Tributes for our dearly departed Brahmananda prabhu
List of Vaishnavas and their offerings for Brahmananda prabhu:
1 HH Gopal Krsna Maharaj
2 HH Lokanath Swami
3 Panca Gauda pr
Dear Brahmananda Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Today I am remembering your broad smile, full of rich appreciation and love for Srila Prabhupada. Your life of dedication, service and devotion for assisting Srila Prabhupada in fulfilling the prediction of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur; spreading Lord Caitanya’s mission to all world wide, creating devotees of the Lord from countries that have never heard of Krishna, even you spent time in Africa preaching.
All the devotees appreciated your classes which were rich and full of personal experiences and realizations that you had while serving Prabhupada. I will miss giving you a heavy shoulder massage you had a very strong body, powerful, if there was some disturbance Srila Prabhupada would call on you “Brahmananda take care of this”, job done.
Remembering the devotees service and sacrifice gives us strength, by glorifying the devotees of the Lord it cleans our hearts and helps us to appreciate the great blessings we are receiving. Those early days when our Iskcon was being formed you were blessed with the most wonderful opportunity of helping Srila Prabhupada to start a spiritual revolution which has changed the course of the entire universe.
You will always be in my memories for all your kindness to me and for the services that you rendered, We miss you and pray to have a drop of your dedication.
Jai Sri Sri Krishna Balaram!
4. Daivisakti dd
5. Deena Bandhu das
6. Vidya dd
7. Gopal das
8. Cindy Scharaff (Brahmananda’s sister)
From Cindy Scharf Grudo, Brahamananda’s sister..Growing up, my brother was my friend and teacher. He opened new worlds to me through literature, poetry, art, music. We discussed things and he was always philosophical from a young age.. Eventually, we went in different directions in our lives and that close bond was replaced by other connections we made through the years. I have good memories And will always miss him. His book SWAMIJI made me appreciate him even more…
9. Mukunda dat (head pujari)
10. Mahadevi dd (To be read as poetry prose by Vidya pr)Eight minutes
I will always be grateful to you Brahmananda prabhu
for blessing us with your special friendship,
sharing your memories and unlimited glories
of Srila Prabhupada with us,
especially during the last five years of your life in Vrndavana….
Calling each other regularly, you would let me arrange
preaching events for you in the Temple and in your room
or some other personal, medical, or legal services…
Sometimes your small room would be filled to the MAX
Everyone absorbed in hearing you speak about Prabhupada.
We would all feel Prabhupada’s Presence.
And there would be much laughter and Prasad..
Going to your room to check on you
was a regular part of my devotee care services
The last day in your body, June 7, 2015….
Gargamuni called me at 4am in the morning
Because you had passed out on the floor..
I rushed over to find you on the floor in a pool of blood
A big gash on your head and the TV screen smashed all over the floor…
The maid and me cleaned up the blood and glass,
I washed the gash on your head
Giving you some juice that seemed to revive you
and encouraging you to sit up.
We pushed your massive body …It was like a huge mountain sitting up
Gargamuni, the maid and some bramacaris I had called…
We all finally got you to your preaching chair…
The Hospice wouldn’t take you that day so
Dharmatma and Saranga arranged a breathing machine..
Your breathing was irradic but you were conscious…
and even smiling sometimes.
As if you knew…
Stayed at your feet, encouraging you to breathe deeply
Right up til 3:20 pm in the afternoon,
when you departed from your body…
A day etched in our hearts forever.
How amazing that you left us on the auspicious Appearance Day
of Sri Vakresvara Pandit, one of Lord Caitanya’s intimate dancers.
Especially significant that you departed on this day,
as you were Prabhupada’s first dancer at Tompkins Square Park.
A famous photo from 1967 shows you dancing the Swami Step
while Prabhupada was chanting Hare Krsna n playing his tomtom.
Prabhupada was so happy when that photo
was printed in the local NY newspaper.
Your last day was an ongoing challenge for us,
hearing you gasping for air,
barely able to speak but making it very clear,
“Don’t let them take me out of Vrndavana!
Don’t let them take me out of Vrndavana.
You had told me many times in the past
not to let them take you out of Vrndavana…
You told Dr Mahesvari and me,
“Whatever happens, I don’t want to leave Vrndavana.”
That day after your departure, I called Dr Mahesvari
and he told me, “I think he knew.”
Brahmananda was well liked by several Drs,
who all received CDs of Srila Prabhupada.
Brahmananda told us that Prabhupada predicted
there will be big preaching in hospitals n clinics,
with Drs n healers
cause we’re all getting old!
“Don’t think this won’t happen to you”
We were all in our twenties when Prabhupada said that.
At that time, thirty was old.
It’s described that great saints
leave their bodies
in the place where they preach.
You simply fell over, and left your body from your preaching chair.
I felt Prabhupada extending his hand to you
to take you across…
You had this iconic mood about you
that imbibed the presence of Prabhupada, like no other.
There are more than 200 letters between Prabhupada and you
and more than 200 photos of Prabhupada and you.
No other disciple of Prabhupada has had that kind of intimacy
as father and son.
You told us once you didn’t hesitate
when Prabhupada asked you to do something.
Like when Prabhupada asked all his big men
to go to Africa and everyone was too terrified!
Back in the early seventies, Africa was a wild jungle with scary looking people!
Then Prabhupada turned to you, “Brahmananda, you will go?”
And you said immediately,
“Yes, I will go to Africa, Srila Prabhupada.”
You used to tell about the “wild men”
surrounding the car you were in,
Yet when you got out of the vehicle and stood up…
They would all step back…You were like a huge white god to them…
and they would let you go.
Yrs later this created some horrific nightmares you said
But chuckling while saying…
“Its always about pleasing Prabhupada.”
Prabhupada used you in numerous ways,
because he trusted you as his dear son,
his unmotivated, unconditional disciple.
My dear devotees, you must be knowing
that Brahmananda and Gargamuni prabhus
were going to inherit several million dollars
from their father
But the father said,
“You must choose…the Swamiji or me?”
The brothers chose Swamiji
and were instantly disowned by their father!
Brahmananda, you told us you went back to tell Swamiji…
“We wanted to give you all that money.”
With tears in your eyes you would describe this story…
How Prabhupada held you both in his divine arms,
telling you, “That’s ok, I will be your father.”
You can feel the intimacy in the photos
between Prabhupada and Brahmananda…
I could go on and on with stories about you, Brahmananda prabhu
but I’ll end with one humorous encounter with you…
Your visa was going to expire (a few months before you left us)
and there was no way
you could get on a plane to America for new visa.
So I started the procedure of acquiring a medical visa.
I had done a few before, so I followed the required steps,
which included going to US Embassy with your medical file,
getting US Embassy official stamp…
Then taking that to the CMO in Mathura.
By Krsna’s arrangement, all 3 Chief Medical Officers
were meeting together that day!
I showed them the photos I had taken of Brahmananda
along with his thick medical file, appealing for medical visa.
I told them they should come see Brahmananda,
to prove that he was “medically unfit to travel.”
To my surprise, they all agreed!
So they took their car and I led the way in an auto ricsa.
On the way, I called you Brahmananda and told you …..
“Lie down on your bed with your oxygen mask on, turn the machine on,
turn the lights off. They’re coming!!”
We were chuckling as it seemed like a sitcom.
You had this wonderful sense of humor….
The four of us arrive at your door
and I knock, slooooowly opening the door, softly saying,
“Brahmananda, the Drs are here; we are coming in.”
I turn on the light and tell the Drs to sit down.
3 pairs of brown eyes became HUGEEE and their mouths dropped open!
There before them, lying down, was this enormous, massive mountain of a body,
with an oxygen mask on and a gurgling sound.
(We had agreed on the phone, to fix the tube
so it would make that sound :)
When Brahmananda rose up, like the Titanic…
they all slightly leaned back…WWhhooaaaa; it was such a comical sight!
They spoke for a while with “Mr Bruce Scharff” and me
and on the spot, signed the required papers!
Brahmananda had told them,
“I just want to live out my last days in Vrndavana.
Thank you very much.”
The senior officer patted his back and said, “That’s all right.”
I described to them the great service they were doing
for a great devotee
and gave them each a small Book.
They were actually happy to do this service for Brahmananda.
Krsna perfectly arranging, of course
for Prabhupada’s dear son.
Thank you Brahmananda prabhu
for your friendship, association
And for sharing Prabhupada with us in so many ways…
Thank you, Srila Prabhupada for giving us
Your Divine Grace and Sri Goura Bhakta Vrnda.
11..Madhusudan das (ACBSP) Memories of Brahmananda prabhu.
