domingo, 19 de julho de 2009

RESIDING IN SRI KESAVAJI GAUDIYA MATHA

My Gurudeva and I were there on the day in 1955 when Abhay Caraaaravinda Prabhu came again to the Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura. We embraced him and he embraced us. Before coming he had been successful with his pharmaceutical business in Allahabad, Prayaga Pharmacy, which was very famous. Many important personalities including the Prime Minister of India were customers in his shop. Later on, however, he had to sell it. Then he travelled to all the important cities of North IndiaóDelhi, Kanpur, Lucknow, Agra, Jhansi, Mathura and other towns to sell some medicines he had made from his own formulas. Kunja Bihari Prabhu, a senior disciple in the matha, was especially devoted to him during this time. He helped to carry his bags and also to bring him prasadam while he worked.

***

After a while this job also finished and Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu gave up his household life and all its possessions in Calcutta. He again came to Mathura, this time without belongings. He brought a medical formula for treating ringworm which he distributed to the shopkeepers, store-to-store; but sales were not good. He was living in a room he had rented by the Yamuna, in Hooli Wali Gully near Bengali Ghat. He had been there three or four days when I went to see him. Straightaway I said, "Prabhu, why are you staying here?" He was very humble and didn't want to impose upon us so I forcibly took his luggage. I told him, " I will not let you go anywhere else. We are here. We are your sons. You are our Gurudeva's Godbrother and are very dear to us. We want to care for you. I will not allow you to stay here separate from us." So I brought the brahmacaris, Kunja Bihari Prabhu, Sesasayi Prabhu, and some others and we forcibly took what few utensils he had and we brought him to live in our manha.

I requested him, "Please stay here with us reading Bhagavad-gita, writing and so on. I know that no one is assisting you now. I want to personally serve you. You please live here forever; we never want you to leave." He became so glad. I gave him a room adjacent to mine. His room was there (pointing to the room one door from the kitchen) and my room is here. There were only two rooms then, his and mine. At that time there was no mandira in our Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha.

We had very little facility to offer to him, because nothing was there in our manha. There was just one bathroom-- an old type which we all used. But still we were very easily able to live peacefully and accomplish everything. At that time he also had nothing to show "this is mine." He had only his body and atma-- no paisa, nothing. He only had some copies of his "Back to Godhead" magazine, his Gita, and three or four volumes of a Bengali Srimad-Bhagavatam. These same books are now preserved in our library. He had only these few things, no bedding, no extra boxes or personal belongings.

We gave him one little room and many big books. Nrsingha Maharaja (one of his Godbrothers) and I donated some Sanskrit and Bengali books to him. There he began to write many English translations and articles. Day and night he would stay in his room and do this. He also chanted harinama so much and sang bhajans very beautifully. We did not know when he ever took rest. He slept only a short time in the morning , because all during the night he was awake, and throughout the day also. He became so pleased with this arrangement of staying with us. Our Guru Maharaja also became pleased when he was informed of this.

***

We always requested Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu to give Srimad Bhagavatam classes. Usually there was not a big audience because only a few of us lived in the matha then. We were just beginning the Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha temple, so we had just five or ten persons. But very high-class, learned gentlemen from Mathura would often come to hear him speak. I was known then as a kirtaniya in the Gaudiya Manhas in Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, so I would perform kirtana. Prabhu would lecture, explaining his discourses word-by-word. Very erudite scholars were attracted by his pravacana. Also during this time he would give Caitanya-caritamrta classes to those of us who were at the manha in the evenings. His devotion for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His pastimes was very deep. Later on, after he took sannyasa, he often gave these classes in English, even though almost everyone there could not understand English. He would say that he was 'practicing'.

***

We used to always joke together. From boyhood it was my habit to joke with everyone. Even though Prabhu was so much older and more qualified than me, he was affectionate like a friend, wanting no aisvarya (reverance). In age and in every way he was equal to my Gurudeva. He was a very respected and educated person. I still don't know why he especially loved me and gave me so much mercy. I find nothing in myself. There were many beautiful Vaisnavas with such good memories and with all kinds of virtues and good qualities; so why did he like me? I don't know. But in some way he favored me with his affection. I would sincerely try to serve him and he was controlled by that love.

I would joke with him, saying, " Oh, you may try to be responsible for your children and your wife, but they are rejecting you." One of his sons was not very favorable and another was somewhat helpful, but not wanting to serve him. So I would say, "Prabhu, why not take more service from all of us? You should not go back there. I will beg from door to door and arrange to get you rice and any other things." We would joke together about so many things. Just as I joke now, he was also very fond of joking. When he would laugh it was very sweet. He joked in an especially delightful way, with a slight playful smile. Like this-- (makes an imitation of Srila Prabhupada's smile). His lips were pursed just a little, but not wide.

***

When Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu first came to Mathura to stay with us he had an ailment which he humbly and silently tolerated. Because he was expert in medicines, when necessary he always used ayurvedic or homeopathic remedies and avoided alopathic treatment. I was fortunate that he then confided in me saying, "I do not have faith in any doctors. If they demand to operate, I may die." I told him that he could not die; he had too much important seva to do. He agreed that he was very determined to fulfill his Gurudeva's orders to preach all over the world. I said that I knew of a bona-fide doctor here in Mathura where others had been cured. So he let me take him there and during the entire operation I stayed by his side. There is hesitation to mention these details because it may sound as if I was helping him. Actually I know he was bestowing such mercy to allow me intimate service as his friend.

