Thursday, February 10, 2011

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

Revered Bobo (left) & Sushila Bahenji

When revered Sushila Bahenji came to see Baba the next morning, she asked him, “How are you?” With a faint smile Baba replied, “ I am at my life's goal.” (the eternal search of the impassioned soul for union with the Divine)

On Bhadra Shukla Purnima, 3 September, 2009, a Friday, [samvat 2066] revered Manohar Baba drank some milk between ten-thirty to quarter to eleven in the night, on Devi ji's coaxing him. He talked with loving tenderness to everyone around. Then his condition began deteriorating critically at roughly eleven o'clock. When his pulse rate was checked it was not normal.That is why he was given oxygen which gave him some relief. Thence he was made to lie down. On an indication from him, he was made to turn his side at about eleven-thirty in the night.

The Ras Panchadhyayi

Soon after, at 15 minutes past 12 in the night when Lord Krishna would come to Manohar Baba to hear the 'Ras Panchadhyayi' from him, as a daily regime; suddenly the body of Baba slackened and leaving his material body, he became engrossed in the rasa or religious rapture of Shri Radha-Krishna's divine play.

Union of the Individuated Soul with Lord Krishna

Or we can say that this lovable sakhi gained entry into the raas mandal (the very foundation of a religion of union is that the individual, partial and manifest self or sakhi must be joined with the universal, whole and un-manifest Self that is Lord Krishna) along with her Thakur.

Shri Radha-Krishna

Actually speaking Shri Radha-Krishna, the sacred couple, took Baba at that point of time when he used to read the 'Ras Panchadhyayi' (a quintet of chapters in the Bhagavat Putrana on the theme of Krishna's relationship with the gopis)religiously at night. The scene was extremely divine and it seemed as if all the gods had come to take Baba along with them.

Nature Weeping At Manohar Baba's Departure

That is precisely when it began to rain heavily for fifteen minutes, endorsing the fact that nature was also sharing our sorrow and offering its salutation to Baba by weeping.

With Baba's leaving this material world, his entire parikar (inner circle) was grief-stricken and lamented his departure. Pandemonium broke lose as everyone wept hysterically with tears streaming down their cheeks. It became difficult to control Dr. Chandresh Gupta who was constantly giving medication to Baba for the past four months.Soon enough, the Shri Hari Naam Sankirtan was begun for Baba and it went on continuously till his funeral rites. Most of the people belonging to Baba's circle arrived at Venu Vinod Kunj in the night itself.

Shri Yamuna

The dust of Vraja was got from Yamuna ji and a bed of this Vrajraj was made in front of highly revered Shri Maharaj ji's room. And revered Manohar Baba was lain down on the spread. His earthly body was looking very divine even after Baba had abandoned his human form. His physical body which had been ailing for the past four months with no intake of food for a month, was still glowing. Just like Bhisham Pitamah who lay on a bed of arrows Baba's face had a unique radiance; a divinity which was soaked in religious bliss.

At 8 o' clock the next morning Baba's mundane body was bathed with Yamuna's water as per the rites endorsed in the shastras (scriptures). Soon after it was smeared with Vrajraj (dust of Vraja) and sandalwood. He was adorned with countless garlands of roses, jasmine and mogra flowers(double jasmine) right from nine till eleven o'clock in the morning.

Those serving in almost all the main temples of Vrindavan, decked Baba with colourful chunris, blossoms, saffron, sandalwood, attar and gulal. Several devout saints, luminaries and dignitaries paid homage to Baba with their flowing tears. Remembering Baba all the people were weeping inconsolably. And during that time there was not a single person one who was not teary-eyed.

Manohar Baba who could not bear anyone's grief-pain and was easily moved emotionally, had taken a vow of silence today and he was accepting everyone's tribute.

The Hari Naam Sankirtan

The bhaktas and followers of Baba had surrounded him from all four sides and were chanting the Hari Naam Sankirtan in a loud voice. Revered Baba's doli or palanquin and not his bier was being decorated. This palanquin was lifted on 4th September, 2009 at eleven o' clock in the morning.

The final journey of revered Baba amidst chanting of Hari Naam Sankirtan and passing through the town's main roads reached the banks of the Yamuna in front of Vanshi Vat.

Rose Petals

The bhaktas and devotees of Baba showered roses on him with such abundance that most of the paths plus lanes of Vrindavan were carpeted with rose petals. As per the norms of Hinduism, women and children are prohibited from going to the cremation ground. But Baba's last rites proved to be an exception because not only females but even children who were eight to ten years of age were present. And why shouldn't they have gone since he was their most lovable Baba.

Revered Devi ji, Maharaj ji & Manohar Baba

So much so that revered Devi ji also saw the burning pyre of Baba with extreme pain. Usually the burning of a dead body is absolutely fearsome and compassionate but the scene when Baba's funeral rites were being performed was extremely divine and transcendental. Honourable Shri Vidyadhar Das ji gave mukhagni (put fire into the mouth when the funeral pyre was lit) to Baba amidst well-known saints and distinctive luminaries of the spiritual world.

Meanwhile Rasacharya svami Shri Shriram Sharma, Rasacharya svami Shri Fateh Krishna Sharma, Baba Shri Albeli Sharan ji and others recited the padas written by renowned rasik saints (moved by passionate religious devotion for Krishna). In this manner everyone's highly revered Manohar Baba who had taken birth in the soil of Narmada merged with the soil of Yamuna.

Shri Narayan or Lord Vishnu

The word 'seva' or attending to the needs of a person is very simple when spoken but is extremely tough to follow But the one who does serve lovingly certainly attains both Nar or man and Narayan (the Supreme Being, Vishnu/Krishna.) Sushri Shashikala Mule, the niece of highly respected Manohar Baba, Sushri Vijaya Mule, Dr.Chandresh Gupta,Engineer Shri Brajesh Mishra, Avdesh Mishra, Dr. Amar Singh Rathore, Pandit Rajesh Tiwari, Shri Vrindavan Das ji, Child Rajesh, Shri Khare Dampati, Shri Vidyadhar ji, Anand Shukla, Kunjbihari and other close ones served him with dedicated devotion.

However much we may praise these virtuous souls for their unfaltering service, would not be sufficient. Moreover all members of the parikar (Baba's inner circle of devotees) being present off and on, considered that they were greatly fortunate to get an opportunity of attending to the needs of Baba.(Pages 393-394 of 'Smriti Kaumudi,' the memoirs of Shri Manohar Baba)

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