Sriman Jayananda dasa Thakura
Jayananda engaging everybody in building
the huge Rathayatra carts
Jayananda chanting japa with deep
Jayananda offering a bouquet to Srila
Jayananda on a morning walk with Srila
Lord Jagannatha's huge Rathayatra cart
Remembering Jayananda Thakura
Sri-Isopanisada Prabhu: Can you speak something
about Jayananda. Today is his disappearance day...
Srila Sankarshan Das Adhikari: Who?
SId: Jayananda Prabhu.
SDA: Oh yes yes yes! That's right, today! Thank you very much,
Prabhu, you so mercifully reminded me of my illustrious,
wonderful, beautiful, unlimitedly sweet Godbrother Jayananda
Yes, I did not have so much association with him, but whatever
little I had, was very, very, incredibly sweet.
Jayananda is, again, like a gulabjamon with unlimited juice so
even that little contact I had with him, those few memories,
there is unlimited nectar there. So I'll give my memories...
I was recruited in this movement by His Holiness Visnujana
Maharaja who was a great admirer of Jayananda.
Of course, Jayananda was the pillar of our ISKCON San Francisco
Temple in the early days. Everyone else was a little bit
spaced-out, hippy, LSD-takers who gave it up and joined the
ashram. But he had an engineering degree but he renounced it to
become a taxi driver because he couldn't relate to the material
society. So he was more sober and mature. And his taxi-driving
supported the temple, actually. He drove a taxi. He was the
temple president and a taxi driver.
But, anyway, I remember we went to San Francisco to see
Prabhupada. this was in 1971. My first time to see Prabhupada,
actually. I was getting to see Prabhupada for the first time.
And of course Jayananda he's out at the Rathayatra site getting
the carts ready for the festival, the last finishing touches, as
Prabhupada's landing at airport, you know.
So I had been asked... they asked for volunteers to go to the Rathayatra site and I went. But then, there was an announcement
at the site that, "Prabhupada is now arriving at the airport".
There was one van that was actually leaving the festival site to
go to the airport. I was thinking "Oh, Prabhupada! I've never
seen Prabhupada! This is my chance!" But I was now working on
the crew to get the carts ready. I was really torn, but I knew
that I had to go see Prabhupada. I asked Jayananda, because I
was working under his direction, and he said "Yes, you can go."
So, it was by Jayananda's mercy that I had my first darshan of
Srila Prabhupada, his mercy. [laughter] So, I will always
remember him for that!
He look around. He was a practical man! He looked around to see
how many helpers he had. He looked around and then said, "Yes,
you can go." He was an intelligent man, he knew how to manage.
He made sure he had enough men before he said I could go. Yes,
I'm eternally indebted to Jayananda. He gave me my first darshan
of Prabhupada, actually.
Of course, he wasn't a sannyasi, that was a big status in those
days. There were only a few. He wasn't a sannyasi but still he
had big, big status.
I remember in the San Francisco temple he was sitting in the
hallway chanting his japa with great focus, great intensity of
focus: "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna..."You could see he was really
a sadhu. Devotees would come up and offer obeisances to him. He
was worshipped, actually, because they knew, "he is very special
devotee, he is not [inaudible], wild!" You see... He was a very,
very advanced devotee. Everyone knew! "There's this very, very
special devotee in our midst, Jayananda".
I remember as we were leaving somehow or other he was on the
street, so, of course, I offered my obeisances to him. I was
really amazed. He got down right there in the street and
returned my obeisances to me, even he didn't know me! So I
really appreciated it. That was my only ever contact with him...
that festival, that Rathayatra festival. Of course, I know I
will have his eternal association in Goloka. I'm looking forward
to being him again when I leave this body.
Such personalities are very, very dear. Otherwise, how has
Prabhupada instructed us to celebrate his disappearance day?
This is Prabhupada's order to us: "He is to be honored as a
great Vaishnava Acharya."
So, we have to think how to follow his example, of complete
absorption in Krishna Consciousness. Even at the end, his
leukemia was just killing him, absolutely killing him, he was
going through great physical distress, over leukemia, which was
just taking over his whole body, cancer, blood cancer, just
killing him. But still he pushed forward the preaching... the
He was so blissful and so ecstatic that anybody who came in
contact with him couldn't help but become attracted to Krishna
Consciousness. He would attract anyone and everyone! I
mean...for example, how many people get enlivened to take out
the garbage? Let's see a show of hands. Who gets enlivened to
take out the garbage?
"Wow! Taking out the garbage!"
They would have a run to the dump. They would take the trash and
load it in the van and take it to some dump. He would do that!
He was doing all the humble services. Devotees who would go on
the garbage run with Jayananda said it was just absolutely ecstatic!
Whatever you did with Jayananda was ecstatic! Because he was
relishing the bliss of Krishna consciousness in any service. It
didn't matter what it was. He was going out and doing business,
selling incense for the temple. Whatever he did, he was just
absolutely enlivened to do it. He was very, very humble, and he
was very sweet in his dealings... How he would wake somebody up
and put some prasadam in their mouth...He was very personal and
warm with the devotees...He was very humble and very sweet in
the way he would deal. He was a fun person to be with! He made
Krishna Consciousness extremely exciting. At every moment he was
a storehouse of nectar .And he had so much love for Prabhupada.
He was always glorifying Prabhupada.
So, by remembering such a great personality as Jayananda
Je anilo prema dhana karuna pracur
heno prabhu kota gela acarya thakura
"We simply hanker for the association of such great
personalities. In our separation, we just smash our head against
We would like very much to see him today, but he is departed
from this, our vision, our material vision. Of course, he has not
actually left, but because we are still blind, our eyes are
covered by cataracts, we cannot see such great persons, who are
actually still here to bless us with their divine presence.
Jayananda Thakura KI JAYA!
[all glories to Jayananda Thakura!]
[Listen to the class]
Prabhu - master, lord (a respectful form of address toward
gulabjamon - Indian sweet ball saturated with sugar water
(a.k.a. ISKCON bullets)
darshan - audience (vision)
sannyasi - man in the renounced order of life, a
sadhu - a great saintly personality (one who is situated
in truth and eternity)
Vaishnava - devotee of Vishnu (Krishna)
Acharya - one who teaches by precept and personal
prasadam - sanctified vegetarian food
japa - reciting/chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra on
Goloka - the supreme abode of Lord Krishna