Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chapter 28: Great Asceticism. Introduction to Kashiwali Ma, Impassioned Scenes of Experiences

Whenever Krishna wants he passionately draws his devotees by his grace. 'The act of hearing'(one of usually nine traditionally recognized avenues for cultivating devotion) and kirtan' are the only means of attaining Krishna, seen as the object of longing and of a love which is expressed in the cry of the enraptured soul for god.

Along with absorption in bhakti those saints who uphold renunciation are worthy of praise. Not to be flaunted, it is a mindset which is attained by virtuous acts of several past births. Mundane lust has no entry in this domain.Eminent bhaktas instinctively attracted by Radha-Krishna are the rare personages who have the right to unite with the divine.

Well revered Bobo in Vrindavan was relishing the divine play of Vrindavan Vihari and living as a renunciant. Fearlessness also invaded her life. Coming to Vrindavan she spent her life attending to Thakurji with minimal means. In those days there were not many houses or much security in Banke Bihari Colony but Bobo lived on in peace having implicit faith in her Shri Thakur.

It was her practice of not staying more than four to five months in a house.And even if someone asked her to leave during this span she had no objection. Shri Thakur Dasji, Dayal Puri and others who were lovers of Braj persisted on having a house mutated in her name but she refused. Seeing her disposition Shri Karam Chandji asked her once," Usha! You are staying in the residence of Shrimati Taraji in Banke Bihari Colony. I want to know your reaction if she insists that you vacate her house within four hours."

Revered Bobo gave a fitting answer," I have never been a materialist and am ready to face such a situation. I will strive to find a place and that too because Thakurji is with me. In case no arrangement is made I will go and squat beneath a tree by the road and happily vacate her premises." Listening to her, Karam Chandji (who was the chairman of Banke Bihari Colony and resided here due to Vrindavan Upasna) exulted,"I am stunned to see your readiness. Your life in Ambala flits before me and only a luminary like you can endorse such perfect renunciation."

These days she was residing in Vedant Niketan in the colony. The beauty of this ashram adjacent to the ridge was extraordinary and a dense settlement had not yet set in.

She glimpsed while living in this room that the handsome Shyam had forayed here along with his sakhas for grazing cows. And the horde of cowherds called out to cows at times and climbing on to each other's backs were joyous.

A few days later she saw sakhis making merry in some inner nikunja.

The supreme lover wrote some words on Radha's throat and Lalita was very shrewd. Coming close though hidden behind creeper thickets, she noted it on paper.Radha-Krishna had no inkling of the episode. Later they were relaxing on a boulder, when Lalita presented the letter in front of them.Both of them read the paper and turned pale. Embarassed were the couple with the sakhis giggling.

All saints had particular affection for Ushaji. In turn she gave them full respect and maintained a rapport with them, joyously imbibing what was acceptable.

The teasing, elusive and insistent paramour had enchanted her.

She affirms in this context," Such a Madan Gopal who enhances the entire place with his supremely attractive tribhang mudra (having three angles or bends of angular posture as Krishna depicted playing the flute with bent legs, hips and neck) is tugging my heart strings.The flute is resplendent in his tender hands and is soon to drink nectar from the lips of Krishna. The enraptured cowherdesses very well know of this sound which draws them out of their homes for a romantic dalliance with Krishna. Burdened with passion the dark god's neck seems bent.

The supreme lover, Rasik Shekhar taking his consort Shri Radhika entered a bower on the banks of Yamuna. Resorting to various strategems Krishna made the intensely serious Priyaji become instantly flirtatious.Thus the love play between Radha and Krishna is a revelation of the imagined pleasures which an impassioned man and an enraptured woman may enjoy. Awareness of the material world is abandoned outside the bower and the two are absorbed in some mysterious dallying today.

Only intimate sakhis have a right to witness their amorous frolicks.Hordes of passionate maidens hide in dense groves outside the bower to relish the sacred couple's love mazes.

