PASSED ON: Sadguru Sant Keshavadas, age sixty-three, at 2:20pm on December 4, 1997, in Vishakhapatnam, India, where he had a vision of Sri Panduranga (a form of Vishnu) twenty years ago. A doctor reported witnessing a miracle–light emanating from Keshavadas' mouth as he spoke God's name just before breathing his last. His body was cremated 3 days later in Bangalore at Vishwa Shanti Ashram. Thousands attended the December 16 commemorative ceremonies for the saint, our dear friend and a frequent contributor to Hinduism Today. Keshavadas' esteemed wife, Rama Mata, will assume responsibility to continue his worldwide mission of expounding the Vaishnava bhakti tradition. At age 11 Keshavadas had a mystical "white light" experience that changed his life. He heard a voice say, "Sing my name throughout the world." He became a singing saint and roamed the world, establishing centers in Europe and Trinidad, the Temple of Cosmic Religion in the USA and recently the Gayatri University and Bhagavadgita Temple in Bangalore. He loved pilgrimage, saying, "A pilgrimage is beautiful. You can offer up at a holy place your sins, karma and anger and go back light-hearted." For information on Rama Mata's future activities, contact Maury Rama Iskowitz in the US at 1-310-827-9161, or Rama Mata in Bangalore at 011-91-8118-22057.
PASSED ON: Senior, retired, Shankaracharya of Jyotir Peeth, Swami Shantanand Saraswati Ji Maharaj, age ninety, on December 7, 1997, in Allahabad, India. Senior leaders of the VHP participated in final rites. Swami became Shankaracharya in 1953 after the death of his guru, Brahmanand Saraswati. Swami Basudevanand Saraswati is his successor.