By Vaikunthanath das
It is a miracle of good fortune that Srila Prabhupada’s disciple, Saradiya dasi, should leave her physical body on the very day of the Sri Krsna Saradiya Rasa-yatra (October 5, 2017). She left at 6:15 a.m. San Diego time. The time zone in India is twelve and a half hours ahead of California, so it was 6:45 p.m. in Vrindaban at that moment. The moon rose at 6:03 p.m. in Vrindaban. So Saradiya left her body just as the moon was rising above the horizon in Sri Vrindaban Dham.
Saradiya’s faith in Srila Prabhupada is unwavering. Srila Prabhupada is everything to her. Srila Prabhupada’s kindness touched her soul deeply. Srila Prabhupada’s joyful nature and perfect Krishna consciousness meant everything to Saradiya. Prabhupada is Saradiya’s father, her savior, her Guru, her all, and her everything. Now, again, she is fortunate. Now, again she is sitting at the lotus-feet of our divine and beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. She left her physical body this morning in San Diego, from the effects of cancer, in the presence of her daughter Brajarani and her two grandchildren, and in the presence of the holy name of Krishna. What a fortunate life, to come in contact with the Lord’s pure devotee, Srila Prabhupada. What a blessed life to have bowed to, and to have listened to, a saint, a pure devotee of the Lord, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. From the moment she met Srila Prabhupada, she knew he was her eternal guru. From the day she was initiated by Srila Prabhupad back in 1967, she has kept Srila Prabhupada’s lotus-feet in her heart, for she knew she had been mercifully saved by him. When Srila Prabhupada returned from India in 1967 she was there at Frederick Street to rejoice in Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental presence, his kirtans, and his lectures. After many months at the San Francisco temple Saradiya journeyed, the following summer of 1968, to Montreal with Shyamasundar/Malati, Gurudas/Yamuna, Mukunda/Janaki and baby Sarasvati. These devotees were being sent by Srila Prabhupada to open Iskcon London, and Saradiya was on her way to join Jadurani , Jahnava, Rukmini and others at Iskcon’s expanding art department in Boston. The London bound devotees, along with Saradiya, had stopped in Montreal to be with Srila Prabhupada! Saradiya continued to paint oil paintings of Krishna. Later she joined Iskcon Press in the bookbinding department. In December of 1970 Saradiya and her husband became Iskcon’s first devotees to enter Trinidad. They placed an order for 10,000 “Back to Godhead” magazines from the BBT and spent the entire year of 1971 distributing these magazines throughout the island and chanting the holy names with drum and kartals. Two of these months (March-April 1971) were spent in Guyana where Saradiya and her husband chanted and danced at Stabroek Market and Kitty Market, and lectured throughout the country. Saradiya completed paintings of Lord Chaitanya and Sri Krishna for Trinidad, Guyana and Venezuela. Her brother, Krishna das, was among the first group of GBC members appointed by Srila Prabhupada. In early 1972 Saradiya and her husband joined numerous devotees, at Srila Prabhupada’s request, and traveled to India, where huge projects were underway. She attended Prabhupada’s Nectar of Devotion lectures for the month of Kartik (1972) in front of Srila Rupa Goswami’s Samadhi and Bhajan Kutir. This divine and magical month in Srila Prabhupada’s presence was, no doubt the high point in Saradiya’s life, along, of course, with the summer of 1973, spent with Srila Prabhupada at the newly opened “Bhaktivedanta Manor” in London. Every day Srila Prabhupada lectured, and every day Saradiya remembered the purpose of human life, viz. to hear about Krsna from his pure devotee. Where ever she went, Saradiya left oil paintings of Krsna. At the Bhaktivedanta Manor Saradiya did a large painting of the Pancha-tattva. That painting still remains, to this day (44 years later), hanging on the Bhaktivedanta Manor’s temple wall. May it remain there always. Vaikunthanath das– e-mail address:
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