Another Daughter, Gangamayi: She Flew Her Own Airplane
Posted July 30, 2004
Dear Assembled Vaisnavas,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada, to our respective Gurus, and to our Guru Varga. Please accept my fallen obeisances. May Srimati Radharani give us shelter at the Lotus Feet of Her servants.
I am submitting the following email to announce to the assembled Vaisnavas, the departure of Gangamayi Prabhu, a very serious and wonderful daughter of Srila Prabhupada who came from England.
Although I was not present for my Godsister's departure, and did not know her very well other than meeting and speaking with her some two times very briefly, I feel I should inform the devotees that Gangamayi Mataji, one of Srila Prabhupada's daughters from England, left the planet on July 2nd.
I was informed of her leaving by another Godsister, and since nothing has been mentioned, I am feeling it is my duty to post this information of the successful and glorious departure of Gangamayi prabhu.
I am thinking it might be possible that my Godsister, Gangamayi prabhu, out of her humility, may have made some request that her departure not be announced publically; if this is so, I beg her forgiveness for my doing as I am.
From my own few brief meetings with her, I could understand that Gangamayi was a very serious disciple of our Spiritual Father, Srila Prabhupada, and I was very impressed with her humility and seriousness. I could see that she was a very intelligent person, and felt she was not a "regular" (typical) woman, even amongst Godsisters. It was very obvious to me her strength and determination for serving Srila Prabhupada and His mission in her own "quiet" way.
So please forgive me for my not being able to say any more than this. From my little meeting with her and Annada prabhu, I could see that my Godsister was indeed a very GLORIOUS person; thus, I felt that I had to make at least this much of a little post so that devotees could be informed that Gangamayi has left us bereft of her association.
I pray that I may be forgiven for any and all offenses in this regard, especially by Gangamayi and Annada prabhus if I have gone against anyone's wishes by writing this. I have done this only because I felt that it was a must that to inform the devotees of such a wonderful Godsister's departure had to be done.
Your fallen servant,
The above was written for posting before I received the following letter which was written by Annada prabhu who was present for Gangamayi prabhu's departure. It was forwarded to me by one of my Godsisters, so I am submitting this to the assembled Vaisnavas. (I have taken the liberty to make very minor corrections in grammar and corrections in spelling and spacing. I have not changed any of the content in any way):
Please accept our humble obeisance. All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada whose Bhakti and Vedanta are unparalled in all the three worlds.
I wish to share with you the astounding beauty of my dearest godsister Gangamayee prabhu's quick journey back to the actual Lotus Feet of Srila Prabhupada, much against my will and desire.
On the morning of the 1st of July, at about 10 o'clock, we had a little conversation. Ganga's body had been suffering intensely from all angles, especially for the previous week. She had stopped taking physical nutrition as she could not keep it down. That included pain killers. She also stopped an opium patch as it was causing complications.
I mentioned to Ganga that since her body was suffering so much, perhaps she should just go back home to Krishna and to Srila Prabhupada. She looked at me incredously, looked at me with a questioning face, and, in her usual practical way said, "Yes but how?" I had no answer to this unexpected question. During the morning she said, "I knew," and "I wonder."
By Krishna's arrangement, our sister Pravina arrived from Edinburgh at about 12 noon. Ganga acknowledged her, and said, "Pravina,". Pravina asked her if she was in pain and Ganga replied "no."
At about 5:30pm, Ganga started to chant Hare Krishna very intensely. I noticed her eyeballs rolled back in an unfamiliar way. I didn't like that. I chanted Sri Krishna Caitanya Prabhu to her. Then there was a phonecall. Mondakini who had visited on the weekend, tried to coax Ganga to at least take a grape or a teaspoon of grape juice for some strength. Ganga heard her, and continued to chant. "Ganga has chosen Srila Prabhupada and Mahaprabhu's medicine, Mondakini." Mondakini appreciated this wonderful choice; by Krishna's mercy she had no other.
I chanted japa by her side, paled by her deep calling on His Holy Name. At 10pm a Marie Curie nurse arrived. She was exceptionally beautiful, and asked Ganga if she was Elizabeth. Ganga said, "No Ganga." The nurse, Debbie, said "Ganda?" Ganga said very firmly and very clealy, moving her mouth widely to enunciate, "Ganga." The nurse said, "Ganga?" and Ganga nodded. Later in the night, Ganga said to the nurse, "I never went to school." Debbie asked me what she meant. It was so late, I wasn't quite with it; I mumbled a reply...
At 1 am of the 2nd (of July) I went to the living room and said to Debbie, "She's got the better of me; I can't keep up with her. Could you please come and sit by her so I can get some rest?"
I hopped into bed and hopped out immediately. I could not sleep while Ganga was chanting so intensley. At 1:30 she coughed once and was gone in an instant. The devotees were chanting Govinda Jaya Jaya (on a CD) at that moment, and Srila Prabhupada was chanting also.
Ganga did what she had to do in her usual way, with grace, and particular thoughtfulness to detail. She didn't tell me what she was doing; it was up to me to figure it out or not. Also I'm sure she wanted no fuss. It was all up to Krishna.
The evening we arrived home from London, when we came into the house - Brian our neighbour keeps Srila Prabhupada playing all year round for us - Srila Prabhupada was chanting "marobi rakhobi yo iccha tohara, nitya dasa prati tuya adhikara." Hearing this made me fearful and I soon changed the CD to Srila Prabhupada chanting the Cintamani prayers.
On reflection on Ganga's "I never went to school" I realized she was getting such love, strength,and deep realization from her attachment to Srila Prabhupada, that she wanted it known where her education came from. It was not from any mundane school. It was from her beloved and true Jagat Guru, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.
From her total faith in his instructions, she had the strength to chant the Holy Name till her last breath and fly her own airplane on spiritual strength, for believe me, physically she had not the strength to even move.
Your servants, here and there,
Gangamayee and Annada.
Ganga left with dust from Srila Prabhupada's samadhi on her heart. She had had it there for a few days. It had been provided by Jahnava. She left on Sri Guru Purnima, (the day the disciplic sucession is worshipped, from what I understand) and also the disappearance day of Srila Sanatana Goswami. Incidentally this is also the very day my parents left 21 years ago. Her mother left on Gaura Purnima, and her father on Radhasthami! Bob Everson, when he handed me her ashes said, "She made history. I've never known a cremation to go through on the same day!"
She did us all many good turns, and knowing her will continue to do so. Of this I have no doubt.
Srila Prabhupada ki Jai!