Sri Manohar Bhaiya, a Great Saint of Vrindavan
Today on 9th May, 2008, all of us make obeisance to the holy feet of poojya Manohar Baba on His birthday which falls on the day after Akshay Teej. Full of energy, He is bubbling with enthusiasm even at the advanced age of 88!
Sri Manohar Baba with Balkirishan Das ji Maharaj
Sri Manohar Baba is deeply affectionate and a monk of the highest order in Vrindavan, the Braj Bhoomi or rather entire India can boast of today. Just as we associate Hanumanji with Lord Rama, so is the relationship of Sri Manohar Baba with Sri Balkrishandassji Maharaj, his Sadguru and a Divine Personality/ ( 20th Century's Lord Chaitanya : Sri Maharajji ) Soon after Sri Maharajji left for Gaulok (abode of Lord Krishna) on 24th May,1995, Sri Ghanshyamji (who used to enact the part of Lord Krishna during Raas) took over the reins of Venu, Vinod and TamaI Kunj at Vrindavan Dham. For the most miraculous Nityaleelaen of Thakurji, revered Manohar Baba is the Saint , devotees look up to for inspiration, guidance and blessings besides Deviji, Kusumji and Manormaji.
MaheshwarManoharji was born on the night of AkshayTeej in May, 1919 (vaishakh shukla chaturthi ) This year Akshay Teej was on 8th May so His 89th birthday fell today. The honour of His birthplace goes to Maheshwar situated on the holy banks of the Narmada River in the Nimar district of Madhya Pradesh. His father was a Kul-purohit or family priest of Rani Ahilyabai, renowned as a Khandani or learned Pandit. Manohar Baba belonged to a affluent family, the landed gentry having acres of land coupled with cattle and the likes.
He led a highly disciplined and pious life during his youth, inspiring all around Him. The grasping prowess of Manohar Baba in the fields of Yajurved, Karamkand and Ayurveda was so sharp that He passed the ‘Kavyatirtha Examination’ in Sanskrit with flying colours. In 1935, spotting His totally unselfish and Saintly mindset, the RSS requested Him for social work and various philanthropic activities. His persona was honest and sincere to the core. Possessed with a passion of Lord Krishna’s Darshan was His unique mission in life. Quitting the RSS in 1942, He wholeheartedly concentrated on daily poojan of the Shivlinga by 108 belpatras, learnt Yoga from Guru Rangnaath, imbibed Gayatri paath under the instructions of Great Mahatma Kulkarniji and performed many other rituals.
Sri Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
The great moment of renunciation surfaced in 1945. A saint came to Maheshwar and in class with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, chanted the Hare Ram Hare Krishan Kirtan with such ecstasy that Manohar Baba right away left for Sri Banke Biharji temple in Vrindavan. Who knows the saint could be Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself come to bless the young soul, Manoharji! His niece, Shashikant Mule who is a Sadhak and resides at Vrindavan, turns nostalgic on recounting Her Chacha's journey from Maheshwar to Vrindavan,
"If mother prepared food and His elder brother, my father, offered the fare for venturing to Vrindavan He invariably returned everything politely, with the passion of renunciation burning within Him. Manohar Baba reached Vrindavan after a span of eight days completely exhausted, famished and fatigued, hesitant in asking for Bhiksha. After all, He came from a rich and well-to-do background. But the trauma soon got over because Mahaprabhu Balkrishnadasji was eagerly waiting to embrace Him for ever.
The Divine Play of Lord Krishna
Way back in 1942 communication by letters or phones was unheard off. There was no formal introduction but Lord Krishna had destined the incidence in such a Divine manner! One can virtually experience the ‘Bhagwad Gita's’ ‘YOGAKSHEMAM VAHAMYAM’ in the Holy Communion mentioned herewith in page 42 of 'Charit Vaibhav'.
In fact the above mentioned book is a biography of Maharajji authored by our beloved Manoharji. As we flip through the pages, His subtle comprehension of all Shastras mainly the Srimad Bhagavatam, Gita and Ramayana impress us the most. Manoharji somehow managed to acquire a camera from somewhere and clicked 24 rare snapshots of Maharajji's Bhaav-dasha as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had.
Sri Balkishan Das ji MaharajThus it is not surprising that Maharajji spotted this jewel and enriched Him with several Lord Radha-Krishna's leelas or divine experiences. Way back since 1945 Manohar Baba is closely attached to Maharajji. Such implicit faith in one’s Sadguru or Eksant Nishta is very rare in modern day Kalyug. Thus Hanumanji’s relationship with Lord Rama being equated to Sri Manohar Baba’s bonding with Sri Balkrishandassji Maharaj is perfectly apt.
Highly Revered Usha Bahenji Fondly Known as BoboDredging up old memories, I vividly remember that it was Saint Ushaji who by the Grace of God, guided and inspired me to bow at His holy feet since childhood. I shall be eternally grateful to Her for this noble deed: Diary 9 of Divine Great Saint Ushaji: GOVERDHAN
Ushaji had a great vision for the future. Ever since She left for the Divine abode on 20th Feb, 1992, revered Manohar Bhaiyaji has cared for me just like a mother. I am safe in His embrace, with not a worry to pester me and sincerely pray to the Lord to increase the time span spent under His protection.