Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chapter 23: Introduction to Several Sadhus-Shri Bengali Swamiji

Pollen draws the black bees,partridges become alert when the moon rises, lotuses bloom with sunrise, and waves of the sea rise on the night of purnima. The fragrance of budding flowers is transported by the breeze to desirous beings. Bobo's life precisely followed this pattern.

Soon enough the word of Ushaji's love for Krishna spread around.Association with visitors led to exchange of perspectives and discussions on spirituality.We are going to present a concise version of some eminent personages below.

Andhra Wale Swamiji

Several ascetics were drawn due to Bobo's loving tenderness. In this context she was introduced to a saint from Bengal, who was also known as the Swami clad in white. Along with him Andhra Wale Swamiji also arrived. He would always suggest to her father,"Why not get sankirtan done early in the morning instead of indulging in casual conversation." Being a devotee of the dark god, her father agreed instantly.

Bengali Swamiji

He followed the regime of dropping in once or twice in a year. Having a melodious voice he sang sanskrit shlokas,

eight verses of the 'Gita Govinda' and padas of Krishna's lilas sung in common daily and festive use. While ailing she often forgot about her illness on listening to him," Listening to his padas in between my hectic schedule of checking the school's copies or writing a book my fatigue is dispelled. Relishing the rasa or blissful experience of Radha-Krishna with this energy,I become spirited enough to bear worldly pressure."

Reminiscences of the blue-hued god who dwells in Vrindavan and his sakhis would tug at her. Several times visible perceptions of him caressed her ardent longing. At times the desire to flee to Vrindavan was so overwhelming that she would undergo a radical transformation, intoxicated by divine madness. Assuming to be in Vrindavan, she was lost in the proximity of Radha-Krishna.

Shri Bal Krishan Dasji Maharaj

Shri Bal Krishna Dasji, disciple of Shri Awadh Dasji, a renowned saint of Braj, would often stay at her place while commuting from Vrindavan. He was a Gaudiya Mahatma who devoutly chanted God's name, had the Vrindavan mindset and was a renunciant.

He was so touched by Bobo's loving tenderness and spirituality that he invariably visited her. He often revealed,"The joyous abandon of narrating the lilas of Krishna along with Bahenji in Ambala, is beyond description. One did not want to be deprived of the bhakti wave prevalent at her residence."

Shri Sudamaji

During this time span she was introduced to Pandit Kamal Nayanji who was a denizen of Ambala City and loved Braj.

Known as Sudamaji, he identified with the sakha bhava, when the devotee relates to God as a friend. Pandit Kamal Nayan was very cheerful, held a string of beads, and mystically visualized the madhurya of Krishna in the world around him. Impressed by the religious devotion of Bobo he would come to see her, narrating Krishna's playful dalliances and listening to them. On observing her idealistic lifestyle, devotion and yugal seva he acclaimed her to be an intimate sakhi of the handsome god.

Pandit Jai Bhagwanji and Shri Swaroopji

Bobo's life was absorbed in religious devotion and outsiders began to view her with great reverence. Pandit Jai Bhagwanji and Swaroopji, residents of Ambala City, and devotees of Krishna, came to know of Shri Thakurji's grace on her. With a desire to meet her they came to Ambala Cantonment. Bobo's father happened to be sitting at the entrance.

Asking how she was related to him, they sat next to him," We have heard that she has intense love for Krishna's feet and has had darshan of the dark god.We want to see her." Her father was sceptical about fame hindering Ushaji's spiritual evolution," Usha is my daughter and certainly adulates Krishna's feet. But someone has misled you by affirming that she has visibly seen Krishna."

He called out and playfully Munno arrived. The newcomers greeted her. Pandit Jai Bhagwan had revealed later," I was stunned to see the aura of her face and the sweetness of her voice. She was truly an icon of humility.Definitely only a bhakta who has been blessed by Krishna can posess these attributes." Ascertaining they shall come back again, the two of them left.

