The Passing of Brajendralal Das
Posted January 28, 2005
Brajendralal das , disciple of A.C. Bhaktivendanta Swami Prabhupada, left his body in the early morning hours of January 25, 2005 in Sarasota Florida after a short bout with cancer.
Brajendralal joined the Hare Krishna temple on East Jefferson Ave in Detroit in 1974. With a BA in philosophy and a keen interest prominent during the early '70s in understanding "WHY?", reading the Bhagavad Gita As It Is and hearing the preaching of Prabhupada's sincere followers made the idea of just moving into the temple seem like a logical choice. Combined with the kindness and personal attention of the devotees in Detroit at that time, headed by Govardhana prabhu, it was irresistible.
Well known for an artistic flare and attention to detail, Brajendralal was quickly called into service decorating the gorgeous altars of Sri Sri Radha Kunjabehari. Scouting the alleyways of Detroit City in the early morning hours he liberated hundreds of lilac bushes and colorful flowers creating fabulous greenery behind the deities and fulfilling the purport of his name, "servant of one who plays in the pleasure groves of Vrndavana".
He also served Lord Chaitanya's sankirtan movement by taking out small parties of book distributors. There are fond memories of the summer he spent six weeks on the road with myself and Mother Lekhasravanti, no small feat in itself, visiting every single small town and county fair in Michigan. He set up our campsite, prepared our meals and cheered us on, while he used the time to carry on a juice fast and study period. His keen sense of humor and sharp intelligence was appreciated and respected by everyone he worked with.
After the purchase of the Fisher Mansion he worked closely with Govardhana prabhu to refurbish the building and with other key devotees to create the Auto Baron Tours, bringing thousands of unsuspecting but delighted souls into a beautiful Vedic Museum, Cultural Center and Restaurant. By his insistence on quality and cleanliness it became the showplace Srila Prabhupada asked his disciples to make it.
He ran the Bhaktivedanta Cultural Center until 1987, continuing to upgrade the property and temple. At that time he moved his family to Florida, to start a career and create his 'retirement fund'. Perhaps Lord Krsna saw his 'bank balance' as sufficiently full, and chose to move him on to other service.
Although separated from the association of devotees during his years in Florida, he was certainly not forgotten. During the last months of his life he received many contacts from old friends, for which he was deeply moved and grateful. He asked for Prabhupada bhajan during his last days, always wearing his Hari Nama tee shirt and Tulasi beads. He received Tulasi leaves and Ganga Jal in his mouth after death, Vrndavan dust over his body and Nrsmha Oil on his temples.
We are deeply grateful to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada for giving us
instructions on how to live and how to die and for making our lives perfect!