Oblivious of the material world when we become introspective it makes us gain entry into the realm of Radha-Krishna's lilas by their grace. Maun or a vow of silence is a harbinger of intense intimacy with Krishna, the supreme lover and Radha, his beloved. Priya-Priyatam make their hungering devotees long for a divine and transcendental love.
Spirituality was the cause of Bobo's constant yearning for isolation in order to remain in the infinite closeness of Radha-Krishna.Great saints attain union with the divine when they gather their faculties and develop love for the dark god by meditating on the legends or Radha-Krishna.Though her life abounded with the loving tenderness of Radha-Krishna, she entreated Priyaji for constant intimacy,
Hey Radhe! Ras-Saar-Vigrahe,Shyam prem saakaar.
Kab kariho mamtapagi, chitvan meri aur.
Sometimes complaining about her plight to Priyatam and at times remembering the infinite compassion of Priyaji begged for rasa or a blissful experience.
Madhur raseele madh-bhare,Braj Sundar Sukumaar.
Shri Radha sang karhu nit mam ur vipin vihar.
During this span,Bobo yearned to take a vow of silence. Luckily Sushila Bahenji was living along with her as she had come to Vrindavan permanently.
Despite being two distinct individuals they were in essence a single entity when treading on the divine path. Revered Bobo had adopted maun but would talk to Sushila Bahenji regarding work (only spiritual) occasionally.
Sushilaji conscientiously supported her maun. As part of her regime she would do Bobo's essential tasks and knew Bobo's mind via the sign language and assumptions.Sushila Bahenji endeavoured to compile the lilas revealed by Bobo through gestures, perceptions and passionate assurances received from Shyama-Shyam, plus the sensitive feelings of sakhis. The same hand-written compilation showcasing the golden period of Bobo's life became easily attainable for her associates.
Revered Bobo's life remained an enigma for everyone. She was so self-effacing and secretive that no one could fathom her persona. Generally she never encouraged anyone meeting or speaking to her excessively.Some luminaries contacting her had access to her austere lifesyle but could barely understand her true spirituality because Bobo portrayed herself in a simple fashion.
The state of Bobo's mindset became strange.Generally she would remain silent or maun. Several times the joy of her heart having reached the heights of elation plus ecstasy would spill over and at times serenity would take over. Sometimes identifying herself with nature intoxicated by spring, she would talk of sporting Oh the freshly adorned Priya-Priyatam roam infatuated with their cowherdesses!
Showering flowers on his beloveds, the supreme lover is delighted and takes his melodious scale to a high pitch. Soon enough, the son of Nanda wanders around the bucolic groves of Vrinda along with the milkmaids of Braj holding gulal (dry colour) in his hands. Eyes filled with passion, he loves with joyous abandon.
And revered Bobo saw Krishna making merry on the auspicious banks of the Yamuna and sang,
Haat baat panghat vipin,taranhi tanuja teer.
Dhoom machavat sanvro, liye gulal abeer.
The enraptured handsome god is walking affectedly and he looks at Bobo with a charming entreaty, smiling with sparkling teeth amidst slightly parted lips. With this glance of Krishna, her heart became restive due to some charming desire.
With fresh fervour Bobo failed in binding her enthused exultation and simultaneously expressing her distraught state she says,
Maun hui hai ur ki pulkan,
Ab na kanth mein geet rahe hain.
Bobo's only concern was,'tatsukhe sukhi' or to see Radha and Krishna united and joyous in love. Sentimentally compounding the wish to meet the supreme lover and her abject state, she says
Laakh pranh kar loon, magar mein door rah sakti nahin.
Door rahna to alag, yah baat sah sakti nahin.
Centring all my faculties, I have taken refuge in handsome Krishna and happy in whichever state he keeps me.Recollecting her earlier sensitive perceptions she senses something is lacking,
Pahle to rakhte rahe, nishidin kar ki chaanh.
Ab aisa kya ho gaya, jo khinchi nij baanh.
Earlier attracted by some virtue of mine you attended to all my sentiments.So why this deceit now?"I have been brought up in your affection she reflected and instantly she saw Krishna walking towards her from his bhavan with a slow gait. And she was ecstatic.
Decked in the passionate colours of holi, the dark god flung the torn edge of his sash and gifted his closeness and assurance to her distraught state by bathing her in gulal.
During this time span the blue-hued god promised that Bobo would take part in the madanutsav this time (a festival held in the month of Cait in honour of Kamdev.)
Well centred around herself and highly emotional, Bobo tended to be a recluse. At times her mind would descend to extreme depths and go into a void.And many a time, it was tough to ascertain her joyous abandon.She would laugh occasionally and soon turning silent stare fixedly. Several times she would become unconscious by going into a trance.In such a scene the other attendants had no other recourse except chanting God's name calmly and watching her state and postures.
