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In Rememberance Of Puru Das Prabhu

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My dear Uncle Puru,

You are my real uncle, in so many ways you are also my vartnapradaksak guru, i found your BVML in a time when i was absolutly confussed, i found nectar. I never met you personaly, but your emails to me made me feel so close to you, and so close to SP, to my beloved SG and Vaisnavas.

You accepted my hi5 friends request like 3 days ago, and I was reading spetially this week many of your recent posts... as always finding nectar, several "no ponint of dicussion" posts from SP... your wonderfull pics with BB.Tirtha Mj, my beloved SG and you always happy there... always next to vaisnavas, always preaching the mission of Mahaprabhu.

Your knowledg and realization of SP legacy and sastra is espectacular, I can c u in my mind working so hard making those copy-pastes from sastras, posts, letters, articles to give us fresh shower, to make us remember the main point of sudhabhakti, friendly behavior, respect betwen all vaisnavas and deep attach to sastra-guru-sadhu

What a example Uncle Puru!!!!!!!!!!

I feel you came to this world to help suffering jivas like me...

Defenitly you are Mahaprabhu´s man

Sriman Uncle Puru Ki Jay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BVML ki Jay!!!!!!!!!!!

Jay SRi SRi Guru Gouranga Vinod Bihari kijay!

Goura bhakta vrinda ki jay!!!!!!

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I first came in contact with devotees, in this life, in l969 and was fortunate to take harinama and second initiation directly from His Dvine Grace Srila Prabhupada at the ISKCON temple,formerly located at 439 Henry St Brooklyn, New York.


I served in ISKCON full time until the 340 West 55th St. building was sold in l981. I pursed several jobs as a taxi driver and driving instructor for some 15 years as circumstances forced us to seek a seperate living quarter outside the temple. I am in the grihasta ashram and have three lovely daughters, Janaki (17), Sudamani (14) and Mallika (7). My wife of 23 years, Jambavati devi dasi is known to many devotees as "Sita" in the ISKCON version of the Ramayana, which was filmed on location at the New Vrndavan Community. I am the siksa disciple of His Divine Grace Srila B.V. Narayan Maharaj. I was blessed to have His divine associaton on the Vraja Mandala Parikrama, this year,l998, and also the association of his wonderful disciples at their temples in Birmingham, and Bristol, UK. I left ISKCON in April of l998 due tophilosophical differences with its GBC and other god brothers over 1)guru tattva, 2)jiva tattva and 3)vaisnava aparadha. I founded the Bhaktivedanta Memorial in l977. The exhibit still is in tact in the Brooklyn ISKCON temple, but was turned over to a disciple of one of my god brothers, as I found it impossible to continue my service there. I still maintain the document archives and safe guard much of His Divine Grace's personal paraphernalia placed in my hands by the will of Providence

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Wow, this one was a very sad shocker for sure. I was there in Penang when Srila Gurudeva received the news that Puru Prabhuji left his body. He said in class later that day that 'Puru Prabhu was a Pure Bhakta' It was so sweet to hear. Srila Gurudeva seemed very grave when discussing his passing, but he blessed him to receive krsna prema wherever he may be. I met him a few times, but he always told me the proper manner in which to act when in front of the spiritual master. And I can tell for sure that he was one of those siksa disciples who truly saw no difference whatsoever between siksa guru and diksa guru. I remember, we were in Navadvip once, and I had no tilak to put on and srila gurudeva was just coming down the stairs, and he said, I'd never be caught dead without tilak in front of the spiritual master. So, I put the tilak on, and like an uncle said, there, that's better.


Please bless me prabhuji, wherever you may be, so that one day I may model myself after you.

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I offer my humnble obeisances to the feeet of my dear God brother Sriman Puru Das Adikari,


I frist met Puru while serving in New Dwaraka ISKCON Los Angelos .Puru Prabhu worked for BBT and had come from NYC when the BBT moved from NY to LA.


At that time JayaTirtha was our GBC and Tusli das was our temple President

Jayatirtha had found that cheap sour cream was advailable from the market as it was beyound the sales date free or at a very low cost ,pig framers would buy this sour cream to feed thier hogs .


Then one day as I would wash pot sometimes in the evenings I saw all this sour cream in the kicthen walkin frige.


So the devottees were informed that this sour cream had rinit from cows added in it .Still tho this sour cream was being prepared for Shree Shree Rukmuni and Dwarakadish and feed to the devottees.

As we were new devottees we just ate what was placed before us and the murmurs of the devottees not the take this prasad because it could not be prasad was hardely heard untill Puru Prabhu wrote Srila Prabhupada to inform His Divine Grace of what the authorities in LA were feeding us.

Srila Prabhupada started his letter with Who is the demon that has brought this sour cream? Every devottee at the temple knew who was responisble for this and who saved us from them .

It was Puru Prabhu our big brother whne he was hot he was a difficult person to deal with Puru Prabhu is a Guardian and it has allways been his mood to uproot dishonest nature.

