domingo, 19 de julho de 2009

VISITING HIM IN HIS LAST DAYS

Srila Swami Maharaja was becoming very ill. Our Sukananda Prabhu was offering him naturopathic massages with Gangajala. These helped him, before he last went abroad to England. Sukananda Prabhu came to Vrindavana for two hours every morning and evening for fourteen days to massage him. We also sometimes visited and spoke with Swamiji then. Once we came at a time when he had hardly eaten or even taken water for many days. Yet still he affectionately greeted us and, as he had always done with all, he lovingly offered us opulent maha-prasadam which had been prepared and offered by his disciples. He exclaimed how nicely his young students were trying to serve their gurudeva and Krsna. Even though he himself had taken nothing at all for so long, in such a careful and affectionate way he made sure that each of us took prasada to our full satisfaction.

***

Some Godbrothers and associates were paying visits to his room. Around this time, Akincana Krsnadas Babaji Maharaja, Srila Bon Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Maharaja, Srila B.V. Puri Maharaja, Indupati Prabhu (from Srila Madhava Maharaja's temple), Anand Prabhu, and many more devotees also came to see him. We also came several times to be with him along with our brahmacaris - Sesasayi Prabhu, Subananda Prabhu, Premananda Prabhu and sometimes others. There are tape recordings of some of these different conversations, but most were in Bengali or Hindi.

***

Just before Kartika month in early October when our annual Vraja Mandal parikrama was about to begin, Srila Swami Maharaja sent for me. He requested his senior sannyasis and many others, "I want to meet with Narayana Maharaja." They came by car and requested me, " Srila Prabhupada wants you, so please come now." We were just giving evening discourse for our parikrama party; but I came immediately. (Appendix 15)

When I arrived in his room at Krsna-Balarama Mandira, he was quite silent. Some boys were singing the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and some sannyasis and other disciples were silent. After some time he opened his eyes and indicated with his eyes for me to come close. He was so enthusiastic before his death- not his death, no, his entering into Krsna-lila. He was not speaking, but when he saw me he was happy. The devotees were chanting Hare Krsna very softly in Swamiji's special tune. All could see that he was not speaking anything now.

I did praaams to him, santya praaams (standing and silent) because I saw that there were so many persons there and no space for me to do full praaams. Then he saw me and at once said, "Oh Narayana Maharaja has come." He wanted me to take a seat on his bed. He tried to sit up but I put my hands on him and said, "Please lie down and I will sit over here." He then motioned for me to come nearer to his bed and said, "I want to speak to you." He wanted me to sit closer to his ear so he told some disciples, "Bring a chair" and I sat on it near to his ear. (Appendix 16)

First he began to weep. His heart was melted. From the core of his heart he told me, "Narayana Maharaja, can you excuse me? I feel that there is cause. For the sake of preaching I have told my disciples some things which perhaps I should not have said. Also I spoke so strongly about my Godbrothers in one letter which was then revealed to everyone. I said that we are preaching and others are not, that they are kanistha-adhikaris who don't preach but are idle. I said that all the Gaudiya Vaisnavas did not help me and they only take mahaprasadam and sleep." Swamiji had once written one letter to me saying, "I am preaching all over the world, but they are not doing this nor are they cooperating with me."

At this time many of his sannyasi disciples were watching. His words and mood implied to me many things about how he had wanted to encourage his young students. As we are careful with babies, so he instructed them not to mix with his Godbrothers and the other Gaudiya Vaisnavas. To save his newcomers from becoming disturbed or confused, he sometimes told them not to visit anywhere else because a few of his Godbrothers had done some wrong things. His disciples were simple-hearted and straight-forward and did not understand the Indian indirect subtle meanings. They did not know all these things yet and needed to progress gradually and be trained carefully in bhakti rules. He did not want them to lose heart due to criticism from any Indian Vaisnavas who may not understand their nature and his style of training them.

Swamiji had been a member of the Gaudiya Matha for a very long time and he knew the regulations and siddhanta- but he could not teach all of his disciples everything in just a few years. He had been cultivating many Vaisnava videshis (Westerners) from different countries but they still lacked our Vedic culture and sadacara (devotional habits). He had given such instructions to avoid other Vaisnavas just to protect his young disciples. Swamji said, "Although they are not fully trained, their devotional attitude is so nice. I am praying to my Guru Maharaja and the Rupanuga Guruvarga to bless them all. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, and Sri Baladeva Prabhu will surely give them Their mercy."

Swamiji was remembering all these things. He requested me, "Kindly tell the other Vaisnavas that I have made this offense and to please excuse me. I have so much sorrow for this." I think he felt that if any devotee was chanting the pure Name and was absorbed in hearing and preaching hari-katha like Srila Rupa Goswami, he could be considered even more qualified than one who is only preaching without pure devotion. I told him, "You are my siksa-guru and a pure Vaisnava. I know that you cannot do anything that is not in the way of bhakti. You have done these things only for serving your Gurudeva and Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We also do like this. All of us are indebted to you; there is no question. We know the prediction: prithi viti ache yata nagaradi-grama... You have done a miracle; you have spread His glories everywhere. We don't think that you have done anything wrong so I have nothing to excuse you for. But I will tell your request to the senior Vaisnavas and there can be peace. You are my siksa-guru; whatever instructions you give me I will follow with absolute sincerity." Tears were falling from his eyes very sweetly. He was acting in such a humble way, as if he was not a good Vaisaava, but actually he was like Narottama dasa Thakura and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.

Swamiji continued, "Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada ordered all of us to preach in Europe and America. That was his strong desire. His other desire was that we all work together to preach. I didn't waste a single moment. I tried my best, and to some extent it has been successful." His voice was choked with emotion. "If we can work conjointly then, as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu declared, this sankirtana movement has great possibilities."

Then he told me, "I want you to help take care of my disciples. I want them to be good and qualified devotees. If they come to you, please care for them." Many of Swamiji's disciples were nearby so he softly whispered in Bengali, "When I went to the West, I caught so many monkeys in my net. Really, they are very expert in quarrelling amongst themselves like that. They are still very young and untrained. So I request you that after my departure you will help them in every respect." Considering the implications of this order from my siksa-guru, I hesitated. Then he grasped both of my hands in his own, looked deeply into my eyes and asked me to promise to help. Therefore I agreed, saying, "I promise that according to my ability and my bhaktisiddhanta-tattva (understanding of the conclusive statements of bhakti). I will always be ready to help them as you request."

After this I spoke again, " I want to say something else to them". Srila Swami Maharaja at once became inspired and called, "Oh, you should all come near and hear Narayana Maharaja. Please take into your hearts what he is speaking." Then I told them all, "Don't think that Swamiji is leaving from this world, leaving his body. Gurudeva is eternal. You are fortunate to have such a bona fide guru and Vaisaava. You should try to preach his mission more and more enthusiastically. But if you are after material things, you will find yourselves quarrelling over name, fame and worldly gain. You will not be following the siksa (teachings) of Swamiji. You will not be following his mission; you'll be doing wrong. So don't pursue your svartha, your own self-interest. Give up all these things. To serve Swamiji, and to preach his mission, you should be united with all of the devotees. Don't quarrel with the others over some little point. Don't expel anyone from this mission by finding small faults. Try to behave like friends, with brotherhood, and then you can preach. If you have difficulty with any of these things, then as Swamiji has requested me, you can come to me and I will try to help you from the core of my heart." They all listened to me then. It was recorded on cassette tape. (Appendix 17)

Srila Swami Maharaja turned his head slowly, looking over the devotees as they gathered in closely. Then he slowly lifted his hand, as if to call them to attention, and said, "Listen to Narayana Maharaja. Don't fight amongst yourselves. I have given all direction in my books." Then he lowered his hand.

After this Swamiji told me, "I pray to you that you will put me into my samadhi with your own hand. I don't want to take samadhi from anyone else's hands. I think you are the proper person. After my samadhi arrange to celebrate my mahotsava separation festival. You should give some amount of money to all the seven temples in Vrndavana and to all the Gaudiya Manhas. It depends upon you, 201 rps, 1001 rps, according to your discretion, whatever you recommend. They should all hear these instructions and arrange to pay. Do a mahotsava festival also in Mathura and invite all of the senior Vaisnavas to the feast. Invite all the Vaisnavas in Vrndavana. Do like this for me. And again I am telling you that you should always help my devotees."

***

(EDITORS NOTE: For special insight into the historical record, we have chosen to include here excerpts from the transcription of an original taped recording. These memories and personal insights were spoken in a temple class shortly after Srila Prabhupada's departure by one of his senior disciples who had been present on this same occasion which Srila Narayana Maharaja described above. We pray that the assembled Vaisnavas will treat this information with sensitive care, as such topics are generally not for public discussion.)

"While Srila Prabhupada was lying there he assumed a certain pose but we couldn't understand it. We just thought he was lying on the bed. He had his hands in a certain way, his head was in a certain way, and his legs were in a certain way, and he arched his body in a certain manner. So then Srila Narayana Maharaja said, "Oh, he is in such and such mudra. It's a type of mudra." He said, "This is exhibited by someone in the last period before he passes away. It indicates that he is dancing with Krsna. When he exhibits this form in the bed it means that he is dancing with Krsna, it's a dancing pose." Some people may try to understand Srila Prabhupada's relationship with Krsna, but this indicated a specific pastime.

Then he brought in his brahmacaris. He has a little choir there in Mathura. Srila Narayana Maharaja and the brahmacaris began to sing "Sri rupa-manjari pada". Srila Narayana Maharaja has a beautiful voice; a very baratone voice, "Sri Rupa-manjari pada, sei mora sampada." He sang very, very slowly. Everyone was crying. The whole room was in tears. Everyone was very, very shook up, and then as the night wore on, the kirtana was going on and on with this chanting. (Time break. End of taped account of Oct.8, 1977)

This second account is a continuation of the previous tape-recorded class, describing recollections of later on November 14th, during Srila Prabhupada's final five hours.

"..He (Srila Prabhupada) started exhibiting extraordinary activities. He started to roll back and forth on the bed, back and forth, and he would flail his arms in the air and then suddenly stop like he was stunned. He wasn't speaking at all, and then he would groan. Then suddenly he would belch very, very loudly and then he would shed tears and tremble, and then he would roll again. In this way he would go on and on in so many different postures. At first everyone was horrified

Then Srila Narayana Maharaja came, and he was the last one that Srila Prabhupada communicated with. I don't know what Srila Narayana Maharaja said to him because I never asked him. Someone should ask him that. He entered the room and Srila Prabhupada was shaking about, flailing his arms and then Srila Narayana Maharaja went right up to Srila Prabhupada's ear and whispered something and then Srila Prabhupada stopped, and Srila Narayana Maharaja whispered something else. And then Srila Prabhupada put up his hand and shook it like he had benedicted Srila Narayana Maharaja understood what he meant, and then he put his hand down.

(End of taped segment)

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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!