Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chapter 27: Setting Our For Vrindavan Her Abode in Braj,The Infinite Love of Shyama-Shyam


The gopikas proclaim that Krishna exists intensely in their hearts and they are his in full, weighed to the utmost grain.Charmed by the pathos of their ardent entreaties and honoured by their humility, the handsome god said," I am deeply indebted to you for all times to come."


Revered Bobo had come to Delhi and stayed with Shrish Mohan, her younger brother. Knowing she would leave for Vrindavan soon, Hira Devi, Nirmalaji, Sanyukta Mishra, Sneh Bhasin,Vimla Arora and others thronged to meet her.


The very next day a letter revealing her thoughts had arrived in Ambala from Delhi. On a moonlit night Shri Radha asked Lalita as to why the radiant moon did not appear in daytime as well. She aptly answered," The moon is not to be blamed, sakhi. When you roam in the nikunjas of Braj during the day then it turns lack lustre and hides somewhere. And coquettishly struts around when you rest in your chamber at night, flaunting its beautiful beams."


Bobo was in Delhi and two days had passed in meeting everyone, singing devotional songs and narrating glories of Krishna. She was not keen to stay longer having come with the focused perspective of going to Vrindavan, where Priya-Priyatam dwelt. She could not turn away affectionate advances and the third day passed somehow.


It was 17th of November 1959, the second of Krishna Paksha(dark half of a lunar month) of Margsheersh (ninth month of the Hindu lunar year-November-December).This month is said to be chaste since gopis went to bathe in the Yamuna to consummate a rite in honour of the goddess Katyayani, each secretly praying that Krishna might become her husband. Ushaji forayed to meet the dark god fluting in the blossoming pastures of Vrindavan in this auspicious month.


Starting early in the morning she reached Delhi Railway Station and sat in the train.Speedily traversing across several sites, the train arrived at Mathura, Krishna's birthplace around two o' clock in the afternoon. Bobo got down with a small satchel slung on her shoulder and holding an ordinary blanket.Following the crowd,the apple of everyone's eye and principal of a reputed girls' school, came and stood near a tonga. Other people were seated and the tongawala was calling out 'Vrindavan'.


Cantering across the roads of Mathura, the tonga headed towards Vrindavan. Impassioned trees and creepers shed flowers as a warm welcome. Bobo plonked on the advancing tonga was startled by the touch of the breeze and cowherdesses clad in multi-hued skirts scurrying along with water pots precariously perched on their heads.


Idyllic and sensuous Vrindavan provided a perfect setting for the sweet love of Krishna; the clearly blue sky, dense groves, the pristine dust, the sensuality of nature, peacocks dancing in ecstasy, chattering parrots and chirping birds.


The sound of 'Radhe-Radhe' resounded from all sides. In case you have to be called the word 'Radhe' is used, 'Radhe' is employed to attract your attention, the milkman says 'Radhe' to give milk and the postman is shouting,'Radhe' to deliver a letter.


The tonga stopped in front of Rangji's Temple. Passengers got down in quick succession and went to their destinations but Bobo kept sitting.


She said,"I want to go to the banks of the Yamuna." Stopping in the centre of Gopinath Bazar, the tongawala explained,"Get down.This path leads straight to the Yamuna's banks." Her joy knew no bounds. In Ambala she had sighted dense nikunjas with Priya-Priyatam dallying in them. Today she would sense the affectionate breeze plus sight Shri Yamuna, the beloved of Krishna.


Getting down she halted to ask the way.Coming out from his shop, a youth affirmed," You have come from Ambala! Are you Ushaji?" The young boy was Banarsi Das and a lover of Vrindavan.Earning his living from the textiles outlet, he resided at the pilgrimage site. Shri Santoshji and Sarlaji lived in his house on rent.


When Bobo left Ambala Vimla Nevile had vaguely informed Santoshji and Sarlaji her earlier acquaintances of Ushaji's plan but the time was not fixed. Banarsi Bhai had this clairvoyance and Bahenji arrived right there.The prime reason was that Radha-Krishna were concerned about this exclusive sakhi of Shyam, the colour of the condensed sky.


