Suci's Memorial

Welcome to the Memorial Page of Her Grace Sucirani Mataji
In glorification of the life and passing of Gopinatha’s faithful servant

   
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Kirtans and homages
Here you may discuss or leave a memory of Mother Suci Rani
Suci's Writings
Memorials
 

Appreciations

Condolences

Some letters of condolence sent to Sucirani’s family and close friends after her departure:

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Braja Sevaki Devi Dasi:

You have done a wonderful service, facilitating Suci Rani’s departure in this way. I’m sure you will receive her continued eternal blessings, and those of her Lord, Sri Krishna.

I am sorry for your loss, and wish you a soft, caring and swift recovery process. Please do not ignore the pain, as it is valid and must be attended.

The following verses were sent to me by HH Kesava Bharati Maharaja after the passing away of my dear spiritual master, HH Tamal Krishna Goswami. They helped me immensely, and I hope they will also help you. It is about the pain of separation....please take a moment to read. It is Krishna Himself speaking to Narada Muni. It is only a few verses, but they turned my world around when he left his body.

May Krishna bless you....

Your servant
Braja Sevaki dd

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Brihad Bhagavatmarita 1.7.126-130

It is true that, when one is parted from those one loves, pure love makes one suffer within, as if from a blazing fire. The burning pain creates a remorse that further deepens into irrepressible sorrow. Thus one at first seems wretched.
COMMENTARY
Narada may agree that he need not be embarrassed for unavoidably losing control amidst the ecstasies of bhagavad-bhakti. Yet he had caused Krsna great distress by sending the Lord into a bewildered trance of remembering His devotees in Vrndavana. In this verse and the next, Krsna therefore tries to convince Narada that he need not blame himself. The misery of transcendental separation is only apparent; even while outwardly showing many symptoms of mental pain, a person feeling viraha-bhava is absorbed in incomparable bliss. Thus the apparently wretched devotee is actually most fortunate. Whatever momentary distress he may feel will soon give way to complete happiness.

TRANSLATION
But this anguish of separation is praised as greater than the happiness of enjoying with those one loves. Separation is so pleasing to the mind that it cannot be described. It always transforms at last into an abundance of pleasure. Only experts in tasting these moods can understand how this happens.
COMMENTARY
The so-called bliss of merging into the impersonal aspect of the Absolute Truth is often said to be indescribable, but the bliss of pure prema is even harder to describe. And most hard to describe is the inconceivable ecstasy of transcendental love in separation, which is born in pain but grows into the greatest possible pleasure. The ecstasy of separation is not the miserable experience it seems to outsiders; it is mano-rama, the cause of full satisfaction for the heart. If someone still asks how one can feel happy within misery, he should know that only the rasikas, those who have
Spontaneous eagerness to taste this prema, can understand it.
TRANSLATION
After the pain of despair is relieved, one’s heart feels fully satisfied, delighting constantly as one enjoys the great pleasure of meeting with one’s beloved. COMMENTARY
Those who have not yet realized their natural attraction toward Krsna cannot understand the ecstasy of separation. They should not vainly pretend to be expert in things to which they have no real access, but should instead take guidance from the authentic rasikas in the line of Vaisnava parampara on how to gradually become fit for understanding the subtleties of devotion. Faithful hearing and service are required. Still, the material mind is demanding, so neophytes may ask, “Doesn’t excessive misery normally result in either delusion or death? Why should unlimited joy arise from misery? Granted, the laws of nature dictate that pleasure is generally followed by pain, and pain by pleasure. But this doesn’t mean that pain literally becomes pleasure and vice versa; it means that circumstances in this world are always changing, so that neither pleasure nor pain can long continue without being replaced by the other. To say that some kind of suffering matures into the highest ecstasy is unreasonable.”
In answer to such demands to justify viraha-bhava by logic, what pure devotees personally experience may be offered as definite evidence. Pure devotees do indeed enjoy ecstasy in separation. And since no other cause for this ecstasy can be ascertained, the cause must be their intense experience of what appears from the outside to be suffering. To help newcomers to the devotional process understand viraha-bhava, Krsna speaks the current verse, comparing the ecstasy of viraha-bhava to the pleasurable sensation of relief from pain, a relief with which everyone is
familiar. A person may struggle to achieve some object of satisfaction, and though his struggle may be painful, when he achieves his object the pain turns into joy. The ecstatic distress of viraha-bhava may appear similar to the pleasure that follows pain, but as expressed here by the phrase sampanna-vat (“as if experiencing”), this is only the external appearance. In reality the ecstasy of separation comes not from the eventual meeting and enjoying with one’s beloved but from the “pain” of separation itself. That ecstasy is complete satisfaction, in which one never feels any insufficiency. That ecstasy may be compared to the pleasure of gratification after deprivation, but actually it is much more sublime. The mind of an ordinary person is relieved when he can rejoin those he loves and again gratify his senses, but a pure devotee’s greatest ecstasy arises from serving and remembering Krsna in separation.

TRANSLATION
One may want to feel that separation again, and may indeed feel distressed if one cannot. Thus a person who can remind one of a beloved not present is considered the most sincere and helpful friend. Please understand: When somehow made mindful of those one loves, one is given back one’s life. Forgetting those more dear than one’s own breath is more painful than dying.Those dear as life one can never forget, but when reminded of them in a special way one feels happy, like one who has lived a life of good fortune.
COMMENTARY
Just as one always remembers the most important events in one’s own life, Krsna’s devotee always remembers Krsna, and Krsna always remembers the devotee. Sometimes, however, that remembrance becomes especially sweet, as when stimulated by the words of an eloquent Vai

Family

Banke Bihari, Sucirani’s husband, shared this message during her Memorial function in Vrindavan on January 8, 2004:

She was committed to the extent of being fanatic, especially in regards to sadhana. She followed both to the letter and spirit but still she was preaching even after withdrawing a bit from the temple. She appeared to have withdrawn but she was still involved in spreading Krsna consciousness, she simply widened her scope of preaching and service.

Her commitment to the ideals and functioning of ISKCON by offering our son Ananda Tirtha for gurukula education, withstanding all the negative pulls of relatives and other concerned people (even I had said that if he does High School it may be better and he can then choose) but she didn’t accept that and I went along, with my broader vision though my preference was otherwise. And later it proved that we had no regrets. This shows her commitment.

My understanding is that devotees are very special personalities arranged by higher forces for preaching Harinam, and once they have finished their contribution they will be recalled to continue doing the same in another sphere with a better situation. So it behooves all of us to look to such devotees for inspiration. If someone inspires us then they have fulfilled their purpose of existence on this planet.

We hope that she would be one of such devotees who causes inspiration for the rest of us. Such devotees are definitely promoted to the higher realms of preaching even if they do not reach the final destination at this time, but they are definitely marked out for that destination sooner or later and they continue to blaze on the onward path. So there’s no need to lament the disappearance of the ‘material’ bodies of such devotees. They have come, blossomed, left their mark for others to follow, and then left to do the same thing in a more intense way for others, on the call of the Lord. So there is no loss. So one side we may miss their physical association of a devotee but in a higher, subtler sense, they are always there.

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Brian and Zena Smith, Sucirani’s parents, traveled from Perth to Vrindavan to visit her during her last days. They sent the following message shortly after she left this world:

We are still working on a philosophy to cope with the situation. We have received so many messages of condolence from friends and relatives around the world. The web page Ananda established was very touching too, especially the wonderful photo of us all around the bed.  That was both terribly sad but very uplifting too!
 
All we can really contribute is our heartfelt thanks for the wonderful way that you and the other devotees supported our dear daughter both on her odyssey of hope around the world and her final days in Vrindavan. We will be forever grateful that, with the incredible efforts of our son, Phil, we made it in such short time to her bedside. The radiant smile we received when we stood there will be in our memories forever.
 
Our fondest regards to you all in your final tribute to a really remarkable person tomorrow.
 
Love to you all,    
Brian and Zena Smith


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Mary, Cassie, and Tim are Sucirani’s sister-in-law, niece, and nephew respectively. They reside in Western Australia.

Dear Geraldine,

I wish we could all have come to see you or more that you were well enough to make the journey back to Perth. Even though we can not see you our thoughts will be with you as are our best wishes for your comfort and happiness.

I’ve sent more wishes with Phil. I am sure he will pass them on. I wish there was something we could do to help you—all I can do is send my wishes and to say we are and will be thinking of you.
Love, Mary

Dear Geraldine,

I’m so glad for the time was able to get to know you, and spend time with you. I learned a lot I definitely wouldn’t have known, and you have influenced my way of seeing the world, by the way you have lived, and believed. I have enjoyed hearing many stories about you and dad, your past, and the things you used to get up to. I hope you can find peace within yourself, and send my dearest love and hope for you, and lots of hugs and kisses.

Love always,

Cassie

Xxx

Dear Geraldine,

Tim here. I am sorry I couldn’t catch up with you. But my thoughts are with you. I enjoyed my last few visits with you to Perth and I am glad I was able to find out more about the Hare Krishnas.

Love Always
Your nephew
    Tim x

Farewells

Prabhavisnu Swami

Dear Sucirani dasi,
Please accept my blessings. All glories to Srila Prabhupad.

I have been reading the reports from Ananda Tirtha and Jagattarini Mataji about your situation. It seems that Lord Krsna has decided to keep you there in Vrndavan after all. That is the perfect place from which to depart this planet for the spiritual world, so you are very fortunate to be able to spend your remaining days there in the association of so many loving devotees and well-wishers, who are helping you in every way possible. I offer my most humble obeisances to all of you.

Although in one sense it might seem that you are leaving this body a little early, nevertheless, in another sense you are very fortunate in that Krsna has given you ample notice so that you can be well prepared to depart in full Krsna consciousness. You are following in the footsteps of so many great devotees and acaryas who left this planet from Vrndavan, including Srila Prabhupad himself, so the path is clear. Lord Krsna has got His higher plan and I’m sure everything will be revealed to you in course of time, so do not worry. Just fix your consciousness on Krsna by hearing His Holy Name and pastimes, and He will take full care of you.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the wonderful service that you have rendered to Krsna and his devotees over all these years. You have always been a very enthusiastic and serious devotee and disciple, very keen to hear and deeply understand the philosophy of Krsna consciousness, to chant Lord Krsna’s Holy Names with attention and devotion, and to be engaged in all kinds of practical devotional service for the sankirtan movement, including caring deeply for devotees. It is a great honour for me to have such a sincere disciple as yourself who is an excellent example for all others. I wish you all success in your ongoing spiritual progress and your journey back to Godhead. When you get there, please put in a good word for all of us left behind here. Thank you very, very much.

May Sri Sri Krsna Balaram, Sri Sri Radhe Syamasundar, Sri Sri Gaur Nitai, Srila Prabhupad and all devotees shower their full blessings upon you, and may you reside eternally in the association of pure devotees at the lotus feet of Their Lordships in the spiritual realm, always engaged in pure devotional service.

Your well-wisher,

Prabhavisnu Swami

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Carsani Devi Dasi

Dear Suci Rani,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to our Guru Maharaja.

Hare Krsna! Beginning a letter like this is always so difficult...on one hand I don’t want to sound trivial, soppy and sentimental, yet on the other, I don’t want to come across as impersonal and cold.

Basically, I’d simply like to take this opportunity to say thank you very much for your association and for your kindness to me over the years that I’ve known you here in Perth. Although our relationship hasn’t always been so smooth, (we’re so completely different!)you have always been a wonderful role-model for me of someone who has genuinely and unwaveringly made service to Sri Guru & Gauranga the topmost goal of life. I have always especially appreciated going to your classes, and hearing your realisations about Krsna consciousness. Regardless of how lousy I  may happen to feel before the class began, I’d invariably come away feeling lighter, clearer & as though I’d really imbibed something in my life of great and lasting value. So thank you so much for that! I’d also like to say “thanks” for always being willing to listen & to offer wise and compassionate advice to me...& to anyone else who may need it... despite always being so busy with your own sadhana, service and various projects.

So I guess I will finish up here. Although it seems that these days will quite possibly be your last in this body, rather than feeling pity...or even sadness, as I would for many people in a similar situation, I can’t help but be amazed (even astounded!) at your good fortune. To have the opportunity to leave this body in Sri Vrndavan Dham is such a rare blessing, as it is the real and eternal home of each of us. Even more fortunate, to be surrounded by the loving association of dear devotee friends and
wellwishers...especially those great souls who are with you there, and constantly reminding you of Gopinnatha. I know that for many years you were hankering so much for the association of devotees advanced in spiritual life, and the Lord has definitely fulfilled your strong desire. Krsna is reciprocating so wonderfully with your sincere service to Him! So, I’ll finish this letter with one small request...please pray for me that I may follow in your footsteps and also develop a nice mood of service to Lord Krsna and His devotees. Also, please forgive me for my many offences over the years I have known you.

Hari Bol! All glories to your service!
Your aspiring servant,
Carsani devi dasi

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Daya-dharma Devi Dasi

Dear Ma Suci,
Haribol Spirit Soul!!! Please accept my humble obeisances at the dust of your lotus feet. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and all glories to our respective Spiritual Masters.

So how are you feeling today? Not too uncomfortable I hope...You are a lucky soul Ma Suci - surrounded by wonderful devotees and ever well wishers at a time and moment like this....and being in the holy dham....now that is something an ignorant fool like myself can only aspire for when her turn comes.......Anyway Suci, there is so much I want to say but I am on borrowed time...... so I’ll do my best to be quick about it........Emmmmmmm not as easy as I thought.....(Looking after three children is a lot easier I reckon) but I know I must do this or my conscience will never let me rest in peace......Well Ma Suci, where do I begin? Perhaps a big thank you? OK a BIG THANK YOU to the most wonderful person I have ever known. You let me stay in your house and tolerated my rebellious nature. Your patience and constant motherly and philosophical advice - that went in one ear and out the other (of  course!!!) was unlimited. You never stopped to want to give in on this wild card......so much so that whenever we had our disagreements I felt really bad....You are just like a mother, a mentor, a spiritual guidance and of course a true friend rolled into one......I have never expressed my appreciation for what you have done for me openly but that is because I am an impersonalist who feel uncomfortable expressing her inward feelings of appreciation and who always take things for granted........But believe me, I do!!!  Being a stay home mum and without the association of devotees around, I am beginning to understand and appreciate that which I have and is given
to me............Suci, I honestly wish our relationship doesn’t have to end like this but who is to say, Krsna is in control, He knows what He is doing, I am merely a mere mortal caught up in a time warp........But if I had a second chance, then I would wish that we had say our goodbyes properly.......not like this...... Such an impersonalist I am.  ......Anyway Suci, my time is up. I need to attend to Radha-priya. She’s very tired and needs her mum.......Well, Spirit Soul, with a heavy heart, I now say my
goodbye. I will always remember you as a true friend I can count on or anyone else for that matter. So, so long great soul. You’re in good hands and hey just think, you get to ride on the flower aeroplane that Krsna promise to send along to His devoted and surrendered servants like yourself....(Any chance of putting in a good word for me????!!!)....Goodbye Suci, be peaceful and wish you all the best in your journey to the Spiritual World!!!!

Your servant

Daya-dharma devi dasi

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Bhakta Ian and Harikirtana Devi Dasi

Dear Sucirani,

Please accept our most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and all the wonderful Vaisnava devotees of the Lord!

We were reading the nectar of devotion yesterday, about the qualities of the
Lord.  There were two that particularly come to mind:

Grateful:  One can please the Supreme Lord simply by addressing Him “Hey
Krsna! Hey Govinda!” So to anyone who is constantly engaged in addressing the Lord and His energy, we can imagine how much the Supreme Lord is obliged.  It is impossible for the Lord to ever forget such a devotee.  It is clearly stated in this verse that anyone who addresses the Lord immediately attracts the attention of the Lord, who always remains obliged to him. Any honest person is obliged to his friend if some service has been rendered unto him.  Since Krsna is the supreme honest personality, how can He forget an obligation to His servitor?

Expert Judge of Time and Circumstance: Krishna is very expert in dealing with people according to circumstances, country, time and paraphernalia.

So, Krishna will not forget your service to Him, and He is already demonstrating His superlative expertise in dealing with your circumstances at just the right time to bring you to Him.

your servants,
Ian and Harikirtana

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Iksvaku Das, Madhavi Sakhi Devi Dasi,
Jahnavi, Gopal and Madhava

Dear Mother Sucirani:

Please accept our respectful obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and his sincere followers.

May Lord Krishna bless you immensely, so you can continue your devotional service eternally. You are very fortunate to be in the holy dhama, with the close association of exalted Vaisnavas, hearing the glories of the Supreme Lord and the chanting of His holy name.

We sincerely thank you for your example of being such a fixed up devotee. You have been a pillar in establishing Krishna Consciousness in Perth and surely all your efforts won’t go in vain. The community is very much concern with your situation and they have expressed their care.

Lord Krishna promises in the Bhagavad Gita to become the swift deliverer of his devotee and certainly He is taking care of you through His devotees. Now you are in Krishna Balarama’s home land, what other blessing can be asked for?

Please forgive any offenses that we have committed due to familiarity. We certainly appreciate your devotional qualities and we are humbled to see that your faith has taken you to a very advanced state of Krishna Consciousness.

We hope that you gain all the spiritual strength needed at this time, when you are facing this difficult test. By Srila Prabhupada and Sri Caitanya’s mercy we have the great opportunity of obtaining Guru andKrishna’s lotus feet.

Your grateful servants,

Iksvaku dasa, Madhavi Sakhi dasi,
Jahnavi, Gopal and Madhava

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Krsna Lila Devi Dasi

Dearest Suci Rani,

Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to
Guru Maharaja.

We had a get together kirtan for you this last Saturday night. Actually the
kirtan started a couple of days earlier at Kurma’s place, where everyone gathered for his birthday lunch.

 I was looking forward to seeing you after receiving the news that you were coming back this last weekend. I am very sorry that I didn’t even get a chance to see you before your departure on your long journey. I remember you rang me in hospital to say goodbye. I appreciated this and was concerned that all will go well for you. We wished each other well Now I picture you in Vrindavan suffering with your bodily limitation, but as far as I understand your consciousness and spirits are in good order. I get the feeling that you are in peace and in acceptance of Krsna’s arrangement for you.

I will definitely miss you Suci Rani as you played a big role in my devotee life here in Perth.I remember staying with you for the first two years --- I felt very secure and sheltered. I also know that you will be going to a place where there is no suffering and no bodily limitations. Krsna has arranged all facilities for you and allowed you to finally come to Vrindavana and rest while soaking up this very special atmosphere of spiritual protection. I wish I could be there with you and do some meagre service for you.

Thank you for being a very supportive friend, godsister and advisor to me over the last ten years. I am happy to have been of some use while you were here in the last year and a half. I enjoyed coming out to cook and help you out.

Prahladananda Maharaja was here in Perth recently and he commented to me how the sufferings of the body  or mind is not really us as we are eternal and really have nothing to do with body and mind. We need to make the best adjustments we can but ultimately we are eternal and have nothing to do with the body/mind.

I am hoping your pain is bearable and that soon it won’t be a material problem. I wanted to say that I love and appreciated all that you did over the years to help me . Once you get to the spiritual realm—put in a good word for us. It’s good to have a friend who is going back to the spiritual realm.

We will miss you Suci Rani. I’ll have to learn to deal with this loss.

Please accept my obeisances / hugs

Your friend and servant
Krsna Lila dasi

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Krsna Madhuri Devi Dasi

December 26, 2003
                                        Sridham Mayapur

My dear Sucirani Mataji,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Haribol. I have just heard that your physical condition has taken a turn for the worse just before you were due to return to Australia thus preventing you from travelling. My immediate reaction was that this is really Krsna’s mercy, keeping you in Vrndavana. I think this is the best place for you to be. Krsna has a special plan for you it seems. I hope you are feeling peaceful and secure. It must be a most intense time for you and I’m sure that mentally and emotionally it must be difficult. I don’t know what I can do from here. If there is anything, please let me know. Please know that you will be especially in our prayers to Their Lordships Sri Sri Panca Tattva, Sri Sri Radha Madhava and Their Asta Sakhis and Sri Sri Prahlad Nrsimhadeva. I feel that your situation and future are most auspicious. I’m sure you have many profound realisations which I would like to hear if you would like to share them. But perhaps you will be unable to write with so much going on and I understand if that is the case.

Please accept these small prasad items from Their Lordships here in Mayapur as a token of my affection for you. The Tulasi leaves are from Lord Madhava. The other items are labelled. Please again accept my obeisances.

With love from your servant and friend,
Krsna Madhuri Devi Dasi

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Kunja Kisori Devi Dasi

Dearesr Suci,
I am out of town and cannot call you until I get home after the 1st. Since hearing that you will remain in Vrindavan and see this through at the feet of Radhe Shyam, I have
been in constant recall of times we have spent together. Either actually, in CHCH or Perth, or in our attempts to push our cautious natures to one side and find a friendship we both desired. Somehow I feel Gopinatha made the connection for us both, subtly and without much show - more suitable to the contained and measured chacteristics we have in common. Although I recognise your position is so inevitable
for us all, I find myself still unable to quite comprehend it is here. The feeling that there is still so much to do is surely a material attachment on my part. For His plan is complete and whole and perfect and we are all part of His plan. The paradox of your situation is sometimes overwhelming. Sadness and grief for not seeing you again as I had so longed for, and then a sense of awesome gratitude for what you are sharing with me and consequently allowing me to learn and absorb into my growing spiritual understanding.
I cannot ask you anything more as the time for discussion and open-ended questions is over. For now your focus and consciousness must remain steady and uncomplicated. Simple and clear. All things material have no value and your surrender must become complete. You are safely in His hands. He has ‘asked’ you to stay so His wishes are clear and the essence of our service, the pinnacle of our devotional desires is to please Him.
I pray so hard to my Gopinatha and Srila Prabhupada for your peacefulness of mind and heart. Free from fear and uncertainty and with totally fixed consciousness for this incredible part of your journey home,
with so much love and tender hugs,
your servant and friend,
Kunja

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Manavardhana Das

Please accept my humble obeisances all glories to Guru and Gauranga all glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Dear Suci Rani Mataji,
I heard at Kurmas house on the 26th that You are unable to come here, immediately the devotees started a soft kirtan followed by Lord Nrsimhadeva prayers for you. Dear Mataji you where one of the first devotees that I met in Perth, your service mood and kindness helped inspire me to be a follower of Srila Prabhupada and Guru Maharaja. If Lord Krishna wants I hope we meet again in the place free from anxiety and time with that beautiful Cowherd boy with his intimate associates the centre of everyone’s attention.

Hare Krishna

Love from your Godbrother,
Manavardhana dasa

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Partha-sarathi Devi Dasi

Dear Mataji,

Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. We have been chanting for you, praying to Sri Sri Radha-Giridhari for your protection, and the merciful Sri Sri Radhe-Shyamsundara.

In Tauranga the devotees there are also performing kirtan for you, and here yesterday devotees in the temple room were singing bhajans for some time, for your well-being and safety. It seems there is nothing inauspicious for a devotee. That Krsna is waiting
for you and He is already with you, especially attentive to His devotees. “My devotee never perishes” The devotees about you must be reminding you of your bright future. My memory of you is as fixed and courageous, an example of seriousness mixed with sweetness like Prabha-Visnu Maharaja. Mataji will be in constant concern for you. She spoke with so much care and affection about you earlier this year. I was so happy to have you visit my home when you came here. Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krsna are surely with you.

haribol,
love
your servant,
Partha-sarathi dd

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Prabhava Das

27/12/03

Dear Suchi Rani Mataji,
Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Vaisnavas.

I have heard your critical situation. But, don’t worry, everything is up to Krsna. Our life is in the hand of Lord Krsna. In fact, you are very fortunate. Krsna has another plan for you. It is His special mercy to take the sick material body and give you a better body to serve Him in the spiritual realm.

So, there is nothing to worry. Please bless me that I can continue to serve Srila Prabhupada in his ISKCON mission while I have some time now in my present body in this world.

Your servant,
Prabhava Das

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Sivananda Das, Vijaya Devi Dasi and children

Mataji, you are in the holy land of Krishna. We can see Krishna’s arrangement that you are there in Vrindavan. Suppose if you had made the decision to leave 10 days before 28th December, you wouldn’t have been blessed like this. So many Indian born devotees couldn’t come back to India. You are fortunate enough to come into contact with Prabhupada’s ISKCON and therefore have the great opportunity to serve Krishna in Vrindavan.

I can remember the questions you used to ask in Prabhavishnu Swami’s classes. Others’ questions were for the sake of asking, but you used to ask really good questions so that everyone will benefit from the answers. We are sure that Maharaj would be very pleased to have a disciple like you, who is always absorbed in Krishna Consciousness. We can see that your service has been accepted by Krishna. Only by Krishna’s mercy you are there in Vrindavan. Krishna made arrangements in such a way that you have to travel to all other parts of the world but when you reached Vrindavan he made every comfort for you to stay there with Him.

When we all started coming to the ISKCON temple in Perth we know only yourself. We used to fast for Ekadasi by following the Sri Lankan calendar. You only  mentioned that there is another calendar for Perth and advised us to follow that calendar for fasting days. Even the chanting the Maha Mantra on beads was introduced by yourself to my wife.
 
With Krishna’s mercy your kindness has allowed to do a lot for the Perth ISKCON temple. Every time we see you at the temple you have given encouragement to be in Krishna Consciousness. You are the only senior Mataji since we started coming to the temple.

Joining others around the world, we also pray for you.

Thank You

Sivananda Das, Vijaya Devi Dasi and children
 

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Srimati Devi Dasi

Jaya Gaura                                        Vraja
                                            4.1.04

Hare Krsna my very dear Suci Raniji,

Please accept my most humble obeisances—and a big, warm hug! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and your love for him and his devotees.

When I asked you what prayer you would like me to pray for you, you replied “That I have the strength to handle things at death.”

I’ve had trouble praying that one for you and so I spent a little time meditating, and exploring why that was so.

Actually, given our situation as fallen conditioned souls, it makes very little sense to pray for strength now. Better we pray to fully surrender to that One who is not only the source of all strength, but also the source of all mercy. Prahlad Nrsimhadeva’s primary mercy is to remove the obstacles standing between us and Radha Krsna and Their eternal seva. And so I thought to send you a large photo of Him. Any time things get too tough, please pray to Him for help. And pray to Him as Prahlad Nrsimhadeva—whenever He hears His pure devotee’s name His ears pick up and He can’t help but hear and help! I’ve also enclosed some of Their mahaprasad from Mayapur (big) and some Radha Govindaji—Jaipur—mahaprasad (small).

I was a little distressed to hear that there was no transcendental sound vibration when Vraja Sevika came. My guess is that you’re hearing a lot of CD’s on earphone, but I’d also like to humbly suggest that you hear Nama as much as possible. We’re hoping to get you a Prabhupada “japa box” soon. It’s a microchip system that you can play all night—and all day, if you want. Especially at night when taking rest I find this very powerful.

