The many faces of Suhotra prabhu
HG Suhotra prabhu, a disciple of Srila Prabhupada passed away at Sri Mayapur dham on 9th April due to Cardiac arrest. He was involved with Mayapur Gurukula in curriculum development since 1988 and during last 3 years, he has been living at Mayapur Gurukula. He was regularly giving Srimad Bhagavatham classes and teaching Bhakti Vaibhava course for Gurukula students. He was fully focused on developing adult education. He was a prolific writer and used to forego all bodily needs and comforts to accomplish his writing task. Some of his books, which stand apart for his scholarly expertise are Substance and Shadows, Six systems of Vedic philosophy, Apasampradaya, Vedanta Psychology etc. He has served as GBC member for 12 years and as GBC Chairman during Srila Prabhupada Centennial year. We request all the devotees to offer their prayers for HG Suhotra Prabhu for his smooth onward journey in Krishna Consciousness.
His Grace Suhotra dasa Tapovanachari passes away in Mayapur
It is with great sadness that we have to announce the departure of His
Grace Suhotra Prabhu from this world.
Since joining the gurukula full time in 2004 he worked continuously on the study guide of the Srimad Bhagavatam, almost to the exclusion of anything else.
On Tuesday 3rd April, he announced to his class that he would be starting a one month marathon of study and writing and wouldn't be free to give class anymore.
It was not uncommon for Suhotraji to work 36 hours straight at
times in the privacy of his room, even taking prasadam in there. On Saturday
7th April he mentioned that his mind had become very peaceful now that
he could immerse himself completely in his study and writing of the Bhagavatam
He preferred to be left to himself when writing and would call for anything he needed.
On Monday 9th April, Vagisa Prabhu went to call Suhotra Prabhu to take an international telephone call. The door to Suhotraji's room was latched from the inside and the lights off. Since Vagisa Prabhu could not get any reply he forced the door open and found Suhotra Prabhu lying on his bed, his back against the wall and his feet stretched out in front of him, crossed at the ankles. His right hand was in his bead bag and his left at his side. A light chadder lay across his body and legs. Although it appeared that Suhotra Prabhu has left his body some time before, Vagisa Prabhu called Madhava Gauranga Prabhu who confirmed that he had gone.
The government doctor stated off the record that the visible signs were consistent with a heart attack. Suhotra Prabhu's body was subsequently taken to Krishnanagar by officials of the government, accompanied by Rama Vijaya Prabhu, and Jagannatha Misra Prabhu and other devotees from the temple for the official post mortem. The results of the post mortem confirm the initial report. Suhotraji left this world from massive cardiac failure.
In accordance with Vaisnava rituals his body will be cremated as soon as the government officials release it
We at the Bhaktivedanta Academy feel the loss of Suhotra Prabhu deeply, along with all other devotees who are his friends and well wishers.
The devotees of the Bhaktivedanta Academy.
Suhotra prabhu passes away
Please accept my humble obeisances!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
With heart full of pain I have to inform you about recent passing away of HG Suhotra das Tapovanacari from this world. His body was found on Monday 9th April in his room in Mayapur Gurukula.
Muniraja Prabhu's letter: "Doctor confirmed that death was natural, it seems the heart had just stopped. He was lying peacefully in his bed, holding his beads. Maharaja was on a marathon to write study materials for Srimad Bhagavatam and was fully absorbed into it for last weeks and months. He gave wonderful Bhagavatam class in Gurukula on last week's Tuesday. He said this will be his last lecture for this spring, since he will be dedicated to writing, "enjoy while you can", he said in a jolly mood. Later I thought that Krsna spoke through him and told that it was to be the last lecture for ever."
Hari Sauri Prabhu: "He did tremendous service for many years, was resident here in Mayapur for the last few years, he left his body here in Mayapur and therefore we can say without doubt that he got the full blessings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Prabhupada. I have no doubt he went back to Godhead."
His services in terms of management, book distribution, preaching & lecture engagement and literary work are to be remembered. As Lord Krishna says in the Gita: "For one who explains this supreme secret to the devotees, pure devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me. There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear."
Let us pray for his mercy on us.
By Shanti Parayan das
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Last night 11.4.07 between 6.30 pm and 10 pm a wonderful cremation took place.