Bobo affirmed several times that if she had been masculine she would roam in nature's abodes instead of man-made shelters.Shri Roop Sanatanji renunciation had attracted her and she wanted to attain union with the divine by staying beneath the woods.


Taking the satchel and blanket from her, Banarsi took her to a nearby house where Santosh Bahenji and Sarlaji used to stay.As a matter of chance Seva Dasji (fondly called uncleji and famed as Colonel Chopra in I.N.A.) was present. Bobo says," You were all concerned as to how I would pass the winter but the great master mind arranged for several mattresses, sheets and blankets. He made me arrive here a day later or else I would be lying on the banks of Yamuna on Monday. Santosh met me so warmly on Tuesday as if she had known me since ages."


Santoshji would not let Bobo go alone and visited several sites with her. At one instance Bobo writes," Nidhi Van and Seva Kunj seemed attractive. The creepers strangely droop as if a premika is laden with the supreme lover's passion.When Lalitaji felt thirsty the Lord played the flute and gushing Yamuna gathered into Lalita Kund. On sighting the samadhis of Shri Roop and Jeev Goswami Paad it seemed they were relishing the rasa of Krishna's name."


At times she would go to have darshan of Shri Bihariji,Radha Vallabhji,Rasik Bihariji and Radha Ramanji. Her feet would prance in dense bowers and forest groves, crowded alleys, Vanshivat and banks of the Yamuna. While roaming in Vrindavan she was always conscious of Radha-Krishna and their gopis or kayavyuhas who reigned over her. Addressing the handsome god in a letter, she says," I did not have the strength to come here but you left no other option. I sighted this celestial land of yours and its blossoming pastures. I saw the Vanshivat, kadamba and tamal trees and past love resided as sap in them but their swaying is not animated by passion."By ecstatic and evocative expressions of love she would celebrate her own sensuality and that of everything around,


"I sensed in Nidhi Van that you were peeping from these nikunjas." At one point she complains," You did not let me live an independent life without impediments.Clever Shirmaur you wanted to evade me with self-gratification but I am not going to give in. I have your grace,compassion and fondness and the added shelter, faith and energy of svamini, Radha your beloved."


Writing letters was an intrinsic part of narrating Krishna's lilas to her close ones, making them see reason and showing them the correct path.The experiences, attainments, spirited sketching of scenes on coming to Vrindavan were so live and heartening that everyone could relish them with the same fervour from a distance.


Going for a bath in the Yamuna was her regime. And she would sqat there in isolation, going to Vanshivat and the Yugal Ghat at times.


She would often sit at Cheer Ghat

and Govind Ghat which had already attained the affection of Priya-Priyatam. Sometimes in her ardent search of the supreme lover she would be scouting kunjas-nikunas, the charming Nidhi Van and joyous ambience of Seva Kunj. And occasionally hearing the laughter of Shyama-Shyam putting hundreds of veenas to shame, she was impassioned.


If the dark god and his beloved were the repository of madhurya and the verdant Vrindavan resonated with it, she was equally tender in expressing and experiencing her love for Radha-Krishna, whether it was in the pleasure of belonging or the pathos of longing,participating in the innocent lilas of Krishna or being charmed by his flute. Madhurya (having the beauty of shangar or adornment and the pulsating warmth of shringara) or sweetness is the key to understanding and celebrating the love of Radha and Krishna and in so doing get a glimpse of one's transcendent self.


Introduction to Shri Manoharj


During these days she came into contact with a young mahatama at Santosh Bahenji's place.Everyone knew him as Shri Manohar Dasji (the son of the royal family priest of Ahilyabai Holkar. Captivated by sankirtan of Ram Kripaluji he had come to idyllic Vrindavan in search of Krishna.) He raved, "I did not have much faith in seva of a vigraha or idol but having darshan of her Thakurji, a form of the living Krishna I found that she had developed an all consuming intimacy with the svarupa.She attended selflessly without expectation of reward to his needs."


It had become her very nature to have unprecedented belief and adulate lilas narrated by Shri Sakhai. The language employed was celestial since only such divine language could convey such ethereal bhavas.


Introduction to Shri Ghanshyamji

Manoharji was the one who took Bobo to the hut of another boy from Braj, when she was having darshan of Shri Bihariji in his temple. Bobo's ranking in the spiritual plane, her ecstatic and evocative expressions of love and Thakurji's seva had cast a magical spell on everyone and Ghanshyamji as well.


Bobo describes him," This bhaiya used to play the part of Thakurji in the raas mandali (a type of popular drama dealing with the exploits of Krishna.) He was very mischievous, spontaneous and teasing and his sweetly compassionate expressions while enacting Krishna's exploits drew me. He recites the padas with beautiful absorption but is very naughty." He was greatly impressed by the profundity of Sakhaji's lilas and nikunj vihar (dallying of Radha-Krishna in Vrindavan.)


Introduction to Shri Bihari Dasji

She came into contact with Shri Bihari Dasji 'Vrindavani'.He had an affection and friendly nature along with the spontaneity of nagas belonging to the Vishnu Swami Sect. His firm love for Radha-Krishna and accumalation of padas, attracted Bobo.At one point he exults," I am not highly educated but have never lagged behind in challenging spiritual masers like Karpatri Maharaj. But Bahenji was so perfectly dignified in all fields like her persona, disposition and sensibility."


"I also longed to hear the lilas of Sakhaji's experience. When Bahenji narrated them out of compassion I felt that her evocative expression and sensitivity can not be found in any other luminary. As madhurya translates into ananda comes the realization of Shri Sakhaji that everyone is ultimately a nayika searching for Krishna.


It was a sort of regime to go for darshan to Bihariji from Gopinath Bazar. The one who has attained Krishna and relished his rasa can only know about the deeper ecstaties of devotion.Several premonitions tug at a beloved's mind eager to know whether Krishna, the supreme lover reciprocates her love, though,'Love is giving and giving alone and not taking'. Few can resist out of their worlds of longing, a confirmation of his secret or his sudden love.


Once distraught Bobo went to sight Bihariji. In the temple a thought that she should get Bihariji's garland by way of proof cropped up and instantly Bihariji somehow handed over the garland to her.Bobo was thrilled but not yet assured she reflected," If Bihariji gives darshan again soon what could be a greater good fortune?"


When Bobo reached home with Santosh Bahenji an acquaintance was sitting there. She enthused,"I have to go for darshan to Bihariji or else I won't get sleep." Santosh Bahenji was in a dilemma not wanting to send her alone at night and it was not possible for her to tag along. She asked Bobo and agreed for them to commute by a rickshaw. Bobo was delighted at this loving tenderness of Bihariji.


While in Vrindavan Bobo was engrossed in Shyama-Shyam's assurances, their countless legends, passionate dalliances and enthused bhavas of great saints but maintained affectionate contact with associates in Ambala regarding spiritual evolution. Actually with the visible body she would fulfil her duties and with her divine form relish the constant madhuri of Shyama-Shyam.


At one point she describes Radha and Krishna as a single principle of unity. However this unity can only be realized through the experiencing of Radha's selfless and sweet feelings of love for Krishna.Bobo endorsed that devotion and an intense feeling for Radha in her myraid moods and sentiments of love along with assuming her form spiritually,mentally and physically is the only means of attaining spiritual enlightenment.


Shri Naradji affirms,"Hence the sadhaka steeped in this rasa or blissfull experience finding passionate refuge in the lotus feet of Radha-Krishna crosses the mundane ocean and easily imbibes the competence to make others relish the love of Shyama-Shyam as they walk along."


Absorbed in the deeper ecstasies of devotion, revered Bobo had to return to Ambala once again due to some work after about twenty days. Though she had spent most of her time in Ambala nevertheless she appeared like a newly wedded bride whose relationships and attitudes change when she establishes contact with a new household.Added madhurya was obvious in her interaction, behaviour and every act of hers in Ambala. Her mind had cast off cares of the material world but even so an eagerness to return to Vrindavan after completing the task was apparent.

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