The following is an excerpt from an article by Śrīla Bhakti Niketana Turyāśramī Mahārāja (GOKUL magazine, Real and Apparent Love page 42 Vol.1 No.1 Gaura Pūrṇimā 2004)
This incident dates back to the time when Gurudeva Śrīla Bhakti Dayita Mādhava Gosvāmī Mahārāja was present in person. We had gone to a far off village some distance away from Calcutta, accompanying Śrīla Gurudeva. After the spiritual assembly was over, Gurudeva and the other Vaiṣṇavas came back to the place where they were staying. Everybody saw that suddenly an insane person, whose body was covered with dirt and who was wearing only two pieces of clothes which were badly torn. His poor body appeared like a skeleton. He was about to enter the gate and the security guard of the dharmaśālā pushed him out.
This mentally disordered person was unable to speak, started to weep and later on went away. Sometime in the evening that person again entered the dharmaśālā through a small gate and straight away went inside Gurudeva’s room. When we saw that, we all rushed in there to bring him out. But when reaching the room, we saw that the mad person in an extremely humble tone was weeping and calling out in a choked voice, “Hā Gurudeva! Please protect me! Oh protector of the wretched, liberator of the fallen souls! Please protect me!” While uttering these words repeatedly he fell down to the ground paying obeisances to Gurujī.
Gurujī looked towards his dirty and torn off clothes and then glanced towards the dirt that had accumulated on his body. Suddenly overlooking everything, Gurudeva started to attend to this discarded, lunatic person just like his own child. The mad person sat upright.
With tears in His eyes, Gurujī said, “Śyāma Vallabha! How come you are in this state of affairs?”
Each one of us, whether married or ascetic, was stunned on witnessing this heart-stirring scene. Everybody had forgotten about Śyāma Vallabha. We were astonished to hear Śyāma Vallabha’s name being called out by Gurujī. Looking carefully into our human minds, we recollected that there was a godbrother in Kolkata many years previous who had renounced the world whose name was Śrī Śyāma Vallabha dāsa Brahmacārī. Once pūjyapāda Nṛsiṁha Mahārāja (at that time he had not taken sannyāsa yet) and I, along with Śyāma Vallabha had gone out for Harināma to a place called Bakura and there this brahmacārī started to suffer from a disease called smallpox. On seeing no recovery, he was sent back to Kolkata. As per Lord’s desire the disease enhanced and due to this Śrī Śyāma Vallabha turned mad. He used to call names and speak irrelevantly.
For a few days, the Vaiṣṇavas had bound him in the Maṭha and tried to get him proper treatment with no positive response. One day Śyāma Vallabha went out of the Maṭha without anyone noticing. He must have lost his way and nobody knew where he went. Many years passed and gradually our memories of him started fading. But today when Gurujī uttered Śyāma Vallabha’s name, we also started recognizing him.
Selfish world and worldly people forget to recognize others after the fulfilment of their interest, but Gurudeva and the Vaiṣṇavas never forget their disciples, devotees or followers. Before Śyāma Vallabha became mad, he had served Gurudeva and the Vaiṣṇavas extensively in the Maṭha. How can a father forget his son and how can a guru forget his disciple or follower?
As per instructions of Gurudeva, Śyāma Vallabha was dressed with good clothes and given a variety of eatables, but the sad point was that his brain was still not under his control. He did not value these respectful actions towards him. He was only crying continuously. We did not know what to think but Gurujī had him forcibly stay with us throughout the night at our place.
We all saw and heard that he was speaking in a low tone continuously. He was weeping and repeating, “Gurudeva, protector of the wretched! Gurujī, be merciful!” He continued murmuring until late at night. One or two servitors on being disturbed by this murmuring during sleep left for some other place leaving the big room where we all were sleeping. We did not know as to when he fell asleep, while he continued to murmur.
In the morning, we were all busy taking bath and praying. We saw that Śyāma Vallabha was sleeping. After some time, when he did not move or get up, one of us tried to wake him up, but this had been his last night of bewilderment. He slept so deeply as if never to wake up again. When this news came to different Vaiṣṇavas, as per instructions of Gurujī, the last rights of cremation of pūjyapāda Śyāma Vallabha dāsa Brahmacārī were performed as per the Vaiṣṇava system.
Another disciple of Guru Mahārāja, Śrī Bhagavān dāsa, who was later known as Śrī Bhakti Niketana Turyāśramī Mahārāja, rendered pūjārī services at Śrīvāsa-aṅgana. —Śrīla Bhakti Vijñāna Bhāratī Mahārāja (Volcanic Energy)
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