27 Sep The Reincarnation of Shri Raghava Das Brahmachari (1954-1973)
“Regarding the auto accident, just hold a condolence meeting for Raghava das Brahmachari and pray for his soul to Krishna for giving him a good chance for advancement in Krishna Consciousness. Certainly Krishna will give him a good place to take birth where he can again begin in Krishna Consciousness activities. That is sure.”
(Shrila Prabhupada in a letter to Revatinandana das – 14 Nov. 1973)
From the personal diary of Ratnavali Dasi (London)
With thanks to Mithuna Twiins Astrological Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) for creating this amazing article and allowing us to publish it on this website.
I have remembrance of my last past life as a brahmachary named Raghava das. This has come about through a sequence of dreams that were later found to be real of events in the life and death of Raghava, as confirmed by those that knew him. His post mortem injuries and my birth marks, scars and illnesses all correlate.
MY DIARY OF REVELATIONS
I am of Hindu descent and was born on 9th August, 1975 in London. My parents had a small shrine at our home with many photos of demigods and Lord Shri Krishna. One day I opened a drawer and there was a book written by Shrila Prabhupada. I cannot remember the title, but when I looked at the back cover, I was drawn to the picture of Shrila Prabhupada on it. I remember that when I looked at him, his eyes were very deep. I felt like he was asking me to come back home, come back home…
I was brutally attacked in my high school field by a drugged up man who was trespassing. He continuously beat me with a fence log with nails on it with full force on my head. I used my hands to protect my head. As he continued hitting me the pain was incredible. Even though he was striking my head and hands, I suddenly realized that he could not hit the real me which was something inside my body. I screamed for help, but no one was around. So I prayed intensely, “Please God help me, please God help me.” A voice from within started guiding me saying, “Pretend you’re dead,” so I pretended to be dead and he stop hitting me. Then the voice said “open your eyes now, he has gone,” I was scared because if he was still there, I would be killed.
Opening my eyes slowly, I was relieved to see that he was no longer there. The voice then guided me, “Now get up and go.” I was exhausted from the beating and did not want to get up. Then the voice mentioned, “What if he comes back again, this is the time for you to escape.” Immediately I got on my feet and saw that my hands and head were covered with blood. After this horrific incident, it took me some time to recover emotionally and physically, but I felt like I owed my life to this voice that saved me.
I met devotee book distributors around the area where I lived and they had many books written by Shrila Prabhupada. I approached them and bought a few to read. The more I read them, the closer I could feel to that voice that had protected me. The main book that answered all my questions was Bhagavad Gita As It Is which explained about the science of the soul and that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Now I was convinced that the voice was Krishna who had protected me as Supersoul. I was looking for Krishna. The book distributor mentioned that there was a temple in London with Deities of Radha-Krishna. Immediately I felt a strong desire to see Them. Eventually, when I had darshan of the beautiful Deities of Shri Shri Radha-Londonishwara, I became very emotional. Tears ran down my eyes as I was convinced wholeheartedly that They saved me. Then and there I decided that I wanted to dedicate my life to Them.
Marriage and on to Sankirtan with Tribhuvanath
OCTOBER 1997: I married Krishna Vidhi Prabhu and two years later received initiation from HH Bhakti Charu Swami and became Ratnavali dasi.
JUNE 2000: I was very inspired by Tribhuvanath Prabhu’s Hari Nam sankirtan especially Saturday night in London. I could play a beat on the African drum which connected with his mridanga beat very nicely. I remember when I played the first time on Saturday night Hari Nam, he requested me to stand next to him at the front. I was very shy and did not come to the front, so one devotee pushed me and there I was standing with Tribhuvanath Prabhu. I felt very uncomfortable as I was in a female body next to a brahmachary but he was very normal and encouraging. He preferred all instrument prayers to be together. When all the men surrounded him playing the fast beat, I was also in the circle.
Tribhuvanath (r.) with Padmapani das
I became embarrassed and walked out as I thought this may look unchaste but Tribhuvanath Prabhu stopped the Hari Nam and became a little angry. He pointed at me and asked me to come back in the circle. I put my head down and walked back into the circle and we continued the Hari Nam. From this day, he taught me how to chant Hare Krishna on Hari Nam sankirtan without being attached to the bodily conception of life. I felt very strongly that he treated me like a brahmachary. I joined his festival team, traveling and playing my African drum.
