The Kidnapping of Hanumanji

by Saci mata dd

This is the story of the day the N.V. management decided to give our beautiful Sita, Ram, Hanuman, Laksman Deities away. It was a gloomy day for the residents of New Vrindaban Dhama. All the mothers (well most of them) were crying, and the morning program was an extremely sad experience. After the Greeting of the Deities was over, it was time to take the Deities away. They said there weren´t enough pujaris to take care of Them properly and They were going to Towaco, where the devotees there would offer Them proper facility and worship. So we weren´t supposed to be sad, but glad that they would be taken care of in better fashion.

Still it was heartbreaking. Anyway, they began with Ramachandra, then Sita, then Laksman´s turn, and all the while the devotees would be chanting as they carried Their Lordships out to Malati´s van. As each Deity was taken, Mother Premika, would lie down on the altar, trying to block them from taking the next Deity, but they wound up just carrying the Deity over her and stepping over her as well. Little did they know that as they brought Laksman to the van, and were busy tying up the Deities to keep Them safe for travelling in the van, Premika decided to help Hanuman stay at New Vrindaban. No one actually saw her do it, but she managed to take Hanuman from the altar, put Him in her car, and speed off down the road. As soon as they realized that Hanuman was gone, it was evident that Premika had pulled off the job.

I was hanging out at the front of the temple, with Jayamurari and Patrick, Tilakini, and some others. We were all talking and actually laughing cause it was kind of funny. The managers at the time, Jayasri, Nityo Dita, and Malati were really mad and quite frantic.

After a while, I decided to go home for breakfast, and lo and behold I´m driving up to the house and I see an old Mercedes in my driveway, I´m thinking, who could that be, no one usually comes over this early in the morning. And then it hits me, oh my God, it´s Premika. I walk in the house and sure enough she´s sitting there with Sacipita and Nitchi eating breakfast.

They take me into Cai´s room, and lo and behold there´s HanumanJi in the closet. Next thing, the phone rings, it´s Krpamaya from down the road. ¨Saci, they´re coming to get Hanuman, they´re driving over.¨I´m like, “What??? I don´t know what you´re talking about Krpamaya.¨ He said, “Listen, I´m just giving you a warning. haribol!¨ So, me, Nitchi and Premika try and figure out what to do, while Sacipita is finding the whole episode quite amusing, as he hasn´t been down to the temple recently he is thankful that Hanuman came to visit him.

Anyway, we convince Premika to take off quick and try and get away, because they were saying down at the temple that they were going to have her prosecuted for grand larceny!!!! So she leaves, and me and Nitchi gently take Hanuman down to the woods. We figured that He is used to living in the forest, and would be quite comfortable there. We carried him down a hill scooped out a large hole put some nice soft leaves in there, and some cloth and laid Him down. Then we covered him with my coat, and more leaves and quickly climbed back up the hill.

Next thing, here come the police up the drive.I told Sacipita, much to his dismay, that I wasn’t giving up Hanuman and that I would go to jail if need be. But I wanted to prove that the Deities were badly wanted and needed to stay at New Vrindaban. So a knock at the door, and a police officer had come, he goes, ¨Where´s the monkey?¨ I say, “Monkey?? What monkey?” He says again, much more sternly, ¨Where is the monkey¨, I tell him “Officer, there is no monkey here, would you like to search my house? You won´t find him here I assure you. ” He then says, “Listen madam, the person that stole the monkey has already been stopped down the road, she will get charged with grand larceny, but you will get charged with Conspiracy, which is an even worse crime, so you better tell me where he is right now. ”

By this time, Sacipita is getting really upset with me. I look at my daughter, and my husband’s face, and decide that we better take the officer to Hanuman. He actually turned out to be a really nice guy, and I managed to tell him a condensed story of the Ramayana, and fill him in on the politics of the Sita Ram situation down at the temple.

He says, “This sounds like a managerial problem to me, I´m going to talk with the authorities and tell them, this Deity Monkey and the others seemed to be wanted here, and they should reconsider. Don´t worry we will treat the monkey with great respect at the station. Because he was stolen, I´ll probably have to take Him to the Police station.”

We then carried Hanuman up to the police car, and with tears in our eyes handed Him over to the Officer.

The Police officer then met up with Jayasri, Malati, and Nityo at her van, and told them he was successful in recapturing the Monkey. The rest is history, off they went to Towaco, where They still reside today.

Anyway, here I am in Costa Rica on Ramachandra´s Appearance day, and even though I always enjoy this festival at New Vrindaban, it always makes me sad and reminds me of this day. And I know that the New Vrindaban Brijabasis always feel some pain in their hearts on this day while chanting in separation to Their Lordships, Ram, Sita, Laksman, and Hanumanji.

Hare Krishna, Sachimata dd

More from on the event from Malati dd:

Prior to the decision to accept an invitation to relocate Sita Ram Laksman and Hanuman to Towaco, the then management in consultation with the GBC and the Deity Worship Minister tried and tried and tried to find willing care-takers (ie: pujaris) from the community for Their Lordships. No one in management or the GBC favored the approach to relocate as a “first choice.” But, just as mothers will give up their children for adoption, in the best interest of the child’s welfare, we were faced with neglected deities (sordid details can be provided) and an unfit pujari (again, sordid details can be provided).

None of the described crying mothers or anyone else from the community stepped forward or even replied to the many messages appealing for help, with the notable exception of Kripa Maya das who apologetically declined due other responsibilities in his life at that time. Part of the relocation agreement stipulated that They could return to NV whenever NV was ready to care and serve for Them in accordance with ISKCON standards of Deity Worship. So far, this option has never surfaced. There was a lot of emotion at the time but no one stepped up to take responsibility. That was the sum and substance of the situation.

Otherwise, on the way to Towaco, Hanuman gave his mercy to then Bhaktin Theresa by falling upon her, cracking the skin above her left eye and causing a pit stop at an emergency room for over a dozen stitches. Everyone was overcome with hysterics when trying to explain that a monkey fell on her. A policeman was there with a handcuffed prisoner and even they laughed when the admission lady asked, with a straight face, “What kind of monkey?” and we replied “A marble monkey.”

What with all the delay, we didn’t reach Towaco until very very late, after 11 pm. So, They spent the night in the van and came to the Temple in the morning to a rousing kirtan and very large crowd of expectant devotees. Their installation was gorgeous. Indrajumna Swami, Bhatki Caru Swami were there. Ravindra Swarup Prabhu was there. Even Premaka made an appearance (although there was a large contingent “on-alert” in case she decided to pull another prank).

By the way, Candrasekar Swami tried to stop her from leaving the NV parking lot with Hanuman by stepping in front of her speeding red Mercedes. She almost ran him down and he literally had to jump for his life.

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