I’d like to pray for you that you become absorbed in and fully surrendered to the Holy Name, is that okay? (Srila Prabhupada stresses 14 times in the short BG Ch 8 that in Kali Yuga remembering Krsna means chanting Hare Krsna). All the best and lots of love, yours,
Srimati Dasi (aspiring)

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Surya Narayana Das

Dear Mother Sucirani,
Please accept my respectful obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!!

I do not know what to say, but neither do I want to remain silent and dumb, unable to reach out to you at this time.

I have known you but for a short time it seems, and yet some devotees just help to make us feel safe and inspired. You do both, and it makes it easier for me to keep fighting and trying to become a devotee myself, when there are devotees like yourself who - knowingly or unknowingly - nurture our enthusiasm [even when the odds are stacked against us]. I don’t want to be a stick cast out of the safety of the Vaisnava bundle, so I ask you to keep us in your prayers, as I think you are very close to Gopinatha now, and so even if you whisper, He will hear you.

You have so many devotees around the world who are cheering you on, and blessing you with all good fortune. And then there are those unseen,.. TKG, Vrndavanesvari devi, Srila Prabhupada, Bhaktisiddhanta Goswami, Thakura Bhaktivinoda, Mother Rajani, Sanatana and Rupa, Lord Nityanada, Kunti devi, Sukadeva, Vrndadevi, Bhismadeva, Draupadi, Sita devi, Lord Balarama, Caitanaya Mahaprabhu, Hanuman, Gopinatha, and so many more........ who can estimate the combined power of these Personalities? And who can estimate your good fortune, having attracted Their attention with your grace, humility, honesty and love?

My desire is to gain a drop of your service mood.

We will keep in touch.

I remain your servant always,

Surya Narayana das

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Taraka Devi Dasi

Dear Suci Rani,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to Guru Maharaja.

At the end of Srimad Bhagavatam class two days ago, Guru Maharaj said (more or less):

“Just one final thing to end the class with, I would like to ask all the devotees to pray for a devotee called Suci Rani Mataji. She is a very advanced devotee from Perth and has done a lot to push on the Yatra there. Right now she it seems she is just about to leave the planet and I would like you all to please pray for her spiritual well being at this time. Please pray to the Deities for her. She is being well looked after and has good association with Bhurijan and Mother Jagattarini there in Vrindavan and other senior devotees. Thank you.”

I just wanted to let her know Guru Maharaj is concerned, not only with what I am sure he is writing, but this act of kindness asking all the devotees to pray for you. Although I am far away, I wish that I was by your side now, although I don’t know what I could do to assist, maybe it would be me being assisted by your association. That is the fact really, I am missing out on your association.

Please forgive all my offences and the lack of co-operation I may have exhibited at any moment in our time together. I have so much confidence in you to remember the Lord in what may be the most difficult moment. But I also have confidence that Gopinath, in any form He chooses will make the transition from this life to the next, hopefully in Goloka Vrindavan, miraculous.

One thing I would like to share, Ravindra Swarupa Prabhu said that in dying we are as close to our constitutional position as possible, because we are fully dependant on
Krishna and we have no power to depend on material objects, body or other facilities offered by matter.

Your servant,
Taraka dd

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Visnupriya Devi Dasi

You have been given the greatest benediction by Krsna to be allowed to plan your departure from this world. As you are a very dedicated and sincere servant of Krsna all the devotees here in Adelaide wish you a safe trip on your journey back to Krsna.  I personally would like to thank you for all your support, guidance and training in Krsna consciousness.  You were a very integral part of my devotional upbringing and I am forever grateful to you.

My son became very excited when I mentioned to him that Krsna is coming to pick you up soon.  He said we should send through something for Krsna with you.  So we offer our hearts for you to give Krsna on your return to him.

This life for you was always meant for Radha and Krsna, and I can see how Krsna at every step has been orchestrating your return to Him.  He even refused to allow you to leave Vrndavana at this most crucial time.

We give you all the best wishes for your journey ahead.

y.s
Visnupriya-devi dasi

Memorial 2004

Memorial 2004

Memorial 2005

Memorial 2005

Reflections

Bhaktine Rachel

RACHELS ACCOUNT OF SUCI LEAVING
written: 7/1/04

I had come back from Loi Bazaar with Mataji and went straight to Suci’s to begin my shift, which was to start at 6 pm. I enetered Suci’s room between 5:45 and 5:55 pm. When I entered I was instantly shocked at the colour of Suci’s face, which had become very pale. At this point there were four other people in the room (Banke, Kaulini, Gauri [nurse] and the doctor). Banke asked me to check the record book to see what medication Suci had taken that day. The atmosphere in the room was quite tense. I moved to the left side of Suci. Suci was expressing the desire to move. She was breathless and restless. She was sitting up. I think she wanted to go back down. She said she couldn’t breathe in the position she was in. Kaulini told me that they had been moving Suci for the last 45 minutes and that the doctor said that the upright position was the best position for her breathing. I tried to explain this to Suci but she seemed to become annoyed and in her breathless state she continued to insist that she be moved. Also, during this time Kaulini mentioned that Suci had been sweating a lot and passed me a tissue to dry her face, which I did.

I was quite concerned, as Suci did seem in a lot of anxiety and discomfort. I didn’t know what to do to help ease this. I noticed that it had been three hours since Suci had taken her Paracetamol so I thought maybe the Valaron drops might help. I asked Kaulini what she thought and she was uncertain too. On one hand we knew Suci only wanted to take the Paracetamol that day because she found that the other medication made her drowsy but on the other hand it was awful as a friend and carer to see Suci in the state that she was in. I poured fifteen drops and some water in a container and held it up to Suci, telling her what it was. She didn’t want to take it.

About now Mataji walked in. I told Mataji that Suci was finding it hard to breathe. She told me that Suci isn’t to take anything now because of her breathing so I put the medicine on the table, stepped back and Kaulini moved closer to Suci’s head. Mataji and Kaulini were on either side. Suci expressed to Mataji between puffs of breath that she wanted to be moved. Mataji said that she could not be moved until she calmed down and her breathing settles and said something like “now is a good time to concentrate on Gopinatha”. Suci calmed a little and then moments later seemed to tense up again and managed to say “Move. . . .” I think Palika walked in now trying to use the phone. I went over to help. She was trying to ring Bhurijana Prabhu but we couldn’t get the phone to work so we decided to go downstairs to try the phone there. This is when I left the room for the first time.

I left with no thought in my mind that in the next few minutes Suci would be leaving. We were unable to contact Bhurijana Prabhu so we decided to walk over to the MVT. First we thought it best to get our coats and let Mataji know where we were going. So we enetered Suci’s room again, probably about ten minutes later.

This time Suci was lying in the same position with both Kaulini and Mataji still beside her chanting but now her eyes were half closed and didn’t seem to be focussing and her breathing was more like a gasp every eight to ten seconds. Palika and I moved close to Suci’s bed and started to chant as well. Sareshta [Sucirani’s sister-in-law] was in the room at this time too. Suci’s breathing became less frequent. At some point Kaulini handed me the Tulasi she was holding and left the room. She returned moments later with Giriraja and placed Him on Suci’s head. Also, I think a bit before this Krishnaa [a maid] was sent out of the room to get Banke. When Banke entered Suci was making some gurgling sound in her throat. I reached for Suci’s wrist to find a pulse and couldn’t find one. Still, we weren’t quite sure if she had left. We continued chanting maybe two minutes longer. Bhurijana Prabhu then entered the room and said she was gone. Tulasi was placed in her mouth. Ananda entered the room moments later. He placed the Ganga water in Suci’s mouth. This is my account.

Jagattarini Mataji (Edited)

Here is an account written by Jagattarini Mataji. It is a very comprehensive description of the situation with Sucirani:
 
We were supposed to bring Sucirani back to Perth on the 27th of December. I was to accompany her to Bangkok and then her son would join us there. I had been very, very apprehensive about it for days, and had tried to openly state my fears for she had been mainly unable to rise from bed for the past month. Time to time, I would meet other devotees who knew her condition and without fail they would ask me why she wanted to leave Vrindavana now. They would say that many devotees would dearly love to come here when leaving this world. Quietly I thought to myself that it must be very hard for her and perhaps also for me when my time comes to accept the uncertainties of the Dham and of course India, but that unlike Sucirani, I would pray that were I able, when my time comes, I would wish to be here and face this test at the lotus feet of the deities of Radhe-Shyama who are the Ones I pray to every place I go within the world anyway.
 
But Suci had been adamant. There were reasons she wanted to leave. She distrusted the various medical suggestions, be they Ayurvedic or allopathic, she was discomforted by her failing health and she was also unfamiliar with the Dham. Then too, to keep our Gopinath Dham working, which is now being maintained solely by the efforts of Sri Radha Raman Prabhu, I felt we, namely myself and my husband, should return as planned at this particular time. That was also a reason Sucirani had decided she would not stay here.

We had left Perth, our home base, in September in hope of some relief from her aggressive cancer of the lymph system. As we travelled, her condition worsened bit by bit, and as it worsened, so my responsibility for her care increased. We tried what ever treatment we came across in a sequential manner. I had retained throughout the sense that we were in the hands of our Deity, Sri Gopinatha’s hands, and had always told her the same. Looking back, I did whatever I could knowing that, in fact, she would gradually deteriorate and with a sense that the attempt for healing was more to strengthen or heal her faith rather than her body. So whilst travelling with her throughout, we had spoken of this as our mood. . . .

Recently, one day, when I came, Narottam Gupta’s son, Liladhar, an Ayurvedic physician, was there and was talking with her. He had been chosen by her to be the one to oversee her rapidly deteriorating health and when his attempt failed, she determined even more strongly that she would be better off in Perth. He was talking to her and told her and myself a sweet but sobering story of a patient of his father’s who was from Madhya Pradesh and had spent his whole life in Vrindavan. At a very old age, having never left Vrindavana or even wanting to go, after being in a coma for eight days and not responding to anything, Narottam, the doctor, told the patient’s wife to take him home to MP to die. He was so close to death, a few days, and she immediately refused saying that this was not his will; he wanted to die in Vrindavan. But after more discussion, she agreed to take him because Narottam said, “I can understand from his condition that he really wants to go, for he is not responding to any medicine, so if you want to help him, take him.” So she did, and when she got him to his family house, all his relatives came and crowded around with affection and joy, and somehow, he opened his eyes and saw them all and became so glad to see them. He talked with affection to them and said, “It is so nice that you all came.” Then he asked his wife to take him before his deities for he thought he was still in Vraja. When she said that They were not here, he asked with surprise, “Where am I?”

She replied, “You are in Madhya Pradesh at your family home.”

He was so upset and began to weep and weep and ask her, “Why did you do this? I wanted to remain in Vrindavana and you’ve brought me here.” He began to think and talk of Vrindavana and weep with so much disappointment, grief and separation. Feeling like this, he died.

The wife had strict instructions to bring his body back to Vrindavan for cremation so she brought his body back to Vrindavan  and all the rites were performed. Then the wife went to Narottam and said, “Why did you do that? Why did you ask me to take him OUT of Vrindavana like that?”

He replied, “When he did not respond to my efforts to help him, I understood that he had some desires that he was holding on to. I understood that he had deep-rooted attachments which were still present in his heart so if he was to go to Goloka Vrindavana he would have to remove those family attractions and so forth. I knew that by going there he would feel so much separation from Vrindavana that it could uproot these attachments for no one can go back to Krishna until He really wants only HIM. That was why I told you.”

Liladhar told this story and I was listening. We both heard. Discreetly he added that anyone would feel that your desire to go now was completely upside down but Srila Prabhupada was very practical and he will take care of things. He told her gently that it was not auspicious but went on to say he understood. When she asked for something to help with the trip he reflected for a moment saying “. . . Krishna is so easily available here”, then later replied, “Anyway the ball is still in HIS court so do what you want.”

Afterwards Sucirani asked me with feeling if I would still help her to return to Perth. I said, “If you want to serve Krishna by doing so I will help.” She admitted that despite the fault in her choice she did and so I said I would help her until the end.

Then she broke down weeping and said, “I actually really want to become the kind of devotee who relies upon Krishna for everything, but it is so, so hard for me now.” When we concluded this exchange I felt as if I was able to accept the strain involved in bring her back to Perth with faith that it was all right, but when I came to see her on the day before we were to leave, she was in great difficulty. The swelling caused by the lymph fluids that were caught within her body due to the tumours swelling up in the groin and underarm and neck had now risen upwards to restrict her breathing. She was terrified, for now she could hardly breathe and so she was even afraid for me to come to her bedside lest her breathing become out of control. She was so frightened and helpless that it was clear that she could not travel.

I called my husband’s attention to the matter and he fully agreed .We arranged for a doctor to come to see her, and whilst she didn’t want to see him very much, he concluded within seconds that she was so weak now that she may even die on the trip to Delhi itself or on the flight. In his opinion, there was no way she could go, but she was adamant. We could barely discuss with her due to the pressure of her breathing, but after some efforts, we convinced her that there was no way she could go anywhere. When my husband asked my opinion when with her, I told her that it seemed to me that Krishna had made a very wonderful plan to trick her saying “Yes! Yes! Yes!” to her wish, but then “NO! NO! NO! You must stay here and accept this extraordinary mercy which I insist upon offering you.”

Sri Sri Radhe Shyama have captured Sucirani by trickery to keep her here in Their Dham. What to say? We will be sad without Sucirani but it is something wonderful if she goes upwards even with the grief. . . .

Then the phone rang and it was her brother Phil from Perth wishing her a Merry Christmas. We spoke to Phil and her parents to let them know that it was not going to be possible for her to come back to Perth. Her brother, himself a doctor, agreed to come to Vrindavan immediately. Suci began to go through a shift that was very much required towards less and less trying to be in control and more and more accepting her condition. I told her that I had experienced how this part of her ordeal would become very much joyful, ironic as it may sound for being here in Vrindavan like this.

Next we received word that not only her brother but also her 84 year old parents were coming to Vrindavan immediately! That was a real surprise because they had never been inclined to venture into the spiritual space that we all shared and remained quite indifferent to anything religious.

I spent yesterday shopping for anything to make their stay work. We improved the conditions within our MVT apartment and decided the parents could stay with myself and our daughter, Lalita. Phil would stay with Sucirani and Banke at her house some few houses away.

I went to Delhi to bring them here which was late at night. When they saw the Ambassador taxi they recalled days long gone when they were in India and drove in an Ambassador when they were the only cars available and thus felt at ease. We drove through light fog and the night air was chilly. Her father arrived wearing a casual sporting hat which he is accustomed to. I offered and redressed him in a very warming sweat jacket with hood. While we waited at a small dhaba on the side of the road as the taxi driver took tea, he placed his hat jokingly atop the hooded jacket, so we all had decided to remain jolly throughout. We arrived after midnight and they settled into our apartment for the night.
 
Next day they took some time to get their bearings, while Phil went to Banke’s house to see Sucirani and look into her situation. Soon after, her parents went over. Her mother, upon seeing her condition, initially broke down and cried but then composed herself. Meanwhile the girls continued with turning her regularly, which has become increasingly painful, and the nurse who had helped insert the catheter came and removed it due to discomfort and bleeding. Now Sucirani is requiring regular diapers and she is confined to movement only when moved by her carers.
Phil, who is a doctor, says that Sucirani may possibly go on for some weeks, but he noted that her bowels are not able to move and her bladder function is now also difficult. He says that with time her skin will gloss and then break down so it will get “more nasty” as he put it. He said not to attend to any of these things as they happen but let her go without trying to keep it going. He’s really practical and has set things up.

This morning Kaulini arrived. She is really saintly and has very little desires of her own. Her presence is all for service so she will be an enormous help in these last days.

Later that afternoon Sucirani was so exhausted from all the excitement that she asked for complete rest and so her parents returned to take their evening meal at the MVT restaurant. I was left talking with Sucirani, when suddenly Phil arrived to say that while he was waiting, the generator which Banke had been waiting for had arrived. He noted how he had just walked into the MVT office and a man arrived with the generator asking to find the address of Banke’s place .No one who was there at that time knew, but then Phil came in and told them. Reflecting on this later Phil commented that such a “coincidence” must not really be a coincidence at all. He said, “Some one must be up there in charge!”

I took Sucirani’s mother, Zena, to the temple. She is frail and we walked quite slowly. I helped her to remove her shoes and put on socks to enter. The electricity was off and hence the Deities were not in full splendour but we walked through. I didn’t feel it was time to explain anything to her but just let her walk. We also visited the Samadhi and then crossed the road to tour the small array of shops in search of gifts. I found a nice picture of Radha Shyamasundar for Sucirani. We went back to the apartment via the cows’ feeding place out on the road. Later as we sat on the seat in the garden across from the guesthouse, Zena noted how here animals, people, and everything live together peacefully.

Next morning when I went to see Sucirani I met Basu Ghosh and his wife. Their daughter, Madhavi, was also present cooking breakfast for Sucirani with Rachel. I went inside to see Sucirani in her room. Today began a very complex overlay of experiences, not tense, but complex, involving the writing of her last will. Her parents were involved with Phil and also a local lawyer who spoke little English and found difficulty understanding how things were done in Australia. Then too Banke’s relatives were arriving, and also Braja Bihari and Subal were involved to assist my husband and others working on the will. So there were many conversations and questions being managed at once. It was too much action for Sucirani, so we took things into different hands and went on with the plans. One thing not good for carers is to get too hungry or too spun out by all the particulars that require attention, and as far as Sucirani is concerned, we want her to wind down gradually and go into a deeper state of concentration. Phil noted how the tendency is to look outward for some security or shelter now, but it has to be turned inwards. He was concerned that Sucirani take shelter of her meditation now.

 In the afternoon, when all the turmoil had passed by and we had all taken some prasad, I went to see how she was doing. At this point the big concern was to get Kaulini here, who was coming all the way from USA to help care for Sucirani. She was due to arrive into Delhi the next day and the plan was for my daughter Lalita to go and receive her. Meanwhile we were informed of some news about Pranada, a very good devotee well known in USA for all her services, who was in Delhi for an operation the day prior and who had encountered complications and was to undergo another operation. And if that wasn’t enough we were also informed about another devotee who had just died from asphyxiation from using a gas heater throughout the night. Things are quite intense here right now!!!

In the evening when I went to see Sucirani, Banke told me in front of her that he now requested me that I should help her with her consciousness. He said that now she had to turn her affection from him as her husband towards Gopinatha who is resting around her neck in her small locket and sits also in her heart. He told her, “Now you have to trust Him more and more and accept Him as your dearest friend.“ I felt happy to have that responsibility, for so much of our lives are passed without such an instruction or order and so we move here and there with the winds of our destiny and forget that we are being asked to use each wind to take us closer to Krishna, and that is best done by service. So we have to try.

While we were discussing this, Sahasra Svarupa Prabhu rang from Perth to speak to Sucirani, who, whilst so weak and reluctant to talk, was able to position the telephone to speak some time to him. Sahasra, so far away from this intense situation, on duty in a hospital in Perth, was ringing to talk to a dear respected friend and associate now preparing to leave this worldly stage and therefore no more to be met with or spoken to as we so often and frequently speak with each other.

Somehow I reflected on how in our day to day dealings we cannot understand the value of the devotees we know and see so often. My understanding is that rather than just feeling guilty about this, we should attempt to imbibe some deeper maturity from reflecting appreciatively upon this. I was also reflecting that now there will be a physical “break” in our association with Sucirani, and hence we are all feeling so much affection and intensity in the dealings, but were this illness to be removed, again we would return to normalcy which would not keep us focused as we are now upon each other with such care and affection. So there is great gain to be received even from such a difficult time.

Sahasra was speaking with us also and regretting his own condition, which we compared to that of a caterpillar. But now Sucirani, also a caterpillar, was about to grow wings, after of course a painful confinement to the cocoon of her body now full of growing discomforts. Each faculty of the body was going to have to be stopped in the same way that when one leaves a rented house he removes all the furniture, cleans up the rooms and turns off the utilities one by one. We choose that shift but this one is imposed. Yet in the same manner, she has to be prepared to travel onwards with her spiritual faith and growth until she reaches the final destination of the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha Krishna to serve there eternally. So when one has to go, all these facilities which we call ourselves actually have to be slowly or suddenly stopped. The yantra which we have been travelling upon has to be changed and with great faith we go forwards and upwards from here. So we told Sahasra that he too should remember that he will one day find himself also fortunate at the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani, and he immediately became strong and enlivened by the idea of such a  destination!

The next morning I busied myself arranging breakfast for Zena and Brian. Phil went to see Sucirani early. Kaulini had arrived with Lalita very late the previous night, about 11.30 pm, and upon arrival, Lalita was quite wide awake with reflections and thoughts she wanted to share, so it was many more hours before she went to sleep. Lalita had come here wishing for a peaceful, spiritually-centred visit but instead has been surrounded by both obligations and also a growing feeling of remorse about her having to leave on the 5th to return to Perth leaving Sucirani’s side right now. We discussed this at length and realized that whilst such feelings were inevitable, the auspicious nature of Sucirani’s situation could not be  fully understood, and it will help us all when we return from Vrindavan to Perth to remember just how auspicious this circumstance really is. Lalita expressed a desire to be of more help and regretted that she was not so involved. I suggested she come with us the next day to see Sucirani.

Kaulini’s arrival meant that Phil began working out with her some systems for longer term care in case Sucirani required it over a lengthy period of time. He met Kaulini and discussed some of the matters she would need to know, and then we all went over to see Sucirani.

As we arrived, Ananda Vrindavan Mataji was leaving and was saying how auspicious it was that Sucirani’s hair was now being cut very short, with ladies chanting and how she felt so happy to see this. We went up to the room and found Sucirani, gaunt and frail, sitting up with piles of cushions behind her. When we entered, she smiled. Somehow her thin face seems to emphasize her eyes and her smile greatly, and so we were taken by the quiet yet auspicious presence she showed. Ladies were chanting quietly as a Russian mataji was buzzing her head. “She looks like her son,” said her mother, who was sitting watching and quietly chanting, whilst her father was taking a few pictures without any distress. It has been like that for them. Auspicious for everyone who would be otherwise not finding things easy. They are fitting in with all concerned and went yesterday to Loi Bazaar and got some gifts, so they are doing all right.

I also took some pictures, for there seemed something quite significant in this step of shaving the head. It was a very auspicious event; actually, so much was being removed of what we call our self and our duty in life, herself as a dutiful wife and devotee, like a complete breaking from the roles and duties of her life and now she was moving towards the real and main duty to chant and reflect upon Krishna. After the occasion she was very weak and had to ask all to leave.

When I entered with Kaulini, she did not know who she was, and called me over to ask. I told her it was Kaulini and she beamed saying, “I have been waiting for you.”

Kaulini replied, “I have come as fast as I can.” Kaulini is a very saintly devotee, who is known for her selfless service mood. When I told her the difficulties we were faced with, she replied, “I will just do all I can to help her and that is why I am here and I am sure that it will all unfold.” She is quiet, but steady and gentle, for she has taken care of the cows at Gita Nagari for many years, so we are all grateful for her presence right now.

After the haircutting, we changed Sucirani’s bed and clothes which had become full of hairs and made her comfortable again. Now there are bedsores and skin breakdowns here and there which need attention and pain medications may also be required to be administered. Phil says she may linger on, or get some infection and go quickly. He noted to me how by experiencing another’s mortality we learn about our own and how his sister never really was destined up to now to experience sufferings from death or disease, and how in a sense this was a disadvantage for her, for she is struggling to accept the difficult conditions of her sickness. Sucirani herself would be the first to admit that she has at times felt mortified by what she has to accept now, but since we decided to stay here in Vrindavan, she also admits that the amount of blessings she is receiving is staggering and she well knows she does not find any way to consider herself worthy of anything like the atttention that has been arranged.

Well I am almost up to date with things but one last nice point. Sometimes I get quite tense myself within this situation, or sometimes I actually find myself getting over responsible .That happened yesterday afternoon when I found myself compulsively trying to arrange things which were already being done! When I sensed my discomfort and frustrations I found myself also praying seriously to our Gopinatha and trying to dispel the rising emotional swing I could feel coming on.

I had also agreed to take Karta Mataji to see Sucirani and when the two of us were walking over I still found myself very tense within. It was dark as we walked to the gate and found Saranagati returning from Sucirani’s house. She recounted how she had read to Sucirani, who had then asked to rest and so we realized we should not go over. Instead Karta invited me to her room and to read together. She gave me some maha prasad from her deities and a warm tea and we read some very sweet stories of Vrindavan and Krishna’s pastimes. I tried to retain the stories in my mind in order to share them with Sucirani later, and after a few hours with Karta, I saw that my tense mind, whilst still not removed from its anxieties, was now filling with something so sweet and very much required for our progressive advancement. I noted how immediately, and how gently, my prayers had been answered and how hearing about Krishna’s pastimes lifts us up above everything. I recalled how long years ago I had lived here in Vrindavan and there was often tense times. I had found such relief in the Srimad-Bhagavatam which instantly would elevate one way above the life issues and struggles.

Then and in that situation I took shelter of philosophy, how to live according to the Bhagavatam, but now there is no more philosophy for Sucirani on how to live life, how to do things with detachment, for now she must be hearing here in Vrindavan what Vrindavan, eternal nitya Vrindavan can offer her. Listening to Karta’s reading I found I was also doing that same thing. I found myself thinking that now Sucirani requires to hear subject matter beyond life in this body, family, friends. So in terms of assistance from our side she requires all our individual efforts to fix her in Vrindavan consciousness. In each of our own ways we all have to do that for her and for ourselves as well. It is quite intense but we can’t stop going now.

So this morning I went early to see the girls, Rachel and Palika, because this is their day off from their responsibilities caring for Sucirani, and I wanted them to use this day well with parikrama or kirtan in the temple. I told then the previous night’s stories which I remembered and watched the effect, namely how they too were lifted above the tedious level of their service. It is a great gift to be able to hear about the transcendental instead of the worldly things.

I went then to see Sucirani and she was surrounded by her family. Phil was asking her and us to sign her last documents, not easy for her now and then the girls were cleaning her body and turning her. As they did I started to tell her the small stories and found her smiling with delight to hear them. How sweet is the spiritual world where we all belong and where we will all become happy! My husband arrived, and upon seeing Sucirani, he decided that now we have to begin a lot of kirtan. Different devotees will come to see her in the next few days to chant as he organizes in accordance with her capacity to accept visitors.

