Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chapter 17: Freedom from Social Constraints-Absorption in Lord Krishna's Seva

True knowledge (understanding of the identity of the self with the ultimate brahman) is the harbinger of tenderness, modesty and contentment. Usually rivers do not drink their own water and trees do not savour their fruits. Their lifespan is for the service of others and the same holds true of saints. These eminent personages do not long for prestige while jealousy does not exist in their lives. Not concerned about worldly fame they work are for the well-being of others. Firstly, they are not embroiled in any controversy and withdraw, on sensing any such issue.


Such an incident cropped up in Bahenji's life but being self-effacing she moved away from the scene. Though she basically led a spiritual life she had to conscientiously do several tasks. India had become independent and thus she was not mentally engaged in patriotism and work of the Congress. On the other end she had won great acclaim in the field of poetry. Rivalry invariably creeps in when there is competition between two stalwarts in one domain.


A grown-up daughter of another family in Ambala Cantonment, I would not like to name her, was very fond of writing poetry. Undoubtedly she wrote well but there was no comparison to Bahenji's verses.


It has been seen that recognition eludes those who pursue it while blessing those who are least interested.Bahenji's verses, sensitivity of feeling and sentiments were spontaneous and moving.Her fame gnawed at them and led to the family becoming envious of her. Soon after,Bahenji came to know of the scene and could not tolerate their plight due to her. Being judicious, the way Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had handed over the billowing waves of Ma Jahnavi, Bahenji resigned from her societal designations.In any case she had left the chairmanship of Congress and was absorbed in attending to Thakurji.


Shri Keshav Anandji,a competent pandit, had predicted on seeing her horoscope,"She will go overseas and get exceptional fame there." It was likely that she would travel abroad in her political career.


Several Congress workers who were her colleagues have held important posts in the state and central government.The astrologer had affirmed that if she did not go to foreign lands then she would spend her life as an accomplished saint steeped in exclusive devotion. That is precisely what happened; sacrificing fame she lived as a stoic which was extremely tough in the fast- paced temporal plane.


She had revealed after darshan of Lord Jagannath in Jagannath Puri and a dip in the ocean that the possibility of going overseas had been fulfilled by sighting the ocean.


Shri Thakur Seva

Wheras bhakti or religious devotion is considered superior to knowledge, the upasna of Lord Ram and Lord Krishna has been accepted as the chief mode of devotion. The svarupa or individual idol we serve with dedication becomes a living presence.The enigmatic blue-hued Krishna manifests and has a living divine presence right there (In seva the devotee attends selflessly, without expectation of reward, to the needs of the Lord, and glorifies him by assuming a particular relationship with him.)


Seva is one of the twenty-four religious observances propagated by Shri Nabhaji the composer of 'Bhaktmal'. Shastras and Puranas have also endorsed this mode of worship. When we are absorbed in service it transforms into love invading our hearts. Making us aware of the handsome god's presence it developes into an all-consuming intimacy with Krishna. And soon after, we relish his ardently passionate conversation, contact and, and ...


After her resignation, It so happened, that Usha Bahenji's daadi (paternal grand mother)passed away. She had already taken over serving Thakurji during her grand mother's infirm state. Now she gleefully accepted the entire regime of service with a certain freshness. Right from waking up Thakurji, doing his shringar or adornment, bhog (offering of food), singing his glories and shayan or putting him to sleep, Bobo had the good fortune of attending to all his needs.Her father and sisters would take over at times when she had to foray out for work.


No one had the competence to fathom her seva bhava. Not merely a duty, it involved her mind, tugged her heart and entrusted the soul while the body obediently followed the system. Time passed by in pampering and doting on Thakurji. The wealth of her life Radha-Krishna, the yugal sundar, would grant a new lease of life with their sweet gestures and passionate assurances when she went around, doing her duties and teaching at school.


Shri Sushila Bahenji,a close friend, would often help out with the seva.Sometimes her father would intervene,"What do you people keep doing for so long?" But no one can imagine the connection between the loving tenderness of a woman and adorable Radha-Krishna, since a woman's love for her Lord or husband is the only greatest possible love.

So steeped in the love of Krishna are their hearts and so pure are their thoughts, that while others may only aspire to reach the state of oneness with the Lord, these simple saints have already attained it. After Sushila Bahenji's venturing to Ambala again, the joy of seva which Ushaji was relishing alone escalated further.

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