Be Chaste to Bhagavatam - Part 8

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

This is the concluding part of the previous mails transcribing the speech by HG Devakinandan Prabhuji in the Bhaktivedanta Hospital, Mumbai, on the occasion of the first disappearance anniversary of our most beloved Gurudev H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj. In the previous offerings we saw the following points:

1. The mood of approaching Srimad Bhagavatam
2. The purpose of studying Srimad Bhagavatam
3. Royal road for relishing Bhagavatam
4. Attention leads to attraction for Bhagavatam
5. The pages of Bhagavatam come alive
6. The litmus test of being with Bhagavatam
7. The spirit of hearing Bhagavatam with eagerness
8. Seva without Bhagavatam is social service
9. Srimad Bhagavatam builds the temple
10. Get wedded to Srimad Bhagavatam
11. Be encouraged in devotional service by the study of Bhagavatam.

12. Bhagavatam is the best medicine: Before he was leaving from here, he said that he wanted to make the statement that I am not leaving a hospital. I am actually leaving the dham. Let it be known throughout the spiritual world. This is our way. We die on the battlefield. And I really want to thank Shyamlal Prabhu because he was the doctor in charge of Maharaj and Maharaj gave him help. Shyamlal Prabhu's nature was such that only he can convince Maharaj to take medicine. Otherwise in our time for the last 20 years of being with Maharaj no doctor has succeeded in giving medicine to him. Very often Maharaj would say,"You take your medicine and you go to hell. But I am not taking the medicine." In London when Maharaj had the stroke, he was supposed to take this Warfarin, which is supposed to be useful for clotting, and that night, the doctor in charge, a young Indian girl came to this hospital ward and I was with Maharaj. She said, "Dear sir, you have to take this Warfarin, otherwise you are in difficulty." He said, "Look at me! I think I am in less difficulty than you are." (laughter). "Your doctors are going to kill me before the disease kills me. Don't kill me before I am killed. Why to speak of death before the death comes? You are speaking like Maya devi." And this girl did not have a clue what Maya was. (laughter). He said, "You are like Maya. Do you know what Maya means?" She said, "I don't know". Then he said, "Maya is like a rich brahmachari's son, drinking water in a mirage." (laughter). He said, "Do you have any clue what I am talking about?" She said, "No". He said, "In a mirage there is no water. And brahmachari doesn't have a son." (laughter). "Now I have no disease and you are telling me that if you don't take this you will die." Then he asked, "What is your name daughter?" And she said, "My name is Maya" (huge laughter). He said, "I am going to chant and read Bhagavatam and tomorrow morning when you come I will be alive. Let's hope you are alive!" (laughter) The whole night we read Bhagavatam. Whole night Maharaj kept pushing us, "Read Bhagavatam, Read Bhagavatam." 4.30 in the morning, with the stroke, he pushed us to sing samsaara dhaava. In the morning she came for her last round. Maharaj was up, to show her that he was alright he started doing exercises, moving his hands and legs. The stroke was on the right side and he started moving it, he started kicking his legs, he kicked me once or twice. And he told her, "See mata, I am stronger than you are. Mayadevi, now you please leave."

So Maharaj's history with hospitals and doctors is very bad. But Bhaktivedanta hospital was different. He said that it is a dham. Your love and care is what Bhagavatam is all about.

13. Srimad Bhagavatam is all about love and care and good behaviour: When I wanted to change my habits when everything else failed, Maharaj would only trap me in one way. He would say, "If you really love me, my son, then you stop this." Then I realized now that I cannot get out of that. If I claim to love him and I do not change myself, then I am a hypocrite. And that is how he changed almost all of us with his love. Love and care are what Srimad Bhagavatam is about. Finally, there must never be a disconnect between reading and studying Srimad Bhagavatam and behaviour. Maharaj said, "What is the point if you are a great pandit of Srimad Bhagavatam, but you do not have the qualities of a devotee. If you are not loving in your dealings, what is the point of stopping eating meat, when your tongue is speaking harsh words and is just like another slaughterhouse? It cuts through people just as good as people cut through meat and eat that. What is the difference? We have left the grosser form of anti-Vedic behaviour and now we have brought that subtle form of anti-Vedic behaviour into our lives minus Bhagavatam. So, reflect on your behaviour as you study Srimad Bhagavatam. The more anti-Vedic we are, the more Srimad Bhagavatam is just a sacrificial ceremony. It is an altar on which we want our name and fame but the more we become humbler, the more we are guided by Srimad Bhagavatam, the more the devotees become inspired just to be in the presence of such devotees. Such devotees may not be able to study sloka after sloka. But Krishna says, teṣāḿ satata-yuktānāḿ
bhajatāḿ prīti-pūrvakam
. On the basis of your loving approach to Srimad Bhagavatam, Srimad Bhagavatam would reveal everything that needs to be revealed."

