|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Devadasa > Chapter-XXI|
Chapter - 21
Gurudasa was out of station for a long time. He always desired to live in his own village and try his best to develop his village. But he could not do so due to lack of free time. Now that he has got six months leave he decided to meet with all the gentlemen of Ramakrishnapur village and decide the course of action. According to the opinion of all the villagers he established a welfare committee. The functions of this committee was to help the poor, fallen, widows and orphans and to educate the shelterless boys as well as to open a library so that the residents of the village can read various books and newspapers. In order to properly exhicute the functions of this committee he formed the executive committee. Devadasa gave one thousand rupees, Gurudasa two hundred fifty rupees and Jivadas two hundred fifty rupees as initial donation towards the corpus of the committee. Apart from them other gentlemen of the village donated Two thousand five hundred rupees together. Also Devadasa, Jivadasa, and Gurudasa began to donate total fifty rupees per month and the other villagers also began to donate total fifty rupees per month. The chairman and the other members of the committee were all learned and philanthropists. Everyone were particularly careful regarding the proper function of the committee. Due to the proper arrangement of the committee there was no scarcity of food and clothes in Ramakrishnapur village. Various activities such as supplying medicine and treatment to the poor patients and giving education to the poor, fallen, children were regularly being done by this committee. Since the library made a great improvement the villagers began to enjoy the advantage of studying various books. If everyone establishes a committee like this in their own villages and city and try to develop their village or city by their combine endeavor and help then the whole country will be prosperous, there will be no famine in the country and the widows, poor boys and girls will receive enough support and spend their time in happiness. The whole world will be a place of happiness. After spending many days in his village and after encouraging and teaching the villagers about the duties of the committee Gurudasa returned to the place of his work.
Gradually the time for Devadasa’s retirement arrived. According to the government rule he had to finally retire. He applied to the government to receive his pension. His senior colleges respected him and loved him very much. Therefore they praised Devadasa’s good qualities and bade him farewell. Thereafter Devadasa entrusted the family responsibility to Jivadasa and decided to spend rest of his life in cultivating god consciousness. Devadasa expressed a desire to spend his last days in his native village Ramakrishnapur. Jivadasa made all the arrangements for this purpose. So he no longer remain entangled in worldly activities. He sat down in a solitary room and spend most of his time in the activities of cultivating god consciousness. He fixed minimum time for his eating and sleeping. He regularly studied Shrimad Bhagavatam and other religious books in the afternoon with full attention and refined it with the crestal water in the form of deep thought. He had already attained steadiness of the mind by the strength of his sadhana. Now he became capable of controlling his own mind. Devadasa who was enriched with sadhana felt wonderful peace and happiness in his heart. Material self-interest, lamentation, distress, profit, loss, happiness and prosperity could not distract his mind any more. He constantly felt the presence of the Supreme Lord within his heart and began to worship Him with love and devotion. In this way a few years passed by. Now he realized the presence of blissful Lord everywhere. Some times he became unconscious, some times he cried, sometimes he laughed and some times he spoke like a mad man. In regained his external consciousness he realized the presence of the Lord with in the hearts of every living entities and after considering that the service to the living entities is the service to the Supreme Lord, he began to serve the living entities. ‘This belongs to me and that one does not belong to me ‘ this consideration never arose in his heart. He had no attachment for wealth and gold. The Supreme Lord has mercifully destroyed them. He is just like a sweet rippen fruit just fallen down to the ground from the tree of attachment. The more people will associate with him the more they will relish his sweetness and will obtain a wonderful happiness in their hearts.
At this time the news of Gurudasa’s illness came in. Considering that it is not proper to give this news to the father Jivadasa took necessary medicines etc. And left for his elder brothers place of work. The illness of Gurudasa increased day by day in spite of trying hard Jivadasa could not cure his disease. Gurudasa certainly understood that his end was near. So he called his brother and said, “ My dear brother my end is near now my only distress is that I could not see my father and mother. Father is a perfected personality, if I could die while seeing him then all my distresses would be mitigated. I do not think about my wife and son for I am certainly fortunate to have an intelligent brother like you. There is no doubt that you will look after them. O Jivadasa ! O brother! Do not give me medicine any more. My death is imminent. Let me concentrate my mind on the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord who is the friend of the helpless.” After speaking in this way Gurudasa closed his eyes. Tears flowed down from his eyes. He did not speak any more. After a while Jivadasa saw that the life air of his brother has gone out. Gurudasa’s wife always remained by the side of her husband. Realizing that her husband had left his body she began to cry loudly and soon fell unconscious to the ground. Jivadasa also cried and tried to regain the consciousness of his brothers wife. No other relatives and close associates were present there at that time. Any how he kept his patients in this grave danger and after a while he took his brothers wife to another room. After making proper arrangements for her service he tried to complete the funeral of the dead body. The funeral ceremony of the dead body was duly completed on the bank of the river Bhagirati. When Jivadasa lighted the fire of the funeral pyre his heart became shattered. He began to cry. His hands could not come forward to light the pyre. Any how after keeping his patients for a while he lighted the funeral pyre. Soon the pyre burnt like a blazing fire. The Jivadasa looked at the funeral fire without blinking his eyes. At that time he did not feel any grief or distress. The whole world appeared to him as a magic show. Soon the funeral fire burnt the dead body into ashes.
On the next day Jivadasa began to make arrangements for returning to Calcutta with his brothers wife and with the belongings of Gurudasa. All the people of the subdivision where Gurudasa worked were pleased with his courtesy and good behavior. Many respectable people tries to help him during his illness. When Jivadasa was about to leave all of them came there and praised Gurudasa in various ways. Jivadasa expressed gratefulness to them for their help at the time of danger. Then he painfully took their leave. All of them accompanied Jivadasa to the railway station. Jivadasa and his brothers wife boarded the train. The train started and they looked at the train as long as the train remained within their sight. Jivadasa also put his head out of the train and kept on looking at them. Soon Jivadasa went out of their sight.