At 18 years old, around the time I met Brahmananda, the first president of an ISKCON temple in early 1967, I was still suffering from the effects of delusion resulting from so-called “consciousness expanding drugs.” Wandering the streets late one night I knocked on the door of the temple when everyone was sleeping. Brahmananda, in his sober wisdom and seeing my state, would not let me in. A month or so later, after recovering a bit, I stated going regularly to the temple.He was a strong personality and leader; a college graduate with a teaching degree. He asked “the Swami” if he should give up his job and serve full time in the temple like the others but was told to continue working and support the temple with his earnings. He was surrendered to the Swami’s wishes. I, on the other hand, although sincerely attracted to Krishna consciousness was young and without any training or discipline. He was my leader, strict and forceful, and I naturally followed the authority.
After about 3 months when the Swami was arriving back from opening the San Francisco temple, Brahmananda had me and Purushottam stay back from going to the airport to help prepare the feast. When the Swami arrived we were called down to the temple and Brahmananda introduced us to the Swami. We bowed down, got up, and shook his lotus hand.
Brahmananda arranged for me to go regularly to Satsvarupa’s apartment to help type the manuscript for the TLC. He may not have appeared as erudite with the philosophy as some others, but he was the undisputed leader whose conviction about the philosophy and dedication to the Swami was strong and deep. He fearlessly led us on Harinam to the West Village. Often, we would return to have hot milk with “puffies and cukes,” with the special treat of slices of cream cheese “bricks,” as Brahmananda and Gargamuni jokingly called the 8oz squares of Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Also at 26 Second Ave in there was a wall jutting out into the temple where the building’s incinerator was enclosed. They would often burn the tenants’ garbage that was deposited in it which would heat up the wall and its corners. During the cold winter mornings devotees would sit against this wall to keep warm but would invariably doze off. Brahmananda called this area of the temple, “Maya corner.”
After being brahmacari for about a year, when I told Brahmananda that I wanted to get married, he made the arrangements for me to marry Kanchanbala. At that time I had stopped working for the Press and got a job to earn money for my future householder life. When the Swami mentioned that the Press may move to New Vrindavan and that I wouldn’t have to work outside I offered to use the money I was saving to open a temple (and hoping to be a temple president). Brahmananda consulted with Srila Prabhupada and decided to have Damodar prabhu and I open a temple in Washington DC, which we did—with Damodar as temple president, and me being treasurer.
When it was time for us to get married, it was uncertain when Swamiji would be coming to NY, and we not wanting to wait, Brahmananda performed the fire sacrifice. Since we were now living in Wash DC, our services took us apart from that time on for many years, although we would connect from time to time when he would travel to where we were. One time he came and we invited him over and he convinced us to purchase a 3-volume set of books. Whenever we invited him for Prasad we would always be in anxiety, not knowing how much to prepare; he was a big eater.
It wasn’t till about the last 6-7 years that we started to develop a sweet relationship when Kanchanbala and I would occasionally visit Vrindavan. He was always direct, even challenging, when I would visit, to get a feel for where I stood in Krishna consciousness. Was I a ritvik, was I a “fringy,” was I into this or that other group, etc? After some back and forth dialogue, with me standing my ground, he accepted that I had become more solid, and stable, in Krishna consciousness and seemed to be pleased that I had come a long way from how he knew me back when he was my temple president and leader.
Last August, when I went to Vrindavan, I visited and purchased from him his book of memoirs, Swamiji. I asked him to sign the book, and the inscription he wrote brought tears to my eyes with much gratitude:
“For Madhusudana dasa, my dear Godbrother. Our Swamiji put you in my care and I thank you for allowing me to serve you right from the very beginning.
Brahmananda dasa, Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa Puja Day 2014, Vrindavan
I had been very much enjoying my recent visits with him, and was looking forward to getting his association again this coming October when I heard that he had gone to be with Srila Prabhupada. I wept then, and whenever I think about what I will miss about him I well up with tears. It was so sweet to be with my big brother, “Big B,” as we used to call him. I hope to be able to follow in his large footsteps, back to the intimate service of Srila Prabhupada..Hoping to always be the servant of the servant,
Madhusudan das (ACBSP)
12 Kanchanbala dd (wife of Madhusudana prabhu, married 50 yrs in ISKCON!)
His grace Brahmananda Prabhu was my 1st temple president on 26 2nd Ave. I am eternally grateful to him as he gave me such spiritual, Krishna conscious protection. I was always moved by his unwavering devotion to Srila Prabhupada. At the time, a new, young devotee that I was, was not familiar with the term “siksa guru” but in retrospect, can see that he was this to me. At the same time, I felt him to be my older brother, godbrother as I was 16-17 years old and he was in his mid 20’s, which I considered “old.”
