Seeking The Essence

Clearing Life's Webs and Weeds….

Departure of Jahnavi Haggard

Below is a eulogy to Jahnavi Haggard written by B. Radha Govinda dasi and posted at the Sampradaya Sun Website on August 11th, 2008.


Departure of Jahnavi Haggard


Aug 11, USA (SUN) — On Saturday, August 9th, Jahnavi Haggard left her body, which had been for so many years engaged in rendering services to (LA’s) Rukmini Dvarakadish. In later years, Jahnavi rendered services to so many of the youth who had been born into and/or grown up within the ISKCON movement. Jahnavi was formerly the Executive Director of Children of Krishna, which was formed in 1996 to provide second generation devotees with grants for education and counseling. Jahnavi left from a heart attack, having suffered for so many years with diabetes and resultant complications.

 I met Jahnavi in 1998 after hearing her speak to a large group of devotees concerning her experiences in the gurukula. My heart was so affected to hear of the abuses she sustained. From that time, Jahnavi and I kept in touch by telephone.

In May of this year, at Jahnavi’s request, I went to see her in Alachua, to give to her that “gift” (Three S’ilas) she had requested of me: two for her, and one for her mother (as Jahnavi said, “For Mother’s Day”).

Under “normal” circumstances I would not necessarily have agreed to this, but taking everything into consideration, I was not able to say no, so I agreed, and said that I would make sure to personally come to Alachua and present Them to Jahnavi.

Jahnavi had just had two legs amputated, and we had a long talk. I don’t think many people knew the “real” Jahnavi “below the surface,” but over the years in our speaking, here and there things were said, and I was amazed to see the strength, resiliency, determination and overall Krsna consciousness that Jahnavi showed regarding her bodily and general situation.

She went through the hell of a second generation “gurukuli,” my believing that her diabetes was resultant of certain abuses. Yet she did not blame anyone, and instead accepted her situation then, and its bodily results as her karma.

In my last seeing Jahnavi in Alachua and speaking with her then, along with subsequent telephone talks after that visit, I never stopped being amazed at how Jahnavi was so accepting of her bodily situation, and seeing it Krsna consciously.

Here was a person who, directly told me she wasn’t chanting “rounds,” nor was she what devotees would consider “a scholarly devotee,” but it was very obvious, that her Krsna consciousness and devotion was a DEEP-HEARTED, and SOLID entity, NOT a superficial thing.

Although I have my doubts that Jahnavi’s passing will have a deep affect on the hearts of the ISKCON “bigshots,” (meaning, that such a person’s having been made to sustain the abuses that have been so representative of the neglect and ignoring – even purposeful covering up – which has been characteristic of ISKCON’s leadership in relation to such abuses, and her now passing on will not even make these people think deeply enough to try to make decent enough efforts to change things within ISKCON on a caring level to eliminate and or correct those things which need such), I certainly hope that Jahnavi’s example both in living in and passing from her body will serve as an example for many of us, to make us search deeply within our own consciousness in regards to what Srila Prabhupada wanted for all of His children and the world.

I knew Jahnavi to be a very intelligent and thoughtful, Krsna conscious devotee, never blaming any person for what she was made to go through as a gurukuli, and later on concerning her body, which gave so may problems. I pray that Srila Prabhupada, Srimati Radharani and Krsna have brought this wonderful Jahnavi to Their Lotus Feet, and that she is seeing from there to our welfare.

This fallen servant,

Dasi, B. Radha-Govinda


August 12, 2008 - Posted by | Gurukula, Gurukuli, Hare Krishna, ISKCON, Vaishnava Youth

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