Rajendranandana prabhu (Sam Rogers) a disciple of Srila
Prabhupada and beloved by many devotees around the world, left his body
yesterday (Tuesday, November 10th) at approximately 1:15pm local time in San
Diego, California. He was at home and being lovingly cared for by his wife,
son, and fellow devotees.
Rajendranandana prabhu’s health had been failing for some time, and two or
three weeks ago he was diagnosed with terminal spinal cancer. He was given
three months to live. In the Vaisnava fashion so typical of Raj prabhu, he
took the diagnosis as Krishna’s mercy and began to prepare himself for this
final test. By the merciful arrangement of the Supreme Lord, he passed away
within two weeks (instead of the projected several months).
Rajendranandana prabhu was speaking until the last day and a half, in spite
of his condition-sharing Krishna katha and sweet exchanges with devotees who
came to offer their respects. At one point, he asked his caretaker “Why are
there so many people in the room?” although only Raj prabhu and his
caretaker were there at the time. The caretaker, Jagadananda prabhu,
inquired “Are they the good people? Raj prabhu smiled and said softly “Oh,
Rajendranandana prabhu left his body hearing a kirtan by Srila Prabhupada.
Although he had not been speaking for a day and a half, with his last
breath, he said “Hare Krishna” and left this world.
Rajendranandana prabhu joined ISKCON in the mid-1970s and initially served
at ISKCON’s school (gurukula) in Dallas, Texas. Amongst his many services
over the years, he served as the temple president of the San Diego temple
and then as president of the temple in Honolulu, Hawaii.
In recent years, he and his family spent much of their time at ISKCON
Mayapur, where he was much beloved by the local devotees.
Srila Prabhupada was asked by a disciple, after the disciple’s devotee
friend had recently passed away: “I know the philosophy. I know that the
body is temporary and the soul is eternal. Still, I am feeling sad”. Srila
Prabhupada replied: “After all, we are not dull stones. We naturally miss
the association of devotees we have known and loved.”
Rajendranandana prabhu will be sorely-missed by devotees around the
world-and that is how it should be. He lived an exemplary devotional life.
He was always full of affection, philosophy, blissful details about the
lilas of the Lord and His devotees, and encouragement-and, when needed, some
words of gentle chastisement. His was a life lived nobly. We are certain
that he has either gone directly back to Krishna in Goloka Vrindaban or to
join Srila Prabhupada somewhere else to help his beloved spiritual master
give Krishna consciousness to the conditioned souls.
A memorial will be held at the San Diego temple on Sunday, November 21st
starting at 3:30pm. More details to follow.