness is over, I want to take my father, mother, grand-mother, every one to Vrindavan. He said that if they pass their body in Vrindavan then that is the final purpose for which I take them over there. Also while I was talking to his sister, one incident she was telling me that during the Radha-Damodar incident, once the devotees were chanting in Radha-Damodar temple and at that time certain bad elements came with weapons in their hands, and when so many people came in Radha-Damodar Temple, that time Shyam Krishna Prabhu alone, like a lion, he was roaring, he got up from chanting and shouted ‘who is there, who has got courage to come and fight and send devotees out of this temple. And immediately all those bad elements got so much afraid, simply looking, simply hearing Shyam Krishna Prabhu’s roaring, they just ran away. That was his courage. At the same time he was very soft hearted, very deep person. While he was talking to me at Bhakti Vedanta Hospital, he was sharing with me that the person with whom he is working – HG Devamrit Pabhu, he was telling me that as the years are passing by I am able to understand what is the position of HG Devamrit Prabhu. He was telling me that so many times i have a difference of opinion with him but Devamrit Prabhu is far far beyond my conception of his actual level. I am very much grateful to Shyam Krishna Prabhu for what association he has given me. And by hearing all these aspects practically for the first time in my life, his position has become like larger than the life, we cannot even understand what his actual personality was and how much contribution he has done for the movement of Srila Prabhupada. Thank you very much - Hare Krishna.
Offerings by HG Vipra Sudama Prabhu
I have known Shyam Krishna Prabhu for more than 10 years before he came to the movement. Myself, Radhakund Prabhu and Shyam Krishna Prabhu were serving at various GSB Sarasvat community festivals, and especially the Ganesh Festival together. Even there he had a reputation of being ‘no nonsense, focused on the service’ person. If he would be there doing any service, people would be saying OK now we got to be careful because this fellow will not take any nonsense. So that was the kind of reputation he had. He has what, Prabhupada described as ‘courage of a british officer and heart of a Bengali mother. He was there, as Gaurang Prabhu mentioned also, he was in very difficult situations, he was in the anti-narcotic cell and he had told me many incidents actually, because they have their own net work of informers. So he would be having his gun with him and any time, even in the middle of the night they would get a call that on the docks one consignment is expected and lot of drugs would be there. In the middle of the night like 1.30 or 2 O’clock, a group of officers, like two or three, would go into the docks area, a very remote area in the middle of the night and they would try to catch the criminals. In fact he was part of one of the biggest catch of some hundreds of crores of drugs. So in that kind of situations he was always be. In 2002 in the Vrindavan yatra, I had a chance to do some small services for Devamrit Prabhu. At that time I was in VTA and Devamrit Prabhu had given me a chance to do some menial services. When I used to meet in the night, he used to say ‘Prabhu you are so lucky you are getting to serve Devamrit Prabhu so intimately. Little did I know that only after a few years he would be associated with Devamrit Prabhu so closely. Even at that time because I had heard some class on ‘Madhurya Kadambini’ philosophy which Gauranga Prabhu said was his favorite book, I said …………. He was very eager, he said no let me have this book with me, very eager. He made it a point to get the book next day itself during the yatra and somehow managed to read it. That was the kind of eagerness he would have and he exhibited it in every thing that the intensity which he had, the braveness, the quality of courage he exhibited in everything he would do. Even recently I had been to his house for so many times with my son, so he knew even also how to preach to kids. When I had gone to him I thought he would be very busy, I should not meet him. But then he spent two to three hours. He took the darshan book and he sat with my three year old son and he went through each and every page of the book and he was describing to my son, OK this is this deity, this is this deity. I could see how much patience and love this person has. This was only coming due to a pure taste he had for the deities and for the devotional service. How could a person go on and on, every page of the darshan book showing some kind of thing. Even as Gaurang Prabhu mentioned, even during the gruesome accident which they had, Devamrit Prabhu and all, as we know they met the motor accident, he was one of the person who was injured less, Devamrit Prabhu was unconscious and some other devotee was also unconscious. In that dark night he had to actually practically lift their bodies in a cart. And even in that incident he was saying there were some locals, because Devamrit Prabhu was carrying some cash and laptop, so even in that situation some one was coming to take the laptop, cash and something like that. So he had to fight those elements, put the bodies on the cart and literally move. He did this very naturally. So meteoric rise in the sense of coming to the movement and doing such wonderful services, which Gaurang Prabhu described, many would not know, he saved crores and he had very intimate relations with many many senior disciples. He was always very loving and made it a point, like come to Vrindavan and now I am settled there, you please come and stay with us for some time. Always inspiring soul. I personally cannot fathom the loss. His grace Shyam Krishna Prabhu ki jai.
HG Amritanam Mataji and Prem Manjri
Since Shyam Krishna lived most of his time in Vrindavan dham, we never had much opportunity to associate with him but from what I have heard and what little I know about him, I know that he was a very sincere and very dedicated devotee. Completely sold out to the mission of Srila Prabhupada. I shall always remember his happy and smiling face. Last time when we were in Vrindavan Dham once we met him in Krishna Balaram gate with a very big smile on his face and talking to someone. That impression will always remain with me. Not only that but he was a very generous person and was ready to help the devotees at the time of need. We shall all miss his physical presence with us but our hearts find solace in the fact that he has now achieved the lotus feet of Srila Prabhpada and is helping him there whatever he wants him to do. In his recent shardhanjali at Vrindavan Dham, all the devotees there were glorifying Shyam Krishna Prabhu and they were glorifying his wonderful services that he had rendered over there. HG Devamrit Prabhu mentioned that he was not only a brave warrior but a very intelligent warrior. And he had the qualities of both kshatriya and Brahman. He had lot of brahmanical qualities too. Although he was engaged most of the time in solving the legal cases of Vrindavan, he very much wanted to find time to read Srimad Bhagvatam. In fact he and his wife Sundari Priya Mataji, both have done their Bhakti Sastri and Bhakti Vaibhav courses in Vrindavan as well as in Mayapur. He told his wife that his only regret in life is he was not able to devote more in reading Srimad Bhagvatam. So what happened to Shyam Krishna Prabhu is very tragic and very sad. At this time our hearts are with his bereaved family.
Offerings by HG Dayaram Prabhu
Dear Shyam Krishna Prabhu dandvats. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. It was just another day when we were taking breakfast, lunch and dinner together, riding in a autorikshaw together, buying fruits together, playing with my son together. It is just unbelievable that you are not physically present in our midst. Actually we do not know each other long, only 4/5 years perhaps. Since you started assisting Devamrit Prabhu in Vrindavan that we really started meeting you and working with you. It was difficult to not take notice of you, you stood out because of your courage, intelligence, fearfulness and willingness to take on difficult tasks for Srila Prabhupad’s ISKCON. In my experience there is a very rare combination of a characteristic to be found in devotees. One can find intelligent devotees, one can find courageous devotees, one can find surrendered devotees, but to find these three qualities together is very rare. But you are one such devotee. In all the situations that we have been together, I used to always think ‘no problem, Shyam Krishna Prabhu is there’. And I would be always confident things would be thoroughly thought about, planned as well as executed with utter precision because you are there. It is very shocking and painful to realize that you are not going to be around. Your leaving has resulted in a great irreplaceable loss for our movement. I personally feel grateful to have known you and have done service together as I had great respect and admiration for your qualities. We pray that Srila Prabhupada will bestow his unlimited mercy upon you for all the selfless services that you have rendered as his loyal front line warrior . We pray that Krishna will give strength to your family, especially your good wife during the difficult times. - Your servant Dayaram Das and Prem Manjri Dasi.
