As of now I strive to pen down Saint Ushaji's activities after 6 am at the Holy Dham of Vrindavan. Around 6.30 or so She reached home after a holy dip in the Yamuna. Soon enough Sri Thakurj's snan sewa would begin with great fanfare. I mixed yamuna-jal in a water-pot and shut the door. Though several Thakurjis stood resplendent in all their glory, Lord Sri Radha-Krishan or Yugal-Sarkar , their 2 cows , Ganeshji , Shivling-Parvatiji-, Shaligramji , Gopalji , Hanumanji ), I did not have the slightest inkling of the sequence in which they were bathed since only Boboji and Sheela Bahinji were inside. Roughly these 45 minutes I used fruitfully in the kitchen to help an *Aunty make tea and other breakfast goodies. However both our ears were glued to the closed door as Boboji would very lovingly request in a short while "LE AAO" which meant, bring the tea or breakfast.
These words were indeed divine, laden with saintly blessings. For many years, I heard them but did not appreciate their celestial nature. Now I yearn for those days, truly nostalgic about the Vrindaban way of life!
Serving tea did not in any way mean that we could savour it ! If the month was Shravan, then first Lord Shiva's pooja would be performed ( with 3 beads of Om Namah Shivay, 7 on Monday ) On Shivratri, Ekadasi, Ramnaumi Janmashtmi, french fries were offered and so on and so forth. As a youngster I was trained to control pangs of hunger even though breakfast was spread, ready and inviting before my eyes!
On days when it was bitterly cold, I helped Vijayji of whom I have spoken earlier, to break coal into small pieces and light the angithi. Today my daughter is only aware of gas or a gas-stove. Those days were so full of fun and frolic; folks led a tough lifestyle endowed with a heavenly mindset. I long for them as of now. As the timing of the Bhog, 7.30 in the morning, 11am at noon, 7pm for the evening, was of prime importance and not who made it, I learnt how to cook food , light a stove, make chapatis , tea and vegetables on my own..
Usha Bahen ji's Yugal Sarkar or Sri Radha-Krishna
Soon after this frugal breakfast, Saint Ushaji was engrossed in the prime job of Thakurji's Shringar. In class with Pushtimargis, Her sewa was of the highest order, performed meticulously. It was a great pleasure to watch .As She did the Shringar, poojya Sheila Bahinji, Vijayji,all those present , as well as I chanted their Glory-stotras or stutis simultaneously, in a melodious fashion. She was totally immersed in Shringar of Thakurji . Ushaji large-heartedly gave me Adi Shankaracharyaji's famous stotaram SUCHARU VAKTRA MANDALAM which of course till date I recite religiously in the morning.
8am to 10 am was the time slot when She was deeply engrossed in and thoroughly enjoyed Thakurji's sewa. At 10 am, however Shringar-bhog was served keeping the season and weather in mind,for example tea in winter, sharbat in summer and so on .. . It was indeed a boon not to have phones in those days. Many devotees from all over the world do contact Susheela bahinji between 8 to 10am, totally unmindful of the fact that She is busy in Shringar of Thakurji. It's sewa-apradh ....hope they are more mindful in future. The perfect timing to ring up Shiela Bahinji is between 10am to 10.30am since later She gets involved in lunch-Bhoga . That's why Goswami Tulsidassji points out remarkably in Sri Ramcharitmans :--
SABTE SEWAKU DHARMI KATHORA
Meaning it is easier to become Ramji , to serve like Laxmanji is most difficult !
( PS : *Aunties here stand for girl students of Saint Ushaji when She was the principal of reputed schools . Very much like Her , these Aunties were highly educated , principals or senior teachers in various schools but Saint Ushaji 's divinity had such a magnetic pull that they did not marry , opted for renunciation and settled permanently at the holy Dham of Vrindavn. Uma, Darshan and Sumitra Aunties were the first to arrive, followed soon after by Santosh Narang, Saroj, Vimla Kapoor, Sudesh, Santosh Gupta, Pushpa-Kaki and so on. ......The entire lot have a deep motherly affection for me and I highly respect them as I did Boboji-Bahinji. May Thakurji always shower me with their love and blessings.)