Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Nepal plane crash: Iskcon priest Dies

THE TIMES OF INDIA: Thirty-year-old Krishna Chaitanya Das, a priest at the Iskcon temple in Girgaum, was another youngster who perished in the plane crash on Monday near high-altitude Jomsom Airport in northern Nepal.
Das was on his way to Muktinath temple for a pilgrimage with two other friends, who too were members of the order, when the plane they were travelling in crashed. Das is survived by his brother and father who are natives of Hyderabad. His last rites will be performed in his hometown.

"Das was a priest at the Iskcon temple, Mumbai, for the past six years and looked after the idols of the deities," said Iskcon spokesperson Parijata Devi. Das used to perform various tasks related to the deities and managed all the puja sessions. He was an active participant in the rath yatras (chariot processions) that are undertaken by the temple at Girgaum Chowpatty every year.

A friend of the priest recalled how he designed costumes for the idols in the temple. "In fact, that is how he became acquainted with the brothers Mukesh and Rakesh Handa. Mukesh, or Murli Mohan Das as we knew him, also designed robes for the deities," said Ameya Tandel. "They had taken this pilgrimage to Nepalese shrines together and were planning to end the tour in Pashupatinath. It is sad to see how the journey ended."

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