Regular satsang, routine parayana (reading of the original text) of Ramayana and Srimad Bhagavatam, Mahamantra chanting all the time, making service to the divine Master as the sole purpose of the soul... Jayanthiji had truly made the rare gift of human birth complete and fruitful.
No one can escape karma. It is said even jnanis reap the effects of karma, even though in their experience it does not impact them the least and they don't 'see' the impact of karma due to their exalted state. Great mahaans and avatara purushas themselves underwent severe physical adversities. Even Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Ramana Maharshi had cancer. In case of avatara purushas, it is said that though they do not have karma, they take on the karma of people who have surrendered to them and let it manifest as ailments like cancer.
Sri Swamiji used to often indicate in his lectures that true spiritual maturity lies in not connecting personal mundane life events and spiritual life events. In fact for a person who is clear about the spiritual path, adverse mundane life events should only strengthen the resolve to travel more intensely in the path of spirituality, towards spiritual awakening and God-realization.
Although Sri Ramachandra Prabhu lived for more than 10,000 years, Sage Valmiki devoted most of the Ramayana to show the 10 months of His suffering in separation from Sita mata; because it is in the face of adversity that one's true character is reflected.
In the lives of many devotees, it is adversity that served as a perfect contrast to highlight their incredible divine qualities of tolerance, resolve, compassion and divine love.
While Jayanthiji was relishing Sri Swamiji's satsang and soaking under the nectarine rain of compassionate grace of Sri Swamiji, dark clouds of adversity loomed large over the family.
Unfortunately, suddenly out of the blue, Jayanthiji was diagnosed with a lump which suggested breast cancer! The doctor she consulted directed her to do a biopsy. The biopsy revealed the dark news – it was confirmed as cancer. The whole family felt as if they were struck by a cruel lightning, and they were suddenly pushed into a dark pit of deep sorrow. The oncologist advised surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation. Sri Swamiji advised the family to strictly follow the doctor's advice. Jayanthiji was subjected to the painful process of an operation, radiation and chemotherapy.
Cancer, a severe and a merciless ailment, shakes a person to the core and also has the power to easily break the spirit of the person. Yet this disease was powerless to even touch the spirit of Jayanthiji – true to her name, her spirit emerged victorious. Not a word of lament; not a bitter word; not even a mild complaint; not one 'why me?' question; not even a 'God! Why these testing times for me and my family?' thought! That was our brave Jayanthiji, showing her unshakeable spirit while under the attack of adversity. Sri Swamiji, the ocean of compassion, was very pained to see her suffer like this. This painful ailment and the equally painful treatment went on, not for days or weeks, but intermittently for two full years. Yet these were powerless to alter her smile, her quiet forbearance, her spiritual schedule of chanting Mahamantra, her joy in listening to bhagavat katha (shravanam), her mind's focus on the Lord and Satguru! The whole family – Sri Janakiramanji, Sangeetha, Pradeep, Srividya – all were very pained to seeing her condition. That whole period, Sri Swamiji was also in seclusion and did not give darshan to devotees.
In the midst of all this, Jayanthiji did a full upanyasam of Srimad Bhagavatam, the scripture which also goes by the name of Jaya (victory). It appeared to proclaim the victory of her unshakeable devotion to her Lord, her beloved Master, and the immense grace of the divine Master. This soul-power must have come solely from the Satguru's grace!
During those tough times, Jayanthiji found another source of joy in the birth of her very sweet granddaughter who was named by Sri Swamiji as Charulatha. Even amidst that suffering, she never failed to fondle, bathe and play cheerfully with the baby even though it lasted only for the last few months of her life.
The treatments were of no avail and neither did it cure or even give a little respite. The cancer spread to various parts of the body. After the physical suffering for two full years, on June 12th 2006, it was clear to the family that she was counting her minutes in the physical frame.
In that moment of extreme pain, during that moment when even cognisance fails, in that moment when even mahaans pray that they should be reminded of the divine Lord, the people around Jayanthiji noticed that she was murmuring something. When they went close, they could hear a Sanskrit verse from Vasudevastakam:
'The One who made the child all knowing
By the touch of the divine conch
That ocean of compassion,
Vasudeva, is my divine Guru!'
Srimad Bhagavatam says 'janma lAbha para pumsAm ante nArAyaNa smrutihi' – that the true fruit of having taking the human body is to live life with such purity, such loving service to the Guru and soaked in such divinity, that we remember Narayana alone in our last breath. Satsang's true purpose is this alone, isn't it?
Jayanthiji showed the victory of Satsang too!
Chanting that shloka, showing her true intimate bhava that she never saw Hari and Guru as different, she left this physical frame -- which for 15 years served our beloved Master, the devotees of our satsang, Premika Srinivasa Perumal and our Divine Couple Premika Varadan-Madhuri Sakhi, with utmost love and dedication – to become a Go-loka Gopi, to join the eternal Raasa Leela of our Thakurji.
Our Krishna could wait no longer to take his dear Gopi back to his eternal Leela. Sri Swamiji was not physically present at that time, yet Sangeethaji could feel his subtle presence there. The divine fragrance gave away our Sri Swamiji's presence to Sangeethaji. When she confided this to Sri Swamiji, Sri Swamiji also nodded his head in agreement.
Later Sri Swamiji said, "When Jayanthi left her body, I was travelling in the car. At the very moment of her departure, Seenu (a devotee who was with Sri Swamiji at that time) said with great surprise, 'Guruji, I saw a bright light entering your heart!' He saw Jayanthi becoming one with me."
Sri Swamiji later told Janakiramanji when he was alleviating his sorrow, "How can I explain this! In Ramayana while referring to departure of the tapasvini Sabari, it is said, 'sarvAbharana bhUshita'. Like that, she left with a divine form, with divine adornments, to the higher worlds. I see it clearly."
After a few months, one day Sri Swamiji, in the form of letter to Janakiramanji, wrote, "One day Jayanthi came and said, 'I wish to convey to one and all at satsang that I am in a very blissful state at Goloka.'"
Sri Swamiji later conveyed this in a lecture at Premika Bhavanam. That very moment the garland on Jayanthiji's picture in the hall, fell down with a big thump as if to indicate her hearty agreement!
To this day, as ordained by our Sri Swamiji, the day Jayanthiji attained Krishna is celebrated as 'Goloka Vijayotsavam' by her family. They invite Srivaishnavas to do parayanam of Divya Prabhandam and celebrate this day, unlike the rites and rituals which are done for ordinary departed souls.
For all the satsang devotees of the 1990s who had the fortune of seeing and being acquainted with her, Jayanthi mami as she is fondly called, lives forever in their most divine memories as the very epitome of motherly care, service, enthusiasm, cheerfulness and above all selfless divine love towards the Satguru.
'Apaara Mahima ho! Athi Athi Apaara Mahima ho
Apaara Mahima Satguru Kataaksham!
Apaara Mahima ho!'