At this front her father clarified," Look Munno! I warded off your followers because repute can prove to be a deterrent at times." Delighted she replied," What is there in me worthy of prestige? You did very well." Self-assured and dignified, Ushaji revelled in the beauty or saundarya of Krishna, the colour of the condensed sky and the dalliance of his sweet love.

Once a programme to visit Kurukshetra where Krishna revealed the nature of time and duty to Arjuna was made. Several people were accompanying her and Pandit Jai Narayan had reached Jyotisar earlier to recieve them. He had paternal affection and held Ushaji in high esteem. They tried to get down from the tonga as soon as the cantering of the horse stopped.

Panditji saw them from a distance and jumped with glee. On the way he made them read a couplet he had written on a wall with coal. It read," May some knowledgeable person write near Krishna's alley that those who savour worldly pleasures should not take this route." His eyes were teary and voice trembling.

Shri Seva Dasji

She met another dignitary, Sukh Chain Chopra the son of Kashmir's minister of state. Later hebecame renowned as Colonel Chopra in the Indian National Army.The British Sarkar had issued a warrant.Hence going underground he was working as a freedom fighter and went to Malaya and Singapore.After independence he returned to India as Seva Dasji,having taken deeksha from Ramana Maharshi. Raving about her he always said,"The relishing of rasa or blissful experience by chanting god's name in Ushaji's company and the joy of narrating Krishna's divine play- can only be experienced."

Goswami Binduji Maharaj

Devotees of Ram and lovers of the 'Ramayana' would certainly be knowing of Pandit Shri Ayodha Prasadji, a resident of Ayodhya.A dedicated devotee of Lord Ram and an authority on the 'Ram Charit Manas' he was famed as Shri Binduji Maharaj.Majestic looking and fair-complexioned, he had such an amazing voice that the environs resonated wherever he sang spiritual legends. He has the honour of writing the text 'Mohan Mohini and his noble ideas are expressed therein.

He was a friend of Bobo's father and often visited their house.The Sanatan Dharmis would often call him for the temple's festivals. While playing antakshari based on the Ram Charit Manas he was dumbfounded on seeing only one competitor from the surging crowd articulately pronouncing the chaupais (quatrians) in an unbroken stream. He asked Bahenji" How could you manage to imbibe such vast knowledge and aptitude at this young age?"

Bahenji was invariably one of the luminaries invited to participate in antakshari, sermons, kavya sammelans, urdu mushairas, Krishna Janamashtami, Ram Naumi and the Sabha's yearly gatherings.

Being her father's friend, Binduji considered her to be his daughter. Once he had taken her along to Kashmir due to her failing health.

Revered Bobo had an innate divine energy. She could take you into a vacum by the profundity of her inner meditation.(The writer has also experienced this state because of his arrogance.) Binduji Maharaj was anxious about the outcome of some event. He could not sleep and his head ached. Bobo instinctively went there and ran her hand on his back maternal affection. He had tears streaming down his cheeks and revealed," Ushaji! My father was a very hot-tempered person. Once on making a mess he beat me mercilessly and my mother felt I would not survive. Now I have felt the same affection now which I experienced when she caressed my wounds."

When Bobo had come to Vrindavan and was staying in Banke Bihari Colony, Binduji Maharaj happened to pass by on Krishna Janamashtami.Shri Balram Mishra, a famed pandit was accompanying him.Instinctively they came to her place.They saw that the room had little else except a chatai ( a mat of bamboo). Binduji laughed and talked about Krishna.Coughing all of a sudden,he inquired,"Do you have cardamoms?Helpless,Bobo answered in the negative. He persisted" Give me cloves if there are any?" They were also not available. He asked yet again," If there is fennel pass it."

Getting the same answer, he broke down,"Mishraji! I had heard that one should mingle with the dust on coming to Braj. Today I am truly fortunate to sight the principal of a high school, so popular amongst masses, having done her M.A. and the Sahitya Ratan,the daughter of a respectable family living with such austerity in Vrindavan. She is blessed indeed to have endorsed the great ideal of sacrifice along with love." Because Love is giving, and giving alone and not taking.

Several people have sung the tale of revered Bobo's sacrifices, forbearance and loving devotion for Lord Krishna.

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