Monday, April 19, 2010

Chapter 33: Arrival in Vrindavan, Introduction to Several Mahatmas

We have mentioned earlier that revered Bobo had come to Vrindavan on 17th November,1959. On arrival she instinctively came into contact with saints, luminaries and goswamis for discussing the playful dalliances of Krishna.


Introduction to Shri Bal Krishna Dasji, a famed saint of Braj


After Bobo's arrival in Vrindavan she was introduced to Shri Bal Krishan

Dasji Maharaj regarding spiritual evolution. Perspectives were exchanged and the infinite joy of narrating Krishna's lilas was obtained. Several times she would go for darshan of Shri Maharaj and many a time he would drop in along with his parikar (inner circle). Padas were sung and legends of Radha-Krishna merrily narrated.


Revered Shri Maharaj would often exult," The true pleasure of laughter is possible only at (Bobo) Usha Bahenji's place." She had absolute respect for him within the context of religious aspiration and he also had a close affinity towards her.


Revered Gaya Prasadji Maharaj


The episode of meeting him is amazingly delightful. She was invariably impressed by Panditji's detachment with worldly pleasures and constant chanting of God's name, and truly respected him as a grand saint of Shri Giriraj.Revered Panditji had taken a vow of not letting a woman come near him. Due to God's stimuli there were certain violations of this resolve, since he met Bobo. I clearly remember she expressed a desire to touch his feet and he was highly embarrassed.The icon of tenderness, Bobo, finally did so.


Revered Shri Ramdasji Maharaj

A sanctified saint of Karah, the spiritual world is not unaware Shri Ramdasji Maharaj, an emotionally learned sage. He is renowned the world over because of his knowledgeable sermons and sidh state coupled with the worship of Lord Raghvendra (a patronymic of Ramchandra) and Kishoriji when he narrates lilas. Thus touching the heart and eyes streaming with tears , these playful dalliances moves even the common people as they reach the heights of elation and ecstasy.


Revered Bobo would generally meet Shri Maharaj when he forayed to Vrindavan. Describing the character of Bharat and the vatika episode of the 'Ramayana' Maharaji would enrapture the listeners. He exulted,"Undoubtedly her spiritual perception is unprecedented." She was a loving bhakta and her entrustment plus love for Priya-Priyatam was unparalleled.


Revered Shri Anand Das Babaji Maharaj

His madhur worship of Shri Raghvendra Sarkar and Kishoriji; above all when Lord Ram came to Mithila the sakhis of Janak's daughter detained him-and he


was permanently known as 'Pahune Ramji'(Ramji as son-in-law) and DulhaRamji (Ramji as bridegroom) in Mithila. Acquiring a siddh condition (perfected by penance) he would be engrossed in it. Bobo had loving tenderness and great respect for the same Baba Maharaj.


Baba was impressed by her spiritual perception, dedicated seva of Shri Thakur and her lucidly firm perspective. Seeing her spirituality and love for Radha-Krishna he would often say,"Ushaji's state had easy access to the nitya and constant closeness of the sacred couple. Whereas her isht bhavna towards the feet of Priya-Priyatam was resolute, her love for Raghvendra Sarkar and Kishoriji was no less."


Seeing Bobo's like-mindedness, detachment and serenity he would drop home. Hearing about her departure he had affirmed,"A devoutly pious goddess like Ushaji instinctively gained entry into Gaulok where Priya-Priyatam always dwell. While living in this material world she was there and on going there she was steeped in the religious rapture of union with Radha-Krishna."


Shri Shri Paad Baba

Several eminent persons and emotional luminaries were eager to take advantage of his company on seeing the transcendental state, dedication towards Braj plus Vrindavan, firm religious devotion and unprecedented renunciation. He had great respect for Bobo.


Intuitively he came for the sankirtan on her first death anniversary. Offering sharadanjali he had said," Great people don't wait for time but rather time follows them. She was great and united with the divine even on living in the mundane. It was mere wishful thinking for her but proved a great loss for sadhakas."