During these days she saw Krishna, wearing a dishevelled pitambar (yellow silk garments worn by Krishna) and a loosely hanging turban as he delighted in the groves and lanes of Braj. During phaag the intoxication of spring infatuated these crazed milkmaids with an ardent longing.Soon enough with mischievous eyes and a desirous heart they roamed around the place in quest of the supreme lover.
And soon enough, the black cuckoo with its lilting sound resounded the auspicious site.Basant suffused the rows of trees, newly blossomed foliage, flowers laden with pollen, circling black bees and love-lorn hearts. Pining for Krishna, the sakhis forayed out of their homes.
Revered Bobo saw the delightful fair-dark hued picture of Radha-Krishna resplendent in a new bower enclosed by creepers. Fatigue took refuge in respite and throbbed enthusiastically again.The handsome Shyam entreated Priyaji," At the perfect moment Madan (a title of Kamdev, the love god) strikes us with his arrow leaving us with no choice. You know that we have borne his passionate attacks gleefully at times." This beauteous form left Bobo spellbound.
After sankirtan Bobo would lie down for some time in the morning to relish the sweetness of Priya-Priyatam's playful dalliance. Once she sighted,
"She saw there was a dense kadamba tree in a huge courtyard shaded with flowers and creepers.Scented flowers pervaded the environs and chirping birds appeared very pleasant. Hordes of peacocks on hearing rumbling clouds cried out in delight. Enchanted,the dark god rested his sacred head on Priyaji's shoulder. She gave support to handsome Shyam with one tenderly fair arm, dispelling his fatigue with the other lotus hand. Both their faces were thrilled.
The incident dates to these days when handsome Shyam called Priyaji close and held her hand. Looking up,he asked her to do the same. Dark clouds had gathered over and pointing towards them, he said," Hey Priya! Just listen to what the cloud has to say and cuddle the lightning in your lap to relish its fresh madhuri.
Addressing Priyaji, Bobo exulted,"Hey Svamini! You are the irresistibly attractive feminine principle towards whom the masculine power encompassed in the handsome god is constantly drawn. Being shy you are a bit controlled but that elusive paramour is constantly impassioned. Kishori whenever you reject him the blue-hued god becomes more agitated. He has a tough time pleasing you when you are stubborn and arrogant.
Revered Bobo was living in Barhi Kunj situated on Gopeshwar Road. Several outsiders had dropped in and thinking it would be tough to meditate she sat in the staircase, somewhat absent-minded. She saw," Priyaji resplendent on a boulder in a bower. A terrifying rush of love was apparent in her fair body, every fiber, fragrant limbs even her evocative clothes plus beautiful adornments along with an ardent longing to meet the supreme lover".
"Hidden in a thicket, Krishna watched her love-lorn state from behind. He came close and peered from her left, moving back again.
Coming from the right he sat adjacent to Priyaji and rested his head on her shoulder. Distress and their restive states became intimate friends and Bobo was engrossed in adulating the waves of rasa.
As intoxication gradually invaded the supreme lover's eyes, Radha was thrilled. Displaying the sentiment of assent contained in her refusal, she says no repeatedly. These are strange nuances of love where the language employed is amazing.
Bobo exults at one point," Krishna is the repository of love. His amorous frolics, innocent pranks, loving tenderness, graceful manners, passionate but not lustful all add up to the madhurya of Krishna which defines his love. The gopis are equally tender in expressing and experiencing their love for Krishna.
Like tender creepers these maidens cling around their lovable surtaru (tree of the gods Krishna) collect rasa and distribute it. As for Krihsna,love incarnate he can figure out the love-lorn state of others and cures it with his side long glances, passionate gestures, loving touch, winsome manners and various dalliances.
Those desirous of love should posit the supreme lover in their heart. Hungry to fulfil our wish, he is waiting for us. Bobo talked of him, conversed with him every moment and was absorbed in the love of Radha-Krishna.Nature infatuated her because it with the realm of Shyama-Shyam, and she sighted them in the beauty of each season.Steeped in these sentiments she exults,
"The tender sky's blue-hue peeps through the dense foliage and thick leaves.The bright grandeur of the earling morning sun also seems tender-as if scared of shattering the fatigued yugal's erotic postures. The morn tiptoes into the shrine like nikunja after their nightlong dalliance. Instantly peeping from above sunlight lights the budding flowers and peers at the impassioned yugal...suggesting that they wake up.Taken aback...how could it be dawn so soon. The sacred couple look at each other with the pathos of longing...adulating each other passionately. Assuming the breezy song of birds to be the sound of sakhis' tinkling anklets, the divine couple are startled yet again and peep out.
Revered Bobo engrossed in relishing the charm of Priyaji, says," Hundreds of Kamdevs were ashamed by your majestic limbs and your fragrant breath has triumphed over the pollen of several lotuses. Glimpsing the lustre of your body, lightning hid amongst the clouds.These gathered clouds sighting your brilliant thick tresses are sort of scattered. And seeing your teasingly pointed eyes, the fish has also gone and hidden in water. Your tender rounded cheeks has reproached the moon's light.