14. Be chaste to Bhagavatam: We have to just become chaste to Bhagavatam and that is all. Do not be diverted. Remember the Pandavas and Kauravas, when they were young, in Mahabharata, they were supposed to shoot arrows as a test on a tree which had a bird and they had to hit the eye of the bird. Yudhishthira starts first. Dronacarya asks, "What do you see?" He says, "I see the trunk, I see the tree." Dronacarya told him, "You have failed the test. You please sit down." Next comes Duryodhana. He is always trying to go one up against the Pandavas. Now he thinks, 'May be Yudhistira did not describe it enough.' So when Dronacarya says, "Aim at the target and tell me what do you see?" Duryodana says, "I see the leaves, I see the flowers, I see the sky, space, the three worlds," and Dronacarya says, "You have definitely failed." At the end, when Arjuna comes forward, Dronacarya asks him, "What do you see?" Arjuna says, "Gurudev, I see the eye." Drona asks, "Now what do you see?" He says, "I see only the eye." Drona says, "No, no. There must be something else. Tell me what do you see?" Arjuna says, "Gurudev, there is only the eye." Drona smiles and says, "Now you shoot the arrow." And the arrow finds the mark.

Maharaj loved this story because this is the example of chastity. What do we see? We should see Srimad Bhagavatam. What do we see in people? We should see the hand of Krishna in people. What do we see in life? We should see the hand of Krishna in our life. What do we see in our difficulties? We should see the hand of the Lord making us remember Him in difficulties. This is Srimad Bhagavatam.

I want to read the note that HH Kavichandra Maharaj gave me last year when our Guru Maharaj left and he said, "You should remember your Maharaj in this way". I think it is very helpful for all of us because the day is going to come in our lives when our spiritual masters will wind up their pastimes. And at that point of time, instead of dropping into discouragement we should become even more fired upon the platform of devotional service. Because that would really really please them.

One is H D G Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Maharaj's homage on the disappearance of H D G Bhaktivinod Thakur and the other is Gaur Kishore das Babaji Maharaj. To H D G Bhaktivinod Thakur he wrote, "Today is one of great happiness and not slightest grief. Today our master has entered the eternal pastimes of the Lord. Now it is our duty to remember his eternal position, name, qualities, form and pastimes. Henceforth we will follow in his footsteps even more concentrated."

To H D G Gaura Kishore das Babaji Maharaj he wrote with all the humility of one really in separation, "Now who will chastise me to make me understand the truth as it is? To whom will I show my articles and books? Who will take pleasure in my writings and encourage me to continue? Who will take pleasure in hearing about the preaching work and increasing splendour of the Dham and our service to it?"

HG Devakinandan Prabhuji thanked the doctors, nurses and other devotees in the Bhaktivedanta hospital from the bottom of his heart for all the solace, encouragement, strength, wonderful service, inspiration and the loving dealings they gave, when our beloved Guru Maharaj was leaving. He expressed his eternal indebtedness to them. He said that Maharaj came to the hospital not for the medicines but for the consciousness in the hospital which is the sure cure for all diseases. Maharaj said that he wanted to make a statement to show that it does not matter where we go, but wherever there are devotees, wherever there is Krishna consciousness, then that place is as good as any other in this entire universe, to leave our body. Let us help each other to be with Srimad Bhagavatam and to be chaste to Srimad Bhagavatam and that is the only way we can please our beloved Gurudev.

Our heartfelt thanks to HG Devakinandan Prabhuji for sharing these precious realizations and instructions of Maharaj.

His Holiness Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj Gurudev ki Jai! His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada ki jai!

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