I couldn’t make it to the temple every day as I lived far away, going to high school and there was opposition in my family regarding me participating at the temple. So Brahmananda Prabhu didn’t know about my devotional activities at home. After a few months, I ardently wanted to be initiated by “the Swami,” but didn’t know the protocol. I just sent my japa beads and a letter, without seeking permission from my temple president. Shortly after, the Swami performed the fire sacrifice in San Francisco and a lot of devotees got initiated, including me. When I received my spiritual name I was overjoyed. Arriving at the temple on Friday, I remember, Brahmananda Prabhu was incredulous and shocked, taking me aside, saying “Do you know what it means to be initiated??!! It’s a lifelong commitment!! Do you follow the regulative principles and chant 16 rounds??!!” He towered over me, and I meekly, but assuredly said, “Yes.” He was, at the same time, always like a kind big brother and whenever I or anyone of us young girls entered the temple, he would bow down in reciprocation and say “Hare Krishna prabhu, please accept my humble obeisances, thus making a sweet spiritual family atmosphere.
After I got initiated, my mother initially not accepting what I was doing wanted to send me to a psychiatrist. I was very upset and I told Brahmananda about it. He was sitting at his big desk by the front window of the temple surrounded by some brahmacaris. He responded, “I’ll be your psychiatrist and we all spontaneously started laughing like anything and I felt a huge heavy burden lifted.
Whenever we went out on Harinam, either to the West Village or the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens Brahmananda Prabhu led the way. I remember once or twice going on the subway, I felt it was like Krishna’s and Srila Prabhupada’s army with Brahmananda leading the charge saying, “Here’s our train!!” as we were about to embark and conquer the world.
About a year later, at the time I was 17 years old, Srila Prabhupada was stressing that all the young girls should be married. I was still living at home and going to school. My family was basically resigned to me being a devotee. One early evening, the phone rang and my mother was sitting a few feet away. I picked up the phone and it was Brahmananda Prabhu. He was telling me how we, brahmacarinis should never be independent and should be protected. He was preaching on and on, and I wanted him to get to the point. Then, he said, “Madhusudan Prabhu wants to get married.” Madhus and I hardly ever spoke to each other so I said, “I’ll think about it.” Then, without skipping a beat, Brahmananda Prabhu said, “What’s there to think about; you’re doing it for Krishna!” As I recall, I answered faintly, “OK” and we hung up.
As I was walking out of the room, my mother, noticing I was white as a sheet commanded, “What is the matter?!” At this point, I had been as tactful as possible not wanting to disturb my family about my Krishna conscious lifestyle, not being on guard, I just said, “Oh, I’m getting married,” and walked away into the next room. Srila Prabhupada wrote a beautiful letter, sanctioning our marriage and Brahmananda Prabhu performed the fire sacrifice.
For my high school graduation yearbook, I expressed I would only want my photo in it if I was chanting Hare Krishna. They were, amazingly, open to it, and put in a photo of Brahmananda Prabhu playing khartals with my godsister Lilasuka and I chanting on Harinam. I am always happy whenever I see that photo.
A few years later, Brahmananda Prabhu was in Africa preaching and he asked me to do pen & ink drawings for a Swahili Ramayana he was going to publish, which I was so fortunate to do. Then in 1973, Brahmananda sent me a letter, which I am grateful to still have. I did all the 15 pen & ink illustrations for Krishna’s pastimes he wanted but it never got published because the current temple president wanted to be paid for the service that “I” had rendered.
Whenever being with Brahmananda Prabhu, throughout the years, one could not help but think of Srila Prabhupada, our beloved spiritual master. I feel so fortunate that, although insignificant, I was able to have had any dealings with such an exalted, devoted, and loving disciple of Srila Prabhupada.
I beg to remain the servant of the servant,
13. Bhakta das (ACBSP) (dear friend)
Brahmananda Das came to Los Angeles Temple on the Appearance Day of Thakur Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati in 1970. Iskcon Los Angeles has just closed the purchase of the first owned temple on Watseka Ave. This was the first function held. It was also the first time I was in the presence of His divine GRace Srila Prabhupada. Brahmananda Prabhu read the poem that Srila Prabhupada had written “Adore ye all the happy day, blessed than heaven and sweeter than May”.
Brahmananda was the temple president in NY at that time and also the head of the Iskcon Press. In my view he was like a God, practically the same as His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada because he was such a senior devotee who had joined at the earliest days, and had assumed to much responsibility with Srila Prabhupada’s young society.
Brahmananda’s brother Gargamuni Prabhu was the temple president in Los Angeles at that time. Brahmananda would come from New York to consult with Srila Prabhupada from time to time, but I was not privy to these things, being a new man who was a foot soldier in this young transcendental army. I was just in awe of Brahmananda and GargamunI.
