By Gunagrahi Maharaja
All glories to you, my dear Gandharvika Mataji,
Although I am missing you dearly, I am so very happy and proud of you that you you made your life successful by offering it fully at Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet. At our first meeting at Govinda’s in San Diego during the early 80’s when you were just a new devotee, you expressed your desire to travel alongside our party and help in any way that you could. I told you that at that time that it wouldn’t be practical, but I knew then from seeing your wonderful qualities that one day I would be very honored to help you fully engage in Srila Prabhupada’s mission. Soon after, you did in fact begin helping me, and you and turned out to become the administrative backbone of every preaching project we pursued. I can truly say that due to your contribution a great deal of the credit for the success we had throughout the years goes to you. You have always been vibrant, enthusiastic, dutiful, dedicated, wise, creative, and resourceful. As such I often deferred to your opinion on many topics. In addition to helping me, you also took up various big responsibilities on your own, and I would watch with great admiration how expertly you carried them out, not just in terms of your ability to organize, but – and more importantly – your way of lovingly dealing with all the devotees.
The same can be said about your unparalleled cooking. Not only were you expert at creating delicious irresistable dishes of all nationalities, but your mood of wanting to serve and please the devotees made the act of honoring the prasad in your presence a fully delightful experience.
I can make a long list of all your achievements in your service to Srila Prabhupada, but if I were to choose one to write about that I feel stands out above all the rest and which again reflects your loivng mood, it is this: I personally never saw a devotee take on so much reasponsibility for the movement and at the same time be such a devoted and affectionate mother. During this last decade, no matter what ever needed to be done at the temple
or for the temple, your son, Shyam, always came first. That was Prabhupada’s desire for all the mothers in our movement, and your fullfilled it perfectly. I remember numerous occassions when I urgently needed your help with something, and although you understood the urgency, you calmly but firmly told me it would have to wait until you attended to Shyam’s needs. I knew that under certain circumstances I could negotiate with you, but
whenever you told me you had to do something for Shyama, I knew not to persist. And I respected that, especially when I would see the sweet and loving bond you two had developed. I confident, too, that Shyama will grow up feeling integrated and very comfortable with our movement, not having felt rejected on account of your or your equally loving husband, Mahahari Prabhu’s full involvment in it. To me that is the highest testament to your character, life and service.
What other wonderful achievements you would have accomplished had you remained with us we will never know, but we can rest assured that the surrender and excellence that you have already shown us is more than enough to overflow our hearts with gratitude and enthuse us to strive to follow in
your glorious footsteps.
Your grace Gandharvika Devi Dasi ki jaya!
With all my love and respect,
Gunagrahi das Gos