Tribute to Golokvasi Bhakti Swarup Damodar [ Dr T D Singh ]
Posted October 4, 2006
New Delhi, October 2, 2006.
News broke during the Mangal Arati on Monday morning that His Holiness Bhakti Swarup Damodar Maharaj left his body in early morning hours in a hospital in Kolkata. His body was flown to New Delhi same day, enroute Vrindavan where "Samadhi" was planned in Radha Kunda.[ more news to be followed]
Tributes were paid to him in a condolence meeting at Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi Dham, ISKCON New Delhi- by HG Mohan Rupa, President of the Temple, HH Yadu Kuleshwar Maharaj, HG Krishna Priya das, HG Vrajendra Nandan das, National Director- Communications HG JitaMitra Prabhu, Bhakta Rakesh Oberoi and myself among others.
He was called back to Goloka by JagadGuru Srila Prabhupada to serve him, other acharyas and Krishna over there.
He was a leading soldier preaching to scientists, academicians, political leaders and intelligentsia. Now our responsibility to preach has increased as one by one such "soldiers" in Srila Prabhupada's preaching army are going back to the Founder Acharya ! Through singing, dancing and drama performances, Bhakti Swarup Damodar Maharaj won the hearts of many. He was injured on Janmashtami day, August 16, and he left the body on Vijaya Dashami day, October 2.
I first met him in the year 2000 at Sri Sri Radha Madhava Hari Dham in Phoenix, Arizona, USA while he was performing Ras Lila with his Ranga Niketana dancing Troupe.
Its unfortunate that entire one and half hour long footage filmed by ABC TV [ American Broadcasting Corporation] was mistakenly erased by another technician.
Maharaj's turban was auctioned after the performance in order to raise some funds, and I was fortunate to be the highest bidder and possess that treasure. Maharaj described how he got involved into ISKCON while researching at University of California , and since then his devotion became stronger and stronger.
He even requested Pope Paul to be a vegetarian for a day at a Peace Congress, organized in Cypress under the United Nations, about five years ago, and the Pope- being his good friend accepted the offer and did not eat meat that day along with all other delegates.
Golpokvasi Bhakti Swarup Damodar had led many projects including a Vedic University in Manipur to be opened next year, and he offered me again an opportunity to do seva be being a professor to teach e-commerce and related subjects combined with spirituality and Krishna Consciousness.
May he serve Srila Prabhupada and other acharyas who are constantly engaged
in transcendentally enjoying the pastimes of Krishna!