(25 February 1988 – 12 November 2014)
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