Nitai das, a young devotee who was manifesting a fresh vision of preaching in today’s society, was snatched from our midst a couple of days ago along with two of his companions in a car wreck.  He was beloved by many including his guru, Radhanath Swami with whom he had traveled extensively.

He was the broad thinker behind Krishna Kitchen, a prasadam distribution network that distributed at festivals of forward thinking individuals. He was most famous for feeding a 1000 people a day at Burning Man.

The day we heard, there was an gathering at the temple in the evening which I attended. During the arotik when the ghee lamp came out and was taken around the crowd, the etiquette of first offering it to the Prabhupada disciples was being observed.

I noted the first one was in a motorized wheelchair, and the second had a pair  of crutches laying on the floor besides him.  The thought crossed my mind that if  a Prabhupada disciple had passed away, certainly there would be sadness and a sense of loss, but not the shock that accompanied the news that Nitai had left his 31 year old body.

Death for a Prabhupada disciple is getting to be an age appropriate activity. You don’t expect it  in a bright young life.

After the arotik was finished, a slow bhajan was held in a minor key. Here is a rendition of the song.

“Je anilo” is a trtaditional Bengali bhajan sung for departed vaisnavas.

Here is the English translation:

1) He who brought the treasure of divine love and who was filled with compassion and mercy–where has such a personality as Advaita Acarya gone?

2) Where are my Svarupa Damodara and Rupa Gosvami? Where is Sanatana? Where is Raghunatha Dasa, the savior of the fallen?

3) Where are my Raghunatha Bhatta and Gopala Bhatta, and where is Krsnadasa Kaviraja? Where did Lord Gauranga, the great dancer, suddenly go?

4) I will smash my head against the rock and enter into the fire. Where will I find Lord Gauranga, the reservoir of all wonderful qualities?

5) Being unable to obtain the association of Lord Gauranga accompanied by all of these devotees in whose association He performed His pastimes, Narottama Dasa simply weeps.

A Facebook page to share memories of Nitai has been set up and you are invited to visit.

A fund has been set up for the final expenses of the three devotees by KMA so please consider making a donation here.