Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chapter 26: Ushaji Gets Consent to Head Towards Vrindavan, Her Abode

Arrival in Delhi/ Setting Forth for Vrindavan-A Tumult Lamenting Her Departure

The Vedas and Shastras ascertain the divine path for mankind in his search for the ultimate reality. But they do not infringe upon the domain of eminent personages who are a living tangible form of the religious scriptures.

In the metaphorical search of the impassioned soul for union with God,it is an accepted Hindu doctrine that the questing human soul is feminine and the only male is Lord Krishna.

When we fundamentally transform ourselves into a nayika by cultivating the gopibhava of sweet and total commitment and love for Krishna, it leads to the ecstasy of shringara bhakti.

Seva engages us in the cosmic personalities of Radha-Krishna and is a strategy for actualizing the salvific experience. Bhajan or singing songs of a devotional nature can be viewed as engagements with the Lord in some way or another. Krishna, the supreme lover and Radha his beloved are the treasure trove of Vrindavan and one has to wander in the groves of its blossoming pastures to reach out to them.

On observing her ardent longing it became tough to stop Bobo from heading to Vrindavan. Soon enough this matter leaked to all well wishers, spiritualists, neighbours and guardians.

People thronged to make her see reason; endorsing that the material world was a temporal reflection of the eternal Vrindavan where the god forever dwells and hence displayed Krishna's presence and power. Wracked by sobs,several of them clustered in the room where Ushaji sat in front of Shri Thakurji and watched the scene motionless.

There were many boys and girls brought up in her paternal tenderness who had evolved spiritually. They were on the look out for some secluded moments with her and hovered around her residence.

This room which had seen her childhood step into adolescence and youth thereafter, her aasan or seat which spent several years joyfully in her fond touch, four walls of the room, the neem tree peeping from the environs in front, photographs of the Yugal posited on the cornice, the half ajar door where many years of Bobo's life had been spent, were all dumb and silent today. The verandah had the tulsi plant adjacent to the courtyard, who had listened to her discourse for so many years and a palm tree planted there fondly addressed as'Palm Bhai'. The entire site was silently dejected and nature was benumbed on hearing that Bobo was to leave the place.

Bobo was watching the entire scene, sorrow weighing on people's minds, teary eyes, gloomy faces but everything was pale in comparison to her firm resolve.Though all the beauty and all the virtue of the world comingled in the sacred couple Radha-Krishna who had a living presence there nevertheless an ardent longing for Vrindavan, their dalliance site, the attraction of Yamunaji and desire to sight Shri Giriraj would tug at her heart strings.

Gradually time passed by and everyone got over that poignant scene. Before the grand rainy season set in, the sweltering heat of summer reduced on being shaded by the dark clouds.Fearful of the autumnal arrival, summer retreated with autumn reigning.

Sharad Purnima was celebrated with joyous abandon. A slight nip in the air transformed into cold and everyone thought of shielding themselves from the onslaught.

November 1959 began and advanced steadily.The date of proceeding to Vrindavan had been confirmed. Bobo 's inspiration and delight was reflected in the constant narration of Krishna's countless legends wherein her voice choked, body shivered and tears streamed down her cheeks.

Several inhibitions would pester her close ones. How would Bobo who had nurtured them with affection and satiated their spiritual hunger live as a renunciant?

Finally twelve days of November flit past one by one. Today's night was walking affectedly.The bright morning of 13th November 1959 arrived. A particular passion enthused birds, flowers bloomed, trees and creepers swayed,the dust-laden breeze blew and capricious black bees alighted on flowers. Everything was in perfect accordance on this enchanting morning and the religious rapture of Bobo knew no bounds as she yearned for her supreme lover.

Whereas there was enthused delight on this long awaited day, deep despair cropped up simultaneously.The world is full of disparities; on one hand the joyous morn instills life in lotuses and yet the plight of the female cakva bird traditionally supposed to be separated from its mate at night is apparent.

