Three weeks ago we received an unexpected call from one of the devotees who lives near the ashram of the sadhus in Salandi Reserve Forest. The devotee told us, “Baba has agreed for an eye operation. Please come and take him to make the arrangements.” He was speaking of Brahma Chaitanya Das, the 101 year old sadhu who has spent most of his life living inside the forest at Chakratirtha.
This took us by complete surprise, because I had been requesting this sadhu to allow us to treat his cataract for the last 17 years, but up till now he had been refusing every time. In the beginning, when he was already around 85 years old, I requested Baba if I could arrange for the cataract surgery to cure his vision. He replied, “My guru has given me these eyes, why should I change them. If my guru chose to give me eyes like this, I will keep my eyes like this.” Despite me repeating the request many times over the years, he would not agree to the operation, even though it caused him many problems. For this reason the call was completely unexpected. We had tried so many times and he would not agree to the operation, but now somehow on his own he had agreed.
We immediately brought him to our Ashram in Bhadrak, and arranged for an eye check up at one of the local eye hospitals. The doctor confirmed that he has a very advanced cataract in both eyes, which will need to be operated on. We have begun applying the medicated eye drops to prepare him for the surgery. We will first perform surgery on one eye, and after recovering, the second eye will be operated on around a month later.
The operation will be done in Cuttack using the latest modern equipment for laser eye surgery which will be completely painless and will allow for quicker healing and recovery time. The total cost of the operation for both eyes will be around Rs.146,000 ($1,825 USD).
After each surgery we will keep Baba at our ashram in Bhadrak to ensure that the medicated eye drops are applied properly for 45 days.