Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Baba Shri Manohar Das ji, the Pride of the Spiritual World-XXXI

Lord Krishna With His Gopas & Gopis
There is an incident which occurred in the year 1963 or was it 1964. In those days Shri Vimla Bahen ji used to live in 'Vedant Niketan.' One fine day Manohar Baba came over to meet her. Shri Usha Bahenji, Shri Sushila Bahenji and Shri Uma Bahenji and others also dropped in due to Baba's arrival. All of them talked about the glories of Thakur ji for quite some time.

Precisely then all of a sudden Baba got absorbed in the loka or world of divine bhavas (love flowing towards the Supreme Being). At times his eyes would shut and then open in quick succession. Late in the night, walking unsteadily he somehow went to Venu Vinod Kunj with great difficulty.

Vishakha Sakhi

After he had left Usha Bahenji revealed to everyone that she had seen Manohar Baba in sakhivesh (adorning sakhivesh facilitates the cultivation of sakhibhava of sweet and total commitment and love for Krishna. It is an accepted Hindu doctrine that the questing human soul is feminine and the only male is God) today.

Shri Ramharshan Das ji Maharaj

Ramharshan Das ji Maharaj, the prime ascetic saint of Ayodhya, who has attained the divine, is actually an icon of love. He resides in 'Shri Ramharshan Kunj' which is situated on the parikrama marg (Naya Ghat)in Ayodhya. Manohar Baba had heard about him. Once when Shri Manmohan Jajodia of Gorakhpur came to Venu Vinod Kunj, Baba told him of his desire to meet Shri Ramharshan Das ji, an eminent saint. Jajodia assured Baba that he would make him have darshan of Shri Maharaj.

Consequently in the year 2004, Baba went along with his niece Sushri Shashikala Mule, Sushri Vijaya Mule, Shri Radha Raman ji and others from Vrindavan to see him. At first Baba reached the residence of Shri Prem Bihari Khare in Lucknow, whereas Manmohan Jajodia arrived in Ayodhya from Gorakhpur. Baba was in contact with him on phone. Thereafter Baba went to Ayodhya with roughly fifteen people. And that is when Manmohan Jajodia made Baba meet Shri Ram Harshan Das ji Maharaj there.

The great saint Shri Harshan Das ji Maharaj had prior information of Manohar Baba's arrival that is why in spite of his ill health he welcomed Baba with loving tenderness. He wrapped his arms around Baba and hugged him. On meeting each other both these saints experienced such great joy that tears streamed down from their eyes constantly. This emotional scene made those present there also teary-eyed.

Shri Ramharshan Das ji Maharaj Rubbing Attar on Manohar Baba

In his welcome,the eminent saint Shri Ramharshan Das ji Maharaj poured or emptied the contents of an full bottle of attar on Manohar Baba's hair. Simultaneously, he thoroughly rubbed the attar on his locks and beard. With this act the chamber of Shri Maharaj abounded with the fragrance of attar and the unprecedented affection of two divine saints.

Shri Ramharshan Das ji Maharaj had a detailed discussion with Baba which went on for several hours. When members of his parikar (inner circle of devotees) intervened that he would get very fatigued this way, he replied soon enough, “ With great good fortune one gets comes into contact with saints. The Supreme Being has arrived from Vrindavan Himself and is giving his darshan in the form of this saint.” Manohar Baba was deeply embarrassed on hearing this abundant praise. Simultaneously he was thrilled to see Maharaj ji's immense love for him. On the insistence of Shri Maharaj, Baba and all those who had gone with him had food-prasad there itself.

Kanak Bhavan, Palace of Shri Sita & Ram in Ayodhya

Taking leave of Shri Maharaj, Manohar Baba saw Kanak Bhavan, River Sarayu, Ram Janam Bhoomi and other sites. Thereafter he returned to Vrindavan via Lucknow. Baba was so deeply impressed on meeting Shri Maharaj that he would send his respectful greetings to him whenever any acquaintance of Baba's would go to Ayodhya from Vrindavan. On the other hand Shri Maharaj would also ask about Manohar Baba's health and well-being from the people who came to him from Vrindavan.

Lord Dattatreya

Shri Narayan Svami Maharaj, the renowned saint of Maharashtra, is the devotee of Lord Dattatreya( Sage Atri was given a boon by the Supreme Being that He would come as his son, hence the name Dattatreya.) He is giving the spiritual instruction of 'Wake up, awaken others and be benevolent' to the world. Shri Maharaj wants to make mankind aware of humanity. His main sphere of work is Narayanpur (Pune). In a place named Jalkoti in Maheshwar (Khargone)he has got the Ek Mukhi Datta Mandir built near the constantly gushing waterfall or Sahastradhara of river Narmada.

In July 2008 when Manohar Baba went to Barwani for kirtan he also visited Maheshwar, his home town, for two days to have darshan of Shri Narsingh Bhagwan, his family deity. There he expressed a desire to Govind Tiwari an advocate of Maheshwar to meet Shri Narayan Svami Maharaj, an eminent saint. He took Baba along with his parikar to Jalkoti.

That is where Shri Narayan Svami Maharaj and his followers received Baba warmly and welcomed them with great respect. Baba was deeply impressed with the extremely unaffected and simple disposition of Shri Narayan Svami Maharaj who had a medium height and was clad in pyjamas, shirt and a kantopa (a cap with flaps covering the ears).

Shri Narayan Svami Maharaj Gifting The Coconut to Manohar Baba

Soon after, Shri Narayan Svami Maharaj told Baba, “Maheshwar belongs to you. We have just come for making the temple of Lord Dattatreya in your town, by His inspiration.” Baba had a conversation with him for about two hours, in isolation. When Manohar Baba was taking his leave, he asked one of his disciples to get a shriphal or coconut, kumkum ( a red powder made principally of turmeric and lime, and used to make sectarian markings on the forehead) and a saffron-coloured safa or turban.

Manohar Baba Wearing the Safa Tied by Shri Narayan Svami Maharaj

When Baba asked him the purpose of getting them, he responded with loving tenderness, “It is the tradition of this temple to respect the devout people visiting the shrine.” Soon after Shri Narayan Svami Maharaj tied the safa on Baba's head and applying roli on his forehead gifted him the coconut.

Baba was very delighted by this meeting with him. Simultaneously he exulted, “ To be endowed with such intense greatness and immense simplicity at the same time is possible only in some true saint.” (page 385-386 of 'Smriti Kaumudi,'the memoirs of Shri Manohar Baba)

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