Akincana Krishna Dasa Babaji Maharaja

    "Srila Prabhupada said that Krishna Dasa Babaji was akincana (free from all material attachments and possessions) and a paramahamsa (a swan-like pure devotee). He was attached only to chanting the -holy name of Krishna. Born in E. Bengal, he began Krishna consciousness in college, joined the Gaudiya Math, and took initiation from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.

    "His sole engagement in the temple was chanting Hare Krish­na day and night. His Godbrothers, however, complained to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He told them his chanting was fine and that they should encourage him. He further said that they should place one newspaper ad, inviting all sincere men who were willing to chant Krishna's name all day and night to join the Gaudiya Math. A few men came, chanted, and left. But Krishna Dasa remained steady in his chanting. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati ordered his men to provide all facility to the babaji.

    "Continually chanting Hare Krishna, Krishna Dasa Babaji began wandering all over India, especially in Mayapur and Vrndavana. He was fond of repeating the last instruction of Srimad Bhagavatam, 'Always chant Hare Krishna and offer obeisances to the Lord.' Before singing, which he liked, he would always glorify the previous acaryas.

"While he was performing kirtana at Srila Prabhupada's san-nyasa initiation in Mathura, Srila Prabhupada told him to chant more. At that time, Krishna Dasa realized that Srila Prabhupada would lead a worldwide Hare Krishna movement. When remem­bering Srila Prabhupada, Krishna Dasa would often tell us:

'Your spiritual master is the greatest spiritual master who has ever existed, more than any other spiritual master. More miracles, more work than anyone before. Why? Because no other spiritual master was such a great servant of the holy name. And because he took the holy name all over the world.'

    "Krishna Dasa would never accept any honor or gifts. Al­though he would accept maha-prasadam garlands, and then immediately remove them. Near the end of his life, a reputable doctor examined his heart with a stethoscope. The surprised doctor and several other witnesses heard the most incredible and unbelievable sound. Instead of hearing the normal heartbeat, lub-dub lub-dub lub-dub, they heard the maha-mantra vibrating from within Krishna Dasa Babaji's heart, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. On this day of his divine disappearance, we should pray to Krishna Dasa Babaji Maharaja for the blessings of attraction for chanting the holy name of Krishna." (B.B. Govinda Maharaja memoirs)

    Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Dasa, a disciple of Srila Prabhupada and an acquaintance of Krishna Dasa Babaji Maharaja, gives this account:

    "Krishna Dasa Babaji Maharaja was a close friend of Srila Prabhupada and a great well-wisher of his disciples. Whenever we would ask him questions, his usual answer was Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Although highly educated and fluent in both English and Bengali, he mostly just kept chanting Hare Krishna. When a devotee would offer him obeisances and ask, 'Krishna Dasa, please give me your mercy?' Babaji Maharaja would reply, 'No, you please give me your mercy. I need it more.'

    "He was always absorbed in hearing and chanting Krishna's holy names. He had no disciples. Being dear to all devotees of the Lord, he was warmly received wherever he traveled. He was always jolly. Regardless of what was happening, he would respond by saying, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, and chuckle slightly or laugh.

    "Despite his old age and seemingly frail body, whenever he picked up a mrdanga to glorify Krishna he would play the drum with masterful expertise. He would sing with intense devotional concentration, his voice expressing his deep inner feelings of love for Krishna. He would wander around Vraja mandala visiting the places of Krishna's pastimes. He would sit down at one and chant Krishna's glories with tears of ecstatic love in his eyes.

    "We brought him to Pavana Sarovara in Nandagrama to spend his last days absorbed in bhajana. When we asked him for any last instruction, he just laughed and said, 'My only instruction is to chant Hare Krishna. That's all there is.'

    In a small song book, in which he kept notes, Krishna Dasa Babaji made this last entry before leaving this world:

    'Chanting the holy name of Krishna is the true nectar. The Holy Name is like honey. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krish­na Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.' His samadhi is in Nandagrama at Pavana Sarovara within the Gaudiya Math temple at Sri Sanatana Gosvami's bhajana sthali.

[This article and more information at  www.stephen-knapp.com]

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