Death of a Younger Father

By Srila Jiva Goswami dasa

Mukta Kasa Prabhu had a funny way of chanting Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. I used to tease him by getting up in his grill and intoning, “Hey ditty ditty,” as if that was what he was actually saying. In thundering tones, he would boom, “Hare Krsna ….” (Pause) “Hare Krsna …” (Another long pause) “Krsna Krsna …” (You get the idea) “Hare Hare.” Here it sounded as if he was done but he’d pick it up again with: “Hare Rama …” (Windows rattle) “Hare Rama …” (Operator will be with you shortly) Then suddenly would come the part I’d tease him about: “Ram Ram Ram, Hi ditty ditty!” The last portion spilled out like a boat popping over a waterfall. Then he’d begin again.

While he chanted so, Mukta Prabhu strode rapidly. I imagined I could see little puffs and jets of smoke at his heels.

We got along wonderfully, I thought. The thing is, like many people, I loved Mukta Kasa Prabhu.

I guess that affection began at the first Mongol Aortik I ever attended, back in the Columbus Temple. Mukta and Loka often led a Kirtan with a Calypso beat which would drive me nuts. I loved to dance when Mukta or Loka led a Kirtan, it was so … New York to me. Lord Caitanya, of course, did what He does, that is, act like a Deity, but I imagined that He was pleased at the Belafonte like tones of Mukta and Loka. I know I was!

We had all made obeisances when the curtain opened, and on this first morning when I met him, Mukta was leading the Kirtan. The subtle beat was infectious, in the best sense of the word. I shouted and sang with such abandon and joy that I accidentally blew the caps off my front teeth. I know … that is moochy, Prabhu. It was an accident. It had never happened before and has not happened since. After Aortik, one of the Devotees actually found and returned my caps to me, and I stuck them back in my skull.

The point I’m trying to make here is that I was of course, very inexperienced, but I was also very very happy. At one point in fact, as I harmonized in joyous abandon, I noticed that everyone had stopped singing. The sparkling Kirtan had come to a halt, and all were looking at me. Everyone was waiting. Even Lord Caitanya seemed to pause, and you know THAT is quite a trick, to see a Deity pause. How did He do that?

The reason everyone had stopped was because I had in my wild (and newly toothless) crazed enthusiasm, usurped the turn of the Kirtan Leader. All the Devotees assembled there now waited for me to go on. Narada Muni made a welcome type gesture. Mukta smiled at me and beckoned with his plate size karatels.

I would not do this though. I was a stone cold new comer. I could not and would not lead a Kirtan. After too long a delay, Mukta began again, and the Kirtan proceeded normally, if we may call such ecstasy “normal.” Nothing was ever said about this incident until now. In fact, because everyone understood, it is a stretch to call this an incident, but it was very much reinforcement for me with regard to loving the Devotees, and in particular, adoring Mukta Kasa Prabhu.

As a Bhakta, selling candles for the “Nandagrama Boys School” in front of one of the local Kroger’s, I made friends with one of the shoppers. Later, I went to visit her several times. It was awkward, naturally, to try consorting with a woman and simultaneously learn to embrace the tenets of Krsna Consciousness. I heard about the dusting after bathing propensity of the elephant. The girl should have been visiting us in the Temple, but I was going out to her place.

One evening, the lady called me at the Temple. We were talking, and Mukta came along. “Is that your girl friend?” he asked. I nodded affirmatively.

“Give me the phone,” Mukta commanded. He wagged his fingers in my direction. “I’ll fix her up for you.” Without hesitation, I handed the phone over. I was honored. Although Mukta’s body was younger than mine, like most Devotees, to me, he was like a parent.

I had not concealed from the girl the fact that I was trying to learn how to act just like the Devotees and to Serve the Devotees. I was very glad Mukta had taken it upon himself to intervene on my behalf.

As it turned out, Mukta brought new meaning to the term “intervene.”

“Hello?” he roared into the phone. He began walking back and forth as if he was chanting. “Is this Bhakta Jesse’s girlfriend?” I nodded to myself in satisfaction. What superior preaching message would Mukta come out with?

“I just want you to know that every drop of semen he passes is like a quart of blood.” Mukta announced. His voice was like a fog horn. “Leave him alone.”

I was astonished. I hadn’t been passing semen with the lady, but I suppose I would have eventually. Not to worry. Beaming broadly, Mukta handed the phone back to me. “I fixed her up for you,” he said. To me, it seemed that Mukta was offering protection.

“Hello?” I said. “Hello?” The phone was dead. Mukta pranced away in that high stepping gait you sometimes see when a football player crosses the goal line. I never saw or spoke to that girl again.

Over the ensuing years, I did get to talk with Mukta however. I don’t know about other people, but to me, Mukta was one someone I just instantly loved.

I felt understanding on all the things he did which I knew of. Mukta seemed to me to always always care and try. He never uttered an unfriendly word to me. To me, Mukta’s key feature was a sprit of giving and openness. He seemed, by my lights, to be devoid of false ego. I saw a cheerful flavor in all, even the suffering, which he did. I miss him, yet he is in my heart. I see him strutting. I hear him chanting. I wonder and hope that after my death, I will get to be with him sometimes forever again, my younger Elder God Brother, Mukta Kasa Prabhu.

Information and Links

Join the fray by commenting, tracking what others have to say, or linking to it from your blog.

Reader Comments

Dear Srila Jiva Goswami prabhu,
I would just like to let you know that I find your Krishna Conscious writing entertaining, humourous and heart-warming. Thankyou.

It is very kind of you to say so. May I go, “Right back atcha?” AND your web site ( is very very excellent to me.
Very respectfully
jivajiva (President Club Services)

Everyone who met Mukta, loved him.
And everyone Mukta met, he loved.
Especially the devotees.
Srila Prabhupada gave us a special gift. We are learning how to love each other and depend and trust each other.. to demonstrate to the world
the purity of our hearts, by chanting and hearing about Krsna, Govinda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although the pain we feel in Mukta’s separation is unbearable, we must remember that his desire was to remind us of our benidiction, and begged that we remind him. We can best honor Mukta by chanting our rounds, and trying to remember the ideals he fought so valiantly to
honor in life. Hari bol Mukta.
We miss you..