It is with a heavy heart that I inform the worldwide ISKCON community that Braja Vilas prabhu, the Global Fundraising Director for the TOVP project is now at the Bhaktivedanta Hospital in Mumbai after sustaining injuries due to a car accident on Saturday, March 3rd, and I request you to please pray for his full and quick recovery.
On the afternoon of March 3rd Braja Vilas left ISKCON Mayapur for Kolkatta on his way to attend meetings in Mumbai to discuss the temple’s full commitment to fundraising exclusively for the TOVP for the next four years. While departing he felt something was wrong and decided to stop at the Rajpur Jagannatha Temple about three miles away to receive the blessings of Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra, although he had never done such a thing before when leaving Mayapur. He arrived during the Nrsimha prayers and the pujari offered him a garland as prasadam from the Deities which he happily accepted.
Shortly after resuming the drive, he began to read a book written by His Holiness Bhakti Purushottama Swami, prophetically entitled “Death”, but decided to rest instead. Waking up after a few minutes, he found himself in a car tumbling in circles off the side of the road. He was taken to a hospital in Kolkatta and then transferred to the Bhaktivedanta Hospital in Mumbai. He is in stable condition, suffering only pain due to major bruises and some broken bones, but is fully conscious and in good spirits.
He has asked me to write to all the devotees and express his realizations from such a close encounter with death. The fact is, we do not know when we might leave this world. It is a realm of misery and suffering, confirmed by Lord Krishna Himself as “a place of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place”. Our main duty and responsibility to ourselves, our family and the world is to get out and go back to Godhead through the process of intense, determined and unalloyed devotional service to the Lord and His representative Srila Prabhupada. He wants this experience to serve as a lesson to all devotees that we must be attentive to our service in general and to the TOVP specifically by fulfilling our pledged contributions before death, which can come at any time, separates us from this world.
In Braja Vilasa’s case, the Lord saved him so he can continue with his mission to build the TOVP. Others amongst us may not be so fortunate and should take their commitments very seriously to complete their pledges as soon as possible. This is his lesson and message to all devotees.
Just see the heart of the true bhakta. Even when faced with death he finds a way to step on his (death’s) head and continue his service to the Lord. Braja Vilas prabhu wants to use his own tragedy as an example to everyone of how fragile our lives are and how serious we must be NOW in our Krishna consciousness to serve the Lord with heart and soul.
Please pray for the well-being and recovery of this dedicated soul who has no purpose in life except to fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s desire to build this wonderful adbhuta mandir, the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium. Follow in his footsteps and assist him in this endeavor by giving your utmost to complete the TOVP within the next four years by 2022. This is our MISSION 22.