Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chapter 21: In Harmony with Sakhaji's Gushing Rasas;Connected by a Terrifying Rush of Love to Lord Krishna

When we are steeped in the sweet love and romantic dalliance of dark-hued Krishna, the colour of the condensed sky and the fair-complexioned Radha, there in nothing else worth serving or describing.

With Lord Krishna's stimuli, Sakhaji's contribution towards sensitively sighting, expressing and relishing the nitya lila of Radha-Krishna became more evocative within the context of religious aspiration.

The siddha's gushing bhavas turned more demonstrative and ecstatic and enriched the earlier conventional and austere Shastras. Living through countless legends of the playful dalliance of Radha and Krishna, recitation of sacred texts and singing songs of a devotional nature became an intrinsic part of Bahenji's life.

Bobo was heading towards spiritual evolution as well as conscientiously fulfilling her duties in other spheres of life. A feeling of patriotism was apparent and she longed for poetry.India had already become independent with Dr.Rajendra Prasad as its first president.The government had held six kavi sammelans to celebrate independence day.

One fine day, an invitation from the President's Office asking for her to take part in the seventh sammelan came by post. Ushaji's father who wrote in Urdu by the name of 'Hatil Kairanvi' was also called.The function was in 1955 and Shri Maithili Sharan Gupt, Uday Shankar Bhatt and many reputed poets of Urdu plus other languages were invited to speak on this occasion. Bahenji went there along with her father and eloquently read a poem she had written earlier.I have heard that an insistence to broadcast the composition on radio was made. But self-effacing Bahenji sternly refulsed for even a mention of her name.

At this end the ardent longing to head for Vrindavan was at its zenith. Gradually it had to be controlled due to her dutiful nature. There was only one respite if someone from Vrindavan talked about the land which so inhabits our hearts, it acted like a balm on her enflamed heart. She would often say," Shri Kalavati Bhabhi, Sugni Bhua and several matas have given me personal joy by talking about Vrindavan."

Detachment to worldly objects increased and at times a desire to cast off all bonds and flee was overwhelming. She wanted to be free from the school and intermittenly talked of resigning. People discussed this matter and were apprehensive. But up until the inevitable did not crop up, its very thought grieved them.

Asking the gathered clouds about the supreme lover's whereabouts, Bahenji could sense the in-dwelling Krishna in every particle of nature and mystically visualized him as the world around her.She was not enamoured by the universe, a symbol displaying the dark god's presence and power but longed for Krishna, the energy of her life.

Amazingly once Shri Krishna assuming the form of Shri Ram had approached her. She bowed before his power but rejected his advance,"This body and mind is crazed for the closeness of the handsome Shyam.Instantly Ramji transformed into Krishna and embraced her." Her firm resolve was nurtured by his terrifying rush of love and she sang:

Jab jab maine tumhe pukara

Tab tab tumne mridul bhav se madhur chav se mujhe dulara

Tumne sneh sikt chitvan se hans kar meri aur nihara.

Her instinctive verses showcased her ardent longing and tinkling heart strings. Bahenji's superb rendition proved genuine when tested on the touchstone of 'Satya,Shiv and Sundaram.' If she has ever complained it is to her supreme lover about her abject state;repeatedly entreating for his madhur refuge which she had relished.

She met people of various temperaments, who were keen to know about her strong persona. This frail lady who meticulously undertakes mundane tasks can be so steeped in religious devotion, was tough to believe. Undisputedly a bhakta is dexterous and can competently manage the temporal and spiritual plane.

Moreover she skilfully handled the school's work load.Above all Bobo remained an ideal during the yearly conferences of the school along with functions of the Sanatan Dharam Sabha. Taking her mentor's students for examination, she would visit Delhi several times.

We must make a mention of Bahens like Sneh Bhasin, Vimla Arora and Sanyukta Mishra who selflessly served her. They knew her earlier but stayed in Delhi due to family concerns.Enlightened spiritually, a certain earnestness suffused their religous devotion because of Bahenji. Keen for satsang they would cast off their worldly tasks and bonds on getting a chance to be with her.

Seva, maun or a vow of absolute silence and entrustment to Krishna which evolved in Bahenji is unprecedented. She would live with austere simplicity. Several times she would wear paduka (wooden slippers) to Delhi and at times came barefoot. I have seen Sneh Bhasin carrying a pair of slippers in her huge purse and going to the station to receive Bahenji. Moved by her silent adulation, Bahenji invariably wore the slippers.

Revealing her condition to the supreme lover Bahenji would say," I continue to distribute love in this world since it is a temporal reflection of the eternal Vrindavan, where the god forever dwells. But occasionally my mind is bored with this service and longs to find respite in the amorous embrace of the handsome god."

She would often plead," Support me as I am falling and the body seems to be wilting now. Nath there is a limit to endurance. Posit me at your feet." Restlessness is a trait of love. Even on experiencing the joy of belonging, one longs for yet more.

Love squabbles are quintessential. At times, the beloved does wants her ardent longing to reach the supreme lover but that does not violate the zenith of spiritual awareness. Who else should we reveal our plight to? Such intimacy represents the purest emotion a soul may have for its divine source.

Sulking is an amazing feature of love. Embedded within is a powerful desire to meet Krishna.Unknowingly she would complain in several ways to him and reveal an intense desire to be steeped in his rasa or sentiment of sweet romance.

Spellbound, she would say," Now by a strange reversal of roles, I get looted. People simply flock to me because they are aware that the teasing,eluvisve and insistent paramour with a top knot has eternally become mine. This attraction draws them to me and I distribute you with a generous hand."

The mazes and mysteries of love are a secret between the beloved and her lover. All the men and women of the world who centre their devotion upon the handsome god can, if their ardour is sufficient and understanding complete,identify their passion and consummation of their love with Radha and her gopis.

At one end his beloveds reproach the handsome god and simultaneously they can not resist his call. Beginning to know the Krishna who abides in their hearts, they sing his glories.They pine for the ecstatic moment," Krishna as human lover and divine incarnate comes and holding their hands asserts,' Beloveds its enough! Now lets venture to the dense nikunjas of Vrindavan and live with your lovable sakhis.'"

Sometimes Bahenji would take a vow of silence. She wanted seclusion not for the sake of some austere penance, but rather to remain alone by herself. Addressing Krishna, she asserts,"I want to spend those moments exclusively with you. In a trance absorbed in you and oblivious of all living sentient beings. And appearing as the teasing lover you intoxicate me with divine madness."

Once her father had opined," What is the advantage of lamenting about our sorrows to God? He is omnipresent and all knowing." She was hurt. The connection between the beloved and supreme lover is not only divine. It is to the mortal Krishna, the human lover, that she directed her anger and passion, her fear and her love.And when there is this intimacy through love there is no need for either contemplation or devotion that is generally reserved for god realization."

She would address the handsome god as, "My clear and unclear love."Krishna is very much in and of this world but yet above it. Often irritated with the use of 'imperceptible' she would assert love can never be expressed. Though it is true that when love invades our hearts it can not stop from spilling over.

Complete absorption in the joy of Krishna does not require his human presence because he exists intensely in our hearts when we sing his praise and dwells in our longing for him. And soon after we begin to know our friend not as a separate singular god-like body but as the Krishna that abides in our hearts

Physically she became incapable of bearing the burden of a busy regime.The body which had been ailing for some time now weakened further. Even so the icon of spiritidness diligently carried on essential tasks. Several Bahens came to her for reading of the 'Gita.' Out of concern her father often intervened," Rest for a while after such a relentless schedule." But Bahenji always endorsed,'"My exhaution is dispelled by reciting the Gita and being rooted in spirituality is the cure which circulates Krishna's rasa in my being."

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