N iranjana Swami: My dear Abhyarci devi dasi,
Please accept my blessings. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Yesterday, March 7, 2014, you left this world surrounded by so many loving devotees, loudly chanting Krsna’s names. As I was standing next to you, chanting and simultaneously hearing the kirtan, chanted so loudly and with such great fervor, I was reflecting on the letter you wrote to me early last year.
Among the many beautiful thoughts you shared with me in that letter, you mentioned a conversation you had with a devoteee in Kolkata, the same day you were diagnosed with cancer. Although this devotee knew nothing yet about the diagnosis (because other than yourself and your husband, nobody else was told what the doctors had said) he asked you the following question:
“Where were you born?”
In your letter, you wrote that you replied, “Oh, it is small place near Herson. No one knows it. I was born there, but it is not important. What is important is where I’ll die, I hope not at the place where I was born. I hope I’ll die in Mayapur.”
This devotee then quickly responded with the following prophetic words (exactly as you had written them to me):
“Oh, of course, Abhyarchi, no doubt that you will be dying in Mayapur, beautifully and solemnly, and we all will sing an ecstatic kirtan for you, and you’ll leave us during this kirtan, and we will take your body to the Ganga, we will burn it on her bank and we will sing and cry in separation of you. But at the same time we all will be very happy, because we’ll be absolutely sure that you returned home to your eternal service to Krsna and you’ll never come back here.”
And then, again, in your own words, you shared with me your reaction to what you had just heard:,
“I almost choked from the tears of delight! And with a deep gratitude I accepted this blessing of a devotee,
I remembered how I prayed to Krsna to help me become serious in my spiritual life and understood that Krsna is answering my prayers now”
Just a few hours ago, I returned from the funeral pyre, upon which your body, decorated with the most peaceful smile on your face, was placed. While standing along the banks of Mother Ganges, watching the fire gradually consume your body, I was again loudly singing Krsna’s names along with the many devotees who accompanied us on the procession.
This time, however, I was reflecting on how Krsna fulfilled your wishes. You asked Krsna to help you become serious in your spiritual life and you became so much more serious. You also told that devotee, “I hope I’ll die in Mayapura.” Not only did you leave this world in Mayapura, but you left in a very auspicious way.
Of course, none of us expected that all this would happen so soon. In fact, we were not prepared. But it seems to me that you were.
Reflecting on the conversations we’ve had since you first learned about your cancer, I recall only one topic which seemed important to you every time we met. “How can I become more attached to the Holy Name?” You were uninterested to talk with me about your bodily pains, your disease, your treatments, and rarely about anything else connected to this material world. And your only complaint was, “I’m not attached enough to the Holy Name.”
I was proud of you then, remain very proud of you now, and I wish everyone to know how proud of you I am. Today I was also able to see you not only as my disciple, but also as my teacher. You taught me how important it is detach ourselves from this material world by deepening our attachment to the holy name.
I pray that, by Lord Nityananda’s mercy, there was not the slightest trace of material anxiety or desire within your heart and that the devotee’s prophetic words will all be fulfilled. May you enter into the dancing party of Radha and Krsna and forever remain in Their service.
Always, Your well-wisher, Niranjana Swami In Memoriam