Narayani described an incident that occurred when on the morning of the 31st when she came to sing to Sucirani. She came at about 8.00 am. Sucirani was quiet and tired, and the only other devotee present was Kaulini. Narayani sat down and began singing the maha-mantra. Sucirani was not responding very much, she was dozing a bit and her breathing was quite laboured. But then Narayani felt a strong inspiration within to chant the Gopinatha prayers and so she did and that was really sweet for whilst still seeming to doze, Sucirani began to respond with the bhajan, for she had once memorized it and hence knew it. Both Kaulini and Narayani told me it was very sweet to hear her chanting quietly with them.

Meanwhile I spent that morning with the two girls, Rachel and Palika, who I felt might be struggling to cope with the intensity of their service as rostered carers for Sucirani. I sat with them and told them especially to watch out for getting too personally involved emotionally with Sucirani’s care, which sounds rather cold, but my meaning was that they should not try to enjoy the privileges of sharing this time for if they personally do that they will also have to bear the extreme loss that will follow. Of course, we will all have to accept the distress of loss but they should refocus many times upon Gopinatha and offer Him this as a service and then He will protect them from worldly loss. As I was talking to them, my daughter Lalita came and told me that Sucirani’s parents were feeling quite lost without my presence so I ran back to our flat.

When I got back they were ready for a quick breakfast and then wanted to go over to Banke’s house. I helped them with things and then we all went together to see Sucirani. Her brother Phil is trying to organise a local nurse. Sucirani can no longer use her bowels as the tumours have blocked the function. She is beginning to experience constant pain and therefore we are now trying a pain management approach instead of occasional pain relief. Her brother, who is a doctor,  is very practical and tells us to just forget about any cure or prolonging her life, rather just let her go as painlessly as possible.

I sat when I arrived and told her small Krsna-lila pastimes I had heard from Karta the previous evening and she became peaceful. It is incredible how quickly one’s perspective can shift from seeing the euphoric side of things to seeing something quite different. Due to the influence of the Holy Dham and Sucirani’s objective good fortune, the sense of something auspicious and euphoric is there, but it sometimes shifts and within a moment one sees a very bleak picture of distress and pain. It is then that we have to recapture as best as we can that faithful perspective again.

So later when I went again to see her I found her sitting up looking very gaunt and exhausted. It has reached the point now where even for her to sit up isn’t a straightforward exercise. She has to be hoisted almost like a huge body full of water. Her legs and torso are full with the lymphatic fluid, so she looks very stout, but her arms are sometimes puffy and then sometimes wasted depending on her position, and in fact, within minutes can alter dramatically. So sitting up for two hour periods is one of three positions which alter her appearance according to the movement of fluid around her body. Sitting up is exhausting as well and she was looking quite grave. I asked her how she was but she was clearly not at ease. I sat with her and tried to get her to chant, which she did for a little time on her beads as I put them on her hand. But her discomfort was so great that she was hardly able to do it. I got a book and read to her a little but again she was not really responding. I started to feel rather ashamed of all these reports I am writing, the glowing words of a fool who is watching some friend slowly dying and is glorifying the situation. It seemed quite insensitive.

Anyway I sat with her and tried to help her through a very painful turn wherein she was groaning with pain as four inexpert yet sincere caring souls tried to shift her over to her side. Unfortunately her carers were unable to replace a piece of soft sponge under her hip bone where she is experiencing the most pain. So then again I tried to encourage her in her new position towards chanting, but she was noticeably drained and couldn’t respond. So Sucirani took medicine and lay quietly, but very weak. She has been eating better now than when we first arrived in Vrindavan because her strict diet regime has been slackened because at this stage, she may as well eat whatever she is inclined. But in actuality she cannot pass at all. And so eating is not giving her much pleasure, but then there is so much general discomfort that it almost doesn’t matter now. Do what she likes. But she asked for suppositories to be gotten and Phil went out a few times to try and find some.

A garland came from Jaipur from Govindaji just when a little encouragement was needed and so we put it around Sucirani. When her parents came we also placed it around their necks and also put a scented stick by her bed. My husband asked for family photos to be taken of Sucirani with everyone present and the parents shared the time in this way. Then she was exhausted and they left.

Outside I met one of Banke’s relatives. She is devotional. She said how she so much appreciated it when she heard us talking and expressing how Sucirani was not this troubled body but in fact eternal. I told her that in Christianity there is no idea of reincarnation so we as Westerners find that hard to conceive of. She replied that as an Indian it was deep within her and she knew it to be true, but when a family member dies we all forget it and fall into so much distress and lament. She then reflected on how she thought that perhaps Indians who have knowledge should practice thinking this way. Well, I thought, it is the same for us devotees, we know something others don’t, but when it is not in our thought processes we also don’t avail of its value. We are like any other people who try to enjoy things of this world and feel fear and pain when it is all finished. I reflected on how we really need to understand that in devotional service we are practising things which will later yield us so much gain and so we should encourage each other’s attempts so that our bhakti will grow and fruits will appear.

Bhakta Alex rang from Perth to talk with Banke about some medicine he wanted to offer for Sucirani. His sentiment was extremely touching, he was ready to get on a plane and come if he could save her. Naturally Banke was eager to try this attempt, but when he suggested it to me and Phil it was so clear to us both that it was too late. I spoke briefly to Alex to try and describe her present state. Banke, however, was wishing for a miracle, but Phil requested him not to build up false hopes for her at this time, and not to tell her for she was now beginning to accept her death and so she should not be distracted now. Then while we were talking Madhava came with a few other devotees for kirtan, and they sat up on the other bed against the wall. Lalita and other ladies, Saranagati, Madhava’s wife Radhika, and then all of Bankes family gradually entered. So we began the kirtan in the evening and while the room filled up with devotees, I was looking for chairs to set up in case Sucirani’s parents arrived.

As the devotees began to chant, my husband called me. “Look at Suci,” he said, “now she has shelter.” I looked and her face was now lifted up and she was chanting. Her eyes were peaceful and she was chanting with real feeling. The strain was not there. I was also so relieved to be able to chant.

One by one a few more friends came. Karta came with gifts of maha prasad and she also sat with us to chant. The kirtan was sweet, and in the middle, when Sucirani required a change of position, the girls changed her position turning her now to face Madhava so she could see him along with others chanting. The kirtan was being recorded, and at one point the tape required to be changed and I did it, and at the same time, I brought the microphone close to Sucirani for two mantras. Every one was feeling the power of the holy name, and when the kirtan swelled at one point, she raised both her arms in happiness. This was especially pleasing for everyone present, for her arms are not easy to raise now and she does not move them so often.

When the kirtan finally ended around 8.30 pm, the devotees left and made their way home. I was not present for the later part of the evening but heard that Sucirani’s spirits were much raised by the kirtan. Nevertheless the evening was hard as Sucirani was awake until about 3 am with difficulty and pain. We go in and out of the material world and in and out of spiritual also. Both are really there. But we have to keep trying to go to the lotus feet of Krishna through some means.

When I returned home, Sucirani’s parents were tense. Tomorrow was their last day. Her father had felt a lot of heart pain and was definitely ready to leave. Her mother could not hide the fact that she felt that the whole thing was horrible. I was a bit lost for words, for in fact it is, and without the spiritual concepts and some faith in them there was little comfort to be given. We tried to make them feel as peaceful as possible, but they were troubled by the fact that Phil had been gone so long looking for suppositories in this somewhat backward place. Their tension was not calmed until Phil arrived and was in fine spirits saying he had visited the Banke Bihari temple with Banke while in the bazaar and returned to take prasad with Banke’s family and thus was late. He was relaxed and gave them some relief from the strain.

The next morning I was again on call to feed Sucirani’s parents breakfast. It was the new year. Sucirani’s father expressed how there was no way he could repeat the phrase “Happy New Year”. Strangely for me I had no awareness of old or new years, and so I would not have offered the greeting, but when he went outside, others did, but he did not respond.

Brian had promised Sucirani he would pay a visit to the temple, and so after breakfast, Lalita and myself took them over. Lalita held Zena’s hand and I directed Brian. When we got to the gate we were met by throngs of small children outside and when we got inside, there were long snakey lines of children all sitting waiting for some event. There were hundreds of children all in this long line that went all round the compound. As we tried to get through to visit the temple I saw that there were hundreds more within the area just around the temple also, and ropes to keep them in line, and an anxious Rupa Raghunatha walking from place to place. It was a New Year feast I think. He mentioned as he passed us that he had invited two thousand children but four thousand had come. This intrigued Zena, who asked if we did this every day.

When we got outside the temple, they were greatly anxious for their shoes and asked if they could bring them in and I had to say no, but then I felt what the heck, let me get the blame for it. They are so old and so out of touch with everything happening here and so tense, so I got a plastic bag from the book table and put their shoes inside and put it out of sight in my bag. They were quite uncomfortable as we proceeded down the side of the temple but when we came face to face with the beautiful Deities, I was struck how despite themselves they were moved by their beauty. We went altar to altar and when in front of Radha Shyamasundar, I asked the pujari for garlands, which he took some time to give, giving them a little more time to be there and when he finally gave them I put them on them both and told them, “Now you can prove to Sucirani that you have been, and when you see her, you can offer them to her as gifts.”

Then Lalita and I took them out the front way and around to the side road back to the MVT from where we went to see Sucirani. Zena has expressed how she wished that they had had more time alone with Sucirani. I agreed and wanted to facilitate some time for them alone. When we arrived, we all went inside to see Sucirani, but later we left them to share final words together. This was a very hard part for them, and when they came out they were all crying. I caught hold of Zena and hugged her and Phil came also to hug his mother and myself too, saying that he was convinced by coming that his sister was in the best place and the best hands she could have been in. Sucirani’s elderly father also wept as he walked downstairs with my husband by his side. Ananda, with a newly borrowed video camera, was filming everything inside and out.  My husband looked at him with the camera and said, “We’ve created a monster,” as Ananda filmed everything in sight. It seemed to be something given to lighten the situation slightly. Banke’s sisters came out to farewell Brian and Zena as they left for our apartment.

When we got there, Lalita had set the table for a quick lunch. Phil asked for tulasi beads for gifts for his sons and Zena appreciated the two necklaces we’d gotten for her, Lalita had gotten a tulasi and gold one for Sucirani to give, and from me, a beautiful jade necklace from Jaipur. We all met at the taxi for final farewells and at approx 1.30 pm, the taxi pulled out for Delhi with all three of its passengers in the back seat for extra solace.

Sucirani’s brother, Phil, was so careful and responsible throughout. Before he left I gave him a very special little gift—the small altar which Sucirani had been worshiping as we travelled. She desired to give her deities, her small Radha Gopinath who she was now wearing around her neck in a silver box, to her son. But I decided to give the altar itself and the small gopis who went with the altar to Phil, replacing her deities with another small Gopinath who I was carrying. He was grateful to accept it.

I took prasad with my husband and we discussed the whole chapter now finished with the departure of Sucirani’s parents and what was to be done next. I was finding myself quite wired up and decided to go and try to chant before going back to see Sucirani again. As I chanted in the park, a lady devotee I know a little came over to share a moment and wanted to tell me of her father’s recent death, also from cancer, and how he suffered, but how he also chanted and wasn’t afraid. She told me all his difficulties in his final days and how it had really sobered her a lot. Her family is from India, and is rich and fairly pious. So there are comforts and also some spiritual complacency possible within their minds. I told her a bit about Sucirani and we reflected on how death seems to rob one of an innocence to enjoy life with ease, but she noted that she was now forty years old and was desiring some inspiration to use the latter part of her life for a wise purpose, or at least to be preparing for the inevitable.

Well, when I got to Sucirani’s, I sat with her some and we talked a bit about how Banke is finding it naturally hard to let go of his dear wife. She was asking me to speak to him, but I could only respond by telling her that she has to hold on to Gopinatha as Banke recommended and ask HIM to gently clear Banke’s heart of desire to hold on to her when she is required elsewhere. It was simple. Yet even such a small talk was enough to cause her to require rest for she has very, very little capacity of endurance now.

Tonight, when the kirtan began, Madhava was leading and he sat nearer to Sucirani with a louder harmonium. Then a new group of younger devotees came for the first time. It was quieter than last night but still Sucirani tried to chant or at least remain awake, as she dozed quietly off and on. She was being changed position when I left for the night to go home taking Palika off duty with me and leaving Rachel with the night ahead.

Palika dasi

History
I met Sucirani in Febuary 1995 at my first Sunday Feast. She preached to me. As I became more and more interested in Krishna consciousness, Sucirani became somebody that I respected very much. She assisted me with questions, doubts and practical matters (ie. she allowed me to stay at her house on the weekends and on the school holidays so that I could attend the full morning program). I loved hearing Sucirani give class. She was always very thorough in her presentations and she answered questions so clearly. She really helped me to clear my own misunderstandings. During this time my relationship with her was one of awe and reverence. I respected her enormously and considered her my siksha guru. One evening as we sat on her verandah I wanted to express my desire to serve her. I shyly asked “Sucirani, can I look after you in your old age?” She laughed and said “I’m not that old. . . besides, why would you want to do that?”

A dedicated servant
In 1999 I decided to make a commitment to devotional life. Sucirani kindly facilitated me by allowing me to rent one of her houses next to the temple. During this time I began to serve Mother Jagattarini. It was through this service that I became closer to Sucirani. My prior relationship of awe and reverence was replaced with affection and friendship. Sucirani was a dedicated and loyal servant. From morning until evening she constantly engaged in service, cooking every day, driving here and there, organising different things. She was always ready to serve. I admired this very much and aspired to be more like her. We often spent time together. I would assist her in serving Bhurijana Prabhu and Mother Jagattarini, and she often encouraged me spiritually.

Then in 2002 we entered a new phase of service. A property was purchased in April and in May, Bhurijana Prabhu, Mother Jagattarini, Sri Radha Raman and Sucirani moved in. I was invited to assist them with their new project and moved there in late November that year. At this time Bhurijana Prabhu and Mother Jagattarini were already in Vrindavan. Sucirani was leaving a few days later. Just prior to leaving for India Sucirani complained of a sore, stiff neck. I attempted to relieve some of the tension by massaging the area but it was ineffective. None of us knew at that point that she had tumours in the lymph nodes around the neck area. Sucirani left for India and I continued with my service until they all returned in January, 2003. Two weeks after her return, Sucirani was diagnosed with fourth stage cancer of the lymph nodes.

A Difficult time
Sucirani was naturally shocked upon discovering that she had cancer. We all were. This was a difficult time. My own sense of shock soon turned to sadness. I often cried myself to sleep at the thought that Suci may be leaving. Although experiencing her own intense emotions Suci would always ask how I was. She was very thoughtful in this way. She never gave me an update on her health condition unless I asked. Rather, she would ask me how my day had gone at university, how my assignments were going or how I was coping in general. I would often find myself complaining about an insignificant problem and she would always listen and empathize. Then I would remember her condition and my problem would become insignificant. I felt so self-absorbed. Her selflessness and care and concern were very aparent at these times.

As the year proceeded, Sucirani decided to try Chi Gung as one of the many alternative treatments. I would go with her. It took an hour just to get there so we often talked on the way. During this period I felt particularly close to Suci. Then very suddenly Suci’s health took a turn for the worst and in a last attempt to improve her condition an around the world trip was planned. I helped her pack and before I knew it she left. I said goodbye, anticipating that it may be the last time I would see her.

One month of fortunate service
By the time Suci arrived in Vrindavan as part of her round the world trip, her health had rapidly deteriorated. I was unexpectedly asked to come to Vrindavan. At that point we thought that Suci would be returning to Perth at the end of December. I managed to book a one month ticket from December 5th until January 5th to assist in caring for her until her return to Perth.

Upon arriving in Vrindan I was shocked to see how much Suci’s health had deteriorated.  The last time I saw her she had minimal signs of ill health. She had swelling in both legs (edema) and felt a little weaker but she was still walking, driving and cooking. Now, less than three months later, the top half of her body was practically bone, the bottom half was full of fluid and other than to use the bathroom, she remained in bed for most of the day. I found it difficult to disguise the shock and sadness. Now I could see that Suci really did have cancer. After greeting each other affectionately the first question that Suci asked related to the welfare of a devotee in Perth, who had been experiencing personal difficulty. Here Suci was, in such a deteriorating condition and she was thoughtful enough to enquire about another devotees well-being.

For the first two weeks I would assist Suci for the first half of the day by cooking her lunch, washing her clothes and making sure that she was taking her medicines regularly. During this time she was getting considerably weaker and weaker. By the end of those two weeks she could not get out of bed at all and she could not sit up or eat and drink without assistance.  Now the service was more specific and intense. More people were needed and Suci required twenty-four hour care.

Around this time evening kirtans started. On the first night Madhava led kirtan. Many devotees were packed into Suci’s room, all sitting around her bed. Suci relished that kirtan so much, it was as though torrents of rain had touched the desert. She was so happy. For that duration I really felt that she had transcended all bodily awareness by taking shelter of the Holy Name. During the kirtan Mother Jagattarini held a microphone close to Suci’s mouth. Despite shortness of breath, Suci made every effort to sing as best she could. As the kirtan grew more and more ecstatic she also raised her arms in the air. It was so moving to see her take shelter in this way.

Suci spent her devotional life giving in service. She was not used to accepting service from others and it was difficult for her to make the adjustment. At one point Suci called Rachel and myself over to the bed and in a very sweet mood she said “I just want to say thank you for all the things that you are doing for me.  It’s not a very pleasant thing to have to do. Normally something like this would make me feel so uncomfortable but somehow you don’t make me feel that way. I’m grateful for that. . . thank you”. I replied “Suci, when there is affection involved then it’s not unpleasant. . . it’s our pleasure”.

On January 5th, 2004 Sucirani left this world in Vrindavan. I had the good fortune of being present when she left. I could never have imagined, at the age of 16, the journey that knowing Sucirani would take me on. As a shy 17 year old I asked if I could look after her and 8 years later I was in Vrindavan doing exacly that.  

My experience in Vrindavan was very valuable, sweet and INTENSE. There were moments of sadness, frustration, bliss and confusion. The main realization that I had from the four weeks of caring for Suci—a realization that most people seemed to share—was that Gopinatha really, REALLY takes care of His devotees. . . even despite all their shortcomings.

I’m not in the position to say that Suci had shortcomings but I observed her struggle with her dependence and her faith in Gopinatha and I saw firsthand how nicely He would intervene for Suci’s benefit, despite the fact that often His plan was different from her own will. His plan was wonderful.  I saw how a nurse came at just the right time but she did not want to take Suci on so she didn’t stay. This happened with different people, a doctor, Suci’s brother etc., Gopinatha was giving her what she needed at just the right time but He would never let her cling onto or depend on that so He would briefly bring them and then send them away so that she had no choice but to depend on Him. It was amazing to watch and gave us all so much encouragement and faith.

The experience also gave me a different perspective on death itself. I saw how at each stage Suci would adapt and deal with it. The beginning of each stage was always frightening for her (ie. not being able to control bowel and bladder, then not being able to walk to and from the bathroom, then not being able to eat and drink herself, then struggling to breathe).  

There were so many stages of deterioration but after a day she would adjust somehow and Gopinatha would take care of her so it wasn’t as horrific as one may imagine. Then, when it was time to leave, it was less graphic than I had anticipated. Of course there was fear and panic when she could not breathe but that was shortlasting and then she left so easily.

It made me realise that I should not anticipate death so much, and fear it but rather have faith that Gopinatha will be there for me and He will make arrangements so that we can deal with the circumstances that we may find ourselves in. We just have to try as much as possible to have faith in that. Often Suci would worry about different things and I would say “Suci, Mataji said you shouldn’t worry about these things, just depend on Gopinatha”.  Of course it is easy to say but she would naturally worry and then see for herself that Gopinatha did take care and she was aware of that but she also couldn’t help the fear and the worry under the circumstances. The important thing was that she was aware and she really tried and she received an amazing result for that endeavour. So, after listening to Guru Maharaja’s and Mataji’s reflections and seeing firsthand myself, I realized that one needs to endeavour with determination and Gopinatha will take care of the rest. . . shortcomings and all. I saw firsthand how Gopinatha carries what one lacks and preserves what one has.

A year without Suci
This year without Suci has been difficult. We all returned to Perth with no option but to continue with our day to day duties in Suci’s absence and that was painful. I fumbled as I attempted to take on many of the responsibilities that Suci seemed to perform with such dedication, sincerity and steadfastness. My appreciation for her, specifically her mood of service, has certainly increased as I have struggled in her absence. Finding myself falling short in every way (service attitude, sincerity, dedication and selflessness) has helped me to remember Sucirani’s fixed up example. She really was a sincere and selfless servant who was always ready to give in service, above all else.

PALIKA’S JOURNAL ENTRIES

23/3/03

This is an account of the emotional, spiritual and mental difficulties experienced as a result of discovering that Sucirani has serious cancer. I don’t know how it will develop or where it will end but it suddenly struck me that for some reason (unknown to me) it has been arranged that I experience this indirectly. There are certain lessons, no doubt, that I am supposed to gain from this. Valuable clues for my own fragility. Today, probably two to three months after Suci’s cancer was diagnosed, I am feeling as if there is no cancer. Originally I was shocked, scared and vulnerable. . . sensitive and emotional. However, shortly after (and now) I really don’t believe that things are different. Suci seems fine. She looks healthy, her energy seems the same. Nothing appears to have changed externally. Emotionally she is fragile, teary and often aloof. Since she found out there has been bad news and more bad news:

1st- that it was malignant
2nd- that it was in other areas indicating that it had spread
3rd- that the blood count was high indicating 4th stage cancer
4th- that she had no aura around her in a photo observed by an aura reader in Russia
5th- that the alternative treatment was not working (blood count increasing)

The options for treatment seem to be running out but still I don’t really believe that anything is wrong. Sometimes I watch her and wonder what she is thinking and how she is feeling, dealing, coping. She seems strong. This strength makes it difficult for me to acknowledge that anything is wrong. I find myself complaining about the trivial, making future plans and complaining about some insignificant health problem. Then I remember that Suci has cancer. I feel guilty that I am absorbed in the trivial, that I am selfish and unaware of the seriousness of her current situation. I really don’t believe that she will die. She is Suci. . . .strong, competent and determined. Of all the people I never would have thought that she would get cancer.

29/9/03
Suci’s health has started to deteriorate. Originally it was swelling in the groin area, then it spread all the way to the feet in both legs. Now she wears these stocking to try and control the swelling. Mostly she finds it very uncomfortable. She has also been having problems with digestion. Suci went to Dr Barnes yesterday and they have found other tumours in the groin, breast and underarm areas. . . all lymph areas. He doesn’t really know what to do next. Suci and Mataji have heard about a well-known faith healer in Brazil. They are planning a trip there as soon as possible. Suci’s health is very, very serious now. If this doesn’t work they may not try anything else.

28/9/03
Last night Suci had a bit of a ‘meltdown’ because she needed to pass water and didn’t make it to the toilet on time, leaving her with a feeling of helpless dependence. Mataji talked with Suci for some time and then asked me to help Suci pack for the trip around the world. Suci has decided to take a mild dose of chemotherapy (1 tablet/day) and she also has needles to inject something that will prevent blood clots on the plane. She has to do this before boarding each flight. I sat with Suci and helped her to organise all her clothes. I watched her. Sometimes I feel very scared and melt down myself. . . cry and feel insecure about the future. Other times I feel very strong and certain that Gopinatha is taking care of all of us. Suci mentioned that it is not the dying that she is afraid of, but rather leaving relationships behind.

9/11/03
Well I am heading to Vrindavan to help with Suci. I am not sure what to expect.
It has been approximately two months since I last saw Suci. She is experiencing some discomfort, difficulty passing water, lack of energy, low appetite and difficulty controlling the bowels.

8/12/03
So far I have been in Vrindavan for two nights and three days. Today I started my schedule to take care of Sucirani (7:30 am–12 pm daily). When I first saw Suci I was shocked at how much weight she has lost and how different she was from before leaving Perth. Suci was very miserable looking when I first saw her. She had not had one visitor all day and felt abandoned so Mataji came to talk to her. I stayed for that. It was very very intense. Suci expressed a lot of frustration. She had someone bring some nappies for her from Delhi and she was really hoping that they would help her inconvenient situation. However, when they arrived she found them too difficult to remove quickly when she needed to pass water. The sticky tape was too sticky. Mataji saw great significance in this. She asked Suci what she had learnt from the experience and Suci frustratedly replied “There is no shelter here”. That was very stark. She reflected how you think that something will solve one problem but it just causes another. Suci expressed her great struggle with accepting her condition and the inconvenience that it brings. She expressed that her mind disturbs her and she finds it hard to take shelter of Gopinatha. Mataji soothingly walked her through some steps (visualization techniques about Govardhana Retreat). This seemed to calm Suci. That was my first day in Vrindavan.

The next morning I went to see Suci. When I entered the room the energy seemed much better than the previous day. Suci seemed calmer, less disturbed. She commented that she had been more peaceful that night. That she had tried to take shelter of Gopinatha as Mataji had asked her to do.

9/12/03
Today Suci seems OK but she didn’t really have a good night. She had to go to the bathroom regularly and only had half an hour rest.

20/12/03
Today was a little difficult for me and of course for Suci too. Suci is getting weaker and weaker.

22/12/03
I am worried about Suci making the journey back to Perth. Tomorrow I will be moving over to Suci’s because her son leaves so I will help take care of her until she returns to Perth. She now needs help to sit up vertically, which means that two people are required to hoist her up with a chaddar. Her left arm and hand is swelling up. Yesterday she lost focus for approximately two minutes.

29/12/03

Sucirani is changing and becoming so sweet and childlike and I am feeling so much affection towards her.  Last night she was whispering to the Doctor with great difficulty, “So many people are helping me. . . so many, it’s amazing. See, I am not a very advanced devotee, I am so shallow but still Krishna is taking such nice care of me. So this should be encouraging for others also.”

. . . Sucirani is being taken care of so nicely by Gopinatha; it is amazing, assuring and very, very encouraging. . . so much so that I don’t even consider that she is unfortunate or that it is negative in any way. I can only see Gopinatha’s affection, mercy and care and I say that in a very real way.  Not once since I have been here have I thought “Why Sucirani. . . ?” No way. He has her in His lap. It is amazing to watch and it really changes one’s perspective on death. This is not death. Actually, her life is beginning. For us it is hard but for her. . . she is trying to take shelter and she is hearing and her Gopinatha is around her neck.

Sometimes when I am watching her sleep in the night, she holds on tightly to her Gopinatha. Other times she just stares at the altar set up in the room towards Mataji’s Gopinatha. I love to see her smiling.  

It is very exhausting for her to talk though and to eat and even when we turn her over she needs to recover and get back her breath. Slowly she is being asked to give up parts of her independence and surrender to Gopinatha and she seems to be doing that much, much more than before but that has come after changing focus from wanting to leave Vrindavan to accepting and appreciating being here and accepting to leave.

Saranagati devi dasi

In appreciation of Sucirani devi dasi:

Several years ago I found myself the fortunate guest of Sucirani devi dasi.
At the suggestion of Bhurijana Prabhu, I was stopping in Perth on my way from Vrindavan to America in order to visit Jagattarini who was recovering from surgery. Since Jagattarini’s house was full with her family, Sucirani offered her hospitality to me. During that visit Suci extended herself to meet my every need, and even whim. Her generosity and thoughtfulness were indeed remarkable.

Unfortunately my health deteriorated so I became a needy guest, a turn of events which only seemed to motivate even greater appropriate care and concern. Mornings and evenings, before and after being at Jagattarini’s , we honoured light prasadam together exchanging realizations, aspirations and frustrations: two quite private and intellectual devotees making each other’s acquaintance and growing into firm friends.

Subsequent visits at Sucirani’s and at Gopinath Dham only served to increase my appreciation for her as a devotee and friend. She used her practical capabilities in endless service: running errands, cooking, gardening, etc.

Then, two days after my arrival at Gopinath Dham in January 2003, Sucirani learned that her body harboured two malignant tumours. She struggled to digest the ramifications of that situation, taking time from her normal “busy” routine for treatment and reflection, whilst simultaneously trying to discern what was Gopinatha’s plan, seeking to rest in it instead of escaping into “busy” work. After a six week visit, I returned to Vrindavan while she kept on endeavouring to accept her fate, the task complicated initially by no feeling of sickness. But that was soon to change.
 
The next time Sucirani and I were together was this past fall [2003] at the Japa Retreat at Govardhan. By then she was visibly suffering, having lost control of bodily functions. Although she found her situation frustrating and indeed humiliating, she put on a brave face even summoning up the strength to attend some kirtans and programs. By the end of the retreat, thanks to the mercy of Giriraja at whose feet we were dwelling, she seemed to have acquired increased acceptance and peace.

After the retreat, anticipating better physical care and greater devotee association, she planned to return to Perth at the end of December for her final days. Her health continued to deteriorate to the point where she could not even move without considerable assistance. Even so, she was determined to travel and return to Perth.

Extensive preparations were in process to permit the journey. But all was to change abruptly. Sucirani started to have difficulties with breathing, symptoms which definitively prevented travel! She then became more focused on the final spiritual journey and less on her physical condition. Suci being every inch eminently competent and practical she found it hard to let go and accept whatever help Radharani and Gopinatha provided for her. After days of tension between trying to cope (manifested in what her caregivers experienced as “bossiness”) and trying to surrender, the two states co-existing with one or the other in dominance, she finally surrendered and became fixed in the Holy Name and supported by the devotees.

Her departure actually happened quite suddenly and unexpectedly. Those who had travelled with her rejoiced in her wonderful, exemplary leaving. Soon thereafter a joyous kirtan resonated throughout the immediate neighbourhood while devotees honoured the body she had inhabited and which she found no longer useful.

Though thankful for the quick and merciful end to Sucirani’s suffering, I and others could not but lament the loss of a most wonderfully gifted, generous and loving friend. She and I had kept promising each other more and better communication, however Radharani decreed otherwise. Yet through the association we did have, she left me a wiser and graver person. So, while her body is no more and her soul lives on in accordance with Krishna’s plan, that intangible quality we call her “spirit” dwells within me and challenges me to realize increasingly my potential for love and service.

All glories to that unique servant of Radha Gopinatha named Sucirani devi dasi.

Respectfully submitted in her memory for a memorial event in Perth,

Saranagati devi dasi

Sri Radha Ramana das

Well, the last two days have been so intense and heavy for me here. I'll try to give a report. After hearing about Sucirani’s departure from you on Monday night, I didn’t sleep much that night, it was just the effect of finding out at 10 o’clock at night and not having anyone to talk to was too shocking. Sita Ram and Vibha had already gone to bed; I had only picked them up from the airport hours before. So the next morning I began notifying people. I had sent an e-mail out as soon as I got off the phone to you, but no one here in Perth would have gotten it at that point, so first I phoned Prabhavisnu Swami at the temple and broke the news to him. He made an announcement after Deity greeting on Tuesday morning. I phoned Kunja, she already knew via e-mail. I phoned Vraja and broke the news to her. I also broke the news to Sita Ram and Vibha, who were supportive, but not emotionally involved. I phoned Brian and Zena [Sucirani’s parents] and arranged to come down and see them before planning to go straight from there to the airport to pick up Lalita. Before leaving, I had to do the puja, and then I started getting as barrage of calls from concerned local devotees who had heard the news.

I also got a suprise call from Ambika, the ex-wife of Purusottama, the old TP from Perth. I hadn’t had any contact with her since she left Purusottama in 1988 and ran away from Perth with the two kids. I was simultaneously shocked to get a call from her, but also happy, because I had been out travelling when she left and had no contact with her since. We were a close small unit of devotees in those days, so I had always regretted losing contact with her. She had somehow heard Suci was sick from Purusottama. She phoned not knowing that Suci had left yet. She was a nurse before becoming a devotee, and she went back to nursing in Adelaide after leaving Perth. She had such fond memories of Suci that she had made a decision to call me and find out if she could come to Vrindavan and help! This is after having virtually no contact with devotees since 1988! When I told her the news, she said, “Jaya, she left in Vrindavan, how wonderful!” Then we had a good talk, and I encouraged her to send over something I could read at the temple program last night, which amazingly enough she did via e-mail. I also gave her the Gopinath website address and when she wrote yesterday she had been there and really liked it. I will attach what she wrote for Suci, very sweet.

I left mid-morning to go and see Brian and Zena. They were surprisingly composed. They spoke very warmly of their visit to Vrindavan. They said that was the closure for them, so they weren’t feeling it too bad that day. Although they declined to come to the temple program, they are dealing with it in their way, but it was good I went down there. I’m keeping in touch with them. Then I had to rush to the airport to meet Lali.

I hope this is giving you a feeling of the pace and intensity of what I have been going through the past two days, very difficult, because the whole time I felt like crawling into a hole somewhere and having a good cry.

I was there for Lali when she came through. She didn’t know so I broke the news to her, which was a shock for her because she had just been with Suci the previous day [in Vrindavan]. We talked a lot, all the way back and upon arrival at Gopinath Dham. We talked for ages, and of course, she also met Sita Ram, Vibha and Gopinath, who had prasadam waiting.

I spoke with our Perth Sita Ram about what the temple was arranging. They had already arranged a program for the next night because that was Prabhavisnu Swami’s last night in Perth. I was shocked to hear it was going to be so soon, but it had to be to involve Prabhavisnu Swami, which was important. I rested late after more time with Lali. We were both struggling a little to get our bearings with it.

The next morning I woke tired and emotionally drained, and struggled through the morning puja. Then me and Vibha and Sita Ram and Gopinath had Gurupuja and reading from Brhad-Bhagavatamrta. The very first verse I read was very pertinent. I’ll send it through. Then over breakfast, I got another call about the program at the temple, Prabhavisnu Swami wanted that I should head it up. Guests were coming like people from Suci’s business years, their old staff members, etc. I was taken aback to think this had to be done to accommodate grieving devotees and family and old friends from business etc., but I knew I had to take some control over it to get the right mood and get Prabhavisnu Swami properly involved so that he could have his chance to express his feelings to the local devotees and console them. I didn't want an awkward, disjointed or uncomfortable program, so I agreed to head it up, even though it was the last thing I felt like doing.

I spoke with Prabhavisnu Swami over the phone about how it should proceed. A framed picture was needed for the program, and I really wanted it to be the right picture in the right mood. So I looked through so many pictures here and finally found something. Then I had to rush to get an enlargement done and get a suitable frame—again, the last things I felt like doing, but essential. A fuzzy picture or the wrong mood would spoil Suci's presence at the gathering that evening. Suci made it hard for me; she didn't want much of a presence—typical. It was so hard to find a suitable picture, and in the one I selected she was smallish, hard to enlarge, but I got there after some endeavour. I think she was happy with how she went to the program in the end, but she was being a little difficult for a while there.

I was thinking about all the trouble she gave those who were trying to care for her in Vrindavan, she was also being difficult with me about coming to the program, but it had to be done; couldn’t she understand that? No time for being reserved and falsely meek, although I wasn’t going to allow the program to blow out of proportion as I was remembering things you had said about the program for Vrindavanesvari in Auckland. I was determined to keep the right mood and not let Suci be made into a worshipable pure devotee or anything, so she had to trust me about what I was trying to do. Anyway, we got there in the end, although I would have liked the picture just a little bigger, but I had to compromise with Suci somewhere.

So then I came back to Gopinath Dham and I only had a couple of hours before it would be time to leave for the program. Lali needed time with me because she was also trying to gear herself for the program, and I had told her that I wanted her to speak, which is not easy for her because she doesn't usually do things like that. Then I wrote you yesterday’s quick e-mail, whilst trying to settle my mind about what I would do at the program. Then it was time for a quick shower, and then we left.

I took Sita Ram and Vibha, and Lali took her own car. When we got to the temple, Jason was leading a bhajan. There were already about 30 people present, devotees and guests. Some matajis had set up a nice table for Suci’s picture, sort of where the asana is usually placed for the speaker in front of the heater. It was tastefully done with a vase of flowers and decorative cloth and some ornamental brass stands on the table, not overdone. The picture looked appropriate, but just a little small. What could I do? I positioned a chair for me between Suci and Srila Prabhupada.

The bhajans continued until Prabhavisnu Swami arrived and sat next to Prabhupada’s footstool facing Suci. I had a quick word with him and then sat in my seat and commenced the program. I explained that it was difficult to balance the emotions of loss of a dear friend with honouring appropriately the auspicious departure of a devotee in such auspicious circumstances in Vrindavan. I had to try and speak to both the devotees and connect with them and the guests. There were only four or five of these guests, but they had to be connected with.

I expressed openly that it was too soon for me to go very far into memories of twenty years of association with Suci, so I offered to continue in my role as the medium for conveying your experiences there, as I had received your report on the departure and the cremation, and I had Palika’s report on the departure, none of which I had passed on, so I offered to speak about the details of the time of departure. I suggested that Maharaja should then speak, and then anyone else could speak, although I suggested that this should be part one of this procedure, and those who needed more time could wait and we would gather again another day, possibly when you get back, depending upon when you can come. That proposal was widely and genuinely appreciated by the devotees present, and we proceeded on.

I gave a summary of the auspicious departure, and of how Suci had been so conscious and coherent that day. I mentioned I had the e-mail message she had dictated to me, which I was willing to share, but I said I wanted to save it to the end of the program because I frankly admitted to everyone that I wanted to emotionally pace myself through the program.

After giving details of the departure, I asked Prabhavisnu Swami to speak. He took the approach of starting at the beginning of his relationship with Suci, which was good because it took the mood back to those early days in the late 80’s when Prabhavisnu Swami started coming and we just had our little temple upstairs in the city. I couldn’t have gone there, so he sort of performed that function.

He spoke of how Suci and Banke were key members of the temple at that time. He just spoke openly and simply about how he gave her reinitiation and how their relationship developed. He appreciated her as a serious, sincere devotee. He then spoke openly about how she had been so generous in her relationship with him, and bought the land in Vrindavan, helping him build his ashram on his side, etc. He spoke of how she had wanted to make the business useful for Krsna, and about how she hadn’t done so well with that. It was a simple and honest account. He spoke of how she had always wanted close association with advanced devotees and how he couldn’t offer that to her in his position as a sannyasi, but how he had supported her in her efforts to take shelter of you. Then he read his last e-mail to her and her last e-mail to him, which was also written Monday.

I asked Lalita to speak and she did really well. She didn’t speak long, but it was powerful input because it was so current. Then I threw it open and Vraja immediately wanted to speak. She hadn’t directly contacted Suci since she left Perth. Just on Monday she had finally gotten it together to write a letter for me to send via e-mail. She phoned me up Monday morning and asked me if she could dictate it over the phone. I said just put it in the mail to Gopinath Dham and I will get it tomorrow, because it would be hard for me to sit at the computer and write with the phone. I said hopefully tomorrow wouldn’t be too late, but tomorrow was too late. She was feeling really bad about that. The letter arrived Tuesday, and she phoned me and asked me to bring it to the program. She had resolved to read it to Suci that night, in front of the devotees, which she did in an emotional reading.

I read Ambika’s offering after first explaining to everyone who Ambika was, and pointing out that Suci was still busying herself now bringing a friend back to the association of devotees. Ambika had written a nice poem. By this stage it was already getting late, I wanted to finish with some bhajan and I was hoping I could get Prabhavisnu Swami to lead, but Krsna Lila put up her hand and pointed out I hadn’t read my letter from Suci. It was powerful, because I pointed out to devotees that this was dictated five minutes per line on Suci’s last day, and the content was so thoughtful and coherent. Here is the text of the letter with an introduction by Ananda Tirtha:

Letter PAMHO:7667517 (74 lines)
From:      Suci Rani (dd) PVS (Perth - AU)
Date:      05-Jan-04 23:53 -0500
To:        "Sri Radha Raman das Steven Ritchie" <srrdas@hotmail.com>
Subject:   letter
------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Sri Radha Raman Prabhu,

This is Sucirani’s final letter to you, as dictated to me this morning. I
also read her your last letter. It goes to show how remarkably clear in mind
she was right up to the end. I hope it helps you find some solace during
this trying period for all of us.

Hare Krishna,

Your servant, ATD
Dear Sri Radha Raman,

Haribol!

O Prabhu, your last letter made me feel very sorry. It seems like you
should, of all people, have also been able to be here at this time. Somehow
Gopinatha hasn’t arranged it like that so He must have His own plan, and we
can’t really question it. There are obvious practical reasons why someone
has to be at Gopinath Dham at this time, especially during bushfire season
and all. And this responsibility seems to have come to you. But I wish it
could have been otherwise.

We have all been through so much change and growth since I first started
coming to the temple in 1985. At that time I remember you seemed to be quite meek and quiet but I remember being very impressed at how steadily you did your services and duties. I remember every week or more you would clean out the fridge. It was a humble chore but you did it very thoroughly and nicely. Probably you were more of a ‘lion in the chase’, but I didn't see that part. I just saw a humble, simple devotee. And gradually you had to take more responsibility and you grew into the role very nicely. Your pure-heartedness and honest dealings gave me a lot of inspiration. And I can say that you were the main person who gave me faith in this process until I really relied upon your gentle example as the main inspiration in my own spiritual development.

Over the next period we spent quite a bit of time working together to try to
manage the temple to the best of our ability. Neither of us were really
slick managers. Then some troubles started to appear in the running of the
Murray Street Centre and created controversy in the community. I found it
very hard. The worst thing was that after all our sincere efforts, people
started to criticise you. That was very painful for me. Especially when some
people had doubts about your motives and I knew how sincerely and
honestly—without any duplicity—you always acted.

When everything kind of fell apart, I felt my relationship with the temple
changed completely. And then the next phase was your accident. But
Gopinath’s hand was clearly in that and it took us into a whole new phase
which has actually been very auspicious. Now we have this wonderful project at Gopinath Dham. Gopinath is so mysterious and kind. But now my situation has changed so dramatically. I guess I have to learn to trust that that is also His auspicious plan, though it’s very difficult right now. But seeing how much extraordinary help and prayers and support is coming from all directions, I feel I must learn how to develop more faith in Him. It’s
obvious that whoever makes Gopinath the centre of their life is going to be
going to the same place. Sooner or later doesn’t seem to make any difference
on the transcendental platform. So now I’m trying hard to develop my faith
in that.

I know that all of us who love Gopinath will always remain close to each
other. So that is a great solace. I don’t think there’s anything more to
say. I’ll keep taking shelter of that. And you can too. Hariharibol!

With all affection,

Suci

PS. (from ATD): She dictated this letter to me with difficulty, speaking is
an effort for her and her breathing is laboured and shallow. This could very
well be the last letter she will write you, but if you want to reply I will
still read it to her.
(Text PAMHO:7667517) ---------------------------------------

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    

We had a bhajan and Prabhavisnu Swami spontaneously chanted the Gopinath prayers, then powerful Hare Krsna mantra. A powerful finish, but the program is actually only just started because there were so many devotees there who I could see would need their opportunity to speak, but last night wasn’t the time, so it will continue. There were many, many devotees present by the middle of the program, packed out. There was nice prasadam served; Gopinath Dham sponsored the feast. Ananda’s friends were there, the lawyer twins. They met Maharaja and talked with him about many things.

The Day Prior to Sucirani's Departure

On Saturday (January 3, 2004) I walked into her room and found the curtains closed and lights were off except for the bright coloured Christmas lights on Gopinatha’s altar. I blended into the quiet dark and sat at a distance. Sucirani seemed to be resting. Her breathing was loud and slow but fairly quiet. I sat quietly while Ananda read “Perfect Questions Perfect Answers” by the lights from the altar, and Lalita sat quietly by the bed chanting. Moments went quietly by until the electricity cut out, and the altar lights went out. Then came candles. The room was gloomy, not so warm, and dark, so sitting in the darkness I closed my eyes and began to imagine that I could get up and go over to Sucirani and take her by the hand and say, “Let’s go to Govardhana”, and we would leave and go there together. As I thought this, I opened my eyes and looked at poor Sucirani lying there quiet, unresponsive, weak and tired. Then in my mind came the impulse to go over to her, close and whisper in her ear “Radhe Radhe,” so I got up and she immediately seemed to turn and show some awareness that perhaps I was going to go. So I spoke to her in her ear quietly “Radhe Radhe,” and she quietly broke into a weak smile.

My husband had told me of a saying which someone had told him which was that we should learn to walk in the world without leaving any footprints. He said that for him this meant to facilitate others and not want the credit. I felt appreciative of the concept but rather pinched by how much I adore credit when it comes. He agreed it was hard but said it could only be done as we found our joy from pleasing Krishna for then we could relinquish the receipt of praise from others. Good lessons are available to us all but if we are all like myself we often fail, hmmmm.

Evening came and Aindra arrived along with Madhava, and also
Dhanurdhara Swami. They all sat down with a group of other devotees and prepared for Kirtan. I know Aindra well, from my many years of being in Vrindavan, not personally but from being here when he is, and so I knew that now he would begin a very intricate musical kirtan which would be a little hard to follow at first but were we all to try it would build up to a very sweet point, just as if within the chanting he was inviting Radha and Krishna to come and be present dancing on our tongues, or at least on his.

Many devotees were now coming in the evening for kirtan. Sucirani was being graced with so many guests, but in her condition now she is often asleep and hardly able to respond with much more than a smile. I heard that last night Aindra said to her “When I heard you were going to leave Vrindavan, I didn’t want to come to sing for you” (he is very, very fixed in his affection for Vrindavan). Then He said, “but when I heard you were staying I felt it was an honour to come, so I have come.”

He also told her that there are three kinds of Vrajavasis: one who is born here, one who lives here, and one who dies here. And of the three the last one is the best. It struck me tonight as we chanted and Sucirani lay quietly sleeeping or struggling here and there to chant when she was able, how we are all going to leave Vrindavan and return to Western
places but she won’t. If we keep within the spiritual energy we will see things one way, when we deviate towards the material, things all look so different. Being here right now in Vrndavan and taking great strength from the prayers and well wishes of so many good devotees and friends, I find myself touched by the spirit of Vrindavan, in a teeny way of course. But I know what it feels like to again hit the Western energy and to try to see this way there. It is not at all easy. In fact it eludes me completely and I guess that is true for us all. So somehow Sucirani will stay.

We chanted for an hour with Aindra, with the lights dim. He recorded the kirtan and sang quite a sweet tune. Gradually all Banke’s family came to fill the room and when it was over we all dispersed.

The girls who stayed on with Sucirani reported the night was very hard as her body is becoming more tolerant of all the pain relief and it now works for less and less time. She talks so quietly and sometimes without meaning, and one can’t be sure if she is asleep or awake. So the girls were thinking of trying to stay up, one at a time, for some hours to watch her as she is not finding much relief from her extreme discomfort. It seems that she is not in a lot of pain except for her shoulder and hip bones. So far she is not too bad with bed sores and the ladies caring for her are putting a lot of care into them. Kaulini is very calm and by nature she does not intervene unless required. She is strong and steady and will get more so as the times get rougher. Surabhi, Suci’s niece, is now leaving to go back home so we will need another person to help the girls.

I asked Banke and Ananda to allow me to find someone extra to help out. Just to make things more intense than they already are, I went this morning to talk to Banke and found him concerned for his brother in Yamunanagar who has just been diagnosed with stage two throat cancer, and so he has to also quickly consider what to do for him. This means that some of the family now here will have to go, and his mind is slightly distracted in working out what is to be done. What to do?

So many lessons are involved with doing this service caring for Sucirani. I think that it is only because Sucirani is such a serious a devotee that we are being made strong enough to do this service. And then we also take strength knowing that there are so many sincere devotees offering their prayers and well wishes which are also helping us immeasurably, so thank you to them also. This experience is so real and confronting and stark that it robs one of the desire to harbour dislikes or ill feelings towards others even when they arise as they readily do, so they become distasteful quite fast and I wish for help to remove them. Can’t do it
myself. Need help, and help seems to be available somehow. . . .

The day prior to Sucirani’s departure was difficult for her. She was taking a type of pain relief which was creating drowsiness and when she didn’t take that she was disturbed and she would express that through becoming very fussy about being moved and re-moved again and again. Then in the evening there was another kirtan with Aindra and she was drowsy and sleepy throughout. I saw she was tired and assured her that she was nevertheless still gaining great benifit, but she didn’t like being in that condition. When night came and the devotees had gone home she began to become disturbed and ask to be moved again. Then I tried to speak to her as I had on different occasions about seeking to find shelter with Gopinatha and how moving or being turned by these girls was not going to remove her discomfort. I talked to her about Gopinatha as I had at many different times, but due to her general weakness she did not seem to respond.

But the night went smoothly. Amazingly she returned to only using Panadol and trying to sleep and it worked for her. She was peaceful and Ananda slept in the room along with the usual ladies.

But that following morning I was full of thoughts about the whole thing. About death, about so many things. In fact I was reflecting about what a difficult thing it is to die for it seems to bring us into touch with our deepest faulty parts. Or the core of the issue we have with Krishna, of wanting to be in control, at least of our own faculty. I have watched Sucirani struggle so tensely within this situation. It has been so sobering. It is not really possible to talk to her now usually for she is so deeply preoccupied with just being.

So later yesterday my husband and I went to the temple, and I prayed to
the Deities for the strength to do this service despite the somewhat
irrational feelings that occur. Meanwhile my daughter Lalita Manjari went to spend her last day with Suci for she was leaving at 1.30 pm. She returned weeping and feeling so sorry to be leaving right now. I saw my morning time as requiring to be devoted to Lalita’s departure and decided to go and see Sucirani later. When I did go over I met Palika outside who was expressing her own feelings of difficulty which were very similar to my own earlier that day, so I found myself able to quell hers with some ease using my own struggle as a basis.

When I entered her room I found Sucirani was weak and hard of breath but quite clear of mind. She had a list to get done and wanted Ananda for everything. I felt a little unrequired there and after talking with Ananda thought to go down to the Bazaar and try to find some things for Sucirani to give to the devotees in Perth when eventually we would return. Part of me asked myself if I should be absent right at this point but I decided Ananda was doing everything for her so it would be OK. Even so I kept an eye on the time to get back by 6.00 pm. to assist her with her pre-evening-kirtan settle down.

I t was about 6.15pm as I walked over to her house and I was thinking, now if Sucirani asks where I was, I will say, “I was serving Gopinatha in a different way, elsewhere”, and tell her that likewise she will soon have to go and continue serving somewhere else.

However when I walked upstairs I saw Banke talking with the doctor outside her room. When I walked inside Rachel told me something was wrong with her breathing. I came close and saw she was struggling terribly to get her breath, and so asked I Palika to ring my husband, then went out and asked the doctor if this was serious. He said he believed so. I asked him if maybe it will pass, and he siad it might but then it will come again and indicated somewhat indirectly that it was very serious. “Should we get a kirtan together?” I asked.
“Not now”, he replied, “as that might frighten her”.
So I went back inside to watch her. She was in great difficulty trying to ask the girls to move her but she couldn’t speak, rather she was panting and gurgling as if about to drown. “Suci! Chant!”, I told her, “chant in your mind now. It isn’t possible to move now, try to relax and concentrate on chanting.”

I must say I was quite frightened, she looked so terrified and could not
control her breath. Then I put my hand on her heart and told her to remember and chant. She managed to say “I am trying,” but then within only minutes of going into this almost convulsive phase her eyes turned upwards quickly and her body seemed to shudder some and she was quiet, eyes half open and mouth half open, and no breathing. I waited in case she was able to regain control, but all the time Kaulini and I were chanting loudly .The two girls joined us, as did the maid who was paid to stay night shifts. We chanted like that in case she was still there for about ten minutes until my husband arrived. He looked, summed up the situation, and said that she was gone. Then we stopped our kirtan to attend to the requirements for a departed soul.

It was so sudden, and whilst her sickness was so horribly discomforting, she was not in extreme pain. Of course her body, her breathing and her mind were causing her great suffering, but the real moment of trial was so short and looking back on it she really did so well. I reflected upon how it was amazing that I walked in right at that time. For some reason none of her close family were present, and we were all chanting loudly for her.
Then Ananda arrived and entered the room, Banke too. Ananda had gone to chant his rounds, having spent 30 hours with her up until then. Later we reflected upon why perhaps it had been arranged like that, perhaps Gopinatha wanted her to respond to non-family members at that critical time.

Now Suci was gone. We rang devotees, her parents, and as we were doing so Aindra and his group showed up along with many devotees who had heard the news. The room began to fill up. Now Aindra could really chant, for previously he had been restricted to quiet kirtan. The kirtan was so powerful and strong, building up more and more. I was asked to discuss funeral arrangements for tomorrow and even to go and try to buy a sari out front at 8.00 pm in the cold misty darkness.

Returning I was caught in the strong mood of the chanting and sat beside
Sucirani’s bed and chanted. We placed a photo of Srila Prabhupada and garlands from the Deities and the samadhi around her neck. She looked calm and was the centre of so much powerful kirtan for quite some time. Then when we had all finished and the devotees were to leave we left the family members to their grief. Banke’s sisters stayed in the room with her that night. She looked as if she was sleeping too.

It was hard to go to bed. For the next few hours, Palika, Rachel and I
all talked about our reflections from the past weeks and then finally went to sleep. The funeral was scheduled for the following day.

In the morning we went over to the house and the sisters-in-law were stil sitting in the room crying. We put on a tape and began to empty her room of furniture to prepare for the last part. Then her body was bathed by a group of ladies and a new red sari like a wedding sari was carefully arranged over her and we ornamented and painted her hands and feet with attractive alta, along with eye cosmetics and a nose ring and decorative bindi. I had these items already as prasadam from Srimati Radharani and so we placed them on her and covered her head with the sari. She looked as if she was getting married. Her affectionate sisters-in-law from Yamunanagar all felt pleased with our efforts and felt she was properly prepared.

It is the Hindu tradition that when the lady dies she is dressed as a bride, so we did this, using items from Srimati Radharani. Then her body was placed upon the stretcher and taken down strairs to the temple. We quickly cleaned the room throwing outside the gate all her bedding and personal effects, all of which can not be used again, as well as pillows and blankets she was using.

Then the procession led in kirtan by Nandanandana Prabhu conducted parikrama of the temple and stopped outside for some minutes while the devotees circumambulated her and chanted. Then she was brought to the front of the samadhi and again stopped there to receive Srila Prabhupada’s blessings. Then off through the front gate out onto the road, turning right to the parikrama path, followed by a small group of devotees and relatives chanting. The older gurukula boys assisted in carrying the stretcher on their shoulders. Ananda walked in front with a copper pot and a piece of straw sprinkling the pathway ahead. I was looking at her face peeping out amidst a series of garlands, dressed and decorated so attractively, unlike the Sucirani we knew, who was rather plain and practical. Her body was being carried with kirtan through the ancient sites, past the tall, almost medieval looking Madan Mohan temple upon the hill, and the different ghats along the old Yamuna trail.

Seeing her being carried like this was quite amazing, for I kept recalling how serious she was to leave Vrindavan and go where she would feel more safe and familiar. Now as her body was being carried in procession, with due respect being shown for someone who has left this world in the holy Dham, I kept thinking what she would think or feel were she able to watch what was happening. It was very auspicious.

Dina Bandu came and handed me the kartals, and as we walked at quite a quick pace I found myself just tolerating the cold and the strenuous pace with the satisfaction that it was actually Vrindavan that was being glorified by this procession.

When we arrived at Radha Damodara, the stretcher was turned around so that now from here to the Yamuna her face was first rather than her feet. We walked throught the town, past Nidhuvana, Radha Raman Mandir, Radha Gopinathji, then on through Gopinath Bazaar and past Gopal Guru’s Radhakanta Math, which I had visited only weeks before. Along the way pious locals folded their hands with respect as we passed by. You see, they know that death is the representation of the Lord in so far as no one except He is free from its control.

Arriving at the bank of the Yamuna, it was cold and grey. A wind was blowing and the water looked dark reflecting the colour of the sky. Her body was placed upon the stretcher in the Yamuna and then submerged, whereafter the funeral pyre was set up and her body set upon it. Then covered with brush and wood, her son, Ananda, circumambulated the pyre with a burning bushy torch and set the pyre alight. The flames shot up high, and we all stood while the whole pile of wood burned. After about half an hour I left with the girls to return back home and bathe, before taking some prasad.

Not being a blood relative, it seemed that it was easier by far for me to do the most intense part, namely to be with her when it was time to go and tell her to chant, and then chant with her. Her neice and Lalita had just left, and perhaps it was planned so they would not have to place themselves in the position of seeing the final part of her story. Then too it was interesting that neither of her closest relatives were there. Banke was just outside and Ananda had just gone to chant some rounds at the temple. I also marvelled how I was brought to do what I had to do so that she was not going to fix her mind on anything else but Krishna’s name at the final stage of her life. She did what she could, and when I told her to chant in her mind she tried to say “I am doing it. . . .”, so she really made this life very successful.

Remembrances

Ananda Vrindavana Dasi was serving Sucrani at Govardhana during the Retreat, and later, she was fond of reading to her. She is the head-mistress of the Vrindavan Gurukula:

You would lay with your eyes closed as I read Caitanya-caritamrta. I would think you were asleep, but in the end you smiled and said you were listening. And you were. The day before you left I came and read. You were serious that day and we were alone together. You looked at me with strong eyes, yet labored breath. I felt your struggle. Still you smiled at me, grateful for the readings.

I watched you chanting with Aindra Prabhu the night before you left. Clearly chanting as you lay on your side, facing the ladies and receiving their strength and prayers, facing Radha Gopinath’s altar.

Then quickly, quickly, as I was in my house, a voice at the door said, “Suci is leaving”, and we ran, and others ran, and we ran together and arrived but you had gone, as quietly and gracefully as you had ever lived.

Thank you for the faith you have given me that Krishna directly intervenes in our life and takes care of us. All glories to all the devotees and all glories to Srila Prabhupada.

your servant,

Ananda Vrindavan Devi Dasi

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Deena Bandhu Prabhu, a disciple of Srila Prabhupada and long time resident of Sri Vrindavan Dham, is famous for his Vraja Katha.

I came to visit Sucirani the morning she left. I saw that she seemed very peaceful, but was having difficulty breathing. I had a good friend of mine from Varshana who just happened to be with me. When he understood that she had cancer, he started to say he knew some sadhu that had some medicine. . . I cut him off and said now there is no other medicine except the holy name, and Sucirani smiled and nodded her head.

Jagattarini Mataji had e-mailed me earlier that they wanted to hear about Kadamba Khandi between Varsana and Nandagram. So I began to describe this very beautiful place and some of the lilas connected with it. Sucirani seemed to forget her difficulties and listened attentively.

Then I remembered that I had some incredible photos of my trip to Ireland where Mahamantra Dasi orchestrated a whole Vraja Mandala Parikrama on Govinda Dwipa. Every day we started in the temple room where Mahamantra arranged a different darshan twice a day, and then we went on Vraja Parikrama around the island. The first photos were of the different darshans.

First there was Govinda decorated with four arms with four symbols of Vishnu and many extra gopis surrounding the altar. This was the pastime of Krishna taking the form of Vishnu when the gopis were searching for him in the forest. Radharani’s hands were in the form of making pranams to Lord Vishnu as the gopis asked Lord Vishnu if he had seen the son of Nanda Maharaja.

Next there was a picture with Lord Brahma sitting in front of the altar with a Yajna vedi in front of him. Radha and Govinda were holding Their flower garlands ready to exchange them as Brahma peformed Their wedding in Bhandirvan.

Then there was Holi Lila with all the gopis and Krishna with Their pichkaris spraying color on one another, Saradiya Rasa Yatra and then finally Govinda coming out of the box in the Yavat Lila.

Sucirani Mataji was really amazed at these photos and immediately reached for her glasses and became deeply absorbed in them, forgetting her material body.

Then the photos showed how Mahamantra Dasi got Vraja Mandala Parikrama made on the island, complete with a Dhenukasura who went up in the tree on cue. I took her around the island on tour, until I saw that she was exhausted and closed her eyes. Then I told her to open her eyes one more time and I had placed a picture of my granddaughter in her hands and she laughed. I asked her to please bless her. And then we left.

In the evening when I was returning home, I saw Aindra and his kirtan party returning from the direction of Sucirani’s house. So I asked how she was, and they said she had left at 6:20 pm before they even got there and they had an ecstatic kirtan.

I was simply amazed how I had given her a surprise Vraja Mandala Parikrama in the morning and now she was gone!

I came over and the whole atmosphere was very auspicious. No one was crying, everyone was discussing what had happened. They told me that Jagattarini Mataji had just come at the last moment and put her hand on Sucirani’s heart and began to preach to her to chant within her mind. The last thing she said was, “I am,” and she concentrated very deeply and quietly left.

Her husband Banke Bihari walked in and understanding that she had left began to express his astonishment at how she had gone so suddenly, as did her son, Ananda Tirtha. This was no ordinary passing. Usually everyone is wailing. I found the whole atmosphere joyful as everyone discussed how she left in such an amazing Krishna conscious manner.

Sri Vrindavan Dhama Ki Jaya. Jaya Jaya Sriiii Raaaaaaadheeeeeeey!  Shyaaaaaaaaaaam!!!!!!

In service of Sri Sri Krishna Balaram,

Deena Bandhu Das

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Friday was a young Dutch girl travelling through Perth who found her way to our temple. Sucirani invited her to stay in her house for some time while she learned what she could about devotional life.

I find it hard to write something for Sucirani that will cover my feelings. Sometimes words fall too short. I saw Sucirani as my spiritual mother. She took me up into her home so I got the opportunity to get some spiritual knowledge. Her devotion for KRSNA seemed very special to me. She completely surrendered unto KRSNA, always focussed on her spiritual growth!!! Sometimes I was worried as she was so busy with everything. I can only say that I am thankful for getting to know her, thankful that she took me under her wings, thankful that she was there for me when I needed her. I send her my love and affection. I will never see her again, but in my heart she will always be my spiritual mother!!!!

With love and affection, Friday

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Gaura Bhavini Mataji is a disciple of Sacinandana Swami who assisted in caring for Suci in Germany:

I remember that my husband had this very interesting discussion on the phone with her about really wanting to live or wanting to get healed or just giving in to fate. From her outer appearance she sure looked frail and at times miserable because of all the pain, but it was also obvious that she had such a clear mind, so it seemed rather odd that Krsna should stop her talented mind and drive to do something for Srila Prabhupada’s movement right in the middle. So this discussion went on about what was really Krsna’s plan and how we should react to it.

After some time of thinking things through, she had become determined to try and do everything possible with whatever Krsna sent her way—such as visiting a very special healer in Germany—to prepare to remain alive. But then, after this renewed spirit of fighting the disease, the plan kind of fell apart because it all did not work out with the appointments and airplane tickets, etc.

So Krsna had already invited her to go to Vrindavan and the preparation for the (outer) journey kept her busy, I guess. So then when all the luggage was down and into the car and she could kind of cuddle in the quilt, she looked so small like a child—somehow on her way back home.

Later Sacinandana Swami had quoted her saying after the Govardhana Retreat that “Now I must learn how to detach myself from my mind and from my body.”

Actually, this is every devotee’s task, but in her case it sure had the sound of urgency and inevitability, which after a while can make things lighter and easier to discern what is really important.

Her final departure sounded like she had really gone home to her real home–not having to travel in the last minute, being dragged from doctor to doctor and then hospital and all those things.

After I had heard that Suci had left her body, I was happy to hear about the auspicious circumstances but was still left with disbelief how such an able devotee was just gone. But thinking about it sure helps to one day accept our own physical mortality. I felt quite inadequate because I could only do some errands for her and did not really take the time to really get to know her, but these are just a few glimpses on the way Suci had touched our lives.

All the best and lots of love,
y.s. Gaura-bhavini Dasi

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Giridhari Prabhu lives in Brasilia and kindly facilitated Sucirani’s stay there and in Abadiania..

By a curious arrangement of the Lord, I have had the opportunity of getting the association of advanced Vaisnavas in their final days on earth. I live in Bras

Special Appreciations

Prabhavisnu Swami

Firstly let me express my condolences to you both, as Sucirani’s departure is surely a very great loss to you as it is to all of us. Sri Radha Raman phoned me this morning around 6am and told me the news. We announced to the devotees just after deity greeting and Yadu Shrestha prabhu read out the letter that you had sent out describing her departure. I wasn’t able to give class. It would have been too difficult for me as it would have been the first time for so many years of my visits here to Perth that she wasn’t there sitting at the front recording the lecture and asking intelligent questions. So instead we just held a long kirtan to pray for her safe journey to the spiritual world, although I’m sure she’s there already. I am really glad that she was able to leave this world from Vrndavan in full Krsna consciousness and in the loving association of so many caring devotees. It is a prefect and auspicious end to a wonderful life of devotion to Krsna, and a great example for others.

From my own point of view it is very appropriate that I am here in Perth at present with so many devotees that know and love her, and that I am staying in your house next to the temple. She was always very generous in making this facility available to me on my visits here, and she was also the main inspiration and donor in helping me to construct the house next to yours in Vrndavan in conjunction with Bhakti Caitanya Maharaj. That was because she always had the service of guru and Krsna foremost in her mind. She did not want to simply buy or construct houses for only herself and her family without offering them or similar facilities to her spiritual master and other devotees. She felt that Krsna had blessed her with sufficient facilities in this world and, being generous, she very much liked to give and share with others.

Tomorrow evening we are going to hold a special function and feast here in Perth in her honour. We announced it for tomorrow evening so that we could gather as many devotees and well wishers as possible. I will keep you informed.

My sincere thanks to all of you there for taking such good care of her in her last days on this planet.

Mother Suci Rani ki jaya!

Your well-wisher,

Prabhavisnu Swami.

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Sacinandana Swami

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu always gave credit to the devotees - He never claimed that He had gained anything on His own. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the fully complete personality of Godhead, the source of all knowledge. Yet, He gave all credit to His devotees.

For instance, He told the great scholar Vallabha Bhatta: “Only by the mercy by Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya have I understood that devotional service to Krsna is the essence of all mystic yoga. Through the mercy of Ramananda Raya, I have understood that ecstatic love of Krsna is the highest goal of life and that spontaneous love of Krsna is the highest platform. I have learned about the glories of the Lord’s holy name from Haridasa Thakura, and by His mercy I have understood these glories.” With great transcendental enthusiasm, Lord Caitanya gave an expansive list of other devotees and ended: “I have learned from all of them the meaning of devotional service to Krsna.” (CC, Antya 7.22-52)

However, there is one devotee to whom He gave the greatest credit: His mother. Therefore, it is said:

vande tam? kr?s?n?a-caitanyam?
m?tr?-bhakta-?iroman?im

            
"I offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the most exalted of all devotees of mothers." (CC, Antya 19.1)

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s loving associate Dãmodara Pandita once told Him, “As far as I am concerned, all the devotion which You have, You have only because You have inherited it from Your mother.”

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu simply smiled in great transcendental affection. With this the Lord bowed down a million times before His mother. Even from Puri, He would visit His mother regularly in an unseen way and accept her loving food offerings, such was Mahaprabhu's love for His mother.

Mothers in Krishna consciousness will live up to the crucial role of giving birth to their children when they can protect them from repeated birth and death by encouraging them on the spiritual path. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s exalted mother, Mother Saci, the mother of the universe, displayed her motherly affection by giving her son permission to live in Puri, far away from “home”, so that He could follow His path of sannyasa dharma.

Recently I got a letter from a devotee mother, whom I had the great opportunity to meet and serve. I am speaking of Suci Rani devi dasi, who left her body recently in Vrndavana. In her last days, she truly took shelter at Lord Krsna’s lotus feet by meeting us in a sacred valley at the foothill of Giriraja to attend the Giriraja retreat. Her exalted son, Ananda-tirtha Prabhu sent me a prayer that his mother wrote to Lord Krsna. It really moves the heart:

Dear Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha,

Although I know that my son is not really my son, but your eternal servant, I have some special affection, which I think is very natural.

Today is the anniversary of the day that he took birth in his present body, and by your mercy his life has taken an auspicious direction. He has received the greatest opportunity available to a human being - the knowledge that our real existence is with You in Goloka Vrndavana - far beyond this material plane; and knowledge of the process for reawakening that relationship.

This is certainly a rare and special gift that You have given him, and now my prayer is that You always continue to help him to make progress on that path. The material energy is very strong, and binds us here in so many gross and subtle ways. We constantly remain in need of Your special mercy, because we all have a long way to go to really develop pure love for You. So if a mother's prayer has any value, please bless him that he may quickly develop realisation of the difference between mundane and spiritual life. I know you will not force his choice, that will always be up to him, but You can certainly help him to gain realisations of the consequences of following these two paths. I am confident that, after gaining some personal realisation, he will be wise enough to choose the path of eternal bliss in preference to gaining insignificant temporary happiness in this world.

If You help him to come back to You, then maybe at the end of his life he will also remember his poor mother, like Dhruva Maharaja, and then I will also have a chance to come back to Your abode!

Please be kind and hear this prayer of Your insignificant aspiring dasi,
Suci Rani

I am quoting this letter to glorify spiritual motherhood. Of course, Mother Saci is beyond human calculations, she is superhuman, but she shows us a dimension of motherhood. And as we look at the heart of a mother, we find a wonderful devotee, Suci Rani, praying to the Lord for her son.

All glories to the transcendental mothers!

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Amoghalila Das

I was saddened to hear of the passing of your mother. I am confident, however, that the extremely auspicious circumstances of her passing are a clear indication that she has, by Srila Prabhupada’s mercy, entered directly into the pastimes of Sri-Sri Radha-Krsna--or, if it was her preference, into Srila Prabhupada’s direct service in his incredible preaching mission throughout in the material universes. In any case, I believe that not only you, but also I, will be meeting her when we leave our bodies.

Although it is always painful to lose the association of a devotee, especially one so closely associated with us as our mother, I am praying that everything associated with Sucirani Mataji’s passing will become the cause of your ever increasing advancement in Krsna consciousness, as I am sure it has been in her case.

I hope this meets you in the best of health and Krsna consciousness.

Your servant,
Amoghalila das

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Bhaktisiddhanta Swami

I just wanted to contact you to express our heart felt feeling at the passing away of your mother. A great soul has left us and has found a position which we all hanker for. To leave the body in such an ideal situation is Krsna's special mercy and I pray that I will also be allowed such a new beginning surrounded by similar caring souls.
     Best Wishes,
             Your servant,
                Bhaktisiddhanta Swami Maharaja

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Kadamba Kanana Swami

You wrote about the passing away of your mother in a true vaisnava spirit, appreciating her good fortune of being able to leave in the Dhama and yet the grief felt by her relatives and close ones.

Life is full of inevitable situations. It is awkward to lose one’s parents. Prabhupada also expressed that when his father left this world, that he felt left alone now that his well-wisher had gone.

My mother died at age 54 when I was 23 also due to cancer, but it was not auspicious as this situation. She was in a hospital in the West, in a coma, and although I was not an ISKCON devotee, I chanted the Sri Rama mantra for her which I had picked up in India.

You are truly blessed with such a mother who was a sincere devotee and who followed Srila Prabhupada and in the end got the mercy of Krsna. I think her memory will always remain a positive influence in your life.

My best wishes for dealing with the emotional side of the situation to both your father and yourself.

Your servant,

Kadamba Kanana Swami

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Kavicandra Swami

Such good fortune for mataji and all those who helped her.  This should in increase our faith in the process and in ISKCON.

I pray that she will bless me that I can leave this body in such a condition....

Your servant, Kavicandra Swami

And, although I am confident the she does not need my prayers, I am praying that she is blissfully associated with the Lord Goloka.

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Kesava Bharati Dasa Goswami

All glories to the auspicious departure of Sucirani Mataji.

My condolences to you for losing your mother. I remember what an emotional shock it was when my dear mother passed away. But after a good cry, I felt purified and in a sense liberated, in better position to take stock of my own life and go forward.

Your mother’s passing away was surely successful because of the presence of such elevated Vaisnavas. It was, as you said, all arranged by Krsna. she was attached to Him and His abode, so it appears to me certain that she attained the spiritual world.

Hare Krsna

I look forward to spending time with you in the near future, perhaps in Mayapura.

Hoping this finds you well and peaceful in your devotional service, I remain as always

Your servant,
Kesava Bharati Dasa Goswami

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Prabhavisnu Swami

Please accept my blessings. All glories to Srila Prabhupad.
We held a memorial ceremony in honour of your mother on 7th evening in
Perth. Sri Radha Raman prabhu conducted the proceedings and he and I were the main speakers. We also sang the bhajan Gopinath. It was a very moving ceremony as all of the Perth devotees have very deep affection for Suci Rani. It was decided that there would be a further program when Bhurijan and Jagattarini mataji return to Perth. Bhurijan wrote me that everything went smoothly there in Vrndavan and he felt that Suci Rani was pleased.

Your well-wisher,

Prabhavisnu Swami

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Ramai Swami

Sorry to hear about Her Grace Sucirani's passing away. She was indeed dear to many devotees around Australia and other parts of the world. From your description I can understand how special she must be. To leave this world in Vrndavan surrounded by Vaisnavas chanting the holy name is the ultimate perfection.

your servant
Ramai Swami

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Sacinandana Swami

Today I have received the auspicious news about Sucirani Mataji’s departure.
There is a very nice verse which I remember:
 “I offer my respect obeisances to the feet of that great personality who resolves to reside till death in Vrndavana, which is the kingdom of transcendental bliss, because Sri Radha and Sri Krsna, who are the crest jewel among paramours, realize that such a person is one of Their most intimate servants and discuss about her.”
 On the Govardhana retreat Sucirani Mataji spoke very realized words: “I now realize that I must find shelter beyond the mind and the body.” This prayer was fulfilled by the powerful mercy of Giriraja. How auspicious. I offer my most humble obeisances to Sucirani Mataji.

A humble servant of the Vaisnavas,
Sacinandana Swami

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Sacinandana Swami

Dear Sucirani devi dasi and dear devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

When I first met you two years ago, I was only interested in seeing you because I know your wonderful son, Ananda Tirtha. I had heard good fruit comes from good trees. In other words, good children have good parents. Therefore, I was interested to see “the tree”. But as soon as I spoke to you, I could immediately understand that here is a very serious Vaisnavi on her way back home, back to Godhead. At that time, I did not know how prophetic this impression was.

The next time I saw you was in Germany where Mother Jagattarini dasi and yourself came after your attempt to become healthy again in Brazil. The three of us spent very nice time together singing Damodara vrata and doing different Karttika related sravanam and kirtanam. At that time you were very frightened of the possibility of leaving the body soon. You were not able to accept it—feeling still many obligations to your near and dear ones and having also the human fear of physical extinction.

But even though you were afraid, you carried yourself with grace and in the mood of a saranagati Vaisnavi. With great physical difficulties you visited the temple although you had a very intense medical program. I was truly impressed.

The next time we met was in Vrindavan at the sacred feet of Giriraja during the Govardhan Retreat. Material people would have expected you in good hospitals, connected with needles and infusion, but you had more faith in Krsna conscious infusions. You came regularly to the wonderful lila-kirtans of Bhurijan Prabhu and also attended the seminars as much as humanly possible in your condition.

Of course during that time, no one of us thought that you would leave so soon, but then, all of a sudden, you gave an indication—or was it Krsna who spoke through your mouth? When we all sat together talking about our realizations of that wonderfully transforming week, you were also there and you also spoke. I still remember the last words, which I heard from you—words that ring in my memory with a powerful sound; you said: “Now it is important for me to find shelter beyond the body and beyond the mind”.

Hidden in your words I perceived a very bold statement: If death comes, let it come now, as long as I can be in the shelter of Vrndavana and the Holy Name.

I remember, when you spoke, I could hear that message in your words and it became clear that you would soon go and leave us. But I did not know if it would happen in the most holy place Vrindavan Dham.

Afterwards I only heard about you—not from you. I received the e-mail reports of your son and of Bhurijan Prabhu and his wife, and then—the final news. For me it is clear that you have gone to the spiritual world. I sincerely congratulate you. It is so wonderful that you were kind and almost motherly to me although I am a foreigner in your life. I am truly moved by your quick transition from fear to great faith in Krsna. I personally believe that this transformation happened due to the inconceivable mercy of Giriraja, who has His treasure chest of love of Krsna open day in and day out. He is always there to help the devotees and He has certainly helped you to reach your spiritual destination. Although we are sad that the world is bereft of one more nice Vaisnavi, we are happy that you have completed your journey.

With gratitude and great respect,

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada

Sacinandana Swami

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Sridhar Swami

The first time I met Sucirani was in the mid nineties in Perth. I immediately understood that she was a special woman of strong character and devotion to guru and gauranga.

She was a successful business woman from her purvashram and was using all her energy for serving her guru Prabha Visnu Swami and the mission of Srila Prabhupada.

We had a number of discussions and I visited her work place also. I was always impressed by her courage and steadfastness. I met her again in Vrndavana later and found her realizations very deep.

My final meeting with her was in Brazil where I got the opportunity to assist her and mother Jagattarini and hope I was able to make everything as comfortable as possible for them.

I was also able to share with her my humble realizations on death and dying. At the moment It seems like I am headed for the "Last Roundup" (a cowboy expression - Krsna was a cowboy). I have travelled so much that on some occasions I would wake up in  a new city and forget where I was.

So death is just another journey for the service of the Lord. She was very, very fortunate to have such wonderful guides with her at the end.

I am sure she doing just wonderfully now and Krsna will draw her to His abode very soon.

Your ever-well-wisher and servant
Sridhar Swami

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Virabahu Das

Please accept my blessings as well as my heartfelt condolences for the passing of your revered mother. All glories to Srila Prabhupada, who has gifted us all with the greatest mercy of Vaisnava sanga in the guise of our relations, including --in fortunate cases as yours-- mother and father.

Besides all she offered you in Krsna Consciousness, she has now made you doubly fortunate by attaining her final success, offering thus the greatest satisfaction and blessing possible to those she leaves behind.

Thank you for sharing with us these crucial and intimate moments in your life. Thank you for sharing with us your great fortune.

Remembering you always with affection, I remain,

Your well-wisher,

Virabahu Dasa

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Suci's Gopinatha Book

Before leaving Perth for the journey to Brazil, Jagattarini Mataji made a little decorative notebook in which Sucirani’s friends from Perth, Christchurch, and other places on the way wrote messages of encouragement and appreciation for her. The book came to be known as the “Gopinath Book” and was a source of strength for Sucirani during her journey and final days. The book is reproduced here in full:

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Dear Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev. Thank you very much for giving me a real and genuine opportunity to do a tiny service to Sri Krsnaji through yourself and the present condition you are in. Sri Gopinathji must have a serious mission and by the constant prayers by all the devotees, you’ll surely overcome every material disease and fully be fixed in the authentic Krsna consciousness. As you know the more a devotee tries to be fully devoted to Sri Gopinath, He takes away everything outwardly and put them in a very miserable situation, but ultimately that Gopinath could see that His devotee needs help and finally Gopinath bestows prema bhakti (krsna prema). So please keep in your prayer and thought and my thought that Sri Sri Radhe-Shyam will protect all of us.

Thank you very much for the nice service opportunity to give me a chance to do some service for you. I’ll see you soon.

Your servant

Nitai Prem das

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Hare Krishna.

Respected Suchirani Mataji,

Namashkaar. Thank you for being a role model (in Perth!) for me. This helps me to persevere in my chanting and tolerance. Krishna is so kind. He will certainly protect us from everything which seems difficult for our human eyes.

Haribol.

Your servant

Sarada

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Wish you all the best for the future—Love Always. – Mercy

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Dear Sucirani,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

May Lord Nrsimhadeva who has sharp nails and teeth award you with fearlessness on your onwards path. Our fears can be quickly vanquished by the thunderbolts of his mercy.

Krsna matir astu. Hare Krsna!

Your servant, Kurmadasa

OM NAMO BHAGAVATE NARASIMHAYA
NAMAS TEJAS TEJASE AVIR AVIRBHAVAH
VAJRA NAKHA VAJRA DAMSTRA KAMASAYAN
RANDHAYA RANDHAYA TAMO GRASAT SVAHA
OM ABHAYAM ABHAYAM ATMANI BHUYISTHA
OM KSRAUM

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

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Dear Sucirani,

Pplease accept my humble obeisances. You have my very best wishes and regards. Hare Krsna!

