January 31, 2000 VNN5371 Comment on this story
Grief At The Bhaktivedanta Manor
BY SATYAM DAS
MANOR, ENGLAND, Jan 31 (VNN) Ambarish Das was found hanged in his home on Tuesday morning, January 18th, with japa beads in his hand. He was a disciple of Lokanath Swami. It is assumed that he died on Monday evening.
Ambarish replied that this wasn't what he had been told and that he was told that he was completely useless and unwanted.
Two days before, he had been removed from his salaried position as head of the kitchens at Bhaktivedanta Manor by temple president Vipramukhya Swami. He had told him that he was useless and unwanted. While Ambarish was at the Manor on Monday, some devotees noticed how desperate he looked. Some devotees tried to console him by saying that he had done a very difficult service very nicely for quite a few years. Ambarish replied that this wasn't what he had been told and that he was told that he was completely useless and unwanted.
The devotees in the community can't understand why he had been removed from his position (except that it was noted that someone quite friendly with Vipramukhya Swami was to take over as head of the kitchens). Ambarish Prabhu was already having financial difficulties at the time that the TP sacked him, a fact that was known to and ignored by the management. It is believed that losing this paid position doing something that he dedicated his life for (Bhaktivedanta Manor has enormous numbers of guests visiting each week and especially on holidays like Krsna Janmastami). The whole devotee community (except Vipramukhya Swami) is in agreement that Ambarish Prabhu had done a good job managing such a huge operation, every day, with long hours. His wife was out of the country at the time at the funeral of her own mother, money for which was also coming out of his meager salary.
The Manor devotees are devastated by the tragic death of Ambarish Prabhu, and much fear has been generated as several brahmacaris as well as a few householders are now confiding their own suicidal tendencies. One devotee who has also been faithfully engaged in a paid service position was also sacked at the same time as Ambarish has also admitted his desperate feelings as well.
Understanding that there is an emotional crisis in the community of devotees, several senior devotees tried to officially meet together to discuss what has gone wrong within the local devotee community. Vipramukhya Maharaja opposed the meetings from taking place.
Vipramukhya Swami had left the country suddenly the day after Ambarish's death while the whole community was in the throws of experiencing very painful grief. Now he is back in the country. Many devotees feel that by blocking any meetings that he is trying to prevent them from trying to understand what is causing the massive dissatisfaction in the hearts of the devotees
The devotees at the Manor are desperately clinging to the idea that meetings are going to solve things when it's actually sadhu sanga and hari katha that's missing. Perhaps a future article can discuss real spiritual solutions to the practical problems the devotees in the UK are presently facing, but only after the facts are known by the devotee community at large.
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