By Deena Bandhu dasa
Yesterday morning during the auspicious brahma muhurta at 3:40 AM Nrsimha Devi, disciple of Srila Prabhupada and HH Tamal Krishna Maharaja, peacefully passed from this world in the Krishna Balaram Guesthouse in Sri Vrindavan Dham. Most devotees know her from her long standing service in Srila Prabhupada’s house where she had been faithfully serving for the last more than 20 years. Since last few months she has been in and out of the hospital with many different complications and and tolerating a lot of suffering. But yesterday morning Their Lordships have taken her away while she was sleeping and listening to the holy voice of Srila Prabhupada.
She was born in Vrindavan, she served in Vrindavan, and she left her body in Vrindavan. She joined Vrindavan ISKCON in 1976, and as far as I know, she was the first Indian lady to join Vrindavan temple. She was well educated and Srila Prabhupada was very pleased that she joined and requested the ladies to take special care for her. In the beginning she did varioius services, including distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books, making garlands, and sometimes assisting in Srila Prabhupada’s House. Since she was well educated and knew english very well, at one time she was teaching in the Gurukula.
In 1977 in what may have been the last batch of initiations, she received first initiation from Srila Prabhupada. Later she served in Bombay temple for about 6 months, but returned to Vrindavan and never left. Later she took second initiation from HH Tamal Krishna Maharaja. When the person who was looking after Srila Prabhupada’s house had to leave India, then she made that service her lifelong committment. She was an inspiration to all the devotees to see her dedication to her service and Srila Prabhupada.
I can remember that every Prabhupada’s Disappearance Day, she would make the most gorgeous flower decorations in Srila Prabhupada’s rooms. Each year I thought she would not be able to do better, but each year, she always surprised us with the most incredible decorations. And late in the evening after everyone had made their offerings, she would be sitting in the entrance distributing prasad to all the devotees.
Since last few months, she was unable to attend her service in Srila Prabhupada’s house. Then one very nice devotee from South Africa, Adi Keshava Prabhu, has taken up that service. Right now under the direction of the senior devotees, he’s doing extensive repairs, painting, and restoration work. Hopefully it will be open soon for the pleasure of all of Srila Prabhupada’s followers.
We performed he last rites on the bank of Yamuna a little late in the morning as we had to wait for her brother and other relatives to arrive. It was a nice cloudy day as the monsoon has arrived so early for the first time in 108 years. It even threatened to rain, but I think the Vrinda Devi was purifying everything for Nrsimha’s last rites. As soon as her brother lit the pyre, four small white cows came grazing by. The locals say this is a sure sign the person has returned to Goloka Dhama!
Sri Sri Gaura Nitai ki jaya! Sri Sri Krishna Balaram ki jaya! Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar ki jaya! Srila Prabhupada ki jaya! Nrsimha Devi Mataji ki jaya!
In service of Srimati Vrinda Devi, Deena Bandhu dasa