This is the continuing serialization of 252 Vaishnavan ki varta, the lives of the saints following Vitthalnath, son of Vallabhacharya. It has been translated from the original Braj Bhasha by Krishnaa Kinkari Devi. This is the entire ninth varta. See previous.
The story of Harji Kothari, Bhaila Kothari’s nephew who lived in Rajnagar Asaruva.
Harji is a devotee with a sattvik disposition. In the Eternal Lila his name is Surangi (a gopi) who manifests from Chitra and is therefore a form of her divine loving sentiment.
Harji was born into Beni Kothari’s family in Gujarat. Beni Kothari is one of three brothers.
The way in which he came to be one of Sri Acharyaji’s disciples has been told in the story of Narahari Sanyasi. His two other brothers, Bhaila Kothari and Jaita Kothari, became disciples of Sri Gusainji.
Once, Sri Gusainji pilgrimaged to Dwarka. On the way to Rajnagar, he arrived in Beni Kothari’s village. There they set up camp in a garden.
Beni Kothari was not at home, and so Harji’s mother brought him to have the sight of Sri Gusainji. He was six years old at the time.
Harji’s mother requested Sri Gusainji to accept Harji as his disciple.
Knowing Harji to be Beni’s son, he graced him by giving him the Name initiation and then Brahma Sambandha. Afterwards, Sri Gusainji fed his leftovers to Harji with his own hand.
As he ate the Prasad, Harji had the experience of Sri Acharyaji’s birth. His voice manifested beautifully and he immediately began to sing a lovely pada to his mother.
Oh Ma! The Lord Sri Vallabhdev has appeared in the house of Sri Lachman, and congratulatory songs are being sung most pleasingly in this early-morning auspicious time.
Oh Ma! Many ladies of good fortune have gathered to sing songs full of welcome.
Oh Ma! Brahmins are singing the Vedas, thus giving lovely blessings.
Oh Ma! The courtyard has been laid with pearls and bards are singing praises.
Oh Ma! The dundhubi drums are sounding out in every house, and handfuls of flowers are showering down.
Oh Ma! Generous donations are being given to the poor, and men and ladies are being given new clothes.
Oh Ma! Most blessed is his mother Elammagaru, whose every wish has been fulfilled.
Oh Ma! Now every day is filled with the wealth of happiness: thus sings the joyous Poet Harjivan.
Hearing this song, Sri Gusainji was very pleased with Harji. He gave him his chewed paan leaf.
Thereafter, Sri Gusainji left that place and passed through Rajnagar on the way to Dwarka. He stayed there for some days, returned to Rajnagar and from there went to Adel.
Once, Harji Kothari composed a book listing a thousand names of Sri Gusainji. He presented it to Sri Gusainji and also recited it for him.
Hearing it, Sri Gusainji was most pleased. After this, whenever Sri Gusainji traveled to Rajnagar he would stop off at Bhaila and the other Kothari brothers’ houses. Bhaila Kothari’s house thus became one of Sri Gusainji’s established baithaks [sitting places].
He would cook in Harji’s house and sleep the night at Jaita Kothari’s house. In this way, he fulfilled all three brothers’ wishes.
Why? In the Eternal Lila all three of them are very close Sakhis to Sri Chandravaliji. Harji manifests from Surangi. Bhaila is Kaumodini who is the form of the rajasi loving mood of Champaklata, a Sakhi of Sri Svaminiji. They are both very attached to Sri Chandravali. Jaita Kothari is Brajabhama who is also a Sakhi very close to Sri Chandravaliji.
*Part 1 continued*
Near their house there was a tree which was a bunch of bamboos tied together. There Sri Gusainji used to wash his feet and sit to perform his daily prayers.
Thus concludes Varta 9, the story of Harji Kothari. He and his brothers were recipients of Sri Gusainji’s great grace and accomplished Vaishnavs, and there is truly no end to their tale.