The Complete Sukadeva das Memorial service

December 4, 2018 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

                                             s5.jpg
 What follows are some words and video presentations about Sukadeva das, what he did for his spiritual master Srila Prabhupada, his kirtans, his Salagram Silas and loving memories by some local devotees and his two sons during our memorial service on Dec 2, 2018 in Snohomish Wash at Sila Puri Ashram
Hare Krsna to all
Pranams
All glories to Srila Prabhupada and His Grace Sukadeva das. I have compiled below first some letters Sukadev wrote while he was struggling greatly to establish a temple in Alburquerque New Mexico USA around 2010. It is interesting to note that just as Srila Prabhupada gave up a very comfortable situation for himself at Radha Damodar temple in Vrndavana India to go out into the materialistic world and preach, so too did Sukadev give up a comfortable situation while living at the LA temple in California for 5 years to put himself out on the frontline of preaching and trying to establish a temple for Srila Prabhupada-while Sukadev was at the advanced age of around 60 years old, when most of us would be satisfied to lay around on a couch and eat potato chips instead. He and his wife went there, and well you can just read what he wrote about what happened to him and wife along that way.
Hare Krsna
damaghosa das
Here below first, are some video clips from youtube and facebook of our memorial service for Sukadeva das
https://youtu.be/Ody-OFau0C4
https://youtu.be/U5ZYR4qG5ac
https://youtu.be/nkfHKdr6iv4
https://www.facebook.com/kanhaiyadasanudas/videos/10217787713108003/?fref=%2Freqs.php&__tn__=%2Cd-Z-R&eid=ARD1a5fcfTWpWjS8Y3q5qWzCAgizOXe0aqKBPAmZW8dh0v-5su9y44rj9mBdPzAJkUzJlT4U3ugXJOSn
https://www.facebook.com/kanhaiyadasanudas/videos/10217786878527139/?fref=%2Freqs.php&__tn__=%2Cd-Z-R&eid=ARD1a5fcfTWpWjS8Y3q5qWzCAgizOXe0aqKBPAmZW8dh0v-5su9y44rj9mBdPzAJkUzJlT4U3ugXJOSn
Now we begin the series of letters Sukadev wrote describing his last 10 years of preaching  in New Mexico USA, and asking some old friends for donations to keep the temple doors open, to help pay for past due electricity bills, to help him fix his broken down car so he could go on sankirtan, and other preaching engagements.
Date: Monday, September 13, 2010, 7:11 PM
My Dear Prabhu’s,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada !
My name is Sukadeva das and I have been trying to become a humble servant of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami for the last 41 years.  Prabhupada always wanted a full time temple, opened 7 days a week, in New Mexico.  There have been temples in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, but there is no permanent full time temple at present.

By Srila Prabhupada’s mercy, I am now preaching full time in Albuquerque, even though I am living in my car and a motel room.  Hare Nama Sankirtan is performed regularly and books are being distributed also.  I am giving classes at the University of New Mexico.  

I have found a storefront on Nob Hill, which is adjacent to the University.  The landlord is agreeable to give me a years lease provided that I can give him the required move in costs.   I have been in Albuquerque for 4 months and have no regular income to acquire or support the temple.  I am humble requesting and asking anyone who can give assistance for the $3,000 start up costs, or any donation towards this amount to establish a full time temple.

There has been good response from students and the general mass of people.  A regular temple will give those interested an opportunity to see the Deity, hear Srila Prabhupadas’ Srimad Bhagawatam and Bhagavad Gita As It Is, and to taste Bhagawat Prasadam.  If these activities take place, along with Krishna Kirtan, success for Srila Prabhupada’s mission in New Mexico, the land of enchantment, will be fulfilled.

I have had to sleep in my car and in church parking lots to establish this temple, but I am not in the least discouraged.  Many devotees have sent much encouragement for this difficult assignment and I am enlivened without end.

Please help as Prabhupada and Krishna dictates within your heart.
Sukadeva das

Dec 5 2010

By Krishna’s mercy, preaching is still going forward here in Albuquerque. I was the first speaker at the India Student’s Association at the University of New Mexico at their Diwali celebration.  I am now preaching to a a new Mexico businessman who has been doing business here in Albuquerque for the past 12 years.  His business is near the University of New Mexico.  I am trying to cultivate this nice person as he is very favorable to Krishna Consciousness.

