By Swami BV Nemi
Please accept my dandavat pranams.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada.
All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga. All glories to Sri Sri Radha-vinodebihariji.
I am sending news from our Matha in Delhi, where I arrived last night. The mood here now is more comfortable than it was even a day ago, although the prospect of Srila Gurudeva leaving, perhaps very soon, is very real and undeniable.
The first important point is that Srila Gurudeva wants to stay. He is cooperating with the treatment. In the morning, the devotees wanted to put a tube in his nose for feeding, and he agreed, though it is uncomfortable. When Dr Lance (who has treated Srila Gurudeva successfully before) came from the States today, Srila Gurudeva said, “He saved my life before” and was pleased to see him.
When I arrived yesterday evening, Srila Gurudeva had stopped eating and drinking for the last couple of days, and was not taking any medicine. The prospect and mood were very bleak, and the devotees were quite depressed. Now the mood is quite different.
Today, Srila Gurudeva drank juice and kept it down, and took some soup. He was thirsty and decided to drink some water through his mouth, and kept it down. He is also taking medicine, and had normal bowel movements. Brajanath Prabhu was much more hopeful this morning. Then Dr Lance arrived. He has a very successful clinic in the States, and specializes in curing hopeless cases. After examining Srila Gurudeva, Dr Lance said that he thinks he can cure him. He will be here for two weeks, and he said that in 5 days he will know for sure what the outcome of the treatment will be. He used to use chelation therapy, but he now uses herbal treatments and a special form of sound therapy, because these are more effective than his previous (successful) treatments. Devotees who were there said that that the whole mood and energy became much lighter immediately he arrived.
Tomorrow Dr Ray is coming from the Philipines. He has also helped Srila Gurudeva enormously on several occasions in the past. Next week, two more doctors are coming from Europe.
It remains to be seen what the outcome will be. In any case, both Srila Gurudeva and the devotees are more comfortable than they were yesterday.
Yesterday, our beloved Rasananda Prabhu received sannyasa from Srila Gurudeva. His name is now Sripada Bhaktivedanta Sridhara Maharaja. Sripada Bhaktivedanta Sridhara Maharaja ki jaya! Paramananda Prabhu from the Philipines and Jayadeva Prabhu from Rupa-Sanatana Gaudiya Math received babaji initiation.
Brajanath Prabhu has emphasized the need to be realistic. Whatever happens in the next few days and weeks, Srila Gurudeva will leave at some point in the not-too-distant future. Brajanath Prabhu also emphasized the need to make a more positive atmosphere around Srila Gurudeva. If the devotees are so depressed, it is more difficult for Srila Gurudeva to feel positive about recovery. We have seen that when his health is poor, he seems to want to leave, and then if his health and energy improve, he again wants to write and preach. We know that he is a maha-bhagavata. At the same time, like ordinary people, he responds to his health and situation.
That is the news in brief. I will write again when I can.
I would like to make two personal suggestions. Please forgive me if these appear childishly simplistic, but I know that some devotees have difficulties in this area. The first suggestion is that we should use this opportunity to make a closer heart-to-heart connection with Srila Gurudeva while he is physically present with us. Sometimes devotees have a hard time with this; they think that if they meditate on Srila Gurudeva and feel that he is present, this may be just imagination. It is important to understand and accept our Vaishnava philosophy. Srila Gurudeva is the personal, outward manifestation of Supersoul, who is present in our heart. Srila Gurudeva told me personally on one occasion, “Gurudeva and Krishna are with you always, so best thing is to feel that.” Yes, it is true that our sense of his presence will to some extent be imagination, but there is also essential reality there. Bhakti-yoga practice means daily practicing and making that connection stronger and stronger, and more and more real. That is the first suggestion.
Then the question may arise, “But how to do make that connection?” That brings me to the second suggestion. Brajanath and I discussed the question: “How much of our distress now is for Gurudeva, and how much for ourselves? Does Gurudeva want us to feel weak and helpless?” Our tendency at this moment may be to just pray in distress, and feel the emptiness that we fear. However, there is an alternative. We can connect with Srila Gurudeva and tell him how much we appreciate his beautiful qualities and his wonderful gifts to us. We can count our blessings. We can compare our lives now with our situation before we met Srila Gurudeva. With deep appreciation and gratitude and love, we can tell him how happy we are to have met him. When we do this, it becomes easier to connect with Srila Gurudeva’s transcendental presence. Srila Gurudeva and the devotees are very, very open to each other right now. It is a golden opportunity to connect with more and more love and appreciation. This is the basis of bhakti-yoga, the yoga of meeting in divine love.
Aspiring for service to Sri Hari, Guru and Vaishnavas,
B V Nemi
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