In the summer of 1970, suddenly it was announced that there would be an awarding of sanyass to Brahmananda, Gargamuni, Vishnujana, Subal, Devananda and Kartiikeya. It happened to fast, like a bolt of lightening hit the movement. I was told to go out to the local park and find bamboo poles for the dandas for these new swamis.
I do not remember how many days notice we received, but it could not have been more than 3 or 4 at the most. We all wondered how everything will continue after all these key men changed their position.
After the sanyass ceremony Brahmannada, Gargamuni, Vishnujan and I think Subal all left on their own. Devananda was Srila Prabhupadas secretary and Kartikeya was his personal servant. They soon after traveled to Japan and on to India with His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.
I did not meet Brahmananda again directly until the 1990s when he was living in an apartment in Los Angeles with Gargamuni.We had many laughs then, and both Brahmananda and Garagmuni enjoyed remembering the prasadam that they both loved ardently.
I do not know who Brahmananda is in the spiritual world, but I am certain he came here to assist and support Srila Prabhupada. His intense love for Srila Prabhupada is rarely seen. They shared an intimacy of love and friendship that is inconceivable…thank you Brahmanandaprabhu for your life to Srila Prabhupada. Always Ys, Bhakta das
14 Govinda dasi
15. Dharmatma das and Saranga Thakura das
16 Makhana Taskara das (dear friend)
Brahmananda prabhu was at the Lagos, Nigeria, temple when I arrived in about 1983. He had so much knowledge from his intimate association with Srila Prabhupada about how to open temples. He shared this with me and gave me all facility, instructions, and encouragement in my service of opening a temple in Port Harcourt. I am ever in his debt. Ys, Makhana Taskara das
17. Mayapriya dd (dear friend)
Dearest Brahmananda Prabhu, June 7, 2019
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to our real father, Srila Prabhupada. All glories to you and your years of service to His Divine Grace.
While in LA, for a publishing conference during the 80s, I stayed at the temple and spent my evenings with you and Gargamuni. Gargamuni cooked and it was always so fresh and flavorful. Incredible prasadam. Gargamunis cooking has brought many devotees to the Movement. We had so many laughs Good times. Sweet memories. When I saw you a few months before yours departure I thought you looked good, better than you had looked a few years prior. Mahadevi was really watching over you and I was really glad about that. She was tuned into your health and preaching needs and that relieved me of my anxiety for your wellbeing. Prabhupada and Krishna just wanted you
Not a day goes by since you left us that I do not think of you. A photo of you and Srila Prabhupada sits on my desk. Looking at both of you throughout the day as I work increases my feelings of separation from you both. It is as if someone is squeezing my heart.
I imagine many devotees will glorify your wonderful accomplishments on behalf of Srila Prabhupada throughout the years. I do not want to take up too much time, so I will relate a few small stories that are personal to me and no one will have heard. After all, we are persons. Once you said to me, “You are the personification of personalism.” It may have been the highest compliment I ever received.
I remember you laughed when I told you, “You actually brought me to Krishna Consciousness.” How was that possible since we first met almost 10 years after I joined ISKCON? Still, it is true because when my husband and I were searching for a path, I was given a BTG that had a story of your preaching in Nairobi. After being exposed to so much mayavada word jugglery, seeing your practical service struck me with, “This path is practical and these devotees are DOING something for the world.” I became attracted. So that is when your influence entered my life.
The first time I spoke to you was in the early 80s. We lived in North Carolina and were building New Goloka. I was doing some work with the Archives. One evening, the phone rang and I answered it. You said, “Mayapriya? This is Brahmananda.” I was sure this must be some second generation Brahmananda because there would be no reason for the “real” one to call me, so in my innocence I said, “Which Brahmananda?” In a deep, booming voice you said, “ADI BRAHMANANDA!” Once I was over the shock we talked about some Archive book work, his plans for SWAMIJI and after an hour and a half conversation, we had become fast friends.
Amitacara and I loved that you often stayed with us when you were traveling. The first night you stayed with us you warned me, “You better take rest before me so you are asleep when I go to sleep, because I snore.” So I did take rest early but when you started snoring there was no possibility of sleep. I had never heard such loud snoring in my life!. At first, I felt a little frustrated, but then I remembered the story of you laying across the door of Srila Prabhupada’s hut in Mayapura so that the Gundas could not get to him. You kept Srila Prabhupada awake also. So I thought, “This snoring is the very same snoring that kept Srila Prabhupada awake.” And so you made me feel closer to him and I did not mind being kept awake.
