Eulogy for Rajgana Das
Posted November 1, 2009
It is around this time of year that we remember the day our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, left our vision to enter the eternal realm of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna in the spiritual sky. At this auspicious time I would also like to reflect on one of Srila Prabhupada's earliest disciples in Australia, Sriman Rajgana Das, who has recently passed away. Rajgana prabhu was a very nice and simple hearted devotee who greatly influenced myself and many others to join the temple. Although it is unfortunate that he is no longer with us, it is fortunate in another way that he is now with Srila Prabhupada in spirit due to his being so devoted and surrendered to him from the very early days of the Hare Krishna movement in Australia. In past years we have heard how Srila Prabhupada promised us that we are all assured of going back home, back to Godhead due to engaging in the sankirtana movement of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Prabhupada once told a devotee that Bhaktivinode Thakur would personally come down from the spiritual sky to deliver him; and many devotees at the time of their passing have said they felt that Prabhupada had come to save them; such is the mercy that is available to anyone who helps the parampara to fulfil the divine prophecy of Lord Chaitanya that the holy names will be heard in every town and village in the world. Prabhupada showed us that he is patita pavana, the deliverer of the most fallen souls, because prior to our meeting His Divine Grace we were all completely lost in the ocean of material existence with absolutely no hope of deliverance. That he could even engage such fallen souls as ourselves; most of us mere hippies with no direction in life, is proof of his potency and connection to the parampara going back to Krishna.
Whenever a small child on a bicycle holds onto a bus it is carried along with the same momentum as the bus. Similarly, although we were totally ignorant of our relationship with Krishna and had no potency to change our own lives, what to speak of the lives of others, by holding onto the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada and faithfully repeating his message, we often found we could motivate others to surrender to Krishna and join Prabhupada's Hare Krishna movement. All of this is based on the principle of attraction; and of course Krishna is the all-attractive. Lord Chaitanya tasted the nectar of Krishna consciousness Himself, and by His blissful example He attracted all who saw Him to also dance and chant in ecstasy. Rajgana prabhu was a perfect example of this principle. Whenever I went to the temple at Glebe in Sydney I would enter the little shop at the front and see Rajgana blissfully chanting the holy names of the Lord almost as if he was relishing eating them as he chanted. He would always make sure there was a packet of my favourite Carnation incense available for me when I came, and he also made sure a few plates of halva and maha-prasadam were hidden away because he could perhaps sense I needed a little more purification than most. On one occasion at the Sunday feast, we ate fourteen plates of halva between us, which is a classic example of purification Rajgana-style.
Rajgana prabhu always listened carefully as visiting senior devotees would talk about the pastimes of Srila Prabhupada as he went all over the world preaching Krishna consciousness, and many times I would sit for hours hearing Rajgana repeat these stories in total ecstasy. Rajgana was a wellspring of nectar about Srila Prabhupada, and just as a gulabjaman oozes sweet nectar when squeezed, so Rajgana would immediately flood the atmosphere with devotion and love as he related Prabhupada's wonderful pastimes. In one way it is sad that Rajgana Das has left us, but in another way we should be happy that he is now at peace in the eternal association of his beloved spiritual master. The service he did for Sri Sri Radha Gopinath and the Vaishnavas in the Krishna consciousness movement in Australia for so many years will never be forgotten by all those who knew and loved him. His deep love for Srila Prabhupada and his commitment to always glorify him when the opportunity arose will remain in our memories as a testament to the supreme glory and mercy of His Divine Grace and stand as an inspiration to all of us who aspire to be Vaishnavas. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and his servant Rajgana.