All glories to Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharvika Giridhari

Sripad Rsabdev Prabhu's Disappearance Day
June 24, 2005

web-page by Vaidehi Devi Dasi

"That sincerity can be found in the books. Srila Prabhupad told: 'I'm in the books' and if we read them clearly with the purpose for hearing from Srila Prabhupad, not from understanding words, accumulating knowledge, or philosophical wrangling, but simply to contact the author who is simply giving you connection with his source, then we will get that connection. It is guaranteed. It is necessary to get the help of the higher Vaisnavas."
-Rsabdev Prabhu

This picture is of Rsabdev Prabhu's departure from California at the Oakland Airport. It was taken in June, 2000.

>From left to right: Bhajan Prabhu, Devamoyi Devi Dasi, Divya Shakti Devi Dasi, Rsabdev Prabhu, Dharubrahma Devi Dasi, Jagadananda Prabhu.
Front row: Malati Priya Devi Dasi, Tanya, Kalindi Devi Dasi at his feet, Krsna Priya Devi Dasi, and Pavitra Seva Prabhu.

On the evening of Rsabdev Prabhu's Disappearance, the devotees gathered in the temple room to watch a video of Rsabdev Prabhu in which he spoke his realizations of the Holy Name, Srila Govinda Maharaj, and the mercy that we have been given. He also recalled the first time he ever saw Srila Prabhupad at the airport. Tears flowed out of his eyes, uncontrollable.... This film was brought to the Ashram by Krishna Mohini Devi Dasi.

The many devotees present that evening, including Kum Kum Devi Dasi, (Rsabdev Prabhu's wife) and Bharat Chandra Prabhu (his son) with his children Anjali Devi Dasi and Jambhavan Das.

"From the beginning, what Srila Gurudev always told me was that he was amazed at my husband's desire. In one sense that seems like a given - somebody has a desire for Krishna consciousness then we can definitely know that - but after five years, that is what comes back to me the most. That the accordance of the perfect desire and I think that's why Srila Gurudev always emphasized that. There is certainly no consideration of how many Sanskrit verses someone knows, or whether their head is shaved or whether their service is always directly in the temple or in some other way. But from the very beginning, those who knew him so long ago know that the essence of his motivation for everything was a perfect desire. Everything that he proceeded with in his life he accepted as a means to help him progress loving heartedly from the very beginning. I heard other great devotees also talk about when they first saw Srila Prabhupad tears uncontrollably shot out of their eyes like crocodile tears. I think these devotees are very very special. Srimati Bhakti Lalita said to me recently, she was quoting from Srila Sridhar Maharaj, 'Sincerity is invincible.' This is a perfect example of how sincerity is truly the only thing that we need to try to find within ourselves, or beg or steal if we don't find it.
- Kum Kum Devi Dasi

"I have this experience with Srila Gurudev from time to time, when we're alone in India especially. He likes to sort through something at a peaceful time, a quiet time when it's usually just the two of us. He'll go through his almira, take everything out, sort through everything, tell me a little description of the various items, and gradually put everything back. I guess the original intention is that he is going to sort it out and move it and maybe throw some things away, but in the end he just sorts through things, tells me a little something about each thing, who gave him this particular camera, how long he has had it, and then puts everything back just as it was before. So one of these times he did that with his briefcase when we were in Kolkata. He took out that brown briefcase that he travels with also. There were many varieties of things in that briefcase and he started taking them out one at a time. He then reached into a compartment of his briefcase and said: 'Whenever I feel down, I use this for encouragement.' He gave it to me to read and it was a letter from Rsabdev Prabhu. I read that letter. It was a very nice letter, no doubt, and after reading it I gave it back to Srila Gurudev. He folded it back the way it was, and put it back in that compartment and said: 'When I'm down I read this for encouragement.' So there is a great hope for all of us. Rsabdev Prabhu had such an inconceivably glorious thing happen to him that could only be by divine causeless mercy. It gives hope to the rest of us who are still struggling in material existence that yes, such a things is possible. Mercy exists, mercy can happen. Mercy happens to people that we know, it happens to people likes us. It is a possibility that we can get such mercy, and that gives us great hope. That one of us, one of our peers, one of our groups, had such a thing happen to them - such an inconceivably, beyond auspicious, beyond transcendental thing happen to them. So we can only pray that some drop of that kind of good fortune will come in our life."
- Srutasrava Prabhu

