Shyamdas kept this letter neatly stored in his makeshift “desk” by the window in West Camp. His guru, Shri Prathameshji, penned this message from Kolkata on Dec. 21, 1989, just a few weeks before his worldly passing, and mailed it to Shyamdas in the USA. These were literally the last words and instructions Shyamdas would receive from his beloved teacher, with whom he had lived, studied, traveled, and shared his entire adult life. One particular line of the letter was part of a recurring joke between them, in which Prathameshji often lovingly jeered his dear Shyamdas that he should work for his father in the family real estate business!
Blessings. Pamela Govindadasi-ji gave me your letter. You should get ready; also, you must look after your respected father’s motel. Govindadasi doesn’t know Hindi well. You should impart upon her knowledge of the scriptures/literature. You will also derive joy (from that). The rest is God’s grace.
Prathameshji had told Shyamdasji before, “You won’t be with me when I die,” and here his admonition to “get ready” (apko thayar karna hai) seems also prophetic. A few days after receiving this letter, in early January, 1990, Shyamdasji was distraught behind comprehension to learn of his guru’s passing. He took his teacher’s last joke to heart and actually went to work for his father’s business, for which I think it’s safe to say he had no real professional or personal interest! He only lasted a few months of course. The really amazing thing is that the one family motel that Shyamdasji worked in was later sold and became the site of–out of all things in the universe–a Pushtimarg Shri Nathji temple!
We all know of course that Shyamdas took very seriously his guru’s encouragement to share sacred literature with others–this was the total occupation and joy of Shyamdasji’s heart. We hope through the Shyamdas Foundation to keep Shyamdasji’s translations and inspiring lifework available to all, and thank you for your support and encouragement to do so. Jai Shri Krishna!Category: Stories Created by: Shri Prathameshji