HG Ananta Shakti das

Ananta Shakti Prabhu joined ISKCON in 1980 and dedicated his life to illustrating books produced by devotees. He also personally produced a number of illustrated devotional books for children. Over time, Ananta Shakti prabhu unfortunately developed Alzheimer, a condition that causes severe memory loss. In February 2024, due to his deteriorating condition, he had to be admitted in a care home located in Borehamwood called The Mead.

The kind and supportive care home manager, Ms. Alison King, together with her deputy, Mr. Ivan Panev, did everything in their power to make Ananta Shakti feel welcome and cared for. Vrajabhumi mataji daily takes freshly cooked prasadam for him and ensures he lacks nothing. She gradually explains to the care home staff about devotee diet and religious principles and shows them the beautiful artworks and books produced by Ananta Shakti. On Saturdays, Prakash prabhu from the Manor kindly visits Ananta Shakti to read and chant with him for several hours. Touched by devotees commitment to care for Ananta Shakti, the care home managers approached Vrajabhumi who replied “Our spiritual master Srila Prabhupada taught us about compassion, I am simply trying to put this into practice”. Touched by what they saw, Alison and Ivan developed an interest in knowing more about Hare Krishna culture.

At their first visit at The Manor, they were greeted by Radha-Mohan prabhu (PR manager) and Hemangi Mataji (Director of Devotee Care) who took them on a tour of the Manor and answered all their questions. When they came for deity darshan both Alison and Ivan were visibly moved. Ivan welled-up as if deeply touched by his first darshan of the divine forms of the Lord. 

Impressed by the non-sectraian principles of Hare Krishna, on return to her office Alison decreed that all employees are to greet Ananta Shakti prabhu at all times with folded hands and say “Hare Krishna”. When the day of Ramnawmi celebration was approaching, she printed and posted on Ananta Shakti’s room door a drawing of Lord Ramachandra with the greeting “Happy Ramnawmi”.

The very next day, four bramacharis – Bhakta Adam, Abdullah I, Abdullah II and Jay Krishna prabhu – from the London temple visited The Mead care home to perform kirtan. They rocked the house so joyfully that one resident even with partially disabled hands began clapping. Seeing the kirtan bliss, Alison gave green light to the brahmacharis to take their chanting into every resident’s room. Ivan was unfortunately absent that day and missed the transcendental fun but later, after watching the videos of the event, he spontaneously compoaed two most beautiful poems to glorify the devotees. Everyone who read them were very astonished by his first time realisations.

The consensus among devotees is despite his debilitating condition Ananta Shakti prabhu continues to be an instrument for spreading the causeless mercy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Dutifully, devotees sponsored and donated one set of Bhagavatam and one set of Chaitanya Charitamrita to the care home for the benefit of residents. All glories to transcendental book distribution. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Composed by the deputy manager Mr. Ivan Panev:

The Monks From The Holy Temple

In the heart of Soho’s vibrant street,
Stands Radhakrishna Temple, a sacred retreat.
Where the divine whispers through halls adorned,
And souls find solace, their spirits reborn.

From this hallowed place, four monks did depart,
With love in their hearts and joy to impart.
Adam, Abdula, Abdula, and Jaja Krishna too,
Carried the Holy Name, pure and true.

They journeyed to The Mead in Borehamwood Fair,
A care home where spirits find tender care.
With instruments in hand, and chants that enthrall,
They brought light and love to one and all.

The air was filled with a melodious tune,
As the monks played music beneath the afternoon’s bloom.
Residents gathered, their faces alight,
Joining the chanting, hearts taking flight.

With each Holy Name, a wave of peace spread,
Awakening joy where once there was dread.
Elderly hands clapped, voices rose high,
In a chorus of praise, beneath the wide sky.

Adam’s serene notes, Abdula’s deep tone,
Together with Abdula, they made the spirit known.
Jaja Krishna led with a radiant grace,
Their music and chanting a divine embrace.

Radhakrishna Temple, your love reaches far,
Bringing unity and peace, like a guiding star.
To The Mead, you brought joy, a heavenly light,
Making hearts dance in pure delight.

In the sacred chants and music’s sweet flow,
A reminder that love continues to grow.
From Soho’s temple to Borehamwood’s door,
The monks’ holy visit will be cherished evermore.

From The Mead with Love ❤️

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