On the Discovery of A Rare Photo (Suhotra dasa in Boston, 1971)
This is the earliest known photo of HH Suhotra Maharaja after he came to the eternal shelter of Shrila Prabhupada at ISKCON Boston, home of the Press, in 1970. He had bought a Back to Godhead from a tiny sankirtana ensemble in Detroit headed up by Bhagavan dasa. And—this is from his In2Me-C—he loved the philosophy and figured that those who had printed it and bound it must have the greatest appreciation of this wisdom. Therefore he hitchhiked to Boston, home of ISKCON Press.
To delve deeper into the full environment that Suhotra Maharaja joined in, I urge each of you to read the collection articles here in the Abhaya Ashram section of the site called THIS IS MY HEART. The book contains wonderful discussions by His Holiness. Suhotra’s section of the book uncovers a certain mood that those who love Suhotra will understand. In the picture we can see that he is off to himself in the corner of the room with guests and neophytes. It was his habit never to sidle up with the perceived big shots. He was not in the temple for any business other than full and unalloyed surrender to the lotus feet of Shrila Prabhupada. And that is probably why there are so few photos of him. This is a fact which makes understanding the rarity of this photo clearer.
Suhotra was camera shy and never sought publicity. He was one of the rare ones to preach in Communist Eastern Europe when it was the West’s most dangerous and seemingly foreboding region. And that is why understanding this photo is so valuable.
This picture was discovered by Her Grace Nitya Tripta devi dasi, the wife of Eknath dasa. In fact, they are the team that keeps the Bhaktivedanta Archives doing such a valuable service for the next ten thousand years of the Golden Age part of this Kali Yuga. So kudos to Mataji for this. We have put this photo up in our Vaishnava guest quarters, Suhotra Sadan, for any followers of Maharaja who might be visiting SW Bulgaria. Let us know if you are coming.