Remembering Srila Sridhar Maharaja
Posted March 16, 2004
Sridhar Swami's love remains with us
Yesterday, my son and I were discussing his "favorite" friends in Krishna consciousness. First from his lips were, "I really like Sridhar Swami." How many voices have said the same words. Who amongst those that have had the good fortune of knowing him has not said the same thing? "I really like Sridhar Swami." Practically, that phrase has become a traditional mantra. In or out of the ISKCON camp, "I really like Sridhar Swami" is a commonly held opinion. Somehow he transcended all designations that separate the conditioned souls; in fact, he remained a unifying figure in a variegated universe of diversity. Everyone can agree on at least one point: "We really like Sridhar Swami."
There are the obvious qualities that we all liked -- the jolliness, the knowledge, the stories, the sincerity, the universal appeal of triumph over adversity, the humility, the essential humanness, the sensitivity, the commitment, etc. Yet, beneath even the most attractive of these qualities there was a feeling that permeated each and every word and action -- love. We bathed in his love -- for Srila Prabhupada, for his godbrothers and godsisters, for his disciples, for humanity, for Lord Caitanya, Lord Krishna, Lord Jagannatha, Lord Nrsimhadeva, and all of the expansions thereof. Oh, but to take shelter of his love again. Where will I find such shelter in this shadowy existence!
I cry for his smile, approval, rebuke, and compliments. I yearn for the indelible memory of his Prabhupada stories. I mourn for the loss of even the comfort of knowing that he is present somewhere on this vast planet. I feel somewhat lessened without his form manifest in some temple, festival, or harinam party. I truly feel vacant without him here.
Yet I am happy that he no longer suffers in that body that was always so troublesome. No more coaxing of a worn engine to perform. Krishna has awarded him a new car, his eternal vehicle, with which to roam the material and spiritual planets so he can preach to his heart's content. There are many living entities whose good fortune is yet to come, for he is on the way to their hearts after conquering ours.
This material manifestation can take away many things. It can snatch away our loved ones. It can blind us to our benefactors. It can remove even our memories. But it cannot erase our feelings of love. Those are ours to keep forever, and I will treasure his love for me eternally because I really like, and will always love, Sridhar Swami.
Sridhar Swami "always served"
It is with a lot of pain that I received the news of the departure of His Holiness Sridhar Swami; with certainty he will be near Krishna and Srila Prabhupada.
I enclose some pictures to help us always remember the purity and happiness that he always transmitted. Sridhar Swami was of great importance in my spiritual development. I don't have the words!
He always served the devotees. I hope always to serve them as he did.