Dear Sriman Ananda Prabhu
Posted May 28, 2006
Dear Sriman Ananda Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I never met you personally, but I remember seeing your photo in Back to Godhead magazine in the 70's. What a beautiful boy.
Srila Prabhupada said that the demigods would line up to take birth in this movement. When I saw your picture with the other Gurukula children I was in awe of you. My peers in the Hare Krishna movement joined in their teens in the 70's, but you and your friends were so much younger. So I always saw you as a saint.
Prabhupada loved the children. He used to personally hand out cookies to so many little boys and girls after morning class in various temples around the world. It was always such a joyful and loving affair. I knew a five-year old boy in England who fondly recalled playing with Srila Prabhupada in his room at the Bhaktivedanta Manor. He made little Radha-Krishna Deities for Prabhupada out of tissue paper rolls and cotton batten and Srila Prabhupada placed them on his bookshelf, so pleased. In return he gave the boy a "simply wonderful" sweetball and a spiritual name.
At the time, everyone knew that Srila Prabhupada was adamant that you children should always be treated with utmost respect and care:
"These children are given to us by Krishna. They are Vaisnavas and we must be very careful to protect them. These are not ordinary children, they are Vaikuntha children, and we are very fortunate we can give them chance to advance further in Krishna consciousness. That is very great responsibility, do not neglect it or be confused. Your duty is very clear." (Srila Prabhupada letter, 30th July, 1972)
I remember in the late 70's when Tribhuvannatha Prabhu and I used to travel to Vrindavan from the Middle East, we had so much fun in kirtan with the Gurukulis in front of Shri Shri Krishna-Balarama. We always looked forward to having such delightful association. Yet, somehow or other, Ananda Prabhu, many of us had no idea at the time that there was a dark side to the Gurukulas. I'm personally shocked, devastated and can't find the words to describe how painful it is to hear your stories, to know that Prabhupada's wish for you was not fulfilled. He wanted you to be protected, happy and blissful in Krishna Consciousness. There's no doubt that he loved you all so very much. I'm sorry that your true plight escaped us, that you had to suffer unimaginably in Prabhupada's movement -- the direct antithesis to his desire.
Sriman Ananda Prabhu, you're such a great and significant soul. Your life has enchanted us all and will never go in vain. Although I have no qualifications whatsoever, I humbly pray that Srila Prabhupada will kindly bless you unlimitedly with his blissful smile and love. All glories to you, all glories to you, all glories to you! Thank you for coming into our lives and making this world a better place in which to live.
Your aspiring servant,