Monday, March 8, 2010

Chapter 24: An Ardent Longing to Head for Vrindavan-Ushaji's Mentor Passes Away-Grace Shown on Some Brothers


While devotees immersed in the terrifying rush of Krishna's love are ecstatic they do not desert the earthly streams and fields displaying Krishna's presence and power.True saints are focused in their perennial quest for union with the divine even on being compassionate towards the material world which is a manifestation of brahman.


On god's wishes these luminaries become the reason for some lilas which show the path to hungering devotees. We are going to present such an unprecedented conjunction.


Revered Bobo ardently longed to come to Vrindavan and opportunities seemed favourable. Several times she would complain of her abject state to Krishna.


Repeating Mira Bai's lines,"Vaidh Sanwariya Hoi" and at times recalling the love-lorn state of lovers in Urdu poetry she was disturbed.But sure that the teasing, elusive and insistent paramour is eager to grant refuge to dedicated devotees, she was delighted soon after.


Due to societal constraints Ushaji spent time in Amabla by singing the glories of Krishna and his divine play. Unexpectedly an incident occurred. Probably the blue-hued god was to shower his grace on others and Bobo had to postpone her coming to Vrindavan for some time.


Ushaji's mentor affirmed that she was an authority on the Hindi language but also had an in-depth knowledge of spiritualists like Shri Surdasji,Nand Dasji, Mira, Harivanshji, the ashtachap kavis and Shri Tulsidas.


Sevti Prasadji was ailing and suffered a heart attack now. Several times he would send his students to Bobo for studying and abiding by his command was sacrosanct for her. After a prolonged illness Acharyaji passed away. Obviously his students flocked to her and prayed to be taught.


She resolved not to teach anyone at home after this term. While absorbed in inner meditation she envisioned three boys entreating her. In principle she did not approve of any male contacting her but could not refuse since it was destined by the divine.The session began with six to seven boys and ten girls. Bahenji's method of teaching, vast knowledge and affection, drew them to her and religious devotion marked their closeness. She never demanded fees and such a thought never arose.


One of them was Vishveshwar Bhai, a mild simpleton.The other was Omi Bhai,brought up under a domineering and harsh father, in the absence of a mother.


Shri Vishweshwar Bhai was certainly from the village but his simple lifestyle, serenity and aptitude in studies was unparalleled. His honesty contributed to his becoming the recipient of Bobo's grace.


At the other end Omi Bhai had lost his mother in childhood. His father was a person of independent views and hot-tempered. Lured by wealth, he had a habit of scolding without reason. Petrified of his father, Omi interacted with tantrics and had spent the earlier part of his life attracted to siddhis (acquisition of supernatural powers by magical means).


Some girls come to study at different times. If a student could not study due to financial constraint,Bahenji would have his examination dues sent to the university from her account. When students willingly paid fees this amount was tucked into one corner of the mattress and she had no objection if anyone took a portion on need arising.


Bobo easily trusted everyone and her self-assurance was so powerful that no one could dare deceive her. For the very first time Ambala had become the examination centre for Sahitya Ratan due to Acharya Sevti Prasad,Bobo's mentor. As fated he became increasingly ill that year and handed over the burden to Bobo, passing away that very night.


An exam was to be held next day and could not be postponed without permission of the Literary Committee. The mortal remains of Acharyaji were to pass by the centre for the last rites. When Bobo spoke of paying her last respects, the students also wanted permission to do the same. On implicit trust, she allowed each student to go ahead and resume his examination soon after.And surprisingly everything went on in a systematic manner.


The sequence of teaching was almost over and a month remained for the exams. Books were being revised.


In January 1958 Vijay had been transferred to Ambala. As a matter of chance his office was in the same neighbourhood and he had rented a room nearby. He had spent four years in Ambala while studying till the tenth class. His friend Satya Prakash studied from Bahenji and in the last quarter requested Vijay to study further.Vijay had a fixed mindset because a certain friend had foreseen that he was not to study any more than the tenth. Thus he turned a deaf ear to the suggestion but it certainly evoked a desire.


Vijay's friend approached Bahenji but she refused, not wanting to teach anyone other than Acharyaji's abandoned class. On suggesting again he got the same curt answer. At this end Vijay had lost patience and asserted that if need be he would study from someone else. But destiny had something else in store. A divine force urged his friend and he entreated Bahenji yet again.


Revered Bobo was moved this time and the future became explicit. She had to go Chandigarh University for some work and Vimla Nevile accompanied her. While singing God's glories instantly Bobo's sight was fixed on the sky outside the bus. She saw a boy posited there and instantly the vision of three boys she had glimpsed earlier flashed across like lightning. Consenting to have the boy brought, she would consider if he was worth being taught.


