Nagaji was a landlord in Godhra. The local ruler (Hakim) called Nagaji and told him to go to Rajnagar where he should meet the Emperor and from him purchase an extension on the lease of his land. He gave Nagaji two hundred rupees to hand out to those who were instrumental in the deal if it became necessary. Nagaji took the two hundred rupees and set off from Godhra, taking one man with him. When he arrived there he dressed up and sat on a horse upon which he entered the market. When he came close to the place where there were three large gates, he saw some cloth which was being sold for a high price. He saw it and thought to himself that the cloth was so beautiful that it should definitely be sent to Sri Gusainji. He asked how much the cloth would be and was told it would cost two hundred rupees. He purchased the cloth then turned around and went back to his camp.
Bhavaprakasha : Here the principle revealed is that Sri Thakurji enjoys the finest items. Therefore if one sees an item of such high quality one should purchase it and offer it to the Lord. If it so happened that one does not have the financial means to buy the item then one must offer it with heart and mind to the Lord.
[This should be done in the same way that Kumbhandasji offered mangoes to the Lord, which showed how much love he had for Him. See Varta 83 in 84 Vaishnavan ki Varta.]
Nagaji then wrapped that cloth into a bamboo basket and assumed the form of a renunciate. He told his servant to remain in the camp and not go anywhere at all until he returned. He left Rajnagar for Gokul, travelling on day and night. He reached Gokul after some days and at that very moment Sri Gusainji was telling the Vaishnavas that his Nagaji would arrive soon. Nagaji arrived just as he made this announcement. He bowed low to Sri Gusainji. Sri Gusainji asked him why and how he had come there. Nagaji supplicated “O, Maharaj! It has been a long time since I have seen you so I came to have your Holy Sight.”
Sri Gusanji told him to go and bathe and then to bring a water jug into the seva area and to take prasad. Nagaji bathed, brought the water jug and also the cloth and entered. Nagaji thought to himself, “It would be very nice if my esteemed mother figure Srimati Rukminiji were to wear this cloth and sit together with her husband Sri Gusainji in their resting place. I would then have the sight of the couple. After that I can go back to Rajnagar.”
With this thought in mind he entered the inner area of the haveli and went to partake of prasad. Sri Rukminiji came there to serve the prasad to Nagaji with her own hands. Nagaji prostrated before her and requested her to wear the cloth and then sit next to Sri Gusainji so that he might be able to see the two of them together. Srimati Rukminiji said that if she were to wear the cloth Sri Gusianji would be annoyed with her for wearing such very high quality cloth.
Bhavaprakasha : Why? Because such best quality cloth should first always be offered to Sri Swaminiji. Rukminiji would not like to wear it before having offered it to Sri Swaminiji.
Seeing mother Rukminiji Bahuji’s stubborness on this point, Nagaji took an oath in Sri Gusainji’s name and implored her to wear the cloth. On his insistence she handed it to her personal servant.
Bhavaprakasha : This is the rule: One should not accept anything for oneself without having first offered it up to the Lord. This cloth was to be worn and so Rukmini Bauji had to give instructions to her personal servant.
That servant brought the cloth and put it down close to them. Nagaji sat to partake of prasad. Then he went to see Sri Gusainji who asked him how it was that he had come there. Nagaji said that it had been a long time since he had had his sight and had come there for that reason, and that by Sri Gusainji’s grace his wish had been fulfilled. “I will leave again tonight,” he said, “After you have retired for the night.”
Sri Gusainji then took his leave from all the Vaishnavas gathered there and went to take rest. Nagaji went to Sri Rukminiji and asked her to now accept the cloth and wear it which she did so on his insistence. She then went to sit next to Sri Gusainji in their resting place. Nagaji enjoyed the sight of the couple. Nagaji then bowed low to them both and withdrew from there to set off to Rajnagar.
Sri Gusainji asked Rukmini Bahuji who had brought this cloth. She replied that it had been Nagaji who had brought it. Sri Gusainji remarked that this cloth was really suitable exclusively for Sri Swaminiji and asked her why she had worn it. Perturbed by her husband’s words Rukminiji replied, “I did not want to wear it but Nagaji forced me to by taking an oath on your name. Only then did I wear it.”
Hearing this Sri Gusainji was content and kept quiet. Then he said, “My Nagaji is like that! However, he must have left by now.”
It was the middle of the night when Nagaji prostrated in front of Sri Gusainji’s door and then set off. It took him a few days to reach Rajnagar. There he met with the Emperor and managed to extend the Hakim of Godhra’s lease. Then he returned to Godhra. He had not had to spend any money for the sake of extending the lease, so the Hakim was very pleased when Nagaji gave it to him. He presented Nagaji with a very nice robe of honour which Nagaji wore to go home. In this way Nagaji was the recipient of Sri Gusainji’s grace.
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.
The post Legends of the Pushti Marg saints: The Story of Nagaji Bhat (Part 2) appeared first on Vrindavan Today.