Dear Bhakti Charu Maharaj,
Please accept my prostrated dandavat. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Oh Maharaj, how we will miss your sweet words and gracious mood. Whenever Svaha and I would be in Mayapur when you were there, you would always ask us to your room for prasadam. It was always a glorious occasion and overabundance of prasadam beautifully offered. I will miss your sweet smile so much.
You are a loyal servant of Srila Prabhupada, and always have been. I met you for one of the first times in San Francisco in the early 1980’s when you visited Atreya Rsi’s independent community. Iskcon was in a lot of turmoil after the departure of Srila Prabhupada in 1977. Many were leaving Iskcon to start separate communities. You argued very strongly to remain with Srila Prabhupada and preserve Iskcon. I was always impressed by your loyalty and I have tried to follow your example.
I was very happy to come to Ujjain for the new temple opening. It was an amazing occasion with so many important people and VIPs. They all came to have your association and be part of something special. I remember fondly your hospitality and great love you showed to all those who attended.
Recently Maharaj, you have been the most enthusiastic supporter of the TOVP. At every opportunity you have been willing to help with funds and time. We were scheduled to tour with you this spring in the U. S.. Fate has taken a cruel twist which has robbed us of your sweet association.
It will not be easy to carry on without your solid support. I have learned from you to keep fighting the battle no matter what the opposition. Thank you, Maharaj, for your love, leadership and sweet personality, which we will miss the most.
Your menial servant,
Now, my wife would like to say a few words.
Our most beloved and respected dear Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj,
Please accept our humble obeisances at your lotus feet. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
My heart weeps and tears flood my eyes as I write this humble offering.
I feel you were wounded in the battle as one of the bravest generals in our Senapati Acharya Srila Prabhupada’s army who chose to fight on the front lines despite all the risks. And like Bhismadev lying on a bed of arrows you endured the hospital stay until it was the most glorious day of Guru Purnima and Srila Sanatana Goswami Maharaj’s disappearance day that Srila Prabhupada and Krishna called you back to the spiritual world within Their loving embrace!
We don’t know how we will carry on the mission of building the TOVP without your love and personal guidance. It’s a deep personal loss for all of us in our TOVP family, and especially for me. You were always so very kind and loving to me. Your presence at our wedding was especially appreciated by my parents who felt an immediate bond with you because of being Bengali.
I remember sitting down to take prasad at Srila Prabhupada’s centennial celebration and you were seated beside my good husband and in an amazing gesture of humility took a piece of prasad from his plate and then he took from yours and I took from his and it was such a spontaneously loving and fun prasad honoring party!
When my whole family visited Mayapur a few years back you invited us all for prasad and fed us lovingly. Your loving disciples trained in perfect Vaisnava etiquette were offering water at the table to wash our hands and but I declined and so did my daughters and son in law who went to the washroom but you personally showed me to your bathroom to wash my hands. In all humility I accepted but couldn’t believe how attentive you were to everyone.
You are like a family member to me and it’s so painful to bear your loss. When you came to take prasad at my home the last time you personally cooked a prep to show me one quick and easy prep. I will forever cherish that memory. When I went to the temple that evening some of my friends told me how you had said that I had served you wonderful Bengali prasad! Tears of appreciation welled up in my eyes because I had felt my cooking was not quite up to the mark that day.
You have always been the most stalwart supporter of the TOVP and organized a fundraising event in Kolkata where you enthusiastically led the whole ceremony of the abhisek of Lord Nityananda’s padukas despite suffering from the pain of shingles. You are a true leader because you have followed Srila Prabhupada’s example, followed faithfully in his lotus footsteps, and understood his cherished desire to see the TOVP built. We feel lost without you.
You have guided and encouraged me in my feeble efforts at Bengali Preaching by personally taking the trouble to organize and record an episode in your apartment. I could go on and on but I will end with the most loving note you sent my husband on his birthday and the gift you wanted to give him.
The last time you came to our home you said you needed my help in offering a gift to my husband. I agreed of course but when I heard what it was, I said, “Maharaj you have so much service, why do you want to take this added headache?” And your words are etched in my memory because they were so memorable. You said, “it’s a joy for my heart to offer this gift.” Unfortunately, I have not done it yet but I will; better late than never. I’m sorry Maharaj I have taken so long unnecessarily but now broken-hearted as I am I will certainly do it.
Had I known about your 2012 Vyasa-puja offering to Srila Prabhupada, I would’ve certainly pleaded, implored, and begged you to please stay until the opening of the TOVP. Of course, I’m a tiny insignificant jiva unable to understand Lord Krishna’s plan or fully appreciate your longing to be with your beloved spiritual master.
We were fortunate to celebrate your Vyasa-puja in Durban along with so many wonderful devotees and it was an incredibly memorable and blessed event. Two days later when my husband and I joined Jananivas and Brajavilas prabhus in the queue to board a flight for Capetown, Jananivas prabhu was carrying a cake for my birthday that your loving disciples had sent for me. I was embarrassed yet filled with so much admiration and appreciation for their love. We pray we may serve them to alleviate their feelings of separation and deep loss.
Your departure reminds us of Sri Gopa Kumar’s return to our beloved Lord Krishna. I’m sure everyone, especially Krishna and Srila Prabhupada, are happy to have you back and that is our only solace as we carry on without your loving presence.
With unlimited gratitude and prayers at your holy feet,
I beg to remain your humble servant,