A glowing example of surrender unto the lotus feet of Their Lordships Sri Sri Gaura Nitai
Glowing examples of devotees surrendering unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are abundant in the scriptures and history. But they are quite rare in this modern age of Kali. Even then such rare examples set a revolutionary tone in both the spiritual and material societies. Such examples show the path for others to follow along. Let’s look at such an example – a particular devotee, whose life and the example of utmost surrender, is certainly one that is inspiring and heart-touching.
On the 5th of November, 1953, Sri Narayan Chandra Roy (HG Laxmi Narayan Das) was born into an orthodox religious family in the district of Brahmanbaria of Bangladesh. Losing his mother at the tender age of 7/8 his childhood was indescribably painful and miserable being detached from the loving affection of his mother. He continued his studies amidst huge financial crisis. But being a meritorious student, he studied with scholarships of full tuition fees from the 1st grade till his Masters. He was awarded the prestigious 1st Class Government Scholarship during his Masters in Commerce. Looking at the pathetic situation of the living entities getting entangled in illusory entrapments, he had decided to take up teaching at a public university while studying the scriptures for getting the topmost knowledge from them in his leisure. But even 6 months before completing his Masters, he was recruited by a Government Bank as a 1st Class Officer. Thus after completing his Masters he joined the bank. As his aim was to join the teaching profession, he obtained a Scholarship from the University Grand Commission of India to study PhD at Delhi University, but the bank declined his request for a release order, and thus denied him of the chance to do his thesis. Later on he left the government bank to join an international bank at more than double the salary. He retired in November, 2013 at the age of 60, leaving his last assignment as the Head of Audit and Inspections. His career in the banking field lasted for about 36 years.
3. Sowing the Seed of the Creeper of Devotion
As a orthodox religious family, there used to be pujas and festivals around the year. Whenever his father used to read the Gita in the morning, he would crawl on his knees and sit there listen to it. He would cry out loudly if one would not give him prasadam first. He would leave behind his studies at times and attend the family or village religious programs. Even sometimes he would go to the potter’s area and bring deities of various demigods and goddesses, worship them and immerse them in the river before returning home in the evening to study. Right from his childhood he loved to hear and chant the Mahamantra. He would rush to any kirtan or bhajan anywhere in the nearby villages. Sometimes he would not even return home that night, and would just immerse himself in the Mahamantra for the whole night. Even today, when he hears of any Kirtan Mela or Kirtan Festival or any such festivals, he would rush to the farthest of places, country to country even. The descendant of Mahaprabhu in Srihatta (present day Sylhet, Bangladesh) has been their family’s spiritual master or Kulaguru for many generations. His whole family, even his nephews and nieces have all been initiated by him quite easily, but he doesn’t care for any of the principles and regulations. Due to the birth of his only child, his family could not have any function for the death anniversary of his father. As such the elders of the family advised him to give a vaisnava feast. And so during his son’s 11th birthday, he gave feast to about 2000 to 2200 vaisnavas. The elders of the family secretly arranged for an initiation ceremony from their Kulaguru, but his son at that young age had been observing ISKCON and its activities on the internet, and opposed it saying “Father, he is not a bonafide spiritual master. If we are to take initiation, we must take it from a Guru in ISKCON”. Everyone in the family including the Kulaguru was dissatisfied and upset over this. This was the beginning of a long-lost connection of him and his family with ISKCON and Mahaprabhu.
4. Grhastha Asram
When his elder brother, the eldest of the family, decided to give business in the adjoining village market and leave behind his family, his father was quite aggrieved. Although he was following the rules and regulations of Brahmacharya staying while staying at home, and had decided to not marry at all, he got married at the bequest of his father at the age of 34. They had a son after 1.5 years of marriage. His wife is currently working as a Senior Bank official while his son is working as a teacher at one of the most prestigious and established English Medium Schools of the country.
5. Joining the Krishna Consciousness Movement
His only son Shubhojit Roy (HG Subal Sakha Dasa) got to know about ISKCON from the internet. After he went further and further into the world of ISKCON, he understood and realized the significance of coming Back to Godhead. He inspired and encouraged his parents to join this movement. They had started going to the local ISKCON Temple since 1999 and from 2004 joined the movement actively. Coincidentally the place where ISKCON GBC & Guru His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami and HG Laxmi Narayan Prabhu’s ancestral home falls in the same district. His wife, his son and him, and also the cook of their house took initiation from His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami. HG Laxmi Narayan Prabhu is quite dear to Maharaja, and Maharaja gave him 1st Initiation and 2nd Initiation within gap of just 1.5 years. He is currently playing a significant role in the administration and managerial activities as well as the preaching activities of the ISKCON Preaching Center in Maharaja’s birthplace. In addition to this, he is working towards acquiring a plot of land in his spiritual master’s birthplace for building a magnificent temple in honor of his spiritual master’s contribution to Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON.