I worte Puru once that one of the old Brooklen devottees told me that he was some times called Puru the Ruru in the old days .The Ruru is the type of dogs that the Yamaduttas have when they take the sinful to hell these Rurus bite the sinful persons all along the way .

Puru said yes that was my name I can be A Ruru when some one persents bogus concludions to me.Before I was much more friece Im still the same today as then but now Im a Happy Camper.

Last year before going to NYC Ratha Yatra I emailed Puru telling him that I hoped to see him at Ratha Yatra but he told me he would not go there because NYC ISKCON had been too offendsive to him and His Holiness Naranaya Maharaja .

I was sorry not to see one more time

I am sure Srila Prabhupada has given Puru Prabhu his direct assoication and serivce once again as only this would of been able to satisfied him.

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Sri Krsna Caitanya Mandir

111-14 101 Avenue

South Richmond Hill, NY 11419-1122


Tomorrow, April 21st at 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM


Vaisnava Homa -- Fire Yagna -- for Sripada Puru Prabhu




Questions may be directed to Bhumipati prabhu at 917-406-5640 or

Bhutabhavana at 208-610-0515


Thanks for everyone's very kind comments about Puru, BVML will soon have a new section devoted to the Curator.


Your servant,

rand0M aXiS (using Puru's computer in NY)

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Haribol, sriman bhutabhavana das, PAMHO. As I was driving to work, where I use this computer, I was thinking of my own malady. Naturally, we still have concerns for this appearance, we still have this urge to leave gifts that we received, so others may see how broken glass is turned to precious gems (world politics aside =;-). All of us preach, this is our mission, even in our less than perfect ways.


For the internet preacher, a fine tool to spread the ideologies of our Vaisnava preceptors, there is desire to keep living, even though the teachings of Sri Vidura let us fully appreciate the influence of time on even Lord Brahma to the insignificant ant. The passing Vaisnava has desire to keep living, because his engagement is an eternal one of LIFE. WE have studied thaT the vaisnava has life seen in two aspects, called vapu and vani.


The typewriter of Sri Puru das that you use is a symbol of his vani. I humbly and fully appreciate your efforts at the preservation of bvml.org, and am greatly looking forward to the preservation of the ideas of the curator and the honor that is so well deserved.


I am so slow at typing my novel, kipu'ka. Im halfway through, but the ending is quite appropriate. I got attached to the characters of this work, and I couldnt kill them off, and there wont be a kipu'ka 2. So the immortality teachings of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur came into play, and the book ended with a rousing rendition, with guitars a flailin, congas, flutes, hypnotic keyboards. As the brahmana wished and dreamed that he could actually take part in the arotika ceremony and was rewarded with a blister on his finger, I will mentally play the song.


The song is titled, "Living in Sound", and the lyrics should be posted here soon (after an intensive search through seven acres). Thank you for your service, here, bro. Hare Krsna, ys in cooperation, mahaksadasa

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!!!!! :( What a shock!!!! After that beautiful interaction with Puru Das Prabhu and learning his and his Guru Maharaj's views on the Gaudiya Siddhanta and certain issues, I had to travel to India for a two week (I'm still there). And kept thinking all the while that I'll write back to him after a day or two.

But never thought I won't be able to!!! :'(


I'm sure Lord Krsna has his soul under his full mercy and he's simply serving the Godhead in a different way now.

Please accept my full obeisances, respects and pranaams Shri PuruDas ji!!!

He was a very noble soul and a wonderful devotee.

Hari Bol!!



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All glories to Puru prabhu, I am grateful that I had access to such a senior devotee through this forum, I have learnt many new ways of thinking and feeling through debate and discussions, I beg forgiveness for all the offences I have caused, I also beg for forgiveness from all the other devotees I may have caused offense before it is too late, including babhru prabhu, thiest prabhu, Jahnava Nitai prabhu, Kalpuvan Prabhu and many others who my kanishta attitude may of offended.


All glories to the vaishnavas.

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Puru Das was a class act. He was a colorful, funny, brilliant, warm and sincere person who was humble and unpretentious. He had integrity. It's been decades since I had any contact with him but back when he first joined ISKCON we became fast friends and had some great talks. This world is a colder and darker place without him. I'm sure his faith and devotion has taken him to an elevated position somewhere.

-- Swarup Das

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In the last couple of weeks I’ve lost three old friends and colleagues: Suhotra Dasa Tapovanacari, Puru Dasa, and Muktakesa Dasa. All three have now, as we say, left this world. (The prosaic world just usually says “died.”)


Some time back, Muktakesa, always generous, had seen I wasn’t wearing a watch, so he gave me one (a pretty fancy Seiko). And since sannyasis are sometimes known for not holding on to things, he made me promise not to give it away. I used to see him in New Vrindaban, where he was running a program to offer spiritual help to prisoners in different parts of America who’d turned towards Krishna.


