Chakra Discussions

Janakinatha Das

by Varnadi das

Posted March 30, 2008


Janakinatha was born and raised Rochester, NY, as Joseph Streb. In 1973, at age 19, he joined ISKCON at the Coconut Grove temple in Miami, FL. In the following two years he received first and second initiation from A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

After some time with the Radha-Damodar traveling sankirtan party, Janakinatha took the opportunity to expand Srila Prabhupada's teachings in Africa. There, he met H.H. Navayogendra Swami, with whom he preached extensively throughout both Africa and India.

Janakinatha returned to the US in 1980 and took up service in Chicago. It was during this time that he met his future wife, Vrindavan dd, at a preaching program in Madison, WS. They got married three months later and lived in Chicago until 1986, after which they visited India for 6 months. After their return they served in San Francisco and California for several years, and ultimately ended up in Alachua.

During his householder life Janakinatha was a successful sales manager for several companies. Beyond that, however, he was a very sober, thoughtful, and deeply spiritual person who saw Krishna in everything - yet also always managed to mix in his great sense of humor. Over the last couple of years he was very involved in the NRR community, helping to organize festivals, manning the information booth, and training the youth in fundraising. Janakinatha was an emblem of selflessness, always ready to volunteer to do the needful, and a great source of inspiration for those who knew him.

Janakinatha passed away in the early morning of March 15 in Orlando from complications of Hepatitis C. The cremation ceremony took place on Wednesday the 19th and was attended by his wife Vrindavan, his daughter Nicole and grandson Jordan, and close friends from the New Ramanreti community. A memorial service was held on the 26th at the Alachua temple.

yasman nodvijate loko lokan nodvijate ca yau |
harsamarsa-bhayodvegair mukto yah sa ca me priyah || 12.15

ya idam paramam guhyam mad-bhaktesv abhidhasyati |
bhaktim mayi param krtva mam evaisyaty asamsayah || 18.68

na ca tasman manusyesu kascin me priya-krttamah |
bhavita na ca me tasmad anyah priyataro bhuvi || 18.69

"He for whom no one is put into difficulty and who is not disturbed by anyone, who is equipoised in happiness and distress, fear and anxiety, is very dear to Me."

"For one who explains this supreme secret to the devotees, pure devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me."

"There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear."