Mar 202017

A few dNiranjana Swami and Sridhar Swamiays ago, Niranjana Swami wrote me a letter in which he said, “I meditate a lot on Sridhar Maharaja. I miss him.” And when I asked him to tell me more about his meditation, he replied, “I honestly can’t fully explain it. He became so unbelievably dear to me in Mayapur—the way he loved his godbrothers, the way he loved me.

“One of my often-remembered meditations of him is the time I sent a message to him one evening just after the GBC meeting had finished for the day. I usually came to his room to chant with him and the other devotees in the evening, after the meeting. This particular evening, however, I had a terrible headache and sent him a message, apologizing for not coming, due to the headache. While walking back to my room, I began thinking, ‘Here I am, not going to tonight’s kirtan because of some headache, and there’s Sridhar Maharaja, whose condition can’t even be remotely compared to my little headache, lying in his bed, having kirtan with the devotees!’ So I decided to turn around and go back.

“When I arrived at the door of his room, his room was, as usual, packed with devotees chanting. Sridhar Maharaja looked up at me, sat up in bed, and gestured for me to come through the crowd of devotees to sit next to him on the bed. The devotees parted to allow me through, I sat on the bed, and he turned to Mayapur das, his personal servant, and said, ‘Give me the Tiger Balm.’ Then he sat there, using the Tiger Balm to massage my head. I can’t remember exactly how long he massaged, but it wasn’t just a gesture; he massaged vigorously for quite some time.

“I cry every time I think about this, as I am crying right now as I am typing this. Practically speaking, I cry every time I think or talk about Sridhar Maharaja. He seemed so selflessly a friend to me, and I felt so undeserving.”

—Giriraj Swami


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