On Tuesday 10th March, His Grace Srutidharma Das passed away at Bhaktivedanta Manor after being diagnosed of cancer in 2018 and was only 62 years old.
Owing to his condition he had withdrawn from active service and therefore had spent his time absorbed in Krishna consciousness.
Srutidharma Das, was the beloved son of Raojibhai and Dhanlaxmi Patel, and younger brother to Mukesh. Born in Jinja, Uganda in 1958, the twelve-year-old boy had first arrived to London with his family and grew up in Wembley.
It was at a temple near British Museum at 7, Bury Place at age 19, that the young Shailesh Patel met Srila Prabhupada and became very impressed with his words and mission.
Das had achieved his graduation in biochemistry, and then engaged himself in heart research. Some months later, he took part in the Mahabharata Youth Club, an initiative for the young people of Harrow, Wembley and Southall started by Akhandadhi Das of Bhaktivedanta Manor. Along with two friends he became an enthusiastic member of the youth club, taking part in energetic kirtans and plays. After Akhandadhi Das persuaded them to join the temple in 1980, the three friends became the first of many young devotees to become sadhus from the local community, much to the surprise of their families. The two friends eventually became Pranabandhu Das and HH Atmanivedana Swami.
And thus, over the years became a devout follower at the Hare Krishna Temple and played an instrumental part in saving the temple from its closure. His efforts to save the temple included organising a sponsored walk in 1989, fund-raising dinners, meeting members of Parliament and Hindu leaders. He spent months at the end of 1993 and early 1994 touring the country to request all Hindu groups to unite to demonstrate their concern and to fight the proposed temple closure. Eventually, his energetic campaigning and urgent request that each town send a coach or two to London brought 36,000 people onto the streets before the Houses of Parliament.
After the grand victory in 1996, Srutidharma and Pranabandhu jointly formed the Bhaktivedanta Manor Foundation (BMF). Two years later, in the Spring of 1998, Srutidharma was married to Sri Radhika Dasi and gave birth to son, Nitai.
Srutidharma Das formally became the president of Bhaktivedanta Manor on the 18th of July 2010.
Once he took a setback, he devoted his time to inspire both guests and personal carers with his expressed love and deep gratitude. Without complaint he accepted his condition as the Lord’s mercy upon him, through which he might progress deeper in his relationship with the Lord. In his final hours he was serene and without discomfort. His passing was auspicious as was his life, surrounded by devotees, chanting the Lord’s holy names, in the holy place of Bhaktivedanta Manor Hare Krishna Temple.