Recollecting the Last Moments of Parameshwarji

P Parameswaran fondly addressed as Parameshwar Ji, one of the senior-most ‘pracharaks’ of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) passed away in the early hours of Sunday, the 9th of February 2020 leaving empty space within the hearts of people regardless of religion, politics and region.

The final days and moments of Parameshwar Ji was a testimony of the pious life he lived. Shrinath Karayat  recollects those moments:

Friday, February 7, 2020

Parameshwarji is under treatment of Sethumadhavan Vaidyar (Kuttan Vaidyar) in Sasiettan’s house adjacent to Balashram. After morning routines, he attended marriage function of Kuttan Vaidyar’s daughter, came back and rested.

A 3-days Shibiram on the Preparaton of Gau Aadharith (cow-based) products and our Punarjjani (rebirth) Shibiram were going on at Thanal Balashram.

5 p.m.

My friend Shiju and his wife Swati visited Parameashvarji. An hour of songs and stories with him – they sang bhajans and recounted old stories.

Parameshwarji was in a pleasant mood. He was talking about old events with clear memory. He recounted Vivekananda’s Chicago speech to Swati in English.

7 p.m.

Prameshwarji had food and retired to bed.

11 p.m.

Sasiettan and I were sleeping at Sasiettan’s house. Phone call from Parameashwarji’s constant companion Surendranji. He said Parameshwarji was somewhat restless and asked us if we could come. Sasiettan and I went there at once. Parameshwarji had some dyspnea at that time.

11.10 p.m.

Sasiettan called Kuttan Vidyar and asked what has to be done. Vaidyar asked for the details. He instructed us to boil coriander, dried ginger and jaggery, cool it and give him.

Immediately Sasiettan and l went to Thanal, prepared the decoction and brought it to Parameshvarji. He sat up on bed and drank the whole of it. He said, he would lie down. At that time, he had some obstruction to breath due to clogging of phlegm in the chest.

11.45 p.m.

Sasiettan called Kuttan Vaidyar again to inform him about the situation. Vaidyar asked us to examine Paramshwarji’s pulse. He also said he was sending two persons for help.

Parameshwarji’s pulse was palpable. When we gave some more decoction, he sat up once again, drank the whole of it and lie down.

It was then Sasiettan remembered Swati who was at Thanal was also a nurse. I called Shiju and asked him to bring Swati with a B.P. apparatus.

12 midnight

Shiju and Swati came and examined his B.P. It was above 100. The difficulty of breathing had also fully relieved.

He was taking long breaths calmly.

The head and upper limbs were kept straight.

His face glowed.

He was lying calm, relaxed and with a smile.

B.P. was checked again to find that it was falling to 50 and then to 10. There was no pulse.

We started reciting Vishnu Sahasranaama and Narayana Mantra aloud.

Parameshwarji’s breathing was becoming shallower. Breathing stopped.

Calmly and with a glowing face and a smile on his lips he attained samadhi.

12.20 a.m.

The doctor and assistants sent by Kuttan Vaidyar arrived who confirmed the death.

As per tradition, Vishnu Sahasranama recited and Cheviyil ottu (ritual manthra japa to the ear) was done. We sat near the body reciting the Taitariya Samhita mantra which offers thanks to the five pranas, the five bhootas (elements) and the five indriyas (senses).

Students from Thanal came and prostrated paying homage. We all recited the Daiva Dashaka aloud, together.

12.40 a.m.

Sasiettan first informed Surendaranji the demise of Parameshwarji and consoled him. Then he informed Selvanji, the Pranta Karyalaya Pramukh, and other Sangh officials. Sasiettan’s phone kept on ringing asking details.

Sasiettan and other officials discussed further proceedings. The students continued nama japa till Ramesh Korappath from Aivar Madham arrived.

2.20 a.m.

Rameshji arrived with ambulance and freezer. As the news spread, many people were coming to offer their pranaams.

Cheviyil Ottu and Daiva Dashaka were repeated once again, bhasma (holy ash) was smeared on the body and the body was placed in the ambulance.

I earnestly believe that it was merely due to the merit earned during my past lives I could be there till the end, to recite namas with others and to perform everything like a son.

He had taught us how to die, how to welcome death cheerfully pointing out to the fact that death is not something to be afraid of, but only part of the natural flow of things.

To be with Parameshwarji, a blessed soul whom I always adored and respected, in his last moments, has made my present birth fruitful and meaningful. I am so grateful to Sasiettan

We were earlier taught Shodasha Samskaara that enumerates signs of death as Kshudraka, Chinna (short breath), Tamaka (breath along with sputum), Maha (tranquil breath) and Urdhaka (energetic long breath)