***

Often we would visit each others' rooms. We had many philosophical discussions together, speaking about Prahlada-caritra and Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. We read many of those books together. He would deeply discuss the matters he wrote about in the Gaudiya-patrika. Sometimes he would have talks with one, two, three, or five disciples of my Gurudeva in my room. There were also some big officers and other important gentlemen who came to hear him speak. They would say, "Oh, Abhay Caran Babu is such a learned advanced person." Everybody would glorify him.

He explained the Srimad-Bhagavatam word-for-word, just as he later wrote in his books. In our talks I would not just accept everything easily. I raised questions and more questions. Even to my Gurudeva I would do this. Whatever they told me I acceptedóbut by logic and sastra-pramaaa (Vedic evidence), not blindly. With him it was also like this. I asked so many questions. Sometimes some of the other disciples of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada could not satisfy me and they would say, "Go to your Gurudeva and he will satisfy you and completely quench your thirst." I wanted to go in deeper and deeper and would not accept anything without raising so many questions. I was 'ladaka', in a fighting mood, and was known for having strong philosophical arguments. I heard everything very patiently but did not accept anything blindly. Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu was also like this, and so he appreciated this quality in me. Our Gurudeva and he were very logical men. By logic they strongly explained everything.

***

I do not know what special topics Swamiji discussed with my Gurudeva because usually I was not in the room when they spoke privately together. Amongst the disciples of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati it was not common to openly talk about the gopis, gopi-prema and all those topics. At that time Srila Janardana Maharaja was an exception, I was an exception, and my Guru Maharaja also would sometimes discuss these matters on a high level, but he did so carefully and not to everyone. Swamiji and I had many intimate talks together about Krsna consciousness, the Gaudiya Matha and other confidential topics which I cannot disclose to others.

***

Prabhu was very fond of cooking delicious food; very delicious. He wanted to prepare it, he wanted me to prepare it also and then feed all of the Vaisnavas. By his request, he and I would cook and offer so many preparations. Occasionally when he received funds he would even offer fresh mangos to the Deities. Then he would distribute that opulent prasada to all of the brahmacaris. He always used pure ghee to cook for Krsna. No matter how few rupees he had at any time, he would have a special jar of ghee for cooking; he never used oil. Also he cooked with one or two green chilis and ginger instead of red chilis. A favorite preparation of his was ginger morabba (crushed ginger root cooked with ghee and sugar or gur).

Prabhu was so enthusiastic about that cooking and he often declared that all Gaudiya Vaisnavas should be expert in cooking for Krsna.

***

During the many months he stayed at the Kesavaji Matha, the two of us would perform sundara-arati together each evening. He would always play the mrdanga so expertly and I would play the kartalas and sing. He liked my singing very much and always requested me to lead the kirtanas. Someone asked me, "Why didn't Swamiji also sing? He had a beautiful voice as well." I replied, "Yes, surely he did, but there were times he didn't sing because he was having so much devotional feeling and was weeping." Just like on some of his cassettes which I have heard Gauranga bolite ha'be... Vande Rupa Sanatanau.

Nenhum comentário:

Postar um comentário

Sri Guru-vandana

.
The Worship of Sri Guru
(from Prema-bhakti-candrika)
.

1
sri-guru-carana-padma, kevala-bhakati-sadma,
bando mui savadhana mate
jahara prasade bhai, e bhava toriya jai,
krsna-prapti hoy jaha ha'to

2
guru-mukha-padma-vakya, cittete koriya aikya,
ar na koriho mane asa
sri-guru-carane rati, ei se uttama-gati,
je prasade pure sarv asa

3
cakhu-dan dilo jei, janme janme prabhu sei,
divya-jnan hrde prokasito
prema-bhakti jaha hoite, avidya vinasa jate,
vede gay jahara carito

4
sri-guru karuna-sindhu, adhama janara bandhu,
lokanath lokera jivana
ha ha prabhu koro doya, deho more pada-chaya,
ebe jasa ghusuk tribhuvana

TRANSLATION

1
The lotus feet of our spiritual master are the only way by which we can attain pure devotional service. I bow to his lotus feet with great awe and reverence. By his grace one can cross the ocean of material suffering and obtain the mercy of Krsna.

2
My only wish is to have my consciousness purified by the words emanating from his lotus mouth. Attachment to his lotus feet is the perfection that fulfills all desires.

3
He opens my darkened eyes and fills my heart with transcendental knowledge. He is my Lord birth after birth. From him ecstatic prema emanates; by him ignorance is destroyed. The Vedic scriptures sing of his character.

4
Our spiritual master is the ocean of mercy, the fiend of the poor, and the lord and master of the devotees. O master! Be merciful unto me. Give me the shade of your lotus feet. Your fame is spread all over the three worlds.

Maha Mantra

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare



LOTUS

Jaya Srila Gurudeva , Srila Prabhupada Ki Jay !

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

All glories to Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada !

Gaura premanande Haribol!