My Dear Jayananda

My Dear Jayananda,

Please accept my blessings.

I am feeling very intensely your separation. In 1967 you joined me in San Francisco. You were driving my car and chanting Hare Krishna. You were the first man to give me some contribution ($5000) for printing my Bhagavad-gita. After that, you have rendered very favorable service to Krishna in different ways. I so hope at the time of your death you were remembering Krishna and as such, you have been promoted to the eternal association of Krishna. If not, if you had any tinge of material desire, you have gone to the celestial kingdom to live with the demigods for many thousands of years and enjoy the most opulent life of material existence. From there you can promote yourself to the spiritual world. But even if one fails to promote himself to the spiritual world, at that time he comes down again on the surface of this globe and takes birth in a big family like a yogis’ or a brahmanas’ or an aristocratic family, where there is again chance of reviving Krishna Consciousness. But as you were hearing Krishna-kirtana, I am sure that you were directly promoted to Krishna-loka.

janma karma ca me divyam
evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma
naiti man eti so’ rjuna

[Bg.4.9]

Krishna has done a great favor to you, not to continue your diseased body, and has given you a suitable place for your service. Thank you very much.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Jayananda Prabhu joined the San Francisco Radha-Krishna Temple early in 1967, just after it opened and less than a year after Srila Prabhupada founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in New York City. Though he had both an engineering degree from Ohio State University and a San Francisco State Teachers College degree, Jayananda was then supporting himself by driving a taxicab. He was looking for a way to make life simple. At twenty-eight, he became the senior devotee in San Francisco, and soon the temple president.

Back in 1967 Jayananda gave Srila Prabhupada his life savings of five thousand dollars, and then again, with his last letter to Srila Prabhupada, Jayananda enclosed a second gift of five thousand dollars—money that had been earmarked for medical expenses. Jayananda was so anxious to serve Srila Prabhupada that he even gave up the desire to go back to the spiritual world. “When I leave my body,” he said near the end, “I want very much to come back to continue serving Srila Prabhupada in this world.” These are the sentiments of Krishna’s most exalted devotees (Vaisnavas), of whom Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, our great-great-grand-spiritual master, once wrote:

He reasons ill who says that Vaisnavas die
When thou art living still in sound!
The Vaisnavas die to live,
and living try
To spread the holy name around.

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