Dear Prabhujis and Matajis,
Hare Krishna. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.
Several devotees have expressed their concerns about Maharaj's health and more importantly about how he should be resting more rather than extending himself in traveling etc. This is definitely a symptom of their love for Maharaj and it is appreciated by Maharaj very much. At the same time we should also understand that Maharaj is completely independent, as much as Krishna is. Over the last 2 months of this difficult phase, devotees, especially those who are closely serving Maharaj are audience of this very intimate direct dealings between Krishna and Maharaj. It definitely is a transcendental communication between Krishna and Maharaj and we are very very fortunate to be a part of this sublime pastime.
Last Friday on hearing about the critical health of Maharaj, I immediately left US and reached Mumbai in the wee hours of Sunday morning. I was wondering if ever I will be able to take darshan of Maharaj and if I will be able to talk to him. Lots of thoughts were running in my mind filled with anxiety and when I went inside the hospital and met Vaishnava seva Prabhu (who along with Sundar Gopal prabhu, Atma Prasad Prabhu and Sevananda Prabhu is performing exemplary personal service to Maharaj) the first thing he said was, "Prabhu, please rush and tell all the devotees to get ready to travel to Panvel". I was confused and asked him, "Then what about taking darshan of Maharaj?". He said to my utter bewilderment and disbelief, "Maharaj is also coming!".
The previous night Maharaj was suffering from breathlessness but somehow by Krishna's mercy had a good rest. In the morning suddenly Maharaj decided to travel to Panvel and when the doctors were informed of this, they were bewildered. They advised Maharaj not to travel and in the worst case, at least take the breathing instruments, nebuliser etc with him. Maharaj refused to take any of these with him saying that we should have complete faith in Krishna. Then we all loaded ourselves in two trucks along with Maharaj in the car. It took 2 hours on the bumpy road from Mumbai to Panvel and Maharaj withstood all the pains amazingly. Infact, whenever we would cross his car or his car would overtake us, he would raise his hands, say 'haribol' and smile lovingly at us. We all kept saying, "This is definitely like a dream for us, to travel with our Guru Maharaj in such a transcendental spirit. When we reached Panvel, Maharaj somehow made it to the center of the land and began to speak. Initially his voice was very low and weak and we all were worried if Maharaj would be able to continue. But then within a few minutes, his voice turned into that of a rumbling thunder. His realized instructions were so deep, full of compassion for struggling bhaktas like us and all the poor living entities. His realizations were overcoated with humor and transcendental trademark laughter. We shall transcribe those instructions in a separate mail.
Then Maharaj made us all stand in a line (like in a school) and asked us to sing the Sri Prahlad International School rhymes nicely written by Atma Prasad prabhu. The first time we just stood without forming a proper line and sang the rhymes. Maharaj said, "If you do not stand in line, you will all go to hell!". Then he asked us to sing the rhymes along with the action. We repeated the rhymes again with the actions and he was pleased. Maharaj then named the Panvel land as "śamyāprāsa" and said that this place should be meant for pure devotional service only. Anyone who would want to absorb themselves in the holy names and Bhagavatam should come here and spend their time.
In spite of his physical weakness, he met with each one of us and spent sufficient time enquiring about our well-being. Then after about 2-3 hours stay in the land, he returned back to the hospital. We are all hale and healthy, had some prasadam in the morning, we did not have any life threatening disease, but in spite of all these positives, while returning back to Mumbai we were all so very tired. On the other hand, Maharaj did not take any prasadam, he is suffering from a deadly disease and he is apparently hampered by the old age too. In spite of all these hurdles, still he exhibited his activities in transcendence.
The next day (3rd Jan) Maharaj was a bit tired but still he managed to give darshan and speak to each of us. Yesterday again his health was down. I left Mumbai yesterday evening to get back to work but today morning when I called Vaishnava seva prabhu, I was again bewildered when he said that Maharaj gave a 2 hour Bhagavatam class to all the devotees including the doctors and staffs in Bhaktivedanta Hospital's Jagannath Vallabh Garden. Maharaj insisted everyone to study the verses SB 7.6.1 and 1.5.11 including the word-word equivalents, translation and purport and that they cannot take prasadam until they memorize these two verses.
The only thing we can understand from these episodes is that Maharaj's dealings are completely inconceivable to us and we should just simply obey him and do what he instructs us.
kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha
durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma tad apy adhruvam arthadam
śrī-prahrādaḥ uvāca — Prahlāda Mahārāja said; kaumāraḥ — in the tender age of childhood; ācaret — should practice; prājñaḥ — one who is intelligent; dharmān — occupational duties; bhāgavatān — which are devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; iha — in this life; durlabham — very rarely obtained; mānuṣam — human; janma — birth; tat — that; api — even; adhruvam — impermanent, temporary; artha-dam — full of meaning.
Prahlada Maharaja said: One who is sufficiently intelligent should use the human form of body from the very beginning of life — in other words, from the tender age of childhood — to practice the activities of devotional service, giving up all other engagements. The human body is most rarely achieved, and although temporary like other bodies, it is meaningful because in human life one can perform devotional service. Even a slight amount of sincere devotional service can give one complete perfection.
yasmin prati-ślokam abaddhavaty api
nāmāny anantasya yaśo ’ṅkitāni yat
śṛṇvanti gāyanti gṛṇanti sādhavaḥ
tat — that; vāk — vocabulary; visargaḥ — creation; janatā — the people in general; agha — sins; viplavaḥ — revolutionary; yasmin — in which; prati-ślokam — each and every stanza; abaddhavati — irregularly composed; api — in spite of; nāmāni — transcendental names, etc.; anantasya — of the unlimited Lord; yaśaḥ — glories; aṅkitāni — depicted; yat — what; śṛṇvanti — do hear; gāyanti — do sing; gṛṇanti — do accept; sādhavaḥ — the purified men who are honest.
On the other hand, that literature which is full of descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, forms, pastimes, etc., of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a different creation, full of transcendental words directed toward bringing about a revolution in the impious lives of this world's misdirected civilization. Such transcendental literatures, even though imperfectly composed, are heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest.
Each one of us who are really serious about following what Maharaj is teaching us even at this critical juncture of our lives can make it a point to by-heart these two verses and meditate on its meaning. This will please Maharaj more than anything else.
Thank you very much
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Kalacakra Krsna das
Moderator's Note: Maharaj will continue to give darshan in Bhaktivedanta Hospital as long as he is there. Devotees who are planning to visit Maharaj are requested to plan your time according to Maharaj's convenience. You can call Vaishnava seva prabhu (9820114470) for any clarifications. The Bhaktivedanta Hospital doctors are extremely kind. Understanding the position of Maharaj and the big number of devotees visiting him, they have accomodated us very kindly. At the same time we need to be considerate to the other patients in the hospital as well. So please call Vaishnava seva prabhu once you reach the hospital reception and if Maharaj is ready to give darshan, he will arrange your meeting with Maharaj accordingly.
One other kind request - When you are in the hospital, please spend your time in sincerely chanting the holy names or studying and discussing Bhagavat-gita/Bhagavatam instead of frivolous talks. Frivolous talks are nothing but crow's conference. We are meeting a venerated and pure Vaishnava who has lived all his life as a Paramahamsa. Probably Krishna thought that the only way He can make us come to the pure devotional stage is by showing us a Paramahamsa's transcendental activities and He has chosen to give us such a tough lesson through one his dearest devotees. To understand and appreciate the mood of a paramahamsa we should come out of the crow-ish mentality and perform pure devotional service and pray to the Supreme Lord from the core of our hearts.
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