Your servant, Linda

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Dear Sucirani Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances. Your example as a devotee of Krsna inspires my faith. Thank you.

Yours sincerely, Bhakta Geoff

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Life without Krsna is simply a sad joke. Strictly speaking we cannot even call it life. Therefore there is only one loss in life—loss of Krsna. But here is mystery—death cannot take Krsna from us. If we have Krsna then loss as a phenomenon does not exist in our life. Please remember the darkest hour is just before dawn. We will pray for you.

Sakha Krsna

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Dearest Suci Rani Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances and biggest hugs. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I wish I could say something really insightful, philosophical and intelligent. But all I can really say is how much it has meant to me to have been under your wing even if at a distance. You are so sincere with your exchanges—your laughter lifts a whole room and your care and concern is the essence of your person. We are all so blessed to know you. You’re that kind of a person—that kind of a devotee. I pray that with all my heart, I will always be in your sweet association.

With warmest hugs and prayers,
Your servant always,
Lalita Sakhi devi dasi

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Dear loving sincere Sucirani,

Please accept my loving obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada & Prabhavisnu Maharaja

You have always been such a steady & wonderful inspiration to my K.C.
You are so controlled, chaste and affectionate & loving.
Please may I go where you go coz I know you’ll go back to Godhead in this lifetime? Don’t worry, Krsna is taking good care of you & He always will. He’s our eternal friend. Don’t be afraid to go back to the spiritual world with Him coz that’s where you belong. But, promise me you’ll take me there too O.K! (laugh!).

Lots of luv and hugs from your loving servant & friend,
Dhrti dd

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Dear Suirani,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to Guru Maharaja.

I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank you very much for your years of kindness and Krsna conscious instruction to me—& to all of us here in Perth Yatra. I pray that Gopinathji gives you His unlimited mercy & strength to face this difficult test that He has presented you with—& will ultimately present all of us with, in some form or another.

I also pray that the Lord will allow (if it is His will) that you remain amongst us for many more years to inspire & strengthen us by your sincere example and your deep realisations & instruction.

Thank you for everything!

As you mentioned, when I spoke to you a few days ago, the “test” that you are undergoing is a very personal one, & that nobody else can fully appreciate and share. . . yet at the same time you have so many devotee well-wishers & friends, both here in Perth & around the world, who are praying for you & your speedy recovery.

May Guru Maharaja, Srila Prabhupada & Sri Gopinath give you all Their mercy! All glories to your service!

Your servant, Carsini dd

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Dear Suci Rani,

Haribol!

Remember each time I was approaching you for advice you were telling me, “Let’s see what Krsna’s plan is.” Or “Krsna is testing you”. This time He is testing you, my beloved Suci Rani. And being an excellent devotee and example for me I’m sure you’ll pass the test. Krsna wants you to become a self-realised person because only then you can give up material attachments. We can’t obtain love of God without being self-realized souls.

Don’t be afraid. It is not that hard. Little bit of pain and by Krsna’s mercy you’ll rise to the transcendental platform and will guide us towards self-realization. I believe in you Suci Rani. And you don’t have to leave this world. Krsna may just help you to purify yourself for He has a better place for your future. When you’ll come back from your trip I’m sure you’ll be a different person.

Keep up! Have a very successful trip!

I look forward to seeing you soon and serve you.

Hare Krsna! All blessings unto you!

Love, Rasika Seva.
28/09/2003

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Dear Mother Sucirani

I pray all goes well for you in your forthcoming trip. No one, except Krsna, knows what the ultimate outcome will be. In either case, it will likely be all good and beneficial and spiritually progressive.

I am not sure if I will see you again in this life but we are sure to meet again at some point, most probably with Krsna.

Until next time Haribol and take care.

Your humble servant, Candrasekhar

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Dearest Suci,

As I track your life from when I have known you, I can only see Gopinatha’s kindness and mercy in His dealings with you. Since I have known you I have seen your complete dedication to service and you were always (and are always) somebody I aspire to be more like.

You are so dedicated to serving Gopinatha’s devotees, always Gopinatha has been so kind to you and I have firm faith that he will never, ever withdraw His kindness, not now. . . not after all the selfless service that you have offered His very dear devotees. No matter what the outcome of this particular circumstance, know for certain that Gopinatha only loves you and will only ever reciprocate in love. You are under His internal energy now so do not doubt or fear a lack of care on His part. He has taken such nice care thus far, why would that change? Go forward without fear and give those who love and admire and aspire to be like you more faith that He never abandons His devotees. Hold on tightly to Him and your relationship with those you have taken shelter of. Love always, Palika dd

PS. My dear Gopinatha, such a wonderful devotee, I thank you so much for blessing me with her association. Now please allow me to accept Your will, whatever that may be. Pali

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Dear, Dear Sucirani,

Somehow or another Krsna is always arranging that I keep such wonderful association. I have had the opportunity to witness how you so devotedly serve the devotees. Your example has really inspired me and I hope I will get your association again.

I don’t have much time to write but please know that though I may be a little quiet and reserved if I could be more open I would give you lots and lots of hugs. Look forward to seeing you again.

Lots of love, Seva Kunja

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Hare Krishna Sucirani,

My obeisances. All glories to Prabhupada.

If you are reading this at a time whilst you may be feeling rather mellow or subdued, then please close your eyes & imagine that I am wrapping my arms around you ever so lovingly & gently & softly chanting Hare Krishna into your ever receptive ear. May I have the opportunity to be able to do this constantly—please know then that I will always be with you in such a way.

Then I won’t have to say—“I’ll see you soon” instead we can always be together, always “in touch”. All my love and affection Sucirani, from your loving servant & friend,

Ramila dasi
(Christchurch)

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Ye nam
    Se Krsna

Krsna is
    His
Holy Name

Love Yasoda Dulal

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Dear Mother Suci Rani,     
              Chch NZ Sept 2003

What to say? I know you only a little , but feel pleased that Gopinatha allowed even that time. I often think of my time there, and some of the simple, sublime exchanges we all shared. The feast when I was leaving after my first visit, and how you cooked such a nice prasadam feast, . . . pistachio ice cream! And the spinach pies for the flight home, (the Beagle drug dog at the airport in NZ would not leave me alone, as my bag still held the nice smell). Mainly though I recall feeling so wanted and loved by my ‘new’ family. In the eternal scheme of things I can only pray to be a part of Gopinatha dham forever. Please always remember us.

I remain your aspiring servant,

Surya Narayana das

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29.9.03

Dear Mother Sucirani,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I have only known you for such a short time yet I only hear amazing and wonderful things about you from all the devotees. . . and knowing this, I can only aspire to be as devoted to Krsna as you are, to have as much faith in Him that you have. I’m only young, and when you’re young you tend to think that you are invincible and you have the freedom to die whenever.

I’m only just learning now that in actual fact, Krsna is in control, and I must just accept and learn to have faith that He will be watching me and looking after me, just as He is to you.

Your servant
Radha
(Chch temple)
Always remember Krsna and never forget him. ?

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Dearest Sucirani,

Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Guru, Gauranga & you.

It’s always a pleasure to see you, always so kind & supportive to aspiring devotees, eager to help in anyway possible. You’ve a special place in my heart.

I don’t know if you remember but it was you who so kindly gave me my much treasured photo of Tota Gopinatha (which always reminds me of you) hung on the “Puri wall” of my hallway.

My prayers are with you for your journey.

Always your friend & servant
Jayasri dasi

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Dear Sucirani,
 
Please accept my humble obeisances. I am just writing a little something, just to speed your journey along to Brazil, and hopefully some healing treatments.

I am in the nursing profession and see lots of patients with varying degrees of health, and one that thing that always helps people is state of mind. So keep strong. May Krsna be with you every step of the way. My prayers are with you.

Kind regards
Beth XXXX

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Dear Sucirani,

The mind is a powerful tool in the hands of a spiritual warrior. (warrioress!) We may have heard of the power of positive thinking, and through Krishna consciousness we can create the most positive mindset for maximum healing capacity. Wishing you all the best,

Your servant,
Bhakta Chris.

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When I left England and came to New Zealand I was travelling alone.
My company came from singing, chanting, reading and remembering Krsna every day.

I was never alone.

Krsna will always be with you for eternity so in any difficulty you will never be alone.

All thoughts for your safe journey home.

Rachel

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Always remember—

Krsna always loves you

Tiani

PS: Isn’t it wonderful?—anything we are going through in this life is only temporary.

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Dear Sucirani,

Hare Krsna. I apologise that you had to tolerate my attempts to serve you.

Your humility pierces my hard heart, and tonight I met courage in you—that you say you do not have—your endearing open nature with the devotees shows us you have it. I feel extremely privileged to have met you and look forward to more exchanges—because exchanges with Vaisnavas are rare and eternal even on this planet.

Hare Krsna
Hare Krsna
Krsna Krsna
Hare Hare
Hare Rama
Hare Rama
Rama Rama
Hare Hare

Your servant,
Sri Kari dasi.

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Dear Sucirani,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Guru & Gauranga.

The Vaisnavas can take gold even from a filthy place.

I was feeling a little envious of the person who gets forewarning of their impending departure.

There is nothing more certain than the fact that all of us have to leave this planet. But due to Maya’s covering, we live as though we will never die and thus spoil our lives.

Although I feel a deep sympathy for you, I can’t help but appreciate how Lord Sri Krsna is giving you so much mercy.

Please grasp this mercy with open arms. Perfection is near whether you live or die.

Aspiring to serve you,

Prananatha das

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Dear Sucirani Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Guru and Gauranga.

Although you don’t know me, I have a simple request—please pray for me in Vrndavana dhama that I become and remain fixed in the service of my spiritual master and Srila Prabhupada.

What little I know of you is through the devotees who know you. Those devotees seem to hold you in such high regard and speak of you very affectionately. If I can similarly achieve the affection and blessing of the devotees, I will consider my life to be successful.

Your servant,
Krsna das

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Dear Sucirani Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Although I have only met you a couple of times, I remember hearing of you many years ago after my mother came back from a visit to Ekacakra with you. I was thinking of you when I was at university the other day, how your lessons are seemingly so far away from my life for now, yet are so close in the sense that leaving this place is the real reality—the great unifier of material existence. I hope for your recovery and for all success in your journey in Krsna consciousness.

Your servant,
Mandira Mani dasi

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Dear Sucirani,

Krsna’s mercy is upon you, surrounded by Vaisnavas, blessed by Gopinatha, flooded by Holy Name, filled with Prasadam. Lord Caitanya is pulling you out of the ocean of material world. You are caught safely in His net made by His causeless mercy. Hold on to His feet with great faith and eagerness.

Love, Saci

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My dear Suci Rani,

I recall our first meeting in 1986 when you came to our temple in Brisbane prior to our first initiation. You were so well presented, neat, clean and organised. I remember the feeling of respect I had for you and my lack of ‘togetherness’. But you were simple and straightforward, not proud or overbearing.

I met you many times in Mayapur during times when Guru Maharaja would give class on C.C. and you recorded lectures to share with devotees who could not attend. You have always been a nourisher of others! You often asked questions that impressed me. I thought ‘how intelligent, how thoughtful, how insightful.’ But I didn’t tell you of my appreciation. One day at the end of Mayapur Parikrama you spoke in front of many hundreds of devotees. Your realisations were profound, but simply explained and clear & honest. Again I was impressed, but I never told you.

Time passed and then you intimately associated with Mother Jagattarini & Bhurijana Prabhu. I was happy for you, because you are excellent at taking care of the needs of others. I was also a bit pained because I felt somehow ‘left out’ but of course when I met you there at Gopinath Dham you in no way made me feel left out. It was my own insecurity, unfounded by any reality, and an immature emotion born of the material conception of love. Spiritual love is unlimited and divisible unlimitedly & multiplyable unlimitedly, not limited by material time, place or circumstance.

Meeting you again here at Govardhan I have been witness to the maturity of your devotional practice, and the affect & effect of Krishna’s affection, grace & love for you. This love for you has manifested in something externally difficult, but internally wonderful. I have witnessed the transformation of your situation from one who so sincerely served others to one of you accepting service. This must be difficult, but you are so full of affection for the devotees around you, that you accept so gracefully and with a reciprocation that melts my heart.

Seeing you in this situation has profoundly reinforced my faith in the process and Krishna’s mercy. I imagine that the future can only be most hopeful, positive and divine either in the case of your recovery or the final test, your future and anyone else who takes K.C. as seriously as you, dear Suci.

I am so pleased to have seen you here at Govardhan, and witnessed your ecstasy in chanting the holy names, wholeheartedly, without material attachments.

Love, Taraka, your servant

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Srimate Suchirani Prabhu—a prayer for to offer to Sri Giriraj by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur

Namaste Girirajaya
Sir Govardhana Namine
Asesha Klesha Nasaya
Paramananda Namine

Please remain blissful in your journey back home—however it goes it is always Krishna’s special mercy upon you.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Your servant and friend
with love & affection
Malati dasi

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Dear Sucirani,

For the devotee, old age & disease are helpful to give us hope that we are coming closer to Krsna’s lotus feet. As we come closer, we feel how we are like the kitten held in the jaws of the mother cat. She may hold us tightly sometimes, but feel secure, because she is taking us back home. May you increasingly feel this realization of being held tightly in Krsna’s hands as He brings you closer to Him.

Your servant,
Narayani Dasi

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Dear Sucirani,

Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

We don’t know each other but we have been brought together here by the the mercy of Sri Giriraj Goavardhana. Therefore we must be knowing each other.

What I liked most in what we heard today about Krsna’s pastimes is His rasa dance. How He disappeared & inflicted so much pain upon the gopis. But the gopis didn’t leave Him. They shed tears and underwent great trouble to find Him. And Krsna, hiding behind a bush was watching them. His heart was completely conquered by their struggle & He finally allowed Himself to be captured by the gopis.

And similarly for us.

My love & obeisances
Siddhi-lalasa dasi

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My dear friend,

Dear Sucirani Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances and a big hug. I remember our first meeting on Navadvipa Mandala Parikrama. I believe it was in 1990. I was attracted to your personality then and I am still. Last year at the Govardhana retreat we met again and I watched you as you walked back and forth with your son in the evenings. There are many devotee children born in the Krsna consciousness movement but not all are fixed up. It takes a good mother to produce a good son. And that is a confirmation of my impressions of you. You are so brave and strict, commanded by deep values.

You are also very kind and faithful to your relationships. I always enjoy your company. Now that life is putting you through a period of difficulty I pray that you get all transcendental strength and reach the shore of tranquility. I pray that you get well and soon joyfully move among us again. Each event in a devotee’s life is a stepping stone to higher or deeper levels of realization of the truth underlying this world. In the end everything is always well. I hope that all the words gathered in this booklet will be received by you as a great encouragement. I think of you and pray for you.

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Your servant, Prasanta DD

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        18/11/03

Dearest Sucirani Prabhu,
hre  k*-Z<a
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Kindly accept my insignificant offering. Your presence at the retreat last year, when I watched you change the lilas daily on Sri Sri Radha-Gopinath altar, so delicate, so intimate, so careful, so loving, so deep absorption was always plucking the strings in my heart.  

This year you are present again and by the mercy of Giriraja I had your association once again from a little distance not wanting to disturb your peace and praying.

At this moment, you are more fortunate than any one of us. You are getting closer to your goal in life while we are the actual sufferers, suffering at the thought that we have to go on in this miserable world, and also suffering because I surely miss your association and pleasant face.

I pray that Giriraja will remove your pain and suffering. I pray that you will find eternal peace and shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radhe Shyam.

When you have reached the eternal abode of Sri Krishna please tell Him about us who are longing for His shelter and your association once again.

Your servant,
        Sacidevi dasi (Mumbai)

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Very Dear Mataji,
Please accept my humble obeisances.
I want to thank you very, very much for your determination which is teaching us and I am sorry that I was not so fortunate to serve you.

Be Happy for Ever,

a fallen soul from Iran,
            Bhn. Fariba
♥♥

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September 30th 2003
                Christchurch. NZ

Dearest Suci,
Please accept my affectionate obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Where would we be without Srila Prabhupada and the love and compassion he freely gave. He has given us a meaning to life and death. Here is a context that is, when its full potential is realised, is eternally blissful and liberating from this material bondage.

There was an earthquake this morning—do you remember? When the world shakes how can we not but see our smallness and fragility. How easy it is to be finished in this life. How difficult it is without some knowledge and faith of what it is meant for and what is the goal.

In his Bhagavad-gita purport (2.15) Srila Prabhupada says—“Anyone who is steady in his determination for the advanced stage of spiritual realization and can equally tolerate the onslaughts of distress and happiness is certainly a person eligible for liberation.”

Liberation from birth and death. Your determination and strength of faith are the means to your freedom. Remember that Krishna will always help us. He will never fail to remain our constant companion and what we may lack, He will surely carry for us. His plan is perfect and we are part of His plan.

I wanted to give you something from Srila Prabhupada for no matter what our state of health in this material world Srila Prabhupada has surely saved us.

“I know that if you maintain the association of devotees your life will be happy and perfect. That is the version of the sastra that the most important thing for spiritual realisation is the company of realized souls or pure devotees of the Lord.”
(Letter to Tribhuvanatha July 18, 1970)

“Because you have given your life to Krishna, you are already perfect. But it is just like the ocean, if you are swimming in it you may swim forever and not reach the shore. Similarly, there is no limit to the perfection of Krishna Consciousness (Nov 19, 1971)

“When we simply remember to accept the control of Krishna and not to act independently then all fortune is automatically present. (Dec 11, 1968)

In olden times when there was an important mission to be undertaken those who went were farewelled with the message, “Godspeed”. I always wondered what this meant but I now come to accept it as, if we undertake the important journeys of life under His direction and at His bidding, then we shall be protected and watched over always.

So Suci, “Godspeed”
With love and affection,
Kunja Kisori

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Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

My dear Suci-rani Prabhu,

My humble obeisances to you. Thank you for coming to our home and allowing me to remember Krsna and the importance of serving and associating with devotees.

If my good wishes and thoughts count as blessings then I wish that Krsna will bless you with all intelligence and allow you to open your heart in full surrender to Him.

Krsna has already blessed you with the association of His devotees. It is obvious that they care for you.

Your servant,
Padma-malini dasi

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My dear Sucirani,

Yours is the ultimate adventure, Lord Krsna is your personal guide, no matter how dense the forest, He’ll never let you get lost.

May Krsna grant fearlessness to your soul as you fall into His sheltering arms.

It was a pleasure meeting you.

In love and service,
Hanuman dasa

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                10/22/03

Dear Sucirani Prabhu,

I am feeling fortunate to have had a few moments of your association. I am hoping that we can spend more time associating in the Holy land of Vrindavan.

May Lord Krsna bless you with His causeless mercy and loving guidance.

Krsnas tu Bhagavan swayam

Your servant,
Natakacandrika dasi

New Raman Reti, Alachua, Florida

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Dearest Sucirani Prabhu,

My humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada, who has given us everything we need to return to the lotus feet of our dear Lord Krsna.

None of us know where our next step will be, but we have been given priceless promises by those who know and are capable of keeping their promises.

You are doing everything right, everything you need to do; faithfully chanting the Lord’s holy name, constantly reading and hearing, staying in association of the best of the Lord’s devotees, and you are feeling completely dependent on the mercy of the Lord and His devotees.

Always a faith servant, surely Lord Krsna is very pleased with you. You are a wonderful example for all of us. Our prayers are with you. Your journey is all-auspicious and victory is yours.

It is my great fortune that our paths have crossed and I pray that my fortune will continue and I will repeatedly have your association again and again.

Your servant,
Padma malini dasi

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Dear Sucirani Mathaji,

My name is Bh. Hooman. I am from Iran.

When I heard that you have cancer suddenly I thought that Krsna is so merciful toward you!

My father got cancer two years ago. He was a normal business man and worked hard to maintain his family and collect money. At that time he had all of the usual habits for a normal man (meat eating, drinking. . .). He became so afraid and upset to hear that he has the dangerous and gigantic disease named CANCER.

I am his oldest son. He told me that I should come to the doctor with him for the first time.

After the visit the doctor send him outside the office and told me that he has cancer and asked me to tell him gently.

When I came out of the doctor’s room my father was eagerly waiting for me, asking what did the doctor said. I simply answered YOU HAVE CANCER!

He was a sport man and he never imagined that one day he will this very special disease. He became very afraid and asked me that you do not mind about it?

I answered: I think it is God’s mercy which He is bestowing upon you. I know that you have so many things to do and say. You have so many open business cases and you have to take care of my brother, but we always asked you to lower your job load and be with the family and yourself. You always denied. This time the God is forcing you to do it for the rest of your life.

YOU HAVE TO FINISH EVERYTHING AND START TO ASK ABOUT WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE LIFE AND WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER THAT.

Anyway he went to the hospital when I was on a trip because of my job. When I came back I saw him just before the surgery began.

After that the doctors said that you have to start the chemical treatment which they told us that there is no need for that. I forced him to not to take the chemical treatments and instead of that consult with one of our friends (a devotee) who had cancer of Level Four fifteen years ago and he cured himself by taking only bare vegetables for a while.

After so many discussions finally he met our devotee friend and started to eat only vegetables.

After about one and a half month he went to the doctor and he said everything is OK.

He was so fortunate because he met our devotee friends and even our preacher started special condensed Bhagavad-gita  2nd chapter class only for 4 persons including him.
He studied 2nd chapter of BG and he became obedient toward Srila Prabhupada’s books. Before that he was arguing SP is very harsh. . . he read the Life Comes from Life. Now he was still eating only fresh vegetables and even cooking vegetarian food for my brothers! He is always asking me to only eat fresh vegetables, the very man which he always asked me that you should quit this nonsense and dangerous diet especially for my little Satya.

I do not know about his cancer, but I am sure that he should leave his body without Krsna’s mercy. He forced me to tolerate the Lord’s mercy perhaps because he let us make a great BG class in one of his houses some time ago.

Now, I have heard that you prayed for Krsna’s mercy last year in Govardhan.
So, you are so fortunate that in such a secluded place, by your own wish, Krsna arrange for such a strong bhakti course for you.

It is a great situation which although I am afraid but I wish to have the same chance to purify myself and put all of the teachings in to the test! I will pray that you can pass the final lesson and no body knows what will happen after that.

Y.S. Bhakta Hooman

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Dear Sucirani,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
All glories to Sri Vrindavan Dham.

I am writing this on the final day of our Govardhan retreat where we have had the indescribably merciful darshan of so many wonderful devotees and the Lord in His majestic form.

I have been remembering how in the Bhagavad-Gita the Lord tells us that he protects what we have and provides what we lack. So what do you have? So many exalted Vaisnavas loving and praying for you! So many merciful gurus approaching the Lord on your behalf! The eternal benefit from a life dedicated to spiritual activities under the guidance of your kind spiritual master. The eternal result of sooo much devotional service and the desire to continue to advance. None of this can be touched by time or conditions. You arms are almost too full to carry all this!

And most important—if there is anything you still might require that you don’t already have Krsna has promised that He will take care of that. You don’t even need to worry—it is already taken of.

I pray to Giriraja for your peace of mind and strong faith and I wish you the very best eternally.

Your servant and friend,
    Karunika dasi
 

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Dear Sucirani Mataji,

Thank you very much for your very Krsna Conscious example to put Sri Sri Radha & Krsna in the first place of your life.

The secret of Krsna Consciousness is to take shelter.

For that we have to absorb our consciousness fully in Krsna. Our mind is like a piece of white cloth, which needs to be dyed “dark-blue”. Yes, just like a person who uses dye to colour a cloth, we wish to become absorbed.
Deeply absorbed!
Really absorbed!
Fully absorbed!
In Radha-Krsna absorbed!

The Absorption-List:

1) Listen to Krsna-katha

2) talk or listen to advanced devotees

3) Pray, take shelter

4) Think of Krsna

Wishing you all the best and lots of spiritual strength.

Your servant,

Sacinandanda Swami

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How sweet reality is—

    To be with Krsna & His soft and gentle smile.

    (Someone said this at the retreat during their lecture—I can’t remember who, & both are blaming the other for it—Tiani)

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Haribol Dear Sucirani!

Today in the morning I visited you shortly. I was thinking the whole week to do it but I was afraid. But when I realized that you are such great help for me/us I decided to see you. It’s the first time I see somebody in your situation and it was very important for me. I realized I’m not serious enough when I saw you and that your situation makes you serious. This is not a game. It’s a cruel reality. I’m deeply grateful to you that you’ve come to Govardhana so I could have this realization in a deeper way. I’m not KC enough to give you any advice. I just want to say I really wish you good luck on your way home back to Krishna. I hope you’ll make it this time.

Thank you for receiving me.

Lots of love
Haribol Parangata

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Dear Sucirani Mataji

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Oh how wonderful is the association of devotees. Lord Krsna brings us together and again disperses in His unlimited pastimes. I pray that the devotees will be merciful to us and allow us to always remember the mercy that has brought us together. I pray for your mercy to always help me remain in the association of the devotees and that in your path of Krsna consciousness you will also shower some mercy on this poor ignorant fool.

Lord Krsna is always ready to hear our prayers. May your prayers also enable you to gain Lord Krsna’s mercy and so be able to also pass on His mercy to all of us.

Your servant in the service of Srila Prabhupada.
                            Tirtharaja dasa

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Dear Mataji,
            Dandavats!
You are an inspiration to me in the way that you so courageously face this greatest of all challenges. You have all my prayers. Be brave, and just let go of this world and trust that Krsna will catch you and let you serve Him forever. I look forward to serving you one day.

Kesava dasa

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Dear Suci Rani

Have no fears on your way to Krsna because He will be there for you!

With affection,
        Bh. Uli

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I have often wondered how I will face my final challenge and I imagine I will not be as brave as I hope.

Talking to you and watching you has helped me to realise how unprepared I am to leave this world and has also helped me to appreciate the strength that you must have to deal with all the challenges that now urgently present themselves.

But I see you surrounded by wonderful vaisnavas and wonderful people attract wonderful people. So I see some of what I must achieve to have the association that I need.

I see a peacefulness in your face that was not so clear in London, so it must be that Giriraj is looking after you.

As you have found shelter in Giriraj and the holy name and the vaisnavas, I hope too that I will use my intelligence to do the same.

Your servant,
    Vibha

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Dearest Mataji,

Namaskar! What a pleasure having you with us. I hope you remember me, we one day hugged each other in the temple hall! MERCY OF KRISHNA is always with you, it’s just you have to feel his warmth in your heart to realise that all your worries are actually his. Actually, our past karmas; bad ones gets over bringing some or other kind of afflictions. Even that is a gift of God because he wants us to go back to him sinless without having to come back to this material world.

So! don’t worry! He is always taking care of you.

