Saturday, April 21, 2018

Chapter 11: Physical ill Health

The Divine Gopi

 Disappearance of the divine gopi caused such anguish of separation, restivity and yearning that life became unbearable for Shri Maharajji. Even a slight deflection in bhajan and chintan was intolerably painful. His daily routine seemed to be an impediment. Therefore, he took bhiksha from a couple of houses, ate it hurriedly, immersed himself in the joy of Naam Japa and rasa  of the Lord's divine play. When even begging for food seemed burdensome, he would take bhiksha from six to seven houses in a day, dry it up and stirring it in the pitcher's water, take a bit of it every day. The body revolted against this manner of taking meals. Maharajji's spleen enlarged, his liver began malfunctioning, and the body turned pale and feeble. Weakness increased so much that it was tough for him to even walk a few steps. But, this state did not affect his joyous mindset or devotional practice in any way and his daily routine continued as before. However it was a coincidence that news of his ailing state reached Shri Ratanlal ji Beri Wale, an emotional rasika. Usually, he lived in Nandgaon and he was the one who had got Nand Bhavan repaired. 

Shri Thakur ji, Nand Bhavan

Enthusiastically he would serve Nand Bhavan's Thakurji by offering bhoga, singing devotional songs and celebrating festivals. When Ratanlal ji listened to community singing his eyes would shed tears incessantly. His acquaintance with Shri Maharajji had been short and distant. Those days Shri Ratanlalji was staying in Nandgaon itself. One fine day during his early morning walk, he was passing by the cave on a crude path when all of a sudden he heard melodious waves of music emanating from an impassioned throat:

' vasatu mano mama madana-gopāle  |
nava-rati-keli-vilāsa-parāvadhi-rādhā-surata-rasāle  || '

(Lyrics written by Prabhodananda Sarasvati)

which means:

“May my mind dwell on Madan Gopala that enchanting cowherd boy who relishes the rasa of Radha's sublime love, which extends to the highest limit of ever-new, playful amorous pastimes.”

 The Ancient Cave

Lala ji was dumbfounded. A little later, he found the cave by taking a cue from the singing voice. Peeping through the aperture he saw Shri Maharajji engrossed in singing padas.[1]

He bowed before Shri  Maharajji when the verses came to an end and uttering, “ Radhe-Shyam,” left.
Radhe Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite

This exercise became a daily regime of his. In those days Shri Maharajji would sing the devotional songs of 'Sangeet Madhav' and verses written by Shripad Sanatan Goswami. Shri Prabodhanand Saraswati's, 'smaratu mano mam nirawadhi radham ' (depicting Shri Radha's adornment from head to toe),'vastu mano mam madan gopale ' (describing Lord Krishna as a cowherd boy from head to toe),'shri radhe jaya jaya madhava dayite '  ('Radhe, all glories to You, all glories to You. You are very near and dear to Lord Madhava,' a prayer by Srila Rupa Goswami))and Shri Roop Sanatanji's ' jai jai sundar nandkumara ,'(describing the beauty of Krishna, the darling son on Nanda) and 'vande viśvambhara-pada-kamalam,' ( 'I offer prayers to the lotus feet of Visvambhara, who cuts away the defective consciousness of those who are influenced by Kali-yuga,' a lyric by Radha Mohana Dasa)etc., were very dear to him. During his daily morning stroll Shri Ratanlalji would stand outside the cave, listening to Shri Maharajji and leave after saying, “Radha-Shyam' to him.

“ Brahmachar iji you did not even inform me when your health deteriorated.” Shri Ratanlal ji complained gently,

Hired a Bullock Cart

Shri Maharaj remained silent and a cool mild smile spread across his face. In those days there were no special means of transport. Shri Ratanlalji hired a bullock-cart, made Shri Maharajji sit on it and came to Mathura with an attendant. He got Shri Maharajji admitted into the Government Civil Hospital here.

The formality of the so-called treatment started. Government hospitals are notorious and known for their negligence. Besides, when the doctors saw Maharajji's appearance and dress up and noticed his renunciatory nature of asceticism, they assumed that he was some illiterate, begging, neglected sadhu. Therefpre why would they be cautiously attentive in treating him. The doctors would come to fulfill the formal routine of the hospital, see him, give medicines and go away. Some days passed by in this manner. There was no improvement and his bodily weakness escalated.

 Shri Balkrishna Das ji Maharaj

Once three doctors came to take a round at night. They walked up to the bed of Shri Maharajji and examined his body. They were talking in English amongst themselves. Feelings of neglect and contempt were apparent on their faces. They could see no possibility of Shri Maharajji being cured and becoming healthy. Ultimately they thought of injecting him with a poison with which either Maharajji would be cured or that bed would be vacated with his death.

The doctors asked him,  Tell us Maharajji, where do you live? Who all are there in your house? Why did you become a sadhu?”

Not giving an answer to this set of questions Shri Maharajij began giving a discourse on God in English. At first they were astonished at Maharajji use of the English language. They had no inkling that an educated person was hidden in his guise. Soon after, they were impressed by the content's weightage and listened to the speech carefully. There was such an enchanting attraction in his voice that they got lost in listening to it and forgot that they had come on a round. Now the thoughts of neglect, disrespect and non-attendance disappeared from their minds and were replaced by feelings of closeness and respect for that patient who was a brilliant sermonizer. 

A Doctor

The doctors were repentant and began treating Maharajji properly with absolute care and caution. The obliged and respectful doctors personally arranged for a wholesome diet to be given to Shri Maharajji from their own homes. After fifteen days of treatment Shri Maharajji recovered and became healthy. With heavy hearts, the doctors respectfully bade him farewell and insisted that he should visit their homes to give sermons and thus oblige them, whenever it was convenient.

 New Delhi

One of the doctors who had been a civil surgeon there at that time, unexpectedly met Shr Maharajji in Delhi, in 1975.The devotee where Maharajji was staying was a close relation of this doctor sahab. The surgeon had got his leg x-rayed and come. Looking at him, Shri Maharajji instantly recognized him. Without introducing himself he got three tablets of codopyrin ground.

Making three small packets he gave them to the surgeon and assured him, “ You will be fine just by taking these doses of medicine.”

Truly speaking, the surgeon recovered completely and came over the very next day.

He exulted, “Maharajji! I have become absolutely fine by taking your medicine. I did not even go to collect my X-ray report.”

[1]     Padas: verses of devotional poetry intended to be sung

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