This past January, Suhotra and I had shared a pleasant lunch together in Mayapur (we’d had a lovely little debate over Semantics or something or other), and some days later he came to visit me—really just wanting to get together—at the flat where I was staying. Dressed in saffron, with a bag of—whatever—slung from his shoulder, he resembled a large-framed Buddhist monk. But instead of contemplating koans and seeking a void, he was always intent on the transcendent person Krishna.


And also in Mayapur in December-January I met my old friend Puru Dasa again, after a long while. I think he’d expected me to be cross with him (we had our differences on more issues than one), but I was truly delighted to see him, and we spent a short but warm time together. He reintroduced me to his daughters, whom I hadn’t seen since they were kids: “This is your spiritual uncle, Jayadvaita Swami.” And we enjoyed talking together about things concerning Krishna.


I had affection for all three of these godbrothers, and I’ll miss them.


That’s how it is. You watch your friends go, one by one. Then those who are left watch you go.


Hare Krishna.


JayAdwaita Swami

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Can you imagine a New York cabdriver becoming a Vaishnava? Uncle Puru was a lover of the Vaishnavas and their works. He collected items of his Gurudeva Srila Prabhupada and created the Bhaktivedanta Memorial. He spoke with the sound of a cabdriver but his heart was very sweet. He couldn't tolerate when any Vaishnava was abused. He loved his godbrothers but was upset what the leaders of Iskcon did with the movement. So he went on his own to save the dignity of Srila Prabhupada's mission in New York.


Dear Puru Prabhu, in the hands of Krishna you fare better than in the hands of conditioned souls. Unexpected you left this world like anyone of us could leave at any moment. I was amongst those to whom you gave your friendship. You even send a precious Srila Prabhupada chaddar to me when you realized that I had no item left by our Gurudeva. And now you are with that divine master you always wished to be with. Because you thought of him so much you cannot go anywhere else, you proved that sloka of the Gita to be true. You were thoughtful and concerned, not sectarian and indifferent. We will miss you. You are an icon of Srila Prabhupada's grace upon New York, his capacity to bring us to Krishna's lotus feet.



I am proud of you Puru Prabhu and pray for your family and friends. They will have to be quite Krishna conscious to fill the place where you are missing now.


---Written by Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti

Sunday, 22 April 2007

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'duHkha-madhya kona duHka haya gurutara?'

'kRSNa-bhakta-viraha vinA duHkha nAhi dekhi para'



"Mahaprabhu asked: 'Of all miseries, which misery is the most painful?'




Ramananda Raya replied: 'Besides the separation from

Krishna's devotee, I know of no other misery.'"






(Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.248)







kaunteya pratijAnIhi

na me bhaktaH praNazyati



"O son of Kunti, declare it boldly

that My devotee never perishes!"



(Bhagavad Gita 9.31)


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Submitting my separation grief for Sripad Puru Das Prabhu to all devotees, his family members and friends,


I am shocked to hear about the sudden demise of Sripad Puru Das Prabhu. He was a very affectionate and dedicated devotee. Having firm belief in His Gurudeva Parampujyapad Sreemat Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj, with great enthusiasm He helped a lot in preaching the Gospel of Transcendental Divine Love of Supreme Lord Sree Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. I have the sweet remembrance of my stay in his house in New York.


Due to misfortune we are now deprived of his association and are in the grip of separation grief. Our only consolation is that whatever is done by the will of Supreme Lord Sree Krishna is for the eternal benefit of all. Submission to His will is the only way to get solace.


I pray to All-Merciful Sree Guru-Gauranga Radha-Krishna to bestow bliss to the departed soul and bestow strength to his family members and friends to tolerate the separation grief.


Affectionately yours,

Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha

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Haribol, and grateful thanks for my esteemed elder brothers' kind remarks for uncle puru. This is proof positive that the ideas of unity in diversity, favored by Sriman Puru das, is alive and well. Our unity is what holds us in Srila Prabhupadas family. I offer my humble obiesancies to those who have made this such a nectarian topic.


Hare Krsna, ys, mahaksadasa

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Jaya Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga,


Yesterday I was browsing through an old collection of Back to Godhead magazines from the 1980's and early 1990's that a friend gave as a gift. I found this article from 1982.


I like Puru Dasa Prabhu's comment in the article...


"Wherever you go, whoever you meet, tell people about Me," Krsna told us five hundred years ago in His form as Lord Caitanya. And that's what I do while driving my cab in the busiest city in the world.

In a way I take this comment and example as instruction (being comfortable with sharing about Krsna to others is something I am working at)...thank you Prabhu.




Tattva means "truth." When you catch a ride with me, that's what I try to drive home.