Glimpses of My Past Life
AUGUST 2000: I mentioned to Krishna Kshetra Prabhu (my husband’s spiritual master) in Rathayatra that I had been here in Trafalgar Square during the Rathayatra 1973**. He replied, “Really, so was I.” Afterwards I wondered why I said that because I was born in August of 1975.
OCTOBER 2000: Tribhuvanath Prabhu arranged 24 hour kirtans to collect donations for his festivals in East Africa. I wanted to drum with him for 24 hours. When I mentioned this to him, he replied, “You will drop dead.” I replied, “It’s better to drop dead in kirtan than an accident.” Afterwards I wondered why I had said something so strange.
“Simply Chant Hare Krishna”
JULY 2001: I had a dream which showed many obstacles. As Hari Nams increased, the obstacles decreased. Finally I opened a door and there was Shrila Prabhupada sitting at a table. I started crying on his lap. He looked at me in compassion and said, “Come. Many people want to speak about you but there is nothing left for you to do but simply chant Hare Krishna.” Then the dream ended.
SEPTEMBER 2001: I mentioned to my Guru Maharaj that a brahmachary was not treating me properly and it was difficult to work with him as I felt uncomfortable. He responded that it was my karmic reaction. I was surprised to hear the reply. Then I narrated to him humorously, how my husband mentioned that he had seen me as a brahmacary in his healing regression. My Guru Maharaj replied in a very serious manner that there was no doubt that I was a brahmacary in my past life performing Hari Nam in the past, present and future. Now I was really shocked.
Disappearance of Tribhuvanath Prabhu
OCTOBER 2001: When Tribhuvanath Prabhu was diagnosed with stomach cancer, I began performing Hari Nam sankirtan daily, praying for his welfare. Touched by the gesture, Tribhuvanath Prabhu said he would help me with the Hari Nams when he gets better and he instructed me to become attached to sankirtan yagna and holy names. Regrettably, he left this world so I continue with Hari Nams seeing it as an eternal link to Tribhuvanath Prabhu who was very kind, loving and could relate to different individuals on all levels.
“I Am Still Here”
OCTOBER 2001: I had a dream that I was going to Scotland. In one scene I was in a hospital ward In the other I was looking for my home but it had turned into a pub with distinctive black spiral stairs and an alley at entrance and in the third scene I was chanting japa in the park which I could see from all angles. Two weeks later I had a dream that I was chanting japa in the same park.
OCTOBER 2001: I had seen Krishnadas* Prabhu for the first time at Tribhuvannath Prabhu’s memorial program and was feeling that I had seen him before. He mentioned in a speech that someone left for some unforeseen circumstances. Immediately something within me replied, “No, it is not true, I am here” and I became emotional. Afterwards I wondered why I felt like this as I not met him before.
*Not his real name.
Searching for Raghava Prabhu
NOVEMBER 2001: Rama Nrsingha Prabhu and I asked five different disciples of Shrila Prabhupada if they knew any brahmacharies who had died before 1974, who had loved Hari Nam, who had been connected to Shri Shri Radha-Londonishwara and Tribhuvanath Prabhu. This is what I discovered about Raghava:
SHRIMAN RAGHAVA DAS BRAHMACARI (1954 – 1973): David Hoey was born May 14, 1954 in Glasgow. He was the only son and lived with his mother and father. Around the age of 13, he found his father hanging from a rope, dead from suicide. David began to question life and at the age of 17 he joined the ISKCON Edinburgh temple. David was inspired by Tribhuvanath Prabhu to perform Hari Nam. When Tribhuvanath Prabhu and David met in the temple room, they would jump up and down nearly every day for few minutes chanting Hare Krishna, clapping hands and sometimes playing caratals like mad men. David also visited the Bury Place temple in London many times where Shri Shri Radha-Londonishwara reside. He had also been to see Radha-Gokulananda at Bhaktivedanta Manor. David was initiated by Shrila Prabhupada on 19th October 1973 and named Raghava das Brahmachary. He offered his life savings of 200 pounds to Shrila Prabhupada as guru dakshina.
