Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Chapter 7: Paying Homage to The Guru

 Lord Shiva, the Adi Guru

Understanding and enlightenment make us close to God. Assisting us in the attainment of Shri Krishna, Lord Shiva grants means and fruition of union with the Divine.Shiva was content in serving the lotus feet of Krishna when the Supreme Lover insisted that he ask for a boon.

Delightedly, Krishna exulted,"Oh Shiv! There is no one more dear to me than you. The unaware sinner who scorns you is tormented in hell as long as the moon and sun reign." Lord Shiva or 'The Auspicious One', works for our well being, is the refuge of loving tenderness, is splendidly generous, bestows religious devotion to Krishna, is the guru of deities and is maha yogeshwar.Shiva, the supreme Vaishnava, is often venerated as the Adi Guru, the first Guru, who resides in the spiritual mentors of this mundane world.

Supreme Lover Krishna's  Rasa Lila

Shiva underwent a metamorphosis since He ardently longed to have a glimpse of Krishna's Rasa. Abandoning His masculine identity, He assumed a female form as a beautiful young maiden by the grace of the Braja balas. Easily pleased Lord Shankar had the good fortune of being the guru of revered Bahenji. He manifested for her and made a spectral revelation.

Lord Shiva is Adi Dakshinamurthy

It is not a common occurrence to send Sakhaji, a close sakhi of Shri Radha-Krishna's inner circle of devotees, to narrate their divine play to Bobo. Handsome Krishna is easily attainable herein and it does not seem essential to have a guru as tradition demands. But we need a spiritual guide to express and experience the pivotal concept of madhurya, the sweetness of Krishna. Immortal Shiva freed from the cycle of birth-death, is worth paying homage to as a mentor.

Guru Purnima, the Day of the Full Moon

The incident dates to the time when Bobo had come to Vrindavan. After a bath in the Yamuna she was heading homewards, accompanied by Sushila Bahenji, Vijay and others. It was Guru Purnima (the day of full moon in the month of Ashadh of the Hindu calendar). 

The Yugal Ghat, Vrindavan

While walking in the fields opposite the Yugal Ghat she thought, "Today is Guru Purnima and everyone says one can not attain salvation without a mentor -then who is my guru," and instantly the great Vaishnava, Lord Shankar with His wife Parvati and son Ganesha were clearly visible in the sky, slightly higher than the temple's platform.

Lord Shiva with Ma Parvati & Ganesha

Mother Parvati was clad in a red sari and adorned in the best of finery. Child Ganesha was also present with his spirited antics. Lord Shankar was resplendent with matted yellow hair which shone like heated gold.The holy Ganges and crescent moon rested on His head. A beautiful blue hue was apparent in His throat. Garlanded with a serpent, He assured her in a deep sweet voice," I am your Guru." She reverentially bowed before Him there itself. With His radiant trishul he repeatedly touched Bobo's forehead and blessed her. Ecstatic at this turn of events, she returned home silently. Consequently she remained the recipient of his grace throughout her life span.

Shri Radha, the Godhead in Female Form

Sometimes there was talk of the Yugal Mantra with Ushaji. The Chintamani Mantra was sacrosanct for her and every moment she would chant the Maha Mantra; a prayer to Radha, the Godhead in female form. Basically the mantra is asking mother Hara, that is Radha to please engage us in Krishna's service. Expressing and experiencing her love for Radha-Krishna was paramount for Ushaji and there was no restraint of japa and dhyan. Whether it was in the pleasure of belonging or the pathos of longing, participating in the innocent lilas of Krishna or being charmed by His flute she  reflected the madhurya of Krishna in equal measure.

Bhaktimati Usha Bahenji, Fondly Known as Bobo

She never opposed the conventional norm of mantra deeksha or instruction but except for a chosen few she never gave the Yugal Mantra to others for chanting. Even on being much elder in age and dignity she was simply addressed and known by all as Bobo or Bahenji. Moved by her loving tenderness, disciples felt so close to her that they regarded her as their elder sister or Bobo. She was their true Guru, revered sister and much respected teacher. As far as bhava was concerned she was their friend or sakhi and a loving mother. Summing up we can say that she was the very essence of their being.

Those great saints who are eternally steeped in the love of Radha-Krishna are not conscious of wearing a tilak, kanthi or a conch shell and discus mark on their shoulder joint. It is not as if they are violating religious restraints in a land on highly restrictive social conventions but this happens instinctively.

Shri Radha-Krishna

Bhaktimati Usha Bahenji used to always warn devotees of being enamoured by worldly fame. Ushaji opined that one should adopt a simple lifestyle and conventional norms which assist us in the attainment of Priya-Priyatam or the Supreme Lover and His Beloved.

The traditional order of her guru lineage is given below:

Shri Krishna
Lord Shankar
Shri Ushaji
|Shri Sushilaji |Darshan |Uma |Vijay |Other Devotees

No comments: