To A Lovely Person
One of the senior members of the Krishna community has passed away this morning. Dr. Gelda, also known by his Sanskrit name as Shukadev, was driving home from the club when his heart failed. Fortunately his automobile safely spun into a parking lot. He was 85.
Shukadev loved Srila Prabhupada, the guru of the Hare Krishna, who became the most influential person in his life. He would share with family and friends the story of the 70 year old swami from India who embarked on a ship in 1965 coming penniless to New York City. He would tell how this great spiritual pioneer became know as Swamiji in the beginning and later more reverentially as Prabhupada, attracted the hippies, artists, musicians, intellectuals and free spirited youth of the time and set them on a path of positive direction.
I ventured over to Trillium Hosptial where Shukadeva lie. His family of two generations his junior and friends were there in mourning. We chanted for him in that crammed hospital room, the emergency department.
Shukadeva would have been happy to know that his departure a huge shipment of Prabhupada books arrived at the downtown Krishna temple; books that land in the laps of some lucky readers who chose to purchase them. I was impressed with the monkey chain formed by the young men of our community to carry heavy box after heavy box of these books. They looked like Hanuman and the Simian army carrying boulders to build the causeway over the Indian Ocean. They were loving it.
Shukadev is smiling because of the book invasion. I was happy to see the fun myself.
Condolences to the family of Shukadev who has a lovely heart.