thanks to Dasarathasuta dasa and Satyaraja dasa for their editing work)
The Quotes of appreciation below speak for themselves. Jayananda is loved by all devotees, young and old.
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Thank you for putting such transcendental subjects on the cyber waves.
It’s what they are meant to be used for. What more can I say? Your
writings brought tears to my eyes, and believe me, that’s not easy.
Your hard-hearted servant, Dhruva Maharaja Dasa
Jayananda section...... WOW! MORE MORE MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ll
endeavor to link to that from my UK Ratha-yatra site (in preparation),
your servant, Arjunanatha Dasa
Vishoka Prabhu, please accept my humble obeisances. The work you are
doing is of topmost importance at this time. The message and example of
Sriman Jayananda Prabhu must be circulated throughout the world for the
benefit of all. Your servant, Dasaratha-suta Dasa
Prabhu, I think this page was really a wonderful nectarian experience.
It is rare to find such a perfect devotee save Srila Prabhupada. Again,
thank you for inserting a positive ray of sunshine. I feel, that I have
really come to know Sri Jayananda Thakur, and if I can follow even an
atomic portion of his life, I will consider myself extremely fortunate.
do not want to be presumptuous, but I do want you to know that the
stories you present concerning Srila Jayananda Thakur has had the effect
of introducing him to me, and has given me the understanding that by
following in his footsteps of his Christ like humility and desire to be
pleasing to Srila Prabhupada, the return to Mahaksa Dasa in this form
was not a waste of effort. Mahaksa Dasa
just visited your site and savored the experience of your most recent
song of praise for Jayananda Prabhu - it is so inspiring to hear a
devotee uplift another devotee with such a devotional spirit! Thank you
for the ambrosia. Hare Krishna, Celta
for your latest letter and all that you’ve wrote - especially on
Jayananda!! As usual, I need a tissue box handy when I read what you
write about Jayananda because it speaks to the heart. And when I read
writing such as yours, it further convinces me of the truth of Krishna
Consciousness - it is eternal, and always blissful!! Thanks again
Hari-bol, Damaghosh Dasa
Vishoka Dasa Prabhu, I am in deep appreciation of your transcendental
feelings for Jayananda Prabhu. I believe that in this dark time of
criticizing Vaishnavas, that to see someone doing quite the opposite is
wonderful, and an example for all to follow. Keep up the good work!
humbly, Mithiladhisa Dasa
you so much for your help and inspiration from your web page. I wept
deeply and spontaneously today reading about Jayananda giving his
hospital bed to Srila Prabhupada. Thank you Prabhu, your servant,
Krishna Prema Dasi
really enjoyed your stories about Jayananda - brought tears of joy to my
eyes - he is such a great Vaishnava and continued inspiration to us all.
Haribol, Damaghosh Dasa.
[many, many more quotes on the Jayanandanuga link on the Jayananda.com website].
intentions for writing this book are numerous. Primarily, I wish to
enliven the reader with some amazing stories and sublime qualities of
Jayananda Dasa (Jim Kohr). And there is the hope to instill faith in God
in the readers, just as Jayananda gave me faith, and continues to give
me faith in God. Some readers, such as relatives and friends of Jim Kohr,
may not be familiar with Krishna Consciousness, and we sincerely hope
they will read and benefit from this book. In order to help everyone
enter Jayananda's world, we give a list of Sanskrit terms and
definitions as well as a “who's who” right after this Introduction.
For those who knew Jayananda, I hope the literary experience of my
meditations on him will intensify the rare privileged gift they received
from God by having such a dear person in their lives. And we hope these
memoirs of his devotion will inspire all with the joy and wonder of
God's personal reciprocation with His dear servitors.
Jim Kohr's life was not confined to mere sectarian faith, a prior
understanding of Lord Krishna is not a prerequisite. Although serving
ultimately as a member of the Krishna Consciousness Movement, his life
actually expressed a universal conception of God and the love for God
and His creation, as well as His great mercy shown to His dear
servitors. Jim received boundless mercy from the same God and Father
Who is worshiped by different people in different countries and
religions of the world. He is the same Father Who possesses countless
names such as Jehovah, Yahweh, Allah, Buddha, Rama, and Krishna, ad
infinitum. The same sun shines on everybody's head, and because we
all live in different lands, the sun is known by many different names,
such as el sol, helios, sauil, sonne, the sun, and so forth. Despite
the different names, it is still the same sun. So God is one, although
He is known by so many names, in many different ways.
special mercy upon Jim Kohr may be appreciated by observing his rare
quality of love for all types of people without discrimination. All
men display various forms of affection, as seen in their life's
activities. Some men (if not most) have affection only for themselves.
Such gross selfishness is common in the world. Other men extend their
affection externally, for wife and children. Sometimes it is said that
the purest form of love in this material world is the love of a mother
for her child. Some men love their dog or cat. Some have great
affection for their particular social circle, such as a church group,
or club, or football team, or their comrades in the workplace. Some
extend their affection further to their nation, and some build
hospitals for suffering humanity. And thus we see that men serve their
nation and family and fellow men in various altruistic ways. Still, in
such altruism there is seen a certain amount of extended selfishness
because it is their family, their nation, and ultimately
they serve just to get pleasure from such activities.
the other hand, when we examine the caliber of saints like Jim Kohr, we
find a unique universal affection or love for all of humankind, for all
creatures of God. More important than love for the bodily welfare of
men, such saints work selflessly for the benefit of the immortal souls
of all men. Acting on this exalted stage of love is only possible
through God's grace. The common man can only theoretically imagine such
a state of consciousness, and many of us cannot conceive of it, and even
if we tried to imitate it, we cannot. Jim's life goes beyond all
imagination, for as we see in these narrations, he lived this kind of
divine love practically every minute of his life. Sometimes a person may
argue that such altruistic love may have some vestiges of
self-aggrandizement, being a desire for recognition and fame. But the
reader will readily find that Jim had no such desire for fame in any
way. His life was proof of the great mercy of God upon His dear
servitor. And so by hearing and reading of the activities of Jayananda
the Saint, we get more and more faith in God.
