This past weekend marked the disappearance anniversary of Tamal Krishna Goswami in March of 2002. Tamal Krishna Goswami was a dear Godbrother and over the years we had much association, especially in the late 70's and early 80's after the departure of our spirtual master, Srila Prabhupada. When I was Temple President in Chicago he was the GBC and much time and effort was spent together around the grand opening of the temple. Later on in numerous meetings and conferences in America, Mayapur, etc. we would have association but the relationship went beyond this "official" capacity...
In the Nectar of Instruction, Srila Rupa Goswami talks about Loving Exchanges.
Offering gifts in charity, accepting charitable gifts, revealing one's mind in confidence, inquiring confidentially, accepting prasāda and offering prasāda are the six symptoms of love shared by one devotee and another. (NoI 4)
So to honour him, I am going to recount 3 personal stories of "love shared by one devotee and another" which all occured outside our "official" roles. (if you don't mind I am going to refer to him as Tamal as I did in the old days)
In the 80's I had returned to Toronto. When I left Chicago, Tamal was already off on other assignments and we never said our goodbyes. I get a call from Tamal that he wants to see me and the family and is flying in to Toronto. I asked him if he wanted to go to the Toronto temple but he insisted that he is coming in to see us and wanted to stay with us. I figured he had something to "discuss". I take my son with me and pick him up at the airport. During his stay he told me how he missed us! We shared memories, prasadam and off-loaded on each other but not a single request or desire during his stay. It was time to leave and I insisted he see Radha Gopinatha before he flies out. We walk into a "surprised" morning program at the Toronto temple and then he was off...what would be his last loving visit to our home.
The Loving Exchange of revealing one's mind in confidence, inquring confidentially, accepting prasada and offering prasada are displayed.
At Tamal's insistence I visit Dallas. In my rush I forgot my towel. A few minutes later Tamal is standing there with a burgundy towel which I still have today. It is not the towel that stands out but that Loving Exchange of offering gifts in charity and accepting gifts in charity which is revealed.
During this same stay Tamal is supposed to give class but he insists that I must give the class to the point of refusing to give class. That was the class....showing class!
The final story I am going to share today is a Loving Exchange that extended beyond just the personal relationship that Tamal and I shared. My son started travelling on business at a fairly young age and his habbit was to drop in to the local ISKCON temples as he travelled. He was in Dallas and after darshan and prasadam he casually asked if Maharaj was in town. He was at the temple but in a management meeting but his secretary inquired who was there. Once Tamal heard it was my son Indresh he not only interuppted the meeting but had Indresh join them, introduced him and chastised Indresh for not staying with them. He insisted they had a room as good as any hotel room and had the temple president vouch for it. This Loving Exchange truly touched my heart.
Tamal Krishna Goswami, a Godbrother, friend and exemplary advocate of Srila Rupa Goswami's Instructions on Loving Exchanges. Your association and contributions are greatly missed but not forgotten. Your service to Srila Prabhupada continues...