Fascinating - Part II

After the procedure to get rid of the kidney stone, I had a follow-up appointment with the doctor. There was something in the scan report that was bugging me. When I went for the appointment, I was told everything seems to be ok with me. I then asked the Urologist about a second point mentioned in my scan report – the first point being about my kidney stone, which was since taken care. He looked at it and said ‘Oh, Cholelithiasis…it is gall stones…we don’t deal with that. We deal only with the kidney and we do nothing with liver functioning’. This came as a shock to me.

I consulted my family doctor, who said I am one of the rare breed that got affected by both kidney and gall stones at the same time. An ultrasound confirmed the presence of stones in the gall bladder and blood tests suggested an infection. When I consulted a surgeon he said I had to get rid of my gall bladder. I did not have much pain and was not sure if I have to undergo the surgery. I had heard from friends that they had severe pain when they had gall stones and they got the gall bladder removed. So I was confused and prayed to the Lord what I should do. Is it really necessary to get rid of a body part, just because the doctors think it does not serve any useful purpose? Why would Krishna create something like that? And I also did not have much pain. But the test that showed infection was bothering me. What if I wait and then undergo severe pain and had to rush to get the surgery done?

Like Arjuna who was confused as to fight or not to fight, I was confused if I have to undergo surgery or not to do it. Arjuna prayed ‘karpanya doshopahata svabhava, prcchami tvam dharma samudha cetah, yac chreyas syan nishcitam bruhi tan me, sishyas te ham shadi mam tvam prappannam’ (BG 2.7). Krishna please tell me for sure what I should do? I am asking you to tell me for certain what is best for me. Soon enough one night after dinner I had terrible pain on right side of my tummy and on the back. I had never felt such pain on my back before. After a few minutes the pain subsided. But after that I kept getting pain that made up my mind to undergo surgery. The date was fixed.

I take notes from Bhagavatam, a habit which I have been cultivating since 1998 when I was in the third canto of my first complete reading of Bhagavatam. This way I completed writing from 3rd to the 12th canto. Over the years I had elaborated the notes as new material became available. I then started notes from the 1st canto. Now in my second reading of the Bhagavatam, I am currently in chapter 32 of 3rd canto, but the notes I am taking are from the 26th chapter. I post these notes in the Forum section of Krishna.com. The day before the surgery I was taking notes for the 25th chapter of 3rd canto, and the verse I was writing was 32.

This verse suggests using the senses in the service of the Lord, which is far better than salvation. From Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura’s commentary on 3.25.32: Bhakti is not action of the senses which act on their own but action of the senses according to the mantra given by the guru. The senses should have daily actions in accordance with the mantra concerning the Lord given by guru. Even the actions of the senses such as the anus and urinary organ should be considered as being engaged in the Lord’s service because the mind maintains a healthy state by excretion of stool and urine (Visnu-rahasya). Thus even these organs by functioning in relation to bhakti are to be considered part of vaidhi-sadhana-bhakti.

We have heard many times that all the senses should be used in the service of the Lord. But I have never understood how the action-sense of evacuation can be used, till I came across this commentary.

I underwent the surgery and when I woke up I was in a lot of pain. It was not like my previous one where I was feeling fine and had wanted to walk, not taking a wheel chair. This was real painful. I did not have this much pain before the surgery. Krishna brought me down to size. I was not able to pass urine. I kept drinking fluids. With the pain not subsiding, I had to stay back at the hospital overnight. Later at night I managed to pass urine, and once it started I had to keep going frequently. Next day I came home. And for four days, I had no bowel movement. The pain continued and I took pain killers. I was not able to chant my rounds or do my reading. Then one night after a great struggle and almost fainting, I passed stool like a stone. After a few hours, things became normal as far as bowel movement was concerned.

When I read the commentary by the acharya about using the anus and urinary organ in the Lord’s service, at first I did not understand what was the relevance to the verse. Somehow it stood out in an incongruent fashion. But then I understood that it was using all the senses in the Lord’s service. It was only after my surgery I realized how relevant that verse was for my situation. Krishna again fascinated me by making me experience what I read.

It has been over two weeks since my surgery and though I am better, the pain, mainly from the wound of surgery, is still hurting. Krishna exposed my poor Krishna consciousness in times of difficulty and is urging me to give up my sense of enjoyment separate from Him, so that I can pass the ultimate test at the time of death. Prabhupada had already warned ‘Don’t think this will not happen to you’. If this is what I feel like when I am alive, I wonder what it would be like at the time of death.