Mukhya devi dasi: Last Friday evening Caitanya Narayan das left his body. He had been brought to Haven Hospice a couple of days prior, so that he could have professional 24 hour a day care. Most of our community did not really know Caitanya Narayan prabhu very well. He’d been around the movement a long time but never lived in a temple. Because of his illness, he came by once a week when he was up to it, to help in the kitchen. He loved doing service, and he wanted to help out any way he could. Shanka das took up the service of taking care of him, and for the past year Shanka got him to doctor’s appointments, prepared his favorite foods, and towards the end spent every day with him, reading and chanting. So there was concern if those last couple of days we would be able to find devotees to visit him in the hospice. We put a request out on Facebook, and Friday several devotees went over to read and chant for him. When Asta Sakhi devi dasi and I left him, he was alone with Srila Prabhupada kirtan playing, and we wondered if anyone would be present for him when his final breath came, not knowing of course when that would be.
So, his passing was further proof to me of how Krishna takes care of His devotees at every moment of their lives. An hour after we left the hospice, Sukhada devi dasi was at home winding down for the day. Suddenly, she got an overwhelming feeling that she should go and visit Caitanya Narayan prabhu. She actually hardly knew him at all, but still she couldn’t deny the feeling that she should go see him. So she did, by herself. She came into the room and began chanting Hare Krishna kirtan, arms raised. She spoke to him in between the kirtan, encouraging him as a devotee, reminding him of Krishna and the spiritual world. She chanted Sri Radha Stava, the Brahma Samhita prayers and the Nrsimha Kavaca, all the while gently encouraging him back to Krishna. And then Krishna took over, and in the middle of her chanting, Caitanya Narayan prabhu let go of his last breath. Shanka das and Ramanya das were called and came to perform the last rites, and Sukhada prabhu stayed to continue chanting all the way through, even as the undertaker wheeled the body down the halls into his vehicle, the devotees followed behind chanting the soul back to Krishna’s lotus feet. Thank you to everyone who took time out of their day to serve this nice devotee. It is a service most appreciated by Lord Krishna and Srimati Radharani.