By Deena Bandhu dasa
With great sadness in our hearts we inform the Vaisnavas that our Bengali Godbrother Purnachandra left this world in Vrindavan on the Ekadasi night, Oct 7th. His cremation was done at the Yamuna on the very auspicious Paksavardhini Mahadvadasi day. When I was Temple President of Krishna Balarama Mandir, he was the Vice President and Head Pujari.
Yesterday we performed the Sraddhanjali Sabha, Memorial Service, in the Krishna Balaram Hall. Everyone remembered him how he was always happy and jolly. All the devotees mentioned his wonderful service attitude! There was probably not a single position in the temple, except maybe president, that he didn’t hold at one time. Jagadananda revealed to us how in 1975, this young boy came to Mayapur and, seeing him as a foreign Vaisnava, came up to talk to him. Jagadananda asked him what he was doing with his life and Purnachandra responded that he wanted to become a doctor. He immediatetly shot back that it would be better for you to become a doctor of souls! He was so impressed, he became a devotee. Jagadananda said that he didn’t remember this, but now more than 30 years later he met Purnachandra here in Vrindavan and he recounted this story to him!
He was initiated in 1976 and later that year came to Vrindavan and was a teacher in the Gurukula. Later he joined the original Padayatra in 1984 for some time. Returning to Vrindavan, he did many services, including kitchen in charge, Head Pujari and Vice President for 5 years, and finally working in the accounts dept. He always faithfully discharged whatever service was given to him. Later due to some unfortunate incidents from the time he was in the Gurukula, he had to leave all of his services. But everyone remembered how he still remained faithful to ISKCON and Srila Prabhupada. Everyone also remembered what an extraordinary cook he was. He was very fond of inviting the Vaisnavas to his house and feeding them his delicious prasadam.
Daivishakti Mataji reminded us of the story he was very fond of telling. He had been in Vrindavan in 1976 as a young devotee for only a few months. It was Durga Puja time and traditionally all Bengalis visit their mothers at that time. He was anxious to go, but wasn’t sure what to do. Prabhupada was circumabulating the temple with all the big sannyasis like Brahmananda, Bhavananda, and others. Suddenly he approached Srila Prabhupada and in Bengali asked him if he could go home for Durga Puja. Srila Prabhupada stopped and glared at him and chastised him very strongly also in Bengali. So nobody could understand what happened! So Brahmananda Swami accosted him and asked what he said that made Prabhupada so angry. Needless to say he stayed and did his service in the temple!
He married one devotee’s daughter from our Chandigarh ISKCON, Aditi dasi. Despite the fact that she suffered from epilepsy and every so often she would be completely helpless for a fortnight, he faithfully took care of her and remained with her for 25 years. They had two lovely sons, Balarama, now 24 and married, and Krishnedu, 20. The two young men also spoke glorifying how their father tried to always do his best for them. Everyone prayed that Srila Prabhupada and Their Lordships give him shelter at Their Lotus Feet and give strength to his surviving family to bear the great loss.
Sri Sri Gaura Nita, Krishna Balaram, Radha Shyamsundara ki jaya! His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada ki jaya! His Grace Purnachandra Prabhu ki jaya!
In service of Srimati Vrinda Devi, Deena Bandhu dasa