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We Owe a Spiritual Debt to His Grace Pusta Krishna Prabhu

Thursday, 06 June 2019 / Published in Recent Media / 588 views

We Owe a Spiritual Debt to His Grace Pusta Krishna Prabhu

Partha Sarathi Das Goswami: His Grace Pusta Krishna Prabhu has fourth stage cancer of the liver. Doctors estimate that he has perhaps a week to live. At this time, the whole South African yatra should acknowledge the debt that we owe to this wonderful, enthusiastic, and surrendered disciple of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Pusta Krishna Prabhu surrendered to Srila Prabhupada at a very young age. Recognizing that he was an extremely capable, gifted, and charismatic preacher, Srila Prabhupada awarded him sannyasa after just fourteen months. When His Grace Ksudhi Prabhu came to South Africa in September 1972, he was hounded by the police and was eventually forced to leave after nine months. When Srila Prabhupada heard that Ksudhi Prabhu was being extradited, he immediately called His Holiness Pusta Krishna Swami and asked him to go to South Africa to continue the preaching.

Without any fear or concern for his own health or safety during the oppressive apartheid era, Pusta Krishna Swami together with his assistant, His Grace Janakaraja Prabhu, came to South Africa and took on the responsibility of spreading Krishna consciousness. At that time, there was only a few devotees like His Grace Gokulendra Prabhu and Saras Pillay who is still practicing Krishna Consciousness in Cape Town.

Pusta Krishna Swami petitioned Srila Prabhupada to send more devotees to South Africa and he was joined by myself in April 1974, Dhiranga Prabhu, Rocani Prabhu, who joined via Rhodes University, and Riddha Prabhu with his good wife, Syamasundari Prabhu and Ramanujacharya Prabhu.

Pusta Krishna Swami was an extremely powerful and charismatic preacher and had both the material and spiritual intelligence to spearhead the preaching. We first began in Cape Town in Waterkant Street, then he moved to Durban La Mercy Tongaat Beach, and then we all went to Johannesburg, and rented a house at 59 Muller Street in Yeoville.

Due to, and only due to Pusta Krishna Swami’s enthusiasm and organizational abilities did Srila Prabhupada agree to come to South Africa in October 1975. He stayed at the house in Yeoville and also at a rented house in Westville, Durban for a total of nineteen days. If Pusta Krishna Swami had not been here to organize this, it is very unlikely that Srila Prabhupada would have come to South Africa. I can honestly say that Srila Prabhupada’s coming to South Africa was due to Pusta Krishna Swami’s efforts, sincerity, and enthusiasm.

When Srila Prabhupada left South Africa in October 1975, Pusta Krishna Swami accompanied him as his secretary and remained so for some time.

Later, Pusta Krishna Prabhu completed his education and entered grhastha life. He became a highly recognized surgeon on the West Coast of America while still practicing Krishna consciousness.

The South African yatra owes a tremendous debt to Pusta Krishna Prabhu. We must remember that if he had not been here, Srila Prabhupada would not have come to South Africa. There are many countries that Srila Prabhupada did not visit. I think it would have been highly unlikely that Srila Prabhupada would have come to South Africa and Mauritius if it had not been for Pusta Krishna Prabhu.

We should all pray to this great soul, Pusta Krishna Prabhu, with a feeling of gratitude and spiritual empathy. Shorty he will leave his body and there is no question that he will take birth in the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He surrendered at a very young age, came to a dangerous and volatile country to preach, and then served Srila Prabhupada as his personal secretary.

I humbly request all the Vaisnavas in the South African yatra to offer their pranam prayers to Pusta Krishna Prabhu and pray to Sri Sri Nitai Gaurahari, Jagannath Baladeva and Subhadra, and Sri Sri Radha Radhanath, that They bestow Their causeless mercy upon this surrendered soul. And that Pusta Krishna Prabhu can find complete refuge at the lotus feet of the Lord, where he will continue his devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He will also again associate with his eternal spiritual master, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Srila Gaura Kisora Das Babaji Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and our entire guru varga.

He is exemplary in that he was one of the early disciples of Srila Prabhupada who was sent into a difficult preaching situation and completely surrendered with the desire of pleasing his spiritual master.

Over the years, I have written some letters to Pusta Krishna Prabhu and sensed there was some illness. It would have been wonderful if he could have come to South Africa but I understood why he was not able to.

I would like to offer my respectful obeisances koti koti, millions and millions, of times to this surrendered and enthusiastic preacher and disciple of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Perhaps one day I will be able to please Srila Prabhupada and preach Krishna consciousness to the extent that His Grace Pusta Krishna Prabhu has done.

I remain,
Your well-wisher,

Partha Sarathi Das Goswami

Sri Godruma Kalpatavi
Devoted Cowherds in New Vrindaban
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One Response to “We Owe a Spiritual Debt to His Grace Pusta Krishna Prabhu”

  1. Prabhava Vigraha dasa says :

    Hare Krishna dear Godbrother Pusta Krishna Prabhu, PAMHO and AGTSP.

    You stayed at the Paris temples in the seventies. The first and second temples, one in Fontenay-aux-Roses and the other one at rue LeSueur in Paris. You would take us in the streets for Harinam sankirtan. You showed me personally how to make a brahmin thread. I always cherish that remembrance whenever I do change and still create my brahmin thread.

    Whenever I read your comments at Dandavats.com, it was always a pleasure, always moderate and sober. Always as if the sannyasi and servant of Srila Prabhupada spirit was ever living through your words. Your comments will be missed. I will always remember you as such a nice sankirtan leader in the streets of Paris. Actually there is a famous picture of you leading us on sankirtan in Paris. This picture shows such enthusiastic mood of the sankirtan group at the time. I still remember you had your own way of chanting then, in English "We're going home, back to Godhead!, We're going home, back to Godhead!" It was ecstatic!

    We would also sing the Bhagavad-gita verse 2.20 in English: “For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain!” For years up until now I cherish and still sing at times this verse, with the same melody we learned from you! I remember long time after you were not in Paris anymore, we, the sankirtan group that we had, would still sing these words in the streets in other major cities in France, such as Lyon and Toulouse. We would be on the road doing traveling sankirtan all day, but at the end of the day, when the stores would be closed in summer time, we would sing these words. Needless to say that you were on my mind just by singing these words.

    So I feel a pinch at heart having read that you would not be present for very long. Now the time is proper to remember these nice sankirtan moments and clinging to them, hopeful that they will manifest as a stepping stone to the reality of the soul hankering for complete freedom available in the spiritual world. The reward of a lifetime of bhakti is awaiting you. Dear Godbrother, I wish you very well. May the Lord bless you and bring you home, back to Godhead. You will be again able to serve Srila Prabhupada there. Hare Krishna.

    Your humble servant forever,

    Prabhava Vigraha dasa

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