Hare Krishna! dear devotees, Please accept my humble obeisancies. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Today Ananta Shanti – the first and only initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada left his body either from stroke or heart-attack (reports aren’t clear), in Moscow. He was the first one in Russia to meet and receive direct training from Srila Prabhupada personally. Srila Prabhupada was in Moscow only few days, he really focused on Anatoliy, who shortly became Ananta Shanti, Srila Prabhupada imparted His mission into him over just couple of days, then He left Russia for London.
As soon as He arrived in London He asked Mandakini mataji to go to Russia immediately and marry Ananta Shanti. She did so. They were meeting people together, holding underground meetings… but KGB figured out pretty soon her real purpose and they banned her from coming to Russia again… So, Ananta Shanty was left on his own. Few other disciples of Srila Prabhupada were coming from Europe occasionally to encourage him, but for most of the time he was on his own to spread the mission of Srila Prabhupada.
At the very early times, when there was no books to distribute in Russia, he would offer lots of big red roses to Krishna, then get dressed in a slick white suite with colorful tie (he was a sharp dresser) – he would go out on the streets with big bunch of red roses (prasadam) – and he would give roses to people saying “if you smell this rose you will be given another chance as human being in next life”. If policemen would come to ask him why is he harassing people? – he said he was celebrating being in love, :)… everyone would just laugh and take roses.
Those days devotees had extra-ordinary faith in prasadam, and there was very strong mood of sharing prasadam in any form that suitable to situation. To discuss spiritual topics devotees often used to meet in public parks and tourist places pretending to be a group of partying friends or tourists to outsiders.
He would hold secret meetings in his apartment (at a great risk) where he would read-translate from English the only copy of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad Gita As it is.
Dear devotees please try to remember his preaching service on this planet in a positive way and also have prasadam distributed in his name.
If some of you know how to contact Mandakini mataji (French), I believe she lives and work in Paris – please inform her of Ananta Shanti’s departure.
your servant, Vrindavan Lila Dasi