Chakra Discussions

Rememberances Of Kusakratha Prabhu

by Devaki Nandana Dasa

Posted November 6, 2005

I first Met Kusakratha Prabhu in Los Angeles in the Early 90's. I was from San Diego and would regularly spend many months at a time there distributing books at the airport.

I used to see Kusakratha prabhu regularly. My friend would visit him at his apartment to buy his books and my friend told me what a wonderful Devotee Kusakratha was. So I would like to go over to Kusa's place when I had the chance. Once we went over to Kusakratha Prabhu's apartment and the apartment was so full of boxes of books and things you couldn't even get in the door. We could barely see him in there, but we heard Kusakratha's voice say," I'd invite you in, but as you can see there is no possible way you could get past all this stuff". Eventually he cleared a path after about five minutes or so. We had gone there to get a book from him so he had to clear a path eventually. After we went inside I was a little shocked by the state of the Apartment but I knew he was no ordinary soul. I had seen his translations and was really impressed with the beauty of his work. I figured he was like an Avadhuta and was just otherworldly. Not conscious of bodily maintenance beyone the bare necessities. Many great devotees wore old torn clothing or lived next to latrine's for their sadhana. It was there way to avoid too much association with worldy people. L.A. has plenty of worldy people to watch out for.

I used to go do my laundry at a laundromat in the alley behind the temple and sometimes Kusa would be there. If I saw him sometimes he would read from his books. It was pretty ecstatic some of the nectar he was translating. He would wear these rubber sandals(The kind you get in india I think) and he would drag his feet and the sandals would make a scraping sound as he would walk. kind of like a penguin or something. He would pull his sleeves out too over his hands and wave the part of the shirt that went out over his

hands in a peculiar way. He was a very jolly fella. I liked him. I remember him as a real nice devotee. I wish that such devotees could live longer and give us their association longer. It seems that the real ecstatic devotees don't live long, but the Kanishta's and enemies of ISKCON live to be like a hundred or so. I still haven't worked that one out. I'm sure all who Knew Kusakratha Prabhu will miss his association. Maybe Krishna just wants these great souls back in his association. That's a nice way of looking at it. Being from San Diego Temple, many devotees used to talk about Prabhupada's visit to San Diego and stories for the old temple on Third and Thorn near Balboa Park. During Srila Prabhupada's lila, Kusakratha Prabhu stayed at that temple for some time. One devotee who was there at the time said that Kusakratha was a strict Brahmacari and didn't like to have to see the Mataji's, so to enter the temple he would climb in through the window. Pretty funny. Another devotee told me that Kusakratha prabhu would go out on book distribution and sankirtana everyday. He would take the bus and that's how he learned sanskrit. He would study on the bus to and from Sankirtana. Pretty amazing. That's all I know about Kusakratha Prabhu. He was an advanced devotee, and we can learn from his example to stay fixed in Krishna Consciousness and return home back to Godhead at the end of this life.