Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
We regret to inform you that our dear friend and longtime congregational member, His Grace Caitanya Jivan Prabhu, a disciple of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, has departed from this world on January 30, 2022. He leaves behind his wife, Jaya Sita devi dasi.
Caitanya Jivan Das (far right) with Srila Prabhupada- Harinam
Caitanya Jivan Prabhu joined ISKCON in the early 1970’s after attending the San Francisco Ratha Yatra Festival. This festival inspired him to later serve as the Chairman of our ISKCON Philadelphia Ratha Yatra Festival for many years. He played a key role in reviving the Ratha Yatra festivals in Philadelphia. In addition, he organized the Ratha Yatra festivals for years in ISKCON Puerto Rico.
Caitanya Jivan Prabhu first moved into the ashram in the ISKCON Detroit Temple and later relocated to ISKCON Miami. He eventually traveled to Kolkata, India where he distributed prasadam (sanctified food) to the needy people in the city. He later served at the Goshala (Cow Protection Project) in Mayapur, India. Later he studied yoga in Japan and became an expert teacher of yoga for decades. In the late 1990’s, he came to ISKCON Philadelphia to serve Srila Prabhupada and our congregation. At that time he also opened up his own yoga studio in Downtown Philadelphia. Caitanya Jivan Prabhu reflected that he taught approximately 20,000 yoga students in his lifetime.
In addition, our beloved Caitanya Jivan Prabhu was a very generous Vaishnava. After selling his yoga studio, he very kindly gave many substantial donations that helped ISKCON projects locally and around the world. He paid the entire mortgage for ISKCON Puerto Rico and was the largest donor for our International Vaishnavas CARE project which serves the sick and dying devotees worldwide. He also generously donated to the Bhaktivedanta Hospice in Vrindavan, India.
His Grace Caitanya Jivan Prabhu’s contributions to Srila Prabhupada’s Krsna consciousness movement cannot be compared. He gave his entire life in service to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. He was exemplary in countless ways.
His soul’s departure was very auspicious. He passed in a peaceful atmosphere surrounded by Srila Prabhupada’s chanting, devotees performing kirtan, other sacred items, and beautiful pictures of Lord Krishna and Srila Prabhupada.. He was conscious and courageous till the end and he wanted us to rejoice his soul’s departure.
Please pray for his swift journey back Home, back to Godhead where he will be reunited with his beloved Spiritual Master and Their Lordships Krsna and Balarama, which was his heart’s desire.
Caitanya Jivan Das Teaching at Hot Yoga Philadelphia
Caitanya Jivan Das (Joel Pier) was well known in the yoga community. A yoga practitioner for over 35 years, he spent years all over the world strengthening his practice by studying different forms of yoga and martial arts in India and Asia. A naturally gifted yoga instructor, “Jivan” had earned a reputation as one of the best teachers in the Philadelphia area. Caitanya Jivan Das was quoted many times saying; “I love yoga and yoga loves me”. Caitanya Jivan Das graduated from one of the first intensive Bikram’s yoga teacher training programs offered by Yogiraj Bikram Choudhury, founder of Bikram’s Yoga College of India. As a certified teacher of Bikram’s yoga, he decided to passionately pursue his dream of educating students in the advantages of Bikram’s yoga and in the implicitly philosophical aspects of the exercise. In 1999, he opened the first hot yoga school in Philadelphia.
In an interview, when Caitanya Jivan was asked what he envisions for the future of our yoga community, he simply stated that he hopes, “bhakti yoga and kirtan will rise to the top.”
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