Offering by HG Madhavanand Prabhu
Hare Krishna - My interactions with Shyam Krishna Prabhu were very few. But as every one has said that he was such an intelligent person. His things were very speedy. Everything he was doing was with lot of speed. I remember his niece was admitted with me as a patient, and even on day four she was not improving. He knew what was going on. He was in touch with me on phone. But the day he came, immediately he started asking so many questions. In a way that OK where can I go next, what can I do. He involved Dr. ……………. So many people he immediately got involved within a matter of hours. But fortunately by evening she started improving. Next day morning again he came and said “I am really sorry prabhu, this is my nature that I can’t just keep quiet, I have to act, whatever happens I have to act ”. As my niece was not getting well so I was acting. This was his one side and another side is very soft side. All of us have experience. Whenever he would meet us in Vraindavan or anywhere, he would always talk about the problems in Vrindavan. He would openly say there are problems. Sometimes he would ………….. the problems which we can not discuss here. But he said still we need to be here because otherwise ……… them out. So this was his very great commitment to t ISKCON as such. And the other side of his as a very loving God –brother, very sincere god-brother. That is how I have known Shyam Krishna Prabhu and his whole family, his sisters; every one was very close because they were staying just opposite Vishvaroop Prahhu. One time he came and said “I am planning to move back’. But again in few weeks he was back in Vrindavan, fighting. He actually came and said “I have come back”. For few weeks we saw him but then again he was back and fighting. - Shyam Krishan Prabhu ki jai.
HG Priya Gopi Mataji.
Hare Krishna – Please accept my humble obedience. I am younger sister of Shyam Krishna Prabhu. I want to give little narration of our childhood. It was a difficult childhood and it was a great desire of our parents that all of us should do bhakti and serve the Lord. Every Saturday our parents would take us to the near Balaji Temple for bhajan and arati. On other days they would make us sit in front of the alter and sing bhajans. Imitating the elders at the temple Shyam Krishna Prabhu would bring two dabas from the kitchen. That would be his tabla and metal box would be the harmonium of my sister. We would conclude with an arati performed by Shyam Krishna Prabhu. He would wear a dhoti just like the Pujari in the temple and do the arati. But one evening he was so engrossed that he burned the curtains and that was the end of his pujari service. Every year without fail we would visit the annual Ganesh festival of our community at Kingcircle. Shyam Krishna Prabhu would be a part of it for all five days performing various services from morning till night. He would serve parsadam to the devotees, he would help in arranging the puja paraphernalia. Later he started helping in decorating the Ganesh Deity. And he would love this service. But he still wanted to know more about spiritual life. Radhakund Prabhu was instrumental in introducing us to Radha Gopinath Mandir. The first day we came to the temple he took to chanting. We were then introduced to Dayalchand Prabhu and his family. And from then on there was no looking back. Shyam Krishna Prabhu wanted to mould his life on the principles of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. His devotion led us to follow his footsteps. He was eager at every movement and spoke of brevity of life. We shifted to Dadar for closer proximity to the temple. He guided me to serve at the temple rather than to pursue material opportunities. He was already contemplating of quitting his job to get deeper into the philosophy while studying Srila Prabhbpada’s books. With that quest we went to Vrindavan and Mayapur to do Bhakti Sastri and Bhati Vaibhav, In 2004 he was guided by Devamrit Prabhu and Guru Maharaj to start his service at the Krishna Balaram Temple. With that we saw laser of him. At every interaction there after I could see him deeply involved with temple concerns. He was extremely focused and determined in his service to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna Balaram. He continued to serve Vrindavan Dham. I am very fortunate to have had his association as an elder brother and will remain grateful to be known as his little sister. I beg at the feet of all present in this assembly to pray that I imbibe the fine devotional qualities and the love that Shyam Krishna Prabhu has for our Spiritual Master and Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON. Thank you very much - Shyam Krishna Prabhu ki jai.
Offerings by HG Jayanti Mataji (his elder sister)
Given in hindi
Offering by HG Ganesh Prabhu (His sister’s husband)
Shyam Krishna Prabhu, I am sure most of you know him after he came into Krishna Consciousness . But I know him from his childhood, because we are relatives from beginning. When he was four year’s old I met him though he was born and brought up in Bombay and I was in Mangalore. They came down to Mangalore to meet us. At that time, first time I met him and my last meeting was 31st July, 2000, when he came to drop me at the air-port. Actually he was like a younger brother to me. I will not forget him because he was a support for me from the very beginning. Because I was the only boy and I have sister and he was also a single boy with sisters. For us, supporting each other, there was no other way. He used to tell me ‘don’t worry Gadapa for your parents I will look after, if any problem is there you just call me I will fly to Mangalore and look after your parents. But he only left us. I heard all the stories. The devotees have explained how daring he was and what all the achievements he has done for the movement. I am sure his biggest challenge was to bring me into Krishna Consciousness. Whenever I used to come to India, right from the air-port he will start to preach me about Krishna Consciousness after he joined this movement. And I was not convinced at all. It took almost three years for him to convince me and bring me Into Krishna Consciousness. I will tell what all the ways he played to bring me into Krishna Consciousness. In the first year he told me to take a Bhagvat Gita with me. I gave a reason that no I am going to a muslim country and the customs they will check my luggage and they will not allow me to take Bhagvat Gita. So in may next visit he just packed a Bhagvat Gita in my luggage and took my luggage, at that time he was in the Customs Department of Air-wing, he did all the checking and everything, and when I was supposed to go for immigration that time he gave me my boarding pass and told me “Gadapa I have kept a Bhagvat Gita in your luggage and whenever you get time please read it. So after going to Kuwait I just took out that Bhagvat Gita and started reading. Still I was not convinced to come to Krishna Consciousness. Then in 2002 when the Gulf war started, I left my family back home in Bombay, and that time my daughter was very small, and what he did is, he put her into Gopals’ Garden High School. He told my wife, if you are able to bring your daughter into Krishna Consciousness, definitely her father will come into Krishna Consciousness. When my wife told me “I have put my daughter into Gopals Garden High School”, then I asked where is this school and she told me it is in Kandivali. And you are staying in Dombvali, from Dombvali how you will send that small child to Kandivali. Then what he did is, he sold the Dombvali house and shifted to Mira Road. He took a very quick decision. That means how much determined he was to bring me into Krishna Consciousness. After my daughter went Gopals’ Garden and the situation in Gulf cooled down, I took my family back and at the time my daughter was well trained in Krishna Conscious activities. What he did is, he found out if there is any congregation in Kuwait, and who is running the congregation, he found his telephone number, he contacted Mani Prabhuji in Kuwait and gave my number to invite me for the programme. Then Maniprabhuji called me for one of Krishna Janamasthmi festival and in that programme my daughter sung Narasimha Arati on the stage, with that impression I started taking up Krishna Consciousness seriously. Even my wife told me that Shyam Krishna used to chant extra round to bring me into Krishna Consciousness. So I cannot express in my words how far he was and my heart becomes very heavy to express any words here. He was really a very marvelous person. Krishna has taken him definitely for higher services. That is what I can pray. HARE KRISHNA.