Tragically his enthusiastic service was cut short by his sudden death the next day in a van accident on the way from Edinburgh to Newcastle. Krishnadas Prabhu fell asleep on the steering wheel, the van crashed and Raghava left his body. Tribhuvannath Prabhu cried as he mentioned to others about Raghava’s departure. Raghava missed his initiation yajna which was to be conducted by Revatinandana Swami the next day on behalf of the spiritual master. Shrila Prabhupada sent a letter to Revatinandana Swami as follows:
“Regarding the auto accident, just hold a condolence meeting for Raghava das Brahmachary and pray for his soul to Krishna for giving him a good chance for advancement in Krishna Consciousness. Certainly Krishna will give him a good place to take birth where he can again begin in Krishna Consciousness activities. That is sure. But we offer our condolences to a departed soul separated from a Vaishnava. Do you know that there must be prasadam distributed? Three days after the demise of a Vaishnava a function should be held for offering the departed soul and all others prasadam. This is the system.” (Shrila Prabhupada in a letter to Revatinandana Maharaj, 14 Nov. 1973)
Past Life Regressions
NOVEMBER 2001: I had accepted HH Tamal Krishna Goswami as my shiksa guru as he was very kind and inspiring me very much especially on Hari Nams and playing the African drum. I decided to speak to my Guru Maharaja and Tamal Krishna Goswami about my strange experiences. They both advised me to do past life regression, and I underwent two of them. Both regressions showed that I was a young brahmachary performing Hari Nams with Tribhuvannath Prabhu. There were some scenes of Shrila Prabhupada which made me very emotional. After both regressions on the following mornings, coincidentally I had exactly the same reoccurring dreams that a man with long hair falls asleep on the steering wheel and I am in the back of the vehicle and the vehicle crashes.
Raghava, Raghava, Raghava!
JANUARY 2002: I had a dream that Krishnadas Prabhu was calling out, “Raghava, Raghava, Raghava!” After few weeks I also had another dream where I was trying to tell him that I was his old friend Raghava but he could not see me.
I had many nightmares of vehicle crashes that seemed to be ongoing and horrific. I also had a few dreams of Edinburgh such as I am going up the stairs of Edinburgh temple for a Shrimad Bhagavatam class.
My husband and I met up with Krishnadas Prabhu to explain what was happening and I was very nervous as I knew that no one would approach him regarding Raghava as it was a very sensitive issue. When I sat in his car, he started driving and the door kept opening on my side. I tried to shut the door many times and still it kept opening on my side. Then I shouted that the door does not shut. Krishnadas Prabhu immediately stopped car, shut door from outside and said in a very confident way, “Do not worry, you are safe with me.” It was an ironic, strange and a humorous way to meet. When we arrived at his home, I mentioned my revelations, he was very kind and open minded. He wanted me to keep him updated as he was very curious.
My husband and I visited the area where ISKCON Edinburgh temple had been at 14 Forrest Rd with the help of a map. As I had ongoing problems with my stomach, I went to the nearby hospital to get a plaster around it. Returning, I noticed a park nearby. I was shocked as it was the same park in my dreams. I did not want to leave as I felt I had been here before. I looked at it from many angles and knew that it was the same as my dream. Then I went to find the location of the old Edinburgh temple which to my amazement had become a pub. When I went inside, it had the same black spiral stairs and an alleyway at the entrance. I ran out as it had taken me time to digest all this. I felt like this was my home and I had been here before. Raghava had been based in the Edinburgh temple and he loved chanting his japa in that same park nearby which was named The Meadows. I was amazed to see in reality all that I had seen in my dream on Oct 2001.
That You Shall Attain
APRIL 2002: I spoke to my Guru Maharaj updating him of my revelations. I asked him if this was a figment of my mind, or a revelation from above. He replied that it was a revelation from above. This was hard to digest because even though I knew in theory that we are not the body but the soul, it still had taken me time to accept in reality. My Guru Maharaj was very supportive and caring and was helping me in dealing with this. On his visit to London, he had also spoken to Krishnadas Prabhu who was already convinced that in my past life I was Raghava. Krishnadas Prabhu was very relieved although it was a lot for him to digest.
Once when my Guru Maharaj had spoken to me, he asked me jokingly, “So who was the girl that you were thinking of at the time of death.” I was shocked as I was embarrassed and I replied “I do not know and better that I not know.” In 8.6 of Bhagavad Gita As It Is, it is stated, “Whatever you think of at the time of death, that state you will attain without fail.”