Shri Shachinandan Baba

The matter dates to 1970. Drawn by Vrishbhanupur's attractive sites Bobo would generally venture there on Shri Radhaashtami for darshan. She came to know that Shachinandan Baba, a saint lived in the silent foliage of Bhanu Sarovar nearby. In a dark room beneath she was startled to hear the word,' Rai-Rai'(speedily chanting Radhe-Radhe)).This time Sushila Bahenji,Bahen Darshan,Uma, Kamda, Nirmal and Vijay accompanied her. The instant they stepped in, he thundered," Who is it? " And they introduced themselves.


Softly Bobo requested," Baba you are in the company of Priyaji everyday-narrate some of her divine plays." Ecstatic while narrating the lilas he relevantly asked Bobo at one point, has Priyaji ever hugged you and said,"You are mine." Self-effacing Bobo found this question to challenge the constant love of Priyaji-and was vexed. Quiet for a while she replied in a devotee's tone,"Baba! You often get the good fortune of Priyaji's company.So why don't you ask her?" Instantly Baba said seriously,"Laali,you are telling the truth!" Hearing this statement all those present were thrilled and soon after prostrated before Bobo.


Taking Kamda Bahenji's hand in his, Baba asked if she was married and had children. She answered in the affirmative and said she had two sons.Kamdaji was satvik and had intense love for Shri Thakurji.Touching her Baba said," It does not matter if you are married!" Staying for some days in Barsana, everyone returned to Vrindavan.


This time as well on Shri Radhashtami they went to Barsana.Bobo reached his isolated hut along with other associates. A pada could be heard. Baba was singing and Bobo repeated that she wanted to hear the legends of Radha-Krishna. Initially Baba narrated some lines in Bengali. Dispelling the silence


Bobo revealed some episodes of Krishna's water sports and boat rides as they listened intently.


At one point Boba asked Baba as to what ensued when handsome Shyam was left alone with Priyaji and the cowherdesses...and was silent for a second.Baba was quiet and then fumed,"Weren't you there?That you need to ask me." Everyone watched Bobo's concentrated absorption wherein her mundane body was in front of us in that hut involved in the discussion and with her divine form she participated in the celestial water sports of Krishna.


Shri Shri Priya Sharanhji Maharaj

A scholar of the Nimbarka Sect, having immense faith in Braj, Shri Priya Sharanhji Maharaj was a great renunciant. Forest dalliances, at Raman Reti Maharaj ji would sensitively tell the tale of 'Shri RadhaSudha Nidhi.'.Bobo saw enraptured Priyaji leaning against a tree during his narration.


Shri Shri Kripa Sindhu Dasji Maharaj

Shri Kripa Sindhu Das Baba had ascertained his divine path under the charge of Shri Ram Krishna Das Baba.Fervently chanting God's name and a concentrated recollection of lilas drew several sentimental devotees to him. Due to insistence of Santoshji and Sarlaji, Bobo had to visit him. Shri Vimla Nevile and Dharam Bahenji also accompanied them.


Bobo had done extensive analytical research of the Gaudiyas and soon this meeting transformed into an interchange of spiritual perspectives. Listening to her brilliant conception he was amazed. And soon this episode led to a particular closeness with Bobo. Usha Bahenji casting off all worldly constraints had come to Vrindavan and when he knew that she had been a principal he suggested fondly,"Making them discard all this why don't you arrange for their stay in Braj."


Shri Jagannath Prasad Bhakt Mali


Vaishnavas are certainly aware of Shri Jagannath Prasad Bhakt Mali,the disciple of Tatiya 's mahant, Bhagwan Dasji. It is rare to find a humble person like Maharaji who was the loving recipient of Priya-Priyatam's blessing. Having implicit faith for all sampradayas and acharyas was his distinctive quality. His style of discourse was so very intimate that everyone was thrilled.


