The Passing of HG Dvija Hari Prabhu

by Sriman Candrabhanu Prabhu

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Dvija Hari Prabhu, right, at Radha Damodara

The glorious disappearance of HG Dvija Hari prabhu, American born disciple of Srila Prabhupada since 1969, occurred on Wednesday, July 8, 2009 at 11:15 a.m. at New Talavan, Mississippi among his family members and many loving devotees. For almost one and a half years Dvija had battled mesothelioma, a rare and painful form of lung cancer caused by asbestos poisoning. He was 73. He is survived by his devoted son, Marine Staff Sergeant Narayan Devone, daughter-in-law, Andrea, 4 year old grandson, Narayan and daughter Gemma.

Dvija Hari came to ISKCON in 1968 in Austin, Texas after a career in the Navy and the New York film industry and joined the celebrated yatra led by Vishnujana Swami, organizing wonderful festivals and helping shepherd many new devotees into ISKCON during North American ISKCONís formative years. He subsequently transferred to Mayapura Dhama where first ground was being broken for ISKCONís world headquarters. There he worked tirelessly under Srila Prabhupadaís direct instructions undergoing great austerities and dangers. Due to his extensive military training Dvija took up the job of ad hoc security chief often accompanying Srila Prabhupada on his morning walks with rifle at the ready. All varieties of dacoits soon became acquainted with Dvijaís formidable passion for the post and more than a few were dispatched with prejudice to warn their cohorts to steer clear of the Hare Krishnas. He followed Srila Prabhupada to Vrndavan Dhama in the early í70ís prior to the construction of Krishna Balaram Mandir where he served Srila Prabhupada in his rooms at the Radha Damodara Temple. He was on hand for the famous Nectar of Devotion lectures (see photo) given in the Radha Damodara courtyard before the samadhi of Srila Rupa Goswami.

In later years Dvija travelled to Japan where he taught English, met his wife Mayumi, and established a jewelry and import/export business. He became an accomplished jeweler and gained some notoriety for his art among the Japanese. All the while he remained staunch and active in ISKCONís local preaching efforts.

In 1987 Dvija arrived at New Talavan in Southern Mississippi with his family. Having discovered a knack for organic farming while studying micro agricultural techniques in Japan, he sought a rural setting with long growing season to practice his newfound skills. He soon became professor emeritus regarding everything horticultural, and consequently he has inspired a few generations of New Talavan devotees in the pursuit of simple living and high thinking.

In 2005 Dvija lost his gentle wife to cancer.

In his last year with us we witnessed Dvijaís extraordinary courage in dealing with severe and debilitating pain that would challenge any maha-rathi. Due to a wrong initial diagnosis he was denied the proper pain management until this May. Nevertheless Dvija took full shelter of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna by constantly hearing and chanting with great intensity. He was cent percent confident that Srila Prabhupada was there by his side to lead him through the final mine field of this material predicament. In the end he departed very peacefully surrounded by dozens of devotees performing sweet and loud kirtans, reading Bhagavad Gita and his favorite stories like the Deliverance of Salva, the Killing of Banasura and other ecstatic tales of the Supreme Lord in action.

All glories to Dvija Hari prabhu, a no nonsense Prabhupada man, a wonderful husband and father, a gentleman and a scholar, a rough and ready soldier in the war against Maya, with a confident stride, a quick smile, and a heart as soft as a rose. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

by Candrabhanu das (ACBSP)


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