When Coronavirus pandemic struck the world Bhakti Charu Swami was in his “home” temple in Ujjain. However, his presence was required in Florida where he overseed a cow protection project and so he traveled to the US, which had been the epicenter of the epidemic. In the middle of June Maharaj developed high fever but it was manageable with simple over-the-counter medications. When his Covid-19 test result came positive, however, he was immediately admitted to a hospital where doctors advised to put him on ventilator. Maharaj was initially reluctant, considering that it required being sedated and unable to chant and hear the holy name, honor prasadam, and enjoy association with devotees, but eventually agreed to put his fate in the hands of the devotees who insisted on following medical advice. The expectation was that he would require ventilator’s help for only a couple of days and first news reported considerable progress. In the second week, however, the news was repeatedly “stable but serious”. Unfortunately, when battling the disease, “stable” also means “not winning” and “depleting bodily resources”. Time was not on Maharaja’s side and early this week, after about two weeks of being on ventilator, Maharaja suffered a heart attack which followed by kidney failure. He was stabilized for a few days but on Saturday morning (Thailand time) the news mentioned “multiple organ failure” and several hours after that came the announcement of his departure. Even though devotees were not allowed inside the room, several auspicious items were present, including Srimad Bhagavatam and tulasi, and devotional music was playing all along. Aside from that, no one has any doubts that Krishna was always with Maharaja and this deep connection does not depend on external circumstances. The accompanying picture was taken in February this year.
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