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Legends of the Pushti Marg saints: Nagaji Bhat (Part 3)

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Once, Sri Gusainji traveled to Dwaraka. On the way back he stopped at Dakor where he had the holy sight of Sri Ranachodji. There was a Sri Ramlakshman temple there and he stayed there. He was sitting outside the temple when Nagaji also arrived there, carrying mangoes. He put 200 mangoes in a basket, presented them to Sri Gusainji and then bowed low to him. Seeing the lovely mangoes Sri Gusainji instructed Nagaji to take them and offer them to Sri Ranachodlalji before returning with the prasad. He told Nagaji to most definitely have the holy sight of Sri Ranachodlalji. He also told him to have a ritual shave and bathe in the Gomati river before coming back.

Nagaji objected, “O Maharaj! What do I have to do with Ranchodlal? I am completely satisfied simply by having your sight. ” Hearing this Sri Gusainji said, “No, Nagaji, don’t say that. Go take the mangoes to the store there and after have the holy sight of Sri Ranachodlalji. I shall wait here until you return having done this. I will not leave here until you come back.”

Hearing these orders from Sri Gusainji, Nagaji Bhat set off to have Sri Ranachodlalji’s holy sight. He first went for the holy sight of Sri Ranachodlalji, then offered the mangoes to the temple godown, had a ritual shave, bathed in the Gomati River and then went back to take his leave of Sri Ranachodlalji. When he entered the temple he saw that Sri Gusainji was offering paan bidas to the Lord. Sri Ranachodlalaji was sharing them with Sri Gusainji. Nagaji was most blessed to witness this scene. He then took his leave and departed. He proceeded to the Sri Ramlakshamanji temple and bowed low to Sri Gusainji. He supplicated, “O Maharaj! You instructed me to go to see Sri Ranachodlalji. By doing so I am blessed with all sorts of happiness. I was able to see the Lord and you together in that one place; thus I am very very happy.

Sri Gusainji was pleased and said, “Sri Acharyaji started the worship of Sri Ranachodlalji at this place; therefore it has a special relationship to me.

Bhavaprakasha: Vaishnavas should only visit holy pilgrimage spots whilst keeping the awareness of their relationship to Sri Acharyaji. They should not go there out of an attraction to their importance and potency to grant merit. Visiting a holy place whilst contemplating its merits is anyāśraya, [disloyalty, taking shelter elsewhere.] Sri Acharyaji toured the earth three times in order to establish the worship of the Lord in all the holy places. Vaishnavas should therefore go to pilgrimage spots only to know their relationship to Sri Acharyaji. This is why Sri Gusainji told Nagaji to be shaved and then to bathe in the Gomati River. Sri Acharyaji established the worship of Sri Ranachodlalji, so Vaishnavas should definitely visit this place. For this very reason Sri Gusainji frequently visited Dwaraka because of the closeness of Sri Acharyaji to the town of Dwaraka.

Soon after Sri Gusainji, taking Nagaji with him, departed from that place and set up camp in a village named Gangasadi. He bathed and began to cook. Nagaji went out to a cactus forest. There were mango trees hidden within it. Nagaji brought four hundred mangoes and presented them to Sri Gusainji, who asked him why he had brought them to him and not to Sri Ranachodlalji and why he had concealed them from him. Nagaji replied, “O Maharaj, I have sold myself into your hands. It is you who introduced me to Sri Ranachodlalji. Only then did I know who he is. I have left everything simply to serve your feet. Therefore please accept these mangoes.”

Hearing Nagaji’s plea Sri Gusainji was very pleased. He took the mangoes into his hands and began to look at them. They were very beautiful fruits. Sri Gusainji said, “These mangoes are worthy of Sri Nathaji, how can I take them? Therefore take them to Sri Nathadwar [Jatipura] and offer them there to Sri Nathaji and after He has accepted them I will partake of them. ”

[Note: At this time Sri Nathaji was still residing in his temple in Jatipura on the Sri Govardhan Mountain. Thus it was known as Srijidwar or Nathadwar.]