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During business hours the population of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">New York City</st1:city></st1:place> expands to more than fifteen million people. Many New Yorkers ride in yellow taxicabs for business, shopping, sightseeing, and the many other goings-on offered by the phantas.magoria called <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Manhattan</st1:city></st1:place>. Occasionally some of these travelers get a different taxicab experience, when they hail the yellow Checker driven by a disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

I am that disciple, and my name is Puru dasa Adhikan. I joined the International Society for <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place> Consciousness in December of 1970. Because I am a member of the grhastha (householder) order, I must support my family as well as meet the spiritual responsibilities I have to my spiritual master and his mission. I've found that driving a cab in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:state w:st="on">New York</st1:state></st1:place> helps me fulfill both obligations.

Everyone in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">New York City</st1:city></st1:place> thinks he's a philosopher. And who do they talk with about politics, religion, traffic, and the weather? Not their psychiatrists, business associates, or even their families as much as the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:state w:st="on">New York</st1:state></st1:place> cabbie. It's his function to hear their ideas and respond appropri.ately. So every day as I drive through the streets of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:state w:st="on">New York</st1:state></st1:place> I have a marvelous opportunity to speak with people—and it provides me a modest livelihood.

As I cruise north on Madison Avenue in the four-degree weather of January, an older woman in a fur coat feebly hails my cab. She's so cold and weak she can hardly raise her hand to stop me. When I stop she has trouble with the back door, so I get out in the cold to help her. But even after the door is open she can't get up on the seat, so I tell her she can ride with me in front, since it's easier to get in that way.

Her name is Molly Rosen, and she's a retired <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">New York City</st1:city></st1:place> schoolteacher. When she gets in, the first thing she sees is a book about Srila Prabhupada's discus.sions with John Lennon called Search for Liberation. I keep a copy propped up on the dashboard so I can see my spiritual master's photo and perhaps spark some.one's interest in Krsna consciousness.

She hears the Hare Krsna maha-mantra playing on my tape recorder and smells the garland of carnations draping the taxi meter. The garland comes from our temple, and it improves the otherwise stale smell of a yellow cab. "Search for Liberation," she says. And our conversa.tion goes like this:

Puru: Oh, yes, it's a fascinating book. Would you like a copy? I have extras. Molly: Why, thank you. I'm interested. I'm always looking for something that will help me. Perhaps some day I'll find a cure. Puru: You have some disease? Molly: Very bad arthritis. Every bone in my body hurts. It's almost like they were hollow.

Puru: That's too bad. Must be hard tc deal with. My next-door neighbor's got ar.thritis too. She complains about it, but what can she do? What can any of us do? You can't stop the body from aging. Molly: That's true enough. Puru: But you know, let me give you an example for a simple philosophical point. If you tear your dress, you are not actually hurt—it's only the garment you're wear.ing. So if you can see your body that <!--[if gte vml 1]><v:shapetype id="_x0000_t75" coordsize="21600,21600" o:spt="75" o:preferrelative="t" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" filled="f" stroked="f"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter"/> <v:formulas> <v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"/> <v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"/> <v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"/> <v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"/> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"/> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"/> <v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"/> <v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"/> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"/> <v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"/> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"/> <v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"/> </v:formulas> <v:path o:extrusionok="f" gradientshapeok="t" o:connecttype="rect"/> <o:lock v:ext="edit" aspectratio="t"/> </v:shapetype><v:shape id="_x0000_i1025" type="#_x0000_t75" style='width:162.75pt; height:250.5pt'> <v:imagedata src="file:///C:\DOCUME~1\Primary\LOCALS~1\Temp\msohtml1\01\clip_image001.png" o:title=""/> </v:shape><![endif]--><!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->

way—that it's just a garment covering the eternal soul—then you think of it like the torn dress. You try to repair the damage if you can, but you don't identify yourself with that hurting body, that torn dress. After all, you're not that dress. You're an eternal soul. And your arthritis is only temporary.

Molly: It may be temporary, but I cer.tainly am suffering. I don't have any faith in anything spiritual anymore. Not after what I've seen. How could God let so many people be killed and tortured in <st1:place w:st="on">Europe</st1:place> during the war? How can I believe in the soul and God when things like that are allowed to happen? Puru: Ma'am, don't blame God because people ignore His instructions. After all, every day thousands of animals are slaughtered. The reaction for that kind of killing is that people are killed in wars. That's called the law of karma. Every ac.tion brings a reaction, just like in New.tonian physics but applied more broadly. Molly: Well, I studied Hinduism, I know all about that, but it seems callous to me. How can you be so glib about so much suffering?

Puru: If you have a spiritual outlook you aren't insensitive to suffering—but you understand it for what it is. Suffering can help us to understand our spiritual nature. We're all eternal servants of God. This material world is not our real home, so how can we ever really be happy here? All the scriptures teach this—that we should rise to a higher understanding of our iden.tity. The Hebrew prophets, the Koran, Lord Jesus, and the Vedas, the scriptures from <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">India</st1:country-region></st1:place>—they all teach this point. Molly: It must be wonderful to have so much faith and be able to believe as strong.ly as you do.

