Kripamayi Devi Dasi was one of the first Hare Krishna devotees in Thailand. As a young girl, she would pray to Lord Buddha for guidance. Her Buddhist guru one day handed her a piece of paper with the maha-mantra written on it.
From then on, she started chanting the maha-mantra. By Krsna’s arrangement, she met a devotee who gave her the Bhagavad Gita wherein she found the same mantra she had been chanting. Following the address given in the book, she went to the temple, but the temple was closed because all the devotees had gone for a Dham yatra. Enthusiastic to meet someone, she regularly visited the temple until she met the devotees.
Being around her, it was difficult to miss her simplicity, humility, and loving nature. You would often find her rubbing some Chinese oil and massaging a devotee because they had some pain in some parts of their body. When on Sankirtan, she would talk to people and they would not want to say ‘No’ when offered a book. These wonderful qualities of hers attracted so many to appreciate Krishna Consciousness.
Her enthusiasm was something that was infectious. She would regularly cook for the Saturday feast despite having to take care of her elderly mother and carrying her around to wherever she went. On Sundays, we would go for Harinam together and it was such good fortune to hear her sing the holy names with so much dedication.
Every time I saw her, I always remember her smiling. Later on, I realized that she was always happy and smiling because she was always giving. Every time I met her, she would give me something; some fruits, some nuts, or some coconut water. Seeing me growing very thin, one day she gave few hundred Bhats (Thai Currency) and asked me to please buy more food. Those small gestures would touch the hearts of so many others like me.
Her singing for Krishna was simple and most opulent at the same time because they were filled with genuine devotion. So much could be described about her glorious life and it would still be incomplete. When I sit back and meditate on her wonderful qualities, I get the following realization very strongly: The more you give, the happier you are.
I thank her for the association that she gave us, for showing us what becoming a devotee actually means, what simplicity and humility looks like. I thank her for showing us what compassion and respect towards everyone looks like. Thank you.
Her Grace Kripamayi Devi Dasi Ki Jaya.
May 15, 2022
Sunanda Das, Temple of the Vedic Planetarium