The President of the India Students Association wants me to present a Bhakti Yoga class dealing with stress.  He is organizing a class with 50 students in his dorm.  Unfortunately, my 1990 Chrysler New Yorker’s transmission is finished.  This 20 year old vehicle took me daily to Hari Nama Sankirtan.  I used this vehicle also to try and develop Indian life members to support the Albuquerque temple.  The program is Friday at 7:00 pm.  Any donation to help fix this vehicle, would be beneficial.  The total cost to fix the car is $600.00.  Any contribution would be nice.  As a householder, I sold real estate.  Now that I am preaching full time, I have to beg for donations, which is embarasing for me, but I am asking so that I can preach full time until a congregation is developed.  Please excuse me for any offenses or inconveniences.    Any donation can  be sent to :

My Dear Prabhu’s,
Please accept my humble obeisances.  All glories to Srila Prabhupada !!
Sandipani Muni, Krishna’s Guru Maharaja, told Krishna and Sudama Brahmana that, “My Dear Boys, it is very wonderful that you have suffered so much trouble for me.  Everyone likes to take care of his body as the first consideration, but you are so good and faithful to your guru that without caring for bodily comforts you have taken so much trouble for me.  I am also glad to see that bonafide students like you will undergo any kind of trouble for the satisfaction of the spiritual master.  That is the way for a bona fide disciple to become free from his debt to the spiritual master.  It is the duty of the disciple to dedicate his life to the service of the spiritual master.”

By Krishna’s grace, there is ample opportunity to try and relinquish my debt to Srila Prabhupada here in Albuquerque, and to undergo any trouble for Srila Prabhupada.  I have been in this center since October 1, 2010, and by Krishna’s grace the doors are still open and preaching is going forward.

I have some college engagements in May.  On May 7, a local comic book company will host a comic give-a-way and we will be allowed to sell prasadam.  On April 27, we will start a  6 week training program at the local cable channel, so that we can start to produce a philosophy show.  In July, a congregation member has agreed to help with monthly expenses.  But I do have some problems at present.  My sankirtan vehicle has died.  I have no vehicle for sankirtan.  I have been diagnosed with diabetes and I was in the hospital for 2 weeks.  That caused me to fall behind in the center’s bills.  I have to appear in court on Tuesday for no insurance.  Our electricity is scheduled for cut off and I have to pay $500.00 for reinstatement.  Maya is throwing some curves, but all is not lost.  I have full faith in Srilla Prabhupada and Lord Krishna.  in July, I should be able to repay any loan and the monthly expenses should be taken care of.  I just need help to keep going until July.
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Jan 28 2011
 My Dear  prabhu’s
Please accept my humble obeisances.  All glories to Srila Prabhupada !
Here are some pictures of our Sunday  Love Feast.  There is also a picture of my wife preparing some bhoga.  For anyone who wants to see that we are actually preaching, these pictures may provide some inspiration.  If anyone wants to sponsor a feast, the suggested donations are as follows:
Good Feast $100.00
Fine Feast   $175.00
First Class   $220.00
The devotees name will be read during the Sunday Feast and there will be chanting of Hare Krishna Mantra for the donor for success and well being and all blessings in their endeavors
There is no price tag for prasadam.  It is all transcendental, but I can only purchase the ingredients depending on the lakshmi donated.  It is not a material affair.  It is done for Krishna and it is in the spiritual world. I cooked for Srila Prabhupada for one month in Hawaii so I am very serious that the Deities and devotees receive high quality prasadam.

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My wife and I do Hari Nama, almost daily and I have given classes at the University of New Mexico (UNM).  One professor, Lisa Gerber, sent me a very nice letter of recommendation.  She said that, “Sukadeva das is a thoughtful speaker who is able to explain material in a clear and engaging way.”   I also have two other professor’s who are interested in me making a Krishna Conscious presentation of Bhagavad Gita As It Is.

Our center is located at 4118 Central Avenue, S.E. unit B, Albuquerque, N.M. 87108.  Attention Oliver Johnson.  sukadevdas@yahoo.com. 1-505-417-1581.  I am waiting for our non profit status from the State of New Mexico.  We are trying to make life members for maintenance of our center,  but any help now is critical.  I am living 24 hours at the center because I want all devotees and potential devotees to have a center which is always staffed by a devotee as opposed to a center only opened on Sunday.  I have no other job than trying to preach Krishna Consciousness 24 hours a day.

… I have spent the last six years at the Los Angeles temple, living with the brahmacaris, where I had the good fortune to make large quantities of maha prasadam for all the assembled devotees.    Any love offerings for a stove or refrigerator will be considered a great blessing. My only desire in opening this center is to preach the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as they were given to me by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada in 1969.  Srila Prabhupada ki jai !!