Suhotra prabhu’s body was released by the Police and brought from the Krsnanagar hospital to the burning ghat at Navadvipa. HG Gaura Hari prabhu from the Goshal, who has assisted in many cremations for devotees over the past 10-15 years, was the chief pujari.
Observing all the rituals, including removing the plastic wrapping and replacing it with fine new cloth, he arranged a funeral pyre of wood on the banks of the Ganges. In attendance were 6 western disciples/well wishers and around 100 devotees from Mayapura. The fire was lit just before sunset and to the accompaniment of sweet Hare krsna kirtan, Suhotra prabhus remains burnt to ashes.
Comments were made “that the fire was practically smokeless”, indicating a soul in pure consciousness. And the roaring 6meter high flame attracted many onlookers. Another group of Vaisnavas had arrived around 9pm to burn another body but inspired by the kirtan they left aside their charge and joined our kirtan for over 1 hour.
Now the ashes are staying at the BA in 3 urns waiting for the decision on where the samadhi will be. Also Suhotra prabhu’s sister is coming from US to take some ashes and get the mercy of her illustrious brother and the Holy Dham of Sri Mayapura.
We plan to have a memorial class, including excerpts from Suhotra prabhu’s last Srimad Bhagavatam class he gave, on Tuesday 17th April followed by a sponsored feast for the whole Mayapura community of devotees. This day is 11 days after his departure.
Any sponsors towards the feast and upcoming Samadhi are welcome and can be forwarded to HG Jagganatha misra pr. contact firstname.lastname@example.org
ys Shanti Parayan das
Now one can realize that a kind of spiritual body one can get depends on the Hari Nam one has chanted. That is called dissolving one into name of Lord Hari. It again proves Lord and His name is not different. Suhotra prabhu has dissolved himself into Hari Nam and got one beautiful spiritual body at lotus feet of Prabhupada in Mayapur.
From the comment “that the fire was practically smokeless”, it shows that he is one of the elevated Vaisanava among Prabhupada’s devotees and very close to Prabhupada. All glory to Mayapur! All glory to Mohaprabhu! All glory to Pancha Tattva! All glory to Narahari Narashima Dev! All glory to Madan Mohan! All glory to associate Vaisanavas and devotees! Hare Krsna! Haribol!
Comment posted by srimanta on April 14th, 2007
Over the past 2 days, April 16 & 17, ceremonies were held in honor of His Grace Suhotra Prabhu.
On April 16, devotees gathered in the temple room to honor Suhotra Prabhu. Many devotees spoke in glorification, but the running theme through everyone’s words was the deep affection and respect they held for Suhotra Prabhu. Many members of the audience were introduced to another side of Suhotra Prabhu, who was an intensely private person.
By far the most compelling, moving, and well-received speaker of the day was Murari Prabhu, a dear friend of Suhotra’s, and a resident of the dhama for some 20-plus years. His speech had most in tears, and ended with heartfelt applause from the gathered assembly of devotees. He led the devotees on a guided tour through the time he spent with Suhotra Prabhu since the early 80s, culminating in the last few days of his life:
“In my opinion he had cleared all the final hurdles between himself and Krishna, and Krishna took him back immediately. I believe Prabhupada brought him here to Mahaprabhu’s dhama to deal with his last obstacles; Mahaprabhu’s mercy is inconceivable and unlimited. He stripped him of all position in the Society, freed him from any tinge of desire for name or fame, He offered him the Bhagavatam for shelter, and when Suhotraji passed all the tests, He rewarded him by taking Him back to where we all belong.”
April 17 was the 11 day period after leaving his body, and so a memorial class was held in honor of Suhotra Prabhu, and then at lunch, a feast was served to all the devotees in Mayapur.
Suhotra Prabhu’s ashes are at the gurukula, awaiting a decision on where his samadhi will be and what form it will take. At that time the final tirobhava rites will be completed.
His Grace Suhotra Prabhu ki jai!
Some insights into the nature of Suhotra prabhu
Groningen, the Netherlands
15 December 2004
Krsna! KRSNA! K R S N A !!!!!
There's this cartoon figure that American kids of my generation loved. Tinkerbelle is her name. She's a little golden fairy who darts through the air leaving a trail of magic dust behind her as she goes. She has a magic wand with which she does wonders.
