Following this year’s Gaura Purnima celebrations, two serious road accidents took place, directly involving seven ISKCON devotees and many more indirectly: their family members and friends. In addition, these devotees have been working with ISKCON’s Congregational Development Ministry, as community preachers (Mathuradesh) and editorial staff (Mayapur).
Both accidents took place the day after Gaura Purnima, 12 March 2009.
In “Mathuradesh,” a country in the Persian Gulf, five devotees returned from a late night celebration in a village in the interior of the country, organized by Radhakanta Prabhu, the owner of the car.
Having been diagnosed with a heart problem recently Radhakanta Prabhu didn’t drive himself; unknown to the others, the devotee who did drive also had a heart problem and either suffered a heart attack or fell asleep, causing the accident in which the following devotees left their bodies:
- Radhakanta Prabhu
- Adi Gopeswara Prabhu
- Aravinda Prabhu
- Bhakta Rajesh Prabhu
- Bhakta Manohar Prabhu
“Radhakanta was a very enthusiastic and successful preacher, and we expected great services from him on his return to Kerala after his stint in the Gulf. As he was to come to India, soon to undergo a heart operation, he had been very eager to conduct the Gaura Purnima program for a group of devotees in a small town in the Interior. His face, when he left his body was serene, and he had his japa mala in his hands. He leaves behind a wife, a teenage son, and pre-teen daughter, all wonderful devotees for many years in Mathuradesh.”
Vijay Venugopal Prabhu,
Vaisnava Blog Feeds
The other accident occurred on the way from Sri Mayapur to the airport in Kolkata. Jahnudvipa Prabhu and his wife Braja Sevaki Mataji had almost reached their destination when the vehicle they travelled in hit a truck coming from the opposite direction.
Photo: ISKCON News
At this time the cause of the accident has not been officially confirmed, but it seems likely that the driver of the car fell asleep. HH Janananda Maharaja, quoted by Hari Sauri Prabhu in an article at news.iskcon.com:
“…nothing can be done about the nature of the drivers who regularly threaten the lives of devotees and others going and coming to Mayapura. I have given up counting the number of near head on accidents I have witnessed over the years. The road is bad but not nearly as bad as the drivers. Especially devotees who have taken up taxi driving seem especially good at deadly driving. It is so painful to hear of yet another accident.”
Hari Sauri Prabhu, in his latest update on the status of Jahnudvipa Prabhu and Braja Sevaki Mataji, published at Vaishnava Blog Feeds:
“I went with Tridandi dasa and Bhakti Fabio to see Braja Sevaki yesterday afternoon (Friday) at the Apollo hospital and she is doing relatively well. She had plastic surgery the evening before, so her face is a patchwork of stitches, but the swelling has gone down about 2/3. She will need two more ops. on her face, her left wrist is broken, she had a another minor op. to suck out some air that was forming in her rib cage due to a punctured lung, but she is not in any danger and its really just a question of time for healing. We were able to speak to her for about 20 minutes and she is in relatively good spirits. She should be out of the ICU in about 6 days.
“Jahnudvipa had some surgery the evening of the first day, to ensure that his punctured lungs would not collapse. He is under sedation and went under the knife again late yesterday afternoon for a 6-7 hours operation to fix his jaw which has been shattered, and his arms which have multiple breaks. He was sitting in the seat directly behind the driver. He will need more operations in the coming weeks because he has multiple breaks all over his body. He also has a punctured liver and the next few days will reveal whether he has any further damage to any other organs. He has a fracture at the back of his skull but apart from some bruising he does not appear to have suffered any brain damage. His prognosis is however more positive and the fact that they chose to operate yesterday afternoon is a good sign that he is getting a little stronger.
“The driver may or may not lose his leg, depending on the success of the operation he underwent. Otherwise he has no other major injuries.”
Jahnudvipa Prabhu and Braja Sevaki Mataji are well loved and respected members of Sri Mayapur’s devotee community. On many occasions they have been helping our Ministry with editorial and other work. Please join us in our prayers that they will fully recover from this terrible accident and be able to continue their service to Guru, Krishna, and the Vaisnavas.