Chakra Discussions

Sri Ram’s Antyesti Performed

by Paradhyeya das

Posted January 12, 2006

On the January 7, 2006 the antyesti (funeral ceremony) was performed for His Grace Sri Ram prabhu at Sacramento, California. Directing and performing the ceremony was Bahusira das, head pujari of the ISKCON Berkeley temple.

After ceremonial bathing and dressing of the body, the funeral service was performed in a chapel at a beautiful memorial ground in a rural area. About 25 to 30 devotees were in attendance, and after Bahusira prabhu made an introduction explaining all the relevant details that the devotees would witness, everyone engaged in kirtan and bhajan, interspersed with eulogies. More than one speaker mentioned how the passing of a Vaishnava is not just a time of sadness but also a celebration of victory -- the moment that the eternal spirit-soul returns to Lord Krishna after fulfilling the mission of human life.

The ceremony served to impress upon all of us the great and unfathomable benediction that Srila Prabhupada has showered upon us and the whole world by bringing the Holy Name of Lord Krishna to every country and continent, thus giving us the opportunity of regaining our forgotten heritage, the eternal service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna.

Godbrothers attending the service were Bahusira das, Vaikunthanath das, accompanied by his wife Bhanu dasi, Vedaguhya das and myself. The wife of Sri Ram prabhu, Her Grace Narayani dasi, was comforted by her son Ram, who had taken leave from his U.S. Navy service in the Persian Gulf, along with his wife Katie. Narayani prabhu was also accompanied by Sri Radha dasi, Sri Ram's only surviving daughter. The ceremony was concluded by a short walk to the crematory where there was a final arati before Sri Ram prabhu was committed to Lord Agni.

As the organizer I would like to thank the many devotees who have shown tremendous support in the form of donations enabling us to perform Sri Ram's antyesti ceremony properly. Notably amongst the supporters I would like to mention Yadunandan prabhu along with all the members of his hospice association. Similarly Sri Ram's mother, brothers Dieter and Jim, and Jim's wife Pat gave a huge help to enable us to honor the passing of Sri Ram. Also supporting were H.H. Hridayananda Maharaja, Brahmatirtha prabhu and, of course, all the members of our little Sacramento congregation.