Swami Veda Bharati holds the prestigious title of Mahamandaleshwara in the Swami order of monks. He is also the Chancellor of HIHT University, Dehradun, which was established by Master Swami Rama. He has authored approximately 18 books on Indian spirituality including a 1500 page comprehensive commentary on two of the four chapters of Patanjali's Yoga-sutras. Before taking the vows of Swamihood in 1992, Swami Veda Bharati was known as Dr. Usharbudh Arya.
Why did he not heal himself?
Occasionally this question is asked by curious seekers.
Please read the series AT THE FEET OF A HIMALAYAN MASTER. So far 2 volumes of memoirs by different disciples have been published by Swami Rama Centre at the Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust in Dehradun. These are also available through Lotus Press in USA. The 3rd volume is now in preparation, soon to be published.
These volumes give out numerous examples of the ways in which Gurudeva swami Rama guided the sincere disciples. They also record numerous instances when he took many disciples' illnesses upon himself and either absorbed them into his own physical systems or dissipated them.
I had numerous experiences of the same during my long periods of chronic conditions.
In 1980 he himself took gravely ill, with all his openings bleeding; the doctors diagnosed it as over-exhaustion. He called a few of his disciples to spend some time with him in silence, told us 'my Master is calling me' and I must go. He dictated the instructions for his several hundred organizations to his secretaries. He bade us good-bye and left guidance as to what to do with his body if he were to leave it. Then he left USA to meet his master.
This was sometime in September 1980. We heard nothing from him after he left USA. We all wondered if we would ever see him again.
He had also commanded me to move my family from USA to India and locate myself in his Ashram in Rishikesh. We were to fly out on 17th December 1980. He called on 16th December. I spoke to him excitedly; "Maharaji-ji, where are you calling from?" He was calling from Hong Kong. With great concern I asked him how he was. He replied:
"I am very well, sonny. But my Gurudeva has left his body. At this time one of us three was destined to leave: he (grandmaster), I or yourself (referring to me). Gurudeva said: 'My work is now complete but I still have 14 years left to this body. Your work is not yet complete. I transfer these 14 years of life to you so that you can complete your work'."
Then, after a few weeks I saw him in Delhi. He looked hale and hearty, standing as usual tall and erect. He was ready to embark on his project to build the hospital but first he chose to establish an ashram in Nepal. As soon as that ashram was established, he left from there, came back to the Rishikesh ashram and earnestly set about to establish the grand hospital for the service and benefit of the mountain people.
I was counting years, 14. Fourteen years passed and he was still in the body and I took a sigh of relief. However, his body had begun to weaken. He started saying, "My Gurudeva is calling me. Now no power can hold me back. My work is now complete. I must go." We watched his body steadily in pain and looking emaciated, but still tall and erect with no sign of any sadness on him; always inspiring, guiding the final phases of the hospital construction.
The foundation stone for the hospital was laid in 1992. The well equipped hospital was already running in 1996. The Medical College and the Nursing College were already recognized by the Government of India.
There was no shortage of the teams of doctors and specialists around him. At the insistence of concerned disciples many other specialists were called. No definite diagnosis could be arrived at.
Here, permit me to digress.
Swami Vivekandanda died of diabetes.
The Great Raman Maharshi died of cancer. When the doctors were trying to heal his cancer, he is reported to have said something like: "Here, I am trying to rid myself of the big disease called the body by using a small disease and you all are trying to rid of this small disease that is my instrument".
The great yogi Totapuri (whose name is well known to the students of the life of Paramahamsa Ramakrishna) - like many other yogis, changed his name several times. With his last name he left his body around 1958. He was reputed to do the same thing Swami Rama did throughout his life, taking on people's illnesses upon himself and dissipating them. But he did not cure himself of the diabetes he took on from someone. He was asked why he is not healing himself. He replied, "at a certain time I have to leave my body. I am keeping this last arrow in my quiver to use at that time".
So, back to Swami Rama. The surgeons at our hospital were happily surprised that when they asked for his blessing for a difficult surgery the surgery would go smoothly easy flowing.
Yes, at the insistence of concerned disciples, specialists were consulted from different parts of the world to look at Swami Rama's ailing body. None of them could agree on a diagnosis. The liver specialist said it was liver disease. The cancer specialist said it was cancer of this organ or that.
I asked him why these specialists cannot agree on a diagnosis. He replied in disgust:
Much earlier, I tried to organize a yajna (fire offerings ceremony) with mrityunjaya mantra for his health. He said "what will the japa of others do for me? I am the one who has given the mantra!"
I said, "But, then, Swamiji, you have healed so many in life. Why do you now not use that healing power to cure yourself?" He replied, "this kind of use of power for oneself is not permitted in the Tradition".
I said, "Maharaj ji, then grant me the healing power and I will use it to heal you". He laughed gently and said "but then, it is my power you are using for me. Not permitted by the Tradition."
This was to us a lesson in what total selflessness of a yogi means.
To the last day of his life he was doing the rounds of his hospital.
Finally, on 13th November 1996 he left his body.
The above is an excerpt from Swami Veda Bharati's planned book about Gurudeva Swami Rama.