2013 In The Hospital
Dear Śrīla Prabhupāda,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Your Divine Grace!
I am sitting in a hospital, and having been here for over two weeks and experienced a share of my just rewards, I am getting many realizations. In this condition, still dizzy and with double vision, I try to express my thanks for having been blessed by the divine wisdom that you have revealed to the world—wisdom that helps one appreciate the true value of this human form of life, wisdom that reveals every nook and corner of reality, wisdom that helps us navigate through the stormy sea of material existence, wisdom that guides us to our eternal home, to our eternal Lord.
The other day Dr. Sundarānanda introduced me to a patient staying a few doors down the hall. The patient came to my room, sat down, and said, “Swamijī, I am a doctor by profession, but my mind has been very troubled since my own recent health challenges began.” As it turned out, he had gone through a health crisis and treatment similar to mine. That set a common ground upon which I could repeat your teachings.
I explained that we are spiritual entities, that our bodies are just clothes covering the indestructible soul. I told him that these bodies have to suffer the results of past deeds, and so we must patiently tolerate the inconvenience of the body while remembering Kṛṣṇa. Then I cited this well-known verse:
One who seeks Your compassion and thus tolerates all kinds of adverse conditions due to the karma of his past deeds, who engages always in Your devotional service with his mind, words and body, and who always offers obeisances unto You is certainly a bona fide candidate for becoming Your unalloyed devotee. (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.14.8)
The patient replied, “Swamijī I know this. But how do I get the strength to practice it?”
Then I taught the man to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, saying that by the grace of the mahā-mantra he would have the required spiritual strength. I also gave him a copy of the book Chant and Be Happy, telling him, “The details of how to chant the mahā-mantra, and its many benefits, are explained in this book.”
He then took his leave, thanking me and saying, “I have gotten strength from your words. I feel fortified, much better. Thank you.”
I sat down in my chair, satisfied that I could transmit your teachings and help another. Then I closed my eyes and chanted the mahā-mantra, thinking of Kṛṣṇa, and while I did so I felt so infinitely grateful to you for giving me this essence of all religious practices, smartavyaḥ satataṁ viṣṇuḥ—the ultimate treatment and unfailing panacea for what ails us. May my attempts to preach and practice what you have taught please you and be my puṣpāñjali offering at your lotus feet.
Your insignificant servant,