A gray faced man let Varuna and I into the national hotel.
He buzzed us through a heavy metal latticed door.
We walked up the dingy stairs to the third floor.
The halls were filled with debris, needles, children’s toys, clothes, and a cat wandering aimlessly..
We went to the third floor.
Some of the doors were open, with music, shouts, and various members of humanity inviting us into their dens.
Our mission then was to find Sudhama. Sudhama who loved and served Prabhupad. By now his disease had spread, and he was dying.
Loud sounds music, arguing, people banging on the walls greeted us.
Sudhama’s room was at the end of the hall of many small rooms.
Even though he was sick and dying, his room was meticulous, and everything was in place, there was a bed a small desk which was now an altar, a hot plate in the kitchen area. His clothes were pressed and grains were in jars/pressed and immaculate, hanging on a pipe.
The window looked onto a a brick alley. Someone was banging on the wall again. Sudhama said “come in”, weakly when we knocked. He was skinny and emaciated, yet he smiled and perked up when he saw us. He was frightened, his eyes were hollow.
They said “I don’t want to die”. However he was too weak to entertain, and we asked him if he would like to get out of this unsavory hotel. He immediately said yes, and we arranged for him to fly to the Los Angeles Krishna Temple, and into the loving care of Omkara devi dasi. Subsequently the transition in a proper manner and environment.
This is just one instant where I was privileged to be at the bedside or helping a great Vaishnava into Krishna’s care.
Hare Krsna! Jaya Sudhama Maharaj!