Amekhala Dasi Goes Back to Godhead
By Patita Pavana das Adhikary
Our longtime friend and Godsister Amekhala Dasi left this world on 23 April 2010 in London apparently from the effects of cancer. She was surrounded by her devotee friends including her husband Shrutakirti das. Hundreds of devotees had visited her in her last days. From the language of astrology we can see just how special she was to Lord Krishna.
In January, she asked Shrutakirti to write to us to decide whether the painful treatments modern medicine prescribes would be worthwhile. Abhaya Mudra Dasi and I looked at the stars and advised her not to bother but to only shelter in Krishnaâ€™s name. Thinking of her a few days back, I wrote her a letter, and twelve hours after I sent it, she left her body. Since we are getting older now, the end is drawing near for the first generation of the Hare Krishna Movement as the next able generation has accepted this mantle of responsibility. I would like to share our letter with the devotees.
My dear Amekhala devi dasi,
Please accept my humble obeisances. I am so happy at your wonderful good fortune. By Shrila Prabhupada’s divine mercy, Lord Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is inviting you Back to Home, Back to Godhead during His favorite month, Purushottama. The Sun is in Uttarayana as well.
No one can know you but your spiritual master and Shri Krishna. Others will go their own way, only the Guru Maharaja knows the heart of the disciple. Now your material sojourn is behind you and you are on your way to join Krishna in Vrindavana. Padma Lochan just left for there. He told his wife to check and see what was happening out the window. When she looked back, he had joined the lila he was viewing. Even Grahila just left with a big smile on his face.
I was reading a nice story the other day on Suhotra Swami’s diaries, In2Me-C. Suhotra used to be on the Radha-Damodar bus with Vishnujana Maharaja and they became close friends. Well, Suhotra had a dream after Shri Vishnujana went to the Ganges. Suhotra awoke and found himself on a green, green field. In the distance was a beautiful white marble temple, so he began walking in that direction. As he walked up the temple steps towards the large door, he noticed Vishnujana sitting there. Vishnujana said, “Where have you been? It is beautiful here.”
So now, please just forget about everything here because you are going there too. Have no fear and no attachment for this world. Remember us only as your eternal friends in the Spiritual Sky and we will all join you there very soon, soon enough. Please let go of all material attachment. We are all spirit souls, parts and parcels of Lord Shri Krishna, His eternal servants sheltered by the divine power of His Holy Names.
You are a kind, compassionate and good person at heart and Shri Krishna knows your heart. Now please make up your mind only to go to Him, through the divine loving grace of Shrila Prabhupada
See you soon enough, sister,
Patita Pavana das
After Amekhala departed, Shrutakirti Prabhu wrote me with the details, and a portion of Shrutakirtiâ€™s letter is given hereunder:
Dear Patita Pavana Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances.
â€¦She has had hundreds of devotees pass through the hospice in the last few days she was there. Of course she wanted that her leaving in the place be a reason for everyone to come to the Manor to glorify Srila Prabhupada, a way to bring the community together. Something that was very important to her. She took her last breath at 5:56 a.m. I was without any strain. If you blinked you would have missed it. There was no gasping for a last breath and no pushing from her last breath. It was simple, profound and ladylike. We were happy that Radhanatha Maharaja made it here in time to visit her and speak about her in class on Friday evening.
With affection your servant and friend,
Remembering that Amekhalaâ€™s example was meant for us, her family, let us now turn to an article Prabhupada wrote for a 1960 edition of his Back to Godhead. These words of His Divine Grace became the basis of our spiritual masterâ€™s Easy Journey to Other Planets:
â€śThe material world is only a shadow representation of the anti-material world and the intelligent class of men who are clean in heart and habit will be able to know such details in the nutshell from the text of the Bhagwat Geeta. They are as follows:
“The presiding Deity of the anti-material world is Shri Krishna in His original personality as well as by expansion of his many plenary portions. Such Personalities of Godhead can be known only by anti-material activities commonly known as devotional service. The Personality of Godhead is the Supreme Truth and He is the Whole anti-material principle. The material principle as well as the anti-material principles are emanations from His Person. He is the root of the complete tree. When water is poured into the root of a tree the branches and leaves of the tree develop automatically. And in the same way when Shri Krishna the Personality of Godhead is worshipped, all details of material worlds are enlightened in the heart of the devotee without labouring in the materialistic way. That is the secret of the Bhagwat Geeta.”
The process of entering into the anti-material world is different from the materialistic ways. Admittance or transmigration of the individual living being or the anti-material particle who is now embarrassed by material association, can enter the anti-material world very easily by practising the anti-material activities while residing in the material world. But those who are gross materialists and depend on the limited strength of experimental thought by mental speculation or by materialistic science can enter into the anti-material world with great difficulty. The means of approach of the gross materialist in the anti-material world is covered by shrouded endeavour. The mechanical planes or missiles or electronic rockets that are now being thrown in the outer space cannot even approach the material planets in the higher regions and what to speak of the planets situated in the anti-material sky far beyond the material sky within our experience. The ‘Yogis’ who have perfectly controlled the mystic power can also enter into that region with great difficulty. The ‘Yogis,’ who can control the anti-material particle within the material body, by practice of mystic powers can give up their material bodies at will at a certain opportune moment and thus enter the anti-material world through a specific thoroughfare which connects the material and anti-material worlds. If such ‘Yogis’ are at all able to do this act they can do so in accordance with the prescribed method given in the Bhagwat Geeta as follows:
“Persons who have realised the transcendence can reach the anti-material world by leaving their material bodies during the period of Uttarayana or when the sun faces towards the northern side or at another auspicious moment in which the deities of fire and effulgence control the atmosphere.”
“These different deities are powerful directing officers appointed in the administration of the Cosmic intricacies. Foolish people who are unable to see the intricacies of cosmic management flout up the personal management of fire, air, electricity, days night periods, etc. But the perfect ‘yogis’ know how to satisfy such unseen administrators of the affairs of material world. Such yogis take advantage of such administrations and leave the material body at will at an opportune moment when they can enter the anti-material world or in the higher planets of the material world. In the higher planets of the material world they can enjoy more comfortable and pleasant life for lacs and crores of years but life in those higher planets is not eternal. Those who desire eternal life do enter into the anti-material world by the ‘Yogic’ or mystic powers at the opportune moments created by the administrators of the cosmic affairs unseen by the gross materialists of this 7th class planet of earth.”â€¦
To summarise the whole thing as above mentioned the Bhagwat Geeta recommends everyone to adopt the means of devotional service or anti-material activities if at all anyone wants to enter into the anti-material world. Such persons, who adopt the means of devotional service as prescribed by the expert transcendentalist, shall never be disappointed in their attempts to enter into the anti-material world. The obstacles are many but the devotees of the Personality of Godhead can easily overcome such difficulties if they follow rigidly the path chalked out by the transcendental devotees. Such devotees or the passengers who are progressing in the journey of life towards the anti-material kingdom of God are never bewildered in such attempts. Nobody shall be cheated if he adopts the guaranteed path of devotion for entering into the anti-material world. One can easily attain all the results that are derived from the studies of Vedas, performing sacrifice, practising penance or disposing of charities-simply by the unilateral performance of devotional service technically known as Bhaktiyoga.â€ť
END OF BTG QUOTE
Now let us have a look at the stars under which Amekhala left our limited vision. As stated, she departed during the Uttarayana or â€śnorthern path of the Sunâ€ť. Bhishma, the great warrior and mahajana, had to rest on a painful bed of arrows for over a month in order to leave during Uttarayana. Amekhala met all criteria for liberation–as per Krishnaâ€™s instructions to Arjuna–and then much, much more.
-Not only was the Moon in the auspicious shukla-paksha phase, or waxing fortnight, but Amekhala left on the auspicious dashami day preceding holy Padmini Ekadashi, the day of Lord Hari.
-As noted above, the month, still running, is the rare intercalary Purushottama-masa, Lord Vishnuâ€™s favorite which occurs once in three years.
-She left this world exactly at the juncture between Brahma muhurta and Sunrise with the Sun in his northern progress, or daytime of the demi-gods.
-In Vedic astrology, the Sun is called the atmakaraka, or â€śplanet of the soulâ€ť. Lord Surya Narayana, who appeared in the lagna or â€śhouse of selfâ€ť in the chart or kundali of her disappearance, is only one degree from the highest point of exaltation, which is 10Âş Aries, Mesha rashi. The phenomenon of the Sun occupying at or near his point of extreme elevation at sunrise–atmakaraka in the atmastan–occurs only for a few hours in a solar year. Who but the self-realized could depart under such conditions?
-The bright kundali is decorated with several other telling details, such as Budha in ucchamsa in conjunction with the Sun, but are too technical for a general explanation.
Who can describe the glories of leaving this Earth under such rare stars and exalted muhurta? Even great yogis are denied leaving this world during such conditions. The final statement is the most profound. Only the rarest of souls would be allowed to leave at such a moment because such a fortunate mahatma is certainly granted the eternal shelter of Shri Krishna. As Shrutakirti Prabhu pointed out, Amekhala wanted her departure to be an example for us, her Godbrothers and -sisters languishing behind in the world of birth and death. In that our Godsister has succeeded beyond the powers of all imagination.
Amekhalaâ€™s life and transition to the next world forces us to ask ourselves about the spiritual identities of those who follow Shrila Prabhupada. Prabhupada often said that his disciples–his â€śnice boys and girlsâ€ť–are â€śnot ordinary mahatmas, but they are sudurlabha mahatmasâ€ť. In fact, Prabhupada, who appeared to the average man as a mere householder-turned-Indian-Swami, was not even an ordinary Jagat Guru. Shrila Prabhupada was the Acharya of World Acharyas. The closer we disciples and ISKCON members can co-operate with one another, the sooner history will verify his position as a shaktyavesh avatara and personal direct associate of Lord Chaitanyaâ€™s sankirtan. Therefore it follows that understanding the most exalted position of our spiritual master means understanding the position of those who serve His Divine Grace with every breath, even their last one. For me, this is the parting message of our beloved and rare Godsister, Shrimati Amhekala devi dasi, beloved daughter of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.