Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!
This is in continuation of the previous offerings transcribing the wonderful offering by H.G. Devakinandan Prabhuji on the occasion of the memorial service for our beloved Guru Maharaj held in Sydney, Australia on 24th April 2010.
13. A Loving father: Once I fell down two floors in Singapore and broke my hand badly. I fractured my ribs and I was in the hospital. My wife called Maharaj and told him that I am in the hospital and Maharaj said that he will pray for me. The next day I called Maharaj. It was impossible for me to chant with my right hand as it was broken. I told Maharaj about this and I was feeling very bad about it. Maharaj said, "You just chant what you can. You chant two or three rounds and it is okay, my son. Don’t worry about it." Five minutes later I called HG Vaishnava Seva Prabhu about some temple matter and asked him where is Maharaj. He said, "Maharaj has gone downstairs to the temple room because he told me that he is going to chant your rounds for you." Maharaj has said, "Because Devaki cannot chant his rounds, so I am going to chant his rounds so that he can keep his vows." When I heard this that day, I just chanted and I did not care about the pain because it was too much for me to think that this is the love Maharaj had. This was not only for me but I think for every one of you, whoever has experienced this moment of loving exchange when you felt really he was just like your father or sometimes more than what you would imagine your father to ask and these are the same things that Maharaj would ask.
To children, Maharaj was always loving. That is why he started Prahlad School. He was always dedicated to building up a future for children in Krishna consciousness. If you ask Maharaj’s son, Shyam Prabhu, how Maharaj brought up his children, he said, "My biggest regret is till today, I do not understand why my father took sannyasa, because he was the most loving father we ever had. He was there in every stage of our lives. We were never in want of anything and he left his house when his thali (plate) was full. At the height of everything being perfect, when his wife was serving him nicely when the children were doing very nicely when he was going for all the programs when everything was very smooth, he left. This is what we could not understand." Years later, when Maharaj had a stroke and when his son came to see him, after that day, Shyam Prabhu told me, "Now I understand why he took sannyasa. Because he had so much to give. It was not enough for us to hold his love within just the confines of the family. He had so much to give. So much love and so much care and so much dedication to Srila Prabhupada." Maharaj told once, "I left and took sannyas because I knew that everything was alright in the house. If I were to move at a time when everything was good, then I have to depend more on Krishna and more on Srila Prabhupada." So this was the mood that Maharaj had.
14. Krishna elixir - the only medicine and cure: Towards the end, in the last three or four months of his time in the world, Maharaj gave us many many ideas that the time was coming. On 17th November 2009, Maharaj gave me a call and told me, "Devaki, now the time is coming." I said, "Why Maharaj?" He said, "I have lost appetite. The day I lose appetite in having prasadam, that day the fire is going. Once our appetite is going, then it is time to wind up the body." Then Maharaj also told me that "This time I am not picking up." I said, "Maharaj you always pick up. You tell us time is over but you pick up." He said, "But this time it is not happening. Let us do more devotional service." In November his health deteriorated in Rajkot. By 17th December, one month later, we finally brought him to Bombay and in Bombay, he was in the Juhu temple where the doctor said that he must take a blood test. Maharaj said, "No. I don’t want a blood test. I just want to be with Krishna."
Then we suggested and requested Maharaj to come to Bhaktivedanta hospital where devotees are there. So he went there. When he was there, he found the atmosphere so congenial to devotional service. All the devotees were serving with so much love and so much care. Doctors were devotees first and doctors next. Maharaj said, "this is a nice place for me and I would just continue to be here." So he stayed on a long time in Bhaktivedanta hospital but he refused medication. After a while, the doctors kept telling me, "I know this is all nice. But you know, Maharaj has to take something. Otherwise, he is in a hospital and there must be some treatment." So the CEO of the hospital HG Madhavananda Prabhu came to see Maharaj and said, "Maharaj, you have to take some medicine." Maharaj said, "You don’t understand. I am already taking medicine. I am taking your association and that is medicine. How long can the medicines make me last? Maybe a month more or two months more but this association is best. I have not come here to be medicated by western medicines; I have come here for your consciousness."
In that way, all the devotees became so enlivened because daily in typical Maharaj fashion, wherever he was, Bhagavatam was there and kirtan was there. He would take daily walks. He went to meet all the patients and the patients became very much enlivened. When we told them that Maharaj was wardened there, they could not believe and said, "You mean, he is a patient also?" Maharaj told one particular doctor, "Anyone who treats me, he ends up in the hospital. Just be careful of this point." (laughter) True enough, two days into the treatment, this doctor sprained his neck so badly. He banged into a cabinet in his own house and his neck was fractured. (laughter) Maharaj was in Room 6. The doctor was in Room 5 and that morning I told Maharaj that the doctor is next door. Maharaj said, "Let's go and visit him." Maharaj told the doctor, "Doctor, who is visiting who?" (laughter). All this time his health was deteriorating. It was just going down...down...down... Like we are all laughing now, we were all laughing then also. But we never realized that he knew that time was coming. Then Maharaj had a desire to go to Nasik because that was where he grew up.
Krishna willing, the transcription of this offering shall be continued in the ensuing mail.
Thank you very much.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi,
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