Once you stayed with us for the good part of a summer while your van was being worked on. Amitacara customized the entire inside of your van with a bed area, areas for books, and shelves. You were so happy. And we were so happy to make you happy. During that time, I cooked for you. You liked my dal very much but I think otherwise I was not up to the standard you would have liked. I wasn’t a very good cook in those days. You told me, “Don’t worry, intelligent women are often not good cooks.” A compliment and a criticism in one statement! I held on to the compliment.
You were kind to Amitacara prabhu and called him “a scholar.” When you hugged him I would see his eyes mist. He loved you too. We both loved your association, your stories, your affectionate laugh, your wry smile, your vast knowledge of sastra, and your authoritative knowledge of our Srila Prabhupada. I miss your siksa.
I wonder if you knew how much we all loved you? I wonder if you had any idea how we would all miss you? We feel such sadness for Gargamuni prabhu who must miss you the most.
I was in a Srimad Bhagavatam class that HG Mukunda Datta Prabhu gave at the Sadhu Sanga Retreat a few years back. In it he told the story of how in Mayapura during your Bhagavatam class (4 mos. After Srila Prabhupada left) you commented on how your birth father did not teach you anything valuable. And then you said, “But then I met my real father.” At that point you could not emotionally go on with your class and it was over. Mukunda Datta Prabhu mentioned that in fact there wasn’t need for any more class, that with that statement you said it all. As he relayed the story, I heard his voice choke and he had to pause before continuing. You are so loved by the inhabitants of Vraja.
Brahmananda we feel so fortunate to have had you in our life. I am just one of many who loved you and who relied on your friendship. You are likely with our Srila Prabhupada and so you are not missing us. And we are happy you are there. We are glad you made it out of this world of suffering. But until we are able to do the same, we will all miss you and relish the times we had with you.Your little sister,Mayapriya dd
18. Annada dd (ACBSP)
Brahmananda Prabhu ki jaya! Brahmananda prabhu was the first devotee to have gotten up and dances at Srila Prabhuada’s kirtans at Tompkins Sq. Park in 1966. His soft devotional heart responded immediately to Srila Prabhupada’s prema Kirtan. He was always a meek and humble disciple of Srila Prabhupada in spite of his great importance in Srila Prabhupada’s movement.
He was cheerful and a friend to all. A spiritual heavyweight who stood as a pillar all his life to protect Srila Prabhupada’s movement. he never used his spiritual stature as a dear and foremost disciple of Srila Prabhupada to acquire profit adoration or distinction for himself. Although Brahmananda prabhu came from a family of great wealth, he found the greatest wealth in Srila Prabhupada’s service and association. Throughout his life his life he exemplified a natural detachment from worldliness.
He used his pay checks to fund the printing of Srila Prabhupada’s first books, and was all along involved in helping Srila Prabhupada print and distribute Lord Chaitanya’s message. Brahmananda prabhu, always had a childlike innocence, much like Srila Prabhupada’s.Yet he was willing to go anywhere on Srila Prabhupada’s behalf to pioneer Srila Prabhupada’s movement. Pakistan, Africa, India, Europe and in the 90’s throughout America with his younger brother Gargamuni prabhu to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books lectures and kirtans.
In Vrindavan he simply continued the same eternal program of glorifying his beloved Srila Prabhupada and Krishna in his own genuine loving way. He was always studying and preaching from Srila Prabhupada’s books.
In November of 1973 he accompanied Srila Prabhupada and a few other devotees to lunch at the house of my father. What a blessing! In the late 1980’s at Bhaktivedanta Manor he shared a conversation he had with Srila Prabhupada in which he stated that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta had indicated that he was going to Chandra-loka to preach to the residents there who had become very materialistic.
At that time also, our brass Srila Prabhupada Deity went to Brahmananda Prabhu to be worshipped, as we had got a larger resin Deity of Srila Prabhupada, Brahmananda prabhu gave us a donation of £50. at that time.I met a young devotee at RathaYatra in London a week ago, Brahmanda prabhu had preached to his family in Mombasa. They had then moved to London, Brahmananda prabhu arranged for his father and family to reside temporarily at Radha London Isavara’s Temple in & Bury Place. They were all initiated in the future, and are sincere,active devotees, and their children too! Just one example of Brahmananda’s preaching glories.
Brahmananda prabhu was a real devotee, sensitive, kind, jolly, deep tolerant, fearless and above all uncompromising in his dedication to Srila Prabhupada and his message. He always dressed simply, and lived simply. His consciousness was always immersed in Srila Prabhupada his eternal father and divine preceptor.
