(Originally written June 2010, published in the JPS Disciples blog Nov 1, 2010 )
Dear exalted Vaishnavas and dear god brothers and god sisters.
Please accept our most humble obeisances. All Glories to ACBS Srila Prabhupada! All Glories to Srila Gurudeva, our most dear Guru Maharaja Srila Acharyapada!
As some of you may know, earlier this year Guru Maharaja's disciple from Phoenix Arizona, Anupama gopi devi dasi
went into (walked into) hospital and nearly lost her life to mistakes caused during routine surgery.
This is a brief but true story of how our
dear Guru Maharaja Srila Acharyapada saved a disciple from the worst possible condition of material life.
On the very early hours of January 14, after attending Mangala-arati
darshan of Sri Sri Radha Madhava Hari at Phoenix dhama, Anupama gopi devi dasi went into the hospital for a routine abdominal surgery to be performed robotically. By all means she was in one of the best hospitals in the US and in the care of very competent doctors/surgeons/medical staff.
Initially it appeared the surgery went well. But after a lapse of 36
hours it was discovered that there were unexpected catastrophic complications introduced during original surgery, leading to her being rushed to the ICU, fighting for life with multiple organ failures including heart, lung and kidneys.
She stayed there for the next 4 months fighting every bit for her life. She left the hospital after 126 days, most of it in the ICU, and gradually returned home. It is a big miracle she is alive and back home today.
The evening of February 2, 2010 was the worst of the worst in Anupama's
life threatening conditions.
In addition to existing heart, lung and
kidney failures, doctors had also performed a radiological procedure earlier that evening, during which they also accidentally punctured a key internal artery inside, causing massive internal bleeding the size of a soccer ball, and resulting in part of the liver to be permanently damaged.
In adding this to the existing set of critical
life support issues, doctors practically lost all hope at that point, informed the family that "100% mortality" was soon likely since the collective organ failures, lead by the heart, was unlikely to revive given the circumstances. (By then she had also undergone half-a dozen corrective surgeries.) All hope was lost at that point.
At this very time, Guru Maharaja who was undergoing Physical Therapy
in Southern California, was immediately informed by Anupama's husband from Phoenix by phone regarding what doctors had said about Anupama's near zero chances. In a fallen mood of total hopeless and complete surrender, Guru Maharaja was humbly begged to please save Anupama devi dasi as a last remaining hope, when everything looked finished.
Guru Maharaja received the call around 8pm on Feb2. After patiently
listening, GM spoke few very halting and thoughtful words "regarding the efforts at devotional service of Anupama devi dasi to Srila Prabhupada's and to Lord Chaitanya's mission in Arizona".
Following another long period of meditative silence, he spoke the
following "Anupama gopi is a sincere devotee of Krsna. I will place a request at Their Lordships Feet to spare her so she can do some more devotional service". After another very long silence, he further said as if to confirm : "It is upto Krsna... to do what He Pleases.....but...(after a long hesitation, as if in meditation, as if silently conferring or talking to someone else, he added these words... "I mean to say ....she is going to..ah... survive.....ah,,this,,,condition..." Then Guru Maharaja gave away the phone.
Though the firmness of his words did not seem to match the dire situation on the ground at this end, it was taken as a great blessing and gave a ray of hope at such a hopeless time.
His servant HG Mahavaraha prabhu later informed me that GM
immediately pulled out the photo Sri Sri Rukmini Dwarakadesh (the Los Angeles Deities that he always carries with him) and started his prayers immediately right inside in the van on the freeway he was traveling.
You must remember that Guru Maharaja uttered these words of near certanity at a time when in reality the hope for any recovery was practically reduced to zero medically. By then, the heart balloon pump used to support her heart was also removed as being too dangerous to her precarious condition. Anupama was then put on oscillator (more aggressive than ventilator lung support) which, in an ICU setting is usually very gravest sign of things (end stage) to come. Ongoing heart transplant consultation discussions as a an action of last resort was intensified, since the patient was too young to be lost. Things were materially going diametrically in the opposite direction of what Guru Maharaja seemed to be transcendentally indicating to us.
Miracle: On the afternoon of Feb3 less than 24 hours later, when everyone was praying and waiting, the
main ICU heart specialist called the completely distraught family to bedside and incredulously informed us "would you like to hear some great news? ....we are not sure why, but our latest echo and heart related tests show that your wife's heart ejection fraction seems to have suddenly gone up from nothing-6% to about 20% overnight!" (the average normal person's lv ejection fraction is around 65%+) He continued "we were not convinced this could be possible under such circumstances.... but anything is possible, so we repeated our tests to be doubly sure and reconfirm what we are seeing...."
There was not only utter
confusion but also bewilderment all around from the conflicting scenario. Every specialist making his or her afternoon rounds could not believe the notes (and were asking again and again as to "what changed since yesterday?") - and no one - including the ICU specialists - had a clear answer what had happened to the patient.