Sakhis are the beloveds of Rasik Shiromani and Shri Shri Radha is the supreme object of Krishna's passionate love.Radha Krishna's sole purpose is to engage in a loving exchange. The sakihs assist them and Krishna fulfills their desire for a loving relationship in a variety of ways. But if the sakhis representing souls in search of salvation are hungry for the fulfillment of love that beautiful dark-skinned cowherd of Vrindavan is hungry too.The intertwining roles of godly love and human love cannot be separated or identified in this symbiosis of the searcher and sought.

This blue-hued god has triumphed over condensed clouds plus the Vedic God Indra's purity and self-affection. His saffron like sun rays and capricious nature fill us with inspiration and delight. The naive maidens are love-struck and move in a delicious anguish to his side on sensing his approach.

Savouring the playfull dalliance of handsome Krishna, revered Bobo resided in Vrindavan. Many times this lila madhuri was restless to incarnate and Bobo exults," There is no respite for the speedy romantic dalliance of mischievous Shirmaur.These days the passionate days of the autumnal season and radiant nectarine nights have begun. Air laden with the fragrance of flowers tug at our heart strings-and we long to find respite in the Raas Site of Krishna, human lover and divine incarnate.

These cowherdesses are filled with one emotion which pervades the atmosphere that of ecstatic devotion or shringara bhakti. They are the centres which the god must seek to return to wholeness once again.

Bobo says,"The supreme lover is absorbed in a romantic dalliance with his beloved and this sparks off several amorous frolics on those vast golden sands. Today Priyaji jolted him but a unique occurrence ensued. The blue-hued god became lustful and his afflicted beloveds turned ecstatic.An expression of the rare love-lorn state of lovers can not be bound.

Introduction to Kashiwali Ma***

Honourable Ma was residing in 'Char Sampradaya' of Vrindavan. She met Bobo in a satsang and wanted to have darshan of Thakurji. One fine day Manoharji got her to Bobo while Santoshji, Sarlaji, Rama Devi and Miraji came along.

Thrilled to sight Bobo's Thakurji, she exclaimed that there could be no greater form of service because the svarupa manifests according to our seva and the grace of Priya-Priyatam.Amazingly that day Thakurji appeared bigger to everyone.

***Ma used to ferventlly attend to her Thakurji's needs before marriage. Once her mother-in-law flung Thakurji down from the terrace and she fainted. Her husband was helpful and went down to have a look when this incident was narrated to him. The svarupa made of porcelain was found to be absolutely safe in a standing posture.

Well joyous in the company of many saints, busy in serving her Radha-Krishna and pampering them, Ushaji roamed in the pastures of Vrindavan with spirited enthusiasm; attending Raas at times (a type of popular drama dealing with exploits of Krishna) and going to hear discourses. Sensing the breeze she would frolic with waters of the Yamuna and remembering the Brajbalas, be lost in a reverie.

Identifying her thoughts with their bhavas she says,"The Braj beauties' transcendental love enchants even the supreme lover. Sacrifice and lack of desire for self-gratification is the essential nature of love's domain.These cowherdesses casting off worldly cares moved in a delicious anguish to the side of their elusive paramour. The adoration of these village women so heedless of their reputations pleased the Lord.

He admonished them by telling them that their duties awaited them at home. The gopis were on fire with desire for Krishna and they pleaded that he should indulge their longing with his laughter, glimpse and sweet songs. The pathos of their longing was fulfilled by the closeness of some blue-hued god and the sakhis were delighted at their good fortune.

Bobo raved about Shri Thakurji and her entire life revolved around his seva. Explaining to her associates she confirms,"The advantageous course is doing japa or chanting god's name. In the passionate realm of the supreme lover there is delightful gain in which ever path we adopt.The joy of suddenly accosting a Rasik Kishor is such that even on stumbling we must never abandon the course and head for the dark-god's refuge.