Offerings by HG Srinath Prabhu
Please accept my humble obesiences. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Shyam Krishna Prabhu was one of our dearest and beloved god brother. He has given up his life for the sake of wonderful services at Vrindavan Temple, under the able leadership of HH Radhanath Maharaj and Devamrit Prabhu. He was able to bring concrete and tangible improvements besides saving Srila Prabhupada’s Samadhi which I consider as one of the holiest of all holy spots on earth and for that matter on the entire brahmanda. We all pray and wish his great success in his continued services to Srila Prabhupada wherever he has been called.
Offerings by HG Radhagopinath Prabhu
Hare Krishna - The wonderful qualities of Shyam Krishna Prabhu and the different aspects of his life have already been brought out. I just want to express one thing. He knew how to judge people. He never discussed management with me. At one time, from here to Vada Farm, exclusively whenever we would meet we would discuss Bhagvatam with me only, how to study Bhagvatam, he would share his realizations and ask mine. I think that it was only once, he was only person probably for one and a half years, from the door steps of this temple to Vada farm, we were absolutely, not one second here and there, we were discussing exclusively discussing Srimad Bhagvatam. I have never ever done this. And only when we reached there, I realized it was one and a half hours and he have already reached the spot. Recently during Vrindavan Yatra I just told him ‘just can you get me a kartal’ I wanted a kartal. He said ‘yes’, and somehow he forgot. I also forgot. But recently here in Bhaktivedanta when his father was admitted, he saw me on the fifth floor for the Monday programme, he saw me, I had some itch. He said I have a cure for it, it use this and that, he told about some medicines. And he said don’t worry, this time I am not going to make the same mistake. I didn’t give you the kartal that time. So he rang up some shop, told the shopkeeper, because he was leaving, to bring that medicine and hand it over here, and it should be done before 9 O’clock. And he made it sure whom he will deliver to, and that is still with me. I just want to conclude with one thing – one time he was discussing, he said “one verse that really gives me hope, he said I am currently reading the seventh canto and I have read from five to seven, and he said that one verse that really gives me hope is Prahald’s prayer to Lord Narasimha Dev after his father Hirankashpu was killed, Prahlada is offering prayers and then he ends with this verse – Lord Narasimha asks some benediction, he asks that my father was like this you please deliver him, because, he used the word, the last word of the 17th verse of 10th chapter, the 7th canto – this word ‘kirpana vatsala’ , this word gives me hope. And the translation of this is “O You who are merciful to the materialistic, Prahlada was fully convinced that Lord Narasimha is very merciful even to the materialistic, he said just this word ‘kirpan vatsala’ is giving me so much hope. This is what is sustaining. This is just one aspect. Whenever we meet we would discuss this particular verse from the Bhagvatam and I would explain kripana is this. Hare Krishna.
Offerings by HG Govind Prabhu
When we were coming back from the Nigdi Rath Yatra, our vehicle was just around the corner, Damodar Prabhu called me and he said there is a very bad news, and he just told me this is what has happened. It was unbelievable. Of course Maharaja was up then, but some how or other I could not gather courage to inform and whole night I was roaming back and forth thinking this news should be false and my mind was saying may be this is another strategy for his to do something for Vrindavan. So next morning the news was confirmed and we rushed to Vrindavan to be with him. I just remember one prayer offered by Karana to Krishna when Karana was denying to fight for the Pandavas and he said I will continue to fight for the Kauravas. And he told to Krishna, he said my dear Krishna please grant one benediction, he said on this battle field all these warriors have gathered, see that none of these warriors die without fighting, that is a greatest tragedy for a warrior. He said even the old warrior should die while fighting. So therefore, Shyam Krishna Prrabhu being a great warrior of Srila Prabhupada, even though many times, as Gaurang Prabhu mentioned, he would not discuss with one person, same thing he would discuss with many devotees because he was so desperate. Many times we told him, as Gaurang Prabhu was mentioning ‘come back’ you can do many services here also. But he was obsessed to render service, fighting like a warrior. And while fighting like a warrior, he would keep calling. To such an extent we felt in a way already we have too much of our management to deal with, I would avoid sometimes his phone calls, because he wanted to share with his friends and express to them. One time he mentioned I would not bother you, just come to Vrindavan, we will go to Goverdhan, stay near to Goverdhan , go around Goverdhan and just study Srimad Bhagvatam. He would assure that he would not discuss any management. Another quality of Shyam Krishna Prabhu, as they were mentioning in Vrindavan, that along with daring he was very caring also. Recently when i was spending three days with him in one place, we were discussing, and he saw boil on my knee. He said “you go to this place and they have this special ointment, you purchase it, apply it and within three days it will go away. So I came back to Bombay and he called me from that place asking “did you buy that medicine”. I thought he will forget because he is too busy in many things. He insisted to buy that medicine and I had to send a devotee to buy that medicine and again he called back and asked did you apply that medicine. So I was quite amazed that how caring he was. I remember he would drive us many times in many places and he would say you call me I will come as your driver, we can go to many places, preach. The way he would interact with his family members also was quite interesting. Usually when you are doing some service then you justify negligent behavior towards your family . You feel I am doing great service to my Guru Maharaj and Srila Prabhupada and so there is no need to take care of the family. He was very careful in talking. He was never sarcastical, very affectionate. I was amazed by that quality. He never lost his patience in talking to his family members. Another quality which devotees were mentioning in Vrindavan, which I never knew, that he was a very great singer. Gaursunder Prabhu was mentioning, many devotees knew him as a Gurupuja devotee. He would regularly sing Gurupuja standing in front of Prabhupada with great intensity. And the Brahmacharies also, now in Vrindavan there are many great singers. They were saying when he would sing Gopi Geet in Kartik, it was like a rag in separation, with great intensity he would call out singing the glories of Gopis for Krishna. He would ask devotees can I sing. We never go to hear him sing. When he was doing his Bhakti Vaibhav, part of the Bhakti Vaibhav course was, he was supposed to given Bhagvatam class in Mayapur Temple. And he immediately called he said prabhuji I am going to give my first Bhagvatam class, this is a part of my Bhakti Vaibhav preparation and you know Mayapur, all Prabhupada’s disciples will be there and I have seen Jananivas Prabhu sit close to the speaker and hear. He said I am very scared to speak in his presence. So please pray that I actually please him. After giving the Bhagvatam Class he made it a point to call back and he said that I tried doing my best and Jananivas Prabhu was very happy with my class. Every small detail, he would make an effort. Since we stopped using our mobile phone, it was very difficult for him to get, but we were very happy not using mobile phones. But somehow he would make a point to call and explain and express his situation, his success. Shyam Krishna Prabhu, I remember Dayaram Prabhu was mentioning, he said, even if I pay one lakh rupees salary to perform such tasks, he said by paying money I will not get such a person like Shyam Krishna Prabhu. He said, you get him not because you pay money, but because he is committed and he is loyal. Sometimes he would discuss that why does he take decisions without informing. But without informing only he could achieve many things. Because as many of will mention that many times we will discourage, come back. So we are not very good people to give counseling to him. So therefore, many decisions, apparently looked like that he is acting very daringly without consulting, but I think Prabhupada was most satisfied. I was just reading one quote, Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakur liked daring devotees, not those who are good for nothing. Because he was daring, because sometimes he did not consult, many cases where he was handling which we cannot discuss here, he was successful , and then devotees said O very good, you did it, great. Why because, our nature was not assuring him that you go ahead and do it. We were trying to be more brahmanical and trying to be detached. But he was not detached from serving Srila Prabhupada. He was very attached and very obsessed. And therefore wherever he put his heart and his energy, he was very successful. I regret now that Shyam Krishma, I can’t still come to the term of he not being with us, his smile, his phonecalls and whenever he would come, he would come to our room and spend time discussing so many things. I miss him a lot. As I mentioned that he was a warrior, and he left this world fighting like a warrior. From his point of view that was a greatest fortune because he would not want to leave this world like a warrior who is dying on the bed. Bhishamdev mentioned this to Yudhistar Maharaj ‘ the greatest tragedy for a warrior is to die diseased. He did not die diseased. He left this world as a warrior and as Radhanath Maharaj mentioned, Radharani extended her dham upto Delhi which is none other than Hastinapur. And interestingly Srila Prabhupada mentions in his purports in the Bhagvatam that the place of the Pandavas was non different from Vrindavan. Hare Krishna.
Offering by HG Dayalchandra Prabhu and his family
Hare Krishna - it is very much shocking and painful news that our dear god-brother HG Shyam Krishna Prabhu departed and left us. I had very close and intimate relationship with him. As soon as Krishna Consciousness was introduced to him, he took this process very seriously from day one and tried to understand the sidhanta very sincerely. Very enthusiastically with high determination he completed the Bhakti Sastri course from Vrindavan and after understanding the depth of Krishna consciousness he gave up his govt. job and tried to serve full time. He was assisting HG Devamrit Prabhu at Vrindavan Dham after taking blessings from his spiritual master and vaishnavas. Every moment he utilized his time for propagating the Krishna Consciousness preaching in all possible situations. And most important thing, he got the great support of his good wife HG Sundaripriya Mataji. He could make his family members Krishna Conscious. He played his role as a good son by taking special care of his parents and giving them Krishna Consciousness. He played a role of grahastha by giving Krishna Consciousness to all his relatives and played a role of wonderful disciple by obeying the orders of his spiritual master. By this service he has perfected his life. But Lord Krishna had his different plans, we are all helpless. Krishna knows what is best for his devotees. We with great love and affection, with a sincere humble heart beg to the Lord to place this great soul in a position where he can serve Him the best. Also praying for family members that the Lord give them strength in this time of crises so that they can continue on their path of Krishna Consciousness. I am very sorry to state that we have lost one of the best exemplary devotee. It is one of the greatest loss to our movement. I am sure that Lord Krishna, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityanand and entire guru prampara will bless and protect this exalted vaisnava. Hare Krishna.
Offering by HG Janavha Mataji.
Hare Krishna – Maharaj said in Vada many of his God-brothers, he had not even heard of, but when he met them and understood their devotional services in Srila Prabhupada’s mission, immediately an intimacy developed. So this is how we feel about him now. I met Shyam Krishna Prabhu and his wife a couple of times in Vrindavan, and it just merely an exchange of ‘hari bol’. At an early age the call of God came in his life and he gave up his lucrative job to serve in Srila Prabhupada’s mission. May be he had an intuition, he had to finish his work fast. As we heard all his beautiful and wonderful qualities, I appreciate it so much more now. His wife was sharing with me that his mood in Vrindavan was ‘do not waste any time’. He always told her ‘don’t indulge in useless talks’, keep chanting and read Bhagvatam as much as you can’. Jan. 4 will be a day to remember for all of us, as two of Srila Prabhupada’s dear servants left us so untimely shocking one and all. Shyam Sundri also left on this day. As a sentimental devotee I can only ask Krishna – why? At this time our heartfelt condolences are with his wife Sundripriya Mataji and other family members. I pray to the Lordships to give them strength and to given strength to all of us to bear this great loss. Hare Krishna.
Offering by Shyam (his childhood friend)
I spent time with him since his very early years. All I can say is it is a great loss. It is a great loss to everybody. He was an epic of our group, we were 4 to 5 friends. He used to be first to do everything. He also wanted everybody from us to join Krishna Consciousness which we unfortunately could not do till now. I hope myself and my friends will definitely will look forward very soon. Some of my friends could not attend this function because of some other reasons, I hope everybody feels same like me. Hare Krishna.
Offering by Shri G.D. Chawan.
Hare Krishna – Words are the worthy carriers of the thoughts and feelings. But when a man is over powered, over whelmed by emotions and sentiments, he does not find words to express his feelings and thoughts. My state of mind at the moment is more or less or somewhat the same. I recall to 1993, on being appointed as an Inspector of Central Excise, Mr Satish Pai, who is now Shyam Krishna Prabhu, was placed to work under my eye. He had hardly completed 23 years of age. A very bright face. He had the brightness of the sun on his face. His eyes were as expressive as the eyes of Swami Vivekanand. He was well built, well heighted, nearly 6’ height. I was at the moment very much impressed that he is genious. The cadre of his post was being Executive, and the department in which he was working was Law Enforcing Department. So I found, all the qualities in him to function as an Executive Officer. He very sincerely, honestly and diligently discharged the functions of his office. To name a few of his qualities; the first being the quality of leadership. He never hesitated to discharge the functions of the office. Rather he initiated the work, he started the work and his colleagues followed him. He was having two powers; one the power of mind that is knowledge. He was having lust for knowledge. He acquired knowledge which was required to discharge his functions. And the department being Law Enforcement Department, he had to update himself with the changing law, changing provisions of the Law. And he kept pace with it, he updated his knowledge which was very beneficial for him to discharge his functions. Then he had the power of body, that is the strength. He was very strong. Some speakers earlier said correctly that he was very rough, he was very aggressive. Because of this quality he was immediately selected in Marine and Preventive Department where he was posted in Narcotic Cell enforcing NDPA Act. During the tenure of five years he had shown his abilities. He saved thousands and thousands of students from the evils of the society they were being spoiled by the drug traffickers. He had courage to nab the social evils. The persons who were operating in the drugs. When he came back after five year serving there, he met me at Dadar and narrated me his experiences which I found very terrible, horrible and thrilling. What more to talk about him. If I go on telling the experiences he had in the NDPS Law Enforcing Agency, the time will run very short. So I just pray to God that let his soul be rested in eternity. And at the same time I pray to God to give courage to the bereaved families, from the blood side as well as from the in-laws side to bear the loss suffered by his untimely demise at the cruel hands of Yamaha. I just say ‘death you are not all might, though you are cruel, though you take the body from the earth, you cannot take the soul. Soul is eternal. So here the death is not all might. You have to just surrender to the God and just feel your consciousness within and see that your body is the vehicle of the soul. The same Satish Pai realized it and he tended towards Krishna Consciousness movement in the late 1999. He did not looked back. In 2003 he migrated to Vrindavan and whatever he did there was all appreciated and praised by various speakers. Thank you very much.