There is a beautiful alter in his house, where he worships his deities in the utmost loving devotion, five times a day. He is also preaching among the householders in the city of Dhaka, where he resides. On 30th March, 2009, his spiritual master came to his house for taking lunch prasadam. At that time in a frank conversation, His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami had instructed him to acquire a piece of land, where all the householder devotees can live together in harmony. Taking the words of his spiritual master into his heart, he founded the “Devotee Welfare Multipurpose Cooperative Society” and serving as its able President, has acquired two pieces of land in the suburbs of Dhaka city, where 48 members of the society can build their apartments and live together in harmony. He has also served as the Temple President of the ISKCON Temple at his ancestral district of Brahmanbaria.
6. His dedication and surrender to the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead
From the very start of his service life, he has been very thrifty and saved wherever and however he could just for contributing to build a temple in service to Krishna and Mahaprabhu. In the long 36 years of his banking career, whatever he had saved, he invested to get the greatest profits. And, at the end of his banking career, whatever pension he got, he has been spending the maximum of it for the construction of a temple and related works.
After his father passed away, he inherited a small piece of land. He constructed a Pancatattva Temple in that piece of land in 1995, where every year during Gaura Purnima, a big Kirtan Mela Festival is held. He tried to acquire pieces of land adjoining his ancestral home for constructing an even bigger temple, but after 2-3 years of negotiations, he couldn’t buy it. And then he planned to build a temple on the piece of land where the current ISKCON establishment is situated in Brahmanbaria. He, along with the General Secretary of ISKCON National Committee of Bangladesh, engaged in negotiations for registrations, but this effort also went in vain, as the negotiations fell apart due to differences in opinions among the present trustees. Laxmi Narayan Prabhu was a bit saddened, and then tried to acquire a piece of land in Sri Vrindavan Dham for building a temple there. When he asked for permission and blessings from his spiritual master, but His Holiness was silent on this issue. Prabhu took this as a sign and didn’t go through with this.
At last he got in touch with HG Vraja Vilasa Prabhu, the Director of Donor Development of the Temple of Vedic Planetarium, Srila Prabhupada’s dream temple. Vraja Vilasa Prabhu encouraged and motivated Laxmi Narayan Prabhu through scriptural references to abandon plans for building a temple on his own, and instead contribute generously to the Largest Temple in the World where a name plate can recognize his contribution to this project. Vraja Vilasa Prabhu’s motivation moved Laxmi Narayan Prabhu to such an extent that not only did he donate, he doubled the amount, abandoning some of his other plans. Recognizing such a rare example of dedication and contribution to Their Lordships Sri Sri Gaura Nitai the management of the TOVP decided to honor him by placing a separate name plate below the Gaura Nitai Mosaics that are going to adorn the two main pillars of the TOVP at the front side, since he has donated the majority of his life savings and retirement pension unto the lotus feet of Their Lordships Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, and thus made it the perfection of his life. Along with this His name will be included on a separate marble plaque of donors who have donated to the Pancatattva Seva Club. Such an example will etched onto the heart of thousands of pilgrims, tourists, devotees and well-wishers as they look at the giant display of mosaic of Gaura Nitai and the name plate, and realize the greatness of this soul.
7. Appeal to all
It is the earnest request of the TOVP that if HG Laxmi Narayan Prabhu can donate everything he had unto the lotus of the Lord for this great cause, then we can certainly follow along the footsteps and the path he created, and donate even a small amount of our wealth to build the largest temple in the world. We place our request and call out to those of you who have been given immense financial stability, to come forward and look at this devotee’s example and contribute something for this great cause.
We pray to Their Lordhsips for HG Laxmi Narayan Prabhu, so that he may return back to the abode of the Lord, be placed in an engaging service of the Lord and thus attain spiritual perfection, just as he has attained perfection in the material world. We also pray that his glowing example can enlighten others and melt their hearts to come forward for this project.