As I walked passed a security guard greeted me “Hare Krishna!”, it was special. I wasn’t in an ISKCON temple by the way, I was at Delhi’s largest Liver Hospital.This is what happens to every devotee who walks in through this multi storied speciality hospital , and the magic being created by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami.
His holiness Jayapataka Swami has visited this hospital a number of times for receiving protein supplements and had been admitted here twice as well. His charming personality has made many staff of the hospital take advantage of the Holy Names and be favourable to Krishna’s devotees. The nurses, the doctors , the guards they are all concerned for Guru Maharaj and are literally delighted to be of service to him. Read on for some experiences of the hospital staff had with Guru Maharaj.
Rajesh an experienced nurse who nursed Guru Maharaj at the Intensive Care Unit had to say this about his Holiness. “Immediately after removing the ventilator tubes ,he asked me my name , I said “Rajesh”. He was still partially sedated and had been on the Ventillator for so many days. Patients in that state will hardly speak or remember. I left and got to see him after two days. When I entered he said “Rajesh”! I was stunned. I tell a patient my name so many times and they never remember. And I don’t expect anyone to remember if I told them who I was when they are sedated.He is different , he is not an ordinary person.” Rajesh went on to tell me that patients treat the doctors with lot of respect, but Jayapataka Swami treats all of them on par with the doctors. He said,” Swamiji respects everyone.”
I was waiting in the corridor to see Dr.Rakhi, the head of the Intensive Care Unit, to ask her about her experiences with Guru Maharaj.I had never met her before, when she saw me waiting she was sure happy and said “Oh it’s you, are you with Swamiji? I’ve been wanting to see him from the time he left ICU, I feel like seeing him everyday, now you reminded me , come lets go and see him”. As we took the stairs she told me what a challenge it was to treat Guru Maharaj because he was such a VIP “every move was so well thought and we were extremely cautious , we knew there are perhaps a lakh of people eagerly waiting for him”, she said. She went on to tell me that it was a pleasure to treat Guru Maharaj as he was very positive and very cooperative. “Patients don’t give us direction, but Swamiji gave us, and that was amazing, especially when it came to important decisions he was with us”. She told me that she was not a very religious person but certainly believed that Guru Maharaj had an aura that was very attractive. “Seeing him gives me some unknown satisfaction and makes me happy” , she added.
I happened to interview doctor Lalitha, she was from the Intensive Care Unit as well. She told me that Guru Maharaj’s motivation was highly commendable. “His inner strength that kept him going, his determination and sheer will power helped us treat him” she said. She was overwhelmed with Guru Maharaj’s sense of humour and said that in such a critical state patients would be rather dull and passive, but Guru Maharaj was always keeping everyone around him happy with his funny jokes. “It was surprising for me to see someone in a critical condition like his, so active and positive”.
It’s quite remarkable to see how Guru Maharaj has captured everyone’s heart. Justin another nurse told me that treating patients wasn’t that easy but nursing Jayaptaka Swami was easy because he was a person with no complaints whatsoever. When he was asked what he feel about Guru Maharaj he said, “I don’t know how to explain this feeling in words. When he came into the ICU I didn’t know he was such a big person. But now I know.” He also added that seeing Guru Maharaj made him happy, and the more he saw him the more he wanted to see him again. Tarun who now nurses Guru Maharaj in the day shift told me that for him, serving Guru Maharaj was not just his duty but his good fortune. “The kind of internal happiness when I serve Swamiji I haven’t got till date with anyone else, it is my privilege to serve him”, he added.
There are more people at the hospital who’s life has been touched forever by this very dear servant of Srila Prabhupada. All glories to Sri Krishna Sankirtana. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Nandapriya Nivedita Devi Dasi, Chennai