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The beautiful life of

Jayananda Thakur

 Ordering information and introduction



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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Tom Clothier

Rd 1 Box 296B

Moundsville WV 26041


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Quotes of appreciation- 

Prabhu, 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

The 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

Dear 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

Dear 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. Haribol, Bharat

I 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

I 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

Thanks 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

Dear 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

Thank 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

I 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 website].




The 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.

Because 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.

God's 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.

On 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.

Out 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 qualities.

Saints 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.

There 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.

After 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.

When 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.

I 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.

After 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.

May 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.

 His servant and friend, Vishoka Dasa

more excerpts here- excerpts and index



   Jayanandanugas   BTG Interview    His Own Words Astro Chart His Gita Class   Ode to Jayananda   Family Selected Verses Quotes and Letters JayaIndex Jayakatha   Home

Vyasa puja offerings   Poems Gunga express Ratha-yatra site










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