December 29, 2009
This morning I got the news that my dear god-sister, Her Grace Rasajna devi dasi, passed away from this world. I will miss her dearly. I can’t remember where I heard the saying, but it goes something like, “One will be remembered more for how one made others feel than for what one has accomplished.” I think of Rasa in this way. It’s not that she didn’t have significant accomplishments, but whatever she accomplished is over-shadowed by the simple fact that there was just nothing bad in her heart. I can’t say that about many; I certainly can’t say that about myself. I can say that, however, about her. It is rare to know such a person. I feel grateful that I did.
She was a regular listener on my sanga classes twice a week and her
contributions were always thoughtful. I learned a lot from them. She was always
on the side of compassion over law, essence over form, but all couched in
unflinching faith in the words of Srila Prabhupada over every thing else. And
because of that unswerving faith and because of her pure heart, there is no
doubt about her eternal destination at the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada.
I just wrote Ekacakra yesterday that I would be visiting Austin as soon as I
came from India so that I might see Rasa before she left. Today he wrote me
that she left. I feel sad that I won’t see her again, but relieved that her
Lordships took Rasa quickly to be with Them and to free her from any more pain.
I need to thank you, Rasa, for giving your love, example, and intimate
friendship to so many of my students and friends. It is a very significant and
prominent part of their spiritual lives. I am indebted to you for that.
Thank you for your desire to hear about Krishna and thus engaging me in talking
about Him. The most important sign of spiritual advancement is the desire to
hear about Krishna. You were thus a very elevated soul that will be missed
dearly by all.
Thank you for your encouragement and support in my own devotional service from
the thoughtful birthday cards to the kind donations. We all need to be
encouraged in devotional service, especially from those senior and more
elevated than us. I pray that I may follow your example of empowerment,
kindness, and reciprocation.
I am writing this early in the morning in Sri Vrindavana on the day after she
left. When I finish this I will chant for several hours and pray that whatever
little benefit comes from my chanting here this morning in Sri Vrindavana Dhama
will be transferred to her soul. I realize, however, that I am probably doing
this more for myself. I have little doubt that she has already achieved what I
am only aspiring for, the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha-Shyamasundara.
The column Greetings From Vrindavan is Dhanurdhara Swami’s journal regarding the joys and challenges of the devotional path. A book of his journal entries, spanning the years 2000-2003, has been published with the same title and is available here.