My favorite photo of Swami Mukund Hariji Maharaj
¸. *ღ☆¸.•°*♥ JAI SRI KRISHNA! ¸. *ღ☆¸.•°*♥
Sri Asim Krsna Dasji in Vrindavan
So, Dr. Asim Krishna Das was born as Alan A. Shapiro on a Thursday,
July 6,1944 in New York City, of a very very Jewish family!
He said he was still in collage when he got drafted, and dodged it by
moving to Canada and even had a Canadian Pass Port!
Then he went for sometime to Paris, learned fluent French (as he later
did Hindi and Sanskrit). He travelled through Europe and I have
written earlier in my blog about how he came into India in 1969, as
a tourist and at an Ashram in Bhatinda, Punjab,was directed to go and
meet Sri Krishna in Vrindavan by Sankirtana Samrat Swami Mukunda Hari!Once in Sri Vrindavan he took as his Guru Swami Bon Maharaj,
Bhakti Hridaya Bon Tridandi Swami, Gaudiya Math, founder of the
Institute of Oriental Philosophy, Vrindavana. He also translated into English
saw Asim, shaved head, smiling and wearing a doti and Tulsi mala etc.,
so he had already been initiated by then. I only later met him in the company
of Sripad Babaji, that same year. By that time he was a serious studentof Sanskrit, but there was always much tapsya whenever in the company
of Baba Sripadji! He was in this state of Bhakti-tapsya, or Prem inspired
Vairagya, full of bhava and moving with Babaji in all of Vraj Bhoomi,
mostly in Sri Vrindavan for years. One of his greatest friends, whom he
shared much in common with was Shyam Das, and they were sometimes
together in the company of the great Lineage Holder of the Pushti Marg,
Sri Prathameshji Maharaj. Here with Asim and Radha Dasi is where I
first met Shyam Dasji and had a very wonderful darshan of Maharajji.
I remember that Asim and Shyam Das would suddenly start speaking
with each other in French!! It was a chaurasi kosi somewhere in Govardhan
When President Carter, promised to give entrance to all draft dodgers,
Asim's parents prevailed on him to came back to the USA to complete
his undergraduate degree at the City of College of New York.
Radha Dasi and I saw him off at the Delhi Airport wearing his doti as usual!
While studying he also drove a taxi in Manhattan during the nightwith Sri Bankey Bihari's photo up in front of him. After graduating to
get entrance back into India and his beloved Vrindavan, he entered
Columbia Univ. and started his Doctorate. Sub: Shalagram! He said
he chose this subject because all the other Vaishnava subjects for
dissertation had already been done at Columbia!! Once back in Vrindavan
I met him among all his books and he laughed and said I used to be a poor
Bhakta here, and now that I have this scholarship they pay me to live here!
He often visited Nepal for his research on Shalagrams. It was a fascinating
subject as he spoke of it, and would show shaligrams and explain the intricate
beauty and details of each one.
So, around 1992 he received his PhD in Sanskrit at Columbia University.In Vrindavan he was Assistant Director of the Research Center at Sri
Chaitanya Sampraday. Here he supervised the creation of a bibliography
of sources on the history of Vraj, the poet saints of Vraj, for the Indira
Gandhi National Centre of Arts, New Delhi. He said it was amazing, that
the more they searched throughout Vraj villages, the more old manuscripts
and paintings were discovered!He also worked with the Vijayanagara Research Project for 5 yrs.
translating the Pampamahatmya. This, too he totally enjoyed.
His book written in Vrindavan at his room in Jaisingh Ghera is
"Evening Blossoms: The Temple Tradition of Sanjhi in Vrndavana" 1996.
There were several trips in South India and abroad where he would meet
Shyam Das and friends...of beautiful Sat Sangs...
In 1997 Asim Krsna Das Baba became ill and was eventually taken
to Hospital where I visited him again in Delhi, but since arrival there he was
unconscious! They said that he did not want to go to Delhi, refused and
became unconscious in Vrndavana only, while in the taxi!
The Delhi Doctors said he had some kind of Meningitis.I met his sister from Israel who had come to the hospital in Delhi.
His ashes were taken back to his beloved Sri Vrndavana where they
were put into the Yamuna River with chanting and proper ceremony.
Dear friend Asim Krsna Das now dances eternally with his Beloved
Sri Radha Giridhari Lalji in amazing Goloka!!
¸. *ღ☆¸.•°*♥ JAI SRI KRISHNA! ¸. *ღ☆¸.•°*♥