“I Never Left You”
JUNE 2002: I had the same reoccurring dreams from childhood that I was looking outside my bedroom window and all I could see is hills and greenery.
NOVEMBER 2002: I met Krishnadas Prabhu’s ex-wife Dhenuvati for first time in Edinburgh. She knew Raghava as he did some services with her in Edinburgh temple kitchen. She had two dogs and I was scared of her dogs and started moving my left hand out the way in fear. Then I mentioned that I had a realistic dream that I had been bitten by a dog on the palm of my left hand in the park. Dhenuvati was very amazed and she replied that she remembered the time when Raghava had come running to her and said that he will not go to The Meadows park again as he was bitten by a dog on his left palm.
NOVEMBER 2002: Dhenuvati also mentioned that Krisjnadas Prabhu cried numerous times for Raghava and would say how he would like to bring his old friend back again. I immediately rang Krishnadas Prabhu and mentioned what Dhenuvati said. I told him “I never left you.” Krishnadas Prabhu became very emotional.
SEPTEMBER 2003: When the spiritual master jokes, there is always a meaning behind it. I started to remember the Indian girl that Raghava liked very much who was also in Edinburgh temple. So I rang Dhenuvati and she confirmed that it was right because she had seen the dealings between Raghava and an Indian girl named Satyavati. He would concentrate more on her than his japa and complained to Dhenuvati about her many times. He was both attracted and averse to her so he could not be normal around her and then would not treat her properly. When she walked in kitchen, he would get shy and walk out. I was embarrassed to hear all this.
*Not her actual name.
MARCH 2004: I had a dream that I was sitting in the back of vehicle and Krishnadas Prabhu was there. Then the dream changed, instead of Krishnadas Prabhu, it was Shrila Prabhupada sitting and he was writing something. After this dream, my dreams of crashes seemed to decrease.
OCTOBER 2004: I attended Tribhuvanath Prabhu’s memorial festival and his two brothers gave me a lift home. We were discussing, but they knew nothing about my past life story. Coincidentally, one of them started speaking about an Indian girl that he worked with, who knew Tribhuvanath Prabhu. He said her name was Satyavati. I was shocked when I realized that he had just spoken of the girl that Raghava had been attracted to.
I asked him for her contact details and met her saying that I was coming to give her mahaprasadam sweets from Dhenuvati. It was amazing and strange as we had similar eyes, shapes and features. I gave her sweets and within myself I apologized to her for all my offenses as I felt in this life I was getting some karmic reaction. I asked her about Raghava many times but she could not remember him. From the meeting I could see that I should have been more conscious of Shrila Prabhupada and Krishna in my past life.
“Thank You, Prabhu”
PHOTO: Shrila Prabhupada dances in the Rathayatra Festivali n London, 1973. His Divine Grace refused his seat on the chariot to dance with his disciples. On His left is your Editor. Behind Guru Maharaja is Revatinandan das.
JANUARY 2005: I had a dream which showed I was staying in 7, Bury Place as a brahmacary where Shri Shri Radha-Londonishwara presided in the 1970’s. Raghava had visited and stayed there a few times.
APRIL 2005: I rang Revatinandana Prabhu in Hawaii. I had sent him my revelations about Raghava a week before. He spoke to me very nicely saying that I was very blessed to have these remembrances. He remembered the accident and how Shrila Prabhupada had asked him to offer prasadam to “my” photo and prayers. It was very strange as I thanked him for offering prayers and the wonderful prasadam to my photo calling the departed soul to come to honor it. I feel indebted to Revatinandana Prabhu’s kindness
MAY 2005: I was curious to know if Raghava’s family was around so I managed to get Raghava’s post mortem, birth and death certificate along with his mother’s death certificate. It was strange to have my previous life’s death certificate and post mortem as it serves as a warning of reality for this life also. I knew that Raghava had no brothers or sisters so there was no one I could get in contact with. It is amazing in one life how we are so attached to our family, relatives and friends. Then in our subsequent lives every relationship has been finished with the termination of the previous body.
All my birth marks, scars and illnesses correlated with Raghava’s death injuries. I also secured some pages of witness statements of the accident.
