The GBC Executive Committee joins the devotees of ISKCON Fiji in honoring the life of His Grace Vasudeva Prabhu, a pioneer in establishing Krsna consciousness in Fiji.
From the moment Vasudeva Prabhu first saw the devotees from the window of a Sydney office building, his immediate desire was to know Srila Prabhupada. He asked, "Who has transformed these people?"
He finally met Srila Prabhupada while His Divine Grace's flight from Australia to the United States stopped in Fiji for just two hours. At that very moment, Vasudeva Prabhu immediately offered his life, his family, and his abilities at the lotus feet of His Divine Grace.
In their first meeting, Srila Prabhupada instructed Vasuadeva Prabhu, then Deoji Punja, to construct a magnificent temple in Fiji. As one of the country's most successful businessmen, he used all of his resources to find the perfect land upon which to manifest Srila Prabhupada's desire that Kaliya-Krsna be worshipped grandly in Fiji. Srila Prabhupada wrote to express his happiness at the temple's grand opening in 1977:
"I pray that Kaliya-Krsna bless you with all intelligence and strength for pushing this great movement of Krsna consciousness forward to all the people of your country. You have worked so sincerely and now Krsna has personally appeared…
By your example teach all of the citizens to become ideal Vaisnavas, faithfully following the regulative principles and chanting regularly the Hare Krsna mantra. Worship the Deity very gorgeously with full attention to regularity and cleanliness. Distribute ample quantities of sumptuous prasadam to everyone who visits Kaliya-Krsna. This program will make us successful.”
Throughout his life, Vasudeva Prabhu continued to support, guide, and encourage the devotees in spreading Krsna consciousness. He even took on the tremendous responsibility of serving as GBC for Fiji.
In their later years, he and his wife left their palatial home to live simply in the temple in Suva, Fiji, teaching by example as Srila Prabhupada had instructed. Having dedicated his life to the service of his spiritual master, there is no doubt that Vasudeva Prabhu has attracted the continued mercy of Srila Prabhupada.
We pray to Sri Sri Kaliya-Krsna that His Grace Vasudeva Prabhu's service continues at the lotus feet of his beloved spiritual master and that we may learn from his example how to serve the sankirtana mission to our fullest capacity.[ gbc ] [ vasudeva ]