By Lilasuka Dasi
In gratitude to His Grace Yamaraja das, cent percent servant of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, to whom the depth of debt that I owe I may never fully know.
Recently I heard that scheduled visits to be with you before your departure were being organized. My eyes widened at the opportunity but I hesitated for too long… primarily due to bodily identification and with doubts such as, “Who am I, with essentially no external connection to you to be so bold as to intrude on this sacred time and space leading up to your departure?” Now I sit in lamentation for missing the darsan of such a great soul who has inspired my Krishna consciousness for decades. You made an indelible mark on me which I only expressed once and to which I’ve never reciprocated. I would have liked you to know that you REALLY made a difference in my pursuit of Krishna consciousness.
When I moved to Alachua in 2009 I took the opportunity after class one morning to approach you to say how I’d noted your name on the photos in Back to Godhead since the 80’s. My appreciation for you capturing windows to the spiritual world that allow us to get a glimpse of the ecstatic, colorful, fun, beautiful, charming, intriguing, diverse, personal, global movement Srila Prabhupada has given the world, one that anybody can join, drew me further into ISKCON. Your photos lit a fire in me to follow Festival of India across the U.S. to as many Rathayatras as I could make. Your photography showed me the multifaceted gem of ISKCON, Krishna, and His devotees. At that time your response to me was to ask if I had photos to submit to Back to Godhead. Your invitation was humbling, kind, inclusive and one that I never followed up on, yet even in that brief exchange you again inspired me in Krishna consciousness.
I grew up an artist, in a family sprinkled with photographers. Subscribing to Back to Godhead magazine in my youth regularly reinforced my desire to be part of Lord Chaitanya’s movement through the images captured and beautifully laid out by Your Grace Yamaraja das.
Srila Prabhupada asked his disciples to write. A picture is worth a thousand words. Yamaraja Prabhu you attracted the minds and hearts of countless souls to the loving devotional service of Guru and Gauranga though the moments, persons, places and events that you captured. Generations to come are sure to benefit from your portfolio of dedication.
Thank you Yamaraja das Prabhu and all the dedicated souls who work to awaken our love of God. Though I am not as determined or surrendered as you, I am being drawn home by your love of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna.
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare