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Disappearance Day of Sri Jayananda Prabhu

May 24

The test of a theory is in its implementation. While one can spend a lot of time analyzingthe process of bhakti, faith readily comes when one sees the theoryin action. Jayananda Prabhu is such a devotee who exemplified in analmost classical manner the process of bhakti from inception tocompletion. When he left his body on May 1, 1977, Srila Prabhupadainstructed that his disappearance day should be celebrated as that of a great Vaisnava. Observing the pastimes of such devotees greatly reaffirms one’s faith in the process of bhakti.

The background
Jim Kohr was the all-American boy. Handsome, strong, intelligent born in an upper middle-class family. A good student, he took a degree in mechanical engineering from Ohio State University. However despite his outward trappings of success, he was often unhappy, empty and dissatisfied with the material conception of life. Jim did not fit into the upper classcrowd, so it was not very surprising that he ended up driving cabsin San Francisco. Though an introspective person, he was not reallyreligious. His depression was almost suicidal when in 1967 he happened toread a small article in the San Francisco paper about an IndianSwami who had come to the Bay area to propagate the chanting of thenames of God. For some reason the article ignited a ray of hope within him. He resolved to attend the lecture of the Indian Swami.

In the Bhagavad Gita (7.16), Krishna says, ‘four kinds of pious men begin to render devotional service unto Me — the distressed, the desirer of wealth, the inquisitive, and he who is searching for knowledge of the Absolute.’ Jim was searching for answers from the material miseries, and in such a mood took his first step towards his destiny.


May 24