In due course of time Jivadasa returned to Calcutta with his brother wife. At that time Suhasini was there. On seeing Jivadasa’s and daughter-in-laws crying faces Suhasini understood that some danger has occurred. Gurudasa was no more ! By the pathetic cry of Suhasini and the wife of Gurudasa all the neighbors gradually came in. But what will they do. No sympathy will be effective. They also felt extremely hurt by the death of Gurudasa; they also began to cry. The neighboring ladies sat down there to protect Suhasini and the elder daughter-in-law and time to time they began to use solacing words. The neighboring gents began to soles Jivadasa and Dvijadas in various ways. At that time Jivadasa’s wife was in her fathers house. She was sent a message and brought there. When she came back the noise of the cry again arose. The grief of Krishnapriya was again revived. Suhasini became unconscious due to both grief. Some times she regained external consciousness and again fell unconscious. The neighboring ladies were unable to speak, their voice became choked. Tears flowed down from their eyes incessantly. After a long time Suhasini regained her external consciousness and began to cry pathetically. The sound of that cry moved everyone. Even the stone like hearts melted. Gradually everyone became pacified. Dvijadas took off his old clothes and put on two pieces of new clothes. The arrangement for presraddha duties were being done. By and By most of the neighboring ladies left.
At that time Devadasa was staying at Ramakrishnapur. Jivadasa and others knew very well that his mental condition was very advanced. They also knew that grief or lamentation can not overcome him. Realizing that if he takes his whole family to him his cultivation of god-consciousness will be disturbed. Jivadasa went to Ramakrishnapur alone. He approached his father and while crying informed him about the death of Grurdas. Devadasa remained speechless and motionless for some time. Thereafter he remembered the creator and Lord of the universe and said, “O Lord ! everything is done according to your desire. Gurudasa was belonged to you. You kept him with me for some times. You have maintained him through me. I have not done anything. O Lord ! you have taken back your thing. You have done the right thing so I have nothing to feel sorry about it. How will the living entities understand your supreme will? O most merciful one ! only you know what mercy you have bestowed upon Gurudasa. I firmly believed that you have taken him away for his benefit. May he surrender his mind and life at your lotus feet. May the living entities believe that all your activities are auspicious. Then they will have no cause for lamentation.” Thereafter hearing from Jivadasa that Gurudasa has left his body while remembering the Supreme Lord within his heart Devadasa became greatly pleased then he engaged his mind in his own sadhana. Jivadasa did not say anything more to his father. He made all the arrangements to properly perform the sraddha ceremony of Gurudasa.
Eight months after this incident Devadasa had Jivadasa brought to Ramakrishnapur. He ordered him to bring the entire family to Ramakrishnapur. Jivadasa followed the order of his father. Devadasa expressed the desire to feed all the villagers sumptuously on the occasion of full moon day in the month of Vaishakha. Jivadasa began to make all the arrangements of this purpose. Devadasa personally satisfied everyone by feeding them to their satisfaction. After everyone finished eating he went to take bath in the Ganges. He merged his body unto the naval into the water of the Ganges and sat down in the posture of padmasana. Thereafter he fixed his sight between his eyebrows while remembering the lotus feet of Supreme Lord.
Meanwhile when Jivadasa saw that his father did not returned from the Ganges for a long time he came to the bathing ghata of the Ganges and saw his father absorbed in yogic meditation. Gradually it became afternoon and Jivadasa repeatedly called his father. Not getting any answer Jivadasa checked his body and came to know that his father has left them and returned to the spiritual world. This new spread in Ramakrishnapur like a flash. Everyone rushed to the bathing ghata of the Ganges to see that exalted saintly person. The entire place was filled with people, everyone including man and women came there to see the sadhu. As they see him they remember his extraordinary characteristics and tears flow down from their eyes. Their voice was choked due to grief. The sound of lamentation was heard on all directions. Jivadasa and others who touched his body felt an wonderful happiness in their hearts. There was no grief or moroseness in their hearts. Soon his wife, daughter-in-laws, grandsons came there crying and fell at his feet. By the touch of his feet their minds also became purified of grief and illusion. Gradually everyone came to know about this wonderful incident. Then everyone including the brahmanas, the kayasthas and the members of the other class began to touch that saintly body and felt great happiness. Thereafter they decorated that saintly body with flower garlands and took it to the crematorium on an opulent cot. People began to shower flowers on him from four directions. The vaishnavas walked with him while performing Harinama sankirtana. This was indeed a wonderful incident. Devadasa who was dear to everyone today left everyone and return to the blissful abode of the Lord.
Meanwhile the funeral pyre was arranged. It was made with huge quantities of sandal wood. The saintly body of Devadasa was placed upon that pyre. Jivdas lighted the funeral fire. Aguru incence, fragrant powder and ghee were sufficiently pored in the fire. The entire crematorium filled with the fragrance. Gradually the saintly body was burnt to ashes.
Devadasa insured his life for fifty thousand rupees in one of the branches of Life Insurance office. He instructed Jivadasa to withdraw that money after his death and gave it to the welfare committee of Ramakrishnapur. Only Jivadasa knew about it. It was Devadasa’s desire that the welfare committee spend that money for the benefit of poor, fallen, widows and orphans; Jivadasa followed the order of his father. He handed over Fifty thousand rupees to the welfare committee.
END OF DEVADASA