California, USA — Friday, February 26th
We were all saddened to hear that our old friend, Sripad Bhakti Premik Siddhanti Maharaj, left us at the beginning of this month, after a long and arduous battle with cancer...
We spent quite a bit of time together on the preaching tours in Russia, in Moscow and St. Petersburg, on pilgrimages in India, and of course, while living at the Seva Ashram in Soquel.
Those of you who know how reclusive I can be will understand when I say that Siddhanti Maharaj was one of the few devotees who can claim to have actually shared a room with me :) He was a good roommate. When we shared a room in Govardhan, he was always so considerate. If he came into the room at night and I was already asleep, he would not turn the light on. I would hear him fumbling around in the dark and say, "You can turn the light on Maharaj, it doesn't bother me," but he would continue rummaging around without doing so.
He usually got up before me in the mornings (about 3:00 a.m!) and when he filled the bucket for his morning ablutions in the en-suite bathroom of our shared bedroom, instead of letting the water splash noisily into the empty bucket from the faucet three feet above it (like most of us do) he used to lift the bucket up to the spigot so that the water ran silently down the inside, and did not wake me. That's how considerate he was.
He used to like reading my blogs, and when I hadn't written anything for a while (like most of last year :) would often pester me when he saw me, "When are you going to write something new?"
Fortunately, the last time I saw him in Soquel, we had a nice, long conversation (and I embarrassed him by expressing my appreciation for his friendship and association :)
So I will miss him. He was a good friend. Still, when I recall that Srila Gurudeva said, "If my disciples will take [Siddhanti Maharaj's] feet dust on their heads, they will make rapid advancement," then I know that his future can only be auspicious.
And as I wrote at the departure of another old friend, Sripad Bhakti Sampat Madhusudan Maharaj: though his demise was expected, we are saddened, but inspired by his sacrifice and dedication to Srila Gurudeva and our mission.
Tags: Godbrothers & sisters
Layout by iMonk — February 26th, 2010.