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New Vrndavan, USA : Lokavarnatamma Prabhu, His brother, Mukta Kesa, and their Power of Persuasion
By Srila Jiva Goswami dasa

Different Devotees manifest different miraculous potencies. Devotees who exhibit yoga seem to me either not aware You are flying, floating, appearing in more than one place simultaneously, or You take it as normal behavior.

An example of this latter circumstance is the gift of superb Powers of Persuasion, regularly manifested by the owner of the beautiful name: Loka Vahrna Tama Prabhu. This week I offer a few examples of Loka displaying that facility.

It was a warm, quiet afternoon one day at the Simply Wonderful Restaurant in Columbus. On High Street, cars moved back and forth like blue, red and green rays of light.

Business was slow, that summer day. I was looking at the steam table, particularly at the stainless steel tray which was filled with Lord Caitanya’s Remnants in the form of Chakra Pani’s fabulous Cauliflower Pakoras.

It was beginning to look like time for a mid day break. The sandwich, drink and salad bars were stocked. The serving line was clean. Across High Street, on the lawn of Ohio State, Chakra Pani sat in the Lotus Position, as he did at the same time every day. He was reading Srila Prabhupada’s Books.

Loka appeared, wearing a kurta and a pair of dungarees. “I’m going out to drum up a little business,” he announced, as he wiped his hands in his heavy kitchen apron, untied it and tossed it to me.

“Go ahead,” I called. I didn’t see how anything was to be done which would generate customers. I was swimming in Pakoras.

The front door opened, Loka stepped out and ushered a couple directly in. The new comers came along the chute formed between the beautiful lattice and the right hand wall. When they turned the corner and saw me waiting to serve them, another guy entered. More people followed along quickly. Before long, I had to move up the line to the register. Narasingha Guru came out and worked the steam tables.

Guests were starting to stack up. We served them and moved them along. Another Devotee had to come on from upstairs to clear the tables. Suddenly, we were humming. We started to call to each other; “Avocado Delite!” and, “Strawberry Smoothee!”

Customers, mostly new ones, seemed to be enjoying themselves. From their point of view, the food was great and the price was right. The cash register was ringing, but it was Prasadama we were distributing.

Perplexed but happy with the sudden influx, I came away from my post to see if I could find out what was causing our sudden good fortune. Moving upstream, against the burgeoning line, I side stepped and “excused me” until I was at the front door.

I could see Chakra Pani, still across the street in the Lotus, with the Bhagavada Gita As It Is in his lap. I glanced to my left, and there was Loka, with his broad, white shirted back to me, just in the act of guiding more new customers in. I stood close to him to see if I could hear what he was saying. I wondered how it was that he was channeling practically any and everyone he chose. The people he spoke to were laughing and smiling. I listened carefully. I heard the words, “Big, big,” but I could not tarry. The line was stacking up. I had to go back to the register.

The afternoon sailed by. We did record business. More importantly, we distributed huge amounts of Prasadama. At the end of the day, I asked Loka what he had been doing to get such results. “I just talk to the people,” he said. He saw nothing unusual.

I heard you say, “Big, big ‚Ķ” I prompted. “What was that about?”

“Oh,” Loka smiled at me. “I was just telling them about the drinks. You know, big big.” He laughed.

The next day, I tried the same approach. People avoided me. I was self conscious. Loka came along and once again took up what he called “drumming up a little business.” Again, the restaurant filled quickly with happy delighted customers. Loka did not seem to think of his gift as unusual or extraordinary.

I thought deeds such as these came from On High. The key to success, to me, is in somehow making the objective in accordance with the precepts of Krsna Consciousness. To do that, one needs to understand those principles, and getting to that place is done by a lot of chanting Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare!

Another instance of Loka’s Powers of Persuasion occurred down at the Dodge Dealership on Route 2, just north of Moundsville. I had occasion to bring my car in for maintenance, and I wanted a loaner. Loka was with me. I asked the service manager about a loaner. I was turned down flat. “We don’t provide loaners, the service manager declared.”

Loka saw my agitation. “What’s the matter?” he asked. He always had a certain friendly happy grounded demeanor.

“I have to leave my car, but I can’t get a loaner,” I reported.

“They’ll give you a loaner,” Loka said.

“I already asked. They won’t,” I responded.

Loka beckoned and I followed him upstairs. There he stood a moment, with me beside him, at the owner’s door. Presently the owner looked up. “What?” he said.

Loka gave him a smile and pointed at me with his thumb, as if he was hitchhiking. “He wants you to give him a loaner,” Loka said. That was all there was to it. No song and dance, no long sad story, just “He wants it, let him have it.” I was presented as a solution.

The loaner was pretty good too; a used police cruiser.

“How’d you do that?” I asked. Although my body is older than Loka’s I felt like a boy at his side.

“You just have to show them they can do what they want to do,” he replied.

Loka was known as one of the very physically strongest of the Brijabasis at New Vrindabana. I’m talking about muscles. I was fascinated with arm wrestling. A couple of times I challenged Loka to arm wrestle. He beat me with the smiling ease of a kid who blows the tendrils from a dandelion.

I screwed my will and built my strength, exercising and harboring physical resources. My body is taller than Loka’s, I weigh more, I should be able to beat him at arm wrestling, I thought. I spent a few weeks preparing. I just had to beat him, I thought. At last, I felt ready. I approached Loka at Bahulabhana.

“Let’s arm wrestle again,” I said. I moved my elbows back and forth and stuck my hand out on the hood of Dodge Rama dasa. This time, I knew I had a chance.

Previously, Loka had always quickly accepted. This time he did not proffer his hand in return. He eyed me quizzically, then laughed and declined. He’d seen something.

“Why not?” I asked.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” he responded.

I thought about that. I considered the way I’d built my strength and the determination I had not to get beaten again. Loka was right, to beat me, he would have hurt me.

I am sure that is part of how Loka does this communication facility. He sees and relates to the other person. Perhaps the feat is unconscious, but the effect is never the less real. That insight comes from the Ultimate Connection.

I think of Loka and the New Vrindabana Brijabasis like the brightest of shining Spirit Souls, burnished by years of Service and pure in their causeless actions. Lokavarnatamma Prabhu is to me the epitome of Denizens there.

Comment Posted By LOKAVARNOTAMMA On 23.04.2007 @ 02:57

In the last couple of weeks I’ve lost three old friends and colleagues: Suhotra Dasa Tapovanacari, Puru Dasa, and Muktakesa Dasa. All three have now, as we say, left this world. (The prosaic world just usually says “died.”)

Some time back, Muktakesa, always generous, had seen I wasn’t wearing a watch, so he gave me one (a pretty fancy Seiko). And since sannyasis are sometimes known for not holding on to things, he made me promise not to give it away. I used to see him in New Vrindaban, where he was running a program to offer spiritual help to prisoners in different parts of America who’d turned towards Krishna.

This past January, Suhotra and I had shared a pleasant lunch together in Mayapur (we’d had a lovely little debate over Semantics or something or other), and some days later he came to visit me‚ÄĒreally just wanting to get together‚ÄĒat the flat where I was staying. Dressed in saffron, with a bag of‚ÄĒwhatever‚ÄĒslung from his shoulder, he resembled a large-framed Buddhist monk. But instead of contemplating koans and seeking a void, he was always intent on the transcendent person Krishna.

And also in Mayapur in December-January I met my old friend Puru Dasa again, after a long while. I think he’d expected me to be cross with him (we had our differences on more issues than one), but I was truly delighted to see him, and we spent a short but warm time together. He reintroduced me to his daughters, whom I hadn’t seen since they were kids: “This is your spiritual uncle, Jayadvaita Swami.” And we enjoyed talking together about things concerning Krishna.

I had affection for all three of these godbrothers, and I’ll miss them.

That’s how it is. You watch your friends go, one by one. Then those who are left watch you go.

Hare Krishna.

JayAdwaita Swami

Comment Posted By LOKAVARNOTAMMA On 23.04.2007 @ 02:55

Dear Loka Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Below is a letter sent by Bhakta Carl, one of the inmates Mukta Prabhu was
preaching to. I thought you might want to add it to the letters on

Also, although you may be tiring of hearing this by now, my husband and I
both wanted to express how deeply we are missing Muktakesa Prabhu’s love,
kindness, and encouragement. He was one of our best friends and well-wishers
in New Vrindavan and it just isn’t the same without him. He always made it a
point to stand up for us, encourage us, and share so many wonderful tokens
of his kindness, especially giving us books and sweet photos of Srila
Prabhupada and Radhanath Maharaj.

My husband was saying yesterday that he realizes now how much he misses the
fact that Muktakesa Prabhu was the only one who would chastize him if he
didn’t attend mangala-arati.

I can’t believe that he isn’t going to come through the door to ask me (a
few times a day sometimes!) to attach a photo or file to an email he’s
sending you.

We really miss him. We can’t begin to imagine what the void must be like for
you and Chediraj. However, his departure was a really eye-opener, too, a
reminder that we have to develop REAL attachment to Krsna’s holy name and
serving Prabhupada’s mission. Just see how Prabhupada, through you and the
other devotees, prepared such an auspicious departure for him. Thank you for
allowing us to be a part of this glorious part of our Vaisnava history. We
are forever indebted to Muktakesa Prabhu for leaving us with such a clear
message of what it really means to prepare for the moment of death.

Thank you, Prabhu. We don’t have much to offer, but if we can serve you in
any way, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

I hope this meets you well.

Hare Krsna.

Your servant,

Radha Sundari devi dasi

From Bhakta Carl:

My fellow devotees,

I am just one of the many inmates incarcerated across America who relied on
Muktakesa das for support, guidance, and friendship. He was fully dedicated
to his work with the ISKCON Prison Ministry and the news of his recetn
passing was both shocking adn heart wrenching, and yet, as I reflected on
the event I began to see it’s glorious side. Thus, I wrote this triumphant
tribute to help me direct my focus to the joyful aspects of his passing,
rather than dwelling on my own personal sadness at the loss of a true
friend. I hope that perhaps, by sharing my work with others, I might be able
to both offer them some comfort in their grieving, and at the same time,
help them to sing a song in honor of our brother Muktakesa das.

KRSNA matir astu,

Bhakta Carl

(Sung to the tune of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”)

“HARK!” the Visnudutas said,
“Look who’s lying in that bed
Muktakesa, our Lord’s servant
LISTEN! Hear his friends all chant

“Let’s take wing to guide his soul
To his final heartfelt goal
His life’s journey now complete
We’ll lead him to KRSNA’s feet

“Joyful all devotees rise
Join the trumpets in the skies
Prabhupada suceeds again
Praise the passing of a friend”

Comment Posted By LOKAVARNOTAMMA On 21.04.2007 @ 01:09

Dear Lokavarnottama Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

He was always very kind and friendly to me. I’ll miss him!

I’m sure you must be feeling his separation keenly. But Krsna is
always kind and always remembers a devotee’s service. And a devotee
like Mukta is hard to forget. Surely Krsna’s mercy must be with him.

