Posted April 3, 2009
Dear friends, family and classmates of Harish,
Taken in the midst of flood season, late 1999, it shows a young Harish, 15 or 16 years old at the time, pushing a boat through the flooded scenery of Mayapur.
What you don't see in the picture is the boat full of 10 to 15 gurukula devotees, including myself (taking the picture).
Since the gurukula kitchen was not functioning at the time, all the gurukula devotees would have to eat at the Gada Building which, anyone who has stayed in Mayapur would know, is pretty far from the gurukula.
Harish would bring all of us that distance by boat every day, pushing the boat happily and effortlessly with only the help of a long piece of bamboo. It didn't matter the load or number of passengers, he would swiftly convey us to our destination.
I came fresh to Mayapur, along with my two brothers, Devala and Raktak, to join the gurukula. Apart from experiencing a small sample of the flood season, I had the fortunate opportunity to make friendship with wonderful devotee youth like Harish.
I remember Harish being so helpful to us western boys, showing us how to wash our clothes, keep clean and maintain sadhana.
Physically strong as a bull, he would be often do the toughest of the chores, with a challenging smile on his face.
His strength was probably his most familiar quality. He was undefeatable in almost any physical activity whether it be arm-wrestling, martial arts and sports. I'm sure everyone who knows him will agree that, if he had a fair chance to fight back, it would be those criminals dead instead of Harish.
He was also the supervisor of the ashram I was in and was very cooperative, patient and never enforced authority on anyone. By seeing his exemplary qualities and actions, most of us came to respect him, although he was younger in age to some.
He was also very determined for a youth of his age. When he came to gurukul in the begining, he hardly knew a word of English but, within a short time, he was fluently communicating with everyone. He was steady in his schooling, regular in sadhana and quick at learning anything.
This is how I came to know and admire Harish and his good qualities.
The memories have remained with me throughout my life and will continue to.
To lose such a wonderful devotee and friend at such a young age is indeed unfortunate.
I pray that, by the Lord's grace, he will be in a better place.
We will miss you Harish.
drdha vrata das