It's a big mistake to think of Lord Krsna, His holy name, in "Tinkerbelle terms. " He's not a busy little magic helper of the so-called needs of the conditioned soul. He's not a mystic of the type that is popular in India today, who smiles benignly and with a gesture or a nod makes everything all right. (The popular mystics don't really make everything all right either. They help a foolish soul misunderstand what his real problem is. )
In Bhagavad-gita Lord Krsna blesses Arjuna by making clear to him where the grief that overcame him at Kuruksetra was rooted. The quick answer to where grief begins is ignorance. But ignorance grows deep roots in the heart in the form of attachment. And attachment, as we can see from Arjuna's arguments to the Lord given in the first chapter, takes on the guise of virtue in material existence. Hence Arjuna's "compassion" for those about to die on the field of battle. Hence his "nonviolence. "
Arjuna lamented because he was attached by ignorance to the unreal. Even Srila Vyasadeva lamented when his son Sukadeva abandoned his home immediately after his birth.
Krsna is the Dark behind the dark behind the dark. What I mean by that is, life is made dark with misery because of attachment. Behind that attachment is the darkness of ignorance. And behind ignorance is Sri Krsna Himself. Not that He forces ignorance upon us. But He does grant the desire of the living entity who, wanting to go the "easy way" (which is really the way of misery), wishes that Krsna was not always there within him. No, this living entity wants to be alone in the heart. He wants to decide for himself, take credit for himself, and enjoy by himself.
So Krsna's blessing to Arjuna was to point out the cause of his grief. This knowledge relieved Arjuna but also annointed him with a duty. Once the Lord shines His light of divya-jnana upon ignorance and attachment, the duty of the soul so instructed is to fight and overcome this same ignorance and attachment under the Lord's guidance. That is the next step.
Srila Prabhupada once explained that a devotee who receives in sincerity this knowledge of Krsna consciousness is fortunate, even if he is weak and falls down. Prabhupada explained that he is weakened due to misusing the instruction of his spiritual master. I think this means that, for whatever personal motives, this devotee does not take the next step.
Knowledge of where ignorance and attachment lies in the heart gives relief and answers for philosophical and psychological problems. But if it does not quicken into action that proves beyond all doubt that ignorance and attachment are defeated, then this knowledge is theoretical. And theory that does not go beyond the mental plane is certainly weak. Anyway, Srila Prabhupada assured that even this stage is fortunate because sooner or later the knowledge will act.
So there's hope.
The Dark behind the dark behind the dark. In the material world, death is the ultimate Dark that swallows our ignorant attachments. Death is Krsna, as He declares in Gita. It isn't morbid or somehow distasteful to meditate upon Krsna in this way. We hurtle closer to death at every moment. It's Krsna consciousness to face the fact that this ultimate meeting with Him is getting closer and closer as we breath.
I think of Dronacarya as a man of knowledge who forgot this truth. He was learned enough to be Arjuna's teacher, but he remained in the employ of the forces of ignorance and attachment--the Kurus. It was a comfortable material situation. So comfortable that Drona chose to fight against Krsna and Arjuna. Thus he became an obstacle for Arjuna to overcome by surrendering to the uncorruptable knowledge spoken by Sri Krsna.
Arjuna did it because he loves Krsna. That is important. Success is gained by something more than just knowing about the darkness that covers the heart. Success is had in pure bhakti. It is the higher taste that insures that those strong attachments, like Arjuna's fealty to Drona, are renounced for good.
Yes, is is not magic. It is transcendental knowledge, practical action, and pure devotion.
Being far away from this, yet at the same time so near, I am depressed. Well, enough of that.
There's always hope. Srila Prabhupada assured it. Krsna! KRSNA! K R S N A !!!!
All glories to Suhotra Prabhu, who dedicated his life to Srila Prabhupada's auspicious mission, and who left this world in the glorious Mayapur dhama.
Notes on Srimad-Bhagavatam Classes by Suhotra Prabhu in 2006
Some Nectar from Srila Prabhupada
As an eight-year-old child, Srila Prabhupada was playing in a field with some strike-anywhere matches. One match fell on his cotton dhoti and it burst into flames. A man appeared from nowhere and rolled Srila Prabhupada on the ground to put out the flames. Prabhupada showed the devotees a scar he still had from that incident. The lesson Prabhupada used the story to teach is that you should not think that you can play with Krishna’s energies and there will not be consequences.
