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Thursday 15 November 2018
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Commentary

Death of a Guru


By the evening of Wednesday October 15 2003 most of Hindu Trinidad had learned of the passing of Pundit Krishna Maharaj, Dharmacharya of Trinidad and Tobago. Pundit Krishna died during the holy season of Divali confirming his spirituality to many.

Pundit Krishna as he was fondly called was the spiritual leader of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha of Trinidad and Tobago and considered the most revered Hindu pundit on the island regardless of Hindu sect. Pundit Krishna was virtually accepted by every Hindu organisation on the island as the most revered pundit. Pundit Krishna has been a pundit for over 40 years and  is considered to be the Guru for thousands not only in Trinidad but also to Hindus in the Caribbean, Europe, and North America. Pundit Krishna was the Guru to thousands of Hindus. He performed marriages for thousands of Hindus. He officiated at the cremation for thousands. He read thousands of yagnas at homes across the nation. His passing on is immensely sad and society can gain from studying his wisdom and legacy. His life is a worthy model for all to emulate, he was very selfless, and Dharmic. Pundit Krishna has left a very special mark on Trinidad, and particularly Hindu Trinidad.

Everyone is one with God, but the real spiritual Master has established his conscious oneness with God. At any moment he can enter into a higher consciousness and bring down messages from God to those disciples who have faith in him. The Master, if he is genuine, represents God on earth for those seekers who have real aspiration and faith in him. He has been authorised or commissioned by God to help them. The real Teacher, the real Guru, is God Himself. But on earth He will often operate in and through a spiritual Master. The Master energises the seeker with inspiration and, in the course of time, through the infinite Grace of the Supreme, offers the seeker illumination. Pundit Krishna tried to bring to the fore the inner divinity of the disciple from deep within the disciple’s heart. It was Pundit Krishna’s job to make his disciples feel that without love, without truth and light, life is meaningless and fruitless. The most important thing that Pundit Krishna did for his spiritual children was to make them consciously aware of something vast and infinite within themselves, which is nothing other than God Himself.

In December 1995 the Global Hindu community via Hinduism Today was informed of Pundit Krishna’s heroic stand for his religion when he refused to accept the Trinity Cross. Hinduism Today reported “PUNDIT KRISHNA MAHARAJ, Dharmacharya of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, has declined nomination for the Trinity Cross, the highest award conferred by the government of Trinidad and Tobago, saying it is inappropriate to have a cross of any kind placed around his neck. The Maha Sabha has objected to the award’s name for 15 years. “The word ‘cross’ is symbolic to Christianity and we feel the word should be changed,” said the 71-year-old priest. His bold decision is widely supported by other Hindu leaders in Trinidad and Tobago.” Extract of a forthcoming book entitled: “Sat Maharaj: Hindu civil rights leader in Trinidad” to be released by Chakra Publishing House gives a little insight about Pundit Krishna. “Pundit Krishna was a very determined and persuasive man. He was instrumental in drumming up support for Bhadase’s desire to merge the Sanatan Dharma Association (SDA) and Sanatan Dharma Control Board (SDBC), going out to villages with no street lights or running water and convincing the inhabitants to take the gigantic step into the future and away from all things familiar and known. In May 1952, Bhadase Sagan Maraj called a meeting of the SDA and SDBC to discuss these serious matters. Hinduism, being a religion based primarily on philosophy, education and knowledge, played a large role. At the meeting he demanded a merger of the two voices of the Hindu community. He argued vociferously with much pounding of desks that they had superior strength together than apart, that unanimous effort is always greater than single bodies moving towards a common goal.

The leader of the SDA was hesitant to make this move. He kept repeating that they should wait, he needed more time, but Bhadase was immovable and demanded a decision that night. The meeting lasted well into the wee morning hours with the SDA still requesting more time. The crowd grew more and more excited about Bhadase’s plans to clamour for him to acquiesce to the merger. The support for Bhadase largely outweighed that for the SDA and at the end of the night the SDA and SDBC had been incorporated with each other. On June 28 1952, the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha was created by Act 41, and Bhadase Sagan Maraj was elected president. The Maha Sabha moved quickly towards its goal of education and improvement of the Hindu community, and its first order of business was constructing Hindu schools. Its first six schools were established in that year from refurbished and renovated temples and halls, and opened with the rest of the nation’s schools on September 2, 1952.”

What was perhaps the saddest part concerning the passing of Pundit Krishna, Dharmacharya of Trinidad and Tobago, was the treatment of his passing by the media and the official powers. The last Central Statistics Office 1990 figures estimated that 23 percent of the nation is Hindu. Yet the passing of the Dharmachyra did not warnant an editorial or significant commentary on this religious leader of so many of the population. There was no live television coverage on the cremation of this Hindu Archbishop by any station. Thankfully there now exists in Trinidad a number Indian formatted radio stations. These stations did yeoman service in covering the passing of Pundit Krishna from Wednesday afternoon to the funeral on Saturday. The President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Professor Max Richards recognised the importance of Pundit Krishna and attended the funeral, so too did the Leader of the Opposition Mr Basdeo Panday, Yet for the rest of Trinidad, Hindu Trinidad did ot exist in this time of grief.

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