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.
15. A hard worker: Godavari River was very dear to Maharaj. He told us when he was 16, he would swim every day across the river. Maharaj was a very strong swimmer. He said that he would swim across, tie up his clothes, put them on his head and do freestyle. He would go across to study and swim back and give tuitions in the night. After swimming back and giving tuitions in the night, the next morning he had to go to work. Maharaj worked very hard. If you spoke to those who knew him in Nasik, they said that he was the oldest in the family. There were 15 brothers and sisters. Maharaj was eldest. He was the eldest boy. He has a sister older to him. Maharaj was 91 when he left and his sister is 96. She still walks without a stick and she had come for Maharaj's samadhi. Maharaj had to take care of all their marriages. All sisters’ marriages he had to take care of and by the time his eldest daughter was getting married, he was finding at the same time, a groom for his youngest sister. He had to work very hard day and night for the money. Maharaj said, "Every business I started, somehow or the other, there were losses. And every time I started, I had to stop, but I never gave up because Krishna was always supporting me." So Maharaj worked hard all his life. And that is why even when he became old, he could not stop working, could not stop moving. In the last three months also, he was actively preaching.
16. Keeping the fire of Brahmacarya: I asked Maharaj, "How did you find time to study Bhagavad Gita and Bhagavatam all the time" and Maharaj said, "Whenever there was no customer, I was with Bhagavad Gita and whenever there was customer, I spoke about Bhagavad Gita and when I finished my work and went back, I took care of the children. When they went to sleep, I had my own corner in my house and I would read Bhagavad Gita" and that was always his advice to all of us grhasthas. He said, "Wherever you may live, you must have that one corner where you are alone with scriptures." When I got married, he told me, "Devaki, always in your heart keep the fire of brahmacharya always fired up. Some corner of your heart, you must remain brahmacari and how do you remain brahmacari? On the strength of Bhagavatam. The fire must be there. Do not, after becoming grhastha, give 101 excuses that "because of family and friends and all I cannot attend temple programs and I cannot do seva." Then your fire goes."
17. Completely free from all fears: In Nasik, because there was no proper medication when a lot of devotees were there, he began to get terrible asthmatic attacks and the asthma attack became so bad that he could not breathe. We had to bring him to the hospital and we thought that the end may be near. The hospital was terrible. It looked like a factory. It was on the third floor, and there was no lift. We had to carry Maharaj to the third floor and when we brought him into the room, Maharaj took one look at the room and he said that his asthma is finished. He said, "The room is so dirty that I am feeling better." Immediately Maharaj told me to take out a verse from the fifth chapter of Bhagavad Gita and he took out the purport in that verse and immediately without anyone recognizing what was happening, he spoke for half an hour on Bhagavad Gita, doctors seated, nurses included, patients, coming in and sitting down. Once he had an audience, he started speaking and once he finished he said that we should just discharge ourselves from the hospital. He said, "Let us go. I am feeling good now. If this is the hospital, I am just better off leaving."
Even then when we went for the X-rays, all the doctors told us that his lung infection was very bad. It could either be TB and there was also extra swelling of nodules and they said it could be cancer. They were not sure of the diagnosis. They wanted more results coming and on that day, Maharaj told me, Vaishnava Seva Prabhu and Sundar Prabhu that "Now the time is coming. I do not want any medication. Let me just read Bhagavatam. Let me just be with Krishna."
We brought him back to Bhaktivedanta hospital and there the doctor’s diagnosis was that his oxygen saturation was becoming very low, meaning to say in layman’s terms, he would not be able to hold oxygen and Dr Shyamlal Prabhu told me that the day will come, it could be two years, could be three months, or one day, where he would just gasp for breath and he would not be able to retain it any more. Then he would leave. We came up to Maharaj and we thought, it is our duty to explain this to Maharaj. Before I could open my mouth, Maharaj told, "Devaki, I have purchased the ticket for the train. I am now getting on the platform and I am just waiting for the train. When the train comes son, I will leave. I am just waiting because I have got my ticket." Then Maharaj told me, "I know exactly what is happening to me. You don’t have to tell me anything."
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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