Book excerpts Acarya Kesari Part Three: Parental Affection for His Disciples: Ananga Mohan

Part Three: Parental Affection for His Disciples: Ananga Mohan

[From Part Three of Acarya Kesari, the Life and Teachings of Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja]

Parental affection for his disciples

In 1946, to observe the month-long Kartika urja-vrata niyama-seva, our most worshipful Srila Gurudeva performed brhat (great) parikrama and panca-kosi parikrama of Kasi-dhama together with many sannyasis, brahmacaris and grhastha-bhaktas. As in previous years, sri nama-sankirtana, lectures, readings of bhakti literature and other devotional activities took place regularly. After this, Srila Gurudeva returned to Sri Devananda Gaudiya Matha in Navadvipa. From there he travelled with Sri Sajjana-sevaka Brahmacari, Sri Ananga-mohana Brahmacari and other brahmacaris and preached pure bhakti throughout the Medinipura district, in places such as Jhinukkhali, Purvacaka, Begunavadi and Kalyanapura.

In Kalyanapura, Sri Ananga-mohana Brahmacari suddenly became ill. Sri Ananga-mohana was fully dedicated to serving his guru. His voice was very sweet and he used to sing beautifully in kirtana. He was also expert in playing mrdanga. In addition, he was extraordinarily skilful in cooking offerings and in the personal service of Gurudeva. Because of his excellent Vaisnava qualities, everyone had great affection for him. 

After Ananga-mohana became ill, Srila Gurudeva returned with him to Kolkata. While there, Ananga-mohana started homeopathic treatment with the famous doctor, Captain D. L. Sarkara. Following Dr. Sarkara’s advice, Sri Ananga-mohana Brahmacari went to Sidhavadi, an isolated but charming and healthy place on the border of Bengal and Bihara, and Srila Gurudeva himself went with him. When the brahmacari’s health did not improve, Srila Guru Maharaja took him to Devaghara in Vaidyanatha-dhama which was reputed to be good for health. They went there with Trigunatita dasa Brahmacari, Sri Gaura-narayana dasa Adhikari [the author], Sri Sajjana-sevaka Brahmacari, Sri Govardhana Brahmacari and others. However, Sri Ananga-mohana’s health did not improve there either. The brahmacari was then brought back to Sidhavadi, and he was finally admitted in the Tambaram TB Sanatorium in Chennai. After making all arrangements for Ananga-mohana’s treatment, Gurudeva returned to the matha in Kolkata, leaving Sri Trigunatita Brahmacari and I [the author] to take care of the sick brahmacari in the Tambaram hospital. Despite all these arrangements, however, Sri Ananga-mohana could not be saved and he left this world on 2 March 1950. 

I was with Sri Ananga-mohana when he left this world. While there, I never saw his face disturbed. During the whole period of his stay in the hospital, he happily chanted the names of Bhagavan or listened lovingly to Srimad-Bhagavatam and Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, which we read to him regularly. All the doctors, junior and senior, were very attracted by his gentle behaviour. On the day of his passing , he suddenly said, “Sri Sri Radha-Krsna are calling me to Vrndavana. Jaya Sri Radhe! Jaya Sri Krsna! Ha Gauracandra! Ha Nityananda Prabhu! Ha Gurudeva!” 

With folded hands, I requested him, “Prabhu, please bestow your mercy upon me and in Vrndavana, call me also.” Upon learning that Sri Ananga-mohana was to depart, the whole team of doctors arrived and proceeded to examine him. He made a gesture to indicate that the women present in the room should leave. All the doctors and visitors were struck with wonder as he took his last breath saying, “Ha Radhe! Ha Krsna!” 

I meditated on this incident very seriously. Ajamila became free from the sufferings of birth and death and attained Vaikuntha-dhama simply by the performance of namabhasa when he uttered the name ‘Narayana’ to call his son. What then can be said of someone who has supreme faith in his guru and who is always chanting the name of Krsna free from offences and with sambandha-jnana? In his last moment he was in such good consciousness that he was chanting, “Ha Radhe! Ha Krsna!” and telling us, “Radha and Krsna are calling me to Vrndavana.” What will be the destiny of such a high-class guru-sevaka? Surely he will attain Vraja-dhama. We were never able to imagine the glories of this devotee earlier. His life is blessed; his service to his guru bore fruit. I understood that this was possible only by the causeless mercy of Sri Gurudeva, and not by any special sadhana-bhajana. My faith in our worshipful Sri Gurudeva was intensified‚ and when I returned from Tambaram, I devoted myself to serving my guru with even greater faith.

Paramaradhyatama Srila Gurudeva established Siddhavati Gaudiya Matha in Sidhavadi in the memory of his dear servant Ananga-mohana Brahmacari. Even today, daily worship of the deity as well as lectures and kirtana are going on, and every year a viraha-utsava is held in memory of this brahmacari.

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