Friday, December 18, 2009

Chapter 9: Marriage Proposals,Sickness and an Ethereal Experience

Hungering Devotees & Supreme Lover Krishna

Krishna is revealed as the Supreme Lover in the fields and forests and down to the streams of Vrindavan. It is here that his hungering devotees represented by the enraptured village girls with whom he sported in his youth are passionately drawn. Lord Krishna alone is male and is seen as the object of longing of the enraptured cowherdesses. The terrifying rush of Shri Radha-Krishna's love invaded Bobo's heart and she could think of of little else.

The protagonist of our biography was about 25 to 26 years old now. The innocence of childhood had stepped into youth, seeking definite answers to the curiosity of adolescence. Above all she belonged to Lord Krishna and longed to live just for him. Attaining his madhurya or sweet love,she generously distributed it.

Shri Usha Bahenji Belonged to Dark-hued Krishna's Circle

Being very social, marriage proposals for Ushaji poured in to her father. Family members, relatives and others insisted on her tying the knot. Her nana (maternal grand father) went to the extent of offering to bear the entire expenses of the ceremony. He was aware of her religious disposition and impressed by her simple lifestyle even though she had acquired immense fame. Meanwhile Ushaji steeped in the mysterious love of the dark god, had come from His own parikar for a particular cause. Often she would reiterate that no one can dare to look at the beloved of the Lord who is the sole purusha.

The matter was raised amongst close relatives. Her father very well knew her firm mindset, mature perspective and dedicated religious devotion. He would invariably opine," Munno is so innocent that she does not have the slightest inkling of what marriage means. I will not be unjust by packing her off with some unknown person and if she wants to get married I will be the last one to stop her."

Drawn by Supreme Lover Krishna

Once he revealed that he always refused offers which came in but if she had the slightest inclination they could get the most handsome of boys. During those days talk of her chachi's (wife of father's brother) good-looking brother was doing the rounds. One fine day, she saw him passing by and was baffled by worldly standards. Her bonding was with Krishna, the constant and eternal paragon of beauty, so how could she accept a fragment of the Supreme Being with love flowing towards the Supreme Lover.

No one could muster enough courage to suggest otherwise before her firm resolve. Initially the topic was often raised but gradually people understood her intention and vanished with the passage of time.
Ill Health
After some days her health deteriorated. She did not pay heed to small ailments and continued her activities with dexterity and alertness as before. The fever soon transformed in to typhoid because of her persistent laborious efforts. She had not been fully cured and had a relapse. The fever lasted for twenty-one days this time round. Gradually weakness escalated since she had abandoned intake of grains on the doctor's advice. Lying down, she was blissfully lost in reminiscences of Lord Krishna, the essence of her life.

While on the course of recovering she had a relapse once more because of her diligently busy schedule. The fever lasted for ninety days during this time span as expected. Becoming frail, she was bed-ridden now. But had implicit faith that God had ordained an auspicious future. Her intense reverence for prasad stunned her friends and associates.The most dedicated of devotees would disregard having prasad (remnants of food offered to an idol) if they had the slightest bodily discomfort. But Bahenji upheld this focused practice till the very end of her life, proving to be an ideal for others.

Her agony knew no bounds and weakness increased. She had not eaten carbohydrates for months but Ushaji's spiritual strength had not diminished, endorsed her parents. Physically she became very feeble but her face glowed as Krishna affecting her with a mysterious and sometimes terrifying rush of love, burst forth into her heart. She relished the dark god's madhurya exuded through his acts and gestures, his words and his flute, his clothes and his sports.

One could count her ribs and see the blood coursing through her veins. Even on desiring she could not raise her hand and needed help to turn her side. Bobo confirmed that the ailment and its painful suffering had brought about spiritual enlightenment, thus proving to be the golden period of her life. Episodes of joy and sorrow are like two ends of a cycle and gradually she became better.

The Sudarshan Chakra

On recouping, she said that the flaming sudarshan chakra (circular discus of Krishna) would rotate around her every second with an assurance that her immortal protector was concerned about her well-being. By the grace of Lord Krishna she had darsan of several gods and goddesses. She sighted Saraswati Devi and Bhakti Devi posited in the sky. Ushaji saw Tulsi Maharani and Naradji holding a veena in his hand, Rishi Angira, Shri Ved Vyas, Bhole Nath, Shriman Narayan and several sages blessing her with folded hands. These celestial experiences helped her easily tide over the illness.

While ailing she observed that this sick body was lying down in Ambala while her divine and eternal form was transported to a huge dense tree planted in Govind Ghat, located on banks of the Kalindi (name of the river Yamuna said to rise on a mountain Kalinda). Addressing Shri Thakur,she writes," I distinctly remember the scene even as of today. Lord Krishna's beaming moon like face, loving tenderness of his eyes, passionate but not lustful. She entreated,'Probably the Svamini ( Shri Radha) has forgotten and you must instantly remind her to keep the promise.'

Shri Radha

In a few moments the palanquin of Kishori Shri Radha arrived and was put down. She could not see who had got the palki. Shri Radha stepped out of the palanquin and hugged her. The contact, its ecstasy and the rush of sweet love was ecstatic. Nudging her Priyaji asked,' What do you want now?'

Becoming One with Krishna

Ushaji pleaded for union with her teasing, elusive and insistent paramour and His transcendent love, and was silent. Caressing the back of her head, Priyaji affirmed,'Okay! It shall be granted.' Thrilled at her loving assurance, Ushaji raved about the radiant splendour of Radha Rani, wearing a vermilion-coloured lehenga, a sky blue odhni and a pink kanchuki with zardosi work on its sleeves."

Now gradually her health improved and illness took a back seat. An enthused exultation and zeal was apparent in her persona. Bahenji had fully recovered as of now and ate well. It became easy to commute to the temple. Meanwhile the Sanatan Dharam Association felt the need to open a girl's school and they trusted Bahenji for this task. Its members insisted that she take charge and Bobo agreed to do so.

No comments: