Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.
In Valmiki Ramayan, Valmiki asked Narada whether there is any personality who possesses all 16 qualities. This is given in Valmiki Ramayan Bala Kanda - Book Of Youthful Majesties 1.1.2-1.1.4.
konvasminsāmprataṃ loke guṇavānkaśca vīryavān
dharmajñaśca kṛtajñaśca satyavākyo dṛḍhavrataḥ
cāritreṇa ca ko yuktassarvabhūteṣu ko hitaḥ
vidvānka: kassamarthaśca kaścaikapriyadarśanaḥ
ātmavānko jitakrodho dyutimānko’nasūyakaḥ
kasya bibhyati devāśca jātaroṣasya saṃyuge
Who really is that person in this present world, who is principled, and also a potential one, a conscientious one, a redeemer and also a truth-teller and self-determined in his deed. Who is he conduct-wise blent with good conduct, who in respect of all beings is benign, who is adept and also ablest one, also uniquely good to look to. Who is that courageous one, who controlled His ire, who is brilliant, non-jealous and even whom do the gods fear, when provoked to war ?
When Valmiki asked this question, Narada muni referred Lord Sri Rama as the personality with all these 16 qualities. Being part and parcel of Lord Ram, great acaryas also possess and exhibit these qualities in various degrees. In our limited association with our Guru Maharaj, we could get a glimpse of how much transcendental love Maharaj had for Lord Sri Ram and also how much he exhibited these transcendental qualities.
1.Guṇavān - a man of character
Our Maharaj's character is crystal clear. Maharaj used to say that our behaviour should be so simple that no one should have any doubts about it. He indeed exhibited good character in all 4 walks of life, i.e. brahmacharya, grihastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa.
2.Vīryavān - powerful
Maharaj did not carry any weapons to kill the demons. But he had powerful preaching to kill all our lusty desires, anger, greed, envy etc.
3.Dharmajñaḥ - who knows the religious principles
He lived the Vedic way of life, be it talking to other living entities, eating, sleeping, walking, cooking or washing clothes, Maharaj did everything as per religious principle. We are reminded of one noble incident - welcoming people. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.9.9, we see how Bhishmadev welcomed all the people even when he was lying on the bed of arrows. Srila Prabhupada very nicely describes as follows - "He was certainly unable at that time to welcome and receive them physically because he was neither at his home nor in a normal healthy condition. But he was quite fit by the activities of his sound mind, and therefore he could utter sweet words with hearty expressions, and all of them were well received. One can perform one's duty by physical work, by mind and by words. And he knew well how to utilize them in the proper place, and therefore there was no difficulty for him to receive them, although physically unfit." Last year our Guru Maharaj, even when he was in Bhaktivedanta hospital, welcomed all devotees lovingly with a smile, using sign language - even when he was suffering from breathing difficulties.
4.Krtajñaḥ - gratefulness
Last few months of his life, Maharaj was not feeling well. So we all chanted extra rounds. Our chanting may not be sincere also. But still, Maharaj thanked each one of us and showed so much of gratitude towards us. One more thing is that Maharaj always used to ask genuinely apologise to others and say "sorry" if others had to do any small help for him. HG Vaishnava Seva Prabhuji said how in Juhu temple when Maharaj used the lift to go up-stairs, the lift-operator used to hold on to the door as Maharaj would take some time to come out. Though it is the duty of lift-operator to hold on to the door and considering Maharaj's age, it is very reasonable for him to walk bit slow, still, Maharaj always used to say "sorry" to that lift-operator. This and many other such instances show how grateful Maharaj was to all even for their small services.
5.Satyavākyaḥ - truth speaker
Whatever Maharaj spoke has always been pure and true. Maharaj in London 13th June 2008 made a profound statement that his life is from 1920 to 2010. How true he was!
6.Drḍhavrataḥ - determined in his vow
Maharaj's vow is to preach Srila Prabhupada's message to every nook and corner of the world and he made it even in his advanced age and in spite of failing health conditions.
7.Cāritreṇa - good conduct
Maharaj was always conscious in his dealings with others, whether a devotee or a non-devotee. He had not committed any sinful activity throughout his life.
8.Sarvabhūteṣu ko hitaḥ - one who is thinking of the welfare of all the living entities
If Maharaj is selfish, he would have thought, let me perform the sadhana nicely, chant sincerely, read the scriptures and reach Krishna's abode. But he took sannyasa and initiated many living entities throughout the world. In that advanced age also he travelled all over the world many times to wake up all of us. He did not show even a tinge of discrimination.
9.Vidvān - knowledgeable
Maharaj read Srimad Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam top to bottom. He not only read the scriptures but also applied them practically. Even in the hospital while undergoing severe bodily pains, when devotees made any mistake in pronouncing the verses, he corrected them. At that time also he was very conscious to say the verse number.
10.Samarthaśca - capability
Maharaj had the capability of bringing so many very good preachers in this material world. We never thought that we will read Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. But now by Krishna's mercy and Maharaj's blessings, we are able to open the book and recite some verses.
11.Priya darśanaḥ - pleasing to see
Many of them don't feel like talking to old people. But in the case of our Maharaj, everybody wants to be with him and always wants to interact with him. By his oceanic smile, he enlivened the lives of so many suffering souls. Our Maharaj's face was glowing at the age of 90 also. Always the pure soul's body glows at any age. Maharaj's body glowed even after the soul left the body.
12.Ātmavān - courageous and situated in self
Maharaj exhibited extreme courageousness even during the last few days before his physical departure. Not only was he courageous, he gave courage to the doctors and to all the people who came to meet him, by reciting verses and by his humorous approach.
13.Jitakrodhaḥ - one who controlled
Maharaj exhibited so much of self-control even at the time of acute bodily pain. He never complained or asked for help or cried. He only said Krishna, Rama with every such situation and tolerated the pain by himself.
14.Dyutimān - brilliant
Maharaj knows each and every part of Srimad Bhagavatam and Srimad Bhagavad Gita. In his life,9 years he spent completely to read these scriptures. He is thorough with all the verses.
15.Anasūyakaḥ - without envy
Maharaj always appreciates others upcoming. Like Narada Muni giving all his knowledge to Prahlad Maharaj, Our Maharaj gave all his knowledge to his disciples. He encouraged everybody.
16.Jātaroṣasya saṃyuge kasya bibhyati devāśca - devas will be afraid of him
Before Maharaj started the temple in Rajkot, it was a drought-stricken place. But as soon as Maharaj touched Rajkot, by the purity of his bhakti, he forced Lord Indra to shower rains in abundance. As our senior God-brother, HG Viraja Krishna Prabhuji has mentioned in "Mahavishnu Goswami Kirti Ashtakam"
madana mohan mohinī śrī nīla-mādhava
su-vigraha sthāpakam viddhi pūrvakam
kṛtajña saurāṣtra bhumi pāda sparśanam
gagana garjayanti ambodha varṣaṇam
In accordance with Vedic customs, you installed the beautiful deities of Sri Sri Radha-Neela Madhava in Rajkot. The drought-stricken land of Saurashtra, having sparsha (touch) of your lotus feet has become honoured. The clouds gathered, thundered and bestowed rains to touch the honoured land of Saurashtra whereupon your holiness walked.
Maharaj's qualities are unlimited and each and every verse of Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita will always remind us of him. Let us purify our lives by remembering the glorious qualities of our dear Maharaj and make a sincere endeavour to imbibe at least a drop of these qualities.
His Divine Grace Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj Ki Jai! His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada ki Jai!
Thank you very much,
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Radha Ramana Krishna das and Anuradha devi dasi
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