Several thoughts tugged at that shy innocent boy.Learning weighed against the realm of ignorance and thus he could not take any decision. Somehow time at office passed by and the glorious moment arrived.


The class was to be held at Vimla Nevile's residence in the Punjabi Mohalla.Vijay arrived there with his friend.Everyone spread out their mats and sat down with student streaming in one by one. The new entrant Vijay sat on one side and waited for Bobo's arrival.


In a short while, a clicking sound could be heard. The door opened and short in stature, frail, loose hair, large eyes and a red bindi radiating on her high forehead, clad in a white dhoti and full sleeved white printed blouse of coarse cotton, padukas in her feet, Bobo entered with another Bahen. She had a lustrous face and a keen eye which could see through your innards.Her enigmatic person cast a spell on Vijay. While studying with lowered eyes he strived to see her countenance and she occasionally glanced at him.He seemed to have one peculiarity but it did not take her long to identify the third boy. Time got over and the class was dismissed.


On coming home Vijay was sceptical about whether he would be allowed to attend class tomorrow. The very next day he went to study, well groomed. On seeing his shaven beard,Bobo remarked naturally,"You did well.The Lord does not approve of our dressing in a slovenly fashion." A recipient of Vimla Nevile and her mother's kindness, this boy came to study with an intense affinity.


Gradually the term got over. Two to three other girls enrolled and Vijay was the only boy.The text was needed while teaching and he had the good fortune to sit next to her on the takht (seat made of planks)making us all envious. Boys would come to study but would generally quit after a couple of days. Bobo had a great sense of humour and said,"Boys do no stay on since you have come." Vijay was irritated but instantly repentant. This was just an amusing remark by one who had showered love on him.


Vijay had some interest in bhakti literature. Bobo knew about his attraction, dedication and infatuation with the divine which was making him circulate mechanically. With fervour he was on the look out for opportunities to visit Bobo.


One day the sky was overcast with clouds. Bobo was enchanted by the madhurya or sweet love of the blue-hued god on seeing the gathered clouds.Taking along two to four students she came to the terrace for relishing the dark beauty of Krishna, the colour of the condensed sky.She asked Vijay if he could pen some lines on the captivating scene. He penned a write up and she was touched on seeing her sentiments somewhat expressed. Up until now Vijay would attend classes at Vimlaji's house but now he had permission to come to Bobo's residence.Steadily Bobo's asceticism and simplicity entered his life, with a sublimation of his waywardness.With her divine energy Bobo had become aware of everything.


A regime of going to class everyday had begun. An attraction and the unknown force of Shri Thakurji abiding in Bobo was fabricating a chance. Going to office and an eagerness to visit her soon after was apparent.


After class Bobo would make him stay back. An icon of loving tenderness she would sit for hours with him drawn by a certain attraction. She would ask at times if he was bored and invariably got this precise answer, "No, certainly not". Delighting in a peculiar joy he never found this practice strange. Bobo very well knew the secret of his getting prasad along with her when it was distributed. Certainly he had sobered down and had no friend in particular as of now.


All students were charmed and spell-bound by her manner of teaching marked by true friendship.What she had taught for six days Bobo had them write on the same subject on the week's seventh day. When electricity went off the students were engrossed in giving the examination while she with a hand fan would continue fanning them. Not just a student and teacher relationship this bond is only possible by great personages steeped in the sweet love of the blue-hued Krishna.


Days passed by and the sequence of studying continued. That boy due to her fondness was absorbed in further studies. A test was organized for sending fees to the University. To inspire students, Bahenji declared that she would teach the student who scored maximum marks for a month by giving extra time.


The results of examination had yet to be declared. The contact started as a student turned into affinity along with religious devotion. Now delighting in Krishna's playfull dalliances, Vijay's life revolving around the mundane turned towards spiritual evolution due to Bobo.


She often narrated the incident of Bulleh Shah, a sufi saint. Saint Inayat Shah was his guru. Once Inayat Shat was busy working as a gardener when Bulleh Shah happened to pass by. On Bulleh Shah's asking, he replied promptly," Bullya Rabb da ki pauna, Aidhron putna audhar launan." Which meant that it is very simple to attain God. Moving away your mind from here(material world), immerse it there (in God).


The examination results of her last class were out and everyone had passed with good grades. Some of them who were only concerned with studies got busy in their respective jobs. Others attracted by Bobo's lifestyle considering her as the refuge of their quest or rather Krishna making them relish his madhurya through Bobo, flocked to her at all hours.

Bobo had taken birth for a cause. Conscious of this fact, she distributed the deeper ecstasies of devotion with a free hand and endowed the competence to grasp it.Those steeped in her terrifying rush of love are well aware of the attachment, ardent longing and curiosity which urged them to be by her side, filling their lives with inspiration and delight.

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