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Nitai das left his body

Friday, 03 February 2012 / Published in In Memoriam / 5,035 views

By Piyush Gupta

My friend Nitai left for good yesterday, he is not coming back, he died in a car accident, he is not going to ask me again in a dry monotone-” whats going on”

I met Nitai in the summer of 2003 at the Festival of Inspiration in New Vrindavan, that was before I pod or I pad came, it was the time when MP3 players were big and Nitai had recorded lots of classes of HH Radhanath swami and HH Hridyananda das Goswami on MP3’s. He was so enthusiastic about sharing them and he wanted every one to have them, I bought almost everyone of them.

Nitai was handsome- an American boy with shining bright face, blue eyes, a dry sense of humor, a renounced disposition, a smile which made you feel stupid, and I don’t give a damn attitude. He knew Krishna consciousness and could speak on the most difficult things about KC in a normal, matter of fact way. . He was never showy, or pretentious, he had an honest air about him, he could relate to anyone in a very normal friendly way. He was incredibly enthusiastic and always was planning and scheming how to make Krishna accessible- through media, posters, communication materials, twenty four hour Kirtans, rainbow gatherings or his famous burning man festivals. He was never worried where money is going to come from or how things will happen, they just happened. Often we would sit down for hours and he would show the pictures he had taken in India, the places he visited or the burning man festival. He was good with technology and he used it in Krishna’s service. Life was always on the edge with him, he would be travelling around the world, taking pictures, organizing festivals through out North America and creating spiritual adventures. How I yearned to go to one of those burning man festivals in Nevada.

My relationship grew with him through his MP3 ministry, he gave me the sacred journeys(MP3s of various pilgrimages HH RNS took all over India) and over the years I gave those to many whose lives became transformed because of Nitai’s hard work, creativity and ingenuity. I would ask him, “hey Nitai, you got some new recordings”. Every day many devotees around the world listen to the MP3s he recorded.

Me and Carl went once to Rainbow gathering in West Virgnia, Nitai had organised the Krishna camp with Balaram chandra, Gauranga and Chaitanya. I remember thousands of people taking prasadam, dancing and chanting Hare Krishna and lining up for hours just to get some halwa.

2 weeks before he left, he called to say hello and asked ” whats going on” – i said “nothing much and whats up at your end”- he said that he just put up 13 festivals this summer across North America. I asked him to visit Columbus but he said that there is a festival in Florida where he has been invited, he is working to get the Krishna kitchen there. I asked “can I help?”, as usual he said “I am good”.

Wish I could have spend more time with him but he was always travelling, on the go, a enthusiastic Sannyasi who brought Krishna to the desert of Nevada, and to the forests of West Virginia and in the plains of California and to Jacksonville, Florida. Burning man will miss him, and so will the rainbow gatherers and the hippies and happies of America. Who will set up the burning man, or Krishna’s kitchen or rainbow gathering or the 24 hour kirtan.

He went back to Godhead, to participate in the eternal loving past-times of Lord Nityananda, going door to door and begging people to take up the holy name, but he left us to cry and to wonder if Krishna is really Mother Yashoda’s son or the indwelling Paramatma who impartially awards fruits of one’s karma. Nitai was an extraordinarily humble soul who was pleasing to everyone so hey Gaura, hey Krishna and hey Srila Prabhupada, have mercy.

4 Responses to “Nitai das left his body”

  1. Madhavananda Das (Orissa) says :

    Well written. Thank you Piyush. You really captured some of our friend Nitai. We will deeply miss his inspiration and innovation.

  2. Abhaya Mudra Dasi says :

    I have not seen Nitai for some years now, but I remember his enthusiastic and friendly disposition when we worked together restoring art projects. He was always dressed in clean clothes, he behaved like a brother and he had was always inspired. He had the rare technique of getting everyone engaged in the Lord’s seva. He used this skill in preaching Krishna’s message. He has left at young age but he did not waste his time. Born under the star of Shrimati Radha (Anuradha) he left for the Spiritual Kingdom under the star of Shri Krishna (Rohini nakshatra). This speaks volumes abut this rare and gentle soul. In life, it is not how long one lives but how that life has bee lived. Shriman Nitai das Prabhu has made his life a success because he has captured the attention of Shri Krishna. What remains for us his spiritual family is to pray that we achieve such causeless mercy.

  3. Patita Pavana says :

    Fate wears a cruel mask indeed for Nitai was the stuff of legends. In these days when many of us have grown lax in our execution of the highest principle, that of preaching the message of Shrila Prabhupada, Nitai was the Bhima and the Arjuna in the Great War on Maya. Like the Burning Man himself, Nitai was on fire with giving the essential wisdom of Krishna consciousness to everyone who fell within the purview of his vision. I never knew him well, except by hearing. Just as many have become devotees of Lord Krishna by hearing of the Lord’s glories from Shri Narada and Shrila Prabhupada, so I heard all about Nitai from Mother Anavadyangi devi. He stayed in a trailer at her place when he was setting the Burning Man Festival in Nevada on fire with the message of Sankirtan Yagna, a fire that burns to ashes all seeds of sin in its wake. Hearing of his glories, I telephoned him and was privileged to hear this rare mahatma’s enthusiasm, so much so that I have remained inspired to this day.

    So why would this valuable soul be taken from Lord Chaitanya’s Sankirtan Army now when his leadership is most required? Obviously, Lord Krishna has a plan. What appeared as a brutal and bloody accident to our weakened eyes was nothing less that the Lord’s Own Hand taking His elect unto His eternal and transcendental shelter. We are pleased that our Nitai Prabhu left this world during the auspicious Uttarayana path when the Sun was moving in the North and during the waxing portion of the lunar month. As far as we lost and forlorn servants here on Earth are concerned, it is for us to summon our strengths, to re-ignite our enthusiasm and to follow, follow, follow his example. If we can be inspired by his example, and in so doing inspire others, then we truly will be a part of the legacy of this remarkable devotee, a legacy which serves Guru Maharaja Shrila Prabhupada in the highest capacity.

  4. he was such a sweet devotee, everyone should please pray to Nitai today on Nityananda Trayodasi to bless Nitai das to be allowed to enter Bhauma Vrindavana

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