I pray we may all follow in his steady footsteps, and savour the deepest pleasure of pure devotional service by the mercy of Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga. My obeisances to you thousands of times, Brahmananda prabhu, who is now dancing eternally in the party of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabu alongside of Srila Prabhupada and his loving disciples.
your unworthy, loving god sister,
Annada devi dasi.
19. Sama Priya dd and Dhruva Maharaj das (ACBSP)
His Grace Brhamananda and I were friends. The first personal experience I had with him was when he was on Padyatra in 1985 and I had joined to meet my husband Dhruuva Maharaja, who was one of the organizers at that time, in Cochan. Big jollly Brhamananda would ride on the ox cart which carried the deities- Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai and Srila Prabhupada. He would sit on the cart and offer Caritamrita to all those who took darshan of the deities. That was his padyatra. After walking 25 kilometers we arrived in Cochan and I asked kind and friendly Bhramanada to help me find my husband told me to meet him there. I was insistent that he go into the men’s ashram to find him after Lokanatha Maharaja was insistent that I go to the back of the building where the women were staying.
Brahmananda and his brother would travel around America selling their tapes of Srila Prabhupada’s lectures. One time they stopped in NY at the Brooklyn Temple. We had a rasa- both being from Brooklyn and the same ethnic background- he would charge me one price and I would never accept it… at first. We did this for years, but that first time he gave me a nickname which he called me every time we would meet. Imagine finally after millions of births meeting Srila Prabhupada and receiving a spiritual name from him and Brahmananda calls me “Brooklyn”, and that name stuck. We live next door to each other in the MVT in the holyiest of dhamas and still he called me “Brooklyn”. He moved to Ananda Krsnavan and we would visit him regularly. When we returned to America he would send us a list to re-supply him with when we came back to Vrndavana.
One time while walking back from his shop across the street from KrsnaBalarama Mandira he saw a Gaudiya Math devotee set up with a book table in front of the MVT gate. He was selling books written by Narayana Maharaja,.Brahmananda asked him to leave, that this wasnt appropriate. The devotee was arrogant and wouldn’t move, so Brahmananda lifted up the table and threw it and all the books went flying!!! And then he stated loudly..”This place is for Prabhupada’s Books ONLY”. I loved my dear brother Brahmananda. He was dear to Srila Prabhupada and I always thought of him as my big brother. When we were selling our audiobooks he would always pirate them and keep the money, saying that if it weren’t for his business we would not sell as many. Some how this never bothered us. He was big brother and could do what he wanted. I was happy to have this rasa with him. I am grateful that it was natural for me to love him and not disturb him. He was gentle and loving and a kiniver, but what the heck. I treasure that we were friends and laughed together. He was wise and his heart was as big as his body. All glories to the beloved son of Srila Prabhupada! Srimad Brahmananda Prabhu kijaya!!
20. Drumila das (ACBSP) (Distributing Books in New Orleans for 25ys daily!)
I didn’t have so much association with Brahmananda prabhu, but when I did, it was always very personal, jolly, and fun. My fondest memory of him is in Hawaii one time, where he, and his brother Gargamuni, would grab me, and throw me back and forth between each other, not letting me go, or leave. Brahmananda prabhu had a huge smile on his face and was mischievously laughing. I felt so honored to have this reciprocation, with two of Srila Prabhupada’s sincere, early disciples. I will always treasure Brahmananda holding me in a bear-hug, and not letting me go! Drumila Dasa
21.Sachidevi dasi: (ACBSP)
My ISKCON TEMPLE years were spent in New Dwaraka in Los Angeles from 1970 on… when my exhusband Karandar das was the Temple President of LA and Brahmananda Prabhu was serving in NY at the historic Second Avenue Temple, traveling with Srila Prabhupad, preaching in Africa, etc. I did not have a lot of direct association with him yet we always heard of his glorious pastimes with Prabhupada. . However, in the Fall of 1969, I spent 4 months in the Philadelphia Temple during which the DC, NY, and Philadelphia Yatras converged at the Mall in WashingtonDC in full force!!!! After spending many, many hours distributing Back to Godheads, we headed for the Big Apple, where Brahmananda Prabhu was heading up Second Avenue…My memory of him was very vivid: he organized our large group to have Prasad and to go out on Sankirtan until the wee hours of the next morning. He headed up everything like a great general. His love for Srila Prabhupada was infused in everything he said, every story he told, his enthusiasm for service…so much so, that we all were so united to collect large amounts of Laxmi and distribute BTGs. The energy, the joy, the cohesiveness was all due to Brahmananda. When I remember him, his smile was captivating and memorable. All glories to Brahmananda Prabhu, all glories to Srila Prabhupada.
