Chakra Discussions

Tribute to Ajitananda Prabhu

by Jerry Barr

Posted December 3, 2007


I am deeply saddened by the news of Ajitananda's departure from this world. I am positive he is one of the most sincere servants of Srila Prabhupada I've met. One could tell through his qualities that he was an authentic Vaisnava. He was simple, forbearing and loving. His speech was rich with Krishna- and Prabhupada-katha. He wasn't one of those 'hell-fire' preachers, but always preached gently with a friendly smile. I remember when he spoke about Vrindavan. He was so eloquent and inspiring that I felt he was bringing Vrindavan to me personally just by his speech.

I had a lot of personal contact with him in Berkeley a few years ago when I was involved with ISKCON. I was having some personal problems, and he was always available to me to talk to. For someone to drop everything and come to your aid is a rare thing in life, and I value this. He took the idea of 'loving exchanges with devotees' to heart.

One of his most striking qualities was his spiritual strength and faith in Srila Prabhupada for over three decades. I had been struggling in ISKCON for about six years, and I asked him admiringly, "Prabhu, how do you do it for all these years?" His faith in and fidelity to Srila Prabhupada kept him going and going. No matter how unfavorable the circumstances became, he found a way to continue his service without getting involved in politics.

Close to the end, with apparently little contact with devotees, he began publishing videos on YouTube of Srila Prabhupada's beautiful Transcendental Qualities. He didn't need a temple or a sectarian organization to authorize or continue his service. All he needed was Srila Prabhupada.

He didn't let the problems of this world discourage him from his seva. To the contrary, the more this world inflicted problems on him, the stronger his faith seemed to become, since he realized only true happiness was with Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna. He is an example who should not be forgotten.

This is a great photo of Ajitananda from the photo album at www.iskconberkeley.org, showing his signature blissful smile as he makes a garland for his beloved Deities.