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In Vrindavan, Stories Come To Life: Tinkudi Baba and Mathura Prasad Brijwasi

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Radhakund, 2017.01.31 (Vishakha Dasi for VT) For many years before coming to Vrindavan, I always loved the books The Saints of Vraj and The Saints of Bengal. The stories of the saints’ lives give a window into the blissful reality that is Vrindavan. But the bliss increases all the more when you come to Vrindavan and start to meet people who are connected with those stories! And one such person is Mathura Prasad Brijwasi.

Mathura Prasad Brijwasi

Mathura Prasad Brijwasi

Mathura Prasadji is one of the pandas (local priests) in Radhakund, and a disciple of  Shri Tinkudi Baba (108 Shri Shrimat Kishori-Kishorananda Goswami). Tinkudi Baba is a great siddha-mahatma of the Gaudiya Sampradaya who left his body in the 1980s. There is a beautiful chapter about him in The Saints of Vraj which you can read online here

Tinkudi Baba was a true vairagi. He lived in the wild places of Vraj and wore clothes made of sackcloth (burlap). He always swam in the ocean of Shri Radha and Krishna’s love.

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Tinkudi Baba

Mathura Prasadji says that his parents gave him to Tinkudi Baba as daan (a gift) when he was just a small boy. He used to go everywhere with Baba and their interactions were full of love like that of a father and son. He spent many years with Baba living in the forests in different parts of Vraj Mandal.

Tinkudi Baba with Mathura Prasadji at Shri Radhakund

Tinkudi Baba with Mathura Prasadji at Shri Radhakund

One day Tinkudi Baba and Mathura Prasad were walking along the sangam (pathway between Shri Radhakund and Shyamkund). When they neared Shri Gopal Bhatt Goswami’s baithak, Baba started to cry.

Mathura asked Baba, “Why are you crying?”

“Krishndas Kaviraj has said that whoever takes a bath in Radhakund attains sacred love (prem). But I have no prem. I am going to go back to Bengal and tell everyone that this path is false and they should not worship Radha and Krishn anymore!”

“Baba!” said Mathura, “Please don’t do that! If pilgrims don’t come to Vraj anymore, how will we survive?”

“Then you pray for me, Mathura. You are a Brajwasi. Radha and Krishn will surely listen to you,” said Baba.

Mathura said a prayer. Suddenly Baba went into a trance and murmured, “Look, Mathura! Radha and Krishn are sitting there on a bejewelled altar, and the sakhis are doing Their aarti! Oh how blissful… see the ghats of Radhakund are covered with jewels…” Baba stopped speaking and became lost within…

“But I don’t see anything Baba!!” Mathura said sadly. “I only see the Manipuri ladies doing aarti of Giriraj Ji.”

At that moment Baba put his hand on Mathura’s shoulder to steady himself. As soon as Baba touched him, Mathura suddenly saw that Radhakund was filled with milk instead of water. But he did not see Radha and Krishna. Mathura told Baba about this when he came back to external consciousness.

Baba said, “You will see Them when the time comes.”

Dr. OBL Kapoor comments in The Saints of Vraj: “But how is it, one may ask, that Baba got the eyes to see immediately after he had threatened to preach against Krishna? The fact is that Krishna is very simple at heart. He is scared even when His true devotee gives Him a false threat and is compelled to do what he wants.” Could this be possible anywhere but Vrindavan?

This and other stories about Tinkudi Baba are included in OBL Kapoor’s The Saints of Bengal, but certainly there are so many more to be discovered. I hope Mathura Prasadji decides to share more of his remembrances with us one day!

Tinkudi Baba and Mathura Prasadji

Tinkudi Baba and Mathura Prasadji

Mathura Prasad Brijwasi

Mathura Prasad Brijwasi

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