No one could ever imagine in Ambala that revered Bobo, making senior luminaries, colleagues, and those younger to her relish the countless love escapades of Radha-Krishna would abandon them in this fashion and go to Vrindavan.

There was just a ray of hope that Shri Thakurji would stay on in Ambala and revered Bobo would live in Vrindavan for some days and return. Having completed her daily acts Bobo had done seva of Thakurji. he incessant sequence of close ones and visitors dropping in was on. During tea time several associates gathered and sipped tea somehow. An assumption that Bobo would visit Ambala soon after gave them solace but her residing there would be impermanent now.

After Thakurji's shringar it was time for satsang and Bobo narrated several legends and poems centered on the pathos of her longing. Revealing the tale of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu adhering to a strict discipline of self-denial she tried to comfort them.

Swami Rama Tirtha

She expounded the cause of Swami Rama Tirtha inspired to take up the life of a sannyasi and tried to endorse Rama Krishna Paramahansa's considered course of action," One has to sacrifice domesticity if union with God is the target of our life." She narrated Mira Bai's tale of abandoning her house and reaching out for the deeper ecstasies of devotion by coming to Vrindavan.

Rajbhog or main meal of the day was served to Thakurji. After having prasad and a siesta those present became alert. Shyamaji her mother, coupled with Shri Vimlaji, Sushilaji, Pushpaji, Darshan Bahen, Uma, Uthma, Sumitra, Kaushal, Saroj and Pushpa along with Sharma Bhaisaheb, Shruti Mohan,Visheshwar, Omi and Vijay plus several others had shown up.

Other associates came for the paath(recitation of scriptures) held in the evening. It was about time for those gathered to be separated.Touched, the dawn was forced to hide in the dark blue evening and burst out crying so that Bobo could not get to see its anguish.

Bobo had forbidden all bahens from assembling there at night. Dampening the edge of her sari with his tears, Vijay lying next to her was morose. She was intimately interacting with other recipients of her maternal tenderness. In the silent night Bobo was at peace with herself in the dim light of the flickering bulb.

The moonbeams of the newly risen moon bathed the entire land, the greenness of trees, open courtyards and terraces of bhavans resting in the silent environs.It was time to leave. Someone called from outside that the vehicle was ready.Several people left along with her and reached the station in their varied transports.Having bought the ticket everyone was waiting calmly. A wave of dejection would flash across amidst the platform's commotion and they wiped their tears on the sly.

Taking her small satchel from Vijay and slinging it across her arm, and standing in a particular pose with a blanket in her hand, Bobo enthused,"This is how I will look roaming in the idyllic pastures of Vrindavan,." Turning sentimental everyone wept inconsolably at this supposition.

Pandemonium broke lose. Chugging along and blowing the whistle, the train came to a halt. Everyone tried to tide over the pathos of Bobo's departure and searched for the reserved seat to make her comfortable. While buying the ticket Vijay had got his along. Everything went about systematically. From the train's window Bobo comforted her close ones.

And the train blew its whistle, yet another whistle sounded and people scurried from wherever they were. Turning around Bobo looked at her associates gathered on the platform and they also responded with waving hands. Their hearts were stupefied but the constant movement of the rail escalated. Viyay plonked next to Bobo to be steeped in her eternal fondness. Leaving Bobo at Delhi Station, Vijay returned to Ambala the very next day.

Egged on several brothers and sister thronged her residence on some pretext or the other looking for Bobo. They went back peeved and dejected on not finding her, the ideal of their lives and an epitome of love.

A peculiar poignancy afflicted Vijay on coming back to Ambala. The practice of paath continued in front of Shri Thakurji in the Punjabi Muhalla but there was something lacking. All would gather, talk about Bobo's loving tenderness and the resulting spiritual awareness.

The entire scene revived but the one who had added a new fervour,a trove of virtues bestowing refuge on all, had departed to gather the rasa or blissful experience of the blue-hued Krishna in the blossoming pastures, forests and streams of Vrindavan.

No comments: