Transcendental Qualities of Mahabhagavata - Part 3

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!

This is in conclusion of the previous offerings transcribing the speech delivered by HG Devakinandan Prabhuji on the occasion of Disappearance day (25th January 2013) of our beloved Spiritual master HH Mahavisnhu Goswami Maharaj in ISKCON Chowpatty temple.

Maharaj is very particular about Mangala arati: In Dwaraka, one time there was a big flood and typhoon and for 3 or 4 days nonstop, it was raining. There was water up to the neck of the Deities. Maharaj said, "I think this time Devaki, Dwaraka is going to go down into the waters for the second time." I thought it was not a very nice thing for Maharaj to tell me because I am very much attached to my family. He said, "Devaki, we should be prepared to die in this flood", and this got me more worried and then we had to move the Deities because of flood waters. By the time we did it, it was 2.00 am and we had to move Maharaj from his ashram upstairs, to the second floor because of leakage. We put him in a small wooden bed and there was no electricity and there was just a candle. We told Maharaj, "Maharaj, it is 2'o clock in the morning. You please take rest. We will do Mangala arati ourselves." Maharaj said, "Alright, but do Mangala arati." But in our hearts, we were thinking, it is already 2.30 am and we are going to have a long day and we are very tired. It is okay if we skip Mangala arati. So I and my God-brother went to sleep and while sleeping, I had a dream like someone was singing Saṁsāra-dāvā....and playing kartals. The longer I tried to wake up, the longer the dream went on. After a while, when I woke up, and I pinched myself, I realized this is not a dream. Someone is actually doing Mangala arati. I saw that the time was 4.40 am. I hurried down in the dark. I came to Maharaj's room. There was a small candle light and Maharaj was sitting very quietly with rain water leaking all around him and with wet dhoti and kurta and he was singing Saṁsāra-dāvā.

I really felt rotten to the core because I realized at that point the reason why I told Maharaj to sleep and skip Mangala arati was because I wanted to skip Mangala arati. I said, "Maharaj, I am very sorry that I missed Mangala arati." Maharaj said, "Devaki, sometimes we tell people, 'Prabhu! Are you hungry? You want to eat?' Factually speaking we are hungry, but we can't tell him that we are hungry. We still want to be Vaishnava and we have to have etiquette and we say, 'prabhu are you hungry?' Just hoping that he will say, 'yes' and then we can also eat." So Maharaj said that, "Like this, you told me that I should take rest because you wanted to take rest." So I said Maharaj, "what should I do?" And he said, "You should seek pardon from Krishna sincerely any time you miss Mangala arati." When Maharaj had a stroke, not a single day in the hospital did he miss Mangala arati. At 4.15 am sharp, without a watch, he would call, 'Haribol! Haribol!' and then I would be sleeping under his bed. I would get up and Maharaj would ask what time is it? I would say, '4.15 am' and Maharaj said, "Sing Saṁsāra-dāvā..." And we would sing. He never missed it.

Maharaj is completely renounced: When he had the stroke, one day Maharaj called me and said, "Devaki, I now want you to inform the authorities that I am going to give up sannyas" and I thought this is the end of my life. If Maharaj is going to give up sannyas, then what happens to us? I said, "Maharaj, why you are giving up being a sannyasi?" He said, "Sannyas means I have to travel and preach. Travelling and preaching means you have to move. My leg is still not moving. How can I travel and preach? Why should I wear saffron if I can't do this? Better now I renounce being a renunciant." I always thought that the last word of renunciation is being a sannyasi. But now how am I going to describe that Maharaj wants to renounce sannyas and that goes beyond renunciation of being a sannyasi. Maharaj said, "Doesn't matter. I will just wear white clothes because I should not pretend to be renounced when practically speaking I cannot live up to the ashram of renunciation." That is when I realized that Maharaj was not concerned about what color we wear. He always said that, "In your whole life even if you do not wear saffron, your heart should be the color of saffron." When I was going to get married, Maharaj told me, "Marriage means you are finished." One year after I got married, Maharaj asked me, "Devaki, how is your marriage?" I said, "Maharaj, it is good." Maharaj said, "Don't lie. Be straight forward man. Marriage and good is an oxymoron. It is a contradiction in terms. Just say Maharaj, I am tolerating. At least I will accept that." He told me when I was going to get married, "Even if you get married, always keep a part of your heart strong in the fire of saffron and brahmacharya and you will only remain brahmacari in any ashram if you bury your head in Srimad Bhagavatam. The day you leave Bhagavatam, the four walls of whatever ashram you are in, will swallow you up and that is the end of you."

HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj ki jai! Srila Prabhupada ki jai!

Our heartfelt thanks to HG Devakinandan Prabhuji for sharing wonderful instructions of Maharaj.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi
Abu Dhabi.