Seeing the brilliance of your smile, the pristine moon beams of autumn are embarrassed, and seeing your tender hands the foliage is stupefied. And the sweet voiced black cuckoo has gone and hidden in the dense orchard of mangoe.And the chirping birds seem scorned by your tinkling anklets.What standing do they have when handsome Krishna is enchanted by you.
In the year 1968 revered Bobo longed to roam in the bucolic groves of Vrindavan.On the pretext of circumambulating, she went on,
"Slightly further down from Kaimar Van, standing near the railway tracks in his youthful form, the handsome god stood holding a lakuti ( a small club esp that held by Krishna), his patka was waving, the peacock tail feather swaying as he smiled.
He seemed to have ventured for grazing cows. Propping both hands on the lakuti, he had rested his chin on them. Seeing Bobo he smiled and she asked," How is it you are standing here?" He replied," I come here everyday." On her intuitively asking the reason, he answered, " I keep a watch on those who commute to and fro from Vrindavan."
These days Bobo was staying in Barhi Kunj and the matter dates to April 1968. She would generally be maun throughout the day but the afternoon slot from twelve to three was set apart for smarana. At times she would sit in the staircase and sometimes in the bathroom with its door closed. Many a time she would sit in the open courtyard. Today she was posited in the stairs.
Shri Thakurji manifested right there and sat on the other upper step. Bending he held both her hands and enthused," One who sits at her husband's left, a wife...and..." who can reveal the entire episode.The next day while Bobo was looking up the dictionary ,Shri Sushilaji was sceptical and asked her the reason. Bobo narrated the entire incident.
Love is not one-sided and it can not be bound. The handsome Shyam is the trove of the milkmaids and these Braj maidens witness his every act. Taking refuge in him they entreat him and sometimes overwhelmed by love this dark-hued god dances for a skimmer of buttermilk.
These days Shri Rama Devi,Shri Manoharji,Shri Ghanshyamji,Shri Sarlaji, Santosh Bahenji and others had come for the holidays. Singing of padas was on and Bobo was sitting there. She felt someone touching her feet and assumed it was Vijay. She sensed it again after a short while and saw Vijay sitting at a distance. Concluding that it was handsome Krishna himself Bobo was peeved," What is this stratagem? Something can happen to me by this move." The supreme lover is self-willed-he gave a mischievous answer and affirmed as he laughed," I shall do exactly the same." Seeing his winsome manner, her vexation vanished.
She believed that time spent apart from singing legends of Priya-Priyatam was pointless.So steeped in the love of Radha-Krishna was her heart and so pure were her thoughts that she had attained the state of oneness with them.In a state of complete oblivion she led a life committed to Krishna.When there is this intimacy of Krishna through love there is no need of either contemplation or devotion that is generally reserved for god realization. Therefore wherever Bobo lived Priya-Priyatam manifested right there.
At one point she affirms that she does not want to be independent in the past,present or future. How sweet is this reliance on the supreme lover. Whenever I am arrogant and do some task egotistically there is absolute distress and dissatisfaction. In reality all living and non-living beings work according to Krishna's direction but we are not concerned with the material world. It is yogmaya the shakti of his yoga that helps him be human at one level and divine at another.It is to the mortal Krishna that we direct our anger, our passion, our fear and love.
When we see someone drinking water (sensually charged romantic love exists between the earthly and human gopis on one hand and a celestial and divine Krishna on the other)the terrifying rush of love invades our hearts, filling our lives with inspiration and delight.
Look at this bride of Braj who forgot what she was saying while selling butter and curd. Onlookers ridiculed her crazed state. Another milkmaid brought her to her senses," Oh insane woman! What are you harping upon?'Govind lelo-Gopal lelo!'"
Constantly relishing Krishna's ineffable beauty and playful dalliance it was tough to fathom the mindset of Bobo. Her solitude persisted even in a crowd. Bobo had such a concentrated practice of imaginative recollection that she had no inkling of what was happening in the mundane.The dark-hued god is not separate from smarana-therefore he manifests right there and grants the highest ideal of religious rapture to his devotees.
She called Shri Sakhaji the siddha today and talked to him for a few minutes before he narrated the lila. Regarding Rama Devi, he gave an answer in three sentences applicabe to us all," Why worry when in the shelter of a true saint? Lord Krishna himself is the fruition of waiting expectantly-not plain assurance but the supreme lover himself. This implicit faith is life giving. Do not be disappointed in the pathos of longing."
All these virtues were innate in Bobo's. If there is expectancy embellished with an ardent longing it binds the handsome Krishna in its tenderly powerful noose.Sages and philosophers may well be content with the mental idol of their favoured deity-but a loving heart is not at peace?
Bobo would often repeat a sentence in English,"Why was man created if not for the embraces of the Lord." Shyama-Shyam were manifest for her and always accepted, respected and gave support to the surging sentiments and longings of her heart. Her creeper of hope bloomed in the refuge of her Shyam-tamal or evergreen tree; the sustainer of her life as she evolved spiritually.