Puru: I wasn't so sure of what I believed before I read Bhagavad-gita As It Is. That's the book I've been studying. That's where Lord Krsna explains all about the soul, and how we can understand that we're eternal spiritual persons. His friend Arjuna was suffering and lamenting be.cause his friends and relatives were going to be killed in a fratricidal war. You've lost friends and relatives, so you must know how he felt.

Molly: I just went to a funeral last week. He was only 53 years old. Puru: You see what I mean? Anyway, Krsna explained to Arjuna that he had no reason to lament. Only the perishable body is slain but not the imperishable soul. The soul lives on after the death of the temporary body.

Molly: I must admit it's amazing to be speaking to a taxi driver about these kinds of things.

Puru: Ma'am, it's not by accident that you got into my cab. In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krsna says that He is directing the wan.derings of all living entities. Since you have some sincere desire to understand the reasons for your pain, now you've come in touch with the real cure. Listen to the words on the tape that's playing: "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare." That's called the maha-mantra, or the great chant for deliverance. If you try chanting it you can get free from your arthritis pain. Chanting will free you from misidentifying with the body, and you won't take your bodily pains so seriously. Just like the torn dress. Molly: I'll certainly think about it. Well, here's where I get off.

As Molly struggled out of the taxi I knew that her life had been changed, by contact with Srila Prabhupada's books, the holy name of the Lord, and some con.versation with a devotee. She was appre.ciating that association, and I felt fortunate to have been able to give her some real in.formation that could help her find some relief.

The Metro Cab Company now has about five drivers reading Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and at least two drivers distribute them.

In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krsna says, "Never was there a time when you did not exist, nor in the future shall you ever cease to be." But the body comes and goes quickly, so we must exist before its birth and after its death.

This brings us the idea of reincarnation, or "transmigration of the soul." And I've found that many people are ready to ac.cept it—especially when I drive them to funerals. Puru: When you get there the people will

be saying, "He's gone," even though his

body is right there in the coffin. So who

went? Who was he? He wasn't that body

but something else. He's an eternal spirit

soul, part and parcel of God, and now he

has moved on.

Passenger 1:1 suppose you're right.

Puru: You know, the most amazing thing

is that everyone's body will die but no one

admits that to himself. Everyone wants to

think he'll live forever, even though they

know that the body will die.

Passenger 2: Well, no one likes to think

about it.

Puru: But that won't stop the influence of


Passenger 1:1 guess not. Anyway, thanks

tor you words. They've given us a lot to

think about.

Puru: Thank you very much. Hare Krsna.

Passenger 2: Have a nice day.

Eating out is a major pastime of native New Yorkers and tourists. One time I picked up a family from <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Columbus</st1:place>, <st1:state w:st="on">Ohio</st1:state></st1:city>. Wife: Can you recommend a good restau.rant? We want to have lunch. Puru: Well, ma'am, I'm very sorry, but I'm a vegetarian. I don't eat meat, fish, or eggs, so it's hard for me to recommend any place.

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</td> </tr> </tbody></table> Wife: That's interesting. You're probably very healthy. You see, George, he'll never get stomach cancer. Listen, convince my husband to become a vegetarian. He has an intestinal disease.

Husband: Yeah, I've got some kind of colitis. I have to have a really bland diet. Puru: Well, meat-eating is certainly harm.ful physically. But beyond that the spiritu.al detriment is even more severe. Wife: What religion are you? Muslim?

Puru: No, I belong to the Hare Krsna movement.

Husband: Oh, yeah, they don't eat meat. Puru: We offer all our food to Krsna be.fore we eat it, so we're not even pushing just vegetarianism. Listen, here's one of our books.

Husband: Well, gee. Thanks a lot. Puru: Hare Krsna. Family: Yeah—uh—Hare Krsna.

People in <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">New York</st1:place></st1:state> often have to travel to the many hospitals and clinics in the city. Such trips are usually not happy ones, but one such trip had a unique outcome. Estelle flagged down my cab on <st1:address w:st="on"><st1:street w:st="on">70th Street</st1:street></st1:address> and <st1:address w:st="on"><st1:street w:st="on">York Avenue</st1:street></st1:address>. Estelle: Please take me to the <st1><st1:place w:st="on"></st1:place><st1:place w:st="on"></st1:place><st1:place w:st="on"></st1:place></st1>the side entrance for the eye clinic.

Puru: All right. Straightaway. Some kind of eye trouble?

Estelle: Oh yes, I've had glaucoma for years. But they have a good doctor, and he's been treating it very nicely. Puru: That's good karma and bad karma in the same breath. Estelle: What do you mean? Puru: It's bad karma to have glaucoma and good karma to have a doctor who can treat you.

Estelle: Yes, I think you're right-. You know, I've been looking for someone to teach me how to meditate. Puru: You got in the right cab, lady. Let me introduce you to an important book. Have you ever heard of the Bhagavad-gital Estelle: I read a small paperback copy a long time ago. It's a poem spoken by Krsna, isn't it?

Puru: Yes. And much more. My spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhakti-

vedanta Swami Prabhupada, has written the most authorized translation, Bhagavad-glta As It Is. That paperback you men.tioned doesn't compare. It's very important to get a bona fide translation of the original Sanskrit.

Estelle: Yes, I've heard of the Sanskrit language before.

Puru: The Gita explains all about medita.tion, the yoga systems, karma, the living entities, the Supreme Being, and how they all relate.

[she wanted a copy, so I checked the book bag I keep on the front seat, but it was empty. I'd already passed out every book I'd taken for that day.] Puru: I don't have any with me right now, but if you give me a one-dollar donation and your address I'll get one to you. Estelle: Oh, that's fine. Here's the dollar. You know, I need something like this. I've had a very bad time lately. My daughter died last year at 43. I know if I learn to meditate I could cope with her death more easily.

Puru: I think the Gita is just what you need. In the Second Chapter, Krsna ex.plains to His friend and devotee Arjuna all about the eternality of the soul.

[i told her a little bit more about it and then dropped her off at the clinic.]

A week or two later my wife and child and I visited Estelle at her apartment and personally delivered her copy of Bhagavad-gitd As It Is. She received us warmly, and we spoke about the Gita for more than three hours. Estelle's bookshelves now have several of Srila Prabhupada's books.

Estelle, Molly, and the tourist family are typical of the people you meet in <st1:place w:st="on">New York City</st1:place>. Their backgrounds vary from the poor to the rich, the uneducated to the Ph.D., and the common laborer to the professional.

Occasionally celebrities get in my cab. I gave a back to godhead to Anthony Quinn, and I managed to preach a little to Rosemary Cloonie, Zubin Mehta, and Cicely Tyson. Richard, the doorman at the Mayflower Hotel on Central Park West, gave some books to Anne Miller for me. She's currently starring in a musical on Broadway. Richard now has a Gita too. He offers respects with folded palms and bows his head slightly when he sees me drive up in my taxi. Sometimes I give prasadam (food offered to Krsna) to the boys at the gas pumps at the garage. Cookie prasadam is the next thing on my list for Richard.

"Wherever you go, whoever you meet,

tell people about Me," Krsna told us

five hundred years ago in His form as

Lord Caitanya. And that's what I do while

driving my cab in the busiest city in the


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Sriman Puru das was a friend. We used to have some great debates about the situation in the early 80s, w/ Sriman Tarun Krishna das. I remember when he had his heart-bypass surgery we visited. He was so weak, yet made sure we had some prasadam, water etc. I also remember his "Taxi Tattva" article in BTG. He is on his way to Sri Nityananda's kirtan party! KB das

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Puru’s Rainbow


A Tribute to Sripad Puru das Prabhu


by Bhudhara das


It may be too early to write a tribute to Puru das Prabhu. In reflecting on what I can say about an old friend, ironically I find myself thinking fondly of the traits and characteristics that made Puru seem at times eccentric and at other times unapproachable. When we loose a friend or loved one, we instinctively want to think of them in the best light. As a cardinal rule, devotees avoid criticism of others. When a near and dear devotee passes beyond this worldly veil of tears, our avoidance of criticism combined with our reverence for the Vaishnava, whatever his or her status, often bestows upon the person the status of a saint – or even more. There is also the complication that the quality I find endearing or praiseworthy in someone may be the very thing that rubs someone else the wrong way. In a world of duality, the challenge is to be big hearted enough to reconcile the contradictions and appreciate the beauty in other’s hearts. Reconciliation is neither avoidance nor denial. It takes honesty to look at the pros and cons, and weigh them up to discover how opposites are complimentary and reflect each other. This is not easy for small minded people, or for those who find the truth unpalatable or inconvenient. Puru was neither of these. He was broad minded and lover of truth. I’ve never known him to mince words and so I will follow his lead and as he used to say, “Tell it like it is Baba!”


I remember meeting Puru sometime in the early 70’s in New York City. To understand Puru, you have to understand a little something about New York. I hope you will indulge me a paragraph or two on the subject of New York. It will give you context for understanding Puru. Anyone who has lived or served there will understand what I mean.


Back then the Big Apple as it is known, was a rough and tumble place. It was a big city in every sense of the word. Fast – steamy – stinky – violent, loud with sirens, raw and full of gruff and grumble. Kindness in the gentle sense of the word was largely unknown. Not that New Yorkers were incapable of kindness, but they didn’t like being seen as soft. The jungle is hard place. And kindness is easily mistaken as weakness.


The layout of the place is rigid and defines the psyche of a New Yorker. Unlike the convoluted web of ancient sprawling London, in New York you have only a couple of directions you can take. You can go left or right, backwards or forwards, up or down - its north Uptown, south Downtown, take a left to the West side or go right to the East side. You can ride the elevator up. And then eventually come down. To compensate for the lack of open space people there find their freedom by increasing their speed. This demands focus. Everyone is focused in New York.


