Rudrani Ammayi - in Memoriam
Posted November 16, 2006
Rudrani prabhu in her beloved Tulsi garden (photo taken in 2001)
After a lifetime of pain and suffering, Rudrani Ammayi finally passed away on November 10, 2006. Born in 1953 as Rebecca Flynn, she originally hailed from Nova Scotia, Canada.
Two major things in her life are her faith and her struggle with her disabilities. Early in her life as a young woman, she was involved in a horrific car accident, which resulted in disabilities that plagued her and racked her body with pain for the rest of her life. In spite of that, she was always cheerful, brave and devout. She was an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna, having accepted the Vaishnava faith brought to the west by Srila Prabhupada.
My earliest memories of her are from the mid-1980s when I was a young boy in grade 6 or 7, visiting my home during vacation. At that time, I would accompany my uncle Sukumaran, himself a Krishna devotee initiated as Sananda Kumara das, to Rudrani's home for their weekly pujas. Perhaps the biggest attraction for a young boy was the delicious coconut burfis and other prasadam items. She was so genuinely affectionate, even at that time.
Later, she became my aunt when she married Sukumaran, and I couldn't have been happier that she was now my relative.
They then went to Canada in the late 1980s. Both of them were frail. My uncle had several health problems of his own and was a survivor of multiple surgeries. Ammayi's companion of several years, Shanta, was there to accompany them and take care of her every need with tender loving care. In Vancouver, Canada, living as part of the ISKCON community there, their devotion poured out in the tender care of the Tulsi plants at the temple. The plants flourished in two large greenhouses under their care. Details of this endeavor can be found in an article by Visakha dasi at the Back to Godhead site.
Years and years of pain and suffering finally drew to a close. Her frail body could no longer take the effects of the years of wear and tear and all the medication that she had been forced to take, but her mind was as sharp as ever. Surrounded by her husband, siblings, Shanta and other loved ones, she continued to comfort them and advise them philosophically.
Finally in palliative care, heavily sedated, after years of torture, her body finally held no more pain. As the last moment drew near, she awoke, held the hands of her beloved Shanta and said, "do you see Tulsi Devi?" After years of devotion, had her beloved Tulsi Devi herself arrived, perhaps, to escort her devotee on her final journey? Loudly she chanted her beloved maha-mantra invoking Lord Krishna and gracefully passed away.
Rudrani Ammayi - you will be missed. A remembrance page for Rudrani
dasi is at http://vancouver.iskcon.ca/rudrani.htm