Guardiões da Devoção
Disappearance of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
by Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja
Devotee: Guru Maharaja, can you tell us some things about the disappearance of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: What does she know? How he disappeared? What do you know, I want to know.
Devotee: I know nothing, except the year.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: No, what do you want to know?
Devotee: What were the circumstances surrounding his disappearance?
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: For some time he showed us in his last days that his heart is going to be damaged. Then some sort of treatment, that kaviraji and other party that was arranged. But gradually he felt that he is becoming weak and weak. Then October '36 he went to Puri along with some of us and there at that Purusottama Math on the Catak Parvat, whether you have gone there or not? Have you visited Puri?
Devotee: No, not yet.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: There is one sandhill, hillock, there was his bungalow and he lived there at Purusottama Math. And so many of us also went with him. And he was very fond of hearing that sloka of Dasa Goswami, nijane katim vasam. Every day that was sung before him and sri-rupa-manjari .. se mora sampada, this song was sung by Yajavara Maharaja who came here, lived for some time, you might have seen him (Yajavara Maharaja). And in this way. And then after a month he came back to Calcutta.
We left a party in Kathaka for some collection. Then we got information that his health is being broken day by day. We also came to Calcutta. When we went to Puri at that time one (Bhakti Saranga) Goswami Maharaja there, he was called Aprakrta Prabhu at that time; he was sent to London and in the Haora station his own garland Prabhupada put it on his head and told him, 'Go there, and if anyone desires to take hari-nama I allow you to give that.' Then while coming back, when we got this news from Kathaka we came to Calcutta and found that it was a very stingy winter and treatment was going on. In spite of that, his health did not improve. We are doing our duty, service duty in his sickbed, I was also among them.
My duty was from 2 o'clock at night to 4 o'clock morning, just before twenty-four hour of his departure he called for me and asked me to sing a song, Sri Rupa Manjari . se mora sampada, this famous song which is supposed to be the highest realization of any Gaudiya Vaisnava devotee. Then after twenty-four hours, that is the 1st January early morning he left the world. He was lying and slight jerking, thrice, like hiccup, slight hiccup thrice, and everything was calm. Then of course we, it was in Calcutta Math, Bagh Bazaar Gaudiya Math, a special train from Calcutta to Krsnanagara was arranged, and from Bagh Bazaar Math we carried his holy body to Dum Dum Station and from there that special train to Krsnanagara, from there on the roof of a bus came to this Ghat. From there across the Sarasvati River, and then again we carried by our shoulders to the Math, and there his place of samadhi.
In the morning we came we reached the whole day it took to come from Calcutta to come to Caitanya Math about 7 or 8 o'clock we reached Caitanya Math at night. Then the digging of the grave was begun, we were engaged in that ourselves. Then early morning, of course he was placed on there. I still remember his dignified figure...[break]...he sat in a very dignified position and a very golden color. His complexion was fair, but after twenty-four hours when he was made to sit on an asana, a dignified position of an acarya, he was tall and fair and thin and very soft body. Then of course the salt was given around and then the salt and earth came up to this, his sitting, I came out. I could not stand to cover his head. I came out, and then I again covered, a tulasi plant was put there and we all circumambulated with some song and some reading of Bhagavatam. I specially requested who was chanting the conclusion poetry in Caitanya caritamrta commentary made by himself. Prabhupada had his Anubhasya commentary of Caitanya caritamrta and in the conclusion he composed that poem, very sweet and very lamenting temperament.
I asked to read that poem of his and it was read. Then Haridas Thakura samadhi description in Caitanya Caritamrta, it was also read. And then circumambulation of the samadhi, the tulasi plant on that. And one geltleman requested me to chant the same Sri Rupa Manjari . what two days before he requested me to sing and I sang. So that song was sung by me and then everything finished. And we are all fasting yesterday, the whole day. And the Thursday before sunrise, one or two hours before sunrise, he disappeared, whole Friday we took him to that math and everyone fasting, even not a drop of water. Then after the Saturday, about 9 or 10 o'clock we took something to eat. Then taking prasada, again their service engagement in Calcutta we had to attend. And a respectable devotee was appointed as president in a meeting so after that again we, at least I and a few, had to go back to Calcutta, to attend the meeting. The whole body was too much tired, that I can't move. Still we had to attend. So many disciples from outside they flocked together, all pale and weeping mood, the whole small area was all filling with devotees. Crying, weeping, in this way. In this way in '36 went away and '37 began.
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