Report about the visit of Maharaja's sister in Sridham Mayapur

On the 29th April Maharaja's sister and husband arrived in Kolkatta. Next day they came to Mayapura for 3 days only. Lord Nrsinghadeva's appearance anniversary fell in the middle of their visit. Only the ashes of her dear brother Roger Crowley (Suhotra Maharaja) needed to be dealt with officially for the satisfaction of the government. The remainder of the time was used for discovery of a new world.

From the time the police became involved in the death of a foreigner many complications unraveled. One problem was the lack of a will. So they contacted the US embassy in order to locate any relatives. Meanwhile Maharaja's body was kept at the morgue impending directions from the family. We heard this could take 7 days before final rites could be performed. Suddenly contact was made and one day later permission was given to cremate the decomposing body with ashes saved for a samadhi and family members.

Kathryn (Suhotra Maharaja's sister) wanted to come to claim her brothers remains and place some of his ashes in the Ganges After substantial organizational adjustments she arrived in India. First Kathryn and husband Carl drove from their comfortable hotel in Kolkatta to rural Mayapura. Temple management provided them VIP treatment with an expert guide who accompanied them to the restaurant twice a day for full prasadam, AC room, etc.

When I met them first on 30th evening we started with the formalities regarding their stay and touchéd briefly on the feelings/memories of their brother. She saw him last when he was 19 years old and read some books about his chosen religion/faith when he joined but had no contact. Their mother and father saw Maharaja a seven years ago when he visited the United States. Kathryn kept telling stories about her older brother and in these she felt joy and sorrow. Both of them were very happy, good natured and enlivened by their experience with ISKCON. That evening we visited Prabhupada's Samadhi and passed by the samadhi's of his disciples. Then into the temple for the end of Sandhya arati. Their first meeting with Sri Radha Madhava and Sri Panca Tattva was full of respect and sincere inquiries.

Next morning we met in the foyer at 8 am and then briskly walked to the Gurukula for a meeting with HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami. After pleasant and serious discussions, on the topics of Maharaja's work, and his relationship with her brother we prepared to go down to the Samadhi. Just then Suhotra Maharaja's 11 shaligram silas were introduced along with the deities of HH Sridhara Swami. And a short story of Lord Nrsinghadeva was told.

Then down to the site of construction  of Suhotra Maharaja's  samadhi. Kathryn commented on the list of items belonging to her brother and offered anything HH BVP Swami wanted to keep for himself as a close friend. He in return asked if she desired anything. "Just a ring or prayerbeads was her answer". So immediately he presented the japa mala to her. She was surprised, appreciative and quickly became very attached to them, witnessed by her carrying them earnestly. She expressed that there was no need to take the ashes back to America and she is ready to do what is necessary. Maharaja responded immediately and  with the chanting of mantras the ashes, in two urns, were placed in the vault and a slab of concrete was placed on the top. Prior to this time we didn't know what was her intention and arrangements were up in the air. This meeting was supposed to discuss the business of Samadhi for the next day but now it was done. Later Kathryn revealed that tomorrow was her wedding anniversary and she was keen to return to Kolkatta for some shopping etc. but by the Lord's arrangement all was done on Nrsinghadeva appearance day. Regarding the temporary samadhi the arches will be completed with cantilevered brickwork. This structure can be clad with a carved stone covering easily.

Finally we took a quick tour of the Gurukula's beautiful landscaped bathing area, nursery, private gardens, kitchen and prasadam huts. Back to the temple we sped just in time for their breakfast and  the beginning of the Sudharshana yajna.


ys Shanti Parayan das