HIS LIFE AND TEACHINGS
I AM NOT GOING TO DIE NOW
After more than a quarter of a century's examplary work, both spiritual and temporal, the like of which few have ever shouldered, the like of which was never attempted or accomplished by any other son of the Lord in Bharatavarsha, the Swami quitted Bangalore. In June 1935 he repaired himself to the Brahmananda Ashrama in Trivandrum. Here he offered to Sri Gurumaharaj the last batch of Bramacharins who had taken refuge with him; six were initiated into Sanyasa. They are:– Swamis Ramananda, Parananda, Sachidananda Amalananda and Krishnananda. After a few days stay in the Ashrama, he left for Calcutta via Bombay. He toured in Bengal for some time and returning to Calcutta fell ill. The devotee, Dr. D. P. Ghosh, was ever attendance on him. So also were Jivanmukta Kiran Chandra putt and the members of his family, Jatindra Krishna Dutt and a host of other ardent devotees. His condition grew worse. Many eminent Doctors such as Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roi and Sir Nilratan Sircar we. called in. All of them were unanimously of opinion that the illness was fatal. The Swami had grown too wee to move or even to speak. There was no hope of recovery. Somehow he got to know what the Doctors thought. He called his own Doctor and told him, "Don't be anxious. I tell you I am not going to die now. There is some more work to be done for Sri Gurumaharaj and I must live to finish it. Let the big Doctors say anything. I don't want any of their treatment. I am a poor Sadhu; I shall take your medicines only. Give me whatever you think best. If you think necessary to give injections, give even 3 or 4 a day without fear. I shall not flinch." The spirit in which these assurances were given was indeed strong and bold, but the. words which expressed them were hardly audible; so weak, he had grown. In spite of his assurance, every one thought that the end was near. The eminent doctors advised the devotees attending on him to wire to his bhaktas Ear and near.
Accordingly, without consulting the Swami and without his knowledge they wired to all important centres. Devotees from all parts of India and Burma flowed in. Though glad to see them, he was yet deeply sorry that they had been put to the trouble and expense of long journeys. He was wroth with his attendants for having informed them that his condition was critical.
His physical powers were at their lowest ebb and life was trembling in the balance. Even in that condition his spirit retained all its old vigour; his intellect shone in all its keenness and clearness; his views of right and wrong and his sense of duty were exhibited in all their fineness. This was fully illustrated by his treatment of his disciples from Travancore and elsewhere. When he was informed that they had arrived, he ordered them to be rested and refreshed and when they were taken to his presence his first question to them was: 'who asked you to leave your posts and come here?' True disciples as they were, they answered: 'We received telegraphic information that Swamiji's condition was very critical. So we thought it our duty to come here. We could not wait to apply for and receive Swamiji's permission. Now we have seen Swamiji, if so ordered, we shall start back this minute." He turned to his immediate attendants and in clear, ringing tone asked them how they dared to drag them all to that distant place and give them so much trouble without his knowledge and consent. They replied that the doctors advised them to inform all. "So you and your doctors have settled between yourselves that I should die now? No, no!" In this strain he continued for about half an hour as if he were in enjoyment of robust health. He was so moved and sorry that his disciples, monks as well as householders had been put to so much anxiety and inconvenience, trouble and expense. Then he addressed the disciples and said: 'I see you were not at Fault. You need not go back just now.' Only one of them was made to return soon as his absence from the station might have caused the work to suffer.
All the days they remained there, he was himself giving directions as to how they should be looked after, what food should be given them at each meal and what places they should be taken to for them to see. One day they were sent sight-seeing with instruction to return by noon. But the tide in the Ganges delayed their boat by some hours. He remained fasting till their return. Such was his love for his disciples, his sense of duty and hospitality. 'A sadhu's sole concern should be for others and not for himself', he would say and he acted up to it in health and in sickness. The doctor in attendance on being asked by the disciples as to what Swamiji's condition was, would only say: "All eminent medical men have pronounced it as hopeless. But the Swami says he is not going to die now. Who can say anything about these supermen. They form a class of their own. When he talks forcibly, I am reminded of the Swami Vivekananda. He resembles the great Swami in many respects. He is also his ideal!" The doctor was a friend of the Swamis from early days. When the doctors confirmed his view that there was no present danger to life, he saw that the climatic and other conditions at Calcutta would not suit him and he decided to go to Trivandrum. The doctors pressed him to stay on for a few days more and also to take the steamer to Madras instead of undertaking a long railway journey. His health, they thought, was still in danger. But the Swami's strong will and 'iron resolution' prevailed. He went straight to Trivandrum by train and remained there about 5 months, recouping his health, training his disciples and improving the Ashrama, He next went to Ottapalam arriving there on the 31st of May 1936.