Aspiring to be your humble servant, Sukadeva das

The India Student Association’s president is arranging a program at his dorm and I will be preaching to about 50 students. I will be preaching to a History of Religions class for the Winter Semester. Bhakta Sean has a degree in Sociology and he has purchased japa beads and is chanting.  He works for some company here in Albuquerque and helps as much as he can.

My car’s transmission was finished but by Krishna’s grace, I have received a rebuilt transmission.  The car mechanic has a degree in Engineering and he has given me plans for building 3 altars for my  Deities in Srila Prabhupada’s temple.

My landlord is a demon but Krishna made arrangements for me to meet his sister.  She is a judge who was recently elected in November and she  bought 2 cookbooks and a  Perfection of Yoga.  She is more open-minded than her brother.

I am working very hard to keep the doors open here in Albuquerque.  The winter weather is now in the teens.  Because of the severe weather, my wife and I have developed severe colds and have not been able to do street sankirtan.  I am visiting different Indians to try and develop our congregation. Because we both have been sick, we are a little behind in getting donations.   Any donation to help me get through this winter month would be appreciated.  I have nothing to offer in return except that I am still enthused to put my life on the line for preaching.  In  the 12th chapter of Bhagavad Gita, Srila Pabhupada says that a devotee is willing to “take all risks for the satisfaction of the Lord.  There is no impediment in rendering service.  Such a devotee is dear to the Lord.”   The only gift I can give is that I am trying to give some satisfaction to Srila Prabhupada and I offer all respcets to any devotee who can help me in this transcendetal

Oct 27 2011
By Krishna’s grace, I have been able to keep the temple going for the last year.  I was preaching at the University of New Mexico, doing Deity Worship, distributing books, and Nama Hatta programs.  I am in Unit B and there were no other tenants in our building.  A couple of months age, two tenants moved into the building, in units A and C, and they immediately complained of smells from our cooking of prasadam.  There are no air vents so the smell of prasadam stays in the building.  Our closest neighbor, in unit A, would complain even if we boiled water. I had to eat uncooked prasadam during the week,  and was only able to cook once a week.   It eventually, unbelievably let to a physical confrontation, initiated by the acupuncturist in unit A.  He called the police, and the police took the side of the acupuncturist and threatened to take me to jail.  The landlord was called and he took the side of the acupuncturist and told me I had seven days to vacate the premises.
I maintained the center for one year and did not have extra lakshmi for a u-haul or for storage.  I am in the process of looking for another temple but my car has a non functioning radiator.  In other words my car radiator blew up so I have no vehicle and I have no place to stay for a temple.  Because my bank account was in the negative, the bank closed my account.    
If you can give me a loan of three hundred dollars, I would appreciate it or at least a donation of  $150.00 dollars, it will help our emergency situation.  I have avoided trying to ask for donations but this is an emergency.  You well know that I have not asked you for a donation in quite a while.   I have kept the temple going and I want to continue this front line fighting for Srila Prabhupada.  I am now living in a motel and don’t have the lakshmi to continue living here.  With no car, my wife and I will be on the street.  Whatever you can send yourself or from the other devotees who helped previously, would be appreciated.  Maya is attacking me heavily to try and discourage me from preaching here in Albuquerque, but I am do now want to surrender to the Maya tactics and your help would be appreciated.