Hoping this finds you in good health,

Your servant,
Jayadvaita Swami

Comment Posted By LOKAVARNOTAMMA On 16.04.2007 @ 23:02

Dear Chedi Raj,
I send to you my sincerest sympathies on the occasion of the passing away of your beloved father. Please know that hundreds of devotees in various parts of the world share your feeling of mourning. For the last couple weeks he has been prominently in my heart, my prayers and my dreams.
Your father is a very special soul. I have known him for over thirty years and have nothing but affection for him.
We all know how much he struggled to overcome conditionings that were deep rooted from his past. He struggled more than most of us will ever know. At times he fell in his battles, but he never gave up. He strived to pick himself up again and again. But through it all, his faith in Krishna and Srila Prabhupada was always shining. Through his victories and defeats, he was everyone’s well-wisher. I never saw him bear envy or hatred to anyone. He blamed no one but himself for his troubles and inside that rough and restless exterior there was a gentleness and humility that was real and rare.
I have seen many devotees give up their practice and faith or become cynics for a fraction of the difficulties your father passed through. He is a shining example for all the world of a great soul who would never give up his beloved Lord.

Your father is a soft hearted and compassionate soul who genuinely strived for pure love. His love has touched many hearts; from devotees and friends to destitute prisoners who he granted the highest meaning of life to live for. His life will bring hope, courage and joy to all who knew him and many who will hear of him. Please, Chedi Raj, be proud to have had such a rare soul as your father. Learn from him to not be implicated in vices that only lead to torment. Learn from him the beauty of faith, compassion and goodness, which he fought battles every day to achieve.
Your father had an amazing attachment to the Holy Names of Krishna. The scriptures tell us that such an attachment will surely bring us to Krishna. In the end, he was surrounded by exalted personalities who sang the Holy Names as a tribute of love and gratitude to his life of devotion.
With tears in my heart, I have to come to grips with the reality that I have lost a dear friend and Godbrother. But behind the cloud of my sorrow I feel the sunlight of joy. For Srila Prabhupada and Krishna have liberated their dear devotee, Mukta Kesha Prabhu from his worldly challenges and surely brought him to a higher destination.
Your father lovingly named you after his dearest friend and traveling partner, who was a saint in every way. It was his hope that the divine qualities and blessings of His Grace Chedi Raja Prabhu would always be there to guide and protect you.
Thank you Cedi Raja. My heartfelt prayers are always with you.
Your servant,
Radhanath Swami

Comment Posted By LOKAVARNOTAMMA On 13.04.2007 @ 17:51

Dear Lokavarnatam Prabhu

Please accept my respectful obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
My heart is broken upon hearing of the passing of our beloved friend and Godbrother, Mukta Kesh Prabhu.
He is a genuine devotee who struggled and strived more than practically anyone I had ever seen; against a mind turbulent from past karmas. But he remained always fixed in his faith in Srila Prabhupada, Krishna and his beautiful love for the vaisnavas.
I was really hoping to spend quality time in his association this coming summer. In the past few years I had been distracted from my loving Godbrothers and Godsisters association by the demands of New Vrindavan crises and poor health. But now that opportunity has passed as Srila Prabhupada has taken our dear Mukta Kesh Prabhu to his lotus feet.
I sincerely love and admire your brother and thank Srila Prabhupada for blessing me with over thirty years of his association. Please know that I share in your mourning.
Your servant,
Radhanath Swami

Comment Posted By LOKAVARNOTAMMA On 13.04.2007 @ 16:33

Dear Loka Prabhu,
I am so sorry for your loss . When a Vaisnava departs, it is a loss for the whole world and most especially for us, members of the Mukta prabhu’s extended spiritual family . I can only imagine how hard this has been for you and pray that you can find solace knowing that Sri Krsna is always in direct control of His beloved devotees . I pray that you will find comfort at the Lotus Feet of the Lord and Sri Guru…with love and pranams, Rasa-lila dd

Comment Posted By LOKAVARNOTAMMA On 13.04.2007 @ 09:18

Dear Loka prabhu:

Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Hrsikesa’s story of Mukta’s passing brought tears to our eyes. Just see how Krsna arranges for His devotee to leave this place. How fortunate Mukta was to have all of you there to assist him. His kindness, enthusiasm and determination certainly won the hearts of so many.