"My memory of Rsabdev Prabhu was that he was a wonderful, surrendered soul that always connected me with Srila Govinda Maharaj in so many ways. He is always so present in our lives. It is impossible for us to separate our spiritual life from the divine presence of Rsabdev Prabhu because he connected us with Srila Gurudev. Due to my ignorance, my false ego, my envy, and innumerable disqualification I was always feeling very far away from Gurudev. I would think, 'Gurudev is for THEM, Gurudev is there with THEM, I am very far away and I don't have any connection with him.' Rsabdev Prabhu was that breach - that wonderful Vaisnava who saw my ignorance who gave me hope, gave me a hand and walked by my side. I always remember his words: 'Gurudev is in your heart, Didi. Gurudev is with you. Gurudev is HERE!' He talked so wonderfully about how Gurudev comes out of his affection, his inconceivable mercy, and gives so much to us. He would say: 'Some of the devotees are just open and receiving like Bhakti Lalita Devi Dasi, Sita Devi Dasi and Bimala Devi Dasi. But others close their hearts and think: 'Is that mercy there or is it not?' 'Is it possible or is it not?'' After such a long time, I realized that he was talking to me. That was my case! I had such a realization of that and he was that breach that connected me with Srila Govinda Maharaj. I remember that when he would talk about Gurudev he would say: 'We have such a wonderful Guru, Didi.' The way he said it, it was like he was transmitting that reality from Gurudev.
"Rsabdev Prabhu was the most generous person I had ever met. He was always giving that reality to my ignorant, blind heart. 'Gurudev is wonderful. Gurudev is here, with you. It's up to you to receive that. It is up to you to be a recipient of that mercy because that mercy is flowing.' I remember I told Gurudev one time, 'Srila Gurudev, I love Rsabdev Prabhu so much,' and he said: 'Me too, Didi. I always have this picture of Rsabdev Prabhu here.' He showed me a picture that he keeps in his verandah in Nabadwip and Kolkata."
- Kalindi Devi Dasi

"Rsabdev Prabhu was able to give so much satisfaction and happiness to Srila Govinda Maharaj. It's astonishing the unlimited mercy that he got to depart in such a divine beautiful way and how fortunate we are to have some connection with such an exalted soul."
- Jivana Devi Dasi

"My experience with him was completely knowing him as a manager of the temple and it was the most wonderful time of my life. Kamala and I lived up the hill and we just got so much association from him all of the time. It always felt like he was so concerned about not just us, but everybody. He was so concerned about everybody that came to this Ashram and how they were doing. I remember he would sometimes talk to me about how he was worried about this person, that person, this child and that child. He was like an extension of Srila Gurudev, he had such a big heart and it was a wonderful experience. I was very fortunate to have ever come in contact with him... and it's like Kalindi Devi Dasi was saying, he made Srila Gurudev more real to me and my relationship with him was really increased because of Rsabdev Prabhu's association."
- Krishna Mohini Devi Dasi

"Rsabdev Prabhu said in that video: 'I don't know anything about Krishna but I know something about Sri Guru and His Grace.' Rsabdev Prabhu fully got that grace. Like both Kum Kum Devi Dasi and Srutasrava Prabhu said, it was so much encouragement to see just what is the mercy of Sri Guru and His Grace and what that can do. Gurudev gives the example that once one is siddha, it's like, if you turn the light on in a room, you don't talk about the room before, when it was dark, because the light is on. So you see, he gave this siddha to Rsabdev Prabhu. And at the end, Rsabdev Prabhu was taking pain medicine and whatnot but he gave such a wonderful lucid talk (referring to the video of Rsabdev Prabhu viewed in the temple room) and high realizations. When he was here as the leader of the Ashram, he taught by his example. It was such a wonderful time. He was so loving, so enthusiastic, and so giving of Krishna consciousness and he would always let anybody come and join the Ashram. No matter how whacked out they were or whatever, he would give them a chance. One time I was in Puri with Srila Govinda Maharaj and some nice gentlemen came to the Math and said, 'You know I've been to every Math in town but no one will let me join. Can I join here?' So, Srila Gurudev asked me what I thought and whether he should join and I said: 'Well I like to give them a chance' and he said: 'Yes. That's my mood too.' So the boy got initiated, stayed for a year or two, did some nice service.... So Rsabdev Prabhu was like that. He always let everyone try - he would give them a chance. You had to prove yourself wrong, not the other way around. So Rsabdev was merciful in that way."
- Jagadananda Prabhu

"Rsabdev Prabhu used to come down and give lectures and I would always come down and listen. I always felt really welcome. Two things made me feel welcome. I was kind of new and didn't really know what it was all about, but every time I would give my dandavats he would pat me on the back. It made me feel welcome, he was glad to see me. It made me feel good that someone was glad to see me because I didn't really know too many people here. So then, I had some crisis in my life and would come to the Ashram here. Whenever I saw Rsabdev Prabhu I was glad to see him and to have his association knowing that he would take good care of me here. But then he told he was having some physical problems and that he would be leaving. I felt disappointed because I thought that I would spend some time with him here, but he was going to leave. After he left, I did stay here for an extra year and it was very nice but I missed his presence here."
- Udhava Prabhu

"I didn't really know who he was and I didn't really know what to think about all of this. When I left he said to me: 'And please, come back.' I thought, wow! That's so beautiful how he asked me. How could I not come back? And then I came back. And I'm still here."
- Hladini Shakti Devi Dasi

After the program, Jagadanda Prabhu led "Viraha Giti," a song written by Srila Narottama dasa Thakur and sung on disappearance days.

Jahnavi, Devaki and Krsna Priya Devi Dasis present for the ceremony.

Afterwards, the Prasadam prepared by the cooks in honor of Rsabdev Prabhu was distributed. Amrita Moyi Devi Dasi making samosas before the offering was placed on the altar.