22. Sevananada das (ACBSP)
H.H. Brahmananda Dasa Swami Maharaj, affectionately known as , ” The Big B”, had a great many accolades under his Devotional Belt!
He was Iskcon’s first Temple President! He was the First to Take Hari Nama Sankirtan outside on to the streets, starting regular Hari Nama Sankirtan in NYC!
He loved Srila Prabhupada absolutely, resolutely. His Love and Devotion to Srila Prabhupada was absolute, incessant and unalloyed! He tolerated inconceivable difficulties opening-up Africa for Preaching.
He was one of those unassuming, humble Sadhus who never put-on airs. He was entirely approachable and friendly even to the common Bhakta Joe. I miss him whenever I think of him and it saddens me to think that our “Leaders” do not make his great Services and Life well known throughout Srila Prabhupada’s Iskcon Movement!
I am sure that we will meet him again, though.
23. Karnamrta das (ACBSP)
I always remember Brahmananda prabhu being very affectionate to the assembled devotees. There are so many memories of him on you tube but the one about him and Nanda Kunar pr giving Prabhupada the first Bhagavad gita is sensational! Its called The Prabhupada Connection. Wish I could have given the link to you earlier for the movie but assembled devotees can check it out. I will always be inspired by his unconditional love for Prabhupada…
24 Ujjvla dd (ACBSP)
I knew Brahmananda Das since 1969, where I met him in Los Angeles temple. Gargamuni his brother was temple president at that time. Brahmananda prabhu was passing through, and we were all introduce to him. He was ill with a bronchial infection, and I was ask to care for him. Which I gladly did, to serve my Godbrother was an honor. Pranams to a great soul! your Godsister, Ujjala devi dasi
25 .Carananavinda das….
I remember my first meeting with HG Bramananda swami was in early 1972 at Bury place temple The then Home of their Lordships RadhaLondon Ishwara. Brahmananda Swami was a loyal dedicated disciple of Prabhupadha and a pleasure to serve with. A very special devotee, much loved by Srila Prabhupada. Was so obvious the love Prabhupada had for Brahamananda ys, Caranaravinda das. (Devotee who built the fountain in Vrndavana Prabhupada’s Gardens)
26.Tony Criscuolo aka Yogi Tony (old friend)…
Brahmananda Swami was a most exalted Vaisnava. He was such an intimate disciple of Srila Prabhupada. I’ll always be inspired and in awe of all the service he did for Srila Prabhupada and this Movement. He always said “yes” to Prabhupada, no matter what was asked of him. This is the way to be with our Guru and elders.
27. Jason Marcotte (BHAKTI CENTER)
Jai Brahmananda prabhu! Thank you Mahadevi for asking us to honor our dear friend.. Somehow by providence I had the good fortune to serve Brahmananda Prabhu when he was here in NYC in 2010. We hit it off right away (As i’m sure he did with many devotees) and he was asking me to send him workout routines!:)I was so in awe of him. I would record the exercise routines on youtube and then send to him! He appreciated the simplicity of them and when I went to Vrindavan I would visit him in his room and massage his legs. He was amazing during the massage as Srila Prabhupada stories would just pour out! We kept in touch over the years through email. He was an amazing devotee and leader, always encouraging the devotional activities in NYC and always liked to hear of the preaching that was taking place here. In 2016 I wrote and directed a play called “Guru” that told Brahmanandas story as well as Yamuna Devis story side by side. I played Brahmananda and it was a wonderful meditation for me, I pray to always remember his love and affection for Srila Prabhupada and to one day meet him on the dance floor in Goloka Vrndavana… Aspiring to have even a drop of Brahmananda’s devotion for Srila Prabhupada
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YvCOTV62b0U the drama Theatrical play based on SWAMIJI writeen by Satyaraj das
28..Guna Marie Shaft I was so inspired one evening in the Balaram Hall in Vrndavan where Mahadevi had organized a speaking program for Brahmananda prabhu to speak and sell his book, SWAMIJI. How wonderfully he told the Jaladutta pastimes. I had never heard anyone speak so well and carefully about these pastimes of Srila Prabhupada. Everyone was feeling the presence of His Divine Grace. Then, he inquired about how I was doing at the SPMuni school. I was so touched that he would inquire about me His brother tried to sell me two books but I only needed one. .