26th May, 2014, Gurgaon.
Yesterday, 25th May, turned out to be a day when I realised the power of prayer by devotees.
I was suffering from a bad throat since last 2 days and 24th evening was worst. When I woke up around 6am on 25th morning I felt terrible. I could not speak and even the simple task of getting up from the bed proved to a big effort. I felt very hungry and extremely thirsty. I drank some warm water, then I somehow remembered that Atma Prabhu had told me to take Neem capsules regularly, which I stopped some time back, so I took one capsule as well. I checked my temperature it was 101.3F. As it was Dwadashi so I waited for 6.50am and then I had some hot ginger lemon water with honey. I started coughing continuously and had green colour phelgm, confirming that I had an infection.
The hot concoction I drank gave me some relief and I slowly started chanting my rounds. But after less than an hour I felt too tired and stopped my chanting. I watched Mayapur.tv for some time and listened to HG Madhav Prabhu singing soulfully at a retreat. I also took crocin and later had my breakfast. I felt cold and had to take a quilt in the hot summer weather. I checked the fever again it was almost 102F now and my cheeks seem to be oozing heat. It was almost 9.45am. My wife was pushing me since yesterday to see a doctor and get antibiotics but today being a Sunday all the doctors were closed. I myself didn’t have any energy or a will to see the doctor. I took my bath.
In the meantime I got a call from HG Shyam Sundar Prabhu, who broke the sad news that HG Advaita Hari Prabhu left his body in Kolkata few days back. I had the good fortune to meet Prabhuji twice and I clearly remember his sweet and affectionate long talks. He was always most helpful to everyone in Mayapur. He was disciple of HH Jayapataka Swami, serving as chief finance officer and deputy director of Mayapur. He was currently involved in corporate preaching in nearby regions of Mayapur and Kolkata. Shyam Sundar prabhu narrated me how Prabhuji took such good care of HH Janananda Maharaj that maharaj declared that he will now come more often to Mayapur only because of Sri Advait Hari Prabhu. Shyam Sundar Prabhuji also made a very good statement that unlike `karmis’ when devotees leave this world what we miss most is their association. I pray to Lord Sri Krishna that He may give HG Advaita Hari prabhu a service in His eternal abode.
As we spoke for some time, Shyam Sundar Prabhu found out from my constant coughing that I was not very well. After the call was over I received a message on the Bhagavad Gita whatsapp group, which we run, and when I opened it, to my embarrassment, I found that due to a strong brotherly affection Prabhuji had posted a message to the group that I am not well and devotees should pray for me. I immediately messaged him back and requested him not to post such messages for me and that too for a simple cough and fever. I then added, for some effect, that if he really wants to pray for me then he should pray for my spiritual life that I should get attached to the holy name. Prabhuji’s reply stumped me as he spoke `Prabhuji I am praying for your material body so that you can serve the devotees and preach !‘
After this posting I received messages from some devotees and I told all of them that I am fine and just a little under the weather. By this time it was past 11am, I felt very tired and dozed off again.
I woke up around 3.30pm and felt a little different. It took me a few seconds to realise that I actually feel much better. In fact I felt as if I was almost recovered. I ate my lunch. I seem to have regained most of my energy, there was minimal cough- phelgm was now whitish and no tiredness at all. I was most surprised at this sudden transformation. I, then, remembered the message Prabhuji had posted on the whatsapp group and I realised that some merciful devotee(s) prayed for me and their prayers did the work instantly, it was like magic. I had my energy back, I played with my kids for some time and then called up Shyam Sundar Prabhu and shared with him this unique experience. He too was very surprised and happy to hear it. I thanked all the devotees mentally and in my state of happiness forgot to even thank Shyam Sundar prabhu as I knew that he would have been the first one to pray for me. Thank you so much to all the devotees.
What are my realisations –
1. Well, first of all, I must ensure that I serve all the devotees, specially the senior ones, to the best of my ability and regularly take the benefit of their association, life is too short and unpredictable to wait or to be lazy.
2. I would never underestimate the power of prayers by devotees.
3. I regularly receive messages, mails and requests for praying for a devotee or a devotee’s relative who is not well. If such requests are one to one then I make it a point to chant an extra round or pray to Srila Prabhupada for him/her. But many a times when it is a forwarded mail or a mail copied to many devotees then I skip it as well, there are many excuses which my lousy mind makes up. So I promised myself that from today onwards whenever I will receive such a request I will make sure that I pray for that devotee, I will never skip it.
3. And lastly, I realised that the real purpose of reading all the scriptures, and gaining knowledge, is to convince my own self that I should feel attached to Krishna and His devotees.
Regarding your questions are the Spiritual Master and the Grand Spiritual Master consciously aware of the prayers of a sincere devotee who prays in love to Them?—the answer is that no conscious prayers go in vain. They are transmitted positively. (By Srila Prabhupada, Letter to Mahananda, Los Angeles, 1970)
Thank you respected devotees for showing me the right way and improving my consciousness to always pray for others. I will not forget it.
All glories to the most merciful Vaishanavas.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada