10th October 2001 - Mahatma Vijay Ganesh

Dear devotees , PAMHO! AGTSP! AGTGM!

This chapter is a serious one. Sometimes Krsna's devotees
happen to find themselves in situations, wherein they
leave their bodies. On Wednesday September 12 bhakta Vijay
Ganesh from Amsterdam temple, an aspiring disciple of HH
Bhakticaru Maharaja, happened to have a serious car
accident. As a result he fell into a coma and for two
weeks was unconsciouss. The doctors had said he suffered
from bleeding into the brain and that his brain was
actually dead and could never recover again. He was
transferred from the hospital to the home of his parents in
Groningen, where the devotees were chanting 24 hours kirtan
for him, because it was sure he is going to leave his body.

On Ekadasi September 28 GM went to visit him and to lead a
kirtan. He chanted Hare Krsna, Namaste Narasimhaya and
Bhajahu Re Mana prayers for about 50 minutes. Then he put
his garland on Vijay's body and sprinkled him with
Radhakund water, chanting some mantras. Vijay's parents
(they are devotees coming from a Hindu background),
although grieving, were glad that GM went to visit Vijay.
Before we left GM told them; "Don't worry. Krsna will take
care of everything." He said it in such a convinced and
pacifying manner that it was clear to everyone that it's
fact. It wasn't just a formal phrase.

The next day in the evening Dharmaksetra p. had received a
call that Vijay has just left his body, so he and his wife
went there. When I have told this to GM,
he asked very seriously :"Right now he has left? Oh, Hare
Krsna..."

On the day of Vijay's funeral ceremony (October 4) GM was
invited by Vijay's parents to say a few words there. There
was a lot of people coming. Following is GM's speech:

"Om ajnana timirandhasya jnananjana salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri gurave namaha

This mantra is addressing our guru, our param guru, His
Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, who has opened our eyes,
which were closed in the darkness of ignorance. In the
darkness of ignorance people think that death is the end of
a person. Thus death is very lamentable, very unhappy time,
because that person who died is finished and we can never
have contact with that person again. But by spiritual
knowledge the eyes are open to the fact, that as Krsna says
in Bhagavadgita, there is birth and death only for the
body. But the person... we are here gathered for this
ceremony of bhakta Vijay Ganesh , but that person Vijay
Ganesh is not the body. That person is eternal spirit soul.
And moreover, Vijay Ganesh, more than just being spirit
soul... so already there is no need for lamentation for
him...but more than that, he IS - and I am saying IS, not
WAS, because he exists now and forever - he is a Vaisnava.

The word Vaisnava in sanskrit language means "like
Visnu". Visnu is God, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Actually the word Visnu means "He who dwells everywhere".
Lord Visnu lives in the hearts of all living creatures, he
lives even within the core of every atom. He is sarva
gataha - all pervading. And Visnu has His devotees, his
bhaktas, who are known as vaisnavas. And they are like Him
in that they are transcendental persons. Persons who go on
in their activities, in their consciousness, even beyond
the death of this body.

So we are all gathered here today by the mercy of Vijay
Ganesh. Lord Visnu is the merciful God and His devotee is
also most merciful. Actually we are here by the mercy of
Vijay Ganesh and we are all here to engage ourselves now in
the service of the Lord and the Lord's devotee. This is
all made possible by his grace. And he, Vijay Ganesh, is
instructing us now that the body, even though this
material body is not actually him, still the body of a
devotee is sacred. We are here honoring this occasion when
the body will be consumed by the flames of the crematorium.
Because this body is sacred, it was engaged in the service
of the Lord...so we are here to respect that and we are
here to hear this atma tattva, this knowledge of the true
self.

The true self is the soul and the soul is part and
parcel of God. The self is the eternal servant of God. So
this is most important occasion for all of us. That we are
all sharing in the mercy of Vijay Ganesh that we can all
advance in God consciousness today. Those who knew Vijay
Ganesh when he was embodied and was active in this body,
know very well that this was what he wanted. This is what
he wants of us. Not that this occasion is time of crying
and lamenting in the illusion, in the ignorance that we
think now he is dead, now he is finished, now he has
disappeared forever. No, he is here with us because we have
gathered together in his name for the service of Krsna, so
he is DEFINITELY here. And he is definitively pouring his
vaisnava krpa, vaisnava mercy upon us.

I consider him to be a great soul. I consider anyone,
who has taken up the service of Krsna, for however short
or long, that is just relative consideration... Whoever
takes up the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, whoever
gives themselves to the service of the Lord.... when we
look at the Bhagavadgita, when we see Krsna's words and we
study them without any prejudice of the mind, thinking
somebody is younger or older, superior or inferior...we see
that Krsna considers His devotees, His bhaktas to be
mahatmas. They are great souls. So Vijay Ganesh is a
mahatma. There is no doubt in my mind, no doubt in my mind
that he is a great soul. A great suddha vaisnava, pure
vaisnava and it is by his mercy that we are here all of us
today. Someone of you are hearing about Krsna perhaps for
the first time, I don't know, but that is HIS mercy, that
is his mercy... So actually he goes on in his sankirtan
mission even right now, in his preaching, in his
sankirtan.

I personally feel I am here to speak some words... so
I can only speak some words of great respect and honor for
this great devotee, I am very honored myself to have been
called here by him to do some service in his name. I feel
very blessed by that. So I hope all of us today can - in
whatever part we take in this ceremony - that we can be
blessed by the mahatma vaisnava Vijay Ganesh.

Hare Krsna. Thank you very much."

After other speeches GM lead a kirtan. At the end of the
kirtan he said Premadhvani prayers, ending by saying

"Bhakta Vijay Ganesh - ki jay!
Bhakta Vijay Ganesh - ki jay!
Bhakta Vijay Ganesh - ki jay! "

ys Vidyagati das

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