Acharya Charan His holiness Swami Dayal Puri Ji Maharaj spent most of his life in Kashi, the city of Pandits (The Learned ones).
An austere and incessant endeavour to unravel the esoteric mysteries of Vedas, Vedang and other scriptures, was a singular component of his Sadhna. Studying and teaching were but a powerful medium to connect the inquisitive ones with the eternal flow of this stream of knowledge.
Ever day after getting through with the morning chores, he would, with total stillness delve into the innermost realms of his heart, and would remain in this stillness till about 10 AM. After that would start the consistent stream of teaching which would flow continuously till the evening, one class followed by the other. So fascinating was his style that the students of a class, anxiously looking at their watches would keenly wait for their turn to imbibe the knowledge flowing from this great fountainhead. The only short break taken was that for lunch. Sometimes the teaching would be resumed immediately after finishing meals, without resting even for minute. There were occasions, as told by Maharaj Shree himself, when up to eighteen classes would be taken in a day. Whereas even the most celebradted Pandits, would take up at most 4-5 classes a day, the teaching of this great Brahmagya would continue uninterrupted for the whole day.
Those days Maharaj Shree used to reside in the Kashi Devi Matha (which was quite different form what it is now). The Mahant of the Matha Swami Ramanand, who was also an expert in Sanskrit Grammer, would often say fondly to Maharaj Shree, “Maharaj ji, you have brought down the Ganga of knowledge to this Matha and have converted it to a place of pilgrimage for countless inquisitives”.
Although he had unquestionable mastery over all hues of spiritual philosophy, but Vedanta was his forte. Apart from the Laghu Prasthantryi (Upaishadas Brahmsutras and Gitabhasya) he would also teach the (Vrihada Prasthantryi Chitsukhi, Advaitsidhi, Khandankhandkhadyama) with great ease and spontaneity.
His exemplary demeanor, however took its toll in the form of excessive stress on his eyes, causing intense and gradually increasing pain in the eye balls. Nevertheless, Maharaj shree never let this malady become a reason for disappointing his students. The flow of knowledge continued, unabated. Once, during those times, a young sanyasi from Nepal visited Maharj shree. He carried with him a letter from his Guru, who had been a student of Maharaj Shree. In the letter he had requested Maharaj Shree to pay a visit to his Ashram, serving a twin purpose- that of obliging him and his students by giving them an opportunity to serve him, and of providing the much needed rest to his over stressed body. He had sent his disciple along with the necessary money to arrange for the journey.
Maharaj Shree placed the letter before his students. They were shocked. “Maharaj Shree, what will happen to our studies”, they pleaded. “Who else can teach us with such affection and perfection!”
The ocean of love and compassion as he was, Maharaj Shree had to concede to the demand of the students. He decided not to leave Kashi.
Maharaj Shree’s eyes were deteriorating. However the teaching continued, unabated, at an increasing pace. It seemed that the pace of teaching was competing with that of deterioration of his eyes. The condition of his right eye worsened to such an extent that he would have to cover it with a folded handkerchief while teaching, using only his left eye. To provide warmth to the effected eye, the Handkerchief had to be warmed and replaced frequently. “My eyes have made the students pass (through their studies) but they (the eyes) have failed themselves.”
The condition of his eyes had worsened to an alarming extent. Maharaj Shree was taken to Delhi for treatment. He was accompanied by Pt. Lakshman Dass Saddi (fondly called Pita ji), who was still in his youth at that time. Both the eyes were found to be badly infested with extremely painful nodosities. The right eye was more severely affected. The treatment began. Medicine had to be injected into his eyes. As per the procedure, one nurse used to anesthetize his eye and then the doctor used to inject the medicine. Once it so happened, that the nurse forgot to anesthetize the eye. The Doctor, unaware of this omission, proceeded with his usual chore of injecting the medicine. One can well imaging the agony which would have been faced, with a needle piercing an unanesthised eye. However, Maharaj Shree, the Bhole Shankar did not even let out a sigh.
Pitaji used to sleep in Maharaj Shree’s room. He found that Maharaj Shree spent that night sitting on his bed. Though it was not unusual to see Maharaj Shree sitting on the bed at night, but Pitaji observed that Maharaj Shree had spent the entire night sitting on the bed. Whenever, he (Pitaji) woke up during the night, he found Maharaj Shree in sitting position. Soft whispering of “Narayana-Narayana” were also discernable. However, Pitaji could not dare, sheerly out of reverence, to ask Maharaj Shree why he did not sleep.
Next morning, when the Doctor came for routine inspection, it was found that Maharaj Shree’s eye was badly inflamed and swollen. The matter was looked into and the omission of the nurse on the previous day came to the fore. The Doctor was shocked and surprised. What a man! Tolerating the intense pain of a needle piercing his eye; without anesthesia; not even a sigh. What a Sanyasi!
Poor Doctor, how could he comprehend the realm beyond the physical. How could he even imagine that Maharaj Shree was established in a state which no amount ofagony could violate as says the Bhagwat Gita, ‘Yasmin sthito dukhen, gurunapi na vichalyate.’
The treatment was long. It did cure the eyes, though not completely. During the last few years of Maharaj Shree’s life, the right eye blacked out completely. The left one also did not have enough power, to let the body work without assistance.
It is not unusual for learned authors to render creations by writing narratives of essence. However, this great treasure of essence of all knowledge has rendered a unique creation by elaborating the narrative arising from his heart on the pages of ascetic fire with the pen of kindness and selfless service. It is the creation of the sorts which carry with them the keys to the gates of that supreme Kingdom of truth, knowledge and light.