Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chapter 25: Separation from Father, Brother's Wife and Son

Freedom from a relationship-zealous for renunciation and an opportunity to shift to Vrindavan, her abode.


On being detached from the material world if the mind is not attached to the blue-hued god we can waver in the perennial quest of mankind for a divine and transcendental love, of the seeker for ultimate reality within the contexts of religious aspiration.


Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa affirms that a brahman can carry out the obligations of domestic life and be a dedicated devotee but individuated souls desirous for union with the divine have to abandon their home.When renunciation is lodged in love of Krishna, the supreme lover, it instinctively becomes attainable by god's grace and does not require efforts.


Well Bobo moved in a delicious anguish to Krishna's side and absorption in Shri Radha-Krishna had reached its zenith. As Krishna's beloved she repeatedly experienced the joy of his presence followed by the emptiness of his absence. An ardent longing to come to Vrindavan, where the god forever dwells, made her distraught.


Circumstances changed and the glorious start of autumn was painful.But embedded within the calamity was freedom from societal constraints and an opportunity to head to Vrindavan.


The Death of her Father

Ushaji's father was suffering from diabetes.The ailment reached its most fearsome form and he was bed-ridden.His toe had gangrene and had to be amputated. The energy needed to sustain the body diminished but intent on religious devotion he left this temporal world on 9th January 1959. What could be more painful for Shyama, his wife? What would be the plight of children dependent on him?


He was particularly fond of Bobo and asserted," I do not want a single moment in my lifespan where I would have to depend on anyone other than Munno." Bahenji had joyously agreed to attend to his needs. Not just Munno's father but her companion in poetry, literature and above all spirituality departed.


Bobo was in a state of turmoil. Freedom from the constraint of dedicated duty tugged at her heart strings and she longed for her supreme lover. It did not seem proper to talk on this subject at such a tragic time.


Insistent for Asceticism

All religious observances were performed in accordance with conventional norms. For consigning his human remains to a sacred river, Shrish Mohan and Bobo went to Haridwar. Her brother was keen to create poetry and sought Bobo's opinion which led to their friendly bond. At Haridwar, Bobo spoke of her resolve to renounce the world." I will certainly go to Vrindavan. In case I have to stay back, the rest of my life will be spent by adopting the restraints of sanyas ashram (renunciation, fourth stage of life).


She was delighted at her younger brother's assurance,"Munno you stay on for some time. I will help you to the best of my ability in proceeding to Vrindavan." The matter ended there.Close relations went back to their respective homes after the customary observances were over.


Time is a great healer and what God ordains is even more powerful when Yama's dreadful hands snatch away our loved ones.The knowledgeable absorb their mind in learning and devotees consider the wish of god as supreme.


The futility of this material world escalated detachment and Bobo was ready to head for Vrindavan with enthused exultation. Her mother's future was one restraint which needed attention. Though aware that brothers and sisters at home would do the needful, Bobo stayed on in Ambala for some more time.


The death of her Brother's Son

Unexpectedly the eight years old son of Shakti Mohan, younger brother of Bobo and eldest of the brothers, passed away. Everyone lamented the loss of this boy pampered by his parents. Who can possibly assess the mother's anguish?His father was shattered and there was no limit to the dadi's (grandmother's) grief. But the temporary nature of this material world dawned upon the family.


On seeing their plight Bobo consoled them.Seeming a yog brasht (erred in his previous life while bringing the soul into union with the supreme spirit) he had been born as this boy to complete his sadhna (devotion to god). Sitting for hours with a fixed stance in a posture of yoga (abstract or inner meditation) was his regime. It was logical to have this notion about him because of his wise questions and answers.


This adverse condition also passed by.Lost in a reverie, Bobo was least interested in anything; apart from seva of Shri Thakurji and narrating countless legends of the playful legends of Krishna.


The thought of moving to Vrindavan to hear the dark god fluting in its blossoming pastures and roaming in its idyllic setting to sight the in-dwelling Krishna, a Krishna that resides in the sap that animates birds and the bees, the trees and the creepers of Vrindavan was overwhelming.Those who have seen her trembling and wiping tears in seclusion would be aware of the depth of despair that carved a new dimension in her love for Krishna.


Her Brother's Wife Passes Away

The wife of her younger brother died a few months after the tragic loss of her son.They had not tided over one grief, when they had to confront the second and a few months later the third consecutive death in a year.


There were two young boys at home and their father was increasingly busy in office. Adjustments at this crucial point had to be made.Sunil and Manoj now remained under Bobo's care. Things calmed down gradually and this cycle of destiny also stabilized.


She pined for the closeness of Krishna, her teasing, insistent and elusive paramour. Her eyes were greedy to sight the dark beauty of the handsome god, charming and sensitive, passionate but not lustful, demanding but not aggressive. By ecstatic and evocative expressions of love she wanted to relish his madhurya, and search for the tangible form of the deeper ecstasies of devotion on coming to Vrindavan.


All timely refrains had collapsed and Bobo was freed from societal constraints.Everyone knew she would not be able to stay back home any longer.Becoming sentimental, no one could muster enough courage to suggest otherwise to Bobo. One fine day all family members gathered and some relations also dropped in. With tears streaming down their cheeks and nostalgic about her golden days, they consented half-heartedly for Bobo to proceed to Vrindavan.



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