20. Eternal Companion
Surendranath, the eldest son of the family, was the travelling companion of Sri Sri Thakur till Kolkata. His son Krishna didn’t want to let his father go and came up to him crying, “Please Father, don’t go! Please stay back a day more with us.” But Surendranath didn’t want to let go of this golden opportunity. It has been his desire to spend time with Sri Sri Thakur and when the moment of fruition came, he grabbed it. Krishna’s pleading fell on deaf ears.
This scene didn’t escape Thakur’s vigilant eyes. Seeing Krishna cry Thakur asked, “Surendra, does Krishna always cry like this when you leave home?” Surendranath replied, “No Thakur! He never cries. This is not normal. I don’t know why he doesn’t want me to go.” Thakur thought for some time and said, “If the child is requesting you so earnestly, why don’t you stay back?” But Surendranath was determined. He didn’t want to let go of Thakur’s company at any cost. Within a year after this incident, Krishna succumbed to typhoid and left this earthly plane. His sister Bimala who used to take pride in calling herself a dear friend of Sri Sri Thakur, also followed his brother and merged in the lotus feet of Sri Sri Thakur.
The Deeghalkandi Family was blessed by Sri Sri Thakur. Without asking, Thakur had poured his seamless mercy on this family. One day Thakur blessed them saying, “I have taken not only your responsibility but I have also embraced all the little children of your household.” He kept his word and it was proven during the death of Brajabala, Sambhu, Krishna and Bimala. The blessings of Thakur had made them fearless and free of all their agony and sufferings. Or else, how would it have been possible for parents of young kids, whose lives revolved around their children, to tolerate the pain of their passing away and accept the events as the grace of Sri Sri Thakur joyfully without any resentment, any distress or affliction?
The death of Uma, the daughter of Sri Charuchandra Bandopadhyaya, is the story of an illuminated, surrendered soul. From the events that took place nearer to her death, we come to know how devoted she was and how much she loved and cherished her time with Sri Sri Thakur, inspite of being aware of the little time she was left with. Uma got married when she was only sixteen years old and gave birth to a girl at the age of eighteen. But a year before that she had malaria and suffered for almost a year which had made her very weak. So, after giving birth, the fever rose and she was bedridden. She was treated with every medicine available but couldn’t be cured. Day by day her condition worsened and she was unable to even turn on her sides. Her body was weak, without any strength but her mouth kept on chanting ‘Jayaguru Mahanaam’ and earnestly praying, “Thakur! Please take care of my Father and Mother, grant them peace.” A couple of days before her death, she became restless and wished ardently to get diksha. She called her grandmother and said, “You know so many mantras, please give me one.” Her grandmother replied, “What mantra can I give you? Thakur has given us the ’Jayaguru Mahamantra”, keep chanting it.” Uma was relieved.
Her final moment arrived. At around eleven ‘o’ clock at night, Uma held a photograph of Sri Sri Thakur on her bosom and poured out all that she had to tell him in front of that picture. After she was done, she started singing ‘Jayaguru Kirtan’ loudly. Everyone was amazed seeing this dying girl who hardly had the strength to utter a word, sing the kirtan so loudly with all her heart for one and a half hours continuously. All the family members joined her kirtan. They held the picture of Sri Sri Thakur infront of her while singing kirtan. They were worried that she might become breathless and so asked her to chant slowly in her mind. Uma calmed down. Dheerendranath asked her, “Are you able to see Sri Sri Thakur?” Uma replied, “Thakur was right here till now. He looked very serious and didn’t even talk. When you all stopped singing the kirtan, he slowly got up and went out.” Then she turned to her mother and said, “O mother! Please drape me in a nice saree.” After wearing the saree, she continued, “Please take me out.” The next moment she became breathless. She was brought to the verandah outside the altar. She put her head on her husband’s lap and breathed her last while chanting ‘Jayaguru Mahanaam.” Her face lit up with a divine smile as if she had gotten united with Sri Sri Thakur.
…to be continued
Inspired by Krushnapriya Mohanty’s essay, “Deeghalkandi Parivar.”