Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chapter 18: Ushaji's Loving Tenderness and Higher Education-Introduction to Vimla Nevile

Loving youngsters and respecting elders, Munno pleased everyone with her pleasant disposition. She was known as Bahenji and Bobo (elder sister) amongst colleagues and family members.


Going to the temple was a normal practice. Seeing her affection, affinity and closeness for her students it seemed they shared a strong bond.Motivated by her worship and dedicated devotion to Krishna they cast off worldly cares and family opposition and longed to head towards Vrindavan, to hear the dark god fluting in its blossoming pastures.


The clicking of sandals could be heard from a distance. A frail, meek lady bundled in a saree, strode by speedily. Wearing a plush coat, Bobo, an icon of love, met passersby.A maid begged,"Bibi! I need some food,"and she was moved instantly. An onlooker was stunned at the distinguished lady who had won accolades at the kavi sammelan yesterday and lectured on patriotism the day before, sparing time to simply listen to the woes of a poverty- stricken women.


Every day she would be draped in a new sari. She would use all the appealing accessories got by her father, like coiling her hair in a net. Once her professor had asked,"Munno! How many saris do you have?" Ever since she did not keep any more than two, wearing one and washing the other.


Those who have seen this distinctive principal, renowned poetess and social worker clad in a coarse sari, ordinary paduka (slippers), disheveled hair, a bindi of Thakurji's prasadi chandan, a rough blouse and large eyes, certainly adulated this unassuming persona.


Once the principal of a college of Ambala insisted that she join as its director and she was forced to accept his request. Some students had been posted on guard at the college gate to keep out unruly elements.All the listeners, onlookers and principal were eagerly waiting for Bahenji.,and a certain restlessness affected the scene.


Someone intervened that Bobo had a fetish for punctuality and ran out sure there had been a lapse.They saw Bahenji simply dressed, merrily pacing up and down under a tree. Everyone raced to get her. Both the students on duty went up and asked for forgiveness;"We could not recognize you otherwise this impertinence would have never occurred." Patting their backs she said,"I am pleased on the contrary because you honestly did your duty."


She had taken a vow to cook a meal herself and eat at home, and followed this regime for years.


Intoduction to Shri Vimla Nevile

With selfless love Bahenji was sowing the seeds of spirituality in mankind. One fine day,a Bahen came forward and exulted," I see you doing darshan of Krishna at the temple for considerable time everyday." She was Vimla Nevile and her father was working in the post and telegraph department. He had been transferred from Lahore and come to Ambala.


Having avid interest in satsang, Vimlaji was on the look out for such a group which sang devotional songs to Krishna. Coming into contact with the protagonist of our biography, she developed great affection for Bobo. Bahenji was absolutely against flaunting religious devotion and a certain serenity seeped into Vimlaji's religious sentiments.


She worked along with Bahenji as a teacher in the college. We have stated earlier that Bahenji's spirituality was well within the contexts of religious aspiration in a land of restrictive social constraints.


Ushaji always had great reverence for brahmans and endorsed that a brahman child is worthy of reverence despite not following religious obligations. God endorses that the brahman and cow are his holy mouth and she adhered to this norm.


Vimla Bahenji was absorbed in religious devotion in her proximity and ultimately settled in Vrindavan. Becoming a recipient of Ushaji's blessings she ultimately went to Gaulok, where the god forever dwells.


Shri Raj Dulari

Another Bahen,Raj Dulari, came into contact with Boboji.Being naive, she was easily gullible which can be harmful at times. One of the lawyer's daughter got her to meet Bahenji. She was clear-hearted and Bahenji could sense her loving temperament.


Raj Dulari belonged to a spiritual family and probably they had met because of earliers sanskaras. Finally resigning as principal from a reputed school and steeped in devotion to Krishna, Raj Dulari resided in Vrindavan.


Bobo had vast knowledge of the Hindi language and whenever she could lay her hands on a book she would certainly read it.


A man came to her with a voluminous text. She requested him to leave it and he reluctantly agreed to spare it for a few hours. She began browsing through the book and went into a trance. When she became conscious all the pages had been flipped and the closed book lay beside her. The man arrived at the specified time and he just couldn't believe that she had gone through it. On hearing several concepts based on the book he was spellbound.


Bahenji had to appear for the M.A. examination and twenty days were left. One of her friends, Shri Vimlaji who gained indepth knowledge of the 'Gita' from her, had arrived three years back.The service she rendered of arranging the texts for Bobo is commendable and she was blessed to propagate the Gita in America. When results were declared in the Punjab University everyone was taken aback. Bahenji had stood second in the university.


Simplicity and innocence were the key attributes of Bahenji and added to her brilliance.The examination centre was Patiala (Punjab) in those days.Her markeen dhoti which she was to wear had been washed and was wet. Concerned, the other Bahens insisted on packing a small suitcase with some saris.But she wore her damp one and left. Not to hurt their feelings,she carried it with her. On coming back she returned the baggage as it is not having used a single dhoti.


One can not cite a single instance where temptation, allurements and so-called worldly pleasures deflected Bobo's perennial quest for union with the divine.

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