There came a time when the disciples around Mahaprabhuji realized that his eyesight was failing. Frequently they requested that he consult a doctor but he refused.
"Why should I?" he said. "My physical eyes are not important. What counts is what I see with my inner eye. Even if I were to become completely blind I would still see all of Heaven and earth and into the souls of men. Don't be concerned with my body. Anchored in the bliss of eternal happiness I am only a witness to my physical state."
Still the disciples worried about the health of their beloved Gurudeva. They knew his eyes had cataracts and that only an operation could help, so they continued to urge him to accept medical help.
"Master, please permit me to arrange a date for your operation in the hospital of Ajmer," a disciple said to him one day. "I will take care of everything myself and make sure that you receive the best possible medical attention. Please allow me to do this small service."
When Mahaprabhuji saw that this was the sincere wish of so many of his devotees, he finally agreed.
"Well, I'm prepared to go since you wish it so much, therefore make the necessary arrangements."
The day came for Mahaprabhuji to depart for Ajmer and the villagers who had come to know of this were very concerned as they said goodbye to their beloved Master. In their fear of hospitals and because of the terrible stories that they had heard, they were afraid Mahaprabhuji would leave them forever.
Gurudeva was welcomed in the St. Francis Hospital of Ajmer by Dr. Ram Gopal, a well-known neurologist from Rajasthan. Dr. Sri Amba Lal conducted the examination of Mahaprabhuji's eyes, which confirmed that an operation was necessary.
In the operating theatre Mahaprabhuji refused anaesthetic, saying that he didn't require it. At the surgeon's hesitation Mahaprabhuji once more assured him, "You can safely carry out the operation. Trust my words!"
With this, Mahaprabhuji entered into a state of transcendental consciousness in which his body was free of every sensation. On completion of the surgery the doctor was shocked to find Mahaprabhuji wasn't breathing and showed no other signs of life. Silently he prayed to the Lord for help.
At that moment Mahaprabhuji fully aware, smiled.
"Do you have such little faith? I won't leave my body so casually. It was only for the duration of the operation that I withdrew my consciousness for you to work undisturbed."
He added, "But it did take longer than you expected!"
Later, I had a chance to speak with Dr Amba Lal myself and he told me that the moment Mahaprabhuji became conscious again after the operation, was one of the happiest moments of his life. He felt it a great blessing to perform the operation for Mahaprabhuji and humbly receive his blessing.
During the actual surgery I was in Ahmedabad, so I received the message of Mahaprabhuji's visit to hospital by a letter from Dr Amba Lal.
He explained the medical situation to me and added, "I've come across many holy men and swamis but never one like Sri Mahaprabhuji. It was a great honour for me to be of service to such a great Saint."
He closed the letter with a message from Mahaprabhuji that I should travel to Ajmer without delay. I lost no time and on arriving in Ajmer went directly to him for a joyous and blissful reunion with my Gurudeva.
The devotees of Ajmer were very happy to have their beloved Master with them and they took great care that while in hospital he lacked no comfort. During the whole day visitors came to him and despite his recent surgery, Mahaprabhuji held satsang daily.
Members of all religions came. The Muslims praised him as an incarnation of the prophet Mohammed, Christians called him the manifestation of the love and grace of Jesus Christ, Sikhs worshipped him as their Guru Nanak. All people, no matter what their religion, sensed a feeling of fulfilment at the sight of Mahaprabhuji. He received everyone with a loving heart, as he is the messenger of the Divine word and embodiment of all that is good. For those who came to him, his answers were those of their holy scriptures.
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Overview: My life with Sri Mahaprabhuji