Visnujana Das

(25 February 1988 – 12 November 2014)

visnujana (1)This letter is to all who were close to Visnujana – his parents, his family, his friends and the devotees in Pretoria. I am sharing grief with you all.

Today we are confronted with the unexpected departure of Visnujana. I wish I could have done something to avoid this situation.

Moeketsi, also known as Bhakta Given, came to the Pretoria temple when he was still a schoolboy. He moved in to the temple when he was fifteen years old with permission from his parents on the condition that he would finish school. In those days, I was also often staying in the Pretoria temple. Bhakta Given didn’t like school very much and many times I had to personally encourage him to go. In some ways, we had to act like his parents, because he was still very young. The devotees started calling him Mahajana, the great man, and later I gave him initiation with the name Visnujana, a man of God.

There was no doubt that he was a man of God, a devotee of Krsna, throughout his life. When he was young, he always had a dream to start a temple in Mamelodi, the place where he was from, just outside of Pretoria. I encouraged him about that and told him later, one day I would give him that opportunity. As time went by and he became more mature, he would like to lead kirtan and sometimes he would give the Sunday feast lectures. Partha Sarathi dasa, from America, trained him in book distribution and gradually he became expert. He did nice service that way. Once we were on hari nam and some devotees including Visnujana were distributing small books on the side, at the end there was only one Bhagavad Gita left, which is a Maha-big Book, a little more difficult to distribute. I told the devotees, we are not going home before this Gita is distributed. It took Visnujana a couple of minutes and I could see that he really knew what he was doing.

He liked life in the temple. However he also began to develop a strong desire to be with a woman and eventually that took him away to a life in the world. Still a devotee but struggling, he got married and had a child, but the marriage didn’t last and  then he tried again with another, but that also didn’t work out. All that brought him to a state of despair and finally this final unfortunate act.

According to the Krsna conscious philosophy when a man takes his own life, he gets entangled in severe reactions of karma. ‎He will have to remain in a subtle body and he will be denied a new body of flesh and blood for quite some time. However Visnujana was a devotee he gave his life to God, to Krsna. He chanted Hare Krsna for years, he stood on the street to sell holy scriptures; I am sure that the Lord recognizes his sincere service. I pray that the Supreme Lord may pardon him and that he will be allowed to continue devotional service in his next life. Maybe then he can one day open a preaching centre in Mamelodi.

Yours in service to Srila Prabhupada

Kadamba Kanana Swami


  1. Tejah prakasa dasa on

    Pamho, agtsp.

    I’m still moaning your sudden and unexpected departure dear Visnujana prabhu. This is the the kind of bitter pills that life forces us to swallow. what to do ?
    Visnujana prabhu was undoubtedly what I call a “Prabhupada’s man” in the sense that he would always love quoting from Srila Prabhupada, and thats’s a fact. “This is nonsense”, was one of the expressions that he would often use to smash the mayavadi philosohpy and arguments, I remember. When I first met him at the Pretoria temple some years ago (as a bramachari), it took me a while before acknowledging him because I thought he had a big mouth but in in fact, he was simply very confident in his preaching and after getting to know him better, we very quickly became close friends. Something very unique that Visnujana prabhu had and that I will never forget was the tone of his voice, some sort of special high pitch (you couldn’t make it up), and that made him to my opinion an amazing singer, kirtan leader and on top of that mrdanga player with a vision to spread Krishna Consciousness throughout South Africa.
    Being around him was always inspiring to me, and anyone will to some degree agree with that statement, I’m sure. We would laugh, make jokes and I’d often tease him with his belly yet he wouldn’t be offended :). He had a good sense of humor and we used to speak a lot about African preaching that he had big dreams about, no doubt.
    I will always remember the precious time spent in his association in this lifetime and part of the memories I kept of him (that I didn’t know would be the last live ones) are the ones I’m gonna share with all of you in the following links.…/sunday-feast-kirtan-by-visnujana-p……/mahamantra-by-hg-visnujana-das

    You live eternally with us.
    I pray that you may attain the abode of the Blackish boy with plays the magic flute that enchantes the inhabitants of the spiritual world.
    I beg you to please beg Srila Prabhupada to put in a good word for all of us that you left behind and thank him for that gift of no value that he freely gave to the entire world.

    Today, I fall flat at your feet. Please forgive me for any offenses caused.

    Your servant

    Tejah prakasa dasa

  2. Sunira Rampursad on

    Maharaj’s words are so heartfelt and touching. I am constantly amazed by the mercy of Guru towards His disciples. KKS ki jai! H.G. Visnujana Prabhu was indeed fortunate to receive this mercy. Maharaj’s entreaty to the Lord will surely not go unheard.

  3. Krsna Kirtan Das on

    Thank you Maharaj for writing this. Gives me inspiration to dive deeper into fixing my identity as servant of Guru and Krsna. IF so then how can i give up the property of someone else, namely the body through which they fulfil their desires.
    Maharaj – you are our ever well wisher.

  4. Harinamananda das on

    Today I will dedicate my efforts on Harinam to my Godbrother’s benefit.

  5. premanjana das on

    My Dearest Brother Visnujana…I will miss him very much. We danced in many Kirtans together, spent many moments with each other. I feel very sad thinking about what has happened to my brother. Being a devotee is not easy life…and being a devotee who is married is a much harder life…I will try and be a better devotee so that my brother may find his way back home soon. May Gurudev guide me and give me the strength in my journey forward for as long as he is in my heart and mind I will be successful. My Gurudev is sad, I can tell from his words, and it makes me sad, but also It gives me strength knowing that he cares and loves us ALL. Gurudev ki Jai…!!