Before leaving the house in the morning they wrap themselves in a psychic coat of armour. From behind the visor of this invisible shield they peer out into the rush of urban chaos, watch for danger signals, ways to make a buck or search in hope for that rare find – a happy face. Maybe it’s changed since 9/11, but that’s the way it was back then. I remember too, that like any place, New York had its unique style of communication – a kind of linguistic sign language in the form of throw away comments that had multiple meanings depending on the situation, mood or time of day. “Fa’get about it”, “Waz up?”, Ha ya doooin’?” I used to call it “verbal chaff” because it was often used as a way of distracting someone long enough to size them up. It also worked well as a defence mechanism or as way of marking boundaries, especially when delivered in short, punctuated grunted phrases. Verbal chaff was often vulgar and like much about New York, takes some getting used to. Exchanges in New York that are run of the mill, even respectful in their terms would be considered rude elsewhere. It takes a while to get acquainted with New York and it’s an easy place to misunderstand. Puru was quintessentially a New Yorker. He was also very easy to misunderstand.


Externally Puru was a classic curmudgeon. Gruff, grumpy, weather worn, outspoken, he would easily dispense with discretion if an honest word served a more lofty or immediate purpose. Like many New Yorkers, Puru’s first line of attack was to attack. Call a spade a spade. And he was at times off putting. As such, I believe Puru was almost universally misjudged. It’s easy to judge a book by its cover and I think it’s fair to say that the hide on his book was thick and prickly – and therefore misleading. It seems a divine grace that Puru was married to to Jambavati didi who is a court stenographer. Court stenographers hear it all. They witness the spectrum of human tribulations. They record both sides of the argument. I think Puru needed someone who was thus inured to his trademark polemic. I know how much he loved and appreciated her service and support.


I also speak New York. Speaking his language, I understood him. In the 34 years I knew him, he never put me off. Somehow, I saw through his crusty shell and saw a heart of gold. I think it was because he once showed me a special kindness at a time when everyone else seemed disinterested. It made all the difference to me. The memory of his care stayed with me and thus whenever the flurry of his verbal chaff started, I stood still and listened, and waited. I didn’t react. After a while his bang and thunder subsided and his good intentions shinned through the dark cloud of his serious mood and like the sunshine, shed light on the importance of his diatribe du jour. At the time when the clouds passed and rainbows are made, Puru’s mood would soften. That’s when you would see his regal, charitable and soft-hearted soul. That’s when you would see a faint smile and his hallmark, a raised eyebrow, his way of saying “thanks for understanding”. I wonder how many had the patience to weather the storm to see Puru’s rainbow. I suspect most were too busy dashing away to find shelter from the next gale getting ready to blow.


When Puru took up a cause, there was no letting go or backing down. He was a scrapper, but always for the right cause. He fought injustice. He couldn’t tolerate an untruth or hypocrisy especially when it was dressed up in the sparkly garb of self serving institutionalism. He expelled a lot of verbal chaff in that direction – in another lifetime he was probably the guy in the crowd who shouted out that the “king has no clothes”. (As I finished that line, a small English Blue Tit bird, the size of a sparrow, flew into and around the room and then made his way out. I’ll take it as an omen that Puru is listening to this and having a grand old belly laugh.)


There are too many examples of Puru’s good works to mention here and you probably know more of them than I do. At the top of the list is his undying loyalty and love of our holy master nityalila pravista om vishnupada paramahamsa parivrajakacharya astottara sata sri srimad Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. I remember hearing how Puru would set up book tables in China Town and distribute sumptuous feasts in the spirit of Srila Prabhupada. He was Srila Prabhupada’s advocate in more ways than one. He was his man on the street. He loved his books and railed against anything that hindered their free and unfettered distribution. In many ways Puru was also a man of foresight. One example is his quick thinking in collecting all of Srila Prabhupada’s effects from the 55th Street New York Temple at its dissolution and his establishment of the Srila Prabhupada Memorial Library and Museum. Smart move Puru. And he was a generous soul. Some years back he gifted me (in custodianship) a ring that belonged to Srila Prabhupada. After some time, I in turn passed the blessing on by giving it in the same spirit to another godbrother, Sriman Harenamananda das Prabhu. Puru also gave me Srila Prabhupada’s drinking cup, a silver chalice – my holy grail. Another example of his foresight and forthright principled spirit based on his understanding of Srila Prabhupada’s teaching was his support of our beloved holy master om vishnupada paramahamsa parivrajakacharya astottara sata sri srimad Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja. It didn’t take long for Puru to recognise that Srila Gurudeva was “a friend sent by Srila Prabhupada”. In Puru’s eyes Srila Gurudeva “is non-different from Srila Prabhupada as a manifestation of siksha Guru”. Puru quickly endeared himself to Srila Gurudeva through his deep and sincere love of Srila Prabhupada, his straight-talking manner and his care for the devotees. In no time Puru was his man as much as Srila Prabhupada’s.