"Once after a romantic dalliance exhausted Shri Radha insisted on coming to her chamber though Shyam repeatedly stopped her. The teasing Rasik Shekah had arrived beforehand and lay on her couch.Changing her clothes, she was in a hurry to recline and was amazed at the lover's body smell which was fragrant. Ultimately she assumed that her own body had been perfumed by his scent because of being together for so long.

Relishing the lilas Bobo would note and post them to her associates.Sometimes moved by padas and shlokas of rasikas while reading the scriptures she would make them the topic of her writings. While describing the luxuriant rainy season of Vrindavan she says,"Amidst the rumbling clouds, the hide and seek of lightning and cool gusts of wind some dark Rasik Kishor is looting his madhurya and Brajbalas are longing to be embraced. Krishna chose to be born in the land of Vraja to relax from protocol, chosing it as his play ground. In his exploits the god and the gopis are in unison here and Krishna is immortalized, with an innocence of both the enchanter and the enchanted.

Krishna is the most faithless of lovers and as such subject to all the foibles and the fickleness which add despair to the delights of love. As Braj maidens narrate their love-lorn state to him, they are eager to listen to their supreme lover's perspective.

Expectant Braj maidens are blessed by the lover's assurances and his sweet sentiments."Only one who is in love can relish the enchanting autumnal nights and these beauties of Braj can be enraptured by Mohan-Mohini (titile of Krishna.)"

These radiant nights having a distinctive identity of their own.

Bobo says,"That night it was very joyous on the boat and several bahens recited padas. This auspicious shore is a witness to romantic dalliances and its waves are proud of their good fortune. In this state of innocence the elements of nature are perceived and described as living sentient beings, the white clouds feel privileged and the earth is blessed because Krishna has chosen to walk on her. All of them are filled with one mood that pervades and fills the atmosphere,that of ecstatic devotion or shringara bhakti .

Addressing the breeze Bobo says,:" Certainly you are crazed because Krishna has chosen to touch you." Seeing the blue sky, she exults,"Why are you astounded? Obviously you have seen our lover joyous in the company of some beloved."

The sand particles of Vrindavan are celestial and nature is strangely divine since they belong to Krishna's inner circle. All six seasons reside here. Figuring out the wishes of Priya-Priyatam, Vrinda (name of the forest area near Gokul in which Krishna spent his childhood.) Devi fabricates that season and bowers accordingly. Here Krishna often appears as the passionate protagonist whose beauty can have such irresistable effects upon a longing and questing soul within the context of religious aspiration.

"There is an uproar in market places, river banks, wells, houses and outside. With the beauty of his dark body, the colour of the condensed sky, the dark god accosts the Braj maidens and they pretend to break free. Each cowherdess feels increasingly alone, no longer one with the group and intensely desirous of having Krishna's attentions for herself.They dance as per Natnagar (title of Krishna) and make him prance in turn. here are no conventional norms but there is no tougher bond than love where one does not wish to be released on becoming its captive.

And how is this Vraj."Here Basant or spring is different with holi being incomparable. Idyllic nature and the divine couple's affected walk reflect the heights of their elation and ecstasy. Festivals are rampant in Radha-Krishna, and nikunjas are fragrant with their body smell. Aroused by them are the impassioned flower and the intoxicated black bee. Braj maidens savour their amorous frolic,get their fragrance looted and the blue-hued god is attracted.

Flowers are blooming in the bower plus spring is rampant everywhere and the impassioned yugal are flowering like some lovely fragrant flower. Who can this dark and fair and splendour be compared to as there is no one equivalent to them. Dancing ethereally in the nikunja fragrant with their body smell the enraptured couple are savouring ambrosia with their eyes, bodies,minds and souls.Vrindavan is blossoming according to this ineffably handsome god and his dallying which reveres Radha-Krishna the most.

Revered Bobo was constantly absorbed in the rasa or blissful experience of Radha-Krishna in the blossoming pastures of Vrindavan.

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