of all kinds of love, there are so many temporary conditions of love
such as love of self, love of man and woman, love of money and power,
love of cats and dogs. And then there is the everlasting love of the
Supreme – love of God and His representatives, or saints. Out of all
types of love, the most intense is the love of saints, who are the
dearmost servitors of God. This is because they bring the reality of the
great mercy of God right into our tangible lives, and they give us
direct experience of what divine love actually is. This is the great
gift of Jayananda's life to everyone who hears of his deeds and
are almost invariably touchstones of mercy to people, seemingly in a
mystical or magical way. They seem to spiritually change the hearts of
others on a regular basis. Jayananda was such a mystical touchstone. He
touched the hearts of so many common workaday people on a daily basis.
Jayananda expressed no flowery beatitudes, no hackneyed religious
catch-phrases, no rote sermon or scripture citing. He gave no soapbox
pontifications or long-winded lectures or high-falutin theological
excursions. No. There was only his pure heart and character and his
simple sharing of the wonders and glories of God. And most importantly,
Jayananda was real. Not contrived or forced or rote. His association and
his loving conversations were real, from the heart. And since his heart
was pure and unmotivated, everybody was moved and affected by his
touchstone of love of God. He spoke in their language, on their level,
telling simple stories or a reflective joke, and those few words laden
with pure intent penetrated their hearts with lasting effect. His spirit
stayed with them, remaining in their hearts, and took residence in their
fond memories of him.
are many great saints in history, both in the Eastern and Western
traditions. The unique distinction of Saint Jayananda is that he was
born in the Western world, yet he is virtually the first Western-born
servant of God to have attained sainthood status within an Eastern
spiritual discipline, namely the ancient tradition of bhakti or
devotion to Lord Sri Krishna. And Jayananda's sainthood has been clearly
established by Krishna Conscious authorities.
their death, most men fade from our memory like a waning moon. But the
fame of saints like Jayananda Thakur increases like a swelling crescent
moon, increasing more and more after their disappearance from the mortal
world. The fame of saints only increase as days go on, yielding
compounded daily spiritual interest, expanding exponentially like the
waxing moon. Indeed, saints like Jayananda Thakur manifest wonders while
living, and their spiritual potency and memory become even more powerful
in their apparent absence. As their spiritual legend grows daily in
power, they thus continue capturing the minds and hearts of generations
far into the future.
Jayananda passed away in 1977, we responded with great sadness. And yet
the news brought no great surprise, as he was ill for some time, and we
were thus expecting that phone call to come any day. At the time, I met
the reality of his disappearance with somewhat stifled emotions. Being
well-trained in the brahmachari ashram, I simply accepted
the fact in the philosophical light of the Bhagavad-Gita –
“Not to lament for the living or the dead.” But still, I went
through the normal amount of lamentation due to separation from a great
Vaishnava and a great friend. I stuffed a lot of emotion down inside and
bottled it up, sealing it with a cork.
adopted this same approach two years earlier when Jayananda had left us
in Berkeley in 1975 to travel on the Radha-Damodara Traveling
Sankirtan Party. I greatly missed his association then, but just
accepted the fact in a philosophical mood. Almost 20 years later, in
1994 I had a profound experience with Jayananda appearing wonderfully in
my dream. This was the night in which I was convinced I was about to die
from a series of heart attacks. Jayananda came to me with such good
timing – it seemed to be at my darkest hour – as a dearmost friend.
It was like a loving reunion after 20 years, with us embracing and
crying on each others' shoulders. The emotional effect on me was
extraordinary. After the dream, all the bottled-up emotions of my grief
came pouring out. The cork popped, and separation flooded my days. Out
of this catharsis of grief came the series of essays posted on my
website that were dedicated to the life and sacred memory of our great
friend and godbrother, Sriman Jayananda Thakur.
speaking with Dhanistha Dasi and reading her book, I felt much wonder
and ecstasy to hear her beautiful memoirs and love for Jayananda Prabhu.
I wanted to share with her my love for Jayananda also. But she had no
computer or e-mail or Internet access, and I realized that many other
Vaishnavas also had no computer. Furthermore, I could suddenly die and
not pay the server bill, and the website would then be lost. And so for
these reasons I wanted to print the contents of the Jayananda website
into a small book for the pleasure of the Vaishnavas. I asked for
blessings from my godbrothers for this small project and was encouraged.
the readers be blessed by these descriptions of Jayananda's wonderful
life. May these narrations enliven the innate blissful nature of the
soul, and thus give spiritual joy to Jayananda's readers. May his
saintliness inspire us all to be more saintly in our lives. May I
fervently attempt to recount his amazing deeds on earth, and how
Jayananda's devotion to Srila Prabhupada and Lord Sri Krishna is the
quintessence of all things beautiful in Krishna's creation. All opulence
on earth appears to be like a twig or pebble in comparison to
Jayananda's brief but great life of devotion. As time goes on, I pray to
always hear from others who received Jayananda's blessed association. It
seems that Jayananda stories are totally unlimited, for I keep hearing
new ones all the time. May the spirit of Jayananda come back to conquer
the great arrogance of this world. May we take up the essence of Lord
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's lower-than-straw third stanza of His Siksastakam,
of which Jayananda is the personification. May I always hanker for the
association of lower-than-straw Jayanandanugas.
servant and friend, Vishoka Dasa