Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Oh Yeah, The Nectar Story I Promised

Yesterday I drove to the temple, my first time driving since my transplant. Got some maha prasadam and sat at a picnic table with several devotees. Ended up swapping surgery stories with Shyam Pandit after needling him about not posting to his blog. Shyam is from Bombay and grew up in the movement.

When he was going into surgery, an Indian doctor said there is always a danger and he should call his mother. She got him a phone as he was lying on the table. He had an India calling card, so did reach his mother. He told her that two minutes later he would be going under for the procedure. She started crying, so the Indian doctor got on the phone and told her in Hindi that Shyam was going to be okay. While he was recovering, Shyam invited the doctor out to New Vrindavan and she has come and visited.

It reminded me I promised to tell the nectar story about my surgery. I think devotees sometimes tell the nectar and skip the rest, giving an unrealistic perspective of what being a devotee is about, but I seem to have erred in the opposite direction, by neglecting the nectar.

The operating room was like a NASCAR pit area. There were several groups of people, all busy. My son’s liver may have already been removed, so maybe one group was dealing with that. Another group was getting me from the gurney onto the table and lashing my arms down on outriggers. It was a bit unnerving, so I asked the anesthesiologist who had been with me for an hour, “When do we get to the point where I don’t remember any of this?” My next memory is about 36 hours later.

Before I went under, I remember looking over to where a Hindu stood, gowned, capped, and masked, calmly observing the seemingly chaotic proceedings. I got the feeling he was aware of everything and error checking everyone. Very comforting.

After the transplant, daily they would take blood samples, then a doctor would come by, and finally, a flock of doctors would descend and review my case. On the day I ended up getting released, it was the Hindu surgeon who came singly.

He asked about the thread garland I was wearing. I said it was from Lord Nrsimhadev. He said “Who?” I showed him the picture I had and when he looked at it, he said, “Yes, that is Nrsimhadev.” Behind the picture, fruit juices and dried foods were stashed, as I was having prasadam brought in. I explained to him I was vegetarian. In the course of conversation, I asked if he knew of Srila Prabhupada, and he said that he did, and that he also was Bengali. Turns out he had visited the Bhaktivedanta Manor in London. I invited him to NV, and look forward to his promised visit.

So even though I wasn’t thinking about Krishna, He sent someone to watch over.


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