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More Attachment to Him, Less to This World

Braj-Parikrama of 1996 gave a lot of unexpected spiritual gains. Golden opportunities were received — most coveted causeless mercy! The mood is so devotional during Kartik that one attracts showers of divine blessings effortlessly.

Srila Gurudev never allowed us to physically serve Him. Whenever I felt that Gurudev seems to be exhausted, I attempted to massage His lotus feet, only to be stopped by Him. When I insisted, I got an angry glance which weakened my resolve. I used to pray for this service opportunity, but it was beyond Gurudev’s mood of acceptance. He never expected any seva, any kind of service, from the disciples.

When we reached Goverdhan, Manasi Ganga was overflowing with its waters inundating lanes around its banks. Guru Maharaj had to move in the knee-deep waters while holding up His clothes. I was following behind. Suddenly I realized that I never got such opportunity before! Without wasting a moment, I bowed down and grabbed Manasi Ganga jal flowing behind His lotus feet. Srila Gurudev was unaware of the mischief, although He was knowing everything within. Maybe out of his compassion, Gurudev was providing this opportunity of having Guru-padodakam while performing Braj-yatra!

Srila Gurudev also warned us not to try to take any Goverdhan-shila from Braj-dham. Param Pujyapad Srila B. S. Trivikrama Maharaj, Guruvarga, was always admonishing us from doing any offense in the dham.

On 29th of October, 1996, when we started the Parikrama of Sri Govardhan Maharaj (as Gurudev used to say), it was 7.40 a.m., very pleasant cool breeze blowing. Srila Gurudev led the party with ecstatic Nritya-kirtan, which continued all through the day. Our first stop was at the Annyor Gram where Gurudev described Annyor – ‘ani-aur,’ bring more.

He narrated the pastimes of Sri Madhvendra Puripad. In between, all the eight periods or ashta-prahar Divine pastimes of Sri Radha-Krishna continued. By the time we returned, It was 9.30 p.m. All disappeared to their respective resting places. But I was amazed to see Gurudev starting evening Bhagwatam class. Few of us joined to hear the 8th Canto of Gajendra – the King of the elephants at the Trikoot-paravat in the Khira-sagar. 7th and 8th Yaam-kirtans followed.

Mathura, the first camp of our Braj-Parikrama,  During the Mangal-Arti at 4.30 a.m., Gurudev would stand near the door of the make-shift temple. Within a few days, all of us doing Parikrama felt a bonding, like a family. Taking care of each other became our religious duty. But on this front, the devotees from Assam were ahead of others. They sacrificed all comforts for serving all other devotees.

All these pressures used to evaporate in front of the overflowing bliss in the air. The incessant Nam-Kirtan, Hari-katha and the ecstatic feeling of witnessing the sweetness of Braj-Dham under the guidance of Gurudev was like a spiritual tonic for the soul.

During the explanation of the Ashta-Kaliya Lila, Guru Maharaj would give few indicators of His real swarupa, lalita-sakhir ayogya kinkari.  There was a parallel inner mood visible along with the outer role as an Acharya leading a group of devotees.

Whatever places in Braj-Dham Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had visited, Gurudev will tell in the Hari Katha: Mahaprabhu came here, 500 years ago. Mostly recapitulating Braj-Parikrama undertaken by our Param Gurudev and Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada, Gurudev will give reference to Brajmandal Parikrama book (in Bangla).

While explaining the 5th verse of the Shikshastak, Gurudeva told, "We have forgotten our eternal relation with Sri Krishna  – due to the misuse of our relative independence. We have to pray from the core of our heart to Sri Krishna, please accept us again as servants.”

During Goverdhan Parikrama, Guru Maharaj led a day-long kirtan holding tridanda in one hand and lifting the other one – bahu-tule! I requested Gurudev to hand over the tridanda, but got no reply.

There was an accident with Param Pujya Sri Trivikrama Maharaj due to which he was injured. Gurudev ensured proper medical treatment for him. "One God brother in Assam was hurt with a bicycle, but he ignored that. Later he died of tetanus." Gurudev narrated that incident admonishing us to be careful about any injury. Gajendra Mohsha pastimes are a continuous daily ritual of the Kartik. But due to hectic Parikrama, there was little time left in the evening for the Gajendra. Still, Gurudev never missed narrating the significance of hearing these pastimes in the Kartik.

A lot of hard work is undertaken day and night by the grihastas – householders - to serve their family members. But they never feel it, because of the strong attachment – aasakti. Like Gajendra was enthusiastically serving his family of elephants with the same attachment. He bathed all of them but not felt tired at all. If we can inculcate the similar attachment for Gurudev, we will also not feel tired. That’s the kasouti – a touchstone to know whether we have any attachment with Guru-Vaishnav.

Our detachment from the world (abnegation) depends upon our devotion–the degree of our attachment to Sri Krishna. But we have not seen Sri Krishna. There is no communication, or exchange of thoughts with Him. On the other hand, when a pure devotee of Sri Krishna is communicating with us, guiding us, then we can develop a strong relation with a pure devotee. We can have all spiritual attainments with that relation.

The kind of attachment or ‘aasakti’ Sri Gurudev had with Param Gurudev HDG Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhav Goswami Maharaj was unparalleled. The moment Gurudev started glorifying Param Gurudev, one could see that attachment in His eyes! He could speak about the divine qualities of Param Gurudev incessantly with great zeal.

Gurudev never considered Himself to be a Guru. He always carried on practically as a perfect shishya–disciple. Giving all credit to His Gurudev. By serving all devotees, Gurudev never felt exhausted. Always cheerfully engaged in the divine order of Param Gurudev.

Braj-Parikrama descriptions of Gurudev were full of the anecdotes of Param Gurudev. At every temple and spot, how Param Gurudev had performed this Parikrama came into picture. Words cannot describe Gurudev’s transcendental obsession of Param Gurudev, which used to magnify manifold during the Kartik. All this made me think, there can not be any comparison to an exalted example of Guru-Shishya divine bonding! I pray for an iota of that bonding!

—Rasavihari Das, Jammu


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