A Farewell to Radha Kunda Prabhu, My Friend And Brother
Posted April 17, 2007
Yes, Radha Kunda Prabhu, was and continues to be my dear friend and God Brother and he also became my brother in life. In light of all the types I have met through our sanga over my lifetime, I found Radha Kunda Prabhu to have his very own special and exclusive candor, nearly shameless sincerity, unlike others who posture and position themselves almost in artificial imposition to the mainstream. Radha Kunda was in his own exclusive manner extremely sincere to others of exactly who he was and was not. This I found deeply and profoundly special, even though I saw it as a material weakness on his part.
I was never happier for him than when I found him living in Vrndavan years ago, finally giving up the West for Vraja. I knew then, as he knew, that this move to Vraja was permanent until the end of this chapter. He was tired of the material world and often spoke of living in caves rather than having to deal with the Maya that was driven by the rules and taboos of the various societies and cultures of East and West. This intolerance to the world made him belligerent. Radha Kunda Prabhu was difficult, irresponsible and overbearing at times, yet loving and endearing, almost tender and often generous of himself, when was able to be at rest. He made me (and so many) laugh and cry, as I cry now, and often very angry or displeased, but most of all he made me live a whole lot more than if I had never met him, both spiritually and materially. He was wild and passionate, yet he was vulnerable and sentimental. Sometimes he would make me laugh for hours on end with his cynicism of the world and the characters that surround us. I would often have to financially support him as he could not hold down a job, but when he worked he would excel beyond all others in his work. He would often sleep in bushes or in the woods to avoid association with the world. Yet, he would walk into a literally barren kitchen and whip up a feast as if he was a master chef at a six-star-restaurant. Talent was not his lack; he was charismatic, convincing, and when he worked he was a great salesman and a great preacher. He just did not like this world or the "characters in it" and always just wanted to go home.
Back in the early seventies, I saw that in his California driver's license he had changed his legal name to Rod Kund and often spoke of disassociating himself completely from this world until his time would come. His favorite song from his childhood, which he claimed plagued him by his disapproval from others since he was a young child, was "Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" from the sixties. He told me on many occasions that as far back as he could remember he felt misunderstood in this world and that always drove him to separate himself completely from the norm. Not able to fit in, he always had a difficult time with basic survival and this would in turn exacerbate and aggravate his criticism and disapproval from others.
But then he moved to Vrndavan seven or eight years ago and began telling pastimes of Krsna to everyone he met in his own graceless Rod Kund manner. He would not stop. It became an obsession of sorts almost to the point of annoyance because one could hardly hold a conversation with him. I knew then he had found his place and would finally receive the grace from the Lord, which he had lived so long and awkward life to wait for. I feel very fortunate to have known him, and cared for him from time to time, and to have been at least instrumental in giving him shelter even to his passing.
I will miss you my old friend, my life would not have been so joyous without you. I have many memories of laughter and good times, and of you making so many others smile and laugh and still giving all the credit of your charm to Srila Prabhupada and to Krsna. This was your special gift though thick and thin.
With tears and joy I wish you farewell, my brother.
All my love,