Bhavaprakasha: All things of the very best quality should be offered first to the Beloved. Then only may one partake of them. This is the strict rule of this Path of Grace. Therefore Sri Gusainji refused to accept the mangoes for himself before offering them to Sri Nathaji. This is the way of true love.

When he heard this Nagaji immediately set out for Sri Nathdwar using a camel loaded with 200 mangoes on each side. He traveled both day and night. He arrived in Nathdwar on the fourth day and gave 200 mangoes to Ramdas who was the head priest. Nagaji asked him to quickly write a receipt. Ramdas said, “You have only just arrived. Please stay here for a few days more.” But Nagaji said that he had to get on his way, and that he would like to get the receipt straight away. Ramdas wrote a receipt for 200 mangoes.

Nagaji’s thought was that he should go and present the other mangoes to Sri Navanitpriyaji in Gokul, so that Sri Gusainji would not need to send him there again. Nagaji then went to Gokul and there presented 200 mangoes to Sri Giridharji. He bowed low to him and asked, “O, Maharaj! Please give me a receipt right now.”

Sri Giridharaji asked him to stay there for some more time, “You have just arrived so why leave now?” Nagaji replied that he had to get back to Sri Gusainji and that he needed the receipt straight away. Sri Giridharji wrote out the receipt for 200 mangoes. Nagaji prostrated before him and quickly set off. He traveled day and night and reached Sri Gusainji on the third day.

Then he loaded seven hundred mangoes onto a female camel and brought them back but he hid them from Sri Gusainji. When Sri Gusainji had taken his bath and entered into seva then Nagaji came into the seva to assist him. Nagaji fetched 200 beautiful mangoes, prepared hem and brought them there. He prepared juice from some of them and filled four bowls with it. Having prepared the other 100 he approached Sri Gusainji.

Sri Gusainji said, “O, Nagaji, I have already told you that these mangoes are fit for Sri Nathaji and Sri Navanitpriyaji and that I would not accept them before that. Nagaji then showed him the two receipt letters, one from Ramdas and one from Sri Giridharji. After reading these two letters Sri Gusainji was extremely pleased. He said to Nagaji, “Sri Nathaji has partaken, so has Sri Navanitpriyaji, and within their partaking I have also partaken. Why did you not just leave all the mangoes there? Why did you bring them here to me?”

Bhavaprakasha: The reason for his statement is that Sri Gusainji was at that time residing at a distance from Sri Navanitpriyaji and Sri Nathaji. Therefore he was experiencing pangs of separation from them. In the state of separation there remains a renunciation of all sensual functions. Thus he would only eat for the sake of body sustenance.

Hearing this Nagaji bowed low to Sri Gusainji and supplicated, “O Maharaj! You are the one who introduced me to both Sri Nathaji and Sri Navanitpriyaji. Therefore you alone are my all in all. When you partake then I shall be happy. I am the servant of your lotus feet.”

Bhavaprakasha : This is the correct attitude that should exist between the master and the servant. If Nagaji had spoken of himself as the direct servant of the Lord then he would have been putting himself at the same level as Sri Gusainj. Therefore he spoke of himself as the servant of Sri Gusainji’s lotus feet and said that he would only be happy when Sri Gusainji had partaken. This is the correct and worthy behaviour for a servant.

Hearing Sri Nagaji’s plea Sri Gusainji took the bowl of mango juice and the mangoes into the kitehen. He then offered them to Sri Thakurji and at the corrct lapse of time received the mangoes as prasad. After settling the Lord down comfortable he ate some of the prasadi mangoes.

Bhavaprakasha: Sri Gusainji’s nature is to fulfill the wishes of the devotees. Since it was Nagaji’s wish he ate some of the mangoes.

The post Legends of the Pushti Marg saints: Nagaji Bhat (Part 3) appeared first on Vrindavan Today.


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