I remember the years that I was fortunate to work with him on New Vrindavan SKP. He always found a way to make us laugh even though sometimes we wanted to wring his neck. He was always the first out and the last to come back and was a great source of enthusiasm for the other SKP devotees.

He had such a soft heart. Recently after seeing the photo of my son and his new wife he cried being so happy for Drdha. He always saw the good side of devotees and wouldn’t entertain gossip.

One picture is frozen in my mind of Mukta walking back and forth in front of Krsna Balarama temple in Vrndavana, holding his bead-bag high on his chest like he did and literally yelling Krsna’s holy names almost at the top of his voice so that every living entity nearby would be benedicted.

Thanks Muktakesa you really were a rare gem.

Your servants,
Dharmatma das
Dvijapriya dasi

Comment Posted By LOKAVARNOTAMMA On 13.04.2007 @ 01:58

Dear Lokavarnothama Prabhu.

Please accept my humble obeisances at your lotus feet.
All glories to srila Prabhupada.
All glories to kind and mercy vaisnava like you.

I read with sad heart and pain about the condition of your twin brother Mukta Kesa Prabhu on www. this morning.

I am now residing in Mayapur with my family and will start from tomorrow to buy assorted fruits and the receipt issued in the name of Mukta Kesa Prabhu and give to Lord Nrisimhadeva’s pujari to offer to Lord Nrsimhadeva for your brother’s protection and distribute the maha to children and old ladies in Navadvipa to pray for your brother etc. I will do this for seven consecutive days…….I have tried this as it was recommended for helping those who are very sick and are in critical conditions and it had helped tremendously in the past. I will also speak to Pankajaghri Prabhu and give your brother’s picture to place at the feet of Lord Nrsimhadeva to help him……..He is my friend and he will do that on your behalf………Please do not worry about the laxmi I will use for all the puja etc……..I will take care of that happily as I have being looking for an opportunity to also render some little insignificant service at your feet.

May be you forgot me, but I am Shastra dasa from Ghana, your helped our School; Lord Krishna’s Academy so much to pick and stand as it is……………..

On the order of my gurumaharaja and HH Mahavisnu Swami, we have moved to Mayapur for the past 18 months as my wife, the former Haedmistress now teaches at Sri Mayapur International School, where our son is also schooling. I am in-charge of harinam, using my accordion to visit all the nearby villages……The Management just approach me to add FFL to my harinam as I visit these poor village. We plan to distribute over 5000 plate of prasadam on weekly basis.

I need your mercy and blessings to be able to render this special and significant service in the holy dhama since I am most fallen and unqualified.

I can keep you updated, if I will not be of botheration to you…..

May Sri RadhaMadhava, Lord Nrisimhadeva, Pancha Tattva, Srila Prabhupada and all the residents of the Holy Dhama bless you and your lovely family unlimitedly for your kindness and love to humanity at large…..

Hare Krishna.
your servant
Shastra dasa

PS: We usually go out five times a week five hours daily, from today onwards, I will also keep praying for Lord Gauranga and Lord Nityananda while on harinam to intervene and help your brother.

Comment Posted By LOKAVARNOTAMMA On 12.04.2007 @ 04:46

Dear Lokavarnottama Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I just wanted to express to Muktakesh Prabhu, yourself, and all his other
friends and well wishers how much myself and all the brahmacaris here in New
Vrindaban appreciate him, he is such a wonderful devotee and has always been
like a father to us. Personally coming to wake us up in the morning,
inspiring us to have good sadhana and inspiring us to preach by his example
of enthusiasm to preach.

We pray for the best possible outcome in this situation, and hope you are
able to find strength in this most difficult time.

Please let us know if there is any thing we can do for you.

Your Servant,
Gauranga Kishore Das

Comment Posted By LOKAVARNOTAMMA On 12.04.2007 @ 04:44


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