Unto His Holiness Sridhara Swami: My Godbrother
Posted March 30, 2004
We first met in July 1969 in Vancouver in front of the Hudson Bay Company at Georgia and Granville. The Hari Nama Party had just finished chanting and he stood before a crowd of perhaps 50 people. Just then I walked past and heard his talk about the nature of the soul. He was the first devotee I ever heard speak, my first contact. He is my vartmapradarsika guru, eternally.
We last met in July 2003 in the Vancouver Temple on South West Marine Drive. The aratika had just ended and he sat before a group of perhaps 50 devotees and spoke of the nature of the soul. My shiksa Guru.
Thirty four years had passed, and during that time we met perhaps 50 times at different places all over North America. Vancouver, Sharnagati, Los Angeles, San Diego, Alachua, New York, Gita Nagari, and others. He was always a well respected and popular member of the ISKCON elite but never appeard before my in an elitist mood. I was always an unknown person in the elite echelons of ISKCON. However, by the grace of Srila Prabhupada I had the honor of meeting many Temple Presidents, GBC, Guru's and Sanyasis. Over the years many of them forgot me and on numerous occasions when I approached them they did not remember me or simply emanated an elite mood upon me. We were never close Godbrothers, just two devotees who developed a causual friendship over a 34 year span; we never served to together and our relationship was not such that a deep friendship could develop. His Holiness Sridhara Swami never forgot me; even when I left ISKCON he remembered me, he always smiled upon me asked how I was. This to me is his greatest contribution to my spiritual advancement.
And now, in his absence, when I go to a Temple, the great abyss of
impersonalism envelops me and no one asks how I am. I am invisible. However,
one of the main reasons I still go is that the friendly spirit of His
Sridhara Swami fills the place and I do not feel alone. On this day, alone in
my room, my eyes are wet and I miss him, but I am not alone.