Auspicious Passing of Jayo Das
Posted December 15, 2009
I will try to narrate a brief summary of Jayo das's service to Srila Prabhupada, although I cannot adequately glorify the true nature of his service. I request those who also knew him to please add to or correct what I am recalling.
Jayo prabhu joined ISKCON in Los Angeles, served on the Namahatta Party under Gurukripa Swami and Yashodanandana Swami collecting in Japan for Srila Prabhupada's Mayapur and Vrindavan projects. He served in India on the BBT Library Indian party, distributing books to colleges and libraries in India. Wearing a Santa Claus suit outside of Macy's on Fifth Avenue, he distributed the most Krishna book sets ever distributed in one day as a resident of the Manhattan West 55th Street "skyscraper" temple. He carried Srila Prabhupada on a palanquin barefoot through Vrindavan on parikrama after Prabhupada's departure.
He served HH Bhaktisvarupa Damodar Swami collecting for the Manipur temple and the Bhaktivedanta Institute. During those years we ran an old Alamo Motel together in Oklahoma City in the 1980s.
Jayo das continued to serve Maharaja over the years to the best of his capacity, living simply as a poverty-stricken brahmachari, and he never married. He would visit my family often while we were both going to school in Oklahoma City and was always very affectionate to our children. We would often invite Indian graduate students for home programs with chanting and prasadam. Bhaktisvarupa Damodar Swami would come, and we would arrange for university professors to come to the program as well.
With the help of his brother, Henry Solomon, he eventually moved to Denver. As his health began to fail, he never complained, was always jolly and always recalled his days of direct fundraising service to ISKCON with great affection. He had the opportunity to visit the Manipur temple project, continued to visit me and my family in Florida and attended the installation ceremony of Radha Shyamasundar in Alachua. I am honored to have served Srila Prabhupada together with him and call him my dear friend and godbrother.
His uncontrolled diabetes had led to a septic foot injury two years ago that required the amputation of his foot. He later had to undergo acute emergency care and last year broke both legs in a fall, after which he was confined to a wheelchair. In part due to his fragile condition his doctors determined his cancer to be untreatable.
Due to the prayers and well wishes of all of the devotees and especially by the sincere heartfelt endeavor by Pranaballabha das and Padmalocana das in Denver to serve Srila Prabhupada's devotee, I am happy to report that Jayo das's departure from this world was very auspicious.
He fasted from water and food on the occasion of Saphala Ekadasi, while absorbed in constantly hearing the recording of the Holy Name from His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
In the narration of the glories of Pausha-Krshna Ekadasi, Sri Krishna states to Yudhisthira: "I do not become as pleased by sacrifice or charity as I do by My devotees' observance of a full fast on ekadasi. To the best of one's ability, therefore, one should fast on ekadasi, the day of Lord Hari. Anyone who properly observes this glorious Saphala Ekadasi — even unknowingly, like Lumpaka — will become famous in this world. He will become perfectly liberated at death and return to the spiritual abode of Vaikuntha. Of this there is no doubt."
The Skanda Purana also declares: hari-namaksara-yuktam bhale gopl-mrdankirtam tulasi-malikoraskam sprseyur na yamodbhatah ("Those whose body is adorned with tilaka or gopi-candana, and marked all over with the Holy Names of the Lord, and whose neck and chest are adorned with tulasi-mala, will never be approached by the Yamadutas.")
Jayo prabhu had requested his brother that I take his ashes to India, which I will do at the proper time. Thank you for all of your prayers, well wishes and letters of support for his spiritual journey back home back to Godhead.
I have received the following e-mail from our devotees in Denver, Pranaballabha das (ACBSP) and Padmalocana das (BSDS):
I would like to relate to you some of the events that occurred today, the passing from this world of Jayo das prabhu. Today is Saturday December 12, 2009. Pradmalocana das prabhu and I arrived at the St. John's Hospice center at around 12:45 pm.
We went immediately to Jayo's room, where we found him still breathing but not externally conscious. We adjusted his headphones (Srila Prabhupada chanting japa) so that he could hear clearly. We discussed Jayo's condition and asked the nursing staff to bathe his body as well as to change his clothing. We left the room while the nursing staff attended to his needs.
Then we went back into his room and proceeded to mark his body with Tilak and Gopichandana. Then we placed a new Brahmin thread over his shoulder, and decorated his body with flower garlands from the Deities. I then placed Tulsi leaves in his mouth and around his head. Then we poured Ganga water in his mouth while chanting the Maha Mantra. We then noticed that his breathing had all but stopped. The time was approximately 1:20 p.m. (MST). We called for the head nurse to come to attend to Jayo. She pronounced that his heart had stopped and that he had passed away.
Then we asked for the use of a private room so that we could perform the last funeral rites for our dear departed godbrother. Jayoâ€™s body was moved into a very nice room, where we chanted the required mantras and said our heartfelt goodbyes.
A funeral home director arrived shortly after this to take the body to the crematorium. He discussed with us that the cremation will probably take place once all of the legalities and paperwork are completed (Tuesday or Wednesday of next week). Padmalocana and I will attend the cremation next week.