Spiritual Importance of Kartik Poornima
Shri Radha-Krishna Decked Up on Raas Poornima
Poornima which is considered by some people as Raas Poornima or Yugal Poornima, marks the end of the Kartik Month.Hence the entire month of Kartik is full of festivals-celebrations and laden with joyous abandon.Considering it to be a sacred month of devotion for attaining the divine, one must act and behave accordingly during this time span. Kartik Poornima has a distinctive significance for the Gaudiyas and special kirtans are held wherever they have their sites.
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
In Shri Vrindavan the savari or float of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is taken in a procession right from Gopinath Bazar to Shri Radha-Damodar Temple in Nidhi Van as bhaktas sing joyously,
Hare Ram Hare Ram, Ram Ram Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.
The Birth of Santosh Bahenji, a Great Saint of Vrindavan on Kartik Poornima
The waters of Jhelum abound with love tales of Laila Majnu and Shiri Farhad. Born in a Sikh family of those environs and impressed by Gandhi's principles, Santosh Bahenji, daughter of an affluent father, longing for dark-hued Krishna came to Vrindavan.
Santoshji was born in 1923 on Kartik Poornima in Jhelum district of Kashmir. At an early age she was presented Shaligram ji (Lord Vishnu was turned into salagram, an ammonite black stone, by Vrinda Devi ) from a sage in 1942. Santosh Bahenji came to dwell forever at Vrindavan at the tender age of 19. She interacted with all the saints and those who deeply influenced her life are:
Sri Sri Maharaj ji,Ghanshyam ji, Manohar ji and Devi ji.
Bhai Hanumaan Prasaad Poddar ji of Gita Press, Gorakhpur & Sri Radha Baba, his inseparable companion in the spiritual realm.
Sri Udiya,Gauranga Das, Ram Das,Priyasharan- Anand Das -Karuna Sindhu Kripa Sindhu- Baba, Sewa Das ji-Bihari Bhai and Krishan Premi ji.
Sri Durgi Maa, Sri Shyam Mata ji,Bengali Maa and Bhuri Baai
Ushaji (Bobo), Susheela, Vimla Nevile, Bahins Sheel (Devenderji), Dharam ji,Lalit ji and Bharti ji.
Sarlaji was her constant companion whereas Banke ji,Dwarka Singh ji, Ameechand ji and nephew Kuku were frequent visitors. Being a unique mahatma endowed with a sacrificing disposition, Santosh Bahenji honoured dark-hued Krishna's devotees and was totally committed with love for Shri Radha-Krishna. All those who were fortunate enough to meet her vividly remember her divine experiences with
Sri Bihari ji, Vrindavan and Yamunaji
The Yugal Sarkar or Shri Radha-Krishna, the sacred couple, worshipped by Bobo (Saint Ushaji )
The parikar or circle of many saints is described at length in ' Sri Krishna Anuragini, Santosh Bahen ji' the book written on her and published in 2005.
Usha Bahenji, Fondly Known as Bobo
An Excerpt from 'Braj Vaibhav Ki Apoorv Shri Bhaktimati Usha Bahenji,' Chapter 27: Setting Our For Vrindavan Her Abode in Braj, reads:
'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.
Shri 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 she would roam in nature's abodes instead of man-made shelters.Shri Roop Sanatanji renunciation had drawn 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 step out 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.
Second Excerpt taken from 'Braj Vaibhav Ki Apoorv Shri Bhaktimati Usha Bahenji
Once it so happened that Santosh Bahenji and Sarla Bahenji were cooking a meal for Thakurji. They kneaded the cooked vegetable with the flour and made a roti which crumbled due to excessive ghee. They requested humbly Thakurji to accept it . Moved by their entreaty, instantly Saint Ushaji's, Yugal Sarkar or ShriRadha-Krishna appeared and accepted the bhoga.
Once revered Bobo thought that certain clothes were somewhat old and should be discarded. Soon enough the beautiful Yugal or sacred couple reached Santosh Bahenji's residence and revealed that Bobo was about to give away dresses which were very dear to them. Santoshji came and narrated the incident to Bobo and ultimately it was decided that she would not distribute the garments.