Amekhala, Departure of a Devotee
Posted May 30, 2010
I first met Amekhala when I was pregnant with my daughter Lila in 1990. I took a side trip to England to avoid Indian summer and meet my Jordy relatives. I was really struck by how nice the English matajis were. I think they were the nicest and closest knit family of devotees I had ever met. A few really stood out and touched my heart. Amekhala was one of them, even though I only spoke to her briefly on that occasion, I never forgot her. She was pushing her son Vrinny in a pusher. She was not only inwardly beautiful, but she was so beautiful to look at as well. Blond with flushed cheeks and a beautiful smile. Very innocent looking, english rose. She had the sweetest and most sincere disposition. You felt she really cared about you and was deeply interested in anything you had to say. Almost all of her conversations were focused on Srila Prabhupad, or ventured back to the subject of Srila Prabhupad and his teachings. She obviously loved him deeply. She struck me as very tolerant and very humble. I doubt if she could ever hurt the feelings of another living being, that was my impression of her in a nutshell.
The next time I met her was some years later in Vrindavan when my niece Kalindi who was in my care was going to get engaged to her son Deva. I was very concerned because Kalindi was so young and she was going to go to England and live with Amekhala. I met Amekhala to discuss this and I was immediately reassured. She had taken Kalindi as her own daughter and welcomed her into her heart and home. I was again so impressed by this sweet natured and selfless Vaishnavi. Kalindi was very protected and safe with Amekhala for many years and I felt happy as Amekhala was a better mother figure than I was, even though Kalindi was not her flesh and blood child. I was not around Amekhala so much over the years, so I did not know her that well at that point in time, but other people have told me when I have relayed this story of Amekhalas acceptance of Kalindi as a daughter that she had done that with all the children in the community. She was a real mother and in a true and spiritual sense, not just to those who were her flesh and blood. I have to say, that if you wanted to see the heavy side of Amekhala, just hurt or abuse a child, then she would become like a lioness, and speak without fear to get justice for a child, perpetrators watch out! She had many personal problems over the years and yet it never detracted from her giving of herself to others. She was very selflessly kind and giving, out of the ordinary.
The next time I got to spend more time with Amekhala was when she was living in Vrindavan and taking care of MVT. I always felt she was like a family member because of our relationship through Kalindi and Devas marriage. I used to visit with her and have many discussions at that time. She always always spoke about the glories and greatness of Srila Prabhupad and was very exemplary in this regard, It was her favorite subject, and she never tired of it. She was very faithful through thick and thin to Srila PRabhupads society Iskcon, and would not let anyone use any excuses to abandon it. She spoke to me very heavily in this regard telling me to always remain faithful to Srila PRabhupad and His mission and to overlook the faults in others service. She would not compromise on this issue at all. She was always saying that Srila PRabhupad wanted us to stay and fight for his society and serve the devotees and the mission. I have to mention this to do her memory justice as it was a big part of who she was. She was always accommodating, always made everyone around her feel comfortable and important, always concerned about others feelings and suffering. An ocean of compassion and a fine representative of her guru in every respect. She would listen tirelessly and had many wise words of reassurance for us all. But she was also very heavy and uncompromising when it came to her loyalty to Srila PRabhupad. She got herself in trouble sometimes defending her views.
The last time I had dealings with Amekhala was at the worst time in my life when I was suffering the deepest of pain and separation from my daughter Lila who was murdered in Vrindavan. Amekhala would come on line and speak to me and reassure me and listen to my insane ramblings for hours. She was the only one who gave me this much time and energy at that time (though everyone was kind). She was so concerned for me and gave up her time to ease my pain and make sure I was ok, everyday for some months. In retrospect I realise that she was going out of her way to be available and be there for me. I will always remember her selflessness and compassion for this reason. When I heard she was terminally ill, I felt so sorry. Sorry for the rest of us who would be left behind without her wonderful association. I also felt, oh, Krishna and Srila PRabhupad have obviously got a plan for her. Either some great preaching mission with her beloved Guru Maharaj, or some direct service in Goloka Vrindavan with Sri Sri Radhe Shyam.
I am absolutely sure Srila Prabhupad has taken her. I can see in my minds eye her internal state when her body was breaking down and I know from my small association with her that she was truly a self realized and liberated soul who had the full blessing and mercy of the pure devotee with her. She was also very strong and very Krishna Conscious. Tolerance was her strong attribute, through thick and thin.
I only hope and pray that she kindly put in a few words for this wretched fallen soul, because I know Krishna only hears His pure devotees appeals on behalf of the fallen. All glories to Amekhala Devi Dasi, saddly missed by all who knew and loved her, great loss for our society.
Your aspiring servant Subhangi Devi Dasi.