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Shankracharya Jayendra Saraswati and KN RaoThe news of the death of Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati did not surprise me as for six years at least, as I personally know, his health had been bad, his diabetes was not under control. The three women who had conspired against him, Sonia Gandhi, Jayalalitha and Shashikala each suffered in her own way. Jayalalitha won elections after being defeated for one term, became the Chief minister but suffered from bad health and died a mysterious death. Shashikala is in jail and her claims of leadership is not accepted in AIADMK. It makes her a weak politician. Sonia Gandhi, now suffering from some disease has retired from active politics, has handed over the presidentship of the Congress Party to her son, in the usual familiar Nehru way---dynastic succession. Sonia’s role in the sinister plot to arrest Shankaracharya Kanchi has been mentioned by the former president of India Sri Pranab Mukherjee (See appendix I).
Mouni Baba ( 3rd March came the news of the death of Mouni Baba, three days after the mahasamadhi of Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati on the last day of February. Jayendra Saraswati, born in 1935, was 82 years when he took samadhi. In the case of Mouni Baba we never knew his age as no one knew it and it was guessed that he was ninety three years old when he took samadhi though some newspapers said that he was 108 years old then.

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It is an incident which happened more than twenty seven years ago or to be precise in Octobter 1982 and I learnt a lesson though enigmatically here I was the preacher. Those days I was in government service and every evening we had the recitation among other stotras of the Vishnu Sahastranaam which is my universal prescription to anyone wanting to seek remedial measure from me as an astrologer. I otherwise ask anyone interested in spiritual pursuit to do it regularly.

I share with some of the more intimate friends who have spiritual inclinations some experiences of mine and others to which I have been a first hand witness. What I have written in my book “Yogis, Destiny and the Wheel of Time” is only a tiny fragment of what all could be narrated. But the eternal warning given everywhere don’t cast a warning repeated in so many places in our scriptures and even in the Gita in the last parts of the eighteenth chapter.

I have reasons to remember a person in his late seventies or early eighties in the years from 1980 to 1984. He was the father of a a friend seventeen years younger to me. This young man used to join our Vishnu Sahastranam recitation as many times as he could though we had it everyday those days at my place. I will call him MGA. He also joined our Vrindavan pilgrimages which were once or twice a month. But he was familiar with Vrindavan because he was born there after his late father had migrated to this great pilgrimage after the partition of India.

This piece is of course is about the old man, the father of my young friend MGA. Those affected by the partition in what now is Pakistan, or rather  west  Punjab of prepartion days, mostly went to well known big cities and soon made enough money to become prosperous. How can pilgrimages offer any opportunity to earn big money ? But some of the refugees decided to migrate to pilgrimages and my friend’s father decided to go to Mathura from where he could go to Vrindavan and spend as much with saints and in satsang and also earn money to fulfil his duties as a householder for his family. He had lost one arm, had a small business and earned enough to educate all his sons well. Each of them got good jobs and served their parents faithfully.

The father of MGA fell seriously ill in 1982, was on his death bed. In desperation, once he told his son who had got him admitted to a hospital that he wanted me to see his horoscope and also expressed a wish to meet me. I went  to Mathura, where he was in a hospital, to see him.

He asked me to see his horoscope and make a prediction which surprised me . I collected myself and asked him why had he decided, after the partition, to migrate to Mathura and not to a bigger city where he could have earned a big fortune like many others. He said that he wanted to devote his life to Lord Krishna and he had often quoted from the Gita and the Srimad Bhagvatam which he knew as well as any seasoned preacher. I asked him then was he remembering what Lord Krishna had demanded---surrender unto ME ? Was astrological prediction superior to the preachings of Lord Krishna ? The old man kept quiet, took deep breath and after a very long pause, as though woken out of a deep meditation, said that I preached to him what he was forgetting. When he had decided to surrender everything to Lord Krisna why should he forget it now, with death staring at him ?

Slowly a strange glow appeared on his face. He kept quiet, became cheerful and felt very peaceful. I was reminded of what C.G.Jung, the great psychologist, had written once. Jung went to hospitals, saw old men on death bed wanting to cling to life desperately.Jung asked them what was the most important event left to happen in their lives. The answer invariably was Death. Yes, that was  inevitable Jung would tell them and was the only major event awaiting them. Once those old men reconciled to  the fact that death was the only event to take place, they became calm and peace reigned on their faces.

I almost did the same to the father of MGA---but with a difference. I was talking to a Hindu who had such strong spiritual background.

After my rhetorical questions to him he seemed to remember the entire eighth chapter of the Gita and reconciled himself to death beautifully, was remembering only Lord Krishna, forgetting the world, his family and other worries. He became absolutely peaceful and few days after died a beautiful death.

The story of MGA himself in July 2009 is equally beautiful, like his father’s, but with a pleasant difference and I will narrate it after some days. But then remember the eighth chapter of the Gita, the eternal and most beautiful message ever delivered to mankind.
( 17 Oct  2009)

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