For some reason, I was not too surprised to hear of Puru’s passing. We recently talked in India about service and his deep desire to do more, of his lamentation – like so many of us – that he was hindered by so many material constraints, age, health, bad samskaras and so on. Still, being a Prabhupada man in the same breath he admonished himself and taking his beadbag in hand proclaimed that there are “no real impediments to Bhakti”. Behind his tough hide and beyond the easy sight of others he was in fact a humble man with a self-deprecating sense of humour. During this last Kartika I noticed at the time that something profound had changed in him. He seemed more at peace. He was noticeably softer and more accepting – even while in India, which he had in the past found testing. He didn’t even complain about the sewers or lack of waste management in Vrindavan! He was happy to be in Braja and talked of somehow settling down there, setting up his family in the holy dhama and doing more seva for Srila Gurudeva. We even made plans to rendezvous in England to travel and serve together. I think he was content. He had a vision. And although simple, it was spiritual to the core.


I am happy to hear that he passed away quickly, by heart attack. I’ve heard that just minutes prior he was glorifying his Thakurji, to whom he was so deeply attached. I suspect that deep down he had come to a realisation that he needed to shed one form to take another – one more conducive to the service he yearned to render.


I remember consoling Mula Prakriti didi a few months before her departure. In tears, she admitted to me that she felt “unready”, that she had so much more to cultivate in her pursuit of Bhakti. I presumed to reassure her that her humility and service to the Vaishnavas had made her very attractive to Srila Prabhupada. Also, that paradoxically her unreadiness would certainly make Srila Prabhupada intensely eager to gather her up in his protective embrace. I told her that I had no doubt that Srila Prabhupada would ferry her further to a deeper relationship with him in intimate service to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. “Prabhupada will be there waiting for you”, I said. In a strange way Puru’s departure seems natural to me, maybe the right timing for him. I think his soft heart couldn’t bear the weight of the world any longer. He missed Srila Prabhupada too much. So, like Mula, Srila Prabhupada gathered him up too. I’m sure.


I will miss Puru for his humanity and for his being all too human. I genuinely looked up to him because beyond the verbal chaff, he was a cent per cent Prabhupada man. He was real. What you saw is what you got. I like that. We need more of that in our devotional dealings. I talk with a lot of devotees who feel misunderstood. I guess we all do in some way. Who knows maybe Puru prabhu will go on to be canonised as the “patron saint of the misunderstood”. He has my vote. His abrupt departure is a rude wake up call. I can hear him now, “Are you ready for your turn Baba?” How very Puru, indeed.




I would like to offer my sincere condolences to his wife Jambavati didi and his three daughters, Janaki didi, Anuradha didi and Malika didi and beg their pardon if I’ve said anything inappropriate. I hope they will excuse the grief of an old friend.


Sripad Puru das Prabhu ki jaya!




Bhudhara das

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I first met Puru prabhu at New Dwaraka (Los Angeles Temple) in 1975, which is where I joined the movement.

Puru was giving Sri Isopanisad classes in the temple room before the evening program and all the new bhaktas were required to attend.

So, I always looked to Puru as a senior Godbrother and an advanced devotee.

I never got to see Puru again after I left the L.A. temple in 1976 to go to the Farm in Tennessee, but over the last few years we did have many exchanges over the internet in various forums and discussions.

Probably, I have been the recipient of more of Puru's correction and chastisement than any devotee. We had many colorful exchanges and debates and arguments, yet through all that I never lost my affection and my respect for Puru prabhu.

Puru was a man fixed in his position and his understanding of siddhanta. He was very intelligent and very active on the internet in an attempt to advocate his formula and prescriptions for the proper progessive march of the Krishna consciousness movement. I disagreed with him many times, but I never doubted his own faith that his prescriptions were in fact the best path for the movement to take.


I am sad that Puru has passed, but not because it was misfortunate for him, for I am sure he has attained a very great reward for all of his devotional service. But, I am sad because the movement has lost a very great soul whose presence will be missed.

Puru's life span was written in destiny on the day he was born. He knew his heart was not going to allow him a long life.

Puru lived a glorious life in connection with Krishna consciousness.

His future is very bright. He is very close to the ultimate perfection.

I don't doubt at all that Srila Prabhupada came to him at death and gave him final instructions for going back to Godhead.

I am sure Srila Prabhupada came and took Puru das back home back to Godhead to the unmanifested Gokula situated in Mathura Mandal on the plane we know as India.

I don't agree that Puru had to come back and perfect his sadhana, as I am sure that he attained perfection through kripa-siddhi and the blessings of Srila Prabhupada.

Sadhana can never really be perfected.

In this age, souls are liberated through Kripa-siddhi, not through sadhana.


I am sure that Puru is at the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada now and performing his proper service to their Lordships.


Puru das still lives in sound. He has left many words behind that will live in sound. He cast off his mortal coil and moved on to his next position as ordained by the Lord.

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