Comments Posted By sevananda
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Hare Krishna ! I knew Rasajna Dasi and her good husband for a time in the NYC Temple . That was in 1976, They were deeply involved in the Temple`s ” Transcendental Theater Group “. Drama was always a powerful preaching medium , and `Srila Prabhupada loved it ! He got the devotees started doing it practically from the beginning , both at the Sundays Feasts , and on the Streets . The thing about Rasajna Dasi`s performances was 2-fold . 1st , she was probably the most classically trained in singing , acting , and dancing in ISKCON . 2nd , she was a dedicated servant of `Srila Prabhupada `s Preaching Movement ! I would request devotees around the world to offer a little prayer for her ; and , it would really be wonderful if a Prayer could be offered for her recovery in Mayapur to His Lordship - Our Mayapuri Nara`singha Dev !
Comment Posted By sevananda On 15.10.2009 @ 14:29
Oh,…Hare Krishna ! - Part 2 ,
Somehow , VJS had heard that I could distribute Big Books . That is , they thought that there was some professional technique ,or trick to it . It was a new thing in our Movement . There wasn`t really . I just showed people the beautiful pictures in the Krishna Book , talked about how wonderful Krishna was , and prayed to Prabhupada a lot ! That was the trick . The Temple was also interested , so they allowed VJS to test my ‚Äú skills ‚Äú in the immediate vicinity of the Atlanta Temple . The neighbors were already a little fried with the Temple`s Mangala Arotik Kirtans , so it was a tough area to distribute big books . Anyway , VJS accompanied me door to door , and after 6 or 8 failed attempts ,( I was praying intensely ) I finally distributed a HardBound KRSNA Book . VJS was ecstatic , and immediately swept me off my feet with a Bear ‚Äď Hug !
I was deeply moved .
So , I became his servant and traveled with him on the bus until we arrived in NY - 439 Henry St. , Brooklyn .
One thing that struck me was that in private , he was always very sober . As sober and quiet as an alpine lake . He never wanted a massage . To him that would be sense gratification . He would never accept anything special ,even though he was a Sannyasi ! On his Party , Morning bath was a garden hose in somebody`s front yard , in pink ‚Äú Kopins‚ÄĚ , in the Winter ‚Äď and Vishnu -Jana Swami would be right there with the rest of us !
I think that ( aside from `Srila Prabupada ) , perhaps he was the most humble devotee that I have ever met.
And again , privately , In austerities , he set the standards - a perfect picture of austerity . I remember ,that in winter , he slept on the cold floor of the bus with only his Sannyasi Dhoti Top . No special mattress , or real blanket . No toothbrush , either . He would send me out to look for a twig from a tree with shiny leaves . He said that , S`rila Prabhupada taught him that . He was Totally dedicated to `Srila Prabhupada !
These are some of the things that I shall remember about H.H. Vishnu ‚Äď Jana Swami .
Your humble servant ,
Comment Posted By sevananda On 21.10.2009 @ 12:25
Oh,…Hare Krishna !
I want to thank HG Patita-Pavan Prabhu for another wonderful article !
I was one of those fortunates who served under H.H. Vishnu ‚Äď Jana Swami for some time , and I have never forgotten the power , the warmth , and the purity of his personality . Compelling , and heart-penetrating are good descriptions of VJS`s preaching . In public preaching and in his Wonderful Kirtans , his personality and potency could practically melt a stone . Always soft , gentle , humble, and kind - Always blissful ! Never small ,or intolerant . Also , In private , he was extremely humble .
Those quotes about VJS in H.H. Suhotra`Swami`s book are all true , and were common knowledge among devotees at the time . He truly was a Living Legend .
I had the opportunity to serve as his personal servant for a short time in 1971 , as Bhakta Steve . We had come in to Atlanta , our TSP out of Phoenix / Tuscon,AZ. By Prabhupada`s Mercy , we had apparently done well with Hardbound Krsna Books ‚Äď the 1st printing was sold out , and then the original hardbound TLC.
VJS had a big yellow school bus , and he had their Lordships ‚Äú Sri Sri Radha Damodara ‚Äú , but it was not yet called ‚Äú RDTSP .‚ÄĚ We called it ‚Äú The Transcendental Road Show .‚ÄĚ We wanted to link up with them and join their Festival Program . They had an ecstatic program for preaching . A Spiritual Festival with Drama, Music , Kirtan , and Prasadam Feast in a University town , with lectures , and BTG distribution in surrounding towns . It was Wild and Wonderful ! We would blow into a small town , in the deep South , hit the street running , pepper the Main Street with BTGs , while Hari Nam SanKirtan was rip-roaring up one side , then down the other side of the street. We would then pile into the bus , and flee before the police arrived . In those days , in the South or West , lingering too long could land you in jail !
Then we would have more Kirtan , cause we Always had Kirtan , unless we were chanting Jappa , taking prasadam , or sleeping . It was a very powerfully transcendental , and exciting experience that I have never been able to forget.
Somehow , VJS had heard that I could distribute Big Books . That is , they thought that there was some professional technique ,or trick to it . It was a new thing in our Movement …. Con`t in Part 2 .
Your servant ,
Comment Posted By sevananda On 17.10.2009 @ 14:14
Thank you Patita-Pavana , my old friend , You have written another wonderful and useful article ! I just wanted to correct a few details concerning Vaidyanath Prabhu`s car accident and death , as well as make a few comments about that little known and un-sung Hero . It was in 1971 . They were returning from L.A. late a night , where Bhakta Mark was innitiated earlier that day , and became Markandeya das . He was killed , along with Vaidyanath . Nara`singha - Chaitanya Prabhu had his back badly broken , though he did not die . They were struck from behind by a big Mack truck and driven off a cliff . It was a 1952 Milk truck painted sky blue , with a top speed of 42 MPH . I know these things ,because It was my home temple -Phoenix> / Tuscon . Earlier that year ,it was Vaidyanath Prabhu that had sent us out in that truck to distribute books , with Puro`sottama Prabhu , Nara`singha Prabhu , Dhumrakesha Prabhu ,and also my lowly self ,to cover the USA South West with KRSNA Books and the TLCs - 1st printings . It was the 2nd or 3rd such TSKP in ISKCON , and we were inspired by and given a few days training with Ke`sava`s Party which included Bhuddhi-Manta , Jagavan , Yogesh-Chandra as well as others . I still remember very clearly . Vaidyanath Prabhu was filled with good qualities , Love for Prabhupada , and always in anxiety as to how to some how or other , please `Srila Prabhupada . The remaining survivors of the Pheonix and Tucson temples were chosen by Prabhupada for his 1st list of 50 disciples to go to India . Your servant , Sevananda das
Comment Posted By sevananda On 21.03.2009 @ 02:00