Scotland’s Hills and Greenery
JUNE 2005: I decided to visit the home of where Raghava lived with his parents in Glasgow. I knocked on the door but no one answered. Then I knocked on “my” neighbours door where the garden was shared and I met one old lady named Mary. From our conversation I found out she had been my neighbour. She had been very good friends with Raghava’s mother Hannah. When I mentioned my revelations, she became convinced. She invited me into her home and was very friendly towards me. She said, “If you go to David’s bedroom window, only from his bedroom window, you can see beautiful hills and greenery.” I was shocked and started crying as this was the answer to my recurring dream. Mary and I have kept in touch. I gave her Shrila Prabhupada’s Coming Back which she has found interesting.
APRIL 2006: Once again I experienced the recurring dream of the hills and greenery. Now in the dream I am going towards the hills and greenery. Behind the hills I find a room. Upon entering I see that there are many Deities of Krishna engaged in different pastimes such as Krishna killing demons, Krishna with Mother Yasodha, Radha and Krishna, etc. I was very attracted to Mother Yasodha and Krishna. This dream revealed to me that the eternal happiness for which we are all searching is only in relationship to Krishna.
APRIL 2006: I was feeling a strong need to build my relationship with Shrila Prabhupada as I had left him untimely. The way now was through following his instructions by reading his books, watching him on videos, DVD’s and via Bhakti Charu Maharaj guidance. I am very fortunate to have Bhakti Charu Maharaj as my Guru Maharaj as he is expertly bringing me closer to the lotus feet of Shrila Prabhupada. I am very indebted to Shrila Prabhupada for his unlimited protection.
MAY 2006: I visited the same area where Raghava left his body in the motorway in Morpeth with the help of the witness statement report. When I was in the same area, I could feel as Raghava. I was not ready to leave my body at the time of death. When I had seen the motorway, one sign was Edinburgh to Morpeth and the other was Morpeth to London. It was the ending of one life and the beginning another.
2010: Krishna Vidhi Prabhu and I became divorced and went in different directions. It was a friendly agreement because both of us agreed that we had never lived as an ordinary couple. We were more like brahmacharies in a grihasta life. He continues performing Hari Nam three times a day and is very dedicated to Krishna’s Holy Names at the Soho St. temple. We are still good friends and keep in touch. I have given myself to Tribhuvanath Prabhu’s ISKCON festival program which is now managed by Giridhari Prabhu. My role is full time service within the festival program. I feel very fortunate somehow to be protected by Tribhuvanath Prabhu life after life and be under his authority somehow.
Medical Records and Realizations
Raghava’s post mortem showed that he had multiple injuries but most of his injuries were caused around his abdomen, intestines and pelvis. My medical reports show that I have inflammation of stomach lining which causes my abdomen to distend and has caused marks around my abdomen. My intestines and pelvis are weak and I am still undergoing various tests to investigate problems around that area. All my birth marks and scars also correlate with Raghava’s injuries as shown in his post mortem. [Others who have experienced past life remembrances also affirm that injuries from the past can be reflected onto the present body. -Ed.]
My devotional mood is similar to my past life. Raghava’s main service was Hari Nam sankirtan. I must have had a strong desire to come back to Tribhuvanath Prabhu again. I especially feel Raghava’s emotions very strongly when I meet devotees that knew him, and also when I visit those places where Raghava had been. I have a fear of driving vehicles. Internally my mood is of a brahmachary. Since my earliest years I have had no desire to have children and have always remained celibate even in my married life.
Krishnadas Prabhu always felt tremendous guilt for falling asleep at the wheel and, because of his sincerity, he was united again with Raghava. Whatever happened was an accident and was destined to happen to me so I do not blame Krishnadas Prabhu in any way. I hope this helps him to overcome his guilt.
In whatever body we find ourselves, we should treat others in the same way that we want to be treated. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This also means respecting the body of animals and not slaughtering them for our food. Otherwise we will suffer same results. It is best to keep Krishna in the center of our relationships, Our relationship with our spiritual master and Krishna are eternal but other relationships will terminate with the body. The ultimate lesson for all of us is to become serious in our devotional practices. The process Shrila Prabhupada has given us, the philosophy that holds us together as a family, is perfect just as it is. ·
**EDITOR’S NOTE: For a glimpse of Shrila Prabhupada at London Rathayatra 1973, accompanied by Tribhuvanath, Revatinandan, your Editor and the other London devotees on a You Tube video (to the tune of a dubbed “Lord Chaitanya’s Moon is Rising”–words by Patita Pavana das and music / vocal by Mangalananda) click here