HH Lokanath Swami says a few words about HH Bhakti Charu Maharaja

Dear Disciples of Bhakti Charu Maharaja,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupad.

When I heard the news of Maharaja having tested positive for COVID-19, I
was left speechless. Daily at that time of the morning I am on a zoom Japa
conference. I made the announcement to the participants in much disbelief.
I checked again with my disciples if this message was in fact authentic and
a part of me feverishly hoped that there was some error or this was just
fake news. I could not concentrate on any of my services and had difficulty
in following the daily routine for the rest of the day and several days
thereafter. I was very disturbed and disheartened. All that I could think of
was Bhakti Caru Maharaja and went deeply into thoughts and prayers for his

And eventually I heard the news which I was dreading. Bhakti Caru Swami
Maharaja had departed and I immediately thought about how Bhakti Caru
Maharaja had helplessly wept at Srila Prabhupada’s Samadhi, ready to
sacrifice his life alongside that of Srila Prabhupada – such was his intense
grief after the departure of his spiritual master. In all of his
lamentations in separation from his Guru Maharaja, lovingly remembering him
and serving him in separation (vipralambha seva) only intensified this
relationship and increased his services over the years. Following in the
footsteps of your beloved Guru Maharaja may you also solidify your
relationship with Maharaja and expand your services by following his example
and instructions.

In lamenting Maharaja’s departure, I had this intense desire just to hear
Maharaja once again, to feel his close presence, and I regretted not having
the foresight to record our last telephonic conversation just before he left
for America. Bhakti Caru Maharaja had just finished watching 'The Lost
Village' documentary. Maharaja had called me and said to me, “I got to know
you better.” In his inspired self, he excitedly suggested that I refresh and
relaunch 'The Lost Village' production because he saw the relevance of its
content for the COVID-19 pandemic. The two of us had resolved to
communicate more regularly over the phone and meet and spend some quality
time together as well. Maharaja had also accepted my invitation to visit
Pandharpur. I was really looking forward to that visit and now under the new
scenario this could only happen on another realm.

Following his departure I wanted to hear some of Maharaja’s bhajans or
lectures and to my great surprise the first bhajan which I came across was
“Je anilo prema dhana” which Maharaja had sung on the Disappearance day of
one of our predecessor acaryas. As his soothing voice filled the room I felt
really close to him. I had a strong momentary feeling that Maharaja is right
here and that he had never left. Listen to Maharaja’s sweet singing and
enlivening talks. From my experience I would also advise you to remember the
times you have spent with Maharaja giving you general or specific
instructions and make a plan to follow the same and you will feel his
presence and his company forever. As Bhaktivinoda Thakur says, “He reasons
ill who tells that Vaisnavas die, when thou art living still in sound! The
Vaisnavas die to live, and living try to spread the holy name around!”
As I searched for further closeness to Bhakti Caru Swami, I was sharply
conscious of all the anguish and pain that you, his spiritual children must
be feeling. My heart goes out to all of you. Your loss is our loss. Your
grief is our grief. Your tears are our tears. We are one family and together
in this. Some have lost their spiritual father; some have lost their
spiritual uncle; and some their god brother. Everybody in the family has
lost ‘someone special.’ There is an unprecedented influx of glorifications,
remembrances, memories of and prayers for our exalted Bhakti Caru Maharaja
and certainly sympathy and support for you all. Please be assured that this
all-pervading consciousness will remain with us through the legacy that your
Guru Maharaja has left behind, his pure love for his spiritual master,
ISKCON Founder Acarya, Srila Prabhupada and his desire to spread the Hare
Krishna movement everywhere. In the case of Maharaja, soldiering on as a
frontline fighter preacher especially in areas where the pandemic was most
rampant. Following in the footsteps of his spiritual master, he boldly
travelled to America in spite of the odds and departed a martyr, a true
soldier of Srila Prabhupada, where he strongly believed he was most needed
during these perilous times.

On that unfortunate last day I spoke to Prana Govinda Prabhu from Alachua on
the phone who at that time was rushing to the hospital where Bhakti Caru
Maharaja was being nursed. He was en route and he shared with much anxiety
whether he was going to reach the hospital in time to speak to Maharaja.
Arrangements had been made for him, facilitating this meeting with Maharaja.
Since Maharaja could only listen, he asked me, "Is there anything you would
like me to convey to Bhakti Caru Swami Maharaja?” I told him, “Please,
please beg Maharaja not to leave us behind. He must recover early and join
us again, and be amongst us because we are already missing him so much. I
continued my conversation with Prana Govinda Prabhu, “And if Krsna wants to
bring Maharaja back to Him, then my message on behalf of all our god
brothers and god sisters and senior leaders was: “Please convey to Bhakti
Caru Swami Maharaja that he may leave peacefully, happily, and we will take
care of his managerial responsibilities, continue his legacy and especially
take care of his direct disciples.” This was my message and promise to your
Guru Maharaja. You need to know that you are not alone. You never were and
never will be. You have a family of loving and caring spiritual masters,
godbrothers and godsisters, senior leaders and god cousins to whom you can
turn for comfort and relief.

I will always cherish Maharaja’s memories and my loving dealings with him
and will humbly endeavour to fulfil my heartfelt promise to your Guru
Maharaja to the best of my ability, to ensure that all will be taken care of
as he had envisaged.

Your servant in service to your spiritual master,
Lokanath Swami
HH Sri Jeeyar Swami (Sri Sampradaya) shares some words of condolences on HH Bhakti Charu Maharaja 

Respected Members of ISKCON

PRANAAM, Hare Krishna

It is with deep sadness and sorrow that we heard of the loss of the
Spiritual Global leader and Senior Member of ISKCON & GBC, HH Sri Bhakti
Charu Swami Maharaj.

We offer our deepest heartfelt condolences to the devotees of H.H Sri
Swamiji Maharaj and the ISKCON family worldwide.

Vedic Sanatana Dharma lost a great spiritual Guru, H.H Sri Bhakti Charu
Swamiji Maharaj built a global faith and community founded on Vedic Sanatan
value, His Holiness was highly respected for his personal piety and
dedication, as well as his commitment to promoting Vedic values around the
world. The great soul like H.H Sri Swamiji Maharaj rarely visits this
planet, we are very lucky to have him for 75 years,

We will be forever grateful for H.H Sri Swamiji Maharaj 's works and
contributions for Vedic Sanatana Dharma.

We pray that during this difficult time and in the day to come, the whole
world will find inspiration in remembering the life and teaching of HH Sri
Bhakti Charu Swamiji Maharaj.

On behalf of HH Sri Jeeyar Swami,

(Tridandi Sannyasi of Sri Sampradaya & Former Chairman of International
Srivaishnava Community)