                  
                   QUOTES TO SHOW THAT DEVOTEES ARE MORE WORSHIPABLE THAN GOD
 
SB 3.33.7-aho bata śvapaco’to garīyān/ yaj-jihvāgre vartate nāma tubhyam/ tepus tapas te juhuvuḥ sasnur āryā/ brahmānūcur nāma gṛṇanti ye te.
“O my Lord, a person who is chanting Your holy name, although born of a low family like that of a cāṇḍāla [dog eater], is situated on the highest platform of self-realization. Such a person must have performed all kinds of penances and sacrifices according to Vedic rituals and studied the Vedic literatures many, many times after taking his bath in all the holy places of pilgrimage. Such a person is considered to be the best of the Āryan family.
Madhya 11.31-Arādhanānāṁ sarveṣāṁ/ viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param/ tasmāt parataraṁ devi/ tadīyānāṁ samarcanam
TRANSLATION-“Lord Śiva told the goddess Durgā, ‘My dear Devī, although the Vedas recommend worship of demigods, the worship of Lord Viṣṇu is topmost. However, above the worship of Lord Viṣṇu is the rendering of service to Vaiṣṇavas, who are related to Lord Viṣṇu.’
Garuda Puranana me ‘bhaktaś catur-vedī mad-bhaktaḥ śva-pacaḥ priyaḥ tasmai deyaṁ tato grāhyaṁ/ sa ca pūjyo yathā hy aham
Lord Kṛṣṇa says, “Even if a nondevotee comes from a brāhmaṇa family and is expert in studying the Vedas, he is not very dear to Me, whereas even if a sincere devotee comes from a low family of meat-eaters, he is very dear to Me. Such a sincere pure devotee should be given charity, for he is as worshipable as I.
BG 18-68,69-For one who explains the supreme secret to the devotees, devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me. There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear.
SB 1.2.16 purport- By serving the servant of God, one can please God more than by directly serving the Lord. The Lord is more pleased when He sees that His servants are properly respected because such servants risk everything for the service of the Lord and so are very dear to the Lord. The Lord declares in the Bhagavad-gītā (18.69) that no one is dearer to Him than one who risks everything to preach His glory. By serving the servants of the Lord, one gradually gets the quality of such servants, and thus one becomes qualified to hear the glories of God.The eagerness to hear about God is the first qualification of a devotee eligible for entering the kingdom of God.
Here below are some of my remembrances of Sukadev stories with Srila Prabhupada or with devotees along the way.
Nara Narayana das singing in LA temple-nobody could stand his singing-when Prabhupada asked Karandhara who was singing, because his voice was so powerful it carried all the way up the hallway thru closed door and walls into Srila Prabhupadas room-Karandhara said-it is Nara Narayana.
To which Prabhupada listened for a while and then said—“he keeps good time”. Everybody appreciated Prabhupadas compassion but not NaraNarayanas singing.
One time Sukadev as the Temple President, was told SP’s cook in Hawaii was adding too much salt and SP asked for a coleman gas stove so he could cook his own prasadam. Even though he asked her not to add so much salt, she continued to do it so he decided to cook his own food. So Sukadev decided, even though he was the TP for Hawaii temple that he would do this personal service for SP. So when he cooked, and asked Hari Sauri how SP liked it—SP said everything was first class-but the dahl was “untouchable”. Next day, Sukadev fixed that problem and then SP said everything was perfect-Sukadev went outside and felt like jumping up and down in ecstasy, never knowing this feeling before of getting directly a  positive response from his guru !!
One time an alarm clock that belong to Hari sauri went off and SP asked , What is that noise?He was told it was just an alarm clock-to which he replied- Oh somebody is in danger? Sukadev never knew that the Spiritual Master had a sense of humor.
Pusta Krsna asked SP what should he do with the bug on his desk? SP said “see him to the window”. None of this bug squishing business. A Vaisnava is compassionate”. Sukadev said could you ask this question to a mayor or a governor , they would think you are crazy. But to the guru of the universe it was perfect.
One time while driving SP around the island of Hawaii, Brahmananda and gurukripa were in the car also, so Sukadev thought of a nice question to ask SP, thinking SP will appreciate the nice metaphor.
He said SP- a tree is beautiful when it has fruits, a woman when she has a child, so when is the disciple beautiful? SP asked-Oh you do not read our books? What is the meaning of this-arana koriya mane asa?
Sukadev said I dont know-SP said-Oh parrot like chanting ! He couldnt jump out of the car because he was driving and both sannyasis gave him the “look”. So then SP then asked-what is the meaning of this?
Yasya prasaad bhagavat prasado-Sukadev answered-by the mercy of the SM we get the mercy of Krsna.
SP said yes, so the disciple becomes beautiful when he strictly follows the orders of the SM, otherwise he is UGLY.
Once in the LA temple when Sukadev was just a new devotee, during a sunday feast, some fanatical Christian was going on and on about nonsense and SP wasnt even looking at him but instead at Lord Jagannatha until finally after putting up with this guys nonsense said to him—Jesus Christ said-Thou shalt not kill-Why are you killing? The entire temple room was silent it was so powerful and perfect a response which shut the guy up and you could hear a pin drop-nobody could say anything
