VARTA 1: The Story of Nagaji Bhat (Part 1 cont’d)
TEXT: After this Nagaji stayed with Sri Gusainji for three months, thinking to himself that he would wait until the auspicious time for his daughter’s wedding had run over before returning home. He reckoned that if he were to go home now he would be obliged to perform his daughter’s wedding, so he stayed back.
Bhavaprakasha: This is because Nagaji was attached to the Lord. Those who have such attachment are not so interested in their homes. In his Bhaktivardhini treatise [“How to increase devotion”] Sri Acharyaji has written
Therefore Nagaji did not go home where he would have had to delve into worldly affairs.
TEXT: Some days after this the storekeeper lifted up the bamboo pole that Nagaji had left there and found it to be very heavy, so he took it to Sri Gusainji and told him how heavy it was. Sri Gusainji told him to split it into two pieces. When he did so the coins fell out. Sri Gusainji said that this must be Nagaji’s work. Understanding his purpose, he said that Nagaji Bhat was an accomplished Vaishnava and showered his blessings on him.
Meanwhile, the date of his daughter’s wedding in Godhra was drawing close. His wife had no money and therefore determined that she would have to marry her daughter with only a bangle, a palmful of water, and some sanctified vermilion powder.
Bhavaprakasha: Nagaji Bhat’s wife had been to Arail and been initiated by Sri Gusanji. Therefore she firmly adhered to devotional principles and was able to be very resilient in times of trouble. Nor did she worry about societal opinion.
In the Lord’s Lila this Bhatyaniji had been a Sakhi named Kanduki in Sri Yamunaji’s group. She would meet Padmavati [Nagaji] frequently. Therefore, from that time on her relationship with Nagaji was solid. Both of them shared the same mood, form and heart. That is how she perceived Nagaji’s intention and decided to perform her daughter’s wedding in this way.
TEXT: The local Vaishnavas heard about this plan. They approached the local zamindar and told him that Nagaji Bhat was not at home and that his wife intended to perform their daughter’s wedding with only one bangle, some tumeric, vermilion powder and a palmful of water. The zamindar said, “And why would Nagaji Bhata’s daughter’s wedding be conducted like this?”
After this he gathered together all the wedding paraphernalia that he had at his home and sent it to Nagaji’s wife. She then found a good home for her daughter to marry into and performed a nice wedding for her. A lot of money was put into the marriage. The local people provided a sufficient dowry for the bride as well as clothes and other gifts for her, and also fed many brahmins sumptuously.
A number of days later Nagaji Bhat took his leave of Sri Gusainji and came home. His wife told him all about his daughter’s wedding. Nagaji said that it had all been the Lord’s wish, and that it was good that worldly money had been used for a worldly purpose. The money that the Vaishnavas had given him was not to be used for a worldly purpose and so he had not wanted to use it for a wedding. When the Vaishnavas of Khambaich heard this they all began to praise Nagaji. In this way Nagaji became known as an accomplished Vaishnava and the recipient of Sri Gusainji’s grace.
Bhavaprakasha: The lesson of this tale is that wealth from Vaishnavas is never to be used for worldly purposes. Such use would have resulted in denial of the Lord. Obviously money has to be spent on worldly events like weddings, but the principle here is that one should consider the wedding or other duty as being related to the Lord’s seva and one should perform such acts only after submitting them to the Lord. They should never be done to earn worldly praise. If ever it becomes necessary to spend money in order to survive, then one should do so without becoming confused about seva and after understanding the principles involved, having first asked the Lord’s permission. Another way of looking at it is that when a devotee serves the Lord with full faith and no deviation then Sri Thakurji himself sorts out all their other affairs. This promise Sri Thakurji has given in the ninth chapter of the Srimad Bhagavadgita:-
teṣām nityābhiyuktānāṁ yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham||
[To those who exclusively worship me with devotion and are thus always linked to me, I provide whatever they require. (BG 9.22)]
Bhavaprakasha: Now Nagaji had realised the true Vaishnava form. Therefore Sri Gusainji was glad.
This serialized translation of the Braj Bhasha book, 252 Vaishnavan ki varta is being made available by Krishnaa Kinkari, who has been studying and practising in the Pushti Marg tradition for many years. Her website is here for those who would like to communicate with her or to purchase her books.
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