On Bahenji's insistence he dropped home many a time. And admitted,"I am not capable of turning away an affectionate invitation." He would always praise her tenderness, humility and grand bhavas. Regarding Bobo's involvement in seva of Thakurji he raved," Usha Bai's very soul is lodged in attending to Thakurji's needs"


Madan Mohan Dasji Maharaj

Most Vaishnavas know of Shri Madan Mohan Dasji,a denizen of Nandgram and a disciple of Shri Hans Dasji Maharaj, a sidh saint of the Nimbarka Sect. A mahatma of Nandgram, he shared a close rapport with the residents of Braj.


Madanji had developed intense love and reverence for Bahenji. Several times he would burst out crying while narrating the lilas and constantly begged Bobo for the grace of Shri Thakurji.Many a time he dropped home in Vrindavan and observing Bobo's seva revered her in particular. He always raved,'Shr Thakurji is the svarupa or living presence of her service, worship and dedicated devotion."


Shri Prabhudattji Brahmachari

We have given the episode of an introduction to Shri Maharaji earlier.


Shri Lalit Charanji Goswami

Goswami Shri Maharajji, the distinguished saint of Shri Radha Vallabh Sampradaya, was renowned in his sect and other luminaries had great reverence for him.Its reason was his independent and unbiased opinions.Not just knowledge but his emotional style laden with bhakti's grandeur, has been exuding its fragrance.


He would delight in describing the sentiments of padas written by rasikas wih Bobo. And often met her while going to the Yamuna, impressed by her sensibility and considering her an icon of worship." I have never sighted such loving tenderness anywhere as Bobo's while attending to the needs of Thakurji.Every fiber of her being is involved in seva."


He was very grieved when her health failed and deputed a mahatama to get news of her condition daily.


*Revered Shri Pannalal Babuta, A Domesticated Saint


He had great affection for Bobo and would always exult," Come my Laali my Radha Rani." Respecting Bobo's forbearance and renunciation,he was impressed by the seva of Thakurji. Babutaji had faith in Bobo due to 'Ishq Hakiki' known as dedicated love for God in urdu poetry. When she would ask about his well being he invariably affirmed," There is always full bloom in a life of intoxication."


*Basically Indian and a citizen of England later.Several people came into contact with Pannalal Babuta, the supreme recipient of Priyaji's grace in Vrindavan and abroad. Once the British Sarkar transferred him to Kasesa (border of Belgium and Congo)There the great yogi Lahiri gave him darshan. Once again sighting Priyaji he was ecstatic and eversince he was permanently impassioned. For three days a divine fragrance suffused around him.


Revered Saint Shri Lalita Babuta


Bobo and Bahenji met for the first time in Bihariji's Temple and this introduction gradually changed into serious intimacy.Shri Lalitaji's state was unique and many of her miracles are renowned the world over. Many incidents of staying put at one place and manifesting at another site to ward off her followers 'misfortunes are famous. Basically she had lovable dedication for Banke Bihariji Maharaj and Priyaji.She had respect, paternal affection and awareness of the nuances of Bobo's seva, taking her advice several times.


During Bobo's illness the manner in which she took care is inexpressible, for which she is eternally worthy of respect.


Revered Shri Manohar Dasji


The rapport he shared with Bobo can not be said to be one-sided. Due to her spiritual sensitivity, lovable devotion for Shyama-Shyam, conscientious seva, entry into their lilas and constant proximity of Radha-Krishna, he had great respect for Bobo, wishing for her well being.


Revered Saint Shri Dharamji


Keeping her hand on close friend Vimla Arora's shoulder those who have seen divinely inclined Shri Dharamji roaming in the idyllic pastures of Vrindavan with partially opened eyes are certainly aware of her greatness. Constantly steeped in the closeness of Priya-Priyatam, Bahenji's life blossomed with the assurances got from Shyama-Shyam.