A few staff who were associated longer than others, commented to the family that the constant chanting (Hare Krsna Mahamantra) and 'that singing' (kirtana) in the room, as well as "whatever else you are doing (referring to marking the body with tilak and the chanting of Sri Narasimha Kavacha many times a day, and pointing at the makeshift altar of the deities in the room) is working!"
The family pointedly kept asking the doctors "what caused the unexpected change in the
set of conditions?", but all response were on the lines of "well. there could always be many reasons/set of conditions..we really don't know. We did not do anything to make that change.... but, as far as we are concerned.... given her hopeless set of conditions, we are very happy this unexpected turnaround happened. We will any day take such a spectacular change (doctor speak for: miracle) without looking for an explanation"....because "we take it as another opportunity to save her."
anything is possible? Dear devotees. to those of us devotees present at the hospital, we knew what really happened that night. From the night of Feb2 to
the afternoon of Feb3 nothing else "happened" to change her condition for the better, except the all powerful and humble prayers of a pure vaishnava to the Supreme Lord...and Supreme Lord's Mercy to accept the direct request of a pure surrendered soul, to spare an aspiring devotee for some more devotional service unto Him on her Guru's recommendation.
No one can fully understand the reasons or actions of Guru or Krsna, and we simply must accept whatever the outcome is, unconditionally.
And I, radha prana dasa, deeply fallen disciple of HH Guru Maharaja Ashtothra koti shata lila Srila Jayapataka Swami Acharyapada, and who was always within a few feet my wife during all these tumultuous series of catastrophic events, is the witness for this modern day miracle of Kali, along with HG Sachi janani devi dasi of UAE, (sister of Anupama dd and our god-sister), who was with us all through this transcendental ordeal, and alongside us witnessed by, of course, the best specialist doctors and medical staff of a top medical institution, who were all completely overtaken and swept away by a simple act of a pure Bhakti yogi. All Unlimited Glories to Srila Jayapataka Swami Guru Maharaja!!!
Dear friends, can there be any doubt whatsoever that our Dearest Guru
Maharaja has the blessings of all the greatest vaishnava acharyas and devotees of the Lord?.
Is there any doubt that our Guru Maharaja is constantly aware of each and every disciple's spiritual needs, and is constantly working on them?
Is there any doubt whatsoever that even in this day and age of Kali, the pure vaishnava is the only supremely empowered messenger of God? ...who can - so effortlessly - protect us from our grave material conditions when we sincerely seek and surrender -- and such miracles will arrive without any display of bewildering magical aura (or such false trappings one associates with miracles.)
Anupama devi dasi did need, and received, several further
miracles between Feb 2 and June, riding on the intense prayers of her Guru, devotees, family and friends... but, dear devotees.. this one supreme miracle performed by Guru Maharaja on Feb 2 was the ultimate key to everything else -without which there was no Feb 3 for Anupama devi dasi.
All at once this one experience clearly refocuses each of us to who Guru Maharaja really is, and what exalted and powerful connections, He a pure vaishnava has, to the Spiritual worlds!!
Jaya Srila Prabhupada!!! Jaya Srila Jayapataka Swami Guru Maharaja!!!
Our GM is a very embodiment of compassion. To date he continues to
follow up about the situation at every opportunity among his unbelievably busy schedule regarding his disciple's health progress after hospitalization.
While he was in LA, he was constantly requesting the LA congregation and at every Sunday Feast lecture, and those following his daily Internet video broadcasts online, to sincerely and collectively pray for his disciple's recovery.
Not only that, he later mentioned humbly that "the LA Deities saved" his disciple, not him!! Who can be more exalted that him?
All Eternal Glories be to such an exalted representative of Sri Krsna, our dear spiritual father who's prayers are always blessed by his Spiritual master Srila ACBS Prabhupada and the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna.
Anupama devi dasi has a very long road to recovery, but Guru Maharaja has given his disciple one more chance to serve Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga and the exalted vaishnavas.
She hopes that one day she will gratefully be able return to her beloved services to the Phoenix deities as pujari, and to her ACBS Sunday School activities, and continue the annual children's Jagannatha Ratha Yatra festival --- as her eternal humble offerings to her dear Guru and Srila Prabhupada.
All Glories to Guru and Gauranga!
eternally fallen servants of Guru Maharaja.
radha prana dasa. JPS anupama gopi devi dasi.JPS phoenix az usa firstname.lastname@example.org (raja & anupama raaman) 4329 E Cottonwood Lane Phoenix AZ USA 85048
ps: please, at every opportunity try to chant the Sri Narasimha Kavacham (click here), as your love offering to our dear Guru Maharaja for his continued good health and well being.
ps: attached are a few photos related to Guru Maharaja's medical miracle event in Phoenix in 2010. Thank you, Hare Krishna.