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Title: Narmada Swami leaves the world

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-10-29 10:24:00

 

Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Jaya Guru Parampara! Many years before, during my brahmachari service of publishing the holy books of Shrila Abhaya Charanarvinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, I had worked with Pujya Narmada Swami who was more than 60 years of age at that time. He was quite difficult to work with due to his very strict and conservative in nature. He would not even let me cook my khitchari daily in my small cooker stating that a brahmachari should not cook but I considered it as mercy of the Lord considering that in age he was like my father. I have been very strict with eating right from my pre-brahmachari days and would not eat grains cooked by someone whom I did not know as a sincere devotee. One thing I saw was that he had genuine love for Shrila Prabhupada and his holy books. He had great faith in Shrila Prabhupada. And he would not speak in public lectures from outside of Shrila Prabhupada’s books. He would be very punctual in his service at the BBT and a very strict manager. He would be moved while thinking or speaking about Shrila Prabhupada. 

  I would design new covers for Shrila Prabhupada’s books and publish them and he would see the first copy of all the books and he would smile and be surprised to see the new attractive design and amount of work which went behind it. Then I would offer the book to Shrila Prabhupada’s Deity in the temple room. Anyway, there is lots to say but maybe some other time.

 He left for Vrindavana when he started suffering from Parkinson disease in Mumbai. So the sad news is that he left this world in Vrindavana Dhaam on 27th October 2006 at around 1.15 pm and he was given Samadhi in the Vrindavana Goshala. He was 79. He was staying in Vrindavana at least for the last 3-4 years. I had tears welling in my eyes when I heard about his passing away. And I prayed for his soul. Infact I have been praying for his soul ever since I heard he is in Vrindavana. Even though he was very strict, still he had great love and affection for me which he kept very hidden in his heart. And I felt it sometimes. One thing I feel really happy about is that he chose the right place to leave this world, Shri Vrindavana Dhaam, and he showed the world by his example, that whoever you are, you have to prepare to die in the Dhaam. Let us all chant for him and offer our heartfelt pranams to him and thank him for the services he has done for Shrila Prabhupada. He will always be remembered as long as Shrila Prabhupada’s continue to be published in the world.

 He always kept a wall-mounted big photo of Shrila Prabhupada hanging in front of his desk and would look at him for inspiration when he needed it. He would read Shrimad Bhagavatam regularly or hear Shrila Prabhupada’s audio lectures in the BBT office after office hours. He would become very happy to see Shrila Prabhupada’s books being distributed and was like a honey-bee tasting the nectar of the brihad-mridanga. His attachment to Shrila Prabhupada’s book publication and distribution was kind of contagious even though it was not so openly visible to those who did not know him intimately. Even though I was already attracted to the brihad-mridanga service, but his association inspired me to serve even more sincerely Shrila Prabhupada’s brihad mridanga.

 He had severe knee pain during his BBT days but still he would be in office punctually to work for publishing Shrila Prabhupada’s books. Due to his age and health, he would not be able to come to Mangal Arati but he would be there every day without fail for Guru Puja and Bhagavatam class. He would come at around 6 am to the lobby outside the temple room and chant for an hour or so before Shringara Darshan. He would attend Shrila Prabhupada’s Guru Puja with a lot of devotion.

 When I was in Mira Road after leaving BBT, he had called and had wanted me to take up his service of BBT General Manager as he wanted to retire but I had to politely refuse. Before that, he was totally shocked when I gave my resignation to him on Gaura Purnima. He tried to make amends after I gave my resignation, but it was too late for me and my heart was already fixed in preaching the glories of Lords Gauranga: "http:///"]Nityananda [URL="http:///". I felt Shrila Prabhupada was calling me for this purpose.

 I thank him from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to serve Shrila Prabhupada through the brihad-mridanga and engaging me in Shrila Prabhupada’s book publication. From the beginning I was not interested in any other service except chanting, reading Gaura Lila and publishing and distributing Shrila Prabhupada’s books especialy Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita and thus my preaching mood kind of matched his mood. Thus, I am eternally obliged to him irrespective of the hardships I had to go undergo whiel serving under him.

 I had tears welling in my eyes when I heard about his passing away. And I am praying and chanting for his soul. Though since he has passed away in the Dhaam, he should now bless us that we can follow in his footsteps. Infact I have been praying for his soul ever since I heard he is in Vrindavana. Even though he was very strict, still he had great love and affection for me which he kept quite hidden in his heart even from me. Sometimes he would tell it to others in my absence. And I felt it sometimes. One thing I feel really happy about is that he chose the right place to leave this world, Shri Vrindavana Dhaam, and he showed the world by his example, that whoever you are, you have to prepare to die in the Dhaam. I think that because he so sincerely rendered service to Shrila Prabhupada’s brihad mridanga, Shrila Prabhupada mercifully ensured that he passed away in Shri Vrindavana Dhaam, which is a rare good fortune. So we can conclude from his life and passing away that serving Shrila Prabhupada will never go in vain but will be amply rewarded by Shrila Prabhupada himself and our Acharyas at the time of our death.

 I offer our heartfelt pranams to him and thank him for the services he has done for Shrila Prabhupada. He will always be remembered as long as Shrila Prabhupada?s books continue to be published in this world.

 More details from Pujya Bhima dasa: "http:///" prabhu:

 After retiring to Vrindavan he was bedridden, but until the end he was in full control of his mental faculties. His dealings while during the final period of his life are a lesson in humility and in devotion to Shri Shri Radha Krishna: "http:///"]Krishna. The example he set of a person who knows his departure from the material body is imminent and thus fixed his mind on the Lord reminds us of Maharaj Parikshit and Maharaj Khatvaanga. His life in the [URL="http:///" Consciousness movement was glorious and his departure from this material world was glorious. His life and the sterling example he set should be an inspiration to the younger generation of devotees.

 Narmada Maharaj was suffering from Parkinsons and when he came to know he left from Mumbai for Vrindavan. He really didn’t want to stay in the world any more. So, last year he began fasting but the devotees requested him to eat and drink. However, this year he was determined to leave and he stopped eating then drinking.

 At the end the doctor said that his blood pressure is so low normally in such a condition a person would leave immediatly. The doctor concluded that Maharaj was very strong person as he stayed in such a condition for hours on end.

 Then Maharaj stopped breathing we thought he was gone but all of sudden he opened his mouth and said Krishna: "http:///"]Krishna and after a few moments again with all his strength he said [URL="http:///". Then he left. On the day after Shrila Prabhpada’s dissappearance festival in

Vrindavan during the month of Kartik according to his desire Narmada Goswami left this world for the supreme abode. It was a wonderful passing of a devotee dedicated to Shrila Prabhupada’s service of book publication.