As a matter of coincidence Dharmji's teaching in Ambala with revered Bobo made both the likeminded friends' relish the dalliance of handsome Shyam. Alongside she was very impressed by Bobo's Thakur seva, renunciation and terrifying rush of Krishna's love.


Once on coming to Vrindavan Shri Dharamji told Bobo,"You would reveal sensitive perceptions of Radha-Krishna in Ambala and Vrindavan on insistence, and now you have begun hiding them." Revered Bobo was narrating poems she had composed, which were in fact her hand written feelings. Silent for a second, she enthused,"Dharamji! These poems are precisely those." Dharamji agreed,"Certainly these verses have thrown light on your sensitivity."


Saints Shri Santoshji and Sarla Bahenji

Right from Lahore their firm devotion for Braj, endowed with love for Shri Thakurji's feet, renunciation, abundant affection and the rare virtue of truth, made the majesty of both friends crystal clear for the denizens of Vrindavan. Shri Chakradhar Baba had once affirmed," Having darshan of both these friends is like sighting a hundred mahatamas of Vrindavan."


On coming to Vrindavan Bobo got particular affection of


Santoshji


and Sarla Bahenji.

Embedded in their relationship, the zenith of spiritual awareness based on Bobo' spiritual perceptions, the passionate feelings of Priya-Priyatam and close entry into lilas is inexpressible.


They had seen Bobo very closely and had unfailing belief in her spiritual evolution.


Shri Dayal Puriji Maharaj

Shri Dayal Puriji Maharaj, the renowned saint living near Ludhiana (Punjab) was considered worthly of deep respect amongst sages, mahatmas and goswamis of Vrindavan. Venturing every year to Vrindavan and undertaking all sorts of seva was a regime for him. Calm and placid Svamiji was famed for his serenity and simplicity.


He had great affection and respect for Bobo. And was highly impressed on seeing the involvement of Bobo's mind and soul while attending to needs of Thakurji. Both had the good fortune of sitting together for long stretches and talking of spirituality. Seeing her sacrifices and life of a renunciant he proposed of offering his residence to Bobo permanently. Bobo was absolutely detached and she did not agree but consented to go there occasionally and stop over.


Shri Jatiji Maharaj

Vaishnavas certainly know of Shri Jatiji Maharaj,the mahant of Shri Lalitaji's Temple in Unnch Gaon. He was a principled renunciant and committed to Lalitaji, the sakhi of Priyaji.


Having intense belief in Bahenji and on Shri Lalitaji's order, it was his regime to get the shringar of janamashtami from Bahenji and adorn the idol. Thus he made this a practice which is being followed till date.


Shri Durga Ma

Residing close to the back door of Shri Rangji, Vaishnavas are not unaware of Durga Ma's Gopal Seva, religious devotion and austere renunciation. Seeing the manifestation of Gopalji,Vaishnavas had immense reverence for her.


She had maternal affection for Bobo and always raved about her attending to Thakurji's needs. Several times she came home for darshan of Thakurji, having great reverence for her.


Shri Krishnanand Bharti

Engrossed in singing devotional songs and meditation for years in the isolated hills of Uttar Pradesh,Shri Bharti came to Vrindavan.Coming into contact with Bobo, she was compelled to forget the earlier site's attraction. She would come to hear lilas every day, impressed by Bobo's spiritiual evolution.


Bobo affirmed,"The comprehension she has of Radha-Krishna's legends-usually it is tough to have such awareness."


Shri Hitji Maharaj, Shri Atul Krishna Goswami

Shri Deen Sharan Babaji, Shri Gokul Dasji

Shri Kishori Ramanji, Shri Shastriji,Barsana

Shri Achutlal Bhatt,

Shri Krishna Das Panditji


All these luminaries had great faith in Bahenji's erudition, vast knowledge, spiritual experiences, Shri Thakurji's seva, respect for sampradayas, entry into nikunj lilas, devotion for Braj and Vrindavan, coupled with great respect for her spiritual grandeur.


Revered Bahenji also held them in high esteem.

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