Hare Krishna - Shyam Krishna Prabhu, his first interaction with me was also coinciding with my first visit to Vrindavan Dham. Devamrit Prabhu requested me to come there to assist him, about four years back, for some urgent work. I entered Devamrit Prabhu’s room but before that there was a small room and I had to go through that as well. And I see this tall, handsome divine looking being who is there waiting to greet me. He told me ‘Hare Krishna, welcome to Vrindavan’. I was told before I went there that there is a situation which is difficult and since I am a Lawyer, lawyers are scared than any body else, I was wondering what is this situation I have not been briefed about it. And the glow on Shyam Krishna Prabhu’s face was so warm that when he hugged me I just felt everything is fine here. But in two minutes when we met I realized that the situation is not as easy as it should have been. We advised Shyam Krishna Prabhu of the risks involved. But in half an hour when I saw the confidence that he exuberated that was so infectious that even I forgot the legal advise that I had to give and I said prabhu what you are doing is perfectly fine and go ahead. He was such a motivator, just by looking at him, I cannot explain, every time he would call me, even if I was busy in a very important meeting, the moment the mobile would flash ‘Shyam Krishna’ I could not resist taking his call. He was such a motivator. So much confidence, absolute fearless. Fearlessness is a synonym for Shyam Krishna Prabhu. I could not imagine anybody else as fearless as him. At the same time he was very magnanimous being. I remember, during many of our visits, thanks to Shyam Krishna Prabhu and Devamrit Prabhu, when there was a babaji from the Radhakund temple, who came and said in hindi to Shyam Krishna Prabhu ‘ shyama it is too cold, when are you getting me the shawl. Immediately he left everything went to Loie bazaar and got him the shawl. So I was wondering, here is one person who is heading such an important operation and at the same time he finds time to do the seva. I can say one thing, when I heard the news on Monday morning, I was totally shocked, because on Friday we had a long chat and we were discussing, he said when are you coming to Vrindavan next, I said around 26th, he said why don’t you prepone it. I said no it is difficult but I will try. For one hour we spoke and on Monday morning I hear this, may be it wasn’t true, I was just hoping, may be it is somebody else. Because he was such a dear friend. I am not surprised when I heard every bodies offerings, he was a dear friend of everybody. He exchanged the same loving relationship with everybody. I think only a true devotee can do that, nobody else. I just pray that his actions motivate us to at least be somewhat like him. He was like the strength, so that we can also try to be better devotees. I know I am not as illustrious as all of you here. But atleast we can pray to Shyam Krishna Prabhu to give us the motivation. Hare Krishna.
Offerings by HG Yugavatar Prabhu
We were just introduced to each other after a Sunday feast. He told me that his name is S. Pai. All his department people call him as Pai and he works in Intelligence Department. So I also used to call him as Pai. Lateron coincidentally both of us shifted to Shivaji Park during the same time and every day Shyam Krishna Prabhu used to pick me up and both of us used to come for chanting. One day my mother was supposed to come to Hinduja Hospital for some treatment and she had severe arthritis. In the house in which I was staying there was no light facility. This was just 15 to 20 days after I was introduced to Satish Pai – Shyam Krishna Prabhu, and he offered his house. He said why don’t your mother, after the treatment come to stay in my house. My mother stayed in his house and such a nice hospitality she received. When she heard the news some days back, she was still remembering how nicely she was treated. One day as we were coming back from chanting, I took him to my house, it was a rented place, and I gave him the 4th canto of Srimad Bhagvatam which I had purchased and I had extra, it was not a set, just a single canto. He felt so thankful, by then he had not read Srimad Bhagvatam. He was very much thankful for that Bhagvatam. After that somehow he shifted to Vrindavan and I was no in touch with him. Whenever he used to come to the temple, I was not knowing his initiated name, I was still calling him Pai. During this Vrindavan Yatra I met him in the Krishna Balaram corridor and I shouted “Pai how are you’. May be other people started looking because he was a very responsible devotee and I was not aware of it. He saw me and he came to me and said “I just wanted to thank you”. I said ‘why’? he said for that 4th canto that you had given me. Even after that when I was thinking of this past time, I was not sure that how much he had read it, he is doing so much of his service. Is he grahastha like me who never finds time for book reading. And while I was sitting here and listening the glories of how much Bhagvatam he has read, I was just feeling proud. It is how Krishna made me instrumental to gift him the first Bhagvatam he had. I just hope that by that gift Krishna will bless me for the taste that he had for Bhagvatm. Hare Krishna.
Offering by HG Mahaprabhu
I have been given only two minutes so I will say only two words. Actually on Sunday I met mataji first time after this incident, so I could not talk to her even. I got sentimentally so much emotionally involved, because I met him in Bhakti Vedanta Hospital and I was preaching to some outside guest on the ground floor only. At that time Shyam Krishna Prabhu came to visit his parents because they were in the hospital. He was standing back side, and I was talking to some guests outside near Prabhupada’s murti. When I finished my talk, he just called me and said “can I request you one thing, please tell me what I can do”. I was knowing him since long but this is before six months. He said “I request you to come to Vrindavan”. I said why you want me to come to Vrindavan. He said “ I want you to preach there and there are lot of legal problems, and according to your convenience I will fix everything”. I will get you the Supreme Court judges, I will get you the High Court judges. I want you to come and do preaching in Vrindavan. Thereafter I talked to Maharaj, he said you talk to Devamrit Prabhu. So I started going to Vrindavan. Before 15 days he came and told me, Prabhuji when you are coming there. Please tell me when I should come, I will come there. He said “please in Vrindavan”, because Devamrit Prabhu said ‘it is humanly impossible to manage Vrindavan Temple. These are the exact words of Devamrit Prabhu. He said that please don’t expect from me that I will invite you any time. You just come any time and I will make all arrangements according to your convenience, whatever you want. And when I went there, three days he was all the time with me. He took me to the all top people of India like Pantaloon, Biyani and several other people in their residence. He will just go there, these are marwaries, you should talk to them. And like that he arranged several programs for me. He told me several deep ISKCON stories which I was not knowing. He said that there are so many legal matters which I cannot disclose to other people, but you can handle those type of things. So I want you to come here for both purposes, for the legal work as well as to preach to the biggest people. They are coming here, big big ministers and big judges they are coming here every weekend. We can invite them accordingly, Please come here. I am really missing him at this time but Krishna is knowing how many years we live. People cannot do anything even if they live 100 years, what he had done in 37 years. So it is the question of quality which he has given to us. We have to learn from him, how we should live in this life, whatever time we are living, we should use in the service of Guru and Gauranga. Hare Krishna.