Srila Prabhupada once said, “If you want to know what your karma is, look in the mirror!”
On King Pariksit and Sukadeva Goswami
King Pariksit’s leaving his body was of such universal import that great sages came there on a variety of pleas.
As doctors differ in diagnosis and prescription, similarly the sages offered different advice to King Pariksit.
Practically the whole Bhagavatam is an answer to King Pariksit’s two
(1) tell me of the unalloyed duty of everyone in all circumstances,
(2) and specifically of those who are just about to die
Sukadeva Goswami did not leave the womb of his mother until Lord Krishna Himself assured him that he would be unaffected by maya (illusion). His father Vyasadeva’s assurance was not sufficient.
On Laksmi, The Lord's Internal Energy
When Mahamaya got initiated by Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada explained,
“Mahamaya is another phase of Srimati Radharani.”
Laksmi acts either as Laksmi or Maya depending on how we approach her.
In the Sixth Canto, Chapter Nineteen, Kasyapa glorifies the worship of Laksmi-Narayana and explains the whole Bhagavata philosophy in just a few verses.
Some devotees are enamored by Western psychology, but there are six or eight schools of Western psychology and even people with degrees in it admit that Western psychology does not have a complete understanding.
Because Pariksit Maharaja is a great devotee, he regrets his offense
to Samika Rsi. He does not minimize it thinking, “I am OK. You are OK,”
as a popular psychologist might. Nor does he avoid taking responsibility
for the fault, because at heart he doesn’t feel he did anything wrong.
In the Vedic paradigm there are standards of right and wrong. There is admission of wrong by the guilty party, his determination to reform, and his endeavor to get on with life, which means to get on with life’s goal of attaining love of Godhead.
On Punishment by Yamaraja
Yamaraja’s messengers are angry with sinful persons because the messengers subsist on the offerings from sraddha ceremonies and thus when people are sinful, they have less to subsist on. It is said that the diseases of this world in their personified form are servants of Yamaraja (the lord of death).
Pious souls go to Yamaraja’s assembly where Yamaraja’s dogs acts as fearsome guard dogs. The impious souls are actually bitten by the dogs, but because they have subtle bodies they do not die. They just suffer. Each time a dog bites, the individual recalls one of his sinful acts.
The Buddhists say that before Buddha appeared there were sixty-two different philosophies in India and many people were confused.
Buddha used the example of the man who is shot with an arrow to discourage unnecessary philosophical speculation. When one is shot with an arrow it is useless to ask who shot the arrow, which direction it came from, how powerful was the bow, etc. Best thing is to remove the arrow and dress the wound.
Buddha said his dharma would last one thousand years. His leading disciple told him that there are many young women who want to become nuns. Buddha said that that was alright, they could come, but in that case, his dharma would last only five hundred years. This is written in the Buddhist scripture itself.
Buddha defeated the best Vedic scholars who knew the Vedas backwards and forwards. If God wants to preach atheism, then who can defeat Him?
Odds and Ends
It is described that all material and spiritual weapons exist within Lord Vishnu’s disc called Sudarsana. Actually the fall of the soul is not when he comes to the material world since he comes as Lord Brahma and acts as Krishna’s servant. If as Brahma, he becomes attached to karma or jnana, then he is fallen and must remain in the material world.
In Bhagavad-gita, Krishna speaks often of buddhi-yoga or engaging our intelligence in devotional service.
In the Second Canto it is described that the Lord draws energy from the marginal energy to run the cosmic manifestation.
Srila Prabhupada once said a brahmana is one who has read his books four times.
Every day we must study the scripture to sharpen our intelligence to distinguish between maya and Krishna consciousness. The demigods remain neophyte devotees because they cannot discriminate between heavenly sense enjoyment and spiritual rasa.
On Congregational Chanting and Devotional Service
The minimum benediction from the yajna of sankirtana is liberation. From acting out of kama, we realize that we “can’t get no satisfaction”, and then we desire liberation.
Ajamila got moksa from chanting the name of Narayana, even to call his son. To get moksa in previous ages, one had to perform sacrifice perfectly.
Those people we see in the West on harinama who somehow or other clap, chant, and dance with the devotees get incalculable benefit. They may be the persons who greet you when you go back to Godhead!
Srila Prabhupada said that people who stay for a long time in the Krishna
consciousness movement have acquired such a taste for devotional service
after many births.