Dear Das and Bhima, Please accept my most humble obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada.
This passing away, leaving the body of ANANTA SHANTI PRABHU is very, very sad and unhappy news for me. He is the number one, LEADING PIONEER DEVOTEE of RUSSIA.
After Srila Prabhupada left Russia, Ananda Shanti never saw Srila Prabhupada again in this life. Srila Prabhupafda sent me to Russia and had me secretly bring him Bhagavad gita As It Is, karatals, harmonium and other things.
We would walk the Red Square and over the river bridge, go shopping for bhoga. There was not much to buy – cabbage, potatoes re-constituted milk, a pretty meager selection of eatable ingredients. I would cook, and we would share prasadam, talking for hours and days.
We would go to his small place. Always he put on some record or radio very loud. First time he did this, I asked him why he was doing this. He said the place is probably bugged. Outside, walking on the Square, or bridge, he was always looking here and there and telling me not to talk loud, because we may be under surveillance and being recorded.
I had to take a tour package with fixed hotel and daily tours about the Moscow city. It was difficult and expensive, but the only way Himavati and I could manage to spend some time with Ananta Shanti.
Once he did a daring thing. He came to the dining room at our hotel, pretending to be a student interested in practicing his English. He sat down at our table, with the official tour guide present, and began talking. It was a good trick. On one trip there, Himavati and I brought him a green down jacket. We took some pictures of him and us on the KRASNA-POLSKI Square.
People were really attracted to Himavati, because she was obviously an American, but was speaking Russian fluently (she was born in the Ukraine), and had nicely braided blonde hair and blue eyes.
The alternative to connecting Russia to Prabhupada was flying over Moscow on our way to INDIA, with a one-night stay-over in a Moscow hotel. Everything would be co-ordinated so that when we were entering the hotel, Ananta Shanti would be exiting. I would put the harmonium, books or whatever down on the ground, and continue to walk, Ananta Shanti would pick these items up, and no one was the wiser.
On one trip the plane was delayed for an hour or more, so instead of just sitting like wooden Indians in the airport, we (about 10 German devotees) decided to have a kirtan. It was amazing. People… guards, airline officials and travelers in general were totally wide-eyed. I thought surely some police or immigration official will stop us from our loud singing and kartals ringing. No one stopped us. I think it must have caught everyone by complete surprise. This continued for about half an hour.
I think this must have been the first Prabhupada disciples’ Sankirtan Party to chant publicly in Russia. You can imagine the exhilaration and joy of the devotees being allowed to sing full volume kirtan, all dressed in robes and shaved up.
I became very attached to Ananta Shanti Prabhu. Everytime I was leaving after a visit with him, I would just weep.
I saw him years later in Vrindaban, India, maybe 1991 – 92? He was with some Russian devotees. One was an officer on a military ship, maybe a submarine. We took some video of these gatherings. It was very sweet.
All glories to Ananta Shanti das, the first RUSSIAN disciple of Srila Prabhupada. Now I can just weep, he was so wonderful.
Your humble servant,
From: “B. Radha-Govinda Swami (ACBSP)”
Date: June 4, 2013 4:01:41 AM GMT+08:00
Subject: Prabhupadas ONLY Russian disciple dies
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Hare Krsna. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Please accept my fallen obeisances. I hope your sadhana and bhajan are going well.
I received the following email from JayaMadhava prabhu below, so I am sending this on to you.
May Ananta Shanti prabhu, who in meeting Srila Prabhupada when His Divine Grace went to Russia, surrendered to Srila Prabhupada’s Lotus Feet, accepting initiation from Srila Prabhupada, and preaching Krsna consciousness to the Russian people, remain eternally engaged in pure, unalloyed, loving devotional service to Srila Prabhupada’s Lotus Feet.
I pray that all of you please be well, and may we all be safely situated under the shelter of Srila Prabhupada’s Lotus Feet, Those of our Guru Varga, the Vaisnavas, and Sri Sri Radha and Krsna.
— On Mon, 6/3/13,.com> wrote:
Subject: Details are emerging Prabhupadas ONLY Russian disciple dies
To: “B. Radha-Govinda Swami (ACBSP)”
Date: Monday, June 3, 2013, 5:19 AM
Ananta Shanti das (acbsp)Prabhu
Prabhupads ONLY Russian disciple- died suddenly
of a brain Hemmorage in hospital-last night (moscow time)
Thats all I know for now…….
It happened yesterday prabhu’s
Ill fill you in as I find out more details…Pray for him
Thank you all
Jaya Madhava das-Moscow Russia