During mongol arotik in early days of Seattle temple, Sukadev would be playing this wooden drum, not clay mrdunga, and at a certain point he would change beats and the devotee went wild-very ecstatic-at 4AM
one time when he was staying with us in Sedro Woolley,Wa. we went out just before Janmastami and went to a trailer park for old folks and in the front entry way, they had thousands of marigold plants in full bloom but nobody was taking the flowers off them. So in broad daylight, we both went there and did what any self respecting Hare Krsna devotee always did-swiped as many of those flowers we could-for Krsna
Another time Sukadev told me a story that I had not witnessed because I was off on tskp. Some nut case came to the Seattle temple when it was on 18th ave and he caused such a rukus that they threw him out and then the VP Prabhanu das who was so angry with him , was chasing him down the street with an axe. Sukadev said-imagine how the neighbors thought of us after seeing that go on !
Another time some other crazy guy came and hit one of the matajis in the face with his fist. When I heard about it Sukadev and I went after him, catching him within one block. He got down on his knees and begged forgiveness-but man- did I want to smack him into tomorrow.
Sukadev always used to say-there are two kinds that come to the temples-those that know what to do and those who have to be told what to do.
When Sukadev was TP in Laguna beach, he used to sleep with a shotgun under his pillow because he felt the drug dealing so called devotees there, would kill him. He was the devotee the GBC would call on to “fix major problems” somewhere. He  didn’t come across as a heavy guy, but very sweet and compassionate, but if you were doing some damage to Srila Prabhuapadas movement, he came down on you like fire.
Another time when he used to visit us in Sedro Wooley Wa, he told me he had a dream from Srila Prabhupada. It seems that some local devotees there in LA temple were criticizing him for his long kirtans. Prabhupada appeared to him and said–”go on chanting go on chanting go on chanting”
When we were living in Seattle and doing regular Saturday Hari namas and Sunday feasts,Sukadev would drive up from Portland for the Sunday feast and do kirtan and give lecture. Afterwards, he would consume this special no sleep drink concoction he made up and then take off for the return 3 hour drive, getting back late, then get up for his mongol arotik then go to his work place. He would drive 6 hours-just to take part in some kirtan and be able to preach.
One time he told me his car engine froze up-he was not good at watching oil levels in his car. But kirtan, he was always alert for when that took place.
When I first started coming to the Seattle temple, in 1973 around Christmas time, I would attend every day the evening program and listen to BG class. I would be reading my BG at home and bring a list of questions for class time. Most often these questions would occupy the class time, so we would continue them out in the hallway, near the stairs up to the second floor. Kamsahari bramacari would always stuff me there with halava and puri, saying here prabhu take more take more seeing that I was having a hard time surrendering to the proper understandings given to me by Sukadev. So finally after two months of this round and round  debating and arguing, I came to the conclusion there was NO good reason left NOT to surrender and move into the temple. This would not have happened without Sukadevs persistence. And to this day, he and I have always had wonderful philosophical discussions about Krsna.
July 2 1968 Montreal lecture
So artificially, if we become puffed up, “I am God,” we shall always remain in the position of a dog. We shall never be God. But actually if we feel ourselves humble and meek servants of God, then we become more than God. Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He keeps His devotees more honorable than Himself. And He recommends to the devotees that madbhakta-pūjābhyadhikā: [SB 11.19.21] “My dear devotees, take it for granted that if you worship My devotees, that is more than My devotional service.” Kṛṣṇa recommends, and actually that is the fact, that Kṛṣṇa is more pleased. Just like… It is very natural. Just like one gentleman he has got a little child, and if you try to please that little child, that gentleman automatically becomes pleased. You can please the child with two-cent-worth lozenges, and if the child is laughing and very pleased, his father immediately becomes pleased. But if you want to please the father, you will require at least two hundred dollars. So you can finish two hundred dollars’ business with two cents. Similarly, devotees are so nice that if you give him anything… Kṛṣṇa… Kṛṣṇa is also so nice that He will be pleased if anything offer. You offer little water, little flower, little… And devotees are still higher. If you simply offer a devotee a little sweet words, oh, he is very pleased. You see? That is the nature of devotee. Devotee does not want anything from you. They simply want that you… Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, he said… He has got a nice song that “If you simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, oh, I become sold to you.” Nityānanda Prabhu also says like that. So to please a devotee is very nice. Therefore our process is to take shelter of a devotee. Directly we don’t approach KṛṣṇaGopī-bhartur pāda-kamalayor dāsa-dāsanudāsa. Therefore in Vṛndāvana you will see everyone is praising Rādhārāṇī because Rādhārāṇī is very quickly pleased. And as soon as Rādhārāṇī is pleased, Kṛṣṇa is automatically pleased. This is the process..