Offering by Krishnanam Prabhu
Please accept my humble obesiances. It is indeed a deep irreplaceable loss to all of us, particularly to me personally, risen by the tragic and untimely departure of our beloved Shyam Krishna Prabhu on 4th Jan. Looking back I can only see moments of very affectionate association with him over last so many years. I remember first time I met Shyam Krishna Prabhu at Chowpaty Temple, I was immediately attracted to his intensity and deep desire to associate with vaishnavas and serve them, although he was in a sensitive position, in a position in Govt. of India requiring him to act in a very tough manner with the people he came in contact with. With Vaisnavas he was always exceptionally gentle and humble. He would always seek service and personally would request devotees ‘ how can I serve you’. Whenever I would visit Vrindavan, he would make it a point to ensure that I am particularly comfortable. Go out of his way to come and give me his association inspite of his hectic schedule. Last time I met him in Vrindavan during Kartik Yatra. As usual he was extremely hospitable and welcoming. He was staying in Krishna Balaram Guest House, we kept enquiring whether he was comfortable, is he in the need of anything else. He took me to the new kitchen that temple had constructed. It had been inaugurated just previous day. As usual it had been in some controversy which needed him to resolve. He explained to me the circumstances under which he got the kitchen constructed. I also had met his dear wife Sundri Priya Mataji. I remember, I had been surprised to note that she had pulled down considerably. When I commented on this, with great concern Shyam Krishna Prabhu laughingly commented ‘she is going through so much tension taking care of me’. My heart cries out to Krishna in deep separation for one of my dear most friends and well-wisher. Very seldom do we come across a person who is so full of vitality, tremendous zest to serve at a young age. His unmotivated, unconditional service without any expectation in return, to Sri Krishna Balaram, Srila Prabhupada and his Guru Maharaj will be remembered for all the time to come, will continue to inspire all of us to commit ourselves to surrender at the lotus feet of our Spiritual Master. He was an exceptional Grahastha taking care of his family, specially his aged parents. I for one have learnt a lot of lessons from Shyam Krishna Prabhu’s deep commitment to the movement and I aspire to follow closely to his footsteps. I pray to The Lords to grant him eternal residence at Their lotus feet and also pray to Lord Krishna to provide the strength to Sundripriya Mataji , Priyagopi Mataji and all the family members, to withstand this terrible moment of bereavement and would like to express our unconditional support, and to please count on Amritnaam and myself for any service which we are capable of doing. Thank you Shyam Krishna Prabhu for being what you were and we will really miss you eternally. Let us all remember that all of us have to have only eachother to fall back upon in time of need, and that with every passing away of a vaisnava, we lose part of our life along with him or her.
Offering by HG Vishvaroop Prabhu
I first met him in 1999 in the temple and I was put in complex because of his shining and brilliant face. WE went to Udipi together and shared moments of joy and exchange of loving feelings. I became very close to him in Udipi. I happen to also belong to the same gotra, caste and same kuldev we had. So we travelled together. First time in my life I went to my Kuldevta and both of us performed sadhana for two days there, took bath in the river. He was such a good son that his old grand mother who is 96 years now and his father and mother, he took such a nice care. In the middle of his heavy schedules he would come down, because his father had fracture two times, second time major leg fracture. He would always come all the way and personally serve his father, day and night, sleeping under his bed in the hospital to take care of him and do the needful to the final point. Even the servant who used to take care of his father, he preached him and he is chanting 16 rounds. So he cried bitterly when Prabhuji left. One of our very sweet exchanges that we had, that we would always pray for each other. I knew all the details of his predicament in Vrindavan, so wherever I went I would pray for him. He would also love driving and he would drive to many places. Many time he would go to Nathdawara driving. Many times we would have wonderful exchanges, I prayed for him in Maan Mandir and he would sent a message that I am praying for you standing in front of Nathdawara – Srinathji. Last message that I sent from Man Mandir, he was at Nathdawar praying for me, and I prayed for him from Maan Mandir, a very intimate experience. The prayer experience which I had with him was that when this time his father was admitted to hospital, he explained to me for three/ four hours all the things that he was going through and the difficulties. I said “prabhu we can do one thing, we can just try tomorrow morning, thank Krishna for whatever He has been doing for you, it is for your good”. So he went to the temple and he send me message that I thanked Krishna Balaram, but looks like They are not listening to me. You please convey my thanks through your prayers to Krishna Balaram. So I did that but I was sure that Krishna Balaram were listening to his prayers. He bought a flat in front my house. We met in my clinic in 1999-2000. He was first in the building, I bought a flat afterwards. Whenever he would come from Vrindavan, he would just come first to me and give me Krishna Balaram’s Mahaprasad. He always would meet me and have very touching heart to heart talks. Sometimes we would share our very intimate feelings with one another. I learnt that he was handling some 36 cases at one time in Vrindavan. I was just amazed. In his Palghar days, before joining Vrindavan, he was posted in Palghar, he became such close friend with Palghar devotees. He donated his temple room in Dombvali to the Palghar, so Gaur-Nitai in Palghar. He loved the devotees so much, they are so fond of him. I remember the decision making time to join Vrindavan. He told me that “I will never miss the opportunity to serve Devamrit Prabhu in Vrindavan for anything in my life, and I am just leaving . He was only 31 years old at that time. At the prime point of his career he left his job and joined Vrindavan Temple. In between he also wanted to do some business. He said “ I have also made my passport, I was supposed to go Switerland and make office. But these people came to know that I am not coming on time and they lost faith in me that he has gone mad. When he came to hospital and was telling me, he was laughing because at that time he was working hard on Radha Damodar case. They were feeling that this guy is such a foolish person, we should not trust on him in our business and they left him. Laughingly he told me that story. So I understand that he had such a big business proposal and all the money he would always use for his travels and take not a single rupee. Such a big business proposal he just left it just to save Radha Damodar temple for our ISKCON movement. I always used to ask him why don’t you have a child, one should have a child to fulfill the purpose of grahastha life. He said “I don’t have time, I think having the child and raising the child will take lot of my time. I would like to use all the time to serve Radha Damodar cases, our Krishna Balaram Temple. He also sacrificed his personal family pleasures. One thing I want to express to all of you that Radeshlal Goswami Maharaj of Radha Vallabh would love him so much that on the last day when we giving fire to prabhuji, he said “I have seen millions of people coming to our temple, our only job is to screen people who is who, but this person was extra ordinary, his faith, his devotion, his service to Dham was extra ordinary, and I can guarantee you Vivshvaroop that he has gone to Radharani’s dham. His love was so intimate that personally he was standing four hours at the bank of Yamuna in cold, waiting for him to be cremated. The true brijwasi had such appreciation for him. One thing I want to mention here about his unique service to HOSPICE that we are starting in Vrindavan. There were some reporters commenting, saying that ISKCON people are doing so many things, what you are doing for common people, we will drop your dying people and see what you are going to do. Then some judges said that we will bring our brothers and sisters and old people to you because you are professionals. Actually it was because of his information we started the free service to the brijwasis. Because he felt that it would be nice idea to serve brijwasis, all of them free of charge and simultaneously service our devotees………………. So people would have very good feelings about all of us and they would not antagonize us. It was because of his timely crucial advice, we have now already one year over serving brijwasis free of charge in Vrindavan. I am very grateful to him for this particular advice. He always had, as Mahaprabhu mentioned, preaching to big people. His love for Devamrit Prabhu was so great, they have gone through thick and thin so many times, very hard times they have gone through but his faith in Devamrit Prabhu never got shaken for any reason. I just gave the fire and did pradakshna and came back to Devamrit Prabhu and told Prabhuji today we have lost one of our biggest Commander in Chief, and Devamrit burst out like a child, for 10 minutes he was sobbing like anything,. There was kirtan going on and no body understood. But I was amazed, such a composed and sober person, he had such feelings for Shyam Krishna Prabhu. Last interaction was in my office, before that I went to Vrindavan and I got angry with him and I said whenever I come to Vrindavan I want to take Mahaprasadam, so much of difficulty to get Mahaprasadam, I go to this temple I get easy mahaprasad. He said prabhu I promised you next time when you will come i will take Krishna Balaram Mahaprasad with you. But I am sorry to say that that time did not come. I will take many times mahaprasadam In future also but I will definitely miss Shyam Krishna Prabhu having mahaprasad with me in Radha Damodar and Krishna Balaram temple. He was always a very close friend of mine. He always said because you are in Mira Road, I came to Mira Road. But I understand now internal reasons why he came to Mira Road. I am very very grateful to him for his friendship, for his love, for his affection, for his relationship that he shared with me. And he always was ready, whenever I would go to Vrindavan he would just drive me to Barsana, to Nandgaon. He said I can just be with you. I said prabhuji you are busy you don’t have to go with me. I have vehicle I can go. No no no, I will drive you and I will take you. We will discuss Krishna Katha on the way and back. For many many times he has done that, no tone time. So I will miss his travels, I will miss his friendship. Whenever I will see my in my neighbor’s house, I will miss him. Peeping from his door and waiving at me. Sometimes coming and chanting rounds at my house. All that is now ……… but definitely his presence by his inspiration will be with us. Thank you very much Shyam Krishan Prabbu, we will miss you. Hare Krishna.
Offerings by HG Bhima Prabhu
I didn’t know Shyam Krishna Prabhu very long, may be three years. But I got to know pretty well, he was helping Devamrit in Vrindavan, I knew that and I was encouraging them. But over a year ago, Not this Kartik but a Kartik before, the legal situation in Vrindavan became very very critical. Just thinking about it used to bewilder me. How we are going to come out of this. On many different fronts there were attacks, property tax, the Municipality was claiming property from ISKCON. There was some entanglement that we had with land mafia, many different fronts. And somehow or other the Vrindavan Executive Board made me the Action Officer which means basically to deal with these legal situations. We made a Legal Committee and Shyam Krishna Prabhu was the head of the Legal Committee. So, many times he would call me, we would discuss things. He always had ideas about how we should tackle this. Some of his ideas were orthodox and some where unorthodox. I used to ask, I said “Shyam Krishna are you sure this is going to work”, and he will say “well have you got a better idea”, then I say ‘ no’. I said o.k. lets us do it then. So I will support him in these efforts. Looking back now I can say that by his determination, by his efforts, Vrindavan is in a much better situation legally then it was a year and some months before. So heard today that Shyam Krishna is a kshatriya and we also heard about his brahminical qualities. But I see him more as a vaishnava. He was a vaishvana and he was ready to do whatever it took to serve Srila Prabhupada. I think that is his most wonderful quality that he was ready to do whatever it took to serve. Now his is not with us anymore. It is very difficult to understand what happened, but Srila Prabhupada has taken, I am sure, for some higher service. I can say that I am very proud to have assisted in his service. I will be happy to service him wherever he is.
Offerings by HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj
I am very grateful to all of the assembled devotees for coming to share this very sacred occasion when we are sharing our deep love and gratitude to HG Shyam Krishna Prabhu. It gives my heart a sense of fulfillment that Shyam Krishna Prabhu’s family members personally witness how deeply this great soul has affected peoples’ mind, their love for him, their honor for him, and the tremendous historical accomplishments he has achieved. In Srimad Bhagvatam it is explained ‘better one moment of full consciousness than a long life wasted’. Shyam Krishna Prabhu personified total dedication, absolute loyalty, and fearless courageous enthusiasm to do what is right. This was a quality in him. He could not tolerate corruption. He could not tolerate false ego in the name of bhakti. He was dealing with ……. in the Law & Enforcement Agency. But when he came to the path of bhakti and dedicated himself to Krishna Consciousness, and deeply studying Srila Prabhupada’s books he knew what is the standard of pure bhakti and he dedicated himself to that, in his personal life and protecting the sanctity of Srila Prabbupada’s movement. Many people can preach about how nice devotional service is. Many people can say ‘jai Prabhupada’. Even many of my own god-brothers and god-sisters, they may talk how we should put Prabhupada in the center, and the problems that are occurring because the Prabhupada is not in the center, and tell the pastimes with Srila Prabhupada, which is all wonderful. But how many are actually willing to put their life in the line, 24 hours a day, voluntarily accept insurmountable stress, death threats, opposition gladly to defend the sanctity of Srila Prabhupada’s mission. To protect the properties that were so dear to Srila Prabhupada. And most of all, to establish the standards that Prabhupada expected. They are not too many, in any of the generations of devotees that are alive today that can stand up to the example of Shyam Krishna Prabbu. Can any one who knows him can understands him…………….. I say. At the same time he was very humble. We have heard so many extraordinary offerings of realizations about his qualities. He was keenly intelligent. Not just with book knowledge. He had tremendous amount of book knowledge, but he had insight, into vision to apply that book knowledge to particular situations, and the most difficult situations to apply is crises, he was right there. He knew what to do and he knew how to do it. Many people could not understand but he got it done, and he did it right with integrity. Sometimes even the best of brahmanas could not figure out why that he wants it to do this way. He was a Brahman. And as Bhima Prabhu said ‘above being a Brahman, above being a kshatriya, above being a vaisya, he was everything’. He was a vaishnava, he was simply willing to do the needful as Prabhupada asked us ’do the needful’. But most of us will do the needful upto a certain point. For him there was no limits. As we heard, he has a very secure line of business, he was being promoted. He had a tremendous future in the govt. because they saw here is a man who is completely honest, who had total integrity, who is fearless, who knows the law and is willing to do what he is told, and he was a leader. We have heard from a powerful leader of the Indian Govt. that this man is a leader. He gave it all up to perform full time devotional service. In such integrity, so sensitive, for him there was no question of finding loopholes, to get something for himself out of devotional service. “…………………….” The Bhagvatam says we should not expect our own personal benefits from our devotional service. That was the principle of Prahlad as well. We heard, he gave up such a lucrative career. And he invested his money to get interest for his family and himself for his security and for reasons we don’t want to discuss, no fault of his own, but that money was lost. He had hardly anything, still he was working like nobody else could work, for Krishna and Prabhupada. And he would buy his prasada. He did not want to take it for free. He would buy his own ticket to do service for the temple. He did not take a paise. Always giving even when economically his future was at tremendous risk and question. I do not know too many people who have that integrity under such conditions. And how many cases he was handling. Any one of those cases were impossible for any other devotee. Bhima Prabhu knows. He would come to me often and explain to me a lot of things happening. They were so beyond me, I must confess. When I saw how much his heart was into it, I was so emotional about the welfare of the vaisnavas and the welfare of Srila Prabhupada’s good name. I said “Shyam Krishna Prabhu I am forever grateful that you are doing this, but please know that if it is too much for you and your family there are many other services you can render. I am grateful that you are doing it but there is no pressure and will never be any pressure from me to keep you there, because I could not keep anyone in the situation you are in. Then tears will come to his eyes, he said if I will leave than all this pressure will come on Devamrit Prabhu and I must protect him. This is the love of a god-brother. How many god-brothers or god-sisters are willing to do that for eachother. And actually although he was extremely intelligent, fearless, a leader, a person who is aggressive to get things done when it should be done. A person with a fraction of those qualities is usually very proud. Shyam Krishna Prabhu is very humble. Not long ago, I cannot tell you the details, when he was telling me about a particular case that he was building up, and he spent weeks doing research, putting it together, and he was just about to launch it. I said, Shyam Krishna Prabbu I know the person you are dealing with, and I gave him another dimension of who this person was, he is a devotee. I think it could be an aparadh, I don’t think it is right thing to do, although I am not a legal person, it is a total legal thing. Immediately right then and there, he said, I have spent weeks doing to research, building the case, today I was about to launch it, he said, I will spend next few weeks now doing everything different, because I believe what you had said. He was completely humble. He was not at all shy or reserved to admit any mistakes he made. He is a true vaisnava in every way. It was quoted form Srila Prabhupada that a real preacher should have the courage of British General and the heart of a Bengali mother. That was Shyam Krishna Prabhu. When he was thinking about the needs of another devotee, or the problems of another devotee, it was very natural for him to cry. He was so soft, he was so kind. He was actually so gentle. All he wanted is to give people Krishna. When Srila Prabhupada was in his last months, he could not even walk, he was emaciated, he was worn not to travel anywhere. Prabhupada said “take me to London, and then from London I will go to America, to Gitanagari, to New York, to Los Angeles. Every body was so shocked. Even the doctors were saying “he should not travel, he will die”. Prabhupada laying in his death-bed, he said “it will be glorious for me to die in the battle field”. Devotees said either you should stay in Vrindavan, we don’t know, your life is too uncertain, you should stay in Vrindavan. Prabhupada said “let me die in the battle field”. He didn’t just say it. He went to London. It was hard enough for us to take that long distance flight. He had only skin and bones. Jut to touch him, it pained. He meant it. But then when his health declined more and he really saw he really could not do anything else physically, then only he allowed them to take him back to Vrindavan. As long as he could do anything, he was going to be in the battle field. We should understand Shyam Krishna Prabhu’s passing in that spirit. It may appear to the material eyes that he left Vrindavan and went to Delhi. But what is Delhi? Delhi was one of the favorite places for Prabhupada’s preaching. Actually, more than anywhere else, Prabhupada was building Vraindavan through Delhi. It was a battle field for Prabhupada. Prabhupada was living at Radha-Damodar and he was going to Delhi regularly to print ‘Back to God-head’. To distribute ‘Back to God-head’ Prabhupada was right there in the front line, distributing ‘Back to God-head’, fainting on the street with heat stroke. Naturally Prabhupada would be going back and forth to Vrindavan and Delhi and often spending most of his time in Delhi to print the Srimad Bhagvatam. Later on, Srila Prabhupada established ISKCON and he installed Radha Parathasarthy in Delhi. And one very senior vaisnava and others too questioned, this is not proper Radha-Parthasarthy, it should be Radha-Shyamsundar, Radha-Gopinath, Radha-Rasbihari, but Radha-Parthasarthy! Parthasarthy is not Vrindavan Lila. Radha Rani never leaves Vrindavan. Parthasarthy is kurukshetra, warrior. Krishna came from Dwarka to Kurukshetra. He was driving Arjuna’s chariot. People were saying ……………… is not proper. But when we look at the Prabhupada’s conversation, and actually one of Prabhupada’s disciples asked Prabhupada the same question, how can it be Radha-Parthasarthy. In Kurukshetra Radha Rani is not there. And Srila Prabhupada revealed something that only he as a supremely compassionate preacher could understand. He said even when Krishna was driving Arjuna’s chariot in Kurukshetra what do you think He was meditating in the core of His heart. He was meditating on Smt. Radha Rani. Krishna never forgets Smt. Radha Rani in any situation. Parthasarthy, Radha Rani was manifesting within his heart. They were together on the battle field of Kurukshetra. Delhi is the abode of Parthasarthy and Radha Rani. Yes Prabhupada did see Delhi as abode of Sri Radha Rani. And Sri Krishna Caitanya Radha Krishna nahi Anaya. Lord Caitanya is Radha and Krishna. And wherever the Hari naam Sankirtan movement is being spread that is Vrindavan. Shyam Krishna lived and personified Prabhupada’s prayer ‘let me die in the battle field’. One reasons ill if he thinks that vaisnavas die, for vaisnavas die to live, and live to spread the holy name around. Shyam Krishna is definitely in the loving embrace of Srila Prabhupada. He has given up every thing. He risked every thing to such historical degrees to protect Srila Prabhupada’s home in Vrindavan. And yet personify Srila Prabbupada’s teachings . Attachment to the holy, attachment to Srimad Bhagvatam, attachment to the holy dham, attachment to associating with devotees we have heard and he had deep attachment to worship the Deities. The five principal limbs of devotional service, according to Rupa Goswami, he followed those and aspired for those with excellence. While simultaneously fighting wars that no one else had the courage to go near. We don’t need an astrologer or a mystic prophet for us to tell us where Shyam Krishna Prabhu went. We see through the eyes of scripture. He surrendered every thing. Prabhupada has called him into his loving embrace. He is at the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar. His life is glorious. And personally I am so deeply proud of him, so deeply grateful to Shyam Krishna Prabhu. And before our Guru Maharaj Srila Prabhupada, my heart is full of ……… with joy to see the incredible devotional service that he has offered to our founder Acharya and all the devotees. In our life time there has never been anyone like Shyam Krishna Prabhu and I don’t think we will see it in our life time. As it was said, he was unique, multi-faceted, a completely surrendered soul. So let us all from our heart of hearts pray to Sri Radha Gopinath to shower their infinite blessings and mercy upon the immortal soul of Shyam Krishna Prabhu as well as his family members. And let us also pray that we can take the opulences that he revealed to us as a standard we should strive for and follow in his foot steps. Shyam Krishna Prabhu ki jai. Thank you very much.
We will now offer pushpanjali and sing prayers of departed vaisnavas and as we are singing each devotee please come forward and offer the flowers of gratitude to Shyam Krishna Prabhu.