Farewell To Hemanga Dasa
Posted May 8, 2006
We have lost another disciple of Srila Prabhupada, Hemanga prabhu passed from us on April 03, 2006, after chronic health problems, in the Bronx, N.Y. Please forgive the late announcement, but I found out while on the road trucking, and have now just been able to post this. We know that sometimes one person can change the course of events in your life. That person for me was Hemanga dasa.
It was December 1973 on the south side in San Antonio when Hector Villareal enthusiastically grabbed me and told me about the coolest people he had met that day in downtown S.A. They had shaved heads, were wearing robes, and were selling books on yoga, along with invitations for nightly yoga classes. I remember looking at him in my pessimistic slumber, and told him he was crazy, and that I had no interest in going. Hemanga persisted, as he knew I had the van, which was his only means to get there. I finally agreed, only on one condition that he would buy the gas. (about 58 cents/gallon back then)...
By Krishna's mercy, Hridayananda Maharaja's traveling library party had set up a temporary preaching center, and was giving nightly classes and feasts to the public. We were both intrigued, amazed, and immediately attracted! After a week's association with such wonderful personalities as Ghanashyam Dasa (Bhakti Tirtha Swami), Maha Buddhi prabhu, and Maharaja, we were hooked, and advised to travel to the Dallas temple, due to the fact that the sankirtan party was moving on. Hemanga and I drove to the temple, and received the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, and Radha Kalachandji and the devotees, and the rest is history. Hemanga traveled extensively as a brahmacari book distributor, being primarily trained by Arjit dasa, our TSKP leader. After service at the Austin and Houston temples, Hemanga joined the original Radha Damodara TSKP, and later became a member of the Nama Hatta party in Japan, headed by Guru Kripa prabhu. Hemanga dasa had this knack for being at the right place, at the right time, as he can be seen in a picture taken of Srila Prabhupada, during Srila Prabhupada's 1975 visit to the Atlanta temple. Hemanga dasa was also blessed to perform much personal service for Srila Prabhupada in India. " cakhu-dan dilo jei, janme janme prabhu sei.."
We miss your association prabhu, may you eternally serve Srila Prabhupada's lotus feet.
Your grateful servant,
P.S. any friends, godbrothers, godsisters of Hemanga, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org