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My Visit to Mother Isa

Memories part 2:
Mata told me once that she was a badminton champion in college. She would sometimes dismiss it saying, “oh yes, but that was when I was in maya.”

Mata would always be aware of the devotees health and she took great care of us. She would knit us “swami hats”. When she would hear me sniffling in the winter she would tell me to wear that cap at night. She would knit lots of things for the devotees. Bead bags, with handy pockets in them. Bead bag finger warmers. She also use to make some wonderful laminated books marks with either maha garland petals, or tulasi leaves. They were beautiful. I still have a rose book mark from her.

She also made me a gift one time of a bracelet. It was a simple piece of plastic with Velcro to join the ends. On the plastic she wrote in her own hand “atmaramas ca munayo, nirgrantha apy urukrame kurvanty ahaitukim bhaktim, ittam-bhuta-guno harih”. This verse was certainly Mata’s outlook on live. She was not of this world, but was always in some way or other, engaged in glorifying and serving Krsna in bhakti. She was trying to teach me that by this gift. I still have this bracelet today and I showed and talked about it to some students at the Krishna House last year. Her affection lives on, she is a true atmarama.

She sometimes told me that I was her son. I said once, “yeah yeah, of course you are my mata”. She replied grabbing my arm, “no really, you are my son.” I stopped and looked at her, and she looked deep in my eyes with great feeling. I could see she was serious, and I accepted her as my true mother. She would sometime embrace me and care for me as a mother would. I had never embraced a “mata” before, but this felt natural. She is my mata.

Sometimes I was quite passionate in the kitchen. I would run up and down the “ramp” in between the kitchen and walk in cooler. I could see Mata did not like too much passion in me. One time I ran down in a flurry to the walk-in and she purposefully walked on the ramp waiting for me to run back up. I sprinted out the door of the walk-in and almost knocked her over. She looked at me sternly and said, “Are you thinking of Krsna?” No mata, I was not….

The happiest days of my life were as a head cook and a pujari in Boston, and mata was always part of that happiness. I have missed her for all these years. I feel I should try to go and see her again.

Comment Posted By Madhava Das On 12.09.2012 @ 15:33

My memories, part 1

Ever since I was head cook in Boston (1987-1994), Mother and Isa and I had a close relationship. She would have been between 65 and 70 at this time. She would always help me with the Sunday feast. She lived in Cape Cod at that time and she would ride her bicycle to her local bus station (I seemed to remember that was about 6 miles???). She would ride the bus and usually arrive around 3-4pm. She would enter the temple through the back door and peek her head in the kitchen to check on me. She would commonly peek in and say “Hari bol spirit soul, one ten thousandth the tip of a hair.”

I would always be so happy to see her. In those days I would usually cook the entire 10 course feast and I was always behind at some point, so every extra set of hands were so welcome. She would say she would be right back and head up the 5 flights of stairs to the ladies asrama to change. She would come back and help me with whatever I needed. I would have her make the all day sweet for Monday, because I was usually beat by the end of the feast to think about the all day sweet. She usually made simply wonderfuls. Mother Isa’s simply wonderfuls were simply the best simplies ever! She would sometime make this ginger walnut variety that would knock your socks off.

Mata would also help a lot in the pujari room. She would sew and iron Srila Prabhupada’s clothes. She would make him bead bags, swami hats, and all kinds of nice things for his vyasasana. It was sometimes a battle between me and the pujari room to get mata on a given Sunday, I seemed to always get her mercy though. She liked helping in the kitchen.

While in the kitchen she would also raise the level of conversation to spiritual consciousness. She always help clean the counters and would always remind me that Radharani does not like a dirty kitchen. She framed and put a picture of Radharani on the mantel. That picture was there the entire time that I was the cook in Boston.

Mother Isa would, in the autumn season, go to the cranberry bogs in Cape Cod and pick cranberries for the pleasure of Sri Sri Radha Gopiballava. She would come in with a big plastic shopping bag full of them and say something like, in her high pitched tone, “I have a gift for youuuuu.” I loved getting those cranberries. They were either used in a chutney or halavah. Picked fresh from her pure hands….

Comment Posted By Madhava Das On 12.09.2012 @ 15:32

Journey for Japa Beads: My Visit to a Hare Krishna Temple

I entered those very same doors over 30 years ago, and met the very same dear souls that night in May. For $8.00 only I received my first set of japa-mala (I still have them), a Hare Krishna Cookbook, a Planting the Seed, Science of Self Realization, and a packet of prasadam trail mix. I owe my entire devotional life to Pyari Mohan and Jivanasati Prabhus. Thank you for continuing for being rock solid in your service to keep that wonderful temple running, and as we can see, fruitful.

Hare Krsna!
Madhava dasa

Comment Posted By Madhava Das On 05.05.2012 @ 13:17

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