Surrender yourself completely to him.

With best wishes & Love,

        MEERA
        (Delhi)

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Thank you for encouraging us on our way to Godhead. You are a great inspiration—Please bless my mother and me.
Hare Krsna!

    Padmavati Dasi
     & her mother

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Dear Sucirani Mataji,
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you very much for giving us your association here at Govardhana. May Giriraja give you the strength to let things related to your body go and to concentrate fully on your eternal relationship to the Divine Couple Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. May He make you so much attracted to Their lotus feet that your mind can think of nothing else and may your only desire become to serve Them in the spiritual abode, our real home.

Please see your situation positively. All of us will come in the same situation, we all will have to go through this in the one or other way. And actually, because it is so natural, we should concentrate on the aim beyond this situation: eternal service to Sri Sri Radha and Krsna in the spiritual abode. Please focus your mind on this goal and prepare yourself with a happy heart. Giriraja is so merciful that He brought you in this situation to His lotus feet in the association of so wonderful devotees, amongst His dear devotees: the Vrajabasis.

You are so lucky. May Giriraja give you all the strength, absorption and whatever else you need to go this way.

And again, I am so happy that you came to be with us during this retreat. What can I say, one can learn a lot from you. I wish you all the best.

Your servant, Sadanandi dasi

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Dear Sucirani,

Thank you for coming and inspiring us by your presence. I’m a doctor and I work a lot with sick people but seeing you made me realise how there is an ocean of difference between departing people in material consciousness and those in Krsna consciousness. Thank You for giving me this realisation. Krsna is waiting for You and us all, so You are maybe more fortunate for maybe You’ll reach Him faster and He will lovingly embrace You telling You ‘Where have you been so long, Don’t you ever go from Me’. And Prabhupada will accompany You on the way.

    Hare Krsna
    Jay Radhe-Syam
    Mani-manjari D.D.
    from Croatia (we are serving here and there, there is no difference)

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[Written in Croatian]
    
Lalita priya

Translation:
Your fearlessness will be a new spark in my life. I’ll pray for You.

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Dear Sucirani!

My humble obeisances to you.

Thank you very much for coming here, cause by seeing your example, I understood that nothing of this material world will give me shelter & solace at the time of death. I need to turn to Krsna! It is urgent need!

I prayed for you yesterday at Surabhi-kunda and I will go to Radhe-Syam & pray that you go back happily to Krsna’s abode & that you continue to serve the divine couple there.

You are very fortunate person because you’ll leave this miserable place soon.
            
            Your humble servant,
               Radha-Krpa dasi

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                                Giri Govardhan
                                      Nov 18.2003
é[q raDaa

Dear Sucirani,
My most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada & all wonderful devotees!

It is amazing how time is short & long in the same time. We met briefly last year in the same seminar, and when I came this time felt like I never left but in the same time so many things had happened. And your personal situation is proof. Life is always very serious, but sometimes we are conscious and sometimes not fully. When the time of great departure comes we somehow get this vision of how life is serious.

I always thought of great departure as one big journey. We travel so often (especially in ISKCON) here & there and even sometimes if we go for short time feel separation from loved ones. So to go from this world must be really something not so easy to do.

Recently my grandma left her body and I was so affected by this even if I had heard so much.

Thinking about life as a big journey & taking shelter in holy name is real shelter for me. Maha mantra is always with us, and we will never feel lonely or neglected and I always think that we will all meet again at lotus feet of Radhe Syam. Only that time separates us. There is no separation in between the Lord & His devotees. We will always be together.

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
  Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Please if you can read last verse of Srimad Bhagavatam it is very, very encouraging & showing the real truth.
                            With all my love
                            Govinda-mohini d.d.
                                Montreal

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Dear Sucirani,

May Lord Nrsimhadeva remove all the obstacles on your path to reach Krsna’s lotus feet and place you on His lap as He placed Prahlada Maharaja.

              Your servant
                Anupama devi dasi

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Krishna has simple plans for happiness of all his family, so simple that we usually find them hard to get!

                                Hare Krishna
                            Your unworthy servant
                            bh. Sohail Bakhtiari

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Dear Suci Rani Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and his devotees.

All glories to Sri Sri Radha Gopinath, the Lord of your heart.

I am so grateful to have met you and by your situation gotten a dose of reality. Leaving this body is both difficult and glorious! It is similar to when we come into devotional service from a conditioned background, not always a smooth transition.

However, in both situations Krishna is right there as our well wisher, the supreme proprietor, the supreme maintainer, and especially our dear most friend.

Now, with death at your doorstep you can prepare to live. To truly live in your eternal relationship with Krishna and His eternal associates. In this life you’ve offered your mind, body and words in His service. Now you will transition to your next destination where you can continue your service.

Dear friend, do not be afraid, prepare to live. Krishna loves you, He will help you.

I admire your example, your strength, and pray to hold on to this dose of reality you are sharing with us.
Your aspiring servant,
        Yamuna devi dasi

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Dear Suci Rani,

Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to Guru Maharaja.

I can understand that you must be in a difficult bodily situation and I feel for you very much, but at the same time I am considering you to be the most fortunate amongst us.

You have been given notice that the end is near, you are getting direct experience of the suffering, temporary nature of these bodies. You are also having the opportunity to leave in Vrindavan, which most of us can only dream about. Srila Prabhupada said that this was the final lesson. You are giving us a very nice example for us to follow. I feel very proud to have a God sister who lived her life in such a exemplary way & left in such a perfect way. May we never forget you.

Please forgive any offenses we have committed knowingly or unknowingly.

Your servant and affectionate God brother,

Mani Bandha das

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Hare Krishna, Suci Rani Mataji

Please accept my humble obeisances.

You are the first mataji whom I met in ISKCON, whom I consider very exalted, mature, cultured, advanced in spiritual life, kind, knowledgeable and many more good qualities. You are the first mataji devotee I saw giving lecture. I even took a few photos of you and showed it to the devotees in Malaysia.

You have helped a lot of devotees when they come to you for guidance including me. You always give advice according to sastras. Such a fixed and faithful devotee. Now the time has come for the most important time in your spiritual life. Everyone in this world will face this moment. You are so fortunate that you are leaving as a wonderful devotee of Krsna. Prabhupad says that for a devotee there is no fear of returning, whether he leaves the body at an auspicious or inauspicious moment, by accident or arrangement. I’ve got so much respect for you. I’m writing this letter from Sri Dham Mayapur. I’ll pray to Lord Nrsimha Dev for your safe journey back home. Gopinath will be with you all the time. Do not fear. Thank you we will miss you so much Mataji.

Your servant
Kesava Gopal Das

*PLEASE FORGIVE ALL MY OFFENCES.

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Dear Mother Suci Rani,

It is very difficult to write this short letter. There is quite a lot I would like to say to you but circumstances don’t allow. Please forgive my offense of not being sincere enough to take proper association with you while I had the chance. I want to thank you from my heart for showing me how someone can be happy and satisfied as a servant of devotees. Whatever attempts I’ve made to serve Vaisnavas have given me the most happiness and inspiration in spiritual life to date. I specifically learnt this by watching your service attitude towards Mother Jagattarini. I am too immature and naïve to fully empathize with the present situation so I am forced by ignorance to simply say goodbye. My callous heart still somehow is aching knowing that at least in this life I cannot serve you personally. I pray that you will be receptive to the strength that Krsna is sure to give you to pass this final examination.

                Your eternal servant,
                Ekendra Das

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Hare Krsna dear Suci Rani,

I’ll pray for you even harder to Radha Madhava. I believe that only Krsna & Radha who really know what we want & what we need…

I’m coming to Vrndavan on the end of February, so till then… I send you a big hug
(((  )))

I’ll see you soon

Your servant,
Neringa

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Dear Suci Rani Mataji:
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Srila Prabhupada is eternally situated at the lotus feet of the Panca Tattva in Sri Mayapur Dham, and Sri Sri Radha Krsna in Vrndavana Dham. You also have a place there along with thousands of other devotees. Your specific location is at the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada. It is called the Yoga Pith—the place of perfection. You may fix your mind there.

Until we meet again we thank you for the wonderful service that you have performed for Lord Chaitanya’s sankirtan movement in this last life time.

Hare Krsna

ys. Jananivas das

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Dear Suci Rani,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Guru & Sri Gauranga. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I really do love you with all the little love that I do have and pray to Krishna that you will be able to remember Him no matter what. I suppose it is at times like this where not only you are forced to learn where you are at with Krishna but all those around you also learn where there heart is also, what really matters in life, where we are at with Krishna.

It is said that Krishna never gives us a test that we cannot pass, so I really do feel that you will be able to pass your test especially with all the devotees’ love & blessings with you. I just feel that Krishna must love you sooooo much to give you such a big test and how advanced you must be that He can test you with Him knowing that you will not give up but still continue to serve Him and to have faith in Him. You could have given up long ago but you didn’t and that in itself is a beautiful thing already mastered.

Krishna always knows what’s best for us, so just go with His will and something better than what we perceived will always come about. . . ALWAYS! I guess Krishna really wants us to surrender. . . to trust and to break free from our limited perceptions of what is possible and what is not possible.

Everything is POSSIBLE! Keep having faith. I hope you will be able to feel the love that the devotees are sending to you. Our lives, i.e. mine, may be limited but I truly believe Krishna wants all of us to learn how to give His love to each other, so knowing this I see that we are all just instruments and when we know the love we are giving is not ours but Krishna’s then the LOVE is unlimited—just by acknowledging Krishna—we can make ourselves open to and able to give and receive unlimited love.

Thank you for showing me so much, you have taught me sooo much. Krishna has given you great strength and bravery like He gave Arjuna. I hope I have not offended you in any way. . . just spoke from my heart. All of which I am sure you know already.

Wishing you all my heartfelt love and best wishes and a big hug.

You can do it!!! Feel the love, open your heart to receive it, it’s possible.

Your very fallen servant,

Mei Yee xoxoxo

P.S. Follow your heart, Krishna’s always there.

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Dear Suci Rani prabhu,

Please be sure you are in the best care of Krishna and His devotees. Be brave and that Srimati Radharani will take care of you!

I pray that thru hearing and chanting Krishna’s Holy name you will be able to remember Him all the time. Especially in a critical moment of your life. You are a very dear devotee of Krishna, I’m sure you will have a safe journey home. Srila Prabhupada has given us the best of everything including how to go back home to Godhead. Please always remember and follow the footsteps of Srila Prabhupada! You will be glorious!!
Jay!

Your humble servant,
Padma dd.

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My Dearest Sucirani, PAMHO.

1) In our devotional life there are times we come to that I call points of surrender. At these times one can only put one’s hands in air & cry “Oh Krsna—Whatever!”

2) When I first came to Krsna consciousness I thought by giving up I would lose my life, but actually I gained so much.

We need to see the gains. My dear Suci I can only offer you my deepest affection and prayers.

Your servant friend & with affection wishing you well.

Acintya Rupa Dasi
(Melb.)

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Dear Sucirani,
        You sacrificed your life creating an asrama and temple for the Lord and His devotees. The Lord makes a place for those who perform just such a sacrifice. They are the most fortunate persons on the planet.
        Your servant,
        Aniruddha Dasa

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                                    December 26th, 2003
                                    Mayapur ISKCON

Dear Mother Suci Rani,     
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
All glories to His Holiness Prabhavisnu Swami.

May Krsna shower all His merciful blessings upon you for all your surrendered service. I simply do not know what you must be feeling. I do know that my life as a devotee would not have been the same without all the love, compassion, and support you and your good husband Banki Bihari Prabhu showed me time and time again.

All glories to your eternal service at Krsna’s lotus feet. Please forgive me my offenses.
        
                Your servant,
                    Caitanya dasa

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Dear Mother Suci Rani,     
              Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to His Holiness Prabhavisnu Swami.

Twice I have been privy to another devotee’s crisis—the first being Sri Radha Raman Prabhu’s accident and the second, a dear friend’s marital crisis. Both times, though the situations were materially heavy, I came away completely enlivened.
This sounds horrid to say, but witnessing a devotee taking sincere shelter of Krsna and His Holy Names is so profound, that you cannot help but be swept along as well.
     Although your current situation is overwhelming, there is a lot coming from it. I cannot help but be reminded of a boil—you know the analogy of cleaning our hearts—it hurts but we have to do it.
    Though none of us know the outcome to your situation—and we pray to Krsna to please Him, either way, we know that you, and others around you, will be making great spiritual advancement.
    I had a dream that I was about to leave my body due to cancer. I had this dream a few years ago. The dream was very real. After I had given out to all my devotee friends and well-wishers and my family, I said ‘OK, now no-one can visit me. It is time for me to go inwards’.
    It was just me and someone helping to nurse me. The feeling from this dream was unbelievable. So intense. You know when you are in labour, about to have your baby, and your consciousness is in another realm. You are almost in another room way from everyone else, though they are physically right beside you.
    It was like that in my dream. The feelings from this dream were so sombre but uplifting. It is so hard to describe. I was aware of the gravity of the situation, but I was also excited that now the time had come to see—have I tried to love Krsna and call out to him enough?
    I woke before I knew the outcome, but I’ll never forget the dream. Who can say how I will end but you, because of your sincerity and steadiness, always retaining your focus, I know Krsna will reward you either way.
    Krsna has smiled upon you, know this for sure. And I am sure He will continue to do so.
    Please forgive any offences I have made knowingly or unknowingly.
            
                Your aspiring servant
                Bhuvanamohinin devi dasi
                (Premarnava, Gaurananda & Namacarya)

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Dear Suci Rani Mataji.

Greetings from the holy dham of Sri Mayapur. May Lord Narasimhadeva protect & bless you.     

A body composed of 5 elements is constantly demanding attention. The intelligence & mind busy catering to the incessant desire to control and enjoy.
The hard struggle for existence—for what!
Apart from sweet relationships with devotees what is worth staying for?
Because of your kindness & service the thoughts of lots of devotees are with you petitioning Krsna to take care of you.
You have won the favour of your guru.
Your life is successful.
You are leaving us behind.
We are sad & happy at the same time.
Save a place for us.

    Your servant
        Pankajanghri Das
            27-12.03

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Dear Sucirani Prabhu,

PAMHO. AGTSP.

Your jaru sweeper servant prays that through hearing, chanting and remembering Krsna you will be able to sweep away all your fears and misgivings; and your door-oiling servant prays that through this present fire of ordeal all the squeaky stiffness of the door of your heart will be soothed and softened.

May you be safe and strong under the shelter of loving Krsna and His loving devotees.

ys, Ananda Vrndavan dd

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Dearest Mother Suci Rani,

Hare Krishna! Please accept my most humble obeisances. All Glories to SRILA PRABHUPADA!

I’ve known you since I was a little girl and you always display such pure qualities. Your steadiness in Krsna Consciousness is most admirable, always serving, helping and shaping ISKCON Perth. Without you, I know many things will not have been accomplished in Perth.

Thank you for everything you have provided me & the Yong family & for your guidance to my grandma’s life. When aspects of our lives are not heading the way we want it to, it is a gift that Krsna has given us, making us stronger devotees, remembering him constantly. May Krsna bless you dearly & may Lord Nrsimhadeva take care of you. When ever in need, the YONG family will always be here to help you. Don’t be afraid, we are all family.

Take good care, Lotsa of love & hugs. ♥ Your servant MEI SANN

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Audio

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Homages


Suci's Story - A Biography In Progress

  (A Biography in Progress)

Sucirani seriously took to Krishna consciousness in 1985, after a pilgrimage to the holy places of Vrindavan and Mayapur in India. Prior to this she would occasionally visit the ISKCON temple in Perth to which her husband and son were regular visitors.

 

 

Coming to Krishna Consciousness was the culmination of many years of Sucirani's spiritual search for the truth, a search which had led her to India and Nepal, and to marry her husband, Banke Bihari Das (S.K. Sethi), himself a spiritually-inclined gentleman. Having settled in Perth, they founded and ran the well-known Indian garment business, Asaan, with retail shops in Nedlands, Subiaco and the Fremantle Markets, as well as supplying other shops throughout Australia.

However, having being convinced of the superiority of the Krishna conscious way of life, Sucirani focussed her attention and energy more on devotional activities. She simultaneously continued her business, but now with the purpose of using the finances to further Krishna consciousness. Indeed, it was only with her and Banke Bihari's help that the present site of our temple was purchased in 1990. Foregoing their natural attachment, they also sent their son, Ananda Tirtha Das, to India to study at Mayapur Gurukula.

For nearly twenty years Sucirani was a fixed, integral and leading member of the Perth devotee community. She held management positions, regularly gave classes on the scriptures, and counselled younger devotees. Her steady, enthusiastic, and cheerful nature made her a role model for many in our community, particularly the female members.

For the last couple of years, Sucirani had devoted herself to the development of Gopinath Dham, a devotee ashram situated in West Swan.

In January 2003 she was diagnosed with malignant cancer. Given her general good health, this came as a great shock to her and all of us. For several months her health was stable, but thereafter her condition deteriorated rapidly despite trying various kinds of treatments.

In November 2003 Sucirani arrived in Krishna's own land of Vrindavan, where she spent the last two months of her life. Several devotees from Perth tended to her during this time, and helped her focus her mind on her beloved Lord Krishna. Just two days before her scheduled return to Perth, where she desired to spend her last days in the company of those who knew and loved her, her condition deteriorated to an extent where she could no longer travel. Krishna was not allowing her to leave His abode!

When it became clear that she would not be able to return to Perth, her elderly parents and brother came to Vrindavan to see her for the last time. The highlights of her final days were long sessions of kirtana with the devotees in Vrindavan. She became very peaceful and accepting of the fact that Lord Krishna desired her to serve Him in another place. Ultimately she left her body on the evening of January 5, 2004, with minimal pain and in the presence of devotees loudly chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.

It is clear to everyone who was fortunate enough to witness Sucirani's auspicious departure that Sri Sri Radha Krishna had forcibly taken charge of her last days and orchestrated everything so perfectly to enable her to let go of her remaining attachments and leave this world in such an auspicious and ideal way.

Although nothing could have been better for her, the loss of her association is nonetheless a grievous blow to her family and friends, particularly those of us in Perth. We offer our respects to her memory, and pray that when our final time comes we may be similarly blessed. Hare Krishna.

Suci's Writings

Correspondence

These are a series of quotes from letters to Ananda Tirtha, Suci’s son, after she was diagnosed in January 2003:

 
First letter:

So that is where I am up to at this stage. Tomorrow and the next day I have to have more tests. Can't say whether the news will get worse still, but I am now going to have to struggle to come to terms with it all. My initial reaction is quite calm, and I tend to feel hopeful that Gopinatha will look after me according to His own best plan of what is best for me (which, of course, may or may not feel very comfortable from my perspective of a conditioned soul in a state of rebellion against His supremacy!).

 But I also sense that there is another part of me that is quite freaked out, but which I am not allowing to express itself at this stage.

 For me it is also a huge “wake up” call, and I find myself much more conscious and alert as to what is most important. Trivial things are more easily relegated to their true status of insignificance, and that includes so many things that normally distract me from my Krishna consciousness.

I am sure I will not be steady in maintaining this perspective, but to whatever extent it increases, that is very valuable. I also have a lot of support from the devotees here. It is very, very helpful that I have already watched Mataji go through a similar thing, and we have also learned a lot about cancer from that experience. She is a great help to me always, and in this matter it is especially valuable to have her support.

Second letter:
    
The thing is, dear, that there are lessons we can only learn when our persistent urge to enjoy this world is really, really obstructed in no uncertain terms.

 I feel far from ready for this, but I can also see that there is no other way of getting ready than actually being faced with death in its stark and incontrovertible reality.

It may be that I will get more time to learn some things in this life, or it may be that I have to move on somewhere else for the next lessons. The most difficult thing is that it is clearly NOT IN MY HANDS, and I have to learn how to trust someone who has absolute control of me, but over whom I have no control at all.

I have to learn to really, deeply believe that however it appears to my body and mind, WHATEVER  He does to me is out of His love, and meant for my benefit. Believe me this is not going to be easy to learn all of a sudden, in spite of all the theoretical understanding I have mercifully received by Srila Prabhupada's grace.

Even if my intelligence tells me what is ideal, my emotions, and my false ego are not likely to agree very easily. My conditioned nature has put so many conceptions in place that rest on the premise that I am meant to be able to control and enjoy my life. Even they are all defective, they still have amazing power.

Third letter:

I am praying to Gopinatha to kindly direct me according to what is His desire, because I recognise that I am too tiny to understand His intention or plan, so unless He makes it clear to me, or inspires me to move in the way He wants, I am helpless.

One thing that becomes clear at key moments, is that what He really wants is that lost souls remember how to love Him again, and to that end He uses those who are desiring to serve Him.

My conditioned nature is completely averse to His domination, but the tiny part deep inside that has had enough of this rebellion (and its frightful consequences) is becoming more willing to be used by Him.

The struggle is that wave after wave of conditioned reactions continue to overtake me, and the risk of drowning seems overwhelming unless I can remember that it is Gopinatha who is holding me afloat, with great love and affection. Now it is urgent to develop more faith, and for that, it is urgent to clear out anarthas.

Quite a challenge, given that I have been relatively complacent for so many years.

 

Diaries & Prayers

A Mother's Prayer

This prayer was written by Sucirani on her son’s birthday in 2001.

Dear Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha,

Although I know that my son is not really my son, but your eternal servant, I have some special affection, which I think is very natural.

Today is the anniversary of the day that he took birth in his present body, and by your mercy his life has taken an auspicious direction. He has received the greatest opportunity available to a human being - the knowledge that our real existence is with You in Goloka Vrndavana - far beyond this material plane; and knowledge of the process for reawakening that relationship.

This is certainly a rare and special gift that You have given him, and now my prayer is that You always continue to help him to make progress on that path. The material energy is very strong, and binds us here in so many gross and subtle ways. We constantly remain in need of Your special mercy, because we all have a long way to go to really develop pure love for You. So if a mother's prayer has any value, please bless him that he may quickly develop realisation of the difference between mundane and spiritual life. I know you will not force his choice, that will always be up to him, but You can certainly help him to gain realisations of the consequences of following these two paths. I am confident that, after gaining some personal realisation, he will be wise enough to choose the path of eternal bliss in preference to gaining insignificant temporary happiness in this world.

If You help him to come back to You, then maybe at the end of his life he will also remember his poor mother, like Dhruva Maharaja, and then I will also have a chance to come back to Your abode!

Please be kind and hear this prayer of Your insignificant aspiring dasi,
Suci Rani

Brazil Prayer

October 7-9, 2003
Brazil

Dear Gopinath,

Somehow You have brought us in an extraordinary way, to an extraordinary place. Everything is strange and it is so far away from Gopinath Dham, and Vrindavan Dham. Yet You are very tangibly here with us, and You clearly have a purpose.

I feel myself the recipient of a flood of causeless mercy. It is so obviously way, way beyond anything I “deserve” that it is hard to fathom. But I am slowly beginning to understand that it is because You want to display how You love Your devotees—even if they are of very small and shaky faith and it is Your pleasure to take care of them. This message is clearly not meant for me alone, but for everyone else who is “tuned in” to our journey.

Therefore, dear Gopinath, please help me to express some of what I am experiencing and learning through this time, so that it serves Your greater purpose of inspiring and encouraging all of us.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. . . .

Love,
Suci

Reflections On Abadiania

It is time for me to write something about my experience at Abadiania, and as per my usual habit of mind, it is difficult to get started. So time for a bit of free writing.

I guess I feel that to some extent I failed to learn all that I could have. I became very aware of the shortfall in my faith and practical application of the philosophy that I theoretically accept. It is a painful realization, and I don’t do so well with it. Because I find myself still making the same faithless mistakes even now, I wonder what I have actually been able to gain from the experience. Has anything stuck? Can I say, “Yes this is my realization gained?” Certainly there must be something, maybe this is the time to find it!

This is actually a service, because there are so many devotees who have been thinking about us, praying for us, and feeling part of our journey, and whatever I have experienced is meant for their benefit also. I have to find a way of sharing something that is meant for them.

I am being substantially carried by Mataji’s strength of realization and find that I am not yet making it my own strongly enough. So I feel like whatever I write at this stage will be more of a negative expression of my failure to grow as much as I should have. How can this help anyone?  Is there something positive gained, however small? Even something small is real, and it is only my pride that makes me think it should be more. . . .

A partially completed letter from Sucirani regarding her thoughts and experiences while in Brazil:

One thing is very clear—Gopinatha is not taking any less care of me because I have not lived up to my expectation of what I should have realized by now. I feel that He is trying to show me that His love and care really is unconditional, and it is my own mind that keeps trying to tell me that He is not going to continue to take care of me because I am not good enough, or don’t deserve it or something. This is very important to recognize. Especially the fact that the mind is such a rascal, and not to be given nearly as much rope as I give it.

So what shall I write?

Dear friends,

We have now moved on from Brazil, and are on the next leg of our journey heading towards Vrndavana. I am aware that I have not been communicating much, and I hope you will excuse me. Now I want to try to share something of what I experienced in Abadiania.

It was an intense and difficult experience from the beginning—we arrived on Thursday after a very tiring trip from Dallas via Chicago and Sao Paulo. In addition we had not slept well since leaving Perth, especially after arriving in the US, which is practially the opposite side of the clock to Perth. At midnight, our bodies still thought it was midday!

When we finally drove into Abadiania, exhausted, jet-lagged and physically very uncomfortable, all I wanted to do was to find somewhere to lie down and rest. There was a little delay as we met Sridhar Swami as soon as we arrived, and sat with him for a little time. Mataji was talking to him, and getting some information about the place and what it happening here, and I was just squirming, wondering when I would be able to lie down. After a while we went to our “Pousada” or guest house—which was a simple place run by a very simple and friendly couple. It was almost like a place you would find in India—pretty basic, dimly lit, poky “wet” bathroom, and  absolutely nothing aesthetically pleasing about the “décor”. The curtains had child angels and harps all over them, and the sheets on the bed were covered with ugly looking men on motorcycles!

I immediately “crashed” on one of the beds, but Mataji got busy setting up Gopinatha’s altar on a big table that the owners kindly brought in for the purpose. Later Giridhari Prabhu and Sridhar Maharaja came in and were wonderstruck by the altar and all the little figures, and Mataji showed them photos of her dioramas, and what we are trying to do at Gopinatha Dham.

Thankfully there were other devotees staying there at that time, and they immediately cooked us some wonderful prasadam, which we gratefully received. Another austerity of this kind of travel is often long gaps between proper meals. I felt a little better after some rest and prasadam, but still I was so exhausted that I felt more or less like a zombie.

The following are excerpts relating to before, during and after Sucirani’s “surgery”in Brazil:

* * * *
I felt myself sinking and found in that the impetus to cry out to Gopinath for help: “I know it is faithless—especially in the face of so much care You are showing for me every day but I just don’t know how to let go of this fear!”

Then, in the course of writing, it came to me that I have to accept the fear as His mercy also. In fact, I realized that it is better if the fear is present now, because the surgery tomorrow is actually meant for the fearful part, so it would not be so effective if it was not fully present!

When I recognized that I simply had to sit with the fear now, and not try to get rid of it—or blame myself for its presence—it became much easier. My mind and heart became calm, and I felt ready to go through the experience—whatever it may hold.

* * * *

I felt I was not here just for myself. I reflected on the fact that if Gopinath wants to heal me, it is for further service He wants me to do in this body. I prayed that I really want the obstructions to that service that are the anarthas in my heart—the fearfulness, the selfishness that is more intent on taking rather than giving, and the emotional blockage that does not allow His love to flow on through me to others—to be removed by this psychic surgery.

I started to remember all the devotees in Perth. In an attempt to feel that my experience here is meant to benefit everyone, I brought all the devotees I could think of into my mind, one by one, all the Perth temple and community devotees, the devotees in Christchurch, Banke, Ananda, and everyone else I know.

* * * *

I feel very slow, very open and very grateful. My mind and intelligence are quite subdued and still in the background. I don’t know what this all means, but gradually I am learning to trust that Gopinath knows, and that is enough.

Suci's New Zealand Diary (Edited)

My Prayers to Gopinatha

NEW ZEALAND (June ’03)

Waiting to see if He wants to cure this body. . .

The moment I fall away from the lotus feet of Sri Guru or forget them, I certainly fall away from the truth. As soon as I fall away from the lotus feet of Sri Guru, I find myself encompassed by innumerable wants. I run in a hurry for my bath. I become busy for preventing a cold. I run after all other occupations different in the service of Sri Gurudeva.

It is the lotus feet of Sri Gurudeva that alone protects me constantly from all this attachment to other objects than the truth.

If I do not remember the lotus feet of my Guru at the beginning of every new year, new month, new day, and every new moment, then I am sure to fall into far greater inconveniences. If I do not do so, I want to dress myself in the garb of the Guru. I become liable to the bad desire of seeking to be worshipped by other people as guru. It is this which constitutes addiction to other things than the truth.

A morning prayer. (Jagattarini Mataji)

In your new book—find some nice pictures—and make the front section called “My prayers to Gopinatha—New Zealand, waiting to see if He wants to cure this body”.

Daily as you wake up—write a prayer—in whatever state of mind you wake—good, bad, mixed, turn it into a “conversation” or, a prayer. Like Bhaktivinode, but on your own level!

Use the back half of the book, or the book you were already using, to write your way through any mental anxieties that may occur, or to write comments. Think that the second part is as if for Ananda and others to allow them insights into your real & personal struggles & ups & downs. Don’t be idealizing, just be your real self of the moment—(not “on stage”), but personal so that you can share the struggles & doubts etc. with others. And if there are no difficulties then this part is for working on yourself—keeping on track even if things seem to be smooth & breezy. But the first part is essential to do daily—this one is when you feel like it! The first one is the main one.

Dear Gopinatha—as I wake up, I think of you, and a prayer comes into my mind.
For many countless lives I’ve come into this world, and gone my own way. Perhaps in some I thought of You in some way but prayed to You seeking something other than Your service. Now I lie here wishing that You please make it very easy for me to understand You and find You.

Please allow me to see that all the difficulty and confusion that I experience is due to my past activities and choices, and not to the fact that You do not want to help me. Allow me to have very very simple faith, like a child, who knows that their parents will always help them.

But for the rest of this life, I do so much wish that, unlike a small child who selfishly expects care & attention only for their own desires and requirements, that I can find the confidence and gratitude which will allow me to trust & serve You. I want to really learn the natural art of loving You and I want to feel so safe & confident of Your loving affection, that no fears or doubts exist in my heart.

This may be a lot to ask—but it is a fact that whatever I have asked & wished for in each of thousands of lives was given to me by You, so why would I think that now, when I most feel the need of Your mercy, would You withhold it?

My last concern then becomes, how can I get the capacity to recognize Your love and Your reciprocation with me, yet here also I know that such a faculty is naturally mine—it is part of my nature to do so, and artificially I have become diverted towards a host of other things. So kindly help me to return myself to You. This life is meant only for this—I want to offer my heart to this endeavour.

You may not, or, I may not, see immediate changes in me, for it has been an enormous length of time that I have acted unnaturally without wishing primarily to please You, so kindly allow me and kindly You be patient with me. I really want to do this now. If You will help me, I would be so grateful and offer my help to others whom You may ask me to assist in also doing this.

Gopinatha somehow I know You are already giving me what I am asking here, but my mind is asking me to ask You. Please allow me to keep on asking to remember and accept someone as fallen as I.

This is from me & Suci. . . .

____________________________

4/7/03

First morning in Tauranga:

This morning I have woken up not feeling anything deep. My dreams were full of trivial distractions—computer games & shopping for clothes! How has my mind run to such shallow and non-devotional things at such a serious time?

I think because I have avoided You for so long—and also avoided my own fears & feelings—my mind is serving that tendency by presenting unlimited distractions.

But dear Gopinatha, now I don’t want to trust this foolish mind any more. Thank You for showing me, again & again, just how foolish it is! Please help me to now trust You—more & more. And also to recognise how You are helping me.

I don’t know what today will bring, but whatever happens, it will only be valuable if I can keep my faith in You and nothing else. Since I am far from being able to do this, I need and expect so much help from You.
There is a quote on the wall here—it is very nice:

“We have to give up this body. That’s a fact. But this person who has understood Krsna, he is not coming back again to accept another material body. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]. Mam eti. If he does not take birth again, so does he become zero? Sunyavadi? No. Mam eti: “He enters into My family.” Krsna’s family. . . Krsna in Vrindavan has got a great family. He has got His father. He has got His mother, mother Yasoda, Nanda Maharaja. He has got so many friends, hundreds and thousands—boyfriends, girlfriends. The trees, the plants, the flowers, the fruits, the land, the water, the cows, the calves—He is surrounded by a great family. He is not a single person. . . . And whenever there is person, there is associates, there is family, there is exchange of love. That is Krsna consciousness.
So this Krsna consciousness movement means to become trained up sufficiently how to enter Krsna's great family.”        

—Dallas, arrival address, 3.3.1975

Oh, Gopinatha—even though I am so shallow & weak, I want this more than anything else. Please help me to become “sufficiently trained up” to enter Your great family. However long my life is to be—this is its only real purpose.

love, Suci

Day 2        5/7/03

Dear Gopinatha,

I have woken up with a dawning sense that I am “blocking out” my fears, rather than dealing with them by taking shelter of You.

This is such a deeply ingrained coping mechanism of mine, that I don’t know how to change it. But I don’t like it anymore—it makes me feel “unreal”, and I become vague and dull and cannot access a real sense of relationship with You.

Can You help me out of this predicament? Of course You can—You can do anything, but I worry because some part of it must depend on me—at least I must be willing to change.

Yesterday I read:

“A great, wonderful spiritual relationship is found between the spiritually perfect living entities and Krsnacandra, who is the source of spiritual knowledge. This relationship is called priti, or love. This love is concomitant with the creation of the living entities, so it is in the living entities’ inherent nature. If there is no independence in this relationship, however, there is no possibility of the living entities attaining higher rasas. Therefore Sri Krsna gives the living entities the power to independently discriminate between proper and improper action, and He awards them the fruits of their independent activities.”

—Krsna Samhita

For so long, I have misused that independence—now gradually I am becoming aware of the possibility of returning to Your loving shelter. But I am so lacking in qualification—so attached to my present conceptions—how will I approach You in this condition? Only by the help You are offering me out of Your own pure kindness.

Day 3         6/7/03

Dear Gopinatha,

Today I woke up with a little feeling of hope. I thought that instead of asking You for something, or trying to pray from my side, I would rather try to quieten my mind & see if something comes through from You.

So I have been trying to chant japa—and I even read a few verses from “Vraja-niti-cintamani”, but soon I started to feel sleepy & dull. Such a wretched condition! I feel like I’m pinned down under a mountain of ignorance.

I keep dozing off and waking up all disoriented. This room is not very conducive, but I am stuck here for the moment. I would like to be able to access a helpless cry & plead for Your mercy—but my heart feels vacant & nothing genuine or sincere is coming.

Are you helping me, even in this condition? You must be—I don’t feel abandoned, just dull & covered. So I will keep waiting for Your mercy—in whatever form you will give it today. I’m sorry this is all I can say.
                    love, Suci

Day 4        7/7/03

Since I was quite unable to write anything this morning, this will become an evening prayer. Very late in the day you gave me the required inspiration that brought about a change of mood. I am sorry that begin to lose heart so quickly—there is so much I need to learn, and when I can feel You are training me, it is very heartening. But when I feel like I have lost the connection—I immediately feel like nothing is making sense. Perhaps that is not bad, because the growing sense of urgency to get back sometimes helps me to cross obstacles I would otherwise tend to ignore. I know this is all part of Your training, but perhaps it is not good to be too impatient. But I think it may not be good to be too patient also—there is only a fine line between patience and complacency.

Right now I am feeling grateful—but will I do any better tomorrow? Please help me Gopinatha—I think there is no time to waste and I so much want to keep moving forward.

love, Suci

Day 5            8/7/03

Dear Gopinatha,
Today I wanted to wake a little earlier, but ended up oversleeping instead. Now I feel thick & dull. I don’t know what to say to You, but instead of avoiding writing like yesterday, I thought I would just start writing anyway. At least I should make the attempt. Mataji said I should ask how I am feeling and then express it to You—I think I have to learn to do that in all circumstances. Oh Lord, I am so unqualified for what I want that it is almost absurd. The only hope is that it is not dependent on any qualification, because You can give whatever You like to whomever You like. It’s up to You. So maybe if I keep appealing to You, You will one day become merciful even to me.

So here I am, a tiny little foolish lost soul—without any capacity to follow any of Your instructions. You say, “Just think of Me & become My devotee”—but I can’t stretch my mind beyond concerns for my own mind & body! But I wish I could just think of You. I wish I could be Your very nice & loving devotee, with no other thought than what is pleasing to You.

Gopinatha—I have just thought of something I need to ask You. If my skepticism about this healer is not well-founded, can You please help me to get the right understanding and attitude. By myself I am at the mercy of Trnavarta—my intelligence only knows how to argue, and that obscures my vision of You. Only You can kill this demon & reveal Yourself. So if it is really You working through him—can You please make this clear to me. I cannot see by my own capacity. So today I will try not to judge anything by my own means, and if You like You can give me a better way of seeing it.

I think that I need longer in this body to get more purified in order to approach You strongly at the end of life. But You know best, and it is in Your hands. . .
                        
love, Suci

Day 6            9/7/03

Dear Gopinatha,

This morning I have woken up really early (3:30) to try and give myself enough time to work on opening up my heart to You.

Mataji has pointed to a cause of constriction—that my thinking is cowardly. My first response to hearing this was a strong desire to face this pitfall of mine & try as hard as I can to work on it. But this morning I am faced with an enormous reluctance to write—or rather, a tension between opposing forces—wanting to open up, and wanting to keep a lid on things I don’t know how to deal with. Ambivalence—another great obstacle for sixes.

I guess I fear that no matter how hard I try it’s not going to work. And surely it is true that I can’t expect some instant major breakthrough. But Mataji stressed that it is the trying that is important. I guess by continuing to try, gradual improvement will come. Somehow this idea that success means sudden breakthrough is a conception I need to change. Perhaps it is the same problem with my attitude toward the healer—I want to measure his effectiveness by seeing instant miracles—but maybe it doesn’t work like that.

Oh, Gopinatha—I have such ambivalent feelings about these healing sessions! Of course I am frightened of this disease and of course I am suppressing the fear—I don’t know what else to do with it. I have to keep functioning. For a while I was wallowing in worry, then I kind of put it aside to get on with day to day life. That was also at Mataji’s suggestion. And it was also difficult. But it seems that there must be a better alternative—neither wallowing, nor suppressing—but dealing with it “bravely”. That can only be done by learning to trust You. If I know how to live in the reality of Your protection, only then will I be able to face things squarely, and not fear being overwhelmed by fear. I have to learn how to deal with fear—my problem is that I fear fear. I don’t want to accept that fear and pain etc., are part of “nature”, but this is what Mataji has pointed out as cowardly thinking. Can I really learn to face things as they come?

I don’t feel I have made much headway in what I have written so far, Gopinatha—I am still standing outside the door on the threshold & not really entering the problem area. I’m not really talking to You, either. I guess I doubt whether I can really change. . .

•    Why do I think like that?
•    Because whatever I do, my basic conditional nature seems to keep asserting itself in the same way.
•    Maybe you can change the way you respond to those conditional tendencies.
•    How?
•    I don’t know, but Mataji says you have to try.
•    I don’t mind trying, but where do I start?
•    At least think that it may be possible to modify in some way—and especially try to use all situations to relate to Gopinatha.
•    I think I am trying to do that already.
•    So keep going.
•    Yeah, I guess when I get stuck I have to be reminded.
•    Can you remind yourself, rather than depending on someone else to remind you?
•    I don’t seem to be able to. I mean I try to, but my “reminders” are hollow, and don’t have the potency to penetrate through the problem. Mataji can cut through to the heart of the matter, and from time to time I definitely need that.
•    Anyway you should try to move forward on the basis of what she tells you—so she doesn’t have to keep reminding you of the same thing.
•    Yes, I would like to do that. Certainly she has much more to give me on much higher levels than this, and if I want that, I have to move on from here. I just don’t really know how to.
•    Gopinatha will help you.
•    Jai Gopinatha!


Day 7            10/7/03

This morning I woke up and prayed to You by singing the whole Gopinatha song. Everything is there—it seemed like enough. Of course those are the sentiments of Bhaktivinode Thakura (on our behalf) but to whatever extent I can relate to them, I try to associate myself with such feelings. I did notice, though, that if I really say to You “krpa asi dhori, bandhana chediya” [“Take up Your sword of mercy and cut my bonds”] I had better not try to hold tight to material attachments at the same time. So that is very hard. But I got a little glimpse of how all material situations are bound to reverse—because they are relative, & so they have a different meaning in a different context, and the nature of the material energy is that the context is always shifting. So there is no stability in taking shelter of anything material. So it is essential to be able to discriminate and also to be aware of where I am taking shelter. Where I am placing my hope for happiness and comfort! Till now I am strongly fixed in trying to find shelter within matter. But I am becoming aware of the futility of this, and now I want to find shelter in a fully spiritual life—in the service of those who eternally care for nothing other than Your pleasure. But I have so little access to that—how will I become so attracted that everything else, including my own body & mind, have no value for me? Gopinatha, only if You are kind enough to expose me to the attractiveness of that realm.

Yesterday Mataji reminded me that You take pleasure in giving your aspiring devotees more than they know how to ask for. Dare I hope that You also want to do this for me? I can only hope against hope, because I can’t forget how unfit I am—Oh dear Gopinatha—please help this lost little soul!
                    love, Suci

Day 8        11/7/03

Dear Gopinatha,
    
The day is almost over and I have been all caught up in “outward” things. It has made me realise that if I want my consciousness to keep going deeper, it is essential to take time to stop, slow down, read, reflect & pray.

But I think that I also need to be able to go through times when external demands predominate, without losing the thread of internal focus—that will also require so much practice, but I am feeling more like I NEED that now—so You will surely help.

Tonight I am feeling grateful that You are guiding me through this period in a way that will make this trip very valuable & helpful. In little ways I feel myself reacting differently—a little less uptight—a little more conscious of Your gentle guidance—and more appreciation of what Mataji is trying to get me to taste by urging me to write like this.

Please help me to hold on to these gains & to keep trying more, as I start to turn homewards again.

love, Suci

Day 9         12/7/03

Dear Gopinatha,

Different thoughts are drifting through my mind and I don’t know what to write. But I sense that this exercise is not for writing down.

Something I have already thought, but for going beyond that to discover feelings etc. that I don’t normally access. And the less I have a preconceived idea of what I want to express to You, the more likely I am to access something valuable. That must mean that the mind is blocking, rather than facilitating my capacity to approach You with an open heart.

That reminds me of a passage I have been reading and re-reading in Krsna Samhita. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains that there are three things that make up a human being: the soul; the indication of spirit (or the subtle body); and the gross body made of matter. Then he says that the grosser ones cover those that are more subtle. So the gross body covers the subtle body, and the subtle body covers the soul. So as long as the consciousness is turned towards the gross & subtle levels, the souls cannot be perceived. That is my predicament because I identify so strongly with my mind (and body too of course). But whenever the consciousness, somehow or other, becomes absorbed in You—by hearing about You or hearing Your instructions, there is some relief from the mental platform, and the possibility of approaching You opens up.  

I feel as if the work I am trying to do now, by Your kind & loving arrangement, is helping me to turn back to You as often as I turn away. And since You are so much more pleasing to the heart than anything else, gradually I hope to increase the former & reduce the latter.

But right now, being away from my normal routine life, it is easier, and I know it is a gift to encourage me, and not yet a level that is mine. But it is very encouraging, and I do want to.

Praying for Your help & guidance at each step—even though You are already giving it, for me to recognise it and be conscious of You, I need to keep praying and writing. Please help me to keep moving forward.

love, Suci

Day  10     

Dear Gopinatha,

Today I started my journey (homeward)—back to to Sri Gopinatha Dham. I have woken up feeling hopeful—some swelling has gone down a little, and I am hoping it is an indication that improvement is coming as Antonio has predicted.

But more than that, I am feeling eager to return to serve You there—in my heart I long to play a role in developing that project for Your pleasure, and for giving others a taste of Vrindavan mood. Although as Mataji said, maintenance activities don’t seem as dynamic as creative ones, it depends on the mood of service. I am realising that there is plenty of scope for loving reciprocation if I can consciously offer whatever I do to You. And why not? You are the undisputed source of all the inspiration and arrangements for unfolding that project and I am so fortunate to be a part of it.

If I only have short time left in this world, I want to spend it in lovingly offering whatever I can to You. And if I have a longer time, it is still temporary, but it will give me a better chance to develop my relationship with You before the inevitable final test.

Now the thing is that I can see that I am just now feeling a wave of enthusiasm, but I know that waves rise & fall. So I want to appeal to You Gopinatha, that through all the ups & downs that are sure to come, please let me hold on to a sense of being Yours, and You being my dearest friend and protector. Although my present level of faith & devotion are like a tiny little sprout—please protect it always from bad weather and predators. I have to depend on You for this, because I am very tiny & helpless. But I know that You want me to come to You (far more than I realise) and actually that is why You are already helping me so much. I want to become more and more conscious of Your love.
                    love, Suci

15/7/03

Dear Gopinatha,

Yesterday I arrived in Melbourne & today I fly home. I didn’t write in this book yesterday—but I did try to spend some time reflecting on the last couple of weeks, and I found it easier to write on the computer.

It was a happy day of meeting old friends and surprising myself by how much affection I feel for them—Ganga, Gandharvika, Acintya Rupa, Lalita Sakhi—and I also spent quite a while with young Juliana who was so pleased to see me.

I felt quite conscious that You arranged this whole stop-over for me, and I felt I was shown something precious & sweet. I pray that I can remember this next time I drop into a hole where I feel “alone in the universe”, and I can chastise myself for forgetting that You have given me the association of devotees! This isn’t ordinary, like mundane friendships that are bound to end in pain, as we are all heading for the same eternal destination, and no matter how rough we are around the edges, we’re living such in such a different state of consciousness to most people in the world.

So I don’t need to be fearful of these relationships. I tried to do a little prayerful reading on the plane—which was difficult because I was feeling so dull—but You pointed me to a verse I have often appreciated (4.10) and it felt fresh with clearer meaning than I had ever experienced before. It is the verse where Prabhupada explains in the purport how attachment, fear & anger are impediments for different people who are too materially engrossed. I was especially struck by the point that fear is connected to fearing the idea that individual personality continues on the spiritual plane. People whose concept of personality is too mundane don’t like the idea & in fact fear it. It’s so interesting that I read this verse, and on the same day experienced that it is not so fearful to be a person and to have relationships—at least spiritual ones. It gives me so much hope to feel that You are actually communicating with me like this, and letting me see that You are. I’m beginning to feel how dynamic it would be to be always living within a sense of relationship with You, as I have been gifted a glimpse of it during this journey.

I am so grateful for this gift Gopinatha, and I don’t want to stop the journey here, but continue all the way back to Your lotus feet in Vraja.

love, Suci

Back at Gopinatha Dham
                17/7/03

Dear Gopinatha,

Why do I feel so reluctant to expose my private thoughts and feelings by writing in these books? It is always a struggle to express myself—and even more so in direct interaction with others.

—I  have a fear of being misunderstood—

Maybe part of it is just a huge pride—a conception that my thoughts & feelings are somehow special—which will be smashed when the things I express are seen to be really ordinary and not at all elevated.

Just now I thought that I don’t want to keep all these misconceptions in place anymore. I am learning to trust that You can remove them if I am willing—just as you kill the demons in Vraja. So I need to pray with intense humility to invite You to kill my demons. I am going to try to chant in this mood. Although there are so many obstructions in my heart—garbage that I have accumulated for millions of lives, I woke up with a little insight: I need to untangle them all in detail—I just need to raise my consciousness to a level that is not touched by all that.

But I can’t raise my own consciousness. The yogis, the jnanis, the karmis, the new-agers all think they can do it by their own efforts, but we know that the only way is learn how to love You, and very quickly You can lift us up—as and when You want to. I need to feel like a simple dependent child, knowing that You will take care of everything. I can try to be in that mentality, but everything is up to You, dear Gopinatha.

love Suci

Journey to Brazil and on. . . .

Sep 28, 2003

Dear Gopinatha,

For so long I have been trying to find security within the material energy, but since there is no security here, I now find myself full of many fears and anxieties, as my so-called shelters are caving in.

This morning I woke up thinking that I really, really want to shift from seeking false security to seeking real security in the form of loving and trusting You alone! This is the real challenge of this journey—to learn to move through seeming danger by taking shelter of You—and not to allow fear & hesitation to overwhelm me.

I am going to need lots of help to really learn this—but I think You are going to help me. . . .
    
        Jai Gopinatha,
                    love Suci

29/9/03    Christchurch    10:45 pm.

(couldn’t write this morning)

30/10/03     10:30 am.

Dear Gopinatha,

I am floundering due to insufficient faith. What shall I do now? Mataji does not want to go on unless I can start dealing with my faithless reactions. I want to Gopinatha—I want to—but I have a deep doubt whether I can. Perhaps it is because I cannot—by myself at least. I have to depend on Your help. I have to know and accept that I am helpless. Even this is a struggle. And there is a contradictory desire still prominent—that I want to be comfortable and in control in this world. But I want to give that up now. I have to. You are not leaving me any other choice—yet I still kick & struggle. Am I too much of a rascal for You to reform?

Extra loose page:

The thought crosses my mind, “Maybe by next Vyasa-puja day you won’t be here any more.”

Immediately a wave of emotion rises and I start crying—but I feel stupid that the feeling is only sentimental, not deep. Mataji says sentimental can become deep. So I shouldn’t reject it.

I guess it is my intelligent side that comes up and objects—I always feel bad when such sentimentality is triggered by a sad movie or a children’s play or things like that that aren’t really deep. But this situation really is heavy. So I am allowed feelings.

I think I am afraid to go deeper into such emotions, because the pain of the whole universe seems to be lying there—and will completely overwhelm me if I go too close. But what happens if I refuse to look at it? By being unconscious to it, it manifests in a different way to give me pain—in my body.
I feel stupid—when I get emotional I feel like I am being stupid—a very negative, masculine judgement. I can’t immediately stop that—but I’m starting to recognise it—which is a good start.

It is weird to think of the world just going on—but I’m not part of it any more. The same people will be doing the same things—daily, weekly, yearly events will continue, but I will just be an occasional memory—for a little time only—then no-one will remember me any more. . . .

Why is that so distressing—I guess it makes me wonder what is my real value in the present then? If everything I think of as me is to be extinguished then what value does it have even now? The challenge is to find that which is beyond the influence of time, and start to identify with that.

Philosophically we also say this—everything within material time will be destroyed, it has no lasting existence and is therefore counted as asat. Without substance—but am so attached to all these asat things that even the thought of losing them (which I would normally avoid thinking about, but which my current situation forces into my face) is so distressing. So here I am, a conditioned jiva—bound up in a network of many attachments.

The connection with guru is supposed to be beyond the jurisdiction of time—can I feel that? Can I ACCESS that? Gopinatha—I need to find this—for both diksa and siksa-gurus. I need now a shelter beyond time—also the holy name, and my relationship with You, Gopinatha. I need to be able to experience these as different from all the other things that I am going to lose. So I have to pray and chant with this need in the foreground.

 

Vrindavana Reflections

A letter from Jagattarini Mataji describing a conversation she had with Sucirani about one month before she passed away:

Today we are reading together. Sucirani is lying on the bed in the verandah upstairs of Banke’s new house. The stone polishing men downstairs are creating a lot of noise. Yet somehow we will try to share some thoughts.

Suci recalls: “A few days after coming back from Govardhan I was feeling more and more overwhelmed by my distressful condition and feeling that I couldn’t cope. Then you came to see me and talked about the need to depend on Gopinath rather than on my own strength. And I recognized that I completely lost the plot. I could see that I absolutely had nothing like the capacity to deal with my own circumstances. I have no capacity on my own. It was really painful to realize how much I had lost contact with the urgent need for mercy. Then a little later Ananda suggested that we should walk to the temple for darsana. And I didn’t feel as if I had the strength to do it. So I prayed to my Gopinath that I can’t do it, but if You can please carry me or if you can. . . .”

Suci lies eyes closed, thinking for a word.

“. . . or if you can enable me to do it, if You want.

“So I set out thinking that this isn’t my strength, but by letting go of trying to do it myself enough energy came by Gopinath’s mercy. I had to repeatedly remind myself when I felt that everything is too hard, that it’s OK. You are not doing it. And somehow we got there and took darsana of the Deities and came back. I felt I got a little glimpse of a different way of coping.

Question: “Have you had this before?”

“Yes, in Brazil. When we first arrived there I was so frightened and didn’t know what to expect. I thought I would have to face something horrible. I had no idea of how I was going to get through it. Then an arrangement was made for me to lie down in the infirmary. I was listening to kirtana in earphones and facing the fact that I was about to go through something that was impossible for me to do deal with. And yet it was clear that there was no alternative to going forward and through it. There was no other avenue of escape. So in my heart there was a tiny gesture of surrender. I accepted that I had to go through it and I became calm. Up to that I felt very much that Gopinath carried me through in a way that was very different from my expectations.”

Lecture Transcripts